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Table of contents

Executive Summary …………………………………………………………… 4

Background and Main Objective…………………………………………… 4
Specific Objectives…………………………………………………………… 4
Project Deliverables …………..………………………………………………… 5
Methodology ………………………………………………………………………5

Deliverable I: Project Charter Document ………………….. ………………6

Phase 1- Inception ……………………………………………………... 6-8

Deliverable II: Development of CaFAN Portal………………….. … ………9

Activity 1- Stakeholder Consultation ………………………………... 9

Activity 2- Development of Web Portal Prototype…………………... 11

Activity 3- Registration of Domain and Hosting ……………………... 12

Activity 4- Development of Web portal ……………………………... 13

Activity 5- Implementation & Testing………………………………... 14

Activity 6- Web Monitoring …………………………………………... 15

Project Opportunities ………………………………………..……………… 16

Challenges Ahead …………………………………………………………… 16

Appendix 1: Web Content Plan ……………………………………… 18
Appendix 2: Joomla! Content Management System (CMS)………...25
Appendix 3: Recommendations from the Consultation……………….27

Executive Summary

The objective of this report is to give an outline of the CaFAN Web Portal
Development Project from its inception to its completion based on the
requirements outlined by the CaFAN Secretariat.

The outcome of the Project is a Web Portal which is a fully functional, flexible and
scaleable working application

Background & MAIN Objective

The Caribbean Farmers Support project is an initiative of the Caribbean Farmers

Network (CaFAN) through the support of the Technical Centre of Agriculture and
Rural Development Organization (CTA).

The project is being implemented by the CaFAN secretariat , Housed in ECTAD

which is based in St. Vincent & the Grenadines to utilize Information and
Communication Technologies in information dissemination and to facilitate

CaFAN requires a dynamic website designed, developed, implemented and,

managed to support its programme and associated activities.

The major objectives of the CaFAN Web Portal are to provide Information and
agricultural resources for the Caribbean Farmers Network, (CaFAN).

• This site will also provide access to basic information for;

• General public & Small Farm Families
• Farmers Organizations
• Donor Agencies
• Other Stakeholders

CaFAN contracted Topnotch Solutions to Prepare, implement and manage the

Design and Development a Web Portal to facilitate the above.

Specific Project Objectives

The major objectives of the consultancy are detailed below:
• To serve as a virtual education resource for farmers, farmers organizations and
other stakeholders.
• To educate the general public, and end users about the farming in the
Caribbean and provide technical resources.
• To provide an online forum for networking of farmers organizations in the
Caribbean and farmers.
• To provide a resource to link producers with suppliers.

Project Deliverables
To achieve the Specific Project objectives in the short term the implementation
will consist of the following deliverables:

Deliverable I: Project Charter Document

i. Team Selection
ii. Inception Meetings
iii. Work plan preparation
iv. Finalization of the Web Content Plan & Project Schedule (Project
Charter Document)

Deliverable II: Development of CaFan Portal

i. Stakeholder Consultation
ii. Finalization of the Content Plan and Site Plan
iii. Development CaFan Web Portal Prototype Template
iv. Registration of Domain and Webhosting
v. Development of Web Portal
vi. CaFan Web Portal Testing

The approach to this assignment will include the following key components:

The development of an interactive website will provide an opportunity for CaFAN
to show tangible and immediate benefits in the short term. The website will allow
CaFAN to Increase participation and to provide information and agricultural
resources for the Caribbean Farmers Network.


This involved the assembly of the team, holding inception meetings with the
Secretariat Staff and Chief Coordinator of CAFAN and preparation of the Project
Charter based on the TOR received. This phase commenced in November 2006
and ended on January 2007.

There were several inception meetings held with the secretariat staff and Chief
Coordinator to evaluate their needs with regards to the desired outcomes of the
Webportal. These consultations involved qualitative and quantitative
interviews/discussions with CaFAN and its stakeholders. The process was highly

The outcome of this consultation helped in the preparation of the work plan and
delivering the Project Charter document in the form of a Content Plan, a Project
Plan and Schedule. (See Annex 1 and 2 for detailed breakdown of the
Content Plan and Joomla! Content Management System.)
Below were some of the features highlighted in the Project and Content Plan.

Web Content and Features Overview

The website will be built on a web browser based Open Source Content
Management System (CMS), Joomla! which will allow for the management of the
content via any PC with a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Firefox) which is
connected to the Internet. The Joomla! CMS will allow a non-technical user to
maintain a complex database-driven website.

