Re-development of new Union website

Download the RFP here.


The Union needs to re-develop our main website, creating a new website that will beautifully and clearly showcase how we work to address the urgent challenges of tuberculosis (TB), lung disease, tobacco and air pollution. The new website will be launched early in our Centennial year, 2020.

About The Union

The Union is a global scientific organisation with the mission to improve lung health among people living in poverty. Since its foundation in 1920, The Union has drawn from the best evidence and the skills, expertise and reach of our staff, consultants and membership in order to advance solutions to the most pressing public health challenges affecting people living in poverty around the world.

Key audiences and stakeholders include our members, scientists, researchers, civil society advocates, clinicians and public health workers, policymakers and potential funders. We also plan to reach broader public audiences through our campaigning on issues like child TB.

Project outline

The Union needs a digital agency to work closely with us to develop a new website that accurately and compellingly reflects our organisation’s work, vision, values and impact.

The new website will be a streamlined showcase site and will not directly replicate the large amount of content on our current site. We want to take a show-not-tell approach, where our audience can easily engage in our work and are motivated to act (become a member, attend our conference, enrol on a course, join a campaign or share our work with others).

The website will only be in English, with an embedded software widget to let users translate content into any language. However, we may need to provide a small amount of tailored content in French and Spanish.

The Union has a corporate brand with clear brand guidelines. We want a digital agency to create a website design that uses our brand creatively for the web. We will use impactful photography as a key element throughout the site.

The agency will work closely with our staff to achieve the desired look and feel of a new site. The Union will provide content for the new site (written text, images and logos).

Current website: uses and limitations

As a global organisation we have a main corporate website (in three languages, English, French and Spanish) and several websites that represent special projects and campaigns, including the Union World Conference, Tobacco Control, Union Courses, Child TB, and our Annual Report. This RFP is for redeveloping the main Union site only, though we need the flexibility to incorporate some of the content from these other sites in the future.

The current Union website is unwieldy, with 6,000 pages across three languages. The site contains engaging and useful content, but the core activities of The Union are not given the focus and attention they need to further the organisation’s goals and reputation.

The Union’s work and projects are not highlighted effectively. The large amount of technical content makes it hard to find the latest work and to follow that through to the impact our work has and why The Union is needed.

Based on analysis of our web traffic, the areas of the site most visited are journals, news, conferences, leadership and courses. The website pages dedicated to talking about The Union’s work, impact and projects are visited less, and are not engaging the audience effectively – the bounce rate for these pages is 20 percent higher than the site average.

Currently, the site uses news to highlight The Union’s work, but this approach does not allow us to clearly guide people through the projects and work we do and take them on the journey that serves our needs best.

Another crucial limitation is the lack of mobile compatibility. Compare with our conference website (which is optimised for mobile and has a similar audience) – both sites have about 30 percent of visitors using a mobile device – but the bounce rate is twice as high for mobile users of the Union site than the conference site.

Concept for the new site

The new website should be based around the issues that The Union tackles (TB, lung health, tobacco control), and should tell powerful stories about our work, using graphics and visual content. T The website needs to drive our audiences to engage more deeply with and through our vision – to know, share, and act.

The Union’s recent Annual Report micro-site shows a way of leading by issue and how that allows us to guide our audience and use a website to tell the story of our work:

The new site should enable users to engage with our work in a variety of ways. All content can be tagged by issue, region, project, keyword; allowing people to find the same content through different routes and giving different user journeys.

Website aims

The strategic aim of the website is to increase the reputation and understanding of The Union’s work, to further our reach and impact globally. There are key deliverable areas of focus for the website, which need to guide how we prioritise the navigation and website content:

  1. Clearly explain the position of The Union, our agenda and advocacy priorities.

  2. Enhance engagement with members and wider stakeholder networks - increase membership, journal subscription, conference participation and funding/sponsorship with user-friendly routes to engagement.

  3. Explain what we do, issues we tackle, impact and projects around the world.

Site navigation

The site navigation is crucial. Depending on the amount of information we need accessible on the website, we may need to use a layered universal navigation, with a top navigation, and then a sub-navigation appearing when people select an area of the site to explore. However, the exact way we do this can be explored as we plan out the project.

Having flexible page templates will give us the most options as the site develops. Some areas of the site (like issues, regions, projects and campaigns) may need their own sub-navigation because they have content that needs to be laid out in a clear and engaging way.

These are initial thoughts about how the approach the navigation, but we can finalise details of navigation during the planning of the site.

Examples of good charity/NGO websites

Functionality requirements

  • User-friendly design, ideally with some testing incorporated into development.

  • The site will be in English, but we need an intelligent and reliable way to automatically translate the content – this could be Google Translate or other plug-in.

  • Fully responsive to provide an optimised experience for mobile, tablet, desktop etc.

  • Website must be accessible to and fully functional for users in low- and middle-income countries, for example, through a low-bandwidth version.

  • Website should adhere to universal web standards and commonly agreed industry best practice, for example, the site should aim to be W3 WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility compliant.

  • Site must use an industry standard content management system, ideally Open Source (Drupal, Wordpress, Umbraco). A strong CMS is crucial to the success of this project.

  • Social media integration – the site should seamlessly encourage people to share, and engage with, our content through social media.

  • Emphasis on SEO and Google ranking.

  • Integration of Union Google Analytics, including Google Tag Manager, and Google Optimize.

Technical requirements

The Union will host the website infrastructure on AWS.

  • We use a MySQL database. We will create a specific database instance into our MySQL server.

  • We will require a production and staging environment for testing.

  • All the pages must use SSL certificate to ensure a private and safe navigation on our websites.

  • Sources must be hosted on our git server.

  • Technical implementation and specific developments must be documented in an interactive documentation like Swagger.

  • The website must have an easy integration system, allowing integration with other systems like SalesForce or ERPs. The infrastructure should be based on micro services exposed through an API.

  • Cookie policy should be GDPR compliant.

  • Special focus in the templating on GDPR (by adding automatic fields for consent and store data into the database).

  • In future, we may need to offer the option for people to give a donation. We need to consider the options for integrating of a robust payment platform at a future point (e.g. or

  • Ideally SSO for internal login / back office login

  • Ideally infrastructure on docker images to replicate it easily.

Proposal requirements

We are keen to consider this development as a relationship and a partnership – working closely with the team of the selected agency. As part of the selection process, we will be talking closely with potential agencies to ensure we have a positive way of working together.

Potential agencies should demonstrate how they have developed similar websites with complex navigation structures, strong and engaging visual design.

We are keen to hear how you see the project working, what technologies (including CMS) you would use and examples of how you have managed similar projects. It will be an advantage if you can lay out thoughts on good navigation structures.


We propose spending in the region of €30,000 for this project (plus VAT).

Project deadline

We need to launch the website in January 2020 – this can be a phased launch, but please present a possible timeline in your proposal.

Submitting your proposal

Deadline for proposals is Friday 2 August 2019.

Send to Kate Ebbutt