Rural Watch - Announcement date 4 July 2018

Job Title: 
IT Expert
Public Participation
Time Frame: 
20 months
Rural areas in Albania
Albanian, English
Developing an online communication platform
Deadline for submission of CV: 
25 July 2018
Starting Date: 
1 August 2018
The project’s web site is the primary communication instrument of the project. It is designed to enable the completion of the overall project objectives: 
  • improved environmental performances of energy and extractive industries in Albanian rural areas; 
  • increased transparency and accountability of public authorities and businesses related to extractive and energy industry (EEI) in rural areas  
  • rural communities (women and men) more informed and empowered to monitor and control energy and extractive industry in rural areas 
The specific objective: Strengthened civil society role in promoting monitoring standards and ensure the sustainable use of the natural resources from extractive and energy industry in rural areas. 
Task duration and deadlines: The project implementation will last 24 months: April 2018 – March 2020. The platform is expected to start working from September, 1, 2018. The period for constructing a beta version of the website is 1 month, from August 1 until September 1, 2018. The web site will be in use from this date on. Adjustments, based on project team recommendations, will be made for 2 more months, until November 1, 2018. The website will be maintained until the end of the project’s duration. Its functionality needs to remain operational for at least 2 years after the project’s end without planned maintenance, as part of the project’s intended follow-up.
Development starts after a contract is signed, required materials to be provided upon demand on ongoing basis.
Geographic scope and language 
The website’s intended primary audience is in Albania. The website should therefore be fully functional in Albanian language. An English language section will be included for static project description.
Description of the assignment 
Experts shall be hired to conduct: 
  • Construction of a project web site.
  • Adjustments and corrections to accomplish optimal functionality of the website.
  • Website ongoing maintenance for the project’s duration.
  • Advice and reflection on improving the website functionality for optimal performance.
Target audience of the website 
The primary target audiences of the website include:
  • A range of CSOs and civic initiatives, subject to analysis - from purely environmental CSOs, to those focusing on rural development, cultural heritage, tourism, clean food, sustainable agriculture;
  • National and local authorities and institutions, in charge of decision making, law enforcement, regulation, monitoring, related to environment protection, public health, extractive and energy industry activities, and other relevant fields for the project’s objectives.
  • CSO activists and team members  identified in each of the targeted areas, 
  • Public interest lawyers 
  • Journalists 
  • Opinion leaders and political decision makers
  • Partners and donors for the project's implementation.
The website needs to also provide accessible information to the general public of Albania.
Expected outcomes 
  • An operational website in line with this TOR
  • Effective online communication performance of the project to accomplish its objectives.
Required Skills, Competencies and Experience 
The analysis will be conducted by a subcontractor with extensive experience in building civil society support web services in Albania.
Key skills and competencies: 
  • Proven experience in building websites, using open source technologies.
  • Expertise in web security and web server performance troubleshooting.
  • Already providing monthly support and maintenance service for at least 3 other clients.
Minimum requirements: 
  • Previous experience in website development for projects related to civil society development;  
  • Web development experience in the languages and technologies, applied in the chosen web CMS or framework.
Service Duration 
Up to 20 months. 
Lump Sum based upon final product
Functions of the website
The Rural Watch resource website will serve the following basic functions:
  • Serve as a depository of useful information generated by the project team
  • Serve as a directory for users to other relevant resources and services on external sites
  • Enable users to share information, e.g. regarding their needs or ongoing activities, with the project team, among each other, and to the general public.
  • Enable stakeholders and outside actors to learn about the project and contact the project’s team.
  • Project the goals and image of the project and donor.
Content types
The content to be uploaded on the website consists of the following types of information:
  • Training and capacity building materials for CSOs, authorities, journalists, or other relevant stakeholders, uploaded by the project’s team/experts. In textual, visual, audiovisual format, as well as external links. To be filled in with resources on EEI monitoring and control for CSOs.
  • Announcements, calls, or other communication by the project team - in textual, visual format, possibly including questionnaires or other interactive formats.
  • Expressions of interest, information about hotspots, ongoing or planned activities or other relevant information, by CSOs or other stakeholders, in textual, visual, audiovisual formats, possibly with links and file attachments, (possibly in the form of open forms).
  • Articles by journalists - in textual, visual, audiovisual format, as well as external links.
  • Materials for Lawyers’ (e.g. case-law) and the general public (e.g. legal cases, articles, other materials): in textual (word and pdf) format, and external links.
  • Messages and feedback to the project team by other parties (basic feedback and communication).
Thematic categories of content and functionality on the website
1. CSOs corner , to consist of:
1.1. Training materials 
1.2. Calls for participation, information, cases studies, and expressions of interest in legal assistance, story/article tips or other necessary information to be determined by the project’s team
1.3. Form for submitting case descriptions, expressions of interest, requests for legal assistance, stories/articles tips, or other information, requested by the project team/experts
2. Journalists’ corner, to consist of :
2.1. Training and capacity building materials 
2.2. Useful resources and links
2.3. Access to case profiles and other information by the project team
2.4. Access to articles produced within the project or external links
3. Lawyers’ corner 
3.1. Rights to support and guarantee EEI monitoring and control: in EIA, SEA and integrated permitting or other environmental procedures (access to information) and under Aarhus Convention and other international legal instruments 
3.2. Overview of the five project cases - description and updates
3.3. Case-law from national courts and from compliance mechanisms of international organizations (e.g. Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee) 
3.4. Legal articles and studies related to EEI 
4. Project corner - essentials about the project, activities, team, contacts, donor, etc.
Technical requirements
Features and requirements for development of the website
Open source content management system should be used for building the website and no parts of it should be protected under proprietary licenses.
I. Design and front-end:
The site will be developed on top of a theme that would respond to the minimum technical requirements of:
1. Supporting responsive layout (for mobile devices);
2. Being compatible with modern web browsers, including (Internet Explorer 11, Edge, and current latest version of Chrome, Firefox and Safari).
II: Technical features:
1. Configuring contact form for detailed case input and for requesting legal help.
2. Backend discussion for each case between the help-seeker and a team of legal experts.
3. Separate custom field in the backend for keeping sensitive information that should not be published together with the information on the case.
4. User-rating of the content on the website.
5. Integration with visitor analytics services like Google Analytics.
6. Separate user roles for each type with different permissions:
a. Anonymous user/visitor;
b. Registered user - posting cases and commenting on them;
c. Legal expert - having access to posted cases and commenting each and any of them;
d. Administrator - full access over the website administration and content control;
III. Security configuration:
Configuring advanced setup, protecting the website against vulnerability scanners, common automated XSS and SQL injection attacks, blocking hosts for brute-force attacks against the login page. In addition to this, directory browsing and access to configuration files will be disabled together with PHP file editing from the backend of the web application.
IV. Basic onsite Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Most common SEO guidelines will be followed while configuring plugins allowing for faster search engine indexation of the content of the website, improving the markup and metatags of the most important pages. Additionally, Open Graph metadata will be enabled on the posts and pages, so that each author will be able to control the way their content is being displayed when shared in Facebook.
Additional services
  1. Configuring and testing the whole website, following the specification and checking each planned feature.
  2. Warranty and removal of software bugs in the web application that are not caused by the client or third party for the project’s duration.
  3. Updates support for the software, used in the development of the website for the project’s duration.
  4. 2-hour training session for working with the website’s administrative panel.


CVs to be submitted at the address: or handed in at the office address: ECO Partners for Sustainable Development, Rruga Ismail Qemali, P 18, Ap 25/B, Tirane, Albania