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Brazil Program/Reports/Ação Educativa's grant - Final report

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This activity report regards the almost one year partnership between Wikimedia Foundation and Ação Educativa (started in November, 2013). Most activities had been reported in July, but we’ll bring down in this page previous content in highlights and add updates.

This report will bring updates on activities finalized since then, but will focus mainly in learnings: learnings on what worked well and what didn’t; learnings on how to improve what we’ve done; learnings on specific and general challenges.

Because we’re focusing this report on learnings (mainly from the team, but also from what we could gather as general learnings from and for the Wikimedia movement - including here the community, our local partner Ação Educativa and the Wikimedia Foundation), it won't be always possible to distinguish what was a result of this last year’s project and what is a result of a 3 years process during which Brazil developed the catalyst program planned by the Wikimedia Foundation after the Strategy Plan discussed made by the Wikimedia movement in 2010. Some learnings have come across all those years and have been more clearly systematized lately.

Program design learnings

  • It became clear for WMF and for the team that professionals who are also experienced Wikimedians make the difference when it comes to proposing projects. This is obviously not a “must always be” and neither is it a formula for unequivocal success, but we realized that belonging to the Wikimedia movement not only allows the program officers to better understand the potential and limitations of an activities program, but also increases the chance of more openness from the community.
  • Professionals with no history in the Wikimedia movement tend to have less legitimacy within the movement and are usually seen as outsiders even when they start to engage more actively in the community.
  • Framing precisely the work you’re going to do is key for success. The catalyst program was understood by the Wikimedia Foundation as a program that should impact on wikimedia editing communities, and only indirectly on the outreach community, through engagement on permanent dialogue. WMF didn’t expect or even wanted the catalyst program to interfere in the organization of the outreach community. However, volunteers from the outreach community (and even part of our team) expected precisely the opposite: that the catalyst program should impact on the outreach community, helping it to get organized, sustainable and active.
  • We also learned that changing the design and governance of the program would require a deeper and wider consultation process. As it has been clarified to the Portuguese Wikipedia community, internal changes in WMF strategy ("transitioning to a partnership grant in 2013 as part of a broad internal WMF strategic change (no more direct program work; an exclusive focus on Engineering and Grantmaking") required changing the governance design of the catalyst program. We’ve opened consultations to choose the organization that would be partnering with WMF. We even raised the possibility of partnering with the group that intended to become a chapter then. For various reasons, there was very limited participation and the final choice was made by WMF, in agreement with the program director a very few members from the community. Even opening the process for comments and suggestions, we faced lack of legitimacy and Ação Educativa was seen as even more outsider than the team.
  • Regarding those various reasons, what could have been done differently? Looking backwards, we realize it would have been better to step back and redesign the program as a whole, having WMF approaching the community directly and hearing which role the movement was willing to play, and only reaching out to other organizations if any of them demonstrated to offer specific assets that might contribute to the movement, implementing small projects testing the potential of partnerships locally. This would imply giving up incubation of activities that were originally thought to be carried out by the originally planned WMF Brazilian office. As we transitioned to whole program into an organization that wasn’t familiar with the specifics of the Wikimedia movement, we increased the gap between the team and the community and created an unhealthy environment. Community members in general didn’t observe great value add in this, didn’t approve the fact of seeing movement funds going to an ‘external partner’ and the local organization became vulnerable to strong criticism, even though the original WMF staff had reached out to it requesting the partnership in order to continue developing the program.
  • We also learned that consensus are hard to get (even understanding consensus as general agreements and not 100% approval on something). A program design should take this into consideration and prioritize transparency over consensus in order to get ideas out of the paper, focusing on activities that do not depend on the community to be developed, nor generate extra work to the online community.
  • The more your activities and goals depend on a variety of stakeholders, the harder it is to establish metrics you may stick with. Our expectations to impact on editors retention, on quality content and on new editors did have drawbacks because of external factors (i.e. university going through problems and professors leaving the program for circumstances external to our program), but also benefited from them in some cases (i.e. media coverage on government's employees editing Wikipedia).
  • Having WMF partnering with third party organizations can be very sensitive, especially if involves fundings and overall Wikimedia community. The partner can but put in a situation in which they think they're helping and supporting, but the community is not necessarily aligned with such planning. We tried to mitigate this through an initial consultation process but that wasn't enough.
  • There are several decision making spaces and processes, dozens or even hundreds of discussion pages, lists, etc., as well as several roles to be played in the Wikimedia movement. There are different ways of organizing the communities and working together. If the community does not engage in the main spaces, discussions and decision making processes, it's very likely that someone (a group, a volunteer, WMF, potential partners) will. And, then, it's not unusual to see dissatisfaction by volunteers regarding decisions made. Participating more actively, especially in group, is very important if the community wants their perspective to be considered in the process.
  • Potential movement partners often don't have much knowledge about the Wikimedia movement and projects and they are usually seen as “outsiders” even after some time of interaction. The Brazilian movement is seen by many different partners a very complex and hard to feel part of movement.
  • When someone is not an active long time wikimedian, and his/her first or greater involvement is catalyzed by grants or work, it's really hard to be taken as a legitimate part of the movement or as community.
  • It's hard to determine what kind of support/help/action is welcome in the community. It may vary on the circumstances, on the relationship with individuals and certain groups etc.
  • Many times, we've failed to produce a healthy and smooth communications process between the catalyst project team, which limited common and shared learnings. But, still, the community can look into all the reports and learn from them.
  • Keeping regular activities help engagement and growth in participation, even (and perhaps especially when) they are simple and of short term. And not only changes on the wiki depend more on small action rather than on big ones, but also it's clear there are lots of ways WMF can support initiatives developed locally by the communitys.
  • Most active community members and staff members learned about opportunities, limitations and challenges of partnering with “external” partners. It's not easy, it may be considered not a good value for money in many cases, but it does reach people that are beyond the regular and known scope of editors.
  • WMF has changed considerably the catalyst program model in a short time window. But did that without really stepping back and fully redesigning it. We suggest that, in the future, when WMF will change strategies, it would be better to step back and make a new planning based on new assumptions. Changes were partial (we kept the hirings, the team, but moved into a grant partnership with an organization we reached out to, asking to partner with us). If WMF was looking for local partners that would work with the community, a possibility would be to fire us all and ask the community to reach out to a local partner. Or even opened a call to bring candidates that would have to reach out to the community themselves. Although we understand WMF was actually making efforts to keep the changes smooth, and was also generous by recognizing our previous work, we ended up in an awkward position, in a very hybrid model, that was not satisfactory for any of the stakeholders of the program.
  • Looking for partners to execute highly risky projects without strong community support locally may be counterproductive. By highly risky we mean projects that require great amount of money, time, work and complex relations.
  • Directly interfering on relatively well established online and outreach communities may also be pretty counterproductive too. The Brazilian community is extremely reluctant on external interventionism and projects.
  • Community's main challenges are not financial, are not about money. Grants are pretty accessible. Challenges tend to be more structural, organizational and regarding working and planning together.
  • The project was relevant in helping WMF to better understand the Brazilian online and outreach communities. In a way, they had more access and understanding of key concerns, questions and problems discussed and raised by the community, as well as those regarding the community. For instance, today, WMF has a better understanding of some debates like legitimacy within the community, structural and “power” disputes, organic growth pace x catalysation, different kinds of openness to different kinds of collaboration and work.
  • After the Brazil Catalyst program, WMF also acquired knowledge and has a better understanding of how to approach and deal with external partner organizations, how to bring new stakeholders into the movement, respecting the growth and development pace of the community and preventing an atmosphere of competition, mission clash as well as preventing the idea that partners would be “community service providers” (that is, the idea that any partner should be working FOR the community instead of WITH the community, towards strategic objectives of the movement).
  • After almost three years, WMF has a better understanding of the Brazilian Education system, context and limitations.
  • WMF may have understood that “Global South” means little when it comes to local characteristics – different countries face different realities.
  • WMF has also understood it's very, very complex to give sustainability to Catalyst Programs in a world where many countries/chapters ask for more fundings and investment.
  • Local external partners may not be the best strategy for WMF's global agenda. Incubating a formerly designed/planned project in a partner organization tends not to be a successful strategy. Instead, even if under limitations, reaching out to the established movement and communities tend to be at least a way of increasing community's capacities.
  • WMF learned that even if they need to be more proactive in reaching out to the existing community (in cases in which the community is more passive), still the more they listen to the community the better it is.
  • The Catalyst program activities, even when they were not successful, are a great source of learnings and experience for the whole movement.

