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African Climate Change edit-a-thon

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A video produced by The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) about the Wikipedia edit-a-thon on climate change held in Cape Town in August 2019.
Group photograph of the African climate change workshop/edit-a-thon participants in Cape Town, South Africa.

The African Climate Change Edit-a-thon was a three-day workshop focused on introducing climate change researchers from across Africa to the process of editing Wikipedia. The aim is to expand, improve and create articles on Wikipedia related to climate change in Africa. Event participants are drawn from research programmes Future Climate for Africa (FCFA), Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) and Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), amongst others.



The event will be held at the Radisson Blu hotel in Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa from the 6-8 August 2019. An event programme can be seen here.



The event was organised by Wikimedia ZA, the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and Future Climate for Africa (FCFA), two programmes of the South African based climate change NGO SouthSouthNorth (SSN). CDKN is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and Canada's International Development Research Centre. FCFA is funded by The Natural Environment Research Council and UKaid.

Funding from the above donors provided travel and accommodation for attendees, as well as covered venue costs. Wikimedia ZA provided volunteer veteran Wikipedia editors with experience in running such workshops. Wikimedia ZA volunteers run the training and coach climate change experts in the process and culture of editing Wikipedia, they also provide encouragement to participants.


Day one of the African climate change workshop in Cape Town, South Africa. Presentation on the process of the event.
Day two of the African climate change workshop in Cape Town, South Africa. Group discussion on principles of the edit-a-thon/workshop.

The event programme was developed by FCFA and CDKN programme teams with consultation provided by Wikimedia ZA. FCFA and CDKN communicated with event participants to create their own usernames before the event to simplify training. Participants have been asked to review articles on Wikipedia that most interest them and conduct research, gather references, and keep in mind additions to relevant Wikipedia articles so they are prepared when they arrive.

The first day will focus on introductions to Wikipedia (its culture, editing rules, and core philosophy of the movement) followed by a training session to make basic edits using 1Lib1Ref to start participants off on their first edits adding references. The programme will then move on to introducing participants to making small content additions with references as well as copy editing changes and then onto progressively larger edits. As the programme continues into its second and third days the participants will be taught and coached through progressively more difficult editing tasks such as adding large content edits with the intention to add a few additional Wikipedia articles by the end of the event.

It is also hoped that a number of participants will try editing in other languages other than English as part of our effort to support content development in other language Wikipedias.

Online Wikimedian volunteer


Both online and offline Wikimedian/Wikipedia editors are welcome to assist. Offline/physically present editors can provide on call coaching and training assistance to individual editors. Online volunteers are encouraged to help assist participants by welcoming them to the community and kindly coaching them through their edits on Wikipedia. Online volunteers are also needed to provide encouragement to continue editing as well as assisting in the editing of climate change related articles.

Volunteer signup


If you are interested in helping out anytime during the event (or afterwards as we might need people to coach the participants online after the workshop) then you can signup with your username below:



A programme dashboard to measure the editing impact of the event can be found here: https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/courses/Wikimedia_ZA/African_Climate_Change_workshop

During the three days that the event ran for a total of 40 new editors where trained who worked on 52 articles making 280 edits adding over 21,000 words of content and adding 178 references. All to African related climate change articles on Wikipedia. Wikimedia ZA and SSN will be monitoring the progress of project participants to monitor and encourage continued Wikipedia editing.

Three volunteers from Wikimedia ZA where physically present to help run and coach the participants. Online editors from WikiProject Climate Change were very helpful providing online advice and assistance to the new editors, helping to welcome them to the community. An important outcome of the event was the creation of the Wiki Project Climate Change Africa Task Force which workshop participants signed up to so as to further help the development of Africa related climate change content on Wikipedia.

External sources


A list of external sources about the Africa Climate change workshop.

Event participants


A list of the new editors that participated in the event.

Useful guides to Wikipedia