This project page documents a project currently in progress.
The Africa Centre and CC South Africa has submitted a project proposal to Creative Commons, which have been supported. The project proposal contributes to the program of activities Activate Africa. Activate Africa is a pan-African collaboration between WikiAfrica and CC Africa (not simply a CC South Africa Project). The project aims to leverage the intertwined, already active work being done by WikiAfrica, Wikimedia Chapters and the Creative Commons Affiliates across Africa to increase the footprint of Creative Commons and to ensure greater traction of the licences across the continent.
The project is working in collaboration with WikiAfrica and other experts in OA across the continent to help build sustainable bridges and to open the door for further collaboration and building amongst the current players in OA in Africa.
Activate Africa (Open Movement toolkits, Open Movement Training, and the Kumusha Bus)
Activate Africa is a timeous three-tiered intervention: Open Movement toolkits, Open Movement Training, and the Kumusha Bus (an African adaptation of the Libre Bus). The project will create comprehensive multi-media tools, and activate and support strong and pro-active open individuals across Africa who will, in turn, galvanize communities across Africa via engaging, participatory events. The project’s actions will fully develop a pan-African CC community by:
- Creating locally relevant toolkits to teach from,
- Building a team of niche-educated, multiply-skilled Open Advocates, and
- Leveraging on the team of Advocates to create a sustainable active community through outreach activities.
- Localized Open Movement Toolkits (August-September 2012). Creation of a comprehensive Open Movement Toolkits that are localised to the African market. The Toolkits are aimed to assist many areas of the Open Movement, by widening the net of participants this allows for more traction and investment in Africa of Creative Commons licensing.
- Skilled and effective Open Advocates (1st September-30th October 2012). Up to 20 successful Open Movement advocates trained in CC, Wikipedia (GLAM), Open Data, Open Journalism, OER, community building, project management, communications/marketing, social media, fundraising, and crowd funding, etc.
- Kumusha Bus - An African Adaptations of Libre Bus. (March/April 2014). Leveraging off the successful completion of the training program we invite the OA Class of 2013 to apply for a visit from the Kumusha Bus. The top 4 country regions will be selected for bus stops. A stop from the Kumusha Bus will include:
- 7 days per country
- up to 10 bus stops per country, stops to include but not limited to: localized photo bombing, OER, Wikipedia edit-a-thon, localized citizen journalism (video, sound bytes).
Following the Kumusha Bus stop we will host a contest for the most innovative community development teams Kumush Bus stop to attend the next CC global summit to present their inspiring activation to the greater CC community.
Contribution of the project to CC's Mission & Vision
- It creates sustained community building and support.
- It builds on existing OA networks including currently active CC teams across Africa skills and knowledge;
- It creates Open Advocates in regions not yet activated.
- It creates multi-media toolkits to activate individuals, potential adoptees of cc licensing and allows for localized benefits and adoption. These multi-media toolkits will be produced both digitally and physically to allow for ease of sharing across the continent.
- It leverages currently aligned communities like Wikipedia, OER, Open Data, Open Journalists to work together towards a common goal.
Target and benefits for the community
Due to the three tiered approach of the project there are multiple target audiences:
- Current OA advocates who are wanting to explore a deeper layer of understanding around the connectedness and implications of the larger Open Movement.
- Provides OA advocates the tools and skills to expand their knowledge and their community within their country region
- Provides remote professionals who are currently on the fringes of the movement (journalist, lawyers, creatives, GLAM professionals and educators) who have an interest but have not yet been given the opportunity to explore the rich and diverse CC world. This project allows those who would use CC licencing freely but do not yet have the tools or knowledge to do so.
- The Kumusha Bus is aimed at educating potential future users about the benefits of Creative Commons.
Number of participants and sustainable involvement
- Open Movement Toolkits: The toolkits will be designed for distribution across Africa. They will be tailored to specifically, in terms of language & localizations, reach the participants of the Open Movement Advocate training but the intent is for the toolkits to be capable of reaching a wide cross-cultural base. An effort will be made to ensure neutrality while maintaining an African focus. While the number of participants for an African based toolkit is difficult to quantify, although they are specifically intended to be used by current CC Affiliates across Africa and the 20 Open Movement Advocates in-training during phase II –the continued activation of their local community. However, as the project aims to make the toolkits readily available online and potentially in various languages, there is no limit to the number of peoples who will be informed and affected by the material.
- Open Movement Advocates Training: There will be no less than 20 participants in the Open Movement training. We have spec for three participants to learn in person, (2 from Malawi and Ethiopia, and 1 from South Africa) but have capacity for up to 17 virtual students. Great care will be taken to ensure that the virtual students will have the same attention and guidance available to the in-person participants. We intend for there to be a physical space for virtual participants to attend twice a week for the duration of the course in order for delegates to work together as a country team and help to solidify the community.
- Kumusha Bus: The Kumusha Bus is the reward for the successful completion of Open Movement Advocate Training, and the first galvanising action of either a newly active or reinvigorated community. The country groups who submit the most effective and spirited plan will be chosen for a Kumusha Bus Stop. It is hoped that once additional funding is acquired, all participant countries will become stops on the Kumusha Bus tour. The challenge to the Advocates will be to use their new training in community building and fundraising to secure the additional funds required for the Kumusha Bus Stop. It is also difficult to quantify the number of participants in the Kumusha Bus stops without outlining a complete schedule (or bus stop) but a very rough estimate would be to include the Open Movement Advocate Team members (roughly 5 per country) plus the activated community members (roughly 15-20 interested professionals) and then a guesstimate of 50-100 people influenced by each local Kumusha Bus visit, leads to an extremely loose estimate of +/- 3000 people influenced by short activations (instagram Wiki walks, videos, open journalism sessions etc). It is anticipated that by having the local communities host the Kumusha Bus Stops local pride and ownership of the process is instilled, thus allowing for stronger commitment to the project.
