Environment for Development (EfD)

Website for a global network of research centers that solve the world’s most urgent environmental and development challenges

We helped EfD, a global environmental economics network coordinated by the Gothenburg School of Economics, to develop a new website in English that provides decision-makers, researchers and the general public with easy access to the latest research results on the application of environmental economics to sustainable development in the global south. Read more!

The challenge

EfD is a value-creating organization with an important purpose. Here at Consid, we can really benefit and make an impact by helping with the digital challenges. The organization is committed to the environment and wants to create a sustainable approach to the environment, worldwide. That is a big responsibility. We at Consid are therefore very happy that we were entrusted to help EfD.

The mission included developing a new website in English that provides decision-makers, researchers and the general public with easy access to the latest research results on the application of the environmental economy to sustainable development in the global south, ie non-OECD countries. The website as it was before Consid came into the picture was of an older model and had great potential for improvement. EfD therefore wanted a new concept with new design as well as improved functionality and new functions.

There were many challenges with this project. The organization includes a large publication database with a large number of researchers who are affiliated with the organization. Each center therefore has its own researchers whose research can be published by the center’s communicators. The collaboration also takes place between a large number of universities around the world. This includes many languages, cultures and centers that should be able to collaborate on the web. The site will function as a platform for researchers to be able to publish their writings and articles on and where politicians in their home countries will be able to obtain relevant information.

Additional challenges with this project also included the meetings that were arranged between many parties from several places around the world, and that these were mainly arranged through digital meetings due to. pandemic. We also needed to clean up EfD’s data that was on the existing web, as there were a lot of duplicates of publications.

– The research available at EfD means that countries can be lifted out of poverty. It therefore naturally feels great to be involved in developing this website, says Mattias Andersson, developer at Consid.

The solution

The existing platform was to be further developed and here Consid got free hands around the design. The customer had already chosen to invest in Drupal CMS. Their old website was built in Drupal. We therefore made a migration to Drupal 8 from Drupal 7. A new design of responsive theme was developed and we cleared away old data, and did a re-design of the menu. Previously, the editors created the menu manually, now it happens automatically instead. We also produced a clickable organogram. As there are many developing countries that are connected to the web, great emphasis was placed on optimization, so that it works quickly. Here we saw e.g. to the fact that the pictures on the web were not too big.

What is unique about this website is how we designed the In Site solution. The web has a completely new graphic profile and design and the landing pages are built completely dynamically. You can thus create a new center and then include the submenu automatically – something that did not exist before. There were also previous restrictions in the navigation due to the menu and there was a lack of a homogeneous presentation of all centers as all center pages looked a little different. The whole web was simply in need of elaboration.

We also produced overview pages where you can now go into the UN’s sustainability goals and filter to get to a specific goal. The entire publication page was redone as well. EfD is also investing more and more in larger research programs with participants from several centers. “Programs” in the menu did not exist before but were now developed with the same functionality as for the center and you can take part in publications, news and researchers. Here we also developed the personal register in a completely new way, with new design, architecture and filtering so that you can easily access everyone who belongs to a certain center or program. Now there are simply all publications in one place where you can filter by, for example, author or category. Each researcher can also be found under their own page where you can download their publication. Under “Topics” you can read about different research areas and click on to each page. There you can take part in publications under each area such as education, water, energy and air quality.

EfD has a large number of videos on its Youtube channel. These videos are now also available to watch on the web.

– I’m so impressed with Consid’s professionalism, good cheer and skill throughout this complex project. I’ve worked on a number of these projects before, and the people I’ve collaborated with at Consid are at the top of people I’ve worked with. I’m looking forward to continued collaboration, säger Pete Nelson, President, Nelson and Associates, Washington DC.

The result

The result is an improved and more developed web. With new features for improved functionality and easy access are now available:

  • Look Ahead Navigation that reduces the number of user clicks to navigate the site.
  • Product filters that enable users to quickly narrow down the portfolio of research publications.
  • Responsive design that allows the website to be compatible with all browsers and mobile devices.

Now EfD has a foundation that they can develop further, as the platform is dynamically developed. In addition, it now has a completely new, fresh and graphically appealing design adapted to all operating countries.

– We are very proud to be able to launch our new EfD website. We know that there is a serious lack of robust data and research that is necessary for the green transitions required for sustainable development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This new website gives us an opportunity to showcase our research and our collaboration programs that contribute to evidence-based policies for poverty reduction and sustainable development. We hope that academics, civil servants, decision-makers and the general public will find this information useful in their work towards a sustainable future, says Gunnar Köhlin, head of EfD.

Before the launch in the summer of 2020, we arranged training sessions for the editors. Consid’s Mattias Andersson trained about 40 editors in how to use the web.

– This has been a fun and rewarding project. It feels good that we can make use of the opportunities of the digital world – and for such an important purpose, says Pär Svensén, customer manager at Consid.

About EfD

EfD is an environmental economic organization that is coordinated from the Gothenburg School of Economics. Environment for Development (EfD) was founded in 2007 and is a global network of environmental economic research centers focusing on environmental and development challenges in developing countries. Today, the network consists of over 200 skilled environmental economists with many different specializations. The network is coordinated by EfD Global Hub, which is located at the School of Business, University of Gothenburg. Financial support is provided primarily by Sida.

EfD’s centers are located at leading academic research institutions in the 13 countries of Chile, China, Colombia, Central America, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam. EfD’s vision is to create inclusive sustainable development in the global south based on evidence-based management of the environment, natural resources and climate impact.

Here you will find the website efdinitiative.org

- This new website gives us an opportunity to showcase our research and our collaboration programs that contribute to evidence-based policies for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Gunnar Köhlin, head of EfD.

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