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Request for Proposals (RFP) Designing Justice Worker Innovations for Impact, Scale, and Sustainability

Request for Proposals (RFP)
Designing Justice Worker Innovations for Impact, Scale, and Sustainability

Frontline Justice ( is seeking proposals from qualified social innovation firms to help it design and develop an innovation platform and conduct user research and design aimed at scaling and sustaining community justice worker innovations in the United States, with a focus on reducing barriers and increasing opportunities for economic mobility among people with low incomes.

About Frontline Justice

Americans experience 120 million unresolved civil legal problems each year, with consequences including poor health, housing instability, financial precarity, and other threats to basic needs. Despite a 400% increase in the number of lawyers over the last 50 years, less than 10 percent of low-income people living in the US will get adequate legal help to resolve their civil legal problems. The absence of meaningful legal help means that people are increasingly estranged from the law,
their rights, and our bedrock principle of equal justice for all. It doesn’t have to be this way. Democratizing the law by expanding the scope of who can provide legal help can bend the curve. Historically, we’ve thought about solving this problem in terms of more lawyers, which has locked us into a narrow set of solutions that have rendered the problem intractable. Lawyer-only solutions simply don’t scale, and lawyer-centric solutions remove those closest to the problem from participating in its resolution. Better justice for all is possible. Frontline Justice seeks to empower a new category of legal helper: the community justice worker. Justice workers are ordinary people who have the knowledge, skills, and ability to support people as they solve their legal challenges. They are crossed-trained community helpers who are recruited from a variety of trusted roles, such as social workers, librarians, counselors, community leaders, teachers, coaches, faith leaders, mediators, elected representatives, and everyday Americans who want to help.


The objective of this RFP is to solicit proposals to work with Frontline Justice to 1) develop an equitable innovation platform to support evidence-based justice worker innovations designed for impact, scale, and sustainability; and 2) support user research and participatory design to ideate and prototype potential justice worker solutions that increase opportunities and reduce barriers to economic mobility. The first strategy is focused on co-designing an approach to Frontline Justice’s mission and work that ensures an inclusive innovation mindset that cuts across the organization and its partnerships (e.g. not a siloed R&D team or “lab”). This approach will require evidence and data to inform strategy, embrace community-engaged research and co-design, encourage systems thinking, and embed equity and inclusion into its DNA. The second part of this RFP seeks to “stress test” this platform, to support the design and prototyping of justice worker innovations focused on akey area of impact: empowering justice workers to more effectively and efficiently deliver legal support services to help individuals and communities access resources and resolve issues that prevent economic mobility.


- Proposals should demonstrate a deep understanding of social innovation, including
effective approaches to designing equitable and inclusive innovation ecosystems that
produce effective, scalable, and sustainable products and services.

- Demonstrated experience conducting design research and co-designing solutions with low-
income and excluded communities and frontline legal/social services providers.

- Applicants should reflect an adequate understanding of the problem space, and proposals
should reflect this awareness (and ideally design insights) based on the Frontline Justice
website and other background research.

- Demonstrated experience integrating cutting-edge technology and data into product and
service design solutions, including GenAI and ML.

- To be considered, candidates must provide evidence of their track record producing high- quality, timely deliverables within budget, including a detailed timeline, clear budget, and references (see submission guidelines below).

Budget and Timeframe

The maximum total budget for this work is $125,000 USD. The timeframe for this work is approximately 9 months from the project start date.

Submission Guidelines

Interested firms are invited to submit their proposals (and any questions) electronically to Nikole Nelson at and Matthew Burnett at no later than June 7, 2024. The proposal should not exceed 15 pages and should include the following:
- Overview/Insights
- Detailed description of the proposed approach for both tasks outlined in the Objective
section above
- Detailed project timeline and deliverables
- A clear budget (including budget narrative) and payment terms
- Examples of relevant projects/work and at least three references

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