Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Wednesday 19 May 2021
Value: £83,400
Company size: SME
Southwark Council

Discovery phase: Mitigating air pollution health impacts on vulnerable groups in Southwark: airTEXT

24 Incomplete applications

22 SME, 2 large

19 Completed applications

18 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Monday 8 March 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 15 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 22 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
New primary research with a sample of residents from key target groups (children and their parents; residents with heart and respiratory conditions; older people), to assess capability, opportunity and motivation to reduce exposure to air pollution to mitigate health impacts, identifying opportunities for Council intervention to support health seeking behaviours.
Latest start date
Friday 23 April 2021
Expected contract length
Ideally 4 months, but up to 6 months depending on lockdown restrictions
Organisation the work is for
Southwark Council
Budget range
maximum £86K

About the work

Why the work is being done
Southwark Council would like to work in partnership with a provider on a discovery phase, exploring capability, opportunity and motivation of key population groups to reduce their exposure to air pollution to mitigate the impact on their health.

Working design hypothesis: the current airTEXT service is not fit for purpose, but a re-design of the digital user interface and methods of communication for the alerts, based on user insight and co-design, could significantly improve the experience for key residents and improve uptake. The provider may recommend other solutions, or a number of different solutions for different target groups.

You will:

Establish a project team
Agree roles/responsibilities.
Manage the project, including road map/product backlog/sprint planning/retrospectives/show and tells.
Updated stakeholders on activities and outputs.
Receive stakeholder collaborative expertise.
Recruit eligible representative target group samples focussing on BAME residents/those in poor air quality areas, incentivising workshop participation.
Implement ethical approvals.
Conduct insight research to understand capability, opportunity and motivation for behaviour changes mitigating air pollution health impacts.
Develop insight research conversation guides, and code and analyse the qualitative data, incorporating behavioural insight theory.
Synthesise insights from the user research and work up concepts to prototype in subsequent phases.
Report on findings and recommendations.
Problem to be solved
airTEXT has minimal reach in Southwark and does not seem to be used by key groups vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution. As of 31st March 2019, only 318 Southwark residents were subscribed to receive alerts. In contrast, 18,000 patients have a respiratory condition in the borough1 and almost 35,000 have hypertension .

A recent survey of airTEXT subscribers also indicated that the service is not reaching our BAME residents.
Who the users are and what they need to do
People with cardiac and respiratory health conditions, and other people vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution, especially young people and their parents, and elderly people:

need to know the air quality forecast, and understand the actions they can take to mitigate the effects of poor air quality on their health;

so that they can make behavioural adjustments to mitigate the impact of poor air quality on their health.

This is especially true for BAME communities that are disproportionately concentrated in areas with poor air quality.
Early market engagement
Early market engagement took place at an online market warm up event on Friday 26 February.

Presentation slides, Q and A, outline specification, and pre-quotation pre-selection document were circulated to attendees. Further copies may be obtained by email from

Please note that no other correspondence will be entered into during the period that the opportunity is open for quotation, and other questions about this opportunity must be posted through the digital marketplace, and the question and the response will be made public.
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The team will be working with;

Southwark Council
Organisations that represent people in the target groups
Impact on Urban Heath (our charity funding partner)
Behavioural Insights Team (a social purpose company contracted by Impact on Urban Health to incorporate insights and coding from behavioural sciences into the discovery research)

Potential suppliers that do not have all the attributes, skills, knowledge, and experience listed in the outline specification are strongly encouraged to apply in partnership with other suppliers, as co-equal partners.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Within the administrative area of London Borough of Southwark.
Working arrangements
With BIT, you will develop conversation guides, and design the program to recruit and conduct primary research with a sample of residents from key target groups, including any necessary ethical approvals. You will provide agile project management, manage the road map, product backlog, sprint planning and retrospectives, and conduct show and tells for project team. You will produce a report with findings and recommendations.

All work will comply with GDS Digital Design Standards.

