RFP - AWID’s Forum Conference Data Management Solutions

Organization NameJob CategoriesPosition TypeRegion and Location(s)Career LevelSalaryAd Online SinceApplication Deadline
The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)
  • Consulting
  • IT: Web Interface / Design
Request for Proposal
  • Ontario - Metro Toronto Area - Toronto
Experienced (Non-manager)N/A2019-05-082019-05-30

About AWID

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) is an international multi- generational feminist membership organisation with thousands of members in all regions of the world, committed to achieving gender equality, women's human rights and sustainable development. AWID contributes a cross-sector and cross-regional feminist and women’s rights perspective on pressing issues for women worldwide, through innovative action-research, multi- lingual electronic and print communications, sharing of capacity-building resources, advocacy to key international institutions and convening of strategic spaces.

About the AWID International Forum

AWID’s International Forum is the largest recurring event of its kind and responds to the urgency of promoting stronger and more coordinated engagement and action by women’s rights advocates, organizations and movements globally. The Forum has consistently been recognized as a flagship activity of AWID, and throughout our 30 years we have sought to continuously improve the strategic nature and focus of Forum debates and their level of inclusivity of diverse actors and agendas. The Forum is organized every three to four years, and brings together around 2,000 participants from over 120 countries, the majority from the Global South. The next Forum will take place in Thailand in November 2020.

Overview of the Request

In preparation for the Forum AWID is looking to purchase a conference software to automate four crucial processes in organizing the Forum:

  1. Call for proposals for the sessions at the Forum
  2. Session management and scheduling
  3. Access fund: funding provided by AWID to selected applicants
  4. The consultant(s) must be based in Toronto as they will be working closely with the AWID Forum and IT teams
  5. Registration (TBD - see notes below)

All systems must work on  SSL encryption certificate issued by a trusted CA and ensure the privacy and security of the data.

Application Guidelines

  1. Describe why your conference software would be right for AWID’s Forum needs? Please also include a brief description of how the system will be viewed on the back end i.e. will AWID have to access multiple databases or will they all be connected on a single system.
  2. Describe how you will  develop a custom solution for AWID:
  • If it is a SAAS solution please clearly indicate how long data is stored post Forum. We will be interested to know about the security, availability and backup plans of the hosting environment.
  • If you are developing the custom solution for AWID, we still want to know the availability, backup and security plans for the solution.
  1. Budget/cost – provide a description of all costs associated with system including but not limited to developing, coding, licensing/purchasing, support provided, etc.
  2. Post-implementation support options that you may consider important to us (outside of the current project/budget) like annual maintenance fees.
  3. AWID is interested in expanding its online presence before, during and after the Forum. Please include in your proposal any mobile apps and/or networking apps (eg online message boards, online community etc) that could be linked to the solution.
  4. Please include at least two references of previous clients - AWID will make the final selection based on the proposal matching our requirements, the quality of the application and the price for services. As a non-profit budget is always a concern for AWID, preference will be given to companies who demonstrate sensitivity to our budgetary concerns without sacrificing quality. All submitted proposals become the property of AWID, and will not be returned to the originator. We won’t be contacting companies that were not selected.

Annex 1: AWID System Requirements

1. Call for session proposals

Purpose: AWID launches an open call for proposals, which provides the framing for the Forum and invites women’s rights advocates and organizations from around the world to submit ideas for various Forum sessions. In 2016, AWID received over 1000 submissions in four languages from 98 countries. An International Planning Committee (IPC) has the job of selecting final sessions. The system needed for launching this call would allow us to both disseminate the call, accept proposals, manage the selection through a grading system as well as providing space for comments (the grading will be carried out by around 20 people so, they will all need access to the database), session management and scheduling.


  • Call for proposals with thematic categories
    • Define forms with custom categories, checkboxes, selecting from lists, multiple selection from lists, formatted and/ or simple text.
    • We should be able to securely store contact information about the session organiser for each session and multiple speakers/ panelists.
    • Accept different languages and characters including accents, at least English, Spanish, French and possibly Thai, Russian, Arabic.
    • Disseminate calls to users in 5 languages with users to be able to submit online using the forms created by AWID staff.
    • Possibility to give users editing permissions after receiving comments from reviewers.
    • Produce a unique identifier for each submission, allowing access to submitter with a user generated password. Must have multiple levels of permissions for admin, submitter and reviewer roles. Each level will have unique access to and ability to edit fields.
  • We should be able to put our brand elements: colors, fonts, logos and images on all pages that are visible to reviewers and submitters.
  • Sessions may need to be translated into at least 5 languages therefore we will require space in the database where for all proposals finalised as sessions can  also be stored with 4-5 translations of each session.
  • Customizable template including ability to brand all pages and customize fields. (TBD)
    • One field will ask submitters if they require funding. This field will be key when we begin the Access Fund application process (see below) and must be tied to the Access Fund database/records
  • Each submission will receive an automated email at each stage of submission (saved, final and graded). All emails/correspondence to be written by AWID.
    • A confirmation email will be sent to session organizers confirming receipt of application with session ID and speaker IDs.
    • Each proposal submission will have stages: submitted, final, and graded. At each stage different fields will be editable.
    • Submitted – all fields can be edited until the closing date of submissions
    • Final – All submissions will become final once closing date has passed at which time nothing is editable by submitter or AWID.
    • Graded – nothing editable. Sessions will be given a new status of accepted, rejected or ‘maybe’.
  • We should be able to export formatted data as pdf/ Word and unformatted data in csv/ Excel.
  • Able to generate and send customized emails to session organizers. It will be desirable to be able to schedule these reports.  

