Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management: An integrated solution - Bangladesh
This use case describes the implementation of AgriDrupal at the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management in Bangladesh, with the objective of integrating in a single platform the document repository and web content management requirements.
The Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MoFDM) provides analytical and advisory support to the MoFDM and other government offices and serves as secretariat to the Food Planning and Monitoring Committee (FPMC) which is the national, inter-ministerial committee responsible for monitoring the overall food situation of the country and advising on emerging food security and policy issues. The capacity of FPMU is being developed by the National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme (NFPCSP), which is jointly implemented by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the MoFDM with financial support from the European Union and the United State Agency for International Development. Within the NFCSP framework, a backstopping mission to the FPMU was undertaken in October 2009, with the objective to prepare a plan for the development of a physical and electronic documentation centre, and to provide advice and assistance on upgrading their website. Only the requirements and recommendations on the tool for the information management of the website and the documentation center are included in this paper.
1. Findings and FPMU requirementsThe findings focused on the collection, users, human resources, software, the website and the documentation center.
FPMU Collection: The collection includes hardcopy and electronic documents of both confidential information -for internal use only- and public documents –published by FPMU, and also external publications. Most full text documents generated from FPMU were published on the web, in some cases even with a small set of metadata such as Title, Author/s and Year, while internal documentation was stored in personal computers. FPMU did not maintain an inventory of the documents published by the organization and their location. Neither a policy for collecting such data or preserving the documents was carried out so far. FPMU also had a collection of printed documents. The documents are shelved in different offices. The number of both electronic and hard copies documents currently available in FPMU do not exceed 1,000 items.
Target users: FPMU aimed to provide different types of information services depending on the type of user:
external users(other institutions and researchers, civil society and the international community specialized on food policy research) should access to the information currently posted on the FPMU website.
internal users(FPMU employees, other Government officers involved in food-security related activities, on demand basis) should access to the information posted on the web, but also to confidential information and external information resources located in the FPMU documentation center.
Human resources available: Currently, the organisation does not have any human resources specialized in information management. The hiring of a librarian or information management specialist to perform tasks related to the documentation center catalogue maintenance or publication of documents on the web is not foreseen in the short term. Therefore, these activities will be carried out by non-specialists who need to quickly learn to use the tools and procedures for cataloguing and classification. At a technical level, FPMU is currently supported by a webmaster from the NFPCSP who conducts the server maintenance. While his technical skills are high, his working agenda is already quite full.
Software: Before the mission, and as a requirement for the FPMU information services, the use of two different types of software was already foreseen. On the one hand, a content management system that would help improve the standardization of the content published, usability, maintenance of the webpages and collaborative approach in editing of content (even by officers with no technical skills). On the other hand, a software for the management of the documentation center catalogue.
Website: The FPMU website is a static information service with difficulties in maintenance. Only one person is responsible for maintaining the web and this requires HTML knowledge. Updates and changes to the website are conducted periodically, after checking the status of news and updates with FPMU and NFPCSP staff, especially with regard to new FPMU publications. The FPMU WebPages are not W3C validated before their publication on the web and, in many cases, they contain markup errors. Therefore, the website is only entirely visible using Internet Explorer, not allowing the display of links to FPMU publications with other web browsers such as Firefox. The site mostly provides descriptive information about FPMU and NFPCSP and documentation on activities carried out with little emphasis on news or events.
Documentation Center:The documentation center will be created in the course of 2010. Without a technical expert to lead the center, during a first phase, efforts are being devoted to creating the centre collection by the acquisition, cataloguing and classification. The documentation center is to be responsible for maintenance of publications generated by FPMU, both internal and external, including both in its catalogue. Therefore, the deposit of electronic documents needs be centralized in the Documentation Center, where the description and publication of the FPMU electronic publications will be checked and, in a second stage, services provided to the users specified above.
2. RecommendationsBased on the findings above, the software recommended was Drupal – AgriDrupal - which integrates the website and document repository in a single platform (see Figure 1) with the following benefits:
- cost savings in terms of developing, administering and maintaining efficient access to FPMU information resources;
- a single person could manage the content on the website and maintain a basic catalogue for the FPMU Documentation Center;
these tasks could be handled by a non-expert in Library and Information Science officer; and
documentation center data in a single platform
The choice of Drupal was especially motivated by prior experiences with this platform that had shown the potential of its flexible metadata approach, and had led to its adoption in several institutions in the agricultural sector. Such experiences have since led to the creation of an AgriDrupal project aimed at joining efforts among agricultural organizations on developments and solutions for agricultural information management based on Drupal.