|Ensuring correct advocates are chosen.
||A call that goes beyond the Creative Commons network and leverages aligned movement will precede a careful vetting process to ensure that Activate Africa participants have the required base knowledge, attitude and time to participate fully.
|On-line participants with time and attention constraints.
||Form partnerships with current pan-African cultural organisations, i.e. Alliance Francaise, British Council, Arts Collaboratory, etc. to establish an accessible regular space for participants to use for weekly meetings.
|Additional funding/ sponsorship for the Kumusha Bus (project funding to basic hire and fuel costs).
||The course attendees will begin raising funds for the Kumusha Bus tour as part of their course work on the Open Movement course in October. The delegates will be required to approach local industry to give adequate support to the community to cover the costs of the 7 days Kumusha Bus Tour in their country region that are not covered by the CC grant.
Each segment of the project will require thorough evaluation (and in some cases pre-evaluation).
- All online toolkits and materials will be monitored via analytics to assess their usage and impact. Once in the field, course attendees will give 6 month feedback on the effectiveness of the toolkits.
- All course attendees will do a mid-course and end-course evaluation.
- Once back in the field there will be a 6-month follow up impact assessment and a 12-month impact assessment on the course attendee and their community.
- Each community that will be the recipient of the Kumusha Bus will have a pre-evaluation to indicate levels of digital participation and information that is relevant online to the communities. Once the Kumusha Bus has passed through there will be a post-event assessment of impact and follow up to assess the ongoing impact of additional digital coverage and CC licencing on the community.
WikiAfrica has secured funds to train Wikipedians in Residence in 4 countries. This project is designed to expand the depth of knowledge beyond the scope of Wikipedia to to include CC licences and other Open Advocacy projects such as OER, Open Data, Open Journalism. This would truly create an Activated Open Community across the continent.
The project has been intentionally designed to be modular. Each element is scalable and flexible enough to be adopted and adapted by communities across Africa, and beyond. Specifically:
- All toolkits developed will be designed to ensure easy access, translation, and redistribution.
- The training course is going to be held both online and face-to-face to allow for many different levels of engagement, participation and activation. Once designed the course could be held annually or offered by local chapters to expand, extend or up-skill their local communities.
- The Kumusha Bus concept is designed to be adapted to local conditions and, funding dependent, is expected to become a locally-organised outreach programme, held either regionally or provincially.
In 2009, Eric Schmidt, now CEO of Google said: “We have an opportunity for everyone in the world to have access to all the world's information. This has never before been possible. Why is ubiquitous information so profound? It's a tremendous equaliser. Information is power.”
Information is power, but today, in Africa, the information available on the internet about this continent is entirely lacking, with the bare minimum of topics being thinly covered. The layers of information that exist about place and history create context around modern understanding. Nowadays, just having access to Google alters our perception of our offline environment. In the Global North, this layering is rich and fertile and constantly evolving and consistently being reinforced.
In Africa, this rich geography of information doesn’t yet exist. And not because there isn’t the richness of knowledge, history or place, but, for a number of reasons, because there is little culture of contribution to the Internet.
[Graph by the Oxford Internet Institute]
This graph visualises the amount of user-generated content indexed by Google in 2009 in a sample of 250,000 points around the world. Africa is represented by that little patch to the right of the USA, and below Europe.
Obviously, the problem with this lack of content about Africa is that for those who are being ‘switched’ on across the continent, there is no content that reflects their reality; no intertwined context, clues, impressions, facts, to shape our understanding of place, and ourselves within that place. And very little to licence.
However, as we know, increasingly, it is neither the elite nor the wealthy that are connecting, and requiring information in Africa. The 2012 New Wave report states that in South Africa, 12,3m adults over the age of 15 use the Internet – one in three of the population (doubling over the last four years). In Kenya, this number is 26%, Ghana it is 13%, Botswana 19% - and growing. Increasingly too, the internet is mobile – with 71% of all internet users in South Africa accessing it via their mobiles. The top five reasons for first using the Internet are to:
- get information
- look for a job
Information is the top demand. But what information are they getting? And what does this mean for Creative Commons?
From the work that WikiAfrica does in Africa it is entirely evident that the CC wave has not yet hit the consciousness of the people who are using and creating, mixing and mashing it up across the continent. While many would agree with the ideals behind and share the goals of Creative Commons many have not yet heard of CC licencing as an option. WikiAfrica has found that many institutions are still battling to come to grips with copyright, whereas most individuals by-pass the legalities entirely - because they can, and they have to. Those that are keen to stick to the rules - or feel they must - are still fed a whole host of misinformation about what Creative Commons means for a creative professional. There are little to no tools that speak to the creatives - professional or burgeoning - on the ground; and none that speak their language. Nothing that can either tell them how adopting CC benefits them, or how they can get involved to encourage their industry to adopt this system for acknowledging creation and sharing content.
This project has the ability to activate and sustain communities across Africa. It creates the tools that gives CC and Open Movement aligned activists the ability to convince newcomers, industries and individuals and thus widen their community. It allows for pan-African networking and local adaptation. It enables multi-skilled individuals to activate communities across genres. It allows for the local communities to become stronger as, dispersed amongst several interests but joined by the ethos of the Open Movement, each can offer non-threatening support to colleagues.
It allows the pool of Creative Commons-inspired individuals to broaden into Education, Journalism, the Sciences, Heritage, Research, Data streams, Knowledge (both contemporary and indigenous) and beyond. It leverages and extends the scope of the excellent work currently being done by activists across Africa working in IT, on Wikipedia, in OER, etc.. It takes these individuals and makes them part of a greater community - a wider CC-activated African community.