Social Innovation & User-Experience Design

Request for Proposal

To develop popular education materials about pipeline safety

Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) is seeking a social innovation and user-experience/user-interface design contractor (individual or firm) to develop a creative series of digital and non-digital, on-line and off-line education and engagement products, materials, and prototypes. These products, materials, and prototypes will utilize existing gas and hazardous liquids pipeline safety information, education, and public outreach materials that have been collected during research projects conducted over the past twelve years by Pipeline Safety Coalition (PSC)

The contractor will be responsible for facilitating ideation, design, prototypes, user-testing, and final product and material development using environmental justice and public health models of prevention principles and approaches. These principles and approaches require a commitment to understanding and working with local community experiences, different types of existing knowledges, perceptions of risk, and institutional and informational power imbalances in order to ensure that all products, materials, and prototypes are developed and disseminated in information rich, culturally relevant, and broadly inclusive and accessible formats. 

The design focus will be on collaborative and integrated, iterative processes to assist in meeting the challenges of both designing and disseminating a series of products and materials that can be immediately used by local communities as well as a series of prototypes that will be available to organizations, local communities, researchers, educators, and designers for future development. 

The design contractor will report to and work closely with LiKEN and core team members from both PSC and Arizona State University (ASU). The contractor will be expected to collaborate with a cross-sector Advisory Group composed of local community residents, pipeline industry personnel, federal government staff, and educators. All designs and prototypes produced will be user-tested in at least two rural and urban low-income and/or digitally isolated communities in Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, or Pennsylvania. The distribution and disposition of final products and materials and the prototypes from all design work will be coordinated with ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) and the Civic Futures Lab.


The estimated contract period will be 9-10 months.

RFP sent: 11/08/2021

Responses due: 12/03/2021

Send any questions to: Simona Perry, sperry@likenknowledge.org 

Send proposals to: Simona Perry, sperry@likenknowledge.org

Total Project Budget: $100,000

Available for Design Services: $50,000 – $60,000

Expected delivery date: 9/30/2022


Organizational background

LiKEN is a not-for-profit link-tank for policy-relevant research to steward place, culture, and land. From its formal incorporation in 1990 under the name of Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KEF), the organization has evolved into a link-tank (now called LiKEN) connecting wide webs of communities, scholars, practitioners, and government agencies.  From the beginning, LiKEN’s work has been about building collaboration across sectors— linking grassroots community mobilization and popular education, with the best available science while working closely with government agencies.  

Type of audience for this proposal

The primary audience for this design work will be communities living in rural and urban low-income and/or digitally isolated parts of Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania where natural gas and hazardous liquids pipelines are located. Part of the contractor’s work will involve conducting a community analysis of at least two of these communities in which LiKEN and partners already have relationships to better understand the local pipeline safety context, information seeking behaviors, cultural and linguistic and other barriers to information seeking and acquisition, and establish realistic outcome expectations around increased awareness, increased engagement, and greater access to different types of pipeline safety information and knowledge. 

Design objective: Pipeline Safety KEEs

The objective of this design work is to design, prototype, conduct user testing, and develop a set of innovative and locally relevant knowledge guides, educational resources, and engagement toolkits on pipeline safety information and knowledge (“Pipeline Safety KEE content modules” or “Pipeline Safety KEEs”) that are specifically for local communities in both rural areas and in lower-income urban locations within Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) in Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, USA. Due to budget and time constraints this is considered a pilot design and development project, with future plans for continuing this design and development work under the guidance of organizational and research partners. 

The outcomes from this project are expected to strengthen, support, and broaden public awareness, access to information, and local community engagement around the safe operation of rural and urban gas and hazardous liquid pipeline networks across the United States. 

Present state of information

The raw materials and basic information of the Pipeline Safety KEEs are currently in the form of digital powerpoints, webpages, pdfs, surveys, technical reports, image files, maps, and archival files that were collected and created over the past eleven years through PSC’s outreach, education, and research activities on community pipeline safety. In order to meet the information gaps and challenges of delivering relevant, timely, and accurate pipeline safety information that involves complex laws and technical knowledge to rural and urban low income and digitally isolated communities, these raw materials will be provided to the design contractor in three categories:

1) Pipeline Safety Public Information and Communication Knowledge Guides: current and emerging research and information about pipeline safety topics of importance and interest to the public, tips and best practices for the public in communicating their pipeline safety concerns, and how to locate accurate and current information on pipeline safety from trusted and reliable sources.

2) Basics of Pipeline Safety Public Education Series: public education and training resources about gas and hazardous liquids pipeline infrastructure and safety concepts, regulations, and policies. 

3) Pipeline Safety Public Engagement Toolkits: tools to get the public engaged in pipeline safety within their own community, including creative ideas about how to develop, incorporate, adapt, and customize pipeline safety best practices into existing local community planning processes.

These raw materials will serve as the Knowledge, Education, and Engagement content for the design of the Pipeline Safety KEEs. 