General stats on the Portuguese Wikipedia


Edit-a-thons' learnings


The most successful edit-a-thon we had in the last few years was “Editathon das minas”, only supported by the Catalyst Program and the Wikimedia community. It was proposed and organized by a journalist who had written an article on gender gap the previous year, in partnership with Think Olga, a feminist community. Previous edit-a-thons and editing workshops proposed by the catalyst program and the community (in Wikidays), in the education program, in events like Campus Party) never happened to offer such good results.

Edit-a-thon das minas, organized by Think Olga with our support

A few learnings from this event may contribute to the future of activities organizing: The first one is related to who is making the call for the event. The Portuguese Wikipedia community is interested in helping others learning how to edit, but they won’t leave their houses to edit at in person meetings. So edit-a-thons to be made by the existing community don’t seem to be sexy enough to leave their homes to edit in group.

Focusing on a specific topic helps bringing in new people interested in editing, but the right people to call for participation are people with legitimacy and leadership in that areas. So Think Olga did bring much more people in than we would have (and than we did the previous year in the International Women’s day).

Our main role in this was to:

  • Connect the Think Olga community with the Wikimedia community and bring one staff member and 2 volunteers to help them learn and edit;
  • guide them in preparatory activities (such as asking participants to create accounts before the event, ask them to get all user names for tracking performance, explain opportunities and limitations, which should be presented on communication pieces etc.);
  • help them in publicizing the event;
  • supported financially with a small amount to allow them buy some food so nobody would need to leave the room or starve;
  • give an initial workshop, explaining the most important Wikipedia policies, especially the ones related to relevance and neutrality, taking in consideration they are part of a very politically engaged group);
  • offer support during the activity, sorting doubts out;
  • Following up on articles retention and making improvements so articles wouldn’t get deleted;
  • Follow up on the event with data collection, with explanations on community reactions to the articles and also including the case in our materials giving credits to them.
Edit-a-thon das Minas in April 2014

Even with all recommendations, support and success of the event, we received emails and messages of participants questioning some attitudes from our community (when editing or submitting for elimination), claiming that might be a result of some sort of sexism. In most cases analyzed, that was a result of lack of sources to prove relevance or narratives and what we did was help edit/save the articles and to explain once again the policies and encourage them to continue editing - and, whenever possible, contribute to the generation of reliable sources that would help Wikipedia improve its content.

In summary, it became clear to us that whenever independent communities organize their own edit-a-thons with the Wikimedia movement support and guidance, it tends to present better results than those organized and proposed by us.

This helped us make future recommendations to IBIDEM, who proposed we organized an edit-a-thon on the topic “elections” with them: we guided them to organize themselves and request microgrants and editing support.

In the media:

Stats Statistcs on Edit-a-thon das Minas

Activity: Course 'Education, technology and human rights'


The ad-hoc team to implement the course, that was initially planned by the permanent staff, was hired in March, 2014, the classes started in April and it ended in June.

Team running the course was composed b Bianca Santana, Alexandre Abdo, Celio Costa and Gustavo Paiva. Both Oona Castro and Denise Carreira overlooked it. There was also an advisory committee which was formed by Jaqueline Lima Santos, Salomão Ximenes, Juliane Cintra e Gabriel Maia Salgado, all of them professionals from Ação Educativa who have been involved in previous human rights courses of the organization. The course documentation is available at this page, with videos, summaries and the presentations.

Targeted at professors, teachers, journalists, school coordinators, educational content producers and activists, the course covered a wide range of subjects related to technology, education and human rights. All activities were documented on Wikiversity.

The topics of the course go from the relations between education and technology to Wikipedia itself as a teaching, learning and collaboration tool, as well as open educational resources, distance learning, the history digital technologies and governance of internet. Attendees have gone trough an editathon of Wikipedia articles about the subjects discussed during the course and each of them have also built a project to work on Wikimedia projects in their professional lives.

Lawyer Rizzi speaks about Education rights (by Bianca Santana)

More than 130 people subscribed for the course and 70 were selected and called to enroll. About 50 people have attended at least one of the sessions. However, no session had more than 40 people attending and got the end of the course with 23 people got the right to get the certification, which riquired 80% attendance. we’re going through analysis on what may have been causing evasion. Classes happen on Saturdays and we have received feedback of mothers who faced problems in finding people to watch their children, as well as of people that were informed they would need to work on Saturdays. So far, no one has declared having evaded as a consequence of frustration regarding the course, but we’re still looking into that.

The course has been well assessed by participants and those participating are excited about getting to know more about free knowledge as well as tools and projects they can make use of. The two main concerns raised by team or community members during this course planning and development were on the evasion as well as on the direct benefits for Wikimedia projects. The staff of the course evaluates that the main benefits are the projects bilt by the attendees, since they indicate possible uses of the Wikimedia projects in a more significant way for the educational area, for example, since they were built in the perspective of the theachers themselves. Therefore, it would be an important second step to keep in touch with the attendees and try to engage Wikimedia voluntiers, besides the staff itself, in making those projects come true to try to evaluate its eficcency.

On the one hand, activities like this would be important to expand the targeted audience to know about Wikimedia projects and other related online resources which can be used in educational processes, to engage people that wouldn’t ‘naturally’ make use of such tools, or at know them well. However, it’s an investment on a long term journey and aims at qualifying the debate among key actors about the impact of technology on education system through a broader perspective. On the other hand, it’s also argued it requires a lot of efforts and does not result in huge direct impact on Wikimedia projects. Although that was not its primary objective since the beginning, only after the project had been approved and started, concerns on this matter were raised.

Activity:OER field and archives Mapping


Hirings for this ad-hoc team took place between December and January, the detailed planning was made during February and the mapping itself started in March.

Temporary contractors: Jamila Venturini (coordination), Luiz Augusto Pereira (mapping and analysis of resources and archives), Michelle Prazeres (field mapping / qualitative interviews). Supervision: Oona Castro and Gustavo Paiva

The mapping has comprised more than 22 archives plus 231 resources, and the process was documentated in the Portuguese Wikiversity. About 80 people were contacted and 30 in depth interviews were carried out with key players from the Brazilian Open educational Resources movement, including activists, researchers and content producers. The field mapping aimed at identifying the most important existent initiatives in Brazil as well as their consensus and different points of view regarding concepts, law enforcement and political strategies, business models and legal framework.