2. Session Review & Selection Process

  • After the closing date of the CFP all sessions are reviewed by AWID and our International Planning Committee (IPC). It is very important that this reviewing stage be completed online and does not require an export of all sessions AWID staff will short list the sessions and our IPC will review this shortened list of sessions. We will require different levels of access for each group of reviewers. Once reviewed by the IPC sessions will either be accepted, rejected or potential. For archival purposes ALL sessions will remain in the CFP database with the new grading, and we will need to create a new “accepted” database.
  • After a proposal is submitted, we should be able to define grading criteria and weights for each criteria
    • We should be able to calculate final grades based on individual grades on each session’s criteria and weights
    • We should be able to mark the selected proposals as sessions
  • All reviewing and grading must be done online and we must be able to update and produce a large variety of reports in real time.
  • Must be able to sort, view and produce custom reports on all submitted sessions based on a variety of fields including for example sort by language, or by region or by theme. This reporting is key to our selection process and must be very flexible and robust. Ability to produce statistical reports is also vital i.e. percentage of sessions by region or language. We should also be able to produce aggregated reports in multiple levels. For example session proposals submitted in each theme by region or vice versa.
  • Speaker records/id’s will have to checked for duplications. Each speaker will only have 1 ID # regardless of how many sessions they are speaking in. (EG Mary Smith is speaking in session #123 & #150. While she would be listed as a speaker in each session in the sessions DB, she will only appear once in the speaker database.)

3. Session Management

Purpose: Once sessions have been graded/accepted, only accepted sessions will be accessed moving forward. In some exceptional circumstances, we may need to access and re-review the unaccepted sessions but it should be possible with only admin roles.  Most sessions will come from accepted sessions from CFP, however we will also need to be able to add new internally created sessions ( i.e. plenary, AWID-led sessions, etc). Once sessions are accepted they will again be accessible by session organizer with only a limited number of editable fields. Please check further details below.


  • Accept different languages and characters including accents, at least English, Spanish, French, and possibly Thai, Russian, Arabic.
  • We should be able to produce a public version of Program Schedule using the selected categories, sessions, venue room location and time. The formatting should not be affected if any of the information is missing. Database must include session scheduling and room allocation for all sessions, up to 200 sessions over 4 days.
  • We should be able to put our brand elements: colors, fonts (Lato), logo and images on all the pages that are visible to the public.
  • Customizable templates for sessions including custom fields and ability to additional fields if needed.
  • Sessions should keep the same unique identifier given at submission process and certain fields should have an editing function.
  • When changes are submitted to a session by the session organiser, AWID should be notified preferably through a notification in the system.
  • We should be able to generate a periodic report listing any and all changes made to sessions. Also an email should be sent to session organizer confirming changes and including new speaker id’s should that apply.
  • Each speaker is given a unique speaker ID, that will also be used in Access fund database (see below) to fund eligible speakers for their travel and/or accommodation expenses. Admin role should be able to restrict any changes to the speakers in a session after funding has been granted to the session speakers through Access Fund. If a speaker has been granted funding they cannot be removed or replaced from the session without first gaining approval from AWID.
  • Able to export, produce and customize reports and track real time data, including being able to publish schedule for the onsite participants program, website and mobile apps.
  • Must be able to sort, and view and produce custom reports on  all selected/ unselected sessions based on a variety of fields including for example sort by language, or by region or by theme. This reporting must be very flexible and robust. Ability to produce statistical reports is also vital i.e. percentage of sessions by region or language. We should also be able to produce aggregated reports in multiple levels. For example session proposals submitted in each theme by region or vice versa.

4. Access Fund (AF) (Grantee/sponsorship data management)

Purpose: AWID funds up to 500 participants to attend the Forum. The majority (but not all) are speakers from accepted sessions and thus the AF DB will have to be tied directly to the proposals DB so that speaker’s information can be easily accessed. Speakers/ organizers will submit  an application request for the Access Fund separately. All travel arrangements (flights, hotel, visas, and ground transportation) and donor requirements for AF recipients are taken care of by AWID and thus need to be tracked by the system.