AgriDrupal works as an integrated solution allowing to manage different types of information like organizations, projects, expert profiles, news, jobs, events, feeds, web pages, blog entries or forum topics. It has advanced features for managing open access document repositories in compliance with widely adopted library standards. The rationale for the inclusion of such features was the demand for an integrated tool for the document repository and web content management.
AgriDrupal has been identified as an appropriate tool to achieve the use of semantic standards and guarantee a proper and efficient exchange and sharing of information within the Food, Agriculture, Development, Fisheries, Forestry and Natural Resources community based on the following:
- it does not involve writing codes in house or contracting a company;
- it minimizes the duplication of efforts;
- it is undertaken by more than one institution preferably under the umbrella of CIARD;
- it unifies all the existing initiatives within the CIARD Initiative.
- it minimizes software maintenance issues, e.g. in the case of Open Source Software leaving the maintenance to its own community;
- it leverages the open source approach, the wide community behind the tool, its wide adoption and the high demand for it; therefore it benefits from continuous improvements and upgrades to the latest technological developments;
- it allows to outsource the implementation of very specific features to the community, minimizing costs: new developments are sponsored once and contributed back to the whole community.
- it is a tool that works as an integrated solution allowing to manage different types of content, including one’s web presence.
it is pre-customized for different kinds of needs and delivered as an easy-setup package (no need for big capacities, more sustainable);
at the same time, it is a platform that meets generalized needs, allowing potentially infinite customizations, so that the solutions proposed are not just ad hoc but allow to handle multiple needs that are similar in nature (e.g. no need to write ad hoc additional code just for retrieving or exporting information in a different way.
3. Technical requirements for the implementation of AgriDrupal in FPMUOnce the software was selected, the first step was to define the abstract metadata, content model and other technical requirements, which had to be then implemented in Drupal.
Abstract Metadata and Content Model
The abstract metadata includes the fields required for a proper description of both electronic and hard copy documents – e.g. location on the shelves of the documentation center (detailed in the Annex 1). It is based on the ISBD with additional fields for facilitating a complete description of any document.
Although most documents can be described using the same metadata set, there are specific fields required for each of them, e.g. conference, journal or ISSN not used for the description of books or book chapters. In order to facilitate as much as possible the data entry procedure, the fields are displayed according to the selection of type of document. The list of type of documents, based on the FPMU legacy documents, included the following items:
Creation/management of relationships between records
With the objective to enhance the retrieval of information especially when the documents are analytics, specific relationships between the following types of document were requested:
- A book chapter < is part of > a book,
- A conference paper < is part of > conference proceedings,
- A conference presentation < is part of > conference proceedings,
- A conference poster < is part of > conference proceedings,
- A conference presentation < is part of > conference proceedings,
- A journal article < is part of > a journal.
During the cataloguing process, it should be possible to select authority control records for authors’ names, corporate and conference authors thus avoiding inconsistencies in the system and promoting the creation of browsing for better access to information contained in the document repository.
With regard to the subject field, the records should contain one or more subject keywords chosen from the vocabulary from a source such as the AGROVOC thesaurus. The use of AGROVOC has direct advantages since it is an advanced knowledge organization (thesauri) and it is widely used by the agricultural community and especially by the AGRIS network.
Help functionality accessible during the cataloguing work
A cataloguing helpwas prepared fto be displayed in the data entry interface. The aim was to provide the minimum orientation needed for describing the documents.
Type of users (roles)
Four different roles were foreseen as follows:
- Anonymous users–may access the content accessible from the website. No registration or identification is required.
- Registered users– may access all the information published internally and externally on the website. The registered user needs to register and fill a personal record with name and affiliation details. Various roles with different permission levels can be set up according to the levels of restriction of the confidential documentation.
- Editors– may create and publish content. As a registered user, an editor needs to register and fill a personal record. They have specific rights allowing to, for example, create, modify, publish, un-publish or delete content. Editors are in charge of the document repository and of uploading full text documents. They also catalogue hard copies, adding their physical location and shelf locator in the Documentation Center.
- Administrators–provide the permissions to administer users.
The platform should offer two levels of searching:
- Simple search:very simple search by word(s) in title and document type
- Advanced search: should include more fields such as word(s) in title, document type, author (persona and organization), year of publication, conference, AGRIS subject categories and keywords. It should be also possible to filter by documents available online or not.
Browsing is a good way to provide new access points to the documents stored in the repository. There are six ways to browse the archive: By book, By conference, By corporate body, By journal, By subject and By type. When a user chooses which property he/she wishes to browse by. e.g. Journal, a list of possible values must be presented. Selecting one of these, a list of references to documents in the repository (if any) that match this value must be displayed. To access a document, the user should click on its reference in the display.
The AgriDrupal installation at FPMU is accessible at http://www.nfpcsp.org/agridrupal/