Partial data regarding the mapping of OER in Brazil

40 archives have been identified and we analyzed 22 of them and 231 resources regarding their licenses, formats and production and distribution models. Among the main findings, one may find: 1) great part of the resources distributed as OER are not free licensed, which means they are not compatible with Wikimedia projects; a great amount are regular copyrighted material, with no explicit license for free use and distribution, though some are intended to be freely used online; alternative non free licenses (CC-BY-NC-SA for example) are also used for a significant part of the resources available (check the graph); 2) although OER Brazil has adopted (and influenced on) the Unesco's definition of OER, there are still disputes in place in the content production field on the concept of OER.

A group talk with educators allowed us to better understand how open educational resources are being used (or not) in the daily work of professors in their classes. The main conclusion of this phase of the research was that educators not only make little use of the materials but also know very little about copyright licences. They are more concerned about availability and quality rather than formal authorization for use or distribution.

Jamila Venturini has also made presentations sharing information gathered by the research as well as searching for dialogues with similar initiatives under development. She participated as a speaker in the Education, human rights and technologies course, in the Open Education week, together with the coordinator of the Catalyst Program, and in the Open education, society and technology seminar in São Paulo.

In September, we've finalized the mapping and published the result not only in the Wikiversity, but also in the book Em Questão 11: Recursos Educacionais Abertos no Brasil: o campo, os recursos e sua apropriação e sala de aula, available at Wikisources. In spite of the the few amount of materials compatible with Wikimedia projects among the 22 archives and 231 analyzed, we hope the volunteers can bring in to the projects resources that can enrich them, as well as improve the quality of related articles in Wikipedia. Besides, the outcome of the field mapping may be of great help for the Wikimedia movement in case volunteers decide to actively engage and participate in the OER Brazilian movement, either for the design of strategies and to better understand the current political state of this wider movement. Also, the OER and access to education movements can benefit from the findings of such mapping, since we identified a gap between the OER Brazilian movement and the more traditional education movements, finding very little dialogue between those two important actors for the promotion of the free, open and democratic education.

The most important contribution, however, may be one which allows the Brazilian civil society, including the Wikimedia community, to engage in the public debate regarding open educational resources with a pretty clear understanding of its current state, its political challenges, its conceptual challenges and disputes, allowing a more mature position that can contribute with public policies that encourage collaborative production of educational content and access to free knowledge.

In that sense, Ação Educativa has already incorporated the defense of OER principals, among which are the Wikimeida projects, in public policies for education in all spheres of its actuation. Recently, on june, Ação Educativa and the Brazilian Campaing for The Right to Education have been in the debate Privatization in Education, parallel to the 26th meeting of the Human Rights Council of the UN (United Nations), which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, with the aim to discuss the impacts of privatization on the implementation of the human right to education. During the meeting Ação Educativa and the Brazilian Campaing for The Right to Education reported how the use of private made educational resources sold to public schools have made impossible the realization of the right to education in Brazil. The proposal was to raise awareness of human rights activists and other actors working in the UN system on the impacts of this policy, especially the Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Education. In that ocasion, both organization defended that UN the Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Education recommend, among other points, that the Brazilian Government incorporated OER in public policies of education in the country, in other to value teachers work and knowledge, stop the grouth of private companies in public eduation, and also to raise the quality of educational resources by garanting the possibility of adapting them to local realities.

Also, Ação Educativa has been defending the incorporation of OER as a public policy in the local educational plans all brazilian states and cities are obliged to develop after the aproval of the National Education Plan in Brazil. Those plans consists of goals for a 10 years period public agents will have to garantee for the raise of quality in public education in Brazil. In São Paulo city, the local plan is already been discussed in the City Council with the participation of teachers, students, public agents and civil society organizations. By the defense Ação Educativa has made in public consultations about the plan, the development of OER policies for the São Paulo City's public eduational system (the bigest municipal educational system in Latin America) has already been incorporated as a goal.

Ação Educativa is also taking thoses debates for the Brazilian Campaing for The Right to Education, a group composed by more than 200 civil society organization all over the country, and for National Education Conference 2014, that will that place in Brasília in november and gathers almost 4.000 people elected in their home states to discuss the future of education in Brazil. We also hope that in the future we manage to strengthen the dialogue about OER with other civil society moviments, in special with Brazilian OER Community an with the Wikimedia moviment, so that they can be part of those public spaces of participation.

In February, we have organized a seminar called encontro "Acesso a conhecimento, educação e direitos humanos" (Access to knowledge, education and human rights). It aimed at getting community members, Ação Educativa and partners to:

  1. get to know more about the partnership in place and know each other;
  2. Debate affairs of common interest and field of work, such as access to knowledge and to education in an open and participative way;
  3. Kick off debate on access to open educational resources, raising concerns that helped frame and plan the mapping.

A general evaluation of the meeting has been posted here.

First public event at Ação Educativa, since the partnership started

About 70 people subscribed for the event and 45 people attended. The meeting was successful regarding the quality of the debate and the participation of in person attendees and online watchers (the event was broadcasted and speakers interacted with online participants), as well as it did inspire us in the detailed framing of the OER mapping. However, the objective of showing how much in common the Wikimedia community and Ação Educativa might have when it comes to their respective mission, towards access to knowledge and education failed. There was also embarrassment due to the fact we brought together community members who were conflicting at that time in the debate, which in fact happened because we changed the initial intended structure: originally, speakers in the afternoon were supposed to speak in different talk sessions in rounds, in order to share experiences and proposals of work related to access to knowledge; while trying to avoid decline of the audience as time passed by, speakers were put all together for one single session, creating space for tension and it ended up conveying the idea we as organizers were creating an embarrassing situation for the volunteers invited to talk. Also, we expected and invited the community to run a self organized meeting on Sunday, but there was not much excitement and action on this.

Access to knowledge meeting - Feb/2014

We acknowledge that, despite the quality of the event and debate, we were not able to achieve two of the objectives: bridge the gap perception on the objectives of Ação Educativca and the Wikimedia community and create a dialogue channel with the community about the project. On the contraty, it ended up pushing some people away (including staff members who are also community members). The community and part of the team expressed lack of understanding with reference to what an event like that could contribute to the Wikimedia projects - evaluating otherwise that it's far from the objectives of the project (such as: increase participation, diversity, reach and content). To the event organizers, the event aimed at broadening the circle of stakeholders involved in the project and aware of the partnership, creating a channel for permanent dialogue, as one of the steps towards the convergence of people concerned about free knowledge in Brazil. As we've said, we believe we achieved part of the objectives. Also, dissatisfaction of team members with the event's agenda and model was not detected earlier, but only shared in the evaluation meeting, which made it even harder to create a good communications channel with other community members.

Pesquisa - Rea Brasil
REA Brasil - 02

The results of the OER mapping were widely disseminated through several medias. For a start, we have sent a press release about the seminary for the kick out of the results of the mapping to a list with more than 5.000 media vehicles. To that same list, after the seminary, we have sent another press release with the main results of the mapping and a copy of the final research report. That have grantee at least 20 media inserts in some important media vehicles in Brazil, such as UOL, Educar para Crescer, R7, IG, Radio CBN and Educação Magazine (see chart below).

