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Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is one of the world's leading medical relief organizations. They run medical projects in close to 70 countries worldwide and have national offices in 21 countries.

We get results!


We tackle the most complex digital challenges for North America’s top enterprises. Every day, our teams are challenged to break new ground and deliver cutting edge experiences. Boring is not in our vocabulary.


Our project teams work in cohesive units called PODs. This means that you work with the same team on each project, enabling efficient collaboration as you learn and grow together.


We are obsessed with learning. Our team members have the opportunity to learn all aspects of their team’s work. Each member is able to contribute in various ways while they discover their passion.

How we did it

The Challenge

After realizing that this was too much of a burden on the Geneva IT team, MSF decided to decentralize the management of web resources and reallocate the responsibilities to the individual Country offices. 

The Canadian office opted to adapt the website and codebase developed by the UK office and needed to find a developer with demonstrated Drupal expertise as well as experience creating websites tailored for the Canadian market to guide them through the adaptation of the website to meet the Canadian offices' needs.

Médicins Sans Frontières UK’s digital team is a leader in the movement for the organization's web development. In recent months, MSF UK had developed a new website using their in-house expertise as well as a new website vendor.

However, their counterpart in Canada had yet to follow suit with the Canadian website, which was quickly becoming outdated. MSF Canada wanted a web presence that mirrored their innovative counterpart, but with the capability to modify it to their personal needs. 

MSF Canada had two major requirements in creating their new website. The website needed to be fully bilingual and had to meet the accessibility standards set out by the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Also, an Acquia hosting solution and service level agreement for website uptime and maintenance had to be established.

Goals to achieve: 

  • Enable multi-language support for English and French on all web pages.
  • In compliance with the Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the website must meet WCAG 2.0 level AA standards for accessibility.
  • Migrate content from the current Drupal 7 based website (msf.ca) to the new Drupal 7 based website (including webforms and taxonomies).
  • Develop 2 to 3 content types for overview pages for MSF’s Dispatches Magazine content and an overview page for employee profiles on the MSF Canada page.
  • Establish an Acquia hosting solution and Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the new website.
  • Maintain the bridge to directly important content from the MSF media database at media.msf.org. 

Test drive Drupal today!

Drupal has great standard features, like easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security. But what sets it apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles. Its tools help you build the versatile, structured content that dynamic web experiences need. After a few clicks, you can access a full Drupal installation!

The Solution

OPIN collaborated extensively with MSF and built a decoupled Drupal 7 and Vue.js website that serves three (3) main purposes; Help the Cause (Donations), Join the Movement (Work Overseas), and Stay Connected (Essential Email Updates). 

Before starting the project, the OPIN team had to migrate the Drupal 6 website to Drupal 7. Additionally, the team had to integrate multilingual capabilities and perform a front-end audit in order to ensure the project WCAG AA compliant.

Before migration, MSF Canada performed a clean-up action on the existing content and the data that had existed on the www.msf.ca website. The required content for the website was presented to OPIN as a migration map.

Médecins Sans Frontières Website on Multiple Apple Devices.


The OPIN team regularly met with us to learn about our needs and even facilitated meetings with Drupal web hosting service provider, Acquia, enabling us to build a relationship with them as well.

Wayne Leung

Digital Communications Officer, Médecins Sans Frontières

The Results

The migration of the existing content had been done in an automated way by using export and import scripts, with occasional and manual migration techniques.

In the development of the new MSF Canada site, OPIN had successfully audited the UK website code base to prepare for the build, implemented bilingual/translation capabilities within the website and met Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act website mandates as well as WCAG 2.0 level AA standards.

By following responsive theming best practices, a single solution that can accommodate devices of any size, resolution, orientation, or capability level was created.

This fully responsive solution will identify each users’ device, and configure itself to best express its design, layout, a hierarchy of content, navigation, and functionality, given that device’s capabilities.

Responsive theming will ensure Médecins Sans Frontières solution will be experienced & engaged with as intended by all of their users.

Talk with an expert!

To learn more or to discuss your next project; send us an email and talk to an expert!


135 Laurier Ave. West, Suite 100
Ottawa, ON K1P 5J2
TEL: 1 (877) 257-6746

Saratoga Springs

153 Regent Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
TEL: 1 (877) 257-6746