GOI Foundation OER Network
The GOI Foundation OER Network (GOIFON) is a platform that provides anyone the opportunity to release open educational resources into the public domain. It was established in March 2019 by Global Open Initiative with seed funding from Southern Connecticut State University and Known.
GOIFON is a social stream and shared platform for open educational resources that incorporates blogging and analytic tools, enabling users to track knowledge growth across the community.
IIAB Digital Library
As part of a collaborative effort to make the worlds free knowledge easily accessible to everyone regardless of the limitation of internet connectivity, GOI Foundation partnered with Wiki Project Med Foundation to assemble and freely distribute Internet-In-A-Box (IIAB) Raspberry Pi 3 hotspot devices in Sub-saharan Africa. As is the situation in many communities in the Global South, the IIAB hotspot device comes as an intervention to facilitate the sharing of electronic resources suited for learning environments that encounter one or more of the following challenges:
- Lacks Internet access totally
- Lacks sufficient internet access (or, has limited internet access)
- Has Internet access, but wants to provide faster transfer of media files
- Users are likely to access content using smartphones than using the desktop
- Lacks electricity totally
- Has electricity but experiences erratic electric power outages
Content including Wikipedia slices, videos and PDFs may be added to the IIAB Digital Library so that users (up to 32 different client devices) within a couple hundred meters of the hotspot can easily access (and download) learning material with no need for internet connection.
A single device per institution may be requested for free. After an assessment by our team however, the requester shall pay for the cost of shipping or the equivalent of $40 if they need an extra unit. Since demand is high and GOI Foundation only relies on donations, distribution is by first-come-first-serve basis.
IIAB hotspot device may be requested at bit.ly/request_IIAB
The Political Data project has a simple high level objective; that every politician must have a
- Wikipedia article
- Wikidata item, and a
- Wikimedia Commons image
More broadly, by way of organising in person edit-a-thons and online competitions/challenges, this project aims at adding past and present government office holders to Wikimedia projects. Whereby each politician shall have a
- Wikipedia entry in at least one language. The entry shall be a well-formed Start class article, or better (i.e. over 1,500 characters of readable prose)
- Wikidata entry with at least one statement with property position held (P39) along with its relevant qualifiers.
- Each politician shall have a Wikimedia Commons entry. The Wikimedia Commons file shall be an image of themself.
Members of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana
A series of in-person edit-a-thons facilitated under the WikiProject Ghana, Parliament of Ghana working group and organised in collaboration with Madina Institute of Science and Technology is adding all 275 Members of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana to Wikipedia and Wikidata according to the objectives above, from February 23 to May 25 of 2019.
GOI Foundation and GLAM
GOIF (Global Open Initiative Foundation) is partnering with key organizations, including Nubuke Foundation, the Ghana Library Authority, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), to initiate a comprehensive series of programs designed to expand the reach of open knowledge and address critical knowledge accessibility challenges in Ghana. These collaborative efforts are focused on fostering community engagement and making valuable resources more readily available to both Ghanaians and the global audience.
Nubuke Foundation Art and Artist Wikidata Program: In a dedicated effort to enhance the representation of Ghanaian art and artists on Wikidata, GOIF, and its partners have initiated the Nubuke Art and Artist Wikidata Program. Following their successful collaborations with Wikipedia and Wiki Commons, their focus has now shifted to the enrichment of Wikidata in 2024. The program strategy involves the organization of a series comprising four workshops and two contests, with the ambitious goal of contributing over 300 items of artwork. An essential facet of this program is the recognition and celebration of female participants, with the establishment of a special award category that promotes gender diversity and inclusion.
Ghana Library Authority Wikisource and Wikidata Program: The Ghana Library Authority Wikisource and Wikidata Program is dedicated to expanding knowledge accessibility by exploring Wikisource, introducing librarians to Mix and Match, and continuing the process of uploading items on Wikidata. Focusing primarily on library books, this initiative seeks to strengthen the connection between librarians and the Wiki Librarians user group. The program structure entails the organization of five workshops, each engaging with three library institutions, and the inclusion of one contest for each of the four participating institutions. These workshops cover a wide array of topics, ranging from introducing participants to Wiki Source and digitization to proofreading and adherence to copyright guidelines. The inclusion of practical exercises and demonstrations ensures that participants gain hands-on experience and an enriched understanding.
CSIR Wikidata Enrichment Program: The CSIR Wikidata Enrichment Program extends the collaborative effort to enhance the representation of scientific data and research on Wikidata. It involves the continuation of the project for uploading items on Wikidata using Open Refine and the exposure of participants to Wikidata queries. The program plays a pivotal role in advancing the availability of scientific knowledge resources on Wikidata.
Challenges Addressed: A central challenge these programs seek to tackle is the limited access to essential information, including details about Ghanaian art and artists, historical books, and scientific data. Through active contributions to Wikidata, Wikisource, and Open Refine, participants aim to make these invaluable resources more accessible to Ghanaians and the global community. These collaborative endeavors exemplify GOIF's steadfast commitment to nurturing a more open and inclusive knowledge ecosystem, all while actively engaging diverse communities and advocating for gender diversity within the Wikimedia movement.