Media Inserts on the OER Mapping
Number Vehicle Circulation Date Kind of Media Name of the Article Links
1 UOL National 30/09 Internet Apenas 4,3% dos conteúdos educacionais são livres para uso http://noticias.bol.uol.com.br/ultimas-noticias/educacao/2014/09/30/apenas-43-dos-conteudos-educacionais-sao-livres-para-uso.htm
2 Revista Educação National 19/12 Internet Pesquisa revela entraves para a utilização de recursos digitais abertos na sala de aula http://revistaeducacao.uol.com.br/textos/0/pesquisa-revela-entraves-para-a-utilizacao-de-recursos-digitais-abertos-327732-1.asp
3 IG National 07/10 Internet Tecnologia pode transformar professor em designer digital, dizem especialistas http://noticias.r7.com/educacao/tecnologia-pode-transformar-professor-em-designer-digital-dizem-especialistas-07102014
4 Núcleo TI Educação National 03/10 Internet Ação Educativa divulga pesquisa sobre recursos educacionais abertos http://nucleoticeducacao.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/pesquisa-sobre-recursos-educacionais-abertos/
5 Porvir National 09/10 Internet Nem todo recurso aberto é livre, diz pesquisa http://porvir.org/porpensar/nem-todo-recurso-aberto-e-livre-diz-pesquisa/20141009
6 Educar para Crescer/ Editora Abril National 19/09 Internet Onde e como encontrar os chamados Recursos Educacionais Abertos? http://educarparacrescer.abril.com.br/politica-publica/recursos-educacionais-abertos-800698.shtml
7 Rádio CBN Local _ Radio/Internet Professores e o uso de recursos de educação abertos na internet http://gazetaonline.globo.com/_conteudo/2014/10/cbn_vitoria/comentaristas/viviane_mose/1484069-professores-e-o-uso-de-recursos-de-educacao-abertos-na-internet.html
8 R7 National 07/10 Internet Tecnologia pode transformar professor em designer digital, dizem especialistas http://noticias.r7.com/educacao/tecnologia-pode-transformar-professor-em-designer-digital-dizem-especialistas-07102014
9 REA Brasil National 09/10 Internet Estudo indica que muitos recursos educacionais digitais na rede têm restrições de uso e distribuição http://www.rea.net.br/site/estudo-indica-que-muitos-recursos-educacionais-digitais-na-rede-tem-restricoes-de-uso-e-distribuicao/
10 LeiaJá National 29/09 Internet Ação Educativa lança mapeamento educacional http://www.leiaja.com/carreiras/2014/09/29/acao-educativa-lanca-mapeamento-educacional/
11 Instituto Paramitas National 15/10 Internet Pesquisa revela que números de Recursos Educacionais Abertos (REA) é pequeno nas redes http://institutoparamitas.org.br/noticias/pesquisa-revela-que-numeros-de-recursos-educacionais-abertos-rea-sao-poucos-nas-redes/
12 Instituto Unibanco National _ Internet Encontro debate acesso à informação, educação e direitos humanos http://www.institutounibanco.org.br/noticias/encontro-debate-acesso-a-informacao-educacao-e-direitos-humanos
13 Blog TELTEC National 16/10 Internet Tecnologia pode transformar professor em designer digital, dizem especialistas http://blog.teltecsolutions.com.br/2014/10/16/tecnologia-pode-transformar-professor-em-designer-digital-dizem-especialistas/
14 Contec National _ Internet Recursos educacionais digitais na rede têm restrições de uso http://www.contec-brasil.com/pt/newsletter/01821/
15 Fucapi National _ Internet Apenas 4,3% dos conteúdos educacionais são livres para uso http://www.fucapi.br/blogfucapi/2014/09/30/apenas-43-dos-conteudos-educacionais-sao-livres-para-uso/
16 Senac-RJ National 01/10 Internet SOMENTE 4,3% DOS CONTEÚDOS EDUCACIONAIS ESTÃO LEGALMENTE DISPONÍVEIS NA INTERNET http://www.rj.senac.br/home/noticia?id=15624
17 Blog Mídias e Educação National 15/11 Internet Recursos Educacionais Abertos no Brasil http://blog.midiaseducacao.com/2014/05/roda-de-conversa-sobre-rea.html
18 REA Brasil ational 28/10 Internet Estudo indica que muitos recursos educacionais digitais têm restrições de uso e distribuição http://www.rea.net.br/site/estudo-indica-que-muitos-recursos-educacionais-digitais-tem-restricoes-de-uso-e-distribuicao/
19 REA Brasil National 28/10 Internet Recursos abertos podem ajudar na transformação da escola, apontam especialistas e docentes http://www.rea.net.br/site/recursos-abertos-podem-ajudar-na-transformacao-da-escola-apontam-especialistas-e-docentes/
20 REA Brasil National 28/10 Internet Projetos de lei preveem abertura de materiais adquiridos pelo poder público http://www.rea.net.br/site/projetos-de-lei-preveem-abertura-de-materiais-adquiridos-pelo-poder-publico/

Besides the media inserts in those vehicles, Ação Educativa's Education Observatory has also published a special newsletter on OER issues to disseminate the results of the mapping, to cover the seminary in which it was released and to give voice to civil society, public agents and Wikimedia volunteers about this agenda. The news letter is sent to a list with more than 6.000 teachers, students, civil society organizations and public agents all over the country and 7.000 journalists that cover education. Also, Education Observatory staff is already in touch with people who were interviewed in the mapping and other Wikimedia volunteers to put them in a media source database related to technology in education. The Education Observatory's media source database has 250 teachers, researchers, civil society members and specialists in 13 different educational issues and is recognized by journalists that cover education as an important tool for the development of their work. The technology in education resources database shall be available by the end of November in http://www.observatoriodaeducacao.org.br/wp/.

Community consultation on how to strengthen Wikimedia in Brazil


Although the partnership between Wikimedia Foundation and Ação Educativa had been built in a long process of negotiation and dialogue with outreach volunteers, editors of the Wikimedia projects, the staff of the former Catalyst Project, Ação Educativa and WMF, with greater or lesser participation in different moments, throughout the execution of the project we faced a lot of questioning about some activities foreseen and other issues that led us to identify the need for a process of greater dialogue with the Wikimedia community in Brazil and our stakeholders. Considering that, at the half term of the project "Education and Access to Knowledge in Brazil: catalyzing the community and Wikimedia projects through active collaboration, autonomy and sharing", we decided to open another consultation on how to strengthen Wikimedia in Brazil, aiming to promote a discussion on the current state of the project and the community, the challenges, disputes, and the desires of the community for the future in short, medium and long term.

The consultation took place through several channels (Meta, esplanadas, Br-Wikimedia list, phone calls, IRC) in order to give volunteers with different profiles and backgrounds the chance to participate and the process culminated in a in person meeting that took place in Ação Educativa in July 5th.

As one may observe in the graphs below, when asked what should be the priority nº 1 for the improvement of the Wikimedia project, most respondents answered improvement of softwares and tools. The second highest priority, which shows the highest rate response in priority nº 2 and also appear well "voted for" in other priority levels is to improve documentation and help pages. While the Brazil Catalyst Program would face limitations in the improvement of software and tools (we could improve / help improve some, but many of them are centralized in WMF's role), documentation and improvement of help sessions is something we would focus on in case there would be a renewal of the project, even though we know this should be submitted to community's approval. We think, though, it's helpful to highlight here that the community would value this work at this point and some of us might still try to help build this as volunteers. Also, this could be something organized by the Brazil User Group and individuals interested in dedicating efforts to it, even if there is the need to submit a grant to get it done.