The website will benefit from the inclusion of the following dynamic functionality:

• All content as described in the Content Inventory section of the Content

• User Comments – User comments on articles/pages found on the
website will be possible. These comments will be vetted by a moderator
before they are made public, deleted or simply used by CAFAN for internal
purposes. When activated a user will see the option to submit a comment
at the end of the article. The user will also be able to see comments made
by past users.
• Calendar of Events: An events calendar with the ability to display events
in a number of views (e.g. day, week, category etc). Registered users of
the website will be able to submit events for approval by CaFAN admin.
• Resource Library – This is a searchable document/file repository which
can be used to provide access to a categorised assortment of
downloadable files (in various formats, e.g. PDF, DOC, XLS, PPT etc.). It
can be used for brochures, fact sheets, speeches, forms, presentations
etc. Statistics on the number of hits for each file are also provided.
• HTML Newsletter Signup: This will allow CaFAN to send attractive html
(email) newsletters to persons who opt to subscribe. Users will also have
the option of reviewing past publications on the website. CaFAN will have
the capacity to maintain multiple newsletters (e.g. newsletters targeted to
various target groups) which each user can selective subscribe to. Among
the many features that the newsletter will have is Statistics management
(Number of Sent / Opened newsletters, HTML or text only)
• Moderated Public Forums
• Website Polls – This feature will allow CaFAN to post polls on the
website to solicit feedback from site visitors.
• Informative Module Boxes to draw attention to various content items
throughout the site.
• Examples are Upcoming events, Scrolling Latest News, Most popular
pages, What’s new, Popular Downloads, Featured Organization, Random
• Organization Online Directory with features which include customizable
organizational profiles including provision for logos, full contact info,
description, recommend to a friend, contact owner/member form, search
directory, and the ability to highlight featured organizations and randomly
selected organizations.
• Email Login For CaFAN Members
• Full site search facility
• Dynamic Site Map – This provides another means by which website
users can find what they want. The site map is generated automatically
and would not require any updating by the website content manager.
• Email to a friend – To help drive site traffic by giving website users the
ability to email a link to the current page to friends, family and associates.
• Printer friendly version of Pages

• User rating of pages. This will help CAFAN to assess the effectiveness of
the information from the users’ perspective.
• Related Pages – This is the ability to generate a list of links to related
pages in the website at the bottom of any page. The links are generated
based on similar keywords associated between pages.
• Scheduled content publishing which would allow the content manager to
set dates for pages to automatically appear and disappear.
• Restricted Access Pages – All pages on the website can be set to public
or registered users’ access. This means that CaFAN will have the option
of restricting viewing of some pages to registered users of the site.

The Content and Web Plan obtained approval by the CaFAN Secretariat and
suggestions for the stakeholder consultation were discussed for the next phase.


Activity 1: Stakeholder Consultation

This approach involves a consultative approach with CaFAN and its stakeholders
aimed at establishing the “Brand Value” of CaFAN which is just as important as
the technical requirements of the Website. Also buy in from all stakeholders
would need to be achieved as they would have been an important part of the
development process.

The content plan was circulated to the CaFAN membership for input. A Training
Workshop on Management for Farmer Associations was held in Barbados from
the 22nd January – 1st February 2007

During the workshop there was a presentation made by the Director & Program
Advisor, Mrs. Claudette De Freitas on Information & Communication
Management to raise the awareness of the Stakeholders on the different
elements of Communication and Information Management. She was able to give
an overview of Websites highlighting the advantages and disadvantages as well
as the sort of information that should be placed on the site according to the
organizations priority themes.

Another presentation was delivered by Professor Stewart Marshall of the

University of West Indies, Distance Learning Centre on the “Use of ICT to
strengthen farmer’s organizations and improve farmers’ productivity. This
presentation covered the impact of ICT in society and the use of ICT in
increasing access to communication and information, hence bridging the digital

Professor Marshall discussed the role of ICT in reducing costs for communication
through the use of Voice over Internet Protocol from free softwares such as
Skype. He also covered the new initiatives in the reduction of the cost of
hardware, through Nicholas Negreponte’s One Laptop Per Child Project costing
only US $100. Professor Marshall then touched on how the web is an instrument
for collaboration due to the convergence of different technologies all on one open
platform. Critical to his presentation was the use of open source Software,
Software that is available for free and also built on an open code to allow others
to modify it. Open Source software makes access to technologies affordable,
especially in developing countries.

He covered the open source software’s available for Programming such as Linux
and PHP, Web tools, e.g., Firefox web browser which is safer than using Internet
explorer, he also mentioned that for Web development, Social Content
Management Systems such as Blogs and Wikis to facilitate collaborative and
community strategic information systems.

