Human rights and a peek at some of the CiviCRM 2.0 improvements

2007-07-05 03:07
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Lots of exciting things happening around – as recently mentioned the Kabissa project is getting up on speed, in the same time we are also approaching the finish of another project that we internally called HRD, after Human Rights Defenders. It’s a CiviCRM deployment and customisation for Front Line Defenders, a Dublin based organisation working on protection of human rights defenders globally. After Amnesty International decided to go with CiviCRM, Front Line is the second significant case where we’re entering human rights field with our software (or perhaps we don’t know about others?).

It’s really great to hear about every single organisation or grassroots group using CiviCRM, but seeing human rights activists using it makes me personally feel really honoured, especially that I was raised in a country where – during my childhood – human rights were violated by the communist regime. During last few years I also had occasion to meet some people heavily involved in human rights work, hear their stories, got to make friends with some of them, which additionally turned my attention to the importance of this area. Not getting into politics too much, it just feels great that the tool we’re developing leverages the work of this very important group of activists and nonprofits.

That’s it for the philosophy and feelings, let’s get into practical outcomes from HRD project, which might be of interest for much broader group of our users. :-) There is a couple of improvements and customisation, which will probably be introduced in CiviCRM 2.0, but until then, will be available for testing and review in trunk code, if anyone is interested.

  • Cases – a simple “case management” functionality, which allows you to gather activities under “cases” and make better use of CiviCRM’s built in activities mechanism.
  • CiviGrant – again, a very simple component which helps in tracking small amounts of money passed to your constituents. I strongly hesitate to call it “microgrants” application, it lacks a lot of functionality to be able to support this kind of “business”, but, first, it’s just a start (and perhaps some good folks will be interested in helping us drive this effort further), and second, it’s supposed to provide a really simplistic functionality. For example, if you’re organising a conference (using CiviEvent of course) and want to pass a few small scholarships to your attendees to cover travel and lodging, CiviGrant is a way to automate your work a little bit. If you’re giving away hundreds of microgrants monthly, you’re better off using something else. :-)
  • Email to Activity conversion – this functionality has been mentioned a couple of times on the developers list a while ago, and we’re finally going to give it a try. Basic idea is to take raw email, parse it, and make an activity record out of it. It’s technically simple, might be conceptually complicated, so I guess it deserves another, separate blog post in near future.
  • A few other gadgets – like the ability to group countries into regions, potentially also displaying current local time in location block and so on. All this functionality will be polished out, generalised and released with CiviCRM 2.0 in the next couple of months.
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