screenshots of CDKN website

“They clearly know Drupal very well so we were in safe hands when it came to the capabilities of the CMS. Duncan and the team went above and beyond to problem-solve unexpected issues with the migration from Wordpress and were professional and personable; we all really enjoyed working with them.”

Emma Baker

Communications Coordinator


Delivering a pragmatic website for a powerful cause


  • High-accessibility: Ensuring information is accessible across devices and to the widest range of users
  • Low bandwidth design: Built with speed in mind, even for users in poor connectivity areas around the globe
  • Multi-lingual: Seamless multi-lingual content and structure serving English and Spanish-speaking audiences


In August 2020, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) sought a website developer to rebuild their entire website from scratch within a swift six-month period. The end client was a partnership of stakeholders led by SouthSouthNorth (SSN) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The website was developed previously in 2010 and up to 2017, and the charity’s requirements have since changed due to the site’s poor performance and a change in marketing objectives. The move onto  Drupal was required due to the robustness of the CMS suiting their new objectives better as well as being a great option for a multilingual site.

The overarching main features to be incorporated by Rohallion for the new design and re-build were for the site to be accessible across different devices, available in Spanish and English, respectful of users with low bandwidth, some content to be downloadable for users who experience power disruption and cuts with the exception of video and not be data hungry. It was also highly important for the website to be accessible to users with a range of physical abilities; primary concerns being text readability for the visually impaired and all non-text content to be presented with text alternatives to convey message or meaning. CDKN wanted to attain at least a level ‘A’ in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).

As an NGO, they have a commitment to best practice for all digital communications, one example of a guiding principle is to be gender-responsive and socially inclusive in terms of editorial content and strive to be unbiased. This was another consideration for the design of the site.

Screenshot of CDKN website
screenshot of CDKN website on a tablet
Screenshot of CDKN website


We delivered a bespoke program for CDKN; starting with a Discovery Workshop, planning sessions and initial Design to thoroughly detail the requirements of the client and their end-users. Then within the Design phase; we prepared Design Concepts including Template Design Implementation and Development Sprints. The final stage of the website build included vast amounts of Testing, Content Migration then final adjustments.

We find that the Discover and Planning Workshop is integral to a strong start for every project. In this session with CDKN we covered business goals and constraints, technical requirements, architectural considerations, a full backlog of features, dependences, timeline for development and potential risks to mitigate.

Ensuring the site would be low-bandwidth for users with poor connection or high data costs needed a two- pronged solution; firstly we had to make sure the assets of the site (HTML, CSS and Javascript) were optimised for size and speed and secondly the site had to support the editorial process and guide the user journey to their target content quickly. The menu architecture, search and design were tailored around this type of user needing light content, fast.

We followed the accessibility principles and embedded best practice into the design and development of this, and of all our projects. Our solution for this unique project adhered to WCAG and ATAG guidelines too.

The objectives of performance, accessibility, low-bandwidth and environmental sustainability are all linked; providing CDKN with a fast website will reduce data transfer, and therefore power consumption across the internet and therefore carbon emissions. This thinking aligns with our values at Rohallion

Technology Used

Drupal logo and wordmark


The new website is well organised with lots of content, easy to navigate and fast to use.

CDKN do not have measurable outcomes yet but the team have provided feedback that they are delighted with the refreshed design, much improved functionality and the layouts showcasing more of the work the NGO are undertaking and therefore the incredible impact they are making.

The site architecture is built upon their cause and campaign primarily, with News, Feature and Resource as categories in the editorial content on the homepage. The menu navigation communicates the important verticals of the NGO to lead quick navigation to help end-users find their answers and find the help they need. The website meets all the objectives set by the client team at CDKN as written earlier in this case study.