He was able to impart the idea of having a web portal and how it would link to the
end user, which is central to the development of a strategic information system,
linking multiple stakeholders, having both an internal and external focus. (See
Diagram 1)

Professor Marshall discussed the various types of Open source content

management systems that would be suitable for Farmer’s Organisations. Which
were specifically the Joomla! and Drupal, Content Management Systems. These
Information systems are designed for community environments and
accommodate a democratic and decentralised approach to controlling
information flow. They facilitate the ability of information owners to publish the
information to the web by themselves.

After the conclusion of these presentations, participants were encouraged from

during the working group sessions to review the Web and Content Plan and
make recommendations that would inform the process of developing the website.
(See Annex 3 for Recommendations from the Stakeholder Consultative
Web Development Process.)

Activity 2: Development of Web Portal Prototype

Based on the recommendations from the stakeholder consultation, a site-

map/structure for the Portal and Database was finalized and work commenced
on the Design of the Web Portal Prototype in February.

This involved interaction with the CaFAN Secretariat with regards to graphics,
colour schemes and pictures.

There were some delays in this process due to external factors beyond the
control of the consultant and the CaFAN secretariat. These factors were due to
the delay in the completion of the CaFAN logo by the contracted design firm.
Another major factor was in the delay of the disbursement for the project.

On the receipt of the CaFAN logo,work commenced on the design of the web
portal prototypes. Two prototypes were developed and submitted to the CaFAN
Secretariat and Directorate for selection and approval.

The layout of the textual and graphical content was design to be attractive but
simple and the web pages aimed to strive for an uncluttered look. The design
was constructed so that primary users will be able to grab the key elements at a
few glances. The templates incorporate a flash animation which highlighted the
different member countries and farming activities, with graphics provided by

Prototype Layout Template 1:

Prototype Layout Template 2:

The CaFAN Secretariat and Directorate selected the second Prototype Layout
Template with some input given on slight adjustments.

Activity 3: Registration of Domain and Web hosting

The domain name and was

registered for one (1) year. The domain name was parked and
reserved in the event that the domain would become available.

Along with the domain name, 1000 email accounts using the domain could be set
up to facilitate the exchange of date amongst CaFAN membership along with 5
Deluxe email accounts with 1GB each for Admin mail.

A two (2) year hosting plan with 100gb Space hosted on a Linux server (An Open
Source platform) was selected to facilitate the massive multiple content database
driven system with 25 MySQL databases housing the content for the front end of
the website.

The plan also includes unlimited Email Forwards, Hosting for Forums, Blogging,
Photo Galleries and Community hosting for Wikis, Online Stores.

Considerations were given to allow for speed of access to information in the

selection of the bandwidth available (1000GB Transfer) for the site.

This process was completed by June 1st, 2007.

Activity 4: Development of Web Portal

This involves the actual programming on the back end of the website.
The site navigation was designed from the viewpoint of the visitors. It was
programmed to be clear and easy to follow, and make the most important
information a maximum of two clicks away.

The main navigation was programmed to be a horizontal navigation, featuring

drop down menus to facilitate easy navigation. Additionally:
i.) a bread crumb path navigation was used on each page to
indicate to the user, the path to their current location;
ii.) Each page was programmed to have a sub menu navigation
which identifies the immediate sub pages/sections of the current

Activity 5: Implementation & Testing

On completion of the programming the following site was made visible on the which is the front end.

Consultations were held with the CaFAN Secretariat to ensure that the basic
functionality was in line with the requirements set out for the CaFAN portal.
Changes were made with programming functionalities on the backend to facilitate
content management.

Implementation and Testing of the site was successful and was completed and
approved by the CaFAN Secretariat by June the 25th 2007.

Activity 6: Website Monitoring

This involves website project management and monitoring which is an ongoing

process. Content will be gathered by CaFAN and uploaded on to the website. As
content is uploaded, further modifications could be requested and made by the
CaFAN secretariat and Membership.

This sets the tone for the second phase of the project which would involve the
delivery of training to the CaFAN Secretariat on the use of the Content
Management System (CMS) to facilitate upload of information at any time without

It will also involve E-Marketing of the interactive CaFAN Portal. The maintenance
schedule also includes the registering of the site with the main search engines
and configuring the keywords for Search Engine Optimization and other online

Project Opportunities
As the project deliverables have been met, CaFAN is now provided with exciting
opportunities and meaningful challenges.

