Code for Africa’s Wikipedian in Residence Community

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Code for Africa's Wikipedian in Residence (WiR) Community is a network of African Wikipedia editors and contributors who are change makers and work collaboratively to improve Wikipedia in Africa through cross disciplinary content development, editing, fact-checking and verification of information (on Wikipedia).

Code for Africa builds ecosystems. We are the continent’s largest civic technology and open data incubator, and support digital democracy and investigative data journalism initiatives as part of our mission to give citizens access to actionable information and to amplify citizen voices to make society more responsive and accountable. Our mandate is to empower civic watchdog organisations, such as the media and electoral authorities, with data-driven technology solutions that deliver actionable insights. CfA regularly works with partners such as the World Bank, the European Union and the U.S. State Department's Global Engagement Center (GEC), alongside international philanthropies and technology platforms which include Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), Twitter and TikTok.

WiR Community Mission[edit]

To grow a pan-African network of Wikipedia editors and contributors who are expert fact checkers, editors and creators of Wikipedia content.

Our Focus Countries[edit]

Where we are based:

How We Engage With Wiki[edit]

CfA engages with Wikipedians on three levels[edit]

Wikipedian in Residence Fellows

CfA works with experienced Wikipedians as fellows who contribute to its existing projects. These fellows act as a liaison between CfA and the Wikipedia community to rally efforts to update content on Wikimedia on specific core issues. At present the Wikipedians in Residence are focused on climate change and elections in Africa. The WiRs are given a stipend to cover their basic internet needs and to facilitate edit-a-thons. To participate in the Wikipedian in Residence fellowship, CfA observes the following process:

  1. Call for Application: A general call for application put out for experienced wikipedians with core skills to apply
  2. Shortlisting: Fellows are shortlisted based on a selection criteria based on the number of campaign organized, number of wikimedia contributions to projects, and number of edit-a-thons carried out, experience in advanced Wikipedia edits, eg. meta-pages, experience in the use of outreach dashboard
  3. Onboarding: CfA has an onboarding process which takes about one to two weeks to orient selected Wikipedians In Residence on the projects and processes. This includes:
    • Sending onboarding emails to selected WiR fellows
    • A presentation by CfA explaining  CfA community engagements and details on projects and deliverables
    • Adding WiR fellows to CfA slack channels for effective communication
    • Provision of mentors for guidance for the WiR fellows from the CfA team
  4. Training: CfA organises  training sessions in fact checking and use of advanced wikipedia tools to support the WiR’s. The WiR use acquired skills to organize training sessions for their communities
  5. Quality management:
    • A workplan of deliverables is made available to the WiR fellows to ensure they update their work
    • The outreach dashboard is used to track fellows and contributors activities i.e, number of edits, number of articles created, number of citation, number of uploads, number of debunks etc
    • Regular meetings with fellows are held to review the quality and state of their deliverables. These meetings are also an opportunity to raise and explore solutions to any concerns in the fellowships
    • CfA’s Wikipedia expert monitors programmes to ensure the quality of work done by fellows meets the set standards
    • CfA  involves the Wikimedia team as necessary to ensure Wiki policies are observed and programmes our programmes are impactful and executed in an excellent manner

Wiki Contributors

CfA recruits Wikipedia contributors/editors to support WiR Fellows in making relevant edits and uploads on Wikipedia based on key topic themes identified. The contributors receive training from CfA on key topics such as fact checking and identifying mis/disinformation on Wikipedia, as well as tools that they can use. The contributors participate in their voluntary capacity and  may from time to time receive a small stipend to support their internet cost. CfA uses the following process to engage contributors in our projects:

  1. Call for Application: A call for application is made by CfA for contributors for contributors to apply. The call for application is also shared with fellows to share in their networks
  2. Shortlisting: Contributors are selected to participate in campaigns based on their skills on how to edit wiki-pages on identified topics and on general experience as registered Wikipedians
  3. Onboarding:WiR fellows go through an onboarding process to understand projects better and how to participate
  4. Training: The WiR fellows access contributors and provide trainings to contributors through their edit-a-thon sessions/rainings organized by the fellows
  5. Performance review /Quality Checks:
  • Fellows monitor what every contributor is doing to ensure the right guidelines are observed
  • The outreach dashboard which is monitored by fellows and CfA team is used to track contributors’ activities
  • CfA team/Fellows hold meetings todiscuss projects’ progress and  raise and deal with any challenges and concerns related to projects
  • CfA’s Wikipedia expert  monitors programmes to ensure the quality of work done by contributors meets the set standards
  • CfA involves the Wikimedia team as necessary to ensure Wiki policies are observed and programmes maintain a high quality standard

WiR Community

CfA is investing in growing the community of Wikipedians in Africa. CfA’s WiR community organizes monthly meetups, edit-a-thons, develops online courses, and continental events. The community members are also eligible to apply for WiR fellowships by CfA. To participate in the community, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Registration:  All community members should be register using this link
  2. Interest in Wikipedia:  Be a registered Wikipedian or in the process of registering as a Wikipedian
  3. Location:  Be a Wikipedian in Africa or a Wikipedian interested in developing African content
  4. Change Makers: Be a person who is driven to empower and transform communities

Our Community Activities and photos[edit]

  • Meetups - Holding monthly meetups whose objective is to educate on Wikipedia editing and writing with a focus on article writing, editing, fact-checking, and information verification. Meetings target Anglophone and Francophone-speaking countries.
  • Edit-a-thons - Holding bi-monthly edit-a-thons on specific topics (for both Anglophone and Francophone countries)
  • MOOC Courses - Conceptualising and creating Wikipedia online courses.
  • Continental Event - Holding continental events on Wikipedia editing/content creation/ fact-checking on Wikipedia among other relevant topical subjects.
  • Fellowships - We offer regular WiR fellowships that focus on cross-disciplinary content

See more photos here

External links[edit]