We were really excited last week to launch Akvo RSR 1.0 along with a complete redesign of the Akvo.org website. We have been hard at work on this for several months and are very happy to hear from many of you that you really like the result. We think that the new design for Akvo RSR and the website is visually more attractive as well as easier to use and understand.

In Akvo RSR there is now the ability to add new types of projects to the system. Previously you could only add water and sanitation projects. Now we have a dynamic system where projects belong to something called focus areas, and they are associated with new categories and measure new benchmarks, all which are created dynamically from the administration function. For Akvo.org, “Focus Areas” describe areas in which development aid tries to improve the world around us. Categories describe the type of improvements to be made and Benchmarks indicate the manner in which progress will be measured.

We’ve integrated mapping systems for projects and organisations, the first version of which uses Google Maps. There are two global maps, one map showing all projects and the other map showing all organisations in Akvo RSR. There are also location maps for each organisation page and each project page. See this sample project from Impulsis. We expect to do a lot more with maps in the future.

A much requested feature that was added is the ability to search and filter on organisations and projects in the project list and the organisation list, making it much easier to find what you are looking for.

Project pages have been re-designed to present a better overview of the project. New features include a picture gallery of project and update pictures, interactive map and latitude/longitude coordinate display, a page view counter, a “Latest Update” display as well as the ability to show new focus areas, categories and benchmarks. See this sample project from VJNNS.

These are just a few of the more obvious changes. You can read more about these and the rest in the Akvo RSR 1.0 release notes.

To learn more about how Akvo RSR fits into the Akvo Platform read this blog post and check out these pages about the Akvo Platform.

Thomas Bjelkeman-Pettersson is founder and chief technology officer at Akvo.