Regarding, the open dialogue in Meta, Br-Wikimedia list and IRC, we have devided the contributions into "Criticims", "Challenges" and "Propositons of strategies", as listed above:

  • Criticims
    • The creation of the Catalyst Program and the change of the model may have contributed to slow down the community in Brazil;
    • The Catalyst Program is something inorganic and external to the community. It is neigther natural, nor spontaneous;
    • WMF should stop investing, close the Catalyst Program and let the community self-organize again;
    • The catalyst has to do what the community has no way to do herself, always taking care not to inhibit other initiatives or not to take the role of the community.
  • Challenges
    • To grow the number of volunteers and articles in Wikipedia
    • To grow the quality of the artciles in Wikipedia
    • To improve the invirolment among the community
    • To stimulate more diversity in the community
  • Propositons and strategies
    • The Catalyst Program and Ação Educativa should be seen as part of the movement (which does not necessarily come from the movement but today is part of it).
    • To conduct researchs to better understand how Wikimedia community is composed in Brazil and better understand the demands
    • To develop strategies to reduce hostility from the community to new users
    • Designing tangible deliverables and products and assess whether it was worth
    • To invest min communication, both external (to promote and increase visibility in the media) and internal (to improve communication about activities and projects in the community and increase visibility of the work of volunteers in the media).
    • Hiring volunteers as freelancers for short and specific projects
    • To get in touch with volunteers who have ceased to be active and try to bring back
    • To invest in smaller projects, whose communities are minimally constituted and opened at the same time, such as Wikidata, Wikiversity, Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikivoyage and Wikinews.

The debate on the consultation was very intense. Participants pointed challenges, difficulties and opportunities for Wikimedia communities (diversity, conflicts and attempts to organize themselves), and also the relation of those communities with Wikimedia Foundation, the relationship between Ação Educativa and the Wikimedia Foundation and the relationship between Ação Educativa and Wikimedia communities so far, during the last eight months of the project. In the following moment, we proposed the participants worked in groups for discussing possibles next steps, strategies and actions. Some good and feasible and realistic ideas came up from the debate in groups, such as:

  • To create and invest in communication strategies, with a blog with stories about the volunteers and strengthen the Wikipedia newsletter (Correio da Wikipedia)
  • To strengthen GLAM activities
  • To support the realisation in Brazil of contests such as Wiki Loves Earth and Wiki Loves Monuments
  • To produce video editing guides to assist teachers and students to work autonomously
  • To hire external consultants on marketing or HR to create strategies to attract new editors and motivate participation
  • To invest more in data analysis

We also proposed the creation of a permanent dialogue group – always opened to new members - which would have the purpose to add up to the existing Wikimedia projects and online environments for a more constant dialogue between the community and Ação Educativa, in a perspective that it would contribute more precisely to strengthen the community and Wikimedia projects in Brazil. The proposal was very controversial, because most of the volunteers were afraid that offline dicussions might break the horizontality of the decision making processes. We have also explicitly recognized the desire of some members of the community to create an autonomous organization and that Ação Educativa could also contribute more actively to it.

By the end of the meeting, the participants had exposed the complexity involved in a partnership between Ação Educativa and Wikimedia Foundation. Two positions were clear at that time:

  • One that sees Ação Educativa as "foreigner" and "invasive" of the Wikimedia community and who does not believe in the possibility of building a partnership that would have gains for the community and for the Wikimedia projects.
  • Another one that proposed this partnership should focus on Wikimedia projects with Ação Educativa's previous background and should stop worrying about the development of the community. Is was expressed that the community development should be a concern of the community itself.

Given this scenario and after consulting WMF and the project staff, the executive board of Ação Educativa decided to end the partnership with WMF. The decision was based not only on the governances issues we had been facing, but in order to highlight the importance and legitimacy of the self organizing process of the Brazilian community. Wikimedia Foundation, at the same time, decided not to keep the partnership model for development of a Catalyst Program with another organization to replace Ação Educativa, and keeps dialoguing with the brazilian community and the users group about the future of Wikimedia Brazil.

By the end of the partnership, Ação Educativa restated that the debate about the relationship between education, technologies, open educational resources and free culture was part of Ação Educativa's three-year strategic plan (2013-2015) and should go on with other actions after the end of the formal partnership with WMF,. It means that Ação Educativa keeps willing to collaborate with the Wikimedia projects, whenever the actions are aligned with its mission and political-institutional values and background in the field of popular education. In this sense, Ação Educativa is keeping small actions in Wikinews and Wikipedia, and has adopted free licenses for its publications, and hopes to keep in dialogue with the community.

Education program and Outreach


Material production


Three videos and two new print materials are being release in the end of this project. The diagnosis of the need of specific tutorial materials were identified in the past and we started working on the before the beginning of this current grant, but focused on it since then.

The main print material is a thorough and detailed tutorial on how the Wikimedia movement works: from wiki syntax and editing policies to how to engage in the outreach community, organize edit-a-thons, and participate in events like Wikimania. It’s a guide that may bring new information even to regular active editors. It was planned to be print either in full or in modules/parts. It provides information on all Wikimedia projects, raise awareness on the most common mistakes made by new editors in terms of content and on a variety of ways to collaborate. It took us a whole year (and the material was supposed to have helped us develop some of our activities), but the result is outstanding and may be used, modified, adapted, translated into other languages in the future work of the community.

The second material target professors and teachers from different levels (basic, elementary and higher education), as well as volunteers interested in providing support to the education program. It brings a diversity of Brazilian education program cases and how educators have handled different approaches to diverse contexts and circumstances.

We had translated WMF guides, but because of huge differences in the education system, we realized that, although professors enjoyed learning with other international experiences, many of the tips and guides weren’t applicable to their contexts. The guide also counted with the help of teacher who developed activities with 13/14 years old students in a positive and successful experience.

The planned proposal for the videos was to have a few motivational ones and 10 tutorial videos. However, not only first budgets raised were much higher than we had available (as the producer that had estimated the costs for us was no longer available), but we also took some months until we found producers with good quality and price, but our team became responsible for scripts, finding the right people to be in the videos and so on. It was much more time consuming than it had been originally thought but we managed to produce three videos showing how to organize an edit-a-thon, how to contribute to Wikisources by digitalizing materials and how to collaborate in Wikimedia Commons.

The videos were finalized in the end of the project and will circulate from now on, helping promote collaboration and motivating people to edit Wikimedia projects.

Links to the materials:

  • Please insert here

Relicensing content


In Brazil, our copyright law lists a few exceptions and limitations, but doesn’t have the general concept of fair use. That’s why bringing new content into Wikimedia projects, even when they were produced with public fundings and sometimes even when the original is in public domain (but customizations have been made), require compatible licenses. For various reasons, even when public institutions like the federal or state governments decide to publish under Creative Commons license, they usually choose the non commercial variation, preventing us from making use of materials that were produced with public funding.

Our education and outreach team have put efforts in getting free content to Wikisources, Commons and Wikipedia. Those kinds of works were precisely our focus: the ones produced with public fundings, either by the government or by public universities researchers. If this project wasn’t intended to directly do advocacy activities for change on policies and legislation, at least we could create cases that would not only free important content to Wikimedia projects, but would also help engage more organizations to relicense their works under a free license.

