Grants:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round1/Wikimedia Argentina/Progress report form

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Purpose of the report[edit]

This form is for organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants to report on their progress after completing the first 6 months of their grants. The time period covered in this form will be the first 6 months of each grant (e.g. 1 January - 30 June of the current year). This form includes four sections, addressing global metrics, program stories, financial information, and compliance. Please contact APG/FDC staff if you have questions about this form, or concerns submitting it by the deadline. After submitting the form, organizations will also meet with APG staff to discuss their progress.

Contents

Global metrics overview - all programs[edit]

We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across our grantees' programs. Please use the table below to let us know how your programs contributed to the Global Metrics. We understand not all Global Metrics will be relevant for all programs, so feel free to put "0" where necessary. For each program include the following table and

  1. Next to each required metric, list the outcome achieved for all of your programs included in your proposal.
  2. Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome.
  3. In addition to the Global Metrics as measures of success for your programs, there is another table format in which you may report on any OTHER relevant measures of your programs success

For more information and a sample, see Global Metrics.

Education Programe[edit]

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. # of active editors involved 264
  • Online courses: 86
  • Educational referents: 118
  • Students: 60
2. # of new editors 808
  • Online courses: 293
  • Educational referents: 174
  • Students: 341
3. # of individuals involved 1102
  • Online courses: 379 (315 people started the online course and create the user name. 175 finish in time and form)
  • Educational referents: 292
  • Students:401
  • Other Workshops:30
4. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages n/a n/a
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects 160
  • Online courses:130 (no personal pages counted)
  • Educational referents: 8
  • Students: 22
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects 1,002,803
  • Online courses: 736756
  • Educational referents: 6540
  • Workshops:259507


Staff involved: 3 people Volunteers: 12 volunteers (4 women)

GLAM Programe[edit]

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. # of active editors involved 79
  • Editing contest: 39
  • Photo contest: 19. Here we take in account the photo contest launch in 2014 and finished in 2015 "Luz, cámara, clic". It is considered as well, an education or GLAM project but the final results are represented in this program.
  • Editing workshops: 2
  • Edit-a-thons: 11
  • Improvement of content/release of material: 7
2. # of new editors 401
  • Editing contest: 4
  • Photo contest: 209
  • Editing workshops: 168
  • Edit-a-thons: 19
  • Improvement of content/release of material: 1
3. # of individuals involved 479
  • Editing contest: 43
  • Photo contest: 228
  • Editing workshops: 170
  • Edit-a-thons: 30
  • Improvement of content/release of material: 8
4. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages 442
  • Editing contest: 88
  • Photo contest: 10
  • Editing workshops: 2
  • Edit-a-thons: 0
  • Improvement of content/release of material: 342
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects 457
  • Editing contest: 389
  • Photo contest: n/a
  • Editing workshops: 13
  • Edit-a-thons: 9
  • Improvement of content/release of material: 46
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects 3,279,724
  • Editing contest: 3169995
  • Photo contest: n/a
  • Editing workshops:15392
  • Edit-a-thons: 3780
  • Improvement of content/release of material: 90557


Staff involved: 2 people Volunteers: 25 volunteers (14 women)

Federalization Program[edit]

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. # of active editors involved 196
  • Workshops in the province: n/a
  • Survey editors: 193
  • Volunteers in the province: 3
2. # of new editors 3
  • Workshops in the province: n/a
  • Survey editors: 0
  • Volunteers in the province: 3
3. # of individuals involved 334
  • Workshops in the province: 135
  • Survey editors: 193
  • Volunteers in the province: 6 Just taking in mind Mendoza and Entre Rios. We are currently working with Rosario and Resistencia.
4. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages n/a
  • Workshops in the province: n/a
  • Survey editors: n/a
  • Volunteers in the province: n/a
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects n/a
  • Workshops in the province: n/a
  • Survey editors: n/a
  • Volunteers in the province: n/a
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects n/a
  • Workshops in the province: n/a
  • Survey editors: n/a
  • Volunteers in the province: n/a


Staff involved: 2 people Volunteers: 6 volunteers (3 women)

Telling your program stories - all programs[edit]

Please tell the story of each of your programs included in your proposal. This is your chance to tell your story by using any additional metrics (beyond global metrics) that are relevant to your context, beyond the global metrics above. You should be reporting against the targets you set at the beginning of the year throughout the year. We have provided a template here below for you to report against your targets, but you are welcome to include this information in another way. Also, if you decided not to do a program that was included in your proposal or added a program not in the proposal, please explain this change. More resources for storytelling are at the end of this form. Here are some ways to tell your story.

