Scope & Summary
The Decolonise the Internet is a gender-focus initiative in partnership with the Goethe Institut to promote the participation of women in bridging the content gap about women on the internet and to increase the quality of women-related contents on Wikipedia. "During its inception, the internet was seen as a vital instrument for democracy and equality. In 2020, amidst a global pandemic and racial inequalities that are very much still alive, it is time to ask: Whose stories are told and who is telling these stories on the internet? And how do Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms and Bots shape our view of the world and perpetuate racisms? This is where the new Goethe-Institut project “Decolonise The Internet” sees its core. The Goethe-Institut’s “Decolonise the Internet” focuses on bridging the unequal representation of voices from the Global South on the internet and aims to increase awareness on how AI and algorithms might perpetuate racisms".
The project facilitated by the Goethe Institut, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc. in collaboration with the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group, Igbo Wikimedians User Group & Hausa Wikimedians User Group started on the 5th of September 2020. More than 100 females were trained on how to contribute to Wikipedia. The logistics supports were provided by the Goethe Institut. This was followed by a contest that resulted in the creation of over 1,500+ articles in English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba language.
Organizing team and facilitators
|1.||Olaniyan Olushola||Chair, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc.||Project manager & volunteers coordinator|
|2.||Katja Katja Kellerer||Leitung Information und Bibliothek||Co-project manager (Administrative)|
|3.||Sam Oyeyele||Outreach coordinator, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc.||Community liaison, English Wikipedia Community|
|4.||Precious Tochi||Co-founder, Igbo Wikimedians User Group||Community liaison, Igbo Wikipedia Community|
|5.||Ammar||Co-Founder, Hausa Wikimedians User Group.||Community liaison, Hausa Wikipedia Community|
|6.||Dansu Peter Zuntepo||Co-Founder, Yoruba Wikimedians User Group.||Community liaison, Yoruba Wikipedia Community|
|7.||Ms. Olayinka Maja||Interim community liaison, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc.||Co-manager, Social media campaign|
|8.||Ayokanmi Oyeyemi||Head of photography, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation||Database Manager|
|9.||Isaac Olatunde||Secretary, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc.||Juror (Yoruba Wikipedia)|
|10.||Oby Ezeilo||Co-Founder, Igbo Wikimedians User Group||Juror (Igbo)|
|11.||M. M ALiu||Co-founder, Hausa Wikimedians User Group||Juror (Hausa Wikipedia)|
|12.||Omolayo Ogunsiji||Executive director, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc.||Jury coordinator|
|13.||Medi Ashioma||Coordinator, Wikimedia Fan Club, Ekiti||Juror (English Wikipedia)|
|14.||Marvellous Osuolale||Former President, Wikimedia Fan Club, Lagos State University||Juror (English Wikipedia)|
Project goal and measures of success
Our specific goals for the project are to:
- Improve the feasibility of Nigerian women
- Bridge the gender gap on the internet and Wikipedia
- Capacity building
- Recruitment of female editora for Wikipedia
The secondary goals of the project are:
- Build long-term networking, relationship and partnering opportunities with aligned organizations
We believed we achieved our project goals based on our reflections during and after the project, and the feedback from participants (see our evaluation feedback), facilitators, and partners.
General overview of activities
|Area||Task (summarized)||end outcome|
|Project management||Project design||Complied|
|action plan design, timeline design, management and milestones,|
|Strategic and Wikimedia movement alignment evaluation|
|Budget and actual cost overview|
|Feasibility assessment & contigency plans|
|Volunteers management||Volunteers recruitment||Complied|
|Training mangement||Moderation strategy"||Complied|
|Training material developent|
|Training patform set up (Zoom pro)|
|logistics and resources|
|Participants confirmation and email reminder|
|Communicating with participants|
|Tracking and assessing learner performance|
|Communication Management||Creation and maintenance of meta page||Complied|
|Sending information and updates via mail to participants|
|Creation and administration of communication platforms|
|Respond to individual needs and requirements of participants and other stakeholders|
Participants were trained by experienced Wikipedia editors from Nigeria. At least five (5) training were conducted from 28th of September 2020 - 27th of October 2020 and the following important topics and concept were covered;
- Copyrights & Free license(s): Facilitated by User:Samatics & Isaac Olatunde, an experienced license reviewer at the Wikimedia Commons
- Cheat Sheet of Wikipedia Editing: The session was facilitated by User:Jamie Tubers, an experienced Wikipedia editor at the English Wikipedia
- Basic Wikipedia Editing and How to Cite a Wikipedia Article: Facilitated by User:Uzoma Ozurumba, an experienced editor from the Igbo Wikimedia Community
- Work-Flow of Creating Wikipedia Page: Facilitated by Ayokanmi Oyeyemi, the regional Ambassador, 1L1B1REF Project
- Translation to local language Wikipedia: Facilitated by User:Macdanpets & User:Olaniyan Olushola,
The sessions were moderated by Yinka Maja, and managed by Olaniyan Olushola.
- What worked well
1. Diversity of participants and trainers
Participants were selected following a call for participation. Over 300 people applied and over 70% of the selected participants were females from different language communities. This diversity of participants makes the training very interesting and also provide a platform for networking.
2. Diversity of trainers
The trainers were selected from four (4) language communities, Nigeria, English, Yoruba, Hausa & Igbo. The trainers were experienced members of the Wikimedia community with a track record of leading similar training in their respective communities. Many of the trainees are native speakers of the targeted languages (except English were the trainers speaks English near native level). This diversity of trainers really worked well during the training.
3. WhatsApp group for coordination
Identifying the easiest and cost-efficient means of coordination was challenging but the use of WhatsApp really worked well. It is easily accessible, cheap, and popular among the participants and trainers. It was easy for mentors to timely respond to questions from the participants and provide feedback on performance.
- What did not work so well
1. Internet connection
The Internet is a major problem in Africa. But we manage to provide at least two different internet network and that worked a bit fine for us.
The Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc has partnered with the Goethe Instut on several projects that have solidified our relationship. Although, for this projects, there were lots of communication gap which really affected the project in some ways. Including inadequate communication about the judging criteria for the contest. We also had some misunderstanding around the social media campaign aspect of this project. This really worked well for the project but many thanks to Katja for her versatility and understanding.
- What we plan to do better in the future
When working on a similar project in the future, we will ensure to improve on our communication. We will ensure that important details are published or noted on the project page.
List of articles created by participants
Over 1500 biographies of notable women were created by the participants. Although, some of them need some improvement. The lists are published here
Winners of Translating and Writing Contests: Nigerian Heroines
- 1st Place: Omoriodion1
- 2nd Place: SinatuOjikutu
- 1st Place: Musa Vacho77
- 2nd Place:AbubakarGwanki
- 1st Place:Osenibabalola
- 2nd Place:Sowoleyin
- 1st Place:Ceslause
- 2nd Place:Africanlibraraian
- "Decolonise the Internet". Goethe-Institut Nigeria. 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-12-12.