Il Brasile e gli Italiani, historic book about Italian immigration, added to Commons

At least 3 great fronts (Embrapa, The Brazilian Corporation of Agricultural Research aimed at technological innovation; Reflora, the Virtual Herbarium and Authenticated Species of Brazilian Flora supported by National Research Center; and the statistical memory area of the Department of Treasure) ended up not being successful. The only case of success was the scanning of an Italian book about Italian migration into São Paulo, Il Brasile e gli Italiani, a historic book in public domain with amazing pictures of old buildings, streets and characters of the Italian immigration. To get it done, several meetings took place with the Italy-Brazil Cultural Institute and explained the potential of digitalizing the book, as well as with a scanning company, which agreed to do this work “pro bono”, free of charge. The reason why he went this way is because he’s a long time wikimedian volunteer who wanted to test ways of doing that kind of work without a budget for it. So he gave credit to both of them on Commons and in a video piece made to show what kind of work can be done in Wikisource.

Some learnings came out of this process. The first one is that this usually takes time and a lot of meetings with different people, explaining why it would be good to relicense their content. People have very little knowledge on copyright and licensing, and they are usually afraid of licensing for commercial use and see their work (or work made with public funding) being used for great corporations to profit out of it. So it’s important showing that usually those who most benefit from this is the population in general, as well as small entrepreneurs, when it comes to commercial use.

Another important learning is that starting from the base of pyramid in an institution may not be very cost effective, as final decisions are made on the top of the pyramid and usually that’s where it gets stuck. Nowadays, there is a general recommendation for publishing public funded works under creative-commons-non-commercial. A probably longer and tougher way can be, actually, more cost effective: getting public research funders such as CNPQ, CAPES, FAPERJ, FAPESP, as well as the federal government, to change their recommendation can help us increment free knowledge in Brazil. Although small initiatives are important and may contribute to the process of opening Brazilian content, advocacy work in order to change policies and legislation on a federal level is key for the growth of open and free educational content, knowledge and culture in general.

Community support


Microgrants and other funds for community organized activities


Microgrants program was a project created to support volunteers in activities they wanted to lead either in order to promote the Wikimedia projects or to foster the community's/user group's organizing process. In December, we made an invitation for the community to help us build how the process should work like. We had very few contributions and in January we set this up based on common sense and on how the WMF grantmaking process works like, in a much smaller scale and putting all types of grant together. Based on the global model, we also suggested we formed a committee, but no one volunteered. That said, we decided that the Program director, Oona, would give final approval to all the requests based on community's support and comments.

We had a budget of US$ 13.500 for microgrants, out of which about US$ 4.700 were used. All requests have been approved and executed, expect for one which is happening in November.

We were happy to see it’s pretty possible positive to support community’s initiatives with microgrants, but we also learned that the greatest challenge isn’t funding available, but initiative to propose and execute pro actively. Also, we learned it’s difficult to get everyone to know those fundings are available. Messages on the list, published budget, messages on Esplanada are not enough raise awareness on the availability of the fundings.

We decided not to establish deadlines for proposals precisely because we wanted to allow microgrants to make volunteers’ life easier and request small amounts whenever needed. However, the majority of the requests were submitted when we announced the end of the catalyst program. This is a sign that, in Brazil, the “last minute” and the “it’s now or never” cultures are indeed strong among all of us.

Perhaps, dividing the year budget in 3 cycles and announcing vastly the end of each cycle could be of help. Or creating ideas databases could be of help as well. As per the reaction in the very end of the program (when it was announced volunteers from an organization were requesting grant to organize an edit-a-thon), not only deadlines influence, but also seeing other people submitting grants requests can raise interest among other volunteers. It’s therefore believed that, the more requests are made, more people are encouraged to request grants, as they see what can be done

Also, even framing slots to be filled in Portuguese we found out that many volunteers would have doubts on the procedures to submit their requests. We’ve sorted them out, but it’s clear that the more you clearly state questions, the easier it gets to answer them.

Moreover, we had US$ 2.400 to support small local meet-ups and US$ 15.000 for local/regional community events available. A very small part of it (less than US$ 5.000,00) were used, and actually mostly in community meetings the catalyst program helped organize.

When we did the budget, we were afraid those amounts would be small to cover many different activities and large community meet-ups, but they ended up hardly being used. In the end, we organized the community consultation event with a very small part of this budget and only staff members covered a few expenses on small meet-ups. Having that in mind

A self criticism here is welcome: in order not to attract external Wikimedia community groups to get activities organized only based on fundings, we failed to give consistent and wide publicity to our funding program in a diversity of channels and even within Wikimedia websites. In order to create the culture among Brazilian wikimedians to apply for funds, we should have been more aggressive in communicating about that and even more pro actively poked active volunteers (which, informally, we did in a few occasions, but with no consistency), especially with regards to fundings for regional events.

Check the activities supported by the microgrants program:

To support the organization of a photo contest


As our program started in the end of 2013 and will end on August, 2014, we had planned to support and encourage the community in organizing a photo contest different from Wiki Loves Monuments, either national or international, during this period in order to develop experience to participate in other Wikimedia photo contests. As Wikimedia Ukraine proposed the Wiki Loves Earth contest, we suggested the community engaged in it. The Wiki Loves Earth 2014 - Brazil started on May, 1st. Pictures are being uploaded to Commons campaign. Brazilian wikimedians also helped creating the pages of the contest as well as the tool to monitor the global contest development. About 95% of Brazilian participants are new in Commons. This is a good and a bad thing in our perspective: good because the contest has been able to reach new users and make them know Commons; bad because it's a symptom of low level of engagement of our current community members - which is also made clear in the little of use images in Wikipedia articles (only 11% have been used by now). We reached out to a some uploaders to invite them to add photos into articles.

There was also criticism over certain level of "centralization" in the decision making process of the contest. The initial idea was only to support community in organizing the contest, but at some level, after a few talks and discussion on the page, we have indeed decided to organize it despite some volunteers opinions that the contest should take place in 2015. Our decision was due to the fact that it had been planned in our project, which would end before 2015. Also, we believed the benefits of having Brazilians participating in the contest would overcome the cons of not having the contest totally led by community members and we could learn how to implement it, document and share the learnings so in the second semester of 2014 or even in 2015 the community could improve that. We still believe that, apart from a few disputes over how it was implemented, the learnings and achievements were positive. Now the Brazilian community has a portfolio for future contest activities, whenever reaching out to local partners and to new contributors. Brazil was the 4th major contributor (in numbers of photos) to the international contest and by the time the contest had completed one month was the third one. Unlike other countries, we closed the contest at that time.

The top 10 photos of the contest were published in the magazine "Fotografe Melhor", a print magazine with circulation of about 50.000 covering all Brazilian states.

That was also part of an exhibition in "Paraty em Foco", one of the major photographic events in Brazil, which had, during five days, about 7.000 visitors (the exhibition continued until October, 12, but the intense days of visitors were from September, 24 to 28). It took place in Casa da Cultura, a historical heritage built in the 18th century, which is a well known reference in the city. Estúdio Madalena took care of executive production of the exhibition. They had the means, tools and knowledge to do it professionally.