These project opportunities include;

i. An interactive website infrastructure and environment that can be a model for

other agencies in civil society in a similar stage of development;

ii. Identifying CaFAN as a leader in the provision of assistance in the farming &
agriculture sector thus attracting the identified target audience;

iii. Raising CaFAN profile in the local, regional and international community in
dealing with the online delivery of farmer’s product and services;

iv. Using e-Business/e-Governance as a mechanism to transform the delivery of

Farmers services and to provide a catalyst for the growth;

v. Improving operational efficiency and maximizing use of resources so that

CaFAN can deliver traditional services at a reduced cost.

Challenges AHEAD
While it is understood that there are many opportunities for CaFAN, it must be
taken into consideration that for sustainability, the project will have some
challenges. Some of the challenges identified include;

i. Ensuring that content and is delivered to the CaFAN secretariat for

editing to keep the content fresh and updated.
ii. Ensuring the continued alignment with other CaFAN initiatives,
including maintaining policy integration where possible;
iii. Ensuring the continued involvement of relevant stakeholders and
departments and preventing “consultation fatigue”;
iv. Ensuring that the solutions and recommendations presented at the
next stages in the second phase of the project are understood and
embraced by all stakeholders concerned.

Content Plan for
CAFAN (Caribbean Farmers Network)

To provide Information and agricultural resources for the Caribbean Farmers

Network,(CaFAN). This site will also provide access to basic information for End
Users, Farmers, Farmers Organization.


1. To serve as a virtual education resource for farmers, farmers

organizations and other stakeholders.

2. To educate the general public, and end users about the farming in the
Caribbean and provide technical resources.

3. To provide an online forum for networking of farmers organizations in the

Caribbean and farmers.

4. To provide a resource to link producers with suppliers.

Success Measures
To determine whether the content is helping to achieve the website’s purpose,
we’ll gather and evaluate the following data:

• Feedback received through “Contact Us”

• Number of site hits per week
• Number of users posting on the Forum
• Number of individuals accessing various pages
• Periodic surveys of users

1. General public & Small Farm Families

2. Farmers Organizations

3. Donor Agencies

4. Other Stakeholders

• Primary audience: Caribbean (General Public)

• Farm Family Households
Personal characteristics
• Farmers with persons with very little time to spare.
• With relatives who are internet Savvy
Computer expertise Slim to Moderate PC and Internet skills
1. Obtain information on Farming and benefits
2. Find out specific information on Agriculture and Business
Top objectives
Aspects of Agriculture

1. Limited computer knowledge and access.

Top assumptions 2. Limited bandwidth

• Primary audience: Caribbean (Farmers Organizations)

Personal characteristics • Farmers Organizations in the Caribbean
• People who are internet Savvy
Computer expertise Slim to Moderate PC and Internet skills
1. Obtain information on Farming and benefits
Top objectives 2. Find out specific information on Agriculture.
3. Networking
1. Adequate computer knowledge and access.
Top assumptions 2. Access to adequate bandwidth

• Secondary audience: Donor Agencies

Personal characteristics • All Donor Agencies that offer assistance to regional
Computer expertise With Experts that have a high level of PC and Internet skills
1. Utilize the Website for Information about the organization, for
Top objectives monitoring
2. Access to general information
1. Lack of information on Caribbean NGO’s
Top assumptions

• Tertiary audience: Other Stakeholders

Businesses (Suppliers), Financial Institutions, Supermarkets,

Personal characteristics Government Ministries, Regional Organizations and other
Computer expertise Moderate to advanced PC and Internet skills
1. To find out information about the organization and access to
Top objectives
other information.

Site theme and style

Site would have a Flash Header showing the different members countries and
farming activities
Drop down Menu which would facilitate easy facilitation
Site would also involve navigational backend programming.

The site would be visually pleasing, user-friendly easily navigational, and peek
the user’s interest using, spotlighting, and a variety of information.

Content Management
Content would be provided by each member organization and submitted to the
secretariat for uploading to the website server. Content Management would be
done by the secretariat to streamline information on the site. Content
Management is an on-going process.