  • We encourage you to share your successes and failures and what you are learning. Please also share why are these successes, failures, or learnings are important in your context. Reference learning patterns or other documentation.
  • Make clear connections between your offline activities and online results, as applicable. For example, explain how your education program activities is leading to quality content on Wikipedia.
  • We encourage you to tell your story in different ways by using videos, sound files, images (photos and infographics, e.g.), compelling quotes, and by linking directly to work you produce. You may highlight outcomes, learning, or metrics this way.
  • We encourage you to continue using dashboards, progress bars, and scorecards that you have used to illustrate your progress in the past, and to report consistently over time.
  • You are welcome to use the table below to report on any metrics or measures relevant to your program. These may or may not include the global metrics you put in the overview section above. You can also share your progress in another way if you do not find a table like this useful.

An overview to our local context[edit]

Wikimedia Argentina leads with an specific local context. Even though you will find more detail in how this affects to our daily work on the sections bellow, we consider it interesting to offer a global view of our local context to help you understand how we work and why of some decisions.

The local context, our daily reality
  • Argentina is facing president elections in 2015: Argentina is a bipolar country. You are for or you are against. All the activities planned by Wikimedia Argentina for 2015, mostly in Education, must be started before October. The climate of uncertainty is high.
  • Economically we live with inflation as a problem: the salary increase, dictated by law, for 2016, was set at 30%. This mandatory rise must be take it into account for next year annual proposal.
  • There are a favorable atmosphere in the national level to develop our Educational Program
  • To distribute among the students of the country the same resources does not mean that there are no gaps and a national educational project for rejoining these resources; it really does not exist.
  • The educational referents know Wikipedia but they don't know how can the project be implemented in the classroom.
  • There is a huge ignorance of what free culture means, what is a free license and that something that is said as free does not mean to thow your work away.
  • Working with cultural institutions is working for building historical memory and cultural identity in Argentina: our approach regarding cultural institutions is focus on this issue as it is the main cultural Argentine matter.
  • Almost the 41% of Argentina has not internet connection: we need to adapt our activities off-line or to be achieve out of the schools, per example.Schools and cultural institutions deal with the problem, so are we.
  • Schools and cultural institutions are a very conservative work spaces in Argentina: even though, we are very well welcome and we are all wanting to work with us.
  • We have many daily proposals: Wikimedia Argentina is a NGO without political connections that aims to help improve the national education programs and promote the cultural presence of Argentina in the Wikimedia projects; and that makes us a friendly organization to work with.
  • Cultural institutions are beginning to digitize their archives. National laws require the archives to start the process, however resources are very limited. Wikimedia Argentina is helping the cultural sector by providing specific DIY scanners but there is still a lack of resources to make them work within the institutions that we are solving.
  • Argentina is a very large country and we are a small staff: building communities is a challenge we are facing.
  • Making a more inclusive movement mean helping minority groups to raise their voices: the Villas are part of our daily day as many people lives in and they are places in the middle of Buenos Aires. As well, not understanding Argentina as a immigrant country means not paying attention to its reality and history.

General program assessment[edit]

Education program

Efficiency: The education program and its expected results were defined considering the relation between resources and results beforehand. We have currently had to redefine part of the human resources destined to activities in the education program, to balance the cost-benefit ratio of the projects and actions we have been developing.
Viability: The activities carried out are in turn, appropriated by our counterparts and points of reference in education. The scalability of the program guarantees its viability, which will be analyzed when the annual program is completed.
Efficacy: The education program is meeting its specific objective and expected results. Despite this, we adjusted the expected results to the context of implementation (see dashboards bellow)
Pertinence: The expected results and objectives of the education program are matched to the context of actuation. In this sense:
1) We took into account the demands and needs detected in the educational context. We adjusted our proposals to the existing needs during the implementation of the program.
2) The education program is designed to refer to and be coordinated with the national and local education policies, counterparts with whom we work in the implementation of educational proposals.

