Introducing the Next-Generation Repository for UNESCWA

March 26, 2024
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In mid-February, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) launched its “ESCWA Knowledge Repository”, marking a significant milestone in the organization's digital initiatives. Developed by Atmire, this innovative repository is designed to facilitate the long-term preservation, organization, and dissemination of open digital knowledge products published by ESCWA. Let's delve into the details of this expansive project below:

Introduction to the new ESCWA Knowledge Repository

The ESCWA Knowledge Repository acts as a central platform, offering easy and better access to ESCWA's extensive collection of knowledge products, available both in Arabic and English and provided in full-text as open access. The repository is organized systematically, reflecting ESCWA's areas of focus, making it easier for users to find what they need. It also supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by providing targeted access to policy recommendations related to the SDGs and other development topics of importance to Member States, which helps in informed decision-making. Additionally, it provides detailed metrics on the usage and, allows stakeholders to measure their effectiveness. Furthermore, it facilitates the sharing of ESCWA's knowledge with other repositories worldwide, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing across various sectors, and boosting the visibility and impact of ESCWA's research at the local and global levels.

Scope and Description of the project

The main tasks undertaken in this ambitious project were diverse and intricate, each contributing to the overarching goal of establishing a repository for ESCWA.

Implementation of Digital repository based on DSpace 7

This involved setting up and configuring the DSpace 7 platform. The implementation process included customizing the platform to meet the specific requirements of ESCWA, ensuring optimal performance and scalability. The platform is presented through a visually attractive and user-friendly interface, crafted to enhance user experience and engagement.

Arabic support on multiple levels

Ensuring multilingual support, with a specific focus on Arabic language, was crucial for accommodating the diverse linguistic needs of ESCWA's audience. This involved extensive localization efforts, including translating user interfaces, metadata, and content, as well as implementing features such as Right-to-Left alignment and a language-switching option.

Data migration from the United Nations Digital Library to DSpace

Transferring data from the United Nations Digital Library to the new DSpace repository required careful planning and execution to preserve metadata, digital assets, and associated information. This migration process involved mapping data structures and formats to ensure seamless integration with the new repository.

Audio and Video Streaming

As the ESCWA repository includes multimedia material (audio & video), it was important to implement audio and video streaming capabilities allowing users to access multimedia content directly from the repository. This feature enhances the repository's versatility and offers a richer user experience.

UNBIS & SDG Taxonomy Record Sync Support with DSpace

Integrating UNBIS Taxonomy Record Sync Support and SDG Taxonomy Record Sync Support with DSpace involved aligning the repository's metadata schema with the UNBIS thesaurus and the Sustainable Development Goals taxonomy.

Conclusion

The project has brought about the creation of a state-of-the-art repository that is set to significantly enhance the reach of ESCWA's vast knowledge resources. At Atmire, we're delighted with the outcome and we thank the excellent collaboration with UNESCWA’s team.

Check out the repository at https://repository.unescwa.org

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