Call for Consultancy AAU Website Design


The Association of African Universities (AAU), is asking for proposals for the redesign, development and implementation of its website on which the AAU will manage information and activities related to Quality Assurance in Higher Education in Africa.


Quality Assurance issues are currently considered to be especially important for Higher Education Institutions in Africa, in view of the fact that the quality of many African higher education institutions has been adversely affected in recent years by harsh economic, social, political and even conflict situations on the continent.

The Mission of the AAU is to raise the quality of higher education in Africa and strengthen its contribution to African development by fostering collaboration among its member institutions, provide support  to their core functions of teaching, learning, research and community engagement and facilitating critical reflection on, and consensus building around, issues affecting higher education and the development of Africa.

The organization therefore wishes to redesign its website in a manner that will aid it to achieve its core mandate as outlined above. And be a channel for communications, information and advocacy tool AAU.

The website is expected to act as:

  • a source of information about quality higher education in Africa and accreditation agencies, including focal points’ profiles,
  • a place to exchange and post information regarding internal quality assurance systems, monitoring and evaluation systems
  • a place to obtain information on African professionals/specialist, stakeholders in African higher education (Government and NGOs) external evaluation resources; and
  • Collect, classify and disseminate information on higher education and research, particularly in Africa
  • a place for users to find related publications, reports, guidelines.

1. Requirements for Proposal

A brief description of the design and function of the website is set out below to allow suppliers to better understand the project under tender.

1.1 Site Design

The new website will be structured according to themes (7-10 themes appearing on the home page, e.g. About this website, Publications etc) as well as target audiences (4-6 groups will be identified to).

1.1.1 Screen Design

The site should be visually attractive. The AAU logo and colour scheme should be used throughout the site.

1.1.2 Navigation and Page Content Specification

The navigation structure of the site should be planned to best serve different types of audience groups. The site should be easy to navigate so that site users do not get ‘lost’ in areas of the site.      

A navigation bar, visible on each page should include links to all the main site sections. Drop-down/pop-out sub-menus should present further options within each main section.

1.1.3 Text

Text of the web pages will be written and supplied by AAU.

1.2 Functional Requirements

In addition to the existing functions of the AAU website the following will be introduced.

1.2.1 Search

Users would be able to type any term and search the AAU website and the results should highlight the searched phrase/item.

1.2.2 Security considerations

There will be three types of users, two of which will require password protection:
- Superusers (Secretariat)

- Registered users

- Public users (General public)

1.2.3 Membership/User Management

The majority of the information on the website should be publicly accessible (and not password protected). However, the site should include: area to allow for the inclusion of user-generated content. The following functionality should be included:

  • to allow users to create a profile (name, email, address, member agency, summary username and password, membership and registration date);
  • to allow users to upload documents (format to be specified), start, post or moderate blogs;
  • to allow users to post events and activities;
  • to allow users to login and logout from the website; and
  • to allow the database of members to be viewable by Secretariat staff through a back end interface.

1.2.4 Content Management

The whole site should be content managed either through the integration of an open source solution or through a bespoke development. The content management system (CMS) should provide a secure interface through which AAU staff are able to perform the following tasks:

  • update information on existing pages;
  • easily insert links to other content (pages in the site, other websites, documents etc.);
  • add new pages;
  • delete unwanted pages;
  • change navigation structure of the site;
  • upload images, documents, audio files and video clips for incorporation into the website and easily link to these; and
  • add and remove news stories.

Whilst news items should appear on the Updates pages, latest news items when added should be advertised on the homepage automatically (i.e. without having to make an explicit change to the content of the homepage).

1.2.5 The CMS should have the following features:

  • easy to use by people with little or no knowledge of HTML or website development;
  • automatically ensure that any changes to the website are maintained within the overall branding and design of the site;
  • automatically ensure, as far as possible, that accessibility standards are maintained; and
  • any changes should first be previewed. Once a change is complete and approved, then the CMS should provide a function to publish the changes to the live website.

1.2.6 Further Interactive Functions

The Proposal should include itemised quotes for the possible inclusion of the following functionalities:

  • a facility for logged in website users to post comments against news items in the Updates Area of the homepage and other publications on the AAU website;
  • discussion forums (standard discussion forum pages through which threads can be created and browsed, and logged in users can make posts); and
  • a facility to carry out online surveys and polls.

1.3 Accessibility and Usability

For any Flash content, if a user does not have the correct Flash Player version they should be offered a link to download the latest player and an alternate image.

1.4 Web Hosting

The website will be hosted on servers at AAU

2. General Contractual Details

2.1 Ownership

All documentation, code and graphic design will become the property of the AAU.

2.2 Payment

Payment will be according to milestones to be agreed with the successful supplier. This will be from an agreed project plan.

3. Required Format of Proposal

It is suggested that submitted proposals include each of the following sections:

1. Summary of proposal, including specification of offered products, services and costs.

2. Acceptance testing, monitoring and evaluation procedures.

3. Project organisation, scheduling and management approach.

4. Supplier Company Overview.

5. References.

Three (3) current corporate references, including short project/reference description, company name (client), contact name, title, address, telephone number, and client relationship synopsis.

4. Administrative Details

4.1 Timeline

The target is to have a redesigned, content managed web site for the AAU live by February 2014.

4.2 Contact Information

The contact person at AAU for all matters relating to this tender is:
Pascal Hoba, Tel. 0302 774495

4.3 Confidentiality

The bidder undertakes to treat confidentially all information acquired in the context of this tender and to use it exclusively for the AAU bid, and for the assignment if the bid is accepted.

On principle, no information or data connected with this document may be passed on to third parties without the consent of the AAU. This shall also apply to any sub-contractors employed or bids provided by bidding consortiums.

AAU shall treat the bids confidentially and shall not open them in front of other bidders.

The AAU reserves the right to limit the appointment of a consultant to bidders already appointed to work for the AAU on previous assignments.


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