Types of products and materials expected

To ensure the accessibility of the KEEs to everyone regardless of internet access and technology available, it is important that the design of all guides, resources, and toolkits be flexible enough to be used via several different formats or distribution channels: 

  • Non-digital (e.g., posters, letter-sized print materials, postcard-size print materials, etc.)
  • Digital off-line (e.g., CDs, USBs, videos, etc.)
  • On-line (e.g., story maps, website portals, web pages, etc.)

Once user-testing (via two community design workshops) is complete and further refinements made towards the end of the project, it is anticipated that there will be KEE modules (based on the three categories of raw materials designated above) that will be fully tested and ready for public use immediately and KEE modules that will still require further prototyping and testing. 

Both the pilot-tested public-ready KEEs and the prototyped-only KEEs will be made freely accessible to everyone through a publicly available information repository for use by communications experts, social innovation designers, and local communities across the United States. This repository will be housed at Arizona State University’s (ASU) School for the Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) and the CivicFutures Lab. The goal of the pilot project is that all KEE Modules, whether fully tested and ready for use or still at the prototyped phase, be made widely and freely available for immediate use to rural and low-income communities and for further development as open-source content and designs. All KEE Modules will be developed with a central focus on creative outreach and education, improving transparency and access to information on pipeline safety, increasing public understanding, and strengthening the depth and quality of public participation and engagement in the safe operation of pipelines in and around communities of concern today, and into the future. 

Outline of project activities & deliverables

Project activities are divided into three chronological task areas:

Task 1. Design and Develop Content for KEE Modules

Task 2. Prototype of KEE Modules and Community Testing

Task 3. Finalize and Launch of Pilot Pipeline Safety KEEs

Design contract Deliverables that should be considered within these three task areas: 

Deliverable 1 (Task 1) County Selection & Community Analysis (with LiKEN and Advisory Group)

Deliverable 2 (Task 1) Testing & Evaluation Plan (with LiKEN and Advisory Group)

Deliverable 3 (Task 1) Initial KEE module prototypes for review by Advisory Group

Deliverable 4 (Task 2) Modified KEE module prototypes, products, and materials 

developed after community design workshops (workshops co-facilitated with LiKEN and ASU)

Deliverable 5 (Task 3) Final KEE module prototypes, products, and materials for dissemination to communities and roll-out with ASU and Advisory Group

Deliverable 6 (Task 3) Plan for dissemination and communication of KEE prototypes, products, and materials  

We anticipate there will be at least three virtual LiKEN-facilitated meetings of the Advisory Group and design contractors, and two in-person community design workshops in two different states (either Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, or Arizona) organized by LiKEN and co-facilitated by LiKEN or ASU and the design contractor. 

Design dissemination details

All final content from this pilot project will be digitally housed at ASU’s Civic Futures Lab where it will be freely available for anyone and become a focal point for on-going community-engaged and academic research related to the public understanding of technology and science and energy infrastructure. The design contractor will be expected to work directly with the ASU partner to decide on appropriate platform(s) for housing and making accessible all products, materials, and prototypes developed from this project.  

Budget details and criteria for selection

The budget for this design is not to exceed $60,000. The criterion for selection is the most favorable offer from the vendor who can demonstrate they have completed similar work to this RFP within budget and on time. Vendors that can offer additional expertise in environmental justice and public health models of prevention approaches, linear projects, risk education and outreach, and/or collaborative design in rural and low-income urban communities, will have an advantage. All invoices for this project must be billed before 9/30/2022.

Respondent requirements

Please incorporate the following in your proposal response:

  • Your professional and/or company background.
  • If applying as a company, provide the names, qualifications, and roles of top members of your team who will work on this project.
  • Provide examples of your completed work that applies most closely to this RFP in terms of: 1) scope, 2) creative approach, 3) collaboration approach, 4) types of community engagements and ethics, 5) budget, and 6) timeline.
  • Describe in detail your approaches and ethics related to collaboration with clients and historically and geographically marginalized and/or disadvantaged communities that make you stand out from the competition.
  • Describe in detail your approach to designing and developing creative solutions to communicating complex or technical information that make you stand out from the competition.
  • Provide an estimated number of days to complete each activity/deliverable outlined in the RFP and the rate and/or fee per deliverable. 
  • At least one reference from a community or user group you have worked with.
  • At least one reference from a client you have worked with.

Where to send proposals

All respondent requirements and complete proposal materials should be sent to Simona Perry via email, sperry@likenknowledge.org,  with the Subject Line “Pipeline Safety KEEs Design Proposal”

RFP & Project timeline details 

RFP sent: 11/08/2021

Questions from respondents due to Simona Perry, sperry@likenknowledge.org: 11/17/2021

Answers to questions sent to respondents: 11/19/2021

Responses due: 12/03/2021

Finalists selected: 12/07/2021

Winner selected: 12/10/2021

Estimated project start: 12/15/2021

Final UX deliverables: 9/30/2022


Thank you for your interest in responding to this RFP with a proposal for the Pipeline Safety KEEs. We look forward to your response!

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