UNCCD World Day to Combat DesertificationPRAIS, in ArabicPRAIS question


The Project

PRAIS, or "performance review and assessment of implementation system," tracks the reporting requirements for entities that have agreed to provide data related to efforts to combat desertification. Solertium joined the project after the various UN stakeholders involved in the project had agreed upon the respondant questions as well as the technical requirements for the platform and basic UI.
Challenging requirements included:
  • Full localization to Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
  • Complex forms, including repeatable subforms and lookups from tree-structured data
  • Integration with web services exposed elsewhere by UNCCD and Global Mechanism
  • Ability to deal with poor connections without losing data; capture work in progress atomically, field by field
  • Progress tracking
  • Role-based security
  • Import of data from CSV spreadsheets
  • The Work

    The project was implemented in C# using Microsoft's ASP.NET MVC. A number of significant technical challenges were posed by the need to run the application on a range of Windows systems, including modern development systems and the much older established systems running in the production UN environment.
    Stakeholders completely wireframed the app using Balsamiq, and implementation occurred during a compressed timeframe in order to meet aggressive targets for training trainers and completing the reporting cycle.
    To allow developers to effectively collaborate between UNCCD, WCMC and Solertium, the project was transitioned mid-development to Git and Gerrit Code Review, and a "two-developer" submission approval process, which rapidly improved velocity and mutual understanding. Pivotal Tracker was used as the project management tool for the second half of the project, with Git commits associated to Pivotal stories.

    The Partners

    Luca Perez, Andre Neves, Francine Kershaw, Jessica Jones, Simon Tokumine, Tarun Wadhawan, Anja Thust, Massimo Candelori, Alison Heittman, Rob Heittman, Carl Scott, Dave Fritz, Tiffany Broadbent, UNEP-WCMC, UNCCD, GEF, The Global Mechanism, Solertium