Bagani: Free and Open Source Human Rights Documentation System based on Drupal

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 16:23 -- Rick.Bahague

CP-Union and OpenSource Shoppe has released its second and upgraded human rights violations monitoring tool for human rights defenders last week. We named it Bagani. Bagani is a old Filipino term for heroes. 

Human rights violations in the Philippines is rampant. The previous administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo almost had a policy of wiping out suspected communists, activists and even simple peasants in the countryside. Her administration killed more than a thousand activists, peasants, and patriots seeking genuine change. The current PNOY Administration is not much different. On his first year, extrajudicial killings are still existent. 
 
We have closely worked with human rights defenders to enhance our previous system.  The previous system called Karapatan-Monitor is based on php and mysql.
 
Bagani is based in drupal. We have created a module to provide the functions of the documentation system. We then used panels and Drupal 7 features for the user-friendly interface. It is released under the GPL.
 
In our development of Bagani, we have considered workflows of busy human rights organizations - thus keeping the system simple with only relevant data required on input. Unlike other documentation tools which either requires too many input information (most are not gathered in real documentation work) or too simple that statistics can not be done within the system.
 
If you work in the field human rights documentation, we invite you to visit our demo page, http://bagani.cp-union.com.
 
We will soon package a Drupal distribution for Bagani. Organizations can also ask CPU to host their Bagani instance for their daily use.
 
Drupal Connection
 
Since Drupal 4 version release, I have been following its updates. Volunteering for CP-Union gives me opportunities to use Drupal for various not-for-profit organizations. During our last check, we have 35 not-for-profit organizations using the said content management system for their portals. All of them is either developed and maintained by CP-Union. 
 
Bagani development is also due to our enthusiasm to build a Drupal module for not-for-profit orgs. Thus, since our local git repo commit on Mon Feb 14 04:26:35 2011 +0800 until Thu Sep 22 11:03:12 2011 +0800, we have been learning as we build Bagani, drupal module development. The release of Drupal 7 and its APIs enabled us to deliver a clean interface, secured multi-user system, in a not so different php/mysql development. 
 
Features
 
Bagani follows the Event Methodology similar to Huridocs OpenEvsys. The main difference is in the treatment of perpetrators. In an Event Methodology, perpetrators are tagged to particular violation and victim. In Bagani, we tag perpetrators to a particular incident (Event). 
 
Bagani is able to tag perpertrators to a particular victim when an incident involves a unique victim (not multiple). Thus it still able to conform with the above. 
 
In practice, human rights defenders are able to document perpetrators involvement in an incident. It becomes difficult to pinpoint a very particular perpetrator to a particular victim unless the incident involves only a victim in an incident. 
 
Bagani enables users to record incidents, victims, violations on a particular victim, perpetrators involved in the incident and cases or updates of the incident. It also act as a bulletin system (like Marthus) to compile documents of a particular incident through its case and supporting document features leveraging Drupal's node and cck features.
 
Bagani is for human-rights defenders who needs a tool for daily use to track updates, receive reports and on-time statistics to guide their campaigns and services. 
 
Bagani accommodates users dispersed in various regions or location. On this set-up, users in different location can submit reports for confirmation of headquaters. Thus, using available online security tools (like SSL), Bagani puts a tool for use of human rights defenders whenever and wherever they are. 
 
Drupal Advantage
 
Using drupal as Bagani's base, enables non-profits to do the following:
customize Bagani's look and feel through the usual drupal themeing, panels and context modules
multiple user management with different roles assigned
responsive design using omega theme like we did on this post.
security through drupal security team updates
We hope that with Bagani, CP-Union is able to help human rights defenders in their tasks. 
 
OpenSourceShoppe has partnered with CP-Union to design and implement Bagani.