Hate Crime Reporting

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

January 2014

Digital Strategy
Front-end Development
Project Management

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OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights is committed to providing data about the extent and types of hate crimes in the OSCE region, including information about the bias motivation for these crimes, developments in legislation and responses by governments and civil society.

Pre­vi­ously com­piled in an annual report avail­able only in print or as a PDF, a Dru­pal-based web-ver­sion had been in de­vel­op­ment for several years. After a careful assessment of the in­her­it­ed project, including an analysis of target audience and content accessibility, and interviews with a wide variety of stakeholders and users, I proposed not only a new site map, but also a content strategy with a custom taxonomy and metadata system allowing for user-controlled multiple data recompilations. This necessitated the overhaul the Report’s data collection methodology to more efficiently align to the improved information structure.

The de­ci­sion was then made to com­pletely rebuild both the project’s front-end – in order to im­ple­ment a re­spon­sive, more interactive (including database-driven data visualizations) user experience – and the back-end – in order to struc­ture a data­base that could compile (and re-complile) five years of report data sortable in terms of country, year, bias mo­ti­va­tion, source, and nu­mer­ous other cri­te­ria. We also built a secure, re-usable custom questionnaire web application as part of the reporting workflow for forthcoming editions.

The web development team consisted of expert Drupal developer Muhammad Qandeel Aslam, and myself, responsible for project management, documentation, testing, as well as front-end design and development. Using a participatory, multi-iterative, agile-esque process, and consulting closely with ODIHR stakeholders, we were able to deliver a heavily-customized and sophisticated Drupal-based web application within a tight timeframe, as well as providing testing, training and thorough documentation.
The project has received universally very positive feedback since its public launch in early 2014.