Quotation must be fully inclusive of all fees, costs, and expenses.
Security clearance
Part of the research may be with children and vulnerable adults, and the provider must be willing to obtain DBS clearance on request.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Answer yes to all Y?N questions on Southwarks pre-quotation screenig document.
  • Provide satisfactory answers to all free text questions on Southwark's pre-quotation screening document
  • Have experience conducting digital discovery research with children.
  • Have experience conducting digital discovery research with older adults
  • Have experience conducting digital discovery research with people with respiratory and heart conditions
  • Have experience conducting digital discovery research with people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups
  • Have experience identifying research based solutions that are proven to have measurable improved outcomes
  • have experience in writing reports suitable for presentation to decision makers, and for publication
  • Demonstrate experience of agile project management
  • Provide service in accordance with requirements of GDS Digital Design Service
  • Demonstrate skill in digital service design
  • Demonstrate skill in conducting stakeholder engagement
  • Demonstrate a commitment to incorporating principles of diversity, equity and inclusion into your research
  • Has excellent presentation and report writing skills
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • demonstrate understanding of behavioural sciences
  • show experience conducting user research in partnership with local government/public health/health providers
  • demonstrate an understanding of air pollution and its health impacts in urban settings

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Deliver the discovery phase within budget
  • Through the supplier's work provide Social Value in accordance with national social value themes, outcomes, and measures as described on the ‘ABOUT’ page of the Social Value Portal
  • Meet all criteria listed in the the outline specification
Cultural fit criteria
Provide Social Value in Southwark (see social value themes, outcomes, and measures as described on the ‘ABOUT’ page of the Social Value Portal
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Hi, in the essential skills and experience you refer to ‘Southwark’s pre-quotation screening document’. Where can this be found please?
This document was emailed to potential suppliers that expressed and interest in attending the warm up event. Further copies may be obtained by email from
2. At what stage do you need the Pre-quotation screening document returned?
If you wish to be invited to quote, at latest before the opportunity closes on Digital Marketplace.
3. The essential criteria seem overly restrictive with respect to subgroup experience. Did the team wish to use this to control volume of applications?
The subgroup experience criteria is intended to ensure that only high quality submissions are received with respect to the desired outcomes. If you do not have all the required experience within your own team, you may partner with another team that has the additional experience, providing that you make the submission as co-equal partners.
4. Can you please clarify what you mean by “co-equal partners”?
We are working on the assumption that you only wish to contract with one supplier for this project.
We will accept joint applications from different organisations working in partnership, in order to ensure the supplier has all the requested experience, including experience with all sub groups. All partners should have relevant skills and experience that will be used in the project, and should be prepared to lead on the areas in which they have most experience. We will not consider quotations from project management organisations without the relevant skills who are seeking to act as lead partner/ main contractor and sub-contract the entire project to other organisations.
5. Can you please clarify how you plan to assess the pre-quote screening questionnaire? Is it pass-fail, or will the answers be scored?
6. In regards to the pre-quote screening doc... is this something that you want completing and returned before the digital marketplace submission?
Ideally before close, but as soon as possible afterwards, as we may wish to start screening as early as next working day.
7. Are the suppliers expected to have conducted research specifically with the BAME groups or would you consider research with broad spectrum of users, including vulnerable and disabled users and users from BAME? Please could you clarify what evidence are you looking for?
We are looking to select a team that can demonstrate that they have previously worked on projects where they have engaged specifically with BAME, and other specified, key groups, and that this research has led to solutions that have been effective for those same groups.
8. How can a potential partner organisation register on the Digital Marketplace?
Please see the suppliers guide:
9. If you need to partner to cover experience with a specific group (e.g the bame community) can it be a charity with understanding of this group or does it need to be another digital partner with experience co-designing for that group?
We will consider partnerships formed of a lead partner that is registered on Digital Marketplace, and another organisation that can make up the missing relevant experience. In these circumstances we will require detailed information about the division of roles and responsibilities to ensure the input of people with relevant experience is not diluted by the main contractor/sub-contractor relationship.