One common issue discussed in Brazil regarding those contests is whether you need or do not need an incorporated organization to run the contests. This is because of a local legislation that regulates contests like raffles, or those with the intention of promoting a product. In that case, prizes are also taxed in 30% for the federal government (just like lotteries). There are exceptions, though, for cultural contests. The legislation is not super clear on what the boundaries are for promotion of products, but to avoid any possible related problem, we decided not to partner with companies that could give prizes such as Canon, Nikon or travel agencies. We also realized we might face other challenges such as promoting the logo of that companies if we were to organize the contest in Wikipedia, as we did. We know other countries created solutions like building specific websites for the contest, allowing commercial partnerships. But we decided to keep it simple and do it in Wikipedia, also because as our program was temporary, keeping a hotsite/blog later might become a problem.

That said, although we did have an incorporated organization to run the program and we realize it helps formality when wiring the prizes and doing contracts, we don’t believe it’s mandatory to have an incorporated institution to make it happen. Although we recognize it’s more vulnerable to questioning, if a volunteer becomes responsible for managing a grant to make the contest happen, it can be done without much bureaucracy. All is needed is a very clear terms of participation, a receipt from winners saying they’ve received the prize and te capacity to manage that money. As this is not an income, taxes wouldn’t apply. However, if the volunteer feels more comfortable paying for those taxes, it could be included in the budget (depending on the values, that would vary from 12% to 25%).

From the moment we decided to go ahead with the contest to its beginning, we had less than one month. We used the categories of national parks in Wikipedia to help us frame what we were expecting, created the pages in great collaboration of the whole team and volunteers (one page with a list of parks for each state, plus other “about contest” pages) in a few days. The tool to track the participation was created later by a volunteer, with little support and guidance from some our staff members.

Our data analyst also created a retention table, showing retention was pretty low in Brazil, though it was pretty high in any of the countries. Indeed, Wiki loves contests seem to be a great case of success in free content generation for the commons, but not exactly a pretty good way of bringing in new regular editors. However, we still believe raising awareness on its existence, on its publishing/copyright policies may help us grow in the mid term.

WLE in numbers:

  • Number of participants: 931
  • Number of new users among participants: 889 (95%)
  • Number of pictures uploaded during the contest window: 6775 (after the deadline a few other were added, reaching 7011)
  • Number of pictures uploaded used in Wikipedia articles : 764 (11%)



Exhibition in Paraty em Foco


Wikipedia editing community liaison


Not originally detailed in our project planning, between the end of 2013 and 2014, we have also played similar role to the community liaisons’, with regards to the Portuguese Wikipedia. In collaboration with Wikimedia Foundation, particularly the Multimedia and the Community Advocacy’s teams, we have supported both WMF and the community in the releases of new features and tools, such as Media viewer, Visual Editor, Beta Features and Notifications. The work consisted in elaborating a process in which the community would be notified in advance about tools and features which were being developed - advising WMF on the calender to do deployments, sharing feedback and reactions from the community, allowing WMF to build the strategy in a more informed way and giving voice to community’s concerns.

The objective of this work was to improve the new tools deployment process, that is, informing in advance to the community, explaing how they would work, what that was for, testing the tools and features, reporting bugs, providing feedback, and evaluating how complex and controversial a new tool might be - all in Portuguese. In some cases (those in which there was a choice for each community), we would even advise WMF not to roll out or to postpone it.

This allowed the community to have heads up on the forthcoming changes, allowed feedback and a smoother deployment. It didn’t save criticism over, for instance, the visual editor, but the impact was mitigated by months of tests and feedback. Also, we advised WMF to postpone deployment of visual editor, as the Portuguese Wikipedia had been through a big change a few months before with the removal of the emergency mode of CAPCTHA.

Since 2008, when there was a large volume of SPAM in the PT.WP, IPs and non autoconfirmed users were submitted to CAPTCHA for any edit, even when no link was added. Unlike other Wikipedias, this became a rule for the lusophone community, and they relied on it as a way of preventing soft sorts of “vandalism”, such as large number of tests and non valid edits from students. However, WMF didn’t consider this a positive measure and the Catalyst Program had already propsoed to run an experiment removing the emergency mode of CAPCTHA for a few months in 2012 - which was refused. In 2013, members of the global community found out this was in place in the Portuguese Wikipedia and filed a bug on Bugzilla to get it removed. And so they did, but without a thorough discussion process in our community, which led editors to a very strong unsatisfaction and created a great discomfort between communities. It was questioned why the Bugzilla community could decide on something like that for the PT.WP. The Catalyst Program was also caught by surprise and hadn’t established the means to measure impact, pros and cons. Also, the filters and other tools to combat vandalism were still lacking in efficiency. The volunteers, through Bugzilla, required the return of the emergency mode of CAPTCHA and we advised WMF to suspend it until we could build better conditions for the change to take place. We also advised WMF didn’t deploy visual editor until we and the community had improved the filters.

WMF gave the community until the end of the year to improve the filters and to discuss other types of measures to handle the normal mode of CAPCTHA in place and without deployment of visual editor as default.

It’s important to make it clear that we never had the power to decide whether a new tool was going to be deplyed or not. That was a WMF’s and community’s call, depending on the case. We only facilitated discussions, tests, by creating a plan, translating pages into Portuguese, raising awareness on Esplanada, calling the community to engage in the feedback process, and improving communications between the WMF’s tech department and our community.

This task was one of the controversies among a general issues pointed in the first section of this report: some community members, and even some staff members, didn’t believe we had a role to play in the deployment of new features. In this perspective, that was solely a problem of WMF and the community, and that we should focus on outreach community development. However, we considered this a key element for the health of the community and its relationship with WMF. And it has also been recognized by some active editors as a fair play and well done job. Both WMF and active editors acknowledged our balanced way of handling conflicts emerging from those deployments and, based on surveys did on the tools deployments, the Portuguese community showed high level of positive approval.

Data analysis and experiments learnings


Tech community engagement

  • Although the hiring of a data analyst was a community demand, the engagement on planning actions was very low. With the will of catalyzing, the focus of our daily work changed constantly. Community interest is very dispersed and volatile. Maybe a better approach for future hirings would be define a clear closed scope of the job, with the professional being responsible to develop previously decided deliverables. "Products" with user interaction are well received by the community. Even when there is no current use demand, it is recognized that they can be useful in the future.
  • Tech activities in Portuguese language communities have a very low bus factor. It is rare to have more than one volunteer engaged in one activity and if for any personal reasons or for loss of interest in it this volunteer stops working on the matter the activity becomes orphan. In this cases, it is also difficult to keep the team hired to "catalyze" motivated to keep working alone in it.
  • There is a big gap on localizing things to Portuguese (documentation and software). Most things are created in English and there aren't many Portuguese translators around. So we did some efforts on it, but a few of them were left aside due to lack of interest from the community and the work remains incomplete.

Data analysis on a catalyst program

  • After the program changed from WMF to a local partner the relationship between our data analyst and the global team wasn't the same. Soever the SF team always said we could keep working the same way as insiders, it just couldn't happen because we had new priorities and new demands. As a short-term contract catalyst program we decided not to follow some global "best-practices" and create our own solutions, using technologies that the few tech volunteer engaged with analysis actions were familiar with. In this movement we decided to work on the tool labs' project "ptwikis", instead of continue using the WMF researchers server. Doing this, all our development were done in an environment where volunteer could participate directly and now the maintenance can be done by volunteers without the need to request WMF special privileges to any machines or datasets.
  • Running experiments like A/B tests outside enwiki isn't easy. It demands big efforts to be implemented and we couldn't perform those with an one-man team (Dario had already alerted us for that during the hiring process). Adding to this difficulties, ptwiki community isn't very open to run experiments. So, to avoid conflicts and to move on with our work we decided to focus on things that would not interfere in the "main life" of ptwiki. So we did a lot of researches that showed us some clues and correlations on the studied matters, but we couldn't reach many conclusive results. Also, the lack of standard metrics for analysis in the wikimedia movement made it hard to run and compare analysis already done in other wikis. Now there is already a global effort being made to create standard patterns and this may not be an issue anymore for future programs.
  • As part of a bigger program, our data analysis tasks failed being executed in a schedule that didn't matched other program activities schedule. Sometimes due to communication problems, others because of technical difficulties data analysis tools were usually only available when the activities were already in advanced stage, being the tools useful for evaluation, but not playing the role of monitoring the activities during its execution.

