In 2001, I traveled to Kenya to bring technology tools to Nixon Sifuna.

ELAW has long used cutting edge technology to connect communities across borders. In the mid-1990’s, we brought Internet and email tools to partners in places as far flung as Mongolia, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe. Today, we’re using open source software to help our partners build websites.

The beauty of open source software is that our partners can use it in their home countries at very little cost. Software like Plone and Drupal is versatile and allows our partners to obtain just about any functionality they need. By using website content management systems (CMS), even non-technical staff can create and upload content to a website very easily.

Most recently, we’ve been helping our partners at l’Association Haitienne de Droit de l’Environnement (AHDEN) build a website. Attorney Rolès Théard visited Eugene earlier this month for an ELAW Fellowship. While here, Rolès worked with ELAW staff to learn how to use Drupal and make updates to AHDEN’s site. Now, Rolès will teach AHDEN staff and volunteers how to do the same.

Jen and Rolès work on the AHDEN website

By helping our partners build websites, we hope to enhance their capacity to use technology tools and demonstrate the impact of their work to the world.

I hope you will visit the following sites to learn more about our partners’ great work:

Climate Justice Programme

Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy

Green Advocates

If you are considering building your own website, I highly recommend the Drupal Installation Profile, “Drupal and NGO” (DaNGO). DaNGO provides a collection of Drupal modules commonly used on non-profit websites in one convenient package. It includes tools for blogs, wikis, discussion forums, photo sharing, donation processing, and membership management.

Many thanks to the programmers who make open source software available to all. With your help, grassroots advocates are connecting across borders to protect people and wildlands all around the world.

Glenn Gillis
Information Technology Manager