Consultancy Position: Data Architect

ZSL’s Sustainable Business and Finance programme is seeking a consultant to support the delivery of SPOTT’s launch of the 2022 timber & pulp SPOTT assessments, managing My SQL data exports, manipulation and imports using ProBench, MyPhpAdmin, and WordPress.

SPOTT Assessments

ZSL (Zoological Society of London) is an international conservation charity working to create a world where wildlife thrives. From investigating the health threats facing animals to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, ZSL is committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction. Our work is realised through our ground-breaking science, our field conservation around the world and engaging millions of people through our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

SPOTT is a free online platform supporting sustainable commodity production and trade. By tracking transparency, SPOTT incentivises the implementation of corporate best practice. SPOTT assesses commodity producers, processors and traders on their public disclosure regarding environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. SPOTT scores tropical forestry, palm oil and natural rubber companies annually against over 100 sector-specific indicators to benchmark their progress over time. Investors, buyers and other key influencers can use SPOTT assessments to inform stakeholder engagement, manage ESG risk, and increase transparency across multiple industries.

Assessments are published three times a year, once per commodity, along the following timeline:

  • Natural rubber: March 
  • Timber & pulp: July
  • Palm oil: November


The consultant will deliver the launch of the 2022 timber & pulp SPOTT assessments. The assessment launch tasks include:

  • Create Probench “Export” Dataset based on the Survey Template
  • Generate Probench “Export” dataset & download corresponding CSV file
  • Generate 3 CSV files (using SPOTT admin page) from Probench CSV file and send to SPOTT team for editing
  • Import of 3 CSV files in SPOTT database (using SPOTT admin page)
  • Import of the Indicators, media and engaged companies CSV to the database via PhpMyAdmin
  • Create the indicator categories for the commodity in the database
  • Test templates to be updated on the SPOTT website to see the data
  • Make sure data are visible on Test pages (and not on live pages) for SPOTT team to review
  • Update the Assessment Summary Test template
  • Update of the test templates with URLs and other texts changes
  • Preparation for the release (updating production files without uploading)
  • Release – Upload of all the production templates on the SFTP server
  • Release – Database update (companies/assessments, publish = “Y”)

NB: The SPOTT website is a WordPress website running on PHP7.4, with a custom theme and a few custom plugins, HTML/CSS is used for the front end, with some JavaScript and AJAX interactions. The SPOTT website is linked to two different MySQL databases, one is supporting the WordPress website itself and the other is containing all the company/assessment related data displayed on the SPOTT website.

Required skills, experience and knowledge:

ZSL are inviting proposals from individuals or organizations with experience in the following:

  • WordPress
  • MySQL and PhpMyAdmin

Submission guidelines and requirements:

The candidates must submit the following:

  • A short (<200 word) proposal, outlining their suitability for the contract, including relevant experience working with similar programmes.
  • A cost proposal based on an hourly rate and an estimate of the number of hours required to complete the task
  • CV
  • Examples of previous relevant work
  • Proposals must be received by 23rd May to be considered.
  • Proposals should be submitted to for consideration.
  • ZSL reserves the right to amend the scope of this RFP in order to get the most suitable consultant.

Contract Value

  • Candidates should propose an hourly rate and provide an estimate of the number of hours required to complete the task
  • NOTE: Consultants will be prioritised if providing better value for money i.e. by proposing a lower hourly rate
  • NB If successful, the consultant may be considered for future assessment launches.

No expenses are foreseen. However, the consultant may present suggested expense required to deliver the contract for consideration by ZSL.

Contract Timelines

The timeline of the timber & pulp assessment launch is planned as follows (subject to change):

Task Timeline
Consultant starts preparation of CSV export files from Probench Wed 1st June
Consultant to export CSV files from Probench and send to ZSL Mon 4th July
ZSL sends back files to consultant for upload to SPOTT Friday 8th July
Consultant publishes data on staging site for ZSL review Wed 13th June
ZSL reviews data and provides feedback to consultant on final updates Wed 13th – Fri 15th
Assessment launch to live site Mon 18 July


The timeline for awarding the contract is as follows:

Task Timeline
Proposal submission 23rd May 2022
Selection of consultant 23rd-27th May 2022
Contract awarded 31st May 2022
Work to commence 1st June 2022
Project completion 20th July 2022


NOTE: Consultants are expected to pay all applicable local taxes. Where applicable, these should be included in the net cost provided to ZSL.