GLAM program

Efficiency: The GLAM program and expected results were designed considering the relation between resources and results beforehand. We have made changes to the human resources side of the program, after the lack of coordination in sharing the workload experienced during the first months, to balance the shared responsibility with our counterparts.
Viability: Part of the procedures involved in the GLAM program have been redefined considerably. We will be able to assess the viability of the program at the end of the next 6 months.
Efficacy: The GLAM program has undergone a re-definition of its proposals. But the general specific objectives related to its contents are still being correctly managed, adjusting the expected results to the context of implementation.
Pertinence:
1) Activities were adapted to the demands and needs of the context.
2) The strategy of the GLAM program is limited by Argentina’s cultural context where, despite the lack of policies which implement cultural strategies, the construction of a historical memory constitutes a key cultural aspect.

Federalization program

Efficiency: The objectives and results of the Federalization program were defined considering resources beforehand. The lack, or better said, the superficial analysis made in terms of objectives, means that the established goals are not adequate for the reality of the context. The efficiency of the program will be measured more accurately at the end of its implementation.
Viability: Part of the initial objectives of the Federalization program have been modified. The viability of the program will be clear only at the end of the annual implementation.
Efficacy: not yet available
Pertinence: In redefinition. Data not yet available

Gender mainstreaming[edit]

Gender Gap

The programs powered by Wikimedia Argentina are designed with the gender issue in mind, mainstreaming the need to address this subject whenever the opportunity arises during each of our activities. Through our actions, we try to highlight the role of women as constructors of knowledge, respond to the demands of the community on this matter, and develop activities and projects which bring together and are relevant both for men and women.
In this regards, Wikimedia Argentina has kept a record of the participation of women vs. men, analyzing the percentage of women who have taken ownership of Wikimedia projects and initiated their own actions. At each opportunity for debate, we try to pose the question of why women do not participate in the collaborative construction of knowledge, leaving aside the idea of inequality.
Figures to date:

Activities Comments
Experts in education 475 female representing 79.6% of our points of reference.
Students 163 female representing 40.68% of our points of reference.
Appropriation of projects 9 activities appropriated, 8 appropriated by women, representing the 88,8%
Volunteers 18 female volunteers representing the 39,53%
Participants in editing competition 16 females representing the 38% of editing women.

Which is the way forward?

Once we have set the debate about women and construction of knowledge, Wikimedia Argentina needs to work for a more objective measurement of the results obtained from each project, in respect of the use and appropriation of the projects by women.
In this context, we are working to articulate a system of follow up through gender perspective, and we believe it is necessary for us to be able to measure:

Efficiency: are our proposals considering the contributions of women/girls in the inputs and outputs?
Pertinence: to what degree do our proposals consider the problems of women/girls?
Impact: to what degree do our proposals favor a better development of the relation between genders?
Viability: what is the level of appropriation of initiatives by women/girls?

At this time, Wikimedia Argentina is working to create a standardized follow up sheet for the projects, which includes all of the indicators required to analyze and improve the role of women and girls in Wikimedia projects.

Education Program[edit]

Education is one of the most important programs of Wikimedia Argentina. This is not coincidental, 72% of the editors we know in Argentina consider that the most sustainable way to generate new wikipedists, and for them to become autonomous, is through the educational context and environment. 7 out of 10 people interested in becoming part of a work group at Wikimedia Argentina, would do so in the education group, either through editing workshops or through conferences at schools and higher education institutions. Obviously, the types of activities powered by Wikimedia Argentina are a lot more diverse, so we understand that we should put higher emphasis on the diffusion of the rest of activities.
Our current education program is developed following three specific strategic lines. The fourth line, generating wider knowledge about free culture, is mainstreamed into each of our actions in education:

Stakeholders involved:

Activities Comment
Conectar Igualdad a Government initiative designed to improve educational equality and reduce the digital literacy gap in Argentina
Plan Sarmiento – INTEC a Government plan which promotes pedagogical innovation from the new paradigm of digital society, in cooperation with the Technological Development Institute
educ.ar Education portal of the Ministry of Education in Argentina
Relpe Latin American Network of Education Portals
UNLP National University of La Plata
@Prender Education portal of the región of Entre Rios
Scholem Aleijem school Primary and secondary private school
ORT school Primary and secondary private school
Colegio Nacional de la Plata National School of La Plata
FLACSO Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences


Strategic lines in Education[edit]

Participation and content[edit]

The education program was institutionalized as such by Wikimedia Argentina during 2014. Because of the changes and processes involved in the creation of a program from square one, the results forecasted for 1014 are remarkably far from the objectives set for 2015. Wikimedia Argentina has adapted each of their proposals to the ever-changing contextual reality of Argentina. The following activities have been carried out as part of the education program from January to June 2015 –it must be noted that the academic year began on 16th March 2015-:

  1. Collaboration agreements with key institutions: The national and local education policies in Argentina are leaning increasingly towards the objective of narrowing the digital breach. This context, which we can consider favorable, has given us the opportunity to work in association with the main educational institutions in the country.
  2. Educational edit-a-thons: the editing workshops and awareness of free culture workshops organized by Wikimedia Argentina in the frame of the educational project, have led to educational editathons where students come in close contact with the history of their local contexts and contribute to the collective building of their historical memory. The building of historical memory as an educational line is strongly present in schools and classrooms.
  3. Distance learning: Distance courses have consolidated as an effective response to the demands of the community, and constitute a good strategy in terms of scalability, not only because key users take ownership of the digital tools they learn, but also because it prompts users to start editing.
  4. Editing workshops: teachers as leading actors. We have hosted several editing workshops for teachers and actors of influence in the classroom to generate change, and to impulse Wikimedia projects.
  5. Editing challenges: though still in the early stages of organization, we are working on different editing challenges to improve the contents of Wikipedia at educational environments from the inside
  6. Designing and developing specific digital educational materials: At first didn´t exist high quality educational and specif digital materials about free culture issues in educational experiencies in our region. We created our own material but we encourage teachers too to be more material producers.

Participation and content metrics overview: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
400 teachers trained though online-courses
100 teachers trained 400 257/400. 315 people started the online course but just 175 ended in time and form. The sum up of all the participants being trained in time and form - 3 online courses- are 257.
60% finish the course on time and form
70% n/a 175/257
50% new users
62 % n/a 229/257
10 teachers from Conectar Igualdad trained
300 educational referents trained Target changed to improvement of sustainable educational projects by our stakeholder from Conectar Igualdad 259/10
80% of the teachers trained have a better perception of Wikimedia projects
96% 80% 93/100
50 new student's users
n/a 50 32/50
25 articles improved or created by students
n/a 25 8/25. Last year focus was on teachers.
500 hundred students involved
n/a 500 401/500
70% of students become new users
n/a 70% 341/401
5 articles modified o created by the students
n/a Above the target 16/5
1 editing contest launched
n/a 1000 articles improved o created Launched 6th of July 2015

Background and context:The education community as providers of contents for Wikipedia, the fulfillment of an objective or the means to an end?[edit]

Argentina: a country of national policies for technological inclusion

The fact that Argentina has distributed 5 million netbooks among students and teachers in secondary schools and learning institutions seems the perfect scenario for an education project to be carried out successfully. There are some factors that favor better inclusion: the national and jurisdictional policies of the model 1:1 (one computer for one student) introduced by National Decree in 2010, the possibility of accessing knowledge through the necessary tools in order to reduce the digital breach, and the creation of same opportunities for everyone at social level.

In this context, Wikipedia is not an isolated resource. Values such as public access to information with the ultimate aim to favor social inclusion, mainstream each of the education-related actions powered by Wikimedia Argentina. We even have the experience of the CDPedia initiative (Wikipedia offline).

However, the question that arises in this context is whether just having a certain policy enough to achieve good results. Undoubtedly this initiative is a clear sign of the education strategies, even at private schools, generating competition between private and public management. The granting of infrastructure for everyone, allowed for real parity in the classrooms for the first time after the 90’s, a decade where the country’s public education went down in terms of quality and social valuation.

What?” “How?” “In which way? are the questions usually posed by teachers, experts in digital education and students at schools. These are meta groups, or teachers with different capabilities that match the complexity of the profiles and the recent reforms in education[1]

The role of Wikimedia Argentina: empowering the educational referents, approaching Wikimedia projects, debunking myths

There is no doubt