Renaming Terms in DevResults

New DevResults users often ask about renaming terms on their DevResults platform. This article is a complete guide to what you can and can't change, and why. 

Configuration vs. Customization

DevResults is fully configurable. This means that 100% of the content of the platform is defined by users: your activities, frameworks, indicators, disaggregations, geographic places, reporting periods and cycles, tags, sectors, users, user permissions groups (both the group names and their permissions settings), and organizations. The configurable content includes the status options and funding mechanisms for your activities (under the Administration menu), plus narrative questions to be filled out each reporting period. You can also choose which features of DevResults are turned on or off, and brand your site using your name and logo. 

DevResults is not fully customizable. Customizing software means making a copy of the code and changing certain parts. This is not how DevResults works: there is only one version of the DevResults software for all users, so any change we make to the platform affects all users. What happens if an organization wants to change something in the structure of DevResults, like the terms used in menus, rather than the content, like their own list of indicators?

Renaming terms

Because DevResults is used in a variety of contexts and settings, we try to use generic terminology whenever possible. For instance, we decided to refer to activities as 'activities', mostly because that's how the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) refers to them. But many organizations requested that we rename 'activities' to use their internal terminology -- such as projects, programs, awards, or grants. Instead of customizing the software by making a copy that uses a different term, we turned 'activity' into a configurable term. 

Currently, we support renaming for the following terms:

  • Activities
  • Locations
  • Awarding organizations
  • Partner organizations
  • Organizations
  • Indicator result comments
  • Sectors
  • Mechanisms
  • Activity description fields:
    • Context
    • Objectives
    • Summary
    • Expected Results
    • Beneficiary Description
    • Deliverables & Reporting

Terms can include spaces and some punctuation such as dashes, underscores and vertical bars, but cannot include ampersands (&), slashes (\ or /), asterisks (*), or question marks (?).

Renaming parts of DevResults offers continuity with your organization's existing terminology, but it comes with drawbacks. These terms can only be renamed on your site, not in our Knowledge Base, Helpdesk, Release Notes, or webinars. Organizations must weigh the cost of introducing friction between their platform and support materials versus the benefit of keeping their existing terms. 

Please contact if you'd like to rename one of these terms on your site, or if you'd like to suggest that we make other terms configurable. If you have other ideas to make DevResults more flexible to suit your needs or others', we'd love to hear about that as well. Check out our article about feature suggestions for more info.  

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