Academic researchers

  • Bringing academic researchers to work with wikimedia projects was a goal partially achieved. Depending on the moment the researcher approached the community we wouldn't find anyone available to help. Some got help from the international community, some gave up and other got help from our team. But, we weren't always able to help because we already had a big list of things to do and also we weren't sure if we should spend our time supporting activities that hadn't excited the community.
  • We initially worked with previous contacts we had in big universities in big centers, and almost all the projects that evolved already had a researcher personally interested in wikis before. To engage more researchers maybe we could focus on universities out of South-Southeast capitals, because out of this centers researchers usually don't have projects with big fundings and there is a bigger possibility of someone having time to engage in something "new".
  • Surveys made on qualtrics don't have their raw data available, allowing others researchers/volunteers to look at it. At the end of the program we exported all the raw data (anonymized), but some of that data may not be as interesting now as it could have been some months ago. Exporting surveys rawdata on regular basis probably should be in the agenda of all programs that use qualtrics on wikimedia movement.


  • Using IRC to communicate with the community was very useful. In the beginning of the program we used to have a online meeting with the community every Friday night, debating what have been done during the week and setting priorities for the next one. Unfortunately after debates on Esplanada about the legitimacy and the timetable of this debates they stopped. While they were happening, the interaction between community and the team was bigger and although some time disagreements could be potentialized it would happen more transparently and so it was easier to manage conflicts. The team could not have the feedback it would like from the hole community, but having a little bit of it weekly helped to keep track of what was going on and to maintain the team motivated.
  • A good side effect of using IRC for synchronous meetings is that some volunteers leave their users logged in even if they are AFK and read the logs latter. One example of this is the IEG grant "Revision scoring as a service" proposed by Helder.

Tech Events

  • Participation in tech events usually gets a good number of attendees and media coverage. But, even making lots of small talks further contacts were rare. The best model we came up with was given lectures followed by a hackathon, with the first one acting as a teaser for the second.
  • Hackathons are good to develop things during its course, but don't generate further engagement. Things not started but not completed during the hackathons took months to be completed and some of those weren't finished at all.
  • The lecture "How to Hack Wikipedia" was presented with small variations in different contexts (from developers conferences to meetings with researchers) and it stands out how this public knows almost nothing about wikimedia open metadatas and it's hack and research potential. Maybe in the future some brochures (as the ones of WEP) could be made and given out to this public showing wikimedia's metadata resources.

Financial Report


Ação Educativa's proposal had a planned budget of 557,863 USD (R$ 1.115.726). Check the detailed proposal. Wikimedia Foundation covered 500,000 USD. By the end of the projetc, in spite of its extension for one month, the project had a positive balance of R$ 148.168,76, which resulted in the return of 56,124.28 USD to Wikimedia Foundation, including fees and taxes.

  • Detailed expenses in USD:
Brazil Catalysts Project Financial Report 2013-2014 in USD (US$)
  • Detailed expenses in Real:
Brazil Catalysts Project Financial Report 2013-2014 in Reais (R$)



Health Wikiproject


We had meeting and negotiations with organizations from the public health/medicine fields (some actually got to some advanced stage but we went backwards) in order to bring expert editors and content partnerships in order to improve quality of content related to health / Med affairs in the luspophone Wikipedia. Mostly, our contacts were from public institutions, which reach out to large scale audience, but have also complex and highly hierarchical structures.

Some online Health groups (Rede HumanizaSUS e Comunidade de Práticas) got interested in integrating their content with Wikipedia, starting with the "glossary". We started the development of a javaScript that would work on it, but with the Brazilian federal election getting close (and all the FUD related to the future of this programs) and also with Wikipedia health wikiproject members saying it wasn't the best moment to evolve with partnerships, this development was halted.

Read the full version in Portuguese.

Key contacts:

  • Clarice Petramale (Ministry of Health)
  • Thiago Petra (contractor I guess, but in contact with the National Health System network, stays in Rio)
  • Fátma Martins (Rede de bibliotecas da Fiocruz)
  • Rodrigo Murtinho (Fiocruz' magazine on Health, information and communications RECIIS - Fiocruz)
  • Fabrício Kury (IFSMA)
  • Sabrina Ferigato (Rede HumanizaSUS)
  • Alberto Souza (developer of Comunidade de Práticas)

Nova Escola Magazine


Nova Escola is a magazine with 500 thousand copies, distributed throughout Brazilian schools, which, in dialogue for a partnership, proposed we had a regular blog in their website discussing the use of Wikimedia projects in the educational process. By the time we received the layout for approval, the continuity of the project was at stake and we decided to wait until final decisions were made in order not to go further with the partnership and calling off later. We are personally happy to do it, but we think the community should decide whether going ahead with this or not and how.

Editor: Rodrigo Ratier

Read the full version in Portuguese.

Community liaison - tech department in WMF


As reported above, our team made a regular work with the WMF's tech and community advocacy departments. We used to have regular meetings with some people and ad-hoc communication and meetings with projects managers from WMF in order to discuss future deployments, features developments and the Portuguese Wikipedia community feedbacks.

Read the full version in Portuguese.

Education team in WMF


Currently, Floor Koudijs is the one in charge of coordinating with local community the Education Program in Brazil.

GLAM opportunities: Liquid Lab


Andre Deak, from Liquid Lab was eager to partner with the Wikimedia community and we started discussing possible arrangements for collaboration also with Afro-brazilian online museum. As the project was about to finalized, we encouraged he got in touch directly with the community, which was made through the mailing list, but there was no follow up.

Revista Espírito Livre (Free Spirit Magazine)


This is the biggest Brazilian magazine on Free Software and related topics and they offered a space for us to publish the "Correio da Wikipédia" editions and/or other texts related to Wikipedia. But, in the same month they offered us this space, Correio stopped being published. If the community restart Correio probably Revista Espírito Livre will still be happy to give it a space.

Editor: João Fernando



This is a project that aims to make Brazilian public data more accessible and they believe wikimedia projects can both help and benefit from it. They started building integration with wikidata.org during the FISL Hackathon, but it wasn't finished. They also have the will to help improving mediawiki's API.

Contact: Alvaro Justen

Garoa Hacker Clube


The biggest hackerspace of São Paulo showed great will to support wikimedia community. They were always available to guarantee an open space for activities, although their community never really showed up in wiki-related events.

Contact: Anchises Moraes



This federal enterprise has a big social distance-learning program and are willing to create courses (using moodle) on "how to edit wikipedia" and things related to it. We were responsible to send them our new tutorial to be used as the basis for the course, but its confection was delayed and we never sent it.

Contact: Carlos Henrique Machado Pinto (manager of Escola de Inclusão Sociodigital do SERPRO)