Democratizing Access to Supreme Court Cases
The "Democratizing Access to Supreme Court Cases through Wikidata" program is a pioneering effort with the primary objective of making Ghana's Supreme Court cases accessible to a wide audience through Wikidata, a powerful and freely available database. This initiative represents an evolution of our prior success in uploading more than 600 Ghanaian Supreme Court cases to Wikidata and aims to harness the full potential of this platform beyond its traditional Wikimedia applications. By developing a user-friendly web application driven by Wikidata's SPARQL queries, we aspire to create a comprehensive repository of Ghanaian Supreme Court cases, thus fostering increased accessibility and comprehension.
A central challenge addressed by this initiative is the limited access to past Ghanaian Supreme Court cases, which significantly restricts their utility for legal professionals, scholars, and society as a whole. The project is designed to bridge this accessibility gap, providing a valuable database that enhances legal research, supports educational endeavors, and empowers the public by making these critical legal cases readily available.
The strategies employed to achieve these goals include organizing gatherings to engage tech professionals and familiarize them with Wikidata, offering comprehensive training on using the Wikidata Query Service, facilitating collaborative efforts to create a user-friendly web application, conducting rigorous quality assurance testing to ensure seamless functionality, documenting and sharing the project's processes within the Wikimedia movement, and actively seeking feedback from users and stakeholders to refine the platform. These strategies together serve to make legal information more accessible and useful, demonstrating the power of technology and collaboration in democratizing knowledge.
Twi Wikipedia Health Articles Enhancement
The "Drugs and Diseases (Twi Translatathon) for Our Twi Community" project is a well-conceived effort aimed at addressing a significant content gap on Twi Wikipedia, focusing on articles related to drugs and diseases, while also improving the quality of corresponding articles on English Wikipedia. Despite Wikipedia's longstanding presence, these critical areas have been underrepresented and in need of updates. The project strategically targets regions in Ghana with a substantial Twi-speaking population, empowering local contributors to enrich articles in their native dialect. This initiative not only seeks to engage both new and experienced Twi contributors but also aims to raise awareness about the existence of a local Wikipedia platform.
One of the primary challenges addressed by this initiative is the content gap on Twi Wikipedia, particularly in the realm of diseases and drugs. The lack of comprehensive coverage limits access to critical health information for Twi-speaking communities. Additionally, the project seeks to tackle the challenge of limited community engagement on Twi Wikipedia, especially in regions where Twi is widely spoken. Furthermore, the rise in local health-related TV programs and institutions delivering information in Twi emphasizes the growing need for reliable and accessible health content in the language.
To overcome these challenges, the project employs several strategic approaches, including content creation, with the engagement of Twi-speaking contributors to create approximately 400 articles on diseases and drugs on Twi Wikipedia. Simultaneously, it focuses on enhancing corresponding articles on English Wikipedia to ensure consistency and accuracy. Community engagement efforts include organizing events, workshops, and outreach initiatives to introduce new contributors and further engage experienced editors. Collaboration with local health professionals, educators, and media outlets is encouraged to promote the dissemination of health knowledge in Twi. Additionally, the project aims to raise awareness about Twi Wikipedia's existence and its potential as a valuable resource. In sum, this project represents a commendable effort to fill a critical information gap while fostering community engagement and raising awareness about the importance of accessible health information in local languages.
Documentation of Fabric Weaving Types in Ghana
The Documentation of Fabric Weaving Types in Ghana is a program with a profound mission to safeguard and celebrate the diverse fabric weaving techniques and traditions that thrive across the regions of Ghana. This project strives to capture the intricacies of weaving methods, patterns, historical significance, and cultural context, ensuring that this invaluable heritage is preserved for future generations. It is a poignant recognition of the risk these traditions face and a dedicated effort to preserve the artistry and cultural significance woven into each thread.
The project takes on two key challenges. Firstly, it focuses on the critical task of preserving weaving traditions that are at risk of being lost or forgotten. Secondly, it seeks to bridge the significant documentation gap that exists, encompassing weaving techniques, tools, and the cultural importance of these traditions. By addressing these challenges, the project endeavors to ensure that the vibrant weaving heritage of Ghana endures.
To overcome these challenges, the project employs a comprehensive set of strategies. It organizes field research teams of experienced volunteers to engage with local artisans in weaving communities, conducting interviews with master weavers, artisans, and community members to collect valuable information about the cultural context and historical importance of each weaving tradition. The program emphasizes meticulous documentation, capturing the entire weaving process, materials, tools, and finished products, which will be shared through Wikipedia and WikiCommons. A central digital archive will be created, ensuring accessibility for researchers, educators, and the general public. Collaborations with local experts, cultural organizations, and academic institutions are also a cornerstone of the project, ensuring the accurate representation and interpretation of these weaving traditions, enriching the depth of knowledge and promoting cultural preservation. This program is a meaningful effort to weave together the threads of Ghana's cultural heritage, creating a tapestry of knowledge that will continue to inspire and educate.
Wiki Clubs Ghana
The Wiki in Ghanaian Schools project is a dynamic initiative with the central goal of introducing university students and professionals in Ghana to the invaluable advantages of using Wikipedia and Wikidata for their research and writing needs. It offers a multifaceted approach designed to enhance participants' writing skills, foster effective communication, and nurture leadership abilities, all while instilling a sense of accomplishment through their contributions to open knowledge. Beyond this, the project has a keen focus on promoting the use of open-source information and working to improve research transparency. The key challenges that this initiative aims to address include limited awareness, writing proficiency, low article quality, and the need to promote research transparency.
One of the primary challenges the project tackles is limited awareness among students and professionals in Ghana about the potential benefits of using Wikipedia and Wikidata for academic and research purposes. Many individuals are yet to discover the vast reservoir of open-source information that can greatly enhance their work.
Writing proficiency is another challenge that this initiative addresses. Students often struggle with writing skills, including proper citation practices and the use of reliable sources. This impacts their ability to contribute high-quality content to Wikipedia and Wikidata.
The project also aims to rectify the issue of low article quality related to Ghanaian culture, history, and current events on Wikipedia and Wikidata. By encouraging students and professionals to contribute to these topics, the project seeks to improve access to accurate and comprehensive information about the country.
Finally, research transparency is an ongoing challenge within academic and professional circles in Ghana. By promoting open-source information and enhancing research transparency, this initiative contributes to the growth of knowledge and trust within the Ghanaian academic and professional community.
To combat these challenges, the project employs a range of strategic approaches, including awareness campaigns, workshops and seminars, training programs, student research projects, and the establishment of a student leader network. These strategies collectively work towards creating a more informed, empowered, and engaged community of contributors, enriching the digital resources available to the public and promoting open knowledge in Ghana
Improving Local Language Wikipedias
While the use of indigenous languages are on the decline, GOI Foundation is passionate about the prospects of Wikimedia projects serving the purpose of language preservation platforms that anyone could edit. Interventions currently undertaken include:
- Incubating languages that do not yet exist on Wikipedia
- Expanding existing languages that are currently experiencing dwindling levels of participation
- Recruiting expert local languages writers to become volunteers
Dagbani language Wikipedia
Dagbani is one of the major languages spoken in Ghana. During the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, WikiProject Medicine Healthcare Translation Task Force and Translators Without Borders worked with local communities on the ground to translate basic healthcare information from simplified English Wikipedia articles into indigenous languages. The Dagbani translations were led by User:Masssly and User:Puumaya 10. The collaboration saw the translation of nearly a dozen simple health-related articles into Dagbani. The Dagbani Wikipedia, borne from this initiative, currently contains hundreds of articles related to other areas including history and geography.
The Nzema Workshops project is a commendable initiative with the primary aim of creating content in the Nzema language, which is one of West Africa's indigenous languages spoken in Ghana and Ivory Coast. This initiative closely aligns with Wikimedia's broader mission of preserving and promoting local languages. The project's initial success involved workshops conducted in collaboration with the Nzema department at the University of Education in Adjumako, resulting in over 400,000 edits in 2023 and numerous contributions to Translatewiki. Building on this foundation, the project intends to organize comprehensive training sessions for students, equipping them with the skills needed to create Wikipedia pages in the Nzema language.
The project addresses critical challenges, including language preservation. Indigenous languages like Nzema are at risk of declining and becoming endangered, making the preservation and promotion of the Nzema language a pressing concern. Additionally, many students may lack awareness of the importance of contributing to indigenous language content and may also lack the necessary skills to do so effectively. Furthermore, the Nzema Wikipedia likely has content gaps, particularly in areas such as parliamentary information and cultural topics related to Nzema culture and history.
To overcome these challenges, the Nzema Editathons project employs a series of strategic approaches. These include conducting workshops and training sessions to educate students on the significance of preserving the Nzema language and providing them with the skills required to create Wikipedia pages in Nzema. The project also organizes contests aimed at encouraging participants to contribute more content to the Nzema Wikipedia, with a focus on topics like the Ghanaian parliament and various aspects of Nzema culture and history.
As of August 2018, the Twi Wikipedia had only 607 articles (mostly stubs) and less than 10 users who made 5+ edits per month. This statistics is getting worse as more of the existing pages are being targeted for deletion because of poor content. An approved grant from the Wikimedia Foundation is intended to rescue the Twi Wikipedia from closing. Three translathathons are to be organised from March to May of 2019 to
- Create at least 50 articles on the Twi Wikipedia (or Translate from English Wikipedia to Twi Wikipedia)
- Recruit new editors to the Twi Wikipedia
- Create a mentorship program to engage the new editors beyond the March-May events
- Create an avenue to publicize local language Wikipedias in Ghana
- Lay the groundworks to improve other African indigenous language Wikipedias