  • Accept different languages and characters including accents, at least English, Spanish, French, and possibly Thai, Russian, Arabic.
  • We should be able to put our brand elements: colors, fonts (lato), logo and images on all the pages that are visible to the public.
  • The speakers, interested in applying for AF, should be able to submit an online application in the language of their choice from the languages supported by AWID as stated above. The speakers will have to submit the session ID and their speaker ID provided to them by session organiser.
  • Other individuals (not only speakers) will have access to an online funding application form. That needs to be linked to this system as well.
  • The system will need to track how many presenters per session have received funding. Session organizers must be copied on ALL emails relating to Access Fund.
  • Financial Reports to be generated by the system
    • By donor and individual getting the funds
    • Reconciliation reports for donor-Access Fund grantee
  • We should be able to customise and change pages and customize fields.
  • The complete application process will include – saved, submitted and graded applications. Once the application has been submitted no further changes can be made by submitters, and a confirmation email will be sent to both applicant and session organizers confirming receipt of application with Access Fund Submission ID.
  • Internal grading process – accepted, rejected, pending. Standard emails about decisions are to be sent via the system to both organizer and applicant. Each email content MUST be customizable with automated tokens that should automatically fill the field values in the emails.
  • Once recipients have been approved for funding their profile will need to be accessed on an on-going basis by both AWID and the recipient. Different levels of access, edits and views should be able for  different user groups. (Forum presenter, AF recipient, etc).
  • Must be able to generate customized documents; Access Fund agreement/contract etc.
  • Must be able to track travel details including: city of origin, visa requirements, accommodation, travel dates and final itinerary, etc.
  • Must be able to attribute donors to each accepted AF recipient and all budget costs associated with the individual, with the ability to export data. This information will only be accessible by a very limited number of staff within AWID and in no way is it visible to the recipients.
  • Must be able to have customized categories for sorting reports, i.e. country, region, constituency the individuals represent etc, which can all be exported—to be able to pull all the participants from e.g. participants from Europe, or all individuals who have disabilities etc.
  • Able to produce and customize reports and track real time data.

5. Registration (please quote this separately. We are considering outsourcing this with an event organizer based in Thailand)

Purpose: to accept registration for all Forum participants, including staff, board and all session organizers/presenters as well as AF recipients. For the 2016 Forum we had close to 2,000 registrants, from 140 countries and six continents.


  • Must be able to accept registrations in Forum languages: English, French, Spanish, Thai, possibly Russian and Arabic.
  • Customizable template including ability to brand all pages and customize fields
  • Must produce a unique registration number. Records can be accessed/edited once registered, but fields which can be edited will be restricted and TBD.
  • Multiple levels of access to view and/or edit fields: staff, registrant, finance etc.
  • Accept multiple types of registrations with different fees that correspond to registration type: staff, board members, Access fund recipients, members/non-members, groups etc.
  • Accept early bird registration.
  • Able to limit registration and to manage waitlist if required. Ability to review and accept waitlisted registrants online preferred.
  • System must be able to accept country and region codes provided by AWID, and be able to easily track the registration details e.g. to know how many people from Africa have registered etc.
  • System must link to all of the speaker's information so for example we can waive all fees for a certain donor or session. Must be able to waive/reduce/change fees to be charged for certain registrants. Authority to do will be very limited to particular AWID staff members.
  • Payment processing, if provided should include all major credit cards and cheques.
  • Able to produce and customize reports and track real time data.
  • Able to produce a variety of reports based on different sort fields.
  • Able to export entire DB to excel.
  • Please include any support to registration that you may provide including acting as registrar if applicable.
  • Financial Reconciliation Reports to be generated by the system.

Linkages with the existing CRM

We have a CRM system. The software, CiviCRM, is installed on Drupal. It hosts our current membership and other constituent data;.

We expect that the new system will at least be able to:

  • Provide the speaker data in CSV format to be imported in CiviCRM. If you are familiar with CiviCRM, any other suggestions for the linkages are more than welcome.
  • Provide the confirmed speaker and participant data in the csv format to be imported to the CRM.


  • We will be launching the Call for Proposals in October 2019 so, are expecting to have the system developed, tested and up and running in all the languages by then. We expect to hire a consultant to build this data management solution in early to mid June.

Application Guidelines

Send completed applications describing the conference software system you are recommending by email to: AWID Forum Manager, forumrfp@awid.org by May 30, 2019. Proposals should respond to the following questions, in consideration of AWID’s System Requirements outlined in Annex 1. Please direct any and all questions to AWID Forum Manager via email as above.

Women and candidates from historically oppressed groups are strongly encouraged to apply for this RFP.

AWID is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for everyone and to providing everyone with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment.  All decisions at AWID are based on organisational needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. If contacted in relation to a consultant opportunity, please advise AWID of the accommodation measures, if required, which would enable you to be interviewed in a fair and equitable manner.  All information received in relation to accommodation measures will be treated in confidence.