Reflections from DrupalCon Denver
Earlier this spring, I (and several K4Health colleagues) attended DrupalCon, a large conference for the Open Source community that provides the Drupal Web framework. One of the relevant and exciting sessions I went to was called, "International NGOs Leveraging Drupal for Social Change". The presenter, CivicActions' Aaron Pava, showed some great examples of how Drupal is being used by NGOs to create websites for fundraising, capacity building, advocacy, crisis response, and more. Some of the organizations presented were Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam International, and Mercy Corps--each of them using Drupal to convey their messages with great success.
The purpose of this session was to show great examples of how Drupal is being used, and to start the discussion on how organizations with these common goals, like K4Health, can share lessons learned, best practices, and ultimately, code. JHU•CCP has been using Drupal to build sites since 2007. Over the years, a common set of features has emerged as the most frequently used and necessary for a website for development and public health issues.
Recently, we've been working with Aten Design Group ("Aten") on a series of enhancements to K4Health's web products portfolio. One of these re-engineered products is a website-buillding platform called Sites4Dev™, which streamlines the way K4Health offers support to the web presences of other programs, organizations, and working groups. With the encouragement of USAID, Aten has taken this product and using the Drupal Features module created an "install profile" that will make it simple for any organization to download, install and configure websites with a slick theme (look and feel) and a handful of key features. The code is available as a public distribution on Drupal's website: http://drupal.org/project/openaid.
The key features include:
- Customizable home page with prominent image carousel and stream of recent updates
- Multi-author blog
- User profiles
- Project profiles, including geographic and categorical metadata
- Resource library with support for Apache Solr and faceted search
- Partner profiles
- Image galleries
Also, the configurable theme allows for changes in color and logos. All features can be enabled or disabled by simply clicking a checkbox. New features will be developed based on their relevance to all users of the platform.
We are really looking forward adding new features and using features developed by other members of the open source community.