Content categories
About Us - CAFAN
Email Log In for CAFAN
Site Map
Organization Online
Marketing Opportunities:
• Regional
• International
Financing for Agriculture
Agriculture and Trade
Investment and
New Technologies &
Information of Agriculture
Agriculture Inputs and

Technological Package
Market Preparation and
Post Harvest Handling
Career Opportunities
Other Resources
Contact Us
Taking Action (Advocacy)
Terms and Conditions of
Privacy Policy
Tell a Friend
Book MarkUs

Content inventory
Content Audienc Priority Update Description
e Frequency
Home All H As needed This would contain General
Information about the website
and a welcome introduction
Should have a line banner of
al the Caribbean flags, this
could be a demonstrated in a
flash header
- Would highlight articles and
messages from various
organizations and farmers
(updated as needed)
About Us all H As needed Information about the
Secretariat all H As needed
Log In – 2 H As needed Login access for members
Username/Password email addresses.
Site Map all L As needed List of all site links by
Search all H As needed Search engine for CAFAN
Online Directory all H As needed Would contain contact
information on the various
organizations as well as links
to their web pages or a
webpage created for the
organization as well as local
Marketing Opportunities all H As needed Would have a sub drop down
list for Regional Marketing
Opportunities and
International marketing
Financing for Agriculture all H As needed Would provide financial
resources for agriculture as
well as links for farmers in
Financial Management
Training all H As needed Access to training information,
training opportunities for
farmers, farmers organizations
and members
Agriculture and Trade all H As needed Would provide information on
agriculture and the link to
regional trade and

international trade, statistics
and links to trade organization
Would also provide
information on market access
Investment and Agriculture all H As needed Would provide information on
encouraging local and
international investment in
agriculture and to also provide
information on investment
promotion activities and
resources that facilitate
investment in agriculture.
New Technologies and all H As needed Would provide information on
Agriculture new technologies in
agriculture as well as the use
of information, communication
and technology as a facilitator
for development.
Agriculture Inputs and all H As needed Would provide information on
Technological Package input usage and other tech
pack information for existing,
and potential farmers
Good Agriculture Practices all H As needed Would provide information on
GAP which would include,
market preparation, post
harvest handling practices
Career Opportunities all H As needed List of Jobs, with links and
Submission Page (Form),
which facilitates the upload of
Documents. (pdf, Doc)
Other Resources all H As needed This would contain a link to
suppliers and other
Contact Us all H As needed List contact info for feedback
and questions along with a
contact form
Would have a drop down list
to select options for contacts.
Taking Action
News All H Monthly Links to current news items &
articles for CAFAN and its
members and information
(both internal and external

- The site Newsletter would
also be available online. A
form would be available for
News Archives all M Monthly or Searchable archives of news
as needed stories and tips & tidbits
over a (Document Uploads) or html
period of links
Forum all M As needed Support Group message
Using PHP Script/ would have
Different Topics to facilitate
User/Password Login For all M As needed User/Password login for
Forum support group message board.

Chat All H As needed Page would have a link to

skype and a directory of all
organizations accounts on
Terms and conditions of all L As needed Facilitated by a small link at
Interactive Use of Website the bottom of each page.
Privacy Policy all L As needed Facilitated by a small link at
the bottom of each page.


Joomla! Content Management System

Joomla! is one of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems
on the planet. Joomla! is used all over the world to power everything from simple,
personal homepages to complex corporate web applications. Here are just some
of the ways
people use our software:
_ Corporate websites or portals
_ Online commerce
_ Small business websites
_ Non-profit and organizational websites
_ Government applications
_ Corporate intranets and extranets
_ School and church websites
_ Personal or family homepages
_ Community-based portals
_ Magazines and newspapers
_ the possibilities are limitless…

Joomla! can be used to easily manage every aspect of your website, from adding
content and images to updating a product catalog or taking online reservations.

Joomla! does a great job of managing the content needed to make your website
sing. But for many people, the true power of Joomla! lies in the application
framework that makes it possible for thousands of developers around the world
to create powerful addons and extensions. Here are just some examples of the
hundreds of available extensions:
_ Dynamic form builders
_ Business or organizational directories
_ Document management
_ Image and multimedia galleries
_ E-commerce and shopping cart engines
_ Forums and chat software
_ Calendars
_ Blogging software
_ Directory services
_ Email newsletters
_ Data collection and reporting tools
_ Banner advertising systems
_ Subscription services
_ and many, many more… (See screen shot below of Joomla! Extension

Recommendations from Stakeholder Consultation at the Training Workshop on
Management for Farmer Associations held in Barbados from the 22nd January –
1st February 2007

Small group discussion and exercise

On Public Relations and Information Communication Management

Participants were broken up into groups and they were given group exercises.
One of the exercises given to the groups was to prepare a plan to advise the
Website team what features they would like to be included in the CaFAN
Website, and provide them with a list of some of the key buttons and links for the
home page.

The idea that participants gave for the website were as follows:

• Links to the different Farmers Organisation within CaFAN Membership on

the side of the page

• Discussion boards

• Photo gallery

• General information on CaFAN and its programme activities

• Marketing information, etc