Forced Migration Online, based at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford had two clear objectives – to archive and safeguard key materials relating to forced migration, and to make these materials as widely available as possible.
The current technical infrastructure, using legacy proprietary products, was holding FMO back from achieving either of these objectives. The current repositories were becoming more difficult to support and this was a concern for the long term archival and storage of FMO's documents.
There were also several aspects of these proprietary systems that were limiting access to the documents:
- The relatively high bandwidth user interface that made the archive less accessible in developing countries.
- The lack of unified search across FMO's repositories.
- The inability of search engines to spider the archive were also making the archive not as accessible as it could be.
Moving to a system based on open standards and open source software safeguarded the reliability and maintainability of the archive into the future. It also provided the opportunity to address some of the key accessibility issues for users.
The work included:
- Importing the existing documents into the new open source repository
- Creating a user interface to allow the documents to be searched
- Creating a management interface to edit and submit new documents