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Design or continued utilization (via adaptation) of an internet platform ("idea space") for an international idea challenge for civic initiatives by a one-stop provider. The idea space of Advocate Europe is the model for a new idea space and its open source code should be the basis and be used for further development.
by Advocate Europe on Aug. 22, 2019

Civic Europe is an idea challenge and civic incubator for European initiatives implemented by MitOst e.V. and funded by Stiftung Mercator. It is a programme that finds people, ideas and civil society organizations in Central, Eastern (CZ, HU, PL, SK, HR, SL, BG, RO) and Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece) and supports them in their efforts to strengthen civic cohesion in their local communities. Civic Europe assists civil society actors by providing them with kick-start funding and mentoring to implement their project ideas. We fund pioneering projects per round with grants of up to €50,000 each.

All of the ideas will be uploaded and shared by the applicants in an open idea space, for every reader to follow, comment on and debate. In two rounds of the ideas challenge (round 1: in 2020; round 2: in 2021), 12 to 15 project proposals per round are found, selected and supported. The votes of the users determine one Community Award winner; 15 winning proposals are chosen by a jury.

Civic Europe is a follow-up programme of Advocate Europe ( The idea space of Advocate Europe is the model for a new idea space and its open source code should be the basis and should be used for further development.

These are the specific requirements to implement an interactive online platform for an idea challenge process based on Advocate Europe – requirement in brackets [ ] are optional and should be included as such in the proposal.

Procedure of the Idea Challenge to be implemented

The different phases of the idea challenge and the features must be implemented in a way that you can switch from one to the next phase.

  1. Submit and discuss applications online
  2. Community votes for best idea: Community Award
  3. Selection of 30 further ideas by a jury (shortlist)
  4. Announcement of winning projects
  5. Implementation of winning projects

Functional Requirements / Features

A. Implementing the Idea Challenge Phases

Application Phase

  • Applications can be submitted by any registered user
  • One idea space for all ideas // tiles overview //pagination for easy navigation
  • Submitting an application via an interactive, step-by-step online form with ~6 sections.
  • Include navigational elements to navigate visitors and participants through the whole innovation process
  • Registered users can comment on applications
  • Applications can be edited by the authors

Community Award

  • Only users who have submitted project applications can vote/support their favourite ideas
  • The votes are displayed in overviews
  • Every user can vote once on each idea
  • If necessary: Monitoring for fake votes based on account criteria

Shortlist Phase

  • Mark shortlisted ideas and show them by default via sorting in the idea space
  1. Winner Selection Phase
  • Civic Europe informs the public about all projects that are considered for funding by the jury

Winners Phase

  • Winning projects are displayed
  • Civic Europe publish/indicate the list of projects which win funding on the platform, so that the public can see who has won.

B. Idea Space

  • A central place to see applications and filter them if necessary
  • Idea Space sortable for year, status, topic, country of organisation
  • Idea Space sorting for most recent, most comments, most support, alphabetical
  • Free text search for ideas

[C. Individual customization of the Idea Space]

  • Client can independently adjust design elements (fonts, colours, logos)
  • Client can independently create and edit the phases of the idea challenge (see A 1-5)
  • Client can independently create and edit the application form

D. Notifications and Follow Function

  • Users can follow ideas and receive notifications via email
  • Users who comment receive notifications about an answer
  • Authors of ideas receive email notifications for the following events:
    • After submission of idea sketch
    • Community Award Winning
    • When shortlisted
    • [After submission of project proposal]
    • When comments on detailed proposal
    • Winning

E. Data Export to Excel

  • Export detailed applications to Excel files
  • Export sorted list of sketches/proposals in idea space to Excel file
  • Export available only for admins
  • Export user statistics

F. User Profile (editable)

  • Everyone can register via email address and username or via social login (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
  • User passwords are only stored encrypted
  • Users have a dashboard/profile
  • User profile can be filled with optional data: city of residence, country of residence, date of birth, occupation
  • Avatar image upload
  • Unique link to user profile and social media sharing
  • User Settings: your profile, change password, mail addresses, social media account connections, on/off for newsletter & notifications

[G. Data Migration]

  • Migration exiting users & winners from current Advocate Europe platform
  • Migrate existing innovators from current Advocate Europe platform
  • Migrate existing winners and community award winners from current Advocate Europe platform
  • Migrate all existing ideas from current Advocate Europe platform

H. Website/ Editorial Content

  • A modular website with different elements for text, pictures, embedding of videos
  • Landing page with access to idea sketches quickly so that Users can be inspired for an own idea and just get a good overview
  • Editorial Area (Blog)
  • Blog entries sortable for diverse cluster
  • FAQ Page
  • Detail Text Page for Information pages and Imprint
  • Log-in & register Button on Landing Page
  • Sitemap and Navigation
  • Landing Page with Slideshow elements
  • [Landing Page and navigation/footer bilingual]
  • Adjustment design

I. Other Functionalities

  • Social Media meta tags for easy sharing of editorial content and platform content

Non-functional Requirements

A. Data protection (GDPR)

  • Adherence to GDPR standards for handling of all platform data and user interactions
  • In-house Data protection officer for questions
  • The physical location of the servers must in Germany or at least an EU country

B. Accessibility

  • Adherence to BITV/WCAG accessibility guidelines in design and technical implementation

C. Open Source

  • The code of the platform should be built using widely used Open Source frameworks and technologies
  • The code must be well structured and documented
  • The code must be released under an Open Source license with the equivalent of AGPL v3 or better

D. Maintenance

  • Server maintenance with 99% uptime
  • Load and performance optimization for ten-thousands of registered users and hundred-thousands of requests per day
  • Regular updates of the server
  • Webhosting
  • Service & support for website maintenance
  • Quality assurance
  • Administration and training
  • Berlin-based organisation and/or available for coordination meetings
  • Contact and coordination with MitOst team


  • Contractor: MitOst e.V. Civic Europe
  • Task: Design or continued utilization (via adaptation) of an internet platform ("idea space") for an international idea challenge for civic initiatives by a one-stop provider
  • Time frame: 1.1.2020-31.12.2022
    • Creation of the online platform: Jan.-March 2020
    • Call 1: March-Mai 2020
    • Call 2: 2021
  • Suitability criteria and qualification
    • Profound knowledge and proven experience of design and maintenance of complex websites
    • Working experience in the non-profit sector
    • Experience in project-based work
    • Experience in the skill-sharing and knowledge transfer of IT competences
  • Awarding Criteria: 50% total costs - 50% qualitative assessment of the offer of the tender and of the collaboration
  • Applications deadline: 12.09.2019
  • Further information, questions and candidacies: or +49 1525 263 06 80