Center for Global Development

An indispensable evidence-based analysis hub for experts in Multilateral Development Banks

The MDB Reform Accelerator is an initiative of the Center for Global Development (CGD) in partnership with a global network of organizations who aim to mobilize evidence-based analysis and strategic outreach to ensure that MDB (Multilateral Development Bank) reform results in significant and meaningful outcomes. CGD reached out to us to transform their website into a platform that presents cutting-edge, strategic, and evidence-based analysis, positioning it as the global reference repository on the subject.

The first challenge was to create a new, attractive, and innovative design that conveys a sense of continuous updating while maintaining the academic rigor expected from think tanks.  And also, needed to showcase the idea of motion and progress. In response, we devised a visual path that combines elements of editorial and news design with minimalist and serious touches. The user interface predominantly employs black and white, using vivid colors to differentiate content types and guide users. We used blue as the base color, with red, green, and violet as complementary colors. The style is functional, allowing for clean screens when users need to focus on content and more crowded layouts for lists or cover pages.

The second challenge was to consolidate a user experience for stakeholders well-versed in the subject matter. We aimed for a simple content map that makes it easy to quickly locate constantly updated content. We introduced the “Insights” section and categorized content based on its source: “Research and Analysis” for think tank reports, “In the News” for weekly news summaries, and “From the MDBs” for official documentation. To keep users on the site, we generated a navigation block at the bottom of the page called “More insights” that invites them to visit other content pages.

The original MDB Reform Accelerator site featured a section of relevant news round-ups on the subject. To present it in an organized manner and allow users to get an overview of the news landscape, we created a page organized by weeks in a dropdown menu. Clicking on each one reveals relevant press articles with title, excerpt, the medium in which it was published, and a link to read it in the original source, one per block. By default, the most recent week is displayed.

Simplifying the work of the MDB Reform Accelerator team was also an objective in the web redesign. In addition to creating simplified custom post types and proposing a new taxonomy system, the site was programmed so that only the homepage hero needs to be loaded manually, allowing it to be adapted to communication or advocacy goals at any given time. The rest of the featured blocks are updated automatically with the latest content loaded in the backend, saving the team time while also meeting the client’s mandate for a dynamic website.

The project was completed in less than three months, from the immersion and research process to deployment. As a complement, we designed, programmed, and created the first edition of the MDB Reform Accelerator newsletter, a regular roundup of the latest research and events related to multilateral development bank reform.

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