MSF Rebuild Their Blog in Drupal

Posted by
Jenny Jahans on 22 Oct, 2013

Médicins Sans Frontières has tasked us with rebuilding their blog website. Built for a very large global audience, this site needs to be flexible enough to work for the extensive range of individual users and organisations it serves. And, of course, it aims to reach many more as a result of the redevelopment and redesign. As a very positive charitable organisation, MSF is well suited to BrightLemon, with a large proportion of our client list dedicated to charities and health organisations.

Providing a window into MSF workers’ lives

Founded by a group of French doctors and journalists in 1971, MSF now provides aid to over 70 countries, and also runs long-term medical programmes worldwide. MSF promote the idea that everyone should have access to medical care, no matter who you are or what your situation is. This belief has driven their main aim to provide care in countries where war and manmade or natural disasters have left people in dire need of medicine, doctors and nurses.

Whilst MSF’s main website provides important information in regard to the extensive work that they perform as a charity, this new blog site portrays the ‘human’ in each MSF worker. The written and photographic blogs posted by MSF representatives (doctors, etc.) allow them to voice personalised accounts of their experiences of fieldwork and aid programmes.

The flexible approach: turning to Drupal

At BrightLemon we consistently promote the power of online communities. We also promote the power of the open source CMS software, Drupal. After analysis of Drupal software competitors (as well as Drupal agencies like us), MSF decided to use BrightLemon to migrate their blog site to Drupal. Drupal’s adaptability and flexibility make it the perfect tool to aid the blog site in its aim to provide readers and donors with an easily accessible and informative window into MSF’s work.


In order to provide users with simple site navigation and ease of access to solutions for common goals, we will be applying a range of new features. These will include: localisation, multilingual capabilities for MSF’s global audience, translation for blog entries, syncing of blog content to other MSF sites, commenting, maps to show blog writers’ locations throughout the world.

In order to improve engagement and user-friendliness, we will be retheming and redesigning the whole site. We will also build it in a responsive format in order for it to be used on a desktop, tablet and mobile devices. There is, of course, a necessity for modern sites to be adaptable for all available platforms in order to reach a complete target audience range, and MSF has recognised this as an important aspect of the development.

Maintaining MSF’s drive

As with all clients’ projects we work on, each process of the build will resulting in a reflection of MSF’s overall aims and image as an organisation. MSF reaches a worldwide audience, so the site needs to be built in a way that will help them publicise, progress and maintain the positive and charitable role they play for this extremely large user base.

Tags: Online Communities