Eradicating poverty in all its forms is still one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing. Although the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by more than half between 1990 and 2015, too many are still struggling for the most basic human needs.
To develop the standard of living of the city’s poverty-stricken populace of Bangladesh, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) launched a project titled ‘Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project (LIUPCP)’ along with the Bangladesh Government’s Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Local Government Division (LGD). This project is under the “National Urban Poverty Reduction Programme” of UNDP which is designed to demonstrate solutions to the urban governance challenges in Bangladesh. It is one of the largest urban poverty reduction interventions in the world. It established a community-based approach to work with more than 2,500 Community Organizations in 23 Pourashavas (Municipalities) and City Corporations.
In January 2019, UNDP approached several shortlisted companies in order to design and develop a website for their “Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities” Project. They invited the shortlisted entities to a pre-bid meeting to discuss and clarify the details about their cause, ideas, requirements, and preferences. Nascenia achieved the project through a competitive bidding process.
The client mainly wanted a website with lots of customization and dynamic contents. It would have to be a platform for showcasing their progress, projects’ details in different zones, another related project updates of UNDP, the timeline of past and upcoming events as well as blogs and other contents. There were diversified contents such as photos, videos, news, events, pdf, responsive map and so on.
Following were some of the key requirements for the website:
- Full dynamic website in Open Source Programming language that allows publishing, editing and modifying the content, organizing, deleting as well as maintenance from a central interface
- API integration for dynamic map points and data
- Dynamic page creation with a navigation bar and footer customization
- Showing photos as a slideshow
- Admin user with custom access level for each extension/resources
- The blog section, contact form with automated email
- Sharing pages to social media
- Full website search option using keywords or phrasing
- Google analytics integration
The overall assignment was a challenging one for a few reasons.
The launch deadline was very tight whereas, the ultimate look of the website or even the exact requirement lists were not finalized. So, we needed the start everything from scratch – from logo design and website theme and UI design to the final development and launch.
Besides, it was such a work that needed the approval of several stages of authorities. So, the design kept changing quite some time until the final one was locked.
The website initially looked like this:
After several iterations, the final version was:
During the development phase, we dealt with several issues. Let us share one of them. Once our client started uploading photos, we found that the photos of the slider are of different colors and sizes. It created an issue for the visibility of texts. In some cases, the main object of the photos was being hidden by the title.
To solve this issue we:
- Made the title more prominent by giving a box shadow around it
- Darkened the background photo and changing the title color when the mouse hovers on the slider and
- Made the position of the slider customizable.
- We used ‘Refinery[Rails]’ CMS for the base functionality.
- We made customization of default Rich Text Editor of Refinery CMS
- Dynamic map integration from external APIThe default Rich Text Editor
- Deployed in the Linux Box
The following diagram might help you understand the workflow:
The application is launched as a beta right now. We are waiting for a grand public launching soon.
We are elated for getting involved in this project as the project aims to contribute to a balanced, sustainable growth by reducing urban poverty in Bangladesh and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 that call for ‘leaving no one behind’. We can’t wait to see it happening and will keep an eye on it. Besides, we are going to work on a year more to support the platform and hence the cause.
Contributor: Tanzib Wasif