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Request for Proposals: Writer/Copyeditor


Knowledge SUCCESS is seeking to hire an individual or firm to assist with 1) research and writing of original, feature-length articles and short posts about family planning and reproductive health, and 2) copy-editing of feature-length articles, short posts, and other publications. Multiple contracts may be awarded under this request for proposals (RFP). Individuals or firms may bid on one or both components of this RFP. The expected duration for services will be 12 months (with an option to renew).


The project is seeking an individual or firm to produce the following:

  • 6 – 12 original feature-length articles (800-1,500 words) on selected family planning and reproductive health topics. Priority topics include: Quality of contraceptive information and services; accessibility of contraceptive information and services; meeting the contraceptive needs of diverse populations; gender and family planning; family planning for development; cross-cutting issues in family planning
  • 5 – 10 posts (400-600 words) synthesizing highlights from selected resources and publications. (Example 1 ; Example 2)

The project is also seeking an individual or firm to provide copy-editing services for the following Knowledge SUCCESS deliverables:


Respondents will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Technical capability
  • Turnaround time
  • Experience with family planning and reproductive health, global health and development, or a relevant field
  • Overall response and understanding of the scope of work described in this RFP


The proposal must include the following sections:

  1. Proposed approach to task: Proposals should include a general description of the individual or firm’s proposed approach–including approximate turnaround times for writing and/or copyediting jobs, as well as any other relevant descriptions of firm’s processes and ideas that it believes may be relevant to CCP to determine its suitability to complete the work.
  2. Budget: Please provide an hourly rate for this scope of work and an average cost for each, and/or a description of your fee schedule. Financial proposals and costs will be rated for overall consistency with minimum requirements outlined in the terms of reference and relative value for money in proposed technical approach.
  3. Proposals must include a few different types of original articles and posts including at least one long-form article (800 words or more) and one short post (under 600 words).
  4. Past performance/Capability statement: Proposals should also include a description of the vendor and a minimum of three relevant descriptions of past performances, particularly with similar projects, with links to those websites.
  5. References: Three references with reference name and contact information is required.


Work on this project would begin immediately. The expected duration for services will be 12 months (with an option to renew), starting from the issuance of the purchase order.


Thursday, December 5 : Proposal is issued
Thursday, December 12 : Questions due from firms by 5:00 pm EST
Tuesday, December 17 : Responses to questions sent out
Friday, January 3, 2020 : Proposals due by 5:00 pm EST


Please indicate your intention to bid on this proposal by 5 pm EST, Thursday, December 12, 2019.

Questions can be submitted in writing by 5 pm EDT on Thursday, December 12 to Sophie Weiner, Communications Specialist at sophie.weiner@jhu.edu. Questions will be answered collectively in one document for the benefit of all bidders, without identifying information.

It is anticipated that the provider whose proposal is the best solution for this project will be selected on or about Wednesday, January 15, 2020. CCP will notify all vendors who respond to this RFP. If CCP/Knowledge SUCCESS does not receive a proposal that meets our needs adequately and cost effectively, we reserve the right to make no award at this time.



Q: Would you be providing me with all of the materials/research needed to write the feature length articles and posts, or would I need to conduct my own outside research?

 A: We will provide background materials and strategic direction for these pieces. For select articles, the writer will need to conduct additional (outside) research as well, under our guidance.


Q: Do you have a sense of schedule of when you would need these materials over the 12-month project period? One a month? Or is it going to be as needed? In which case how much notice will you provide for a given writing assignment on average (i.e. days, weeks)?

 A: We anticipate needing at least 1 original article or 1 short post each month. Sometimes, we’ll need both. We will work with the selected firm/individual to forecast what we’ll need on a quarterly basis. There will also be instances when we have immediate, unanticipated writing needs. We will give at least a month’s notice for the longer pieces and at least 2-3 weeks for the shorter pieces.


Q: Would I need to conduct interviews with staff or outside individuals for the article or posts?

A: Interviews may be required for some pieces but not necessarily all.


Q: With which team members would we be working most closely?

A: Writers/copy-editors will be working most closely with the Knowledge SUCCESS technical content leads (Sarah Harlan, Fred Mubiru, and Ruwaida Salem—the specific technical lead will depend on the topic of focus) as well as our communications team lead (Anne Kott). Other staff members with particular areas of expertise may be involved as well, on a case by case basis.


Q: What does the content-gathering process look like (i.e., what type of research and/ or interviews would be required on the part of the vendor for the articles?)

A: Typically, the pieces would involve synthesizing existing literature, reports, data sets, etc. Occasionally, we would ask for interviews with researchers, program staff, or others to bolster the existing evidence. We would make it clear with each piece what the expectations would be and whether interviews would be needed/required.


Q: What does the review process for the articles and posts look like (i.e., approximately how many rounds of review would be required?)

A: Initially, you meet with the technical lead and communications/design lead to discuss scope and framing of the particular content piece. From there, we ask that you then develop an outline that will undergo review by the same technical and design leads. There are two rounds of review for the piece itself. When you submit an initial draft, we conduct the first round, focusing on high-level technical content issues, structural changes, and tone. The second round of review is focused on more granular issues such as line-by-line comments/edits. The second round will in most cases be the final round of review. Occasionally, we may need to send to external reviewers, which we would do before the second review. We expect that your final draft will be copy edited and ready to publish.


Q: Who are the bylines for the articles and posts (i.e., are these ghost-written pieces)?

A: These are not ghost written. The author of the piece (including vendors/consultants) will be named in these articles/posts.


Q: What is the dissemination plan for these materials (i.e., who are the primary audiences)?

A: The primary audiences for the pieces are technical advisors, program managers, policy makers, and others (i.e., advocates) working in family planning and reproductive health globally. Specific pieces may have more narrowly-defined audiences (e.g., policy makers in East Africa). The articles are posted to social media and shared via email to segmented audience lists. They are also shared through external list servs and posted to relevant forums. We encourage authors to share these articles within their networks.