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Invitation to tender [OAP2-01]: Technical expertise and support for the OpenActive initiative (data publication tools)

Wed Jul 3, 2019
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We’re looking for an organisation to refactor and extend OpenActive’s existing data-publication tools to support the enhanced functionality, wider array, and greater number of OpenActive data publishers now joining the initiative

Tender reference: OAP2 -01

Call for tenders by the Open Data Institute (ODI)
Contact: [email protected]

The successful company will work in collaboration with the ODI who will provide guidance, review and assistance throughout.

Summary and timeline

AimThe purpose of this tender is to refactor and extend OpenActive’s existing data-publication tools  to support the enhanced functionality, wider array, and greater number of OpenActive data publishers now coming onstream
AudienceExperienced web application developers
Duration Approx. 70 days of work between 22 July 2019  - 18 Oct 2019 (13 weeks)
Value of award (excl. VAT)Total award up to £30,000
Questions to ODI by12:00 on 10 July 2019
ODI responses by12 July 2019
Costed proposals due by12:00 on 15 July 2019
Tender decision by17 July 2019
Contract awarded18 July 2019
ODI brief winning applicant(s) 18 July 2019
ODI progress reviews29 July 2019
Final work delivered by18 October 2019
Tender reference:OAP2 -01
Contact[email protected]

Terms of payment

The award will be paid via invoice. Invoice monthly in arrears and payment will be made within 30 days of the invoice date from the ODI.


In partnership with Sport England, the ODI is stewarding the OpenActive initiative which has begun to challenge inactivity in England and change this for the better. We have brought together the fragmented sport and leisure sector to agree on common standards and  openly publish data about opportunities to engage in physical activity. This programme, the ODI’s largest sector programme, is delivering the joint vision of Sport England and the Open Data Institute: to get people active using data.

The purpose of this tender is to refactor and extend OpenActive’s existing data-publication tools  to support the enhanced functionality, wider array, and greater number of OpenActive data publishers now coming onstream. Right now, dataset-publishing sites are created using processes that involve considerable manual intervention, either in setting up GitHub repositories or in hand-crafting JSON objects, and they do not support all the features OpenActive now needs. These processes need to be automated for scalability and extended for further functionality. In addition, we currently maintain a Status Page listing all datasets published by dataset sites. This Status Page needs to be redesigned and refactored  to display this metadata from our new and improved dataset sites in an automated way.

All code is released as open-source under the MIT License.

For more information about the OpenActive initiative generally, go to

For a detailed understanding of OpenActive dataset sites and how they work, please see the following GitHub repositories:

If you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] quoting the tender reference.


  1. A Node.js web application capable of generating standards-compliant JSON and markup from user input
  2. Templates for data publication in a variety of commonly-used template engines (e.g. Moustache, Pug, etc.)
  3. Enhancements to existing Node.js dataset-generating web applications to incorporate booking functionality, including a test-suite and integration into a CI deployment pipeline
  4. A simple Node.js validation web application for use by dataset publishers, to ensure the quality, reliability, and discoverability of their sites.
  5. A status page web application, written in either Node.js or Ruby, capable of displaying data snippets from dataset sites.

Other deliverables, if deemed useful to meet the objectives of the project, may be included in your proposal.

The outcome for this piece is:

  1. Resources simplifying the creation of new dataset sites
  2. Dataset-site integration of Open Booking functionality
  3. Validation tools for use by dataset publishers, ensuring the quality, reliability, and discoverability of their sites.
  4. Updates to the status page for support of decentralised dataset sites

The purpose of these enhancements is to allow the OpenActive ecosystem to increase dramatically in size. As long as extensive manual/expert intervention is required to become a data publisher, the ceiling on the number of possible OpenActive participants must be low. Once this restriction is removed, the current rapid growth of OpenActive and its partner organisations will be easier to maintain and accelerate.


In addition to the deliverables (and means of producing them) described above, the successful organisation will also be expected to attend project meetings and other events as appropriate.

The successful organisation will work in close collaboration with the ODI team to ensure the deliverables meet the needs of the project.

The ODI will, where possible, provide space to work in our offices in London, when members of the successful contractor wish to work onsite. There is an expectation that the successful contractor will work closely with the ODI team, which includes regular face-to-face meetings and being available remotely (eg Skype, email, Slack).

Form of tender response

Interested parties should submit a costed proposal (in English) to [email protected] which includes:

  • the tender reference in the email subject line\
  • a short (no more than 3 pages) explanation of your proposed approach (eg methodology, scope), including why you are well-placed to do the work
  • a description of the team who will do the work, including bios in addition
  • the costing should be at activity level, but feel free to provide more detail

If you have any questions about the tender, please contact [email protected] quoting the tender reference. The ODI reserves the right to make both anonymised questions and answers public or shared with other organisations having stated their interest.

Decision criteria

All proposals will be assessed as described in our public procurement policy. In addition, for this procurement we will be looking for:

Evidence of experience and expertise in this area; evidence of convening and working with multiple stakeholders; ability to communicate well in written form.