Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières helps people worldwide where the need is the greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare.

Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is one of the world's leading medical relief organizations. They run medical projects in close to 70 countries worldwide and have national offices in 21 countries. In 2015, their organization decided to move away from a unified, centralized approach for website maintenance. The international office in Geneva, Switzerland was responsible for the maintenance of all websites around the world.

After realizing that this was too much of a burden on the Geneva IT team, MSF decided to decentralize the management of web resources and reallocate the responsibilities to the individual Country offices.

The Canadian office opted to adapt the website and codebase developed by the UK office and needed to find a developer with demonstrated Drupal expertise as well as experience creating websites tailored for the Canadian market to guide them through the adaptation of the website to meet the Canadian office's needs.

The website needed to be fully bilingual and had to meet the accessibility standards set out by the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Also, an Acquia hosting solution and service level agreement for website uptime and maintenance had to be established.

Objectives

Médicins Sans Frontières UK’s digital team is a leader in the movement for the organization's web development. In recent months, MSF UK had developed a new website using their in-house expertise as well as a new website vendor. However, their counterpart in Canada had yet to follow suit with the Canadian website, which was quickly becoming outdated. MSF Canada wanted a web presence that mirrored their innovative counterpart, but with the capability to modify it to their personal needs.

MSF Canada had two major requirements in creating their new website. The website needed to be fully bilingual and had to meet the accessibility standards set out by the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Also, an Acquia hosting solution and service level agreement for website uptime and maintenance had to be established.

Learn how OPIN builds digital projects like this one

Goals

  • Create a new website for MSF Canada using the code base from MSF UK’s website

  • Enable multi-language support for English and French on all web pages.

  • In compliance with the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the website must meet WCAG 2.0 level AA standards for accessibility.

  • Migrate content from the current Drupal 7 based website (msf.ca) to the new Drupal 7 based website (including web forms and taxonomies).

  • Develop 2 to 3 content types for overview pages for MSF’s Dispatches Magazine content and an overview page for employee profiles in the MSF Canada page.

  • Establish an Acquia hosting solution and Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the new website.

  • Maintain the bridge to directly important content from the MSF media database at media.msf.org.

Solutions

OPIN built a decoupled Drupal 7 and Vue.js website that serves three (3) main purposes; Help the Cause (Donations), Join the Movement (Work Overseas), and Stay Connected (Essential Email Updates).  Before starting the project, the OPIN team had to migrate the Drupal 6 website to Drupal 7. Additionally, the team had to integrate multilingual capabilities and perform a front-end audit in order to ensure the project WCAG AA compliantly.

Before migration, MSF Canada performed a clean-up action on the existing content and the data that had existed on the www.msf.ca website. The required content for the website was presented to OPIN as a migration map.  The migration of the existing content had been done in an automated way by using export and import scripts, with occasional and manual migration techniques.

In the development of the new MSF Canada site, OPIN had successfully audited the UK website code base to prepare for the build, implemented bilingual/translation capabilities within the website and met Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act website mandates as well as WCAG 2.0 level AA standards.

“The OPIN team regularly met with us to learn about our needs and even facilitated meetings with Drupal web hosting service provider Acquia, enabling us to build a relationship with them as well. ”

- Wayne Leung
Digital Communications Officer, Médecins Sans Frontières

"The OPIN team regularly met with us to learn about our needs and even facilitated meetings with Drupal web hosting service provider Acquia, enabling us to build a relationship with them as well."

Digital Communications Officer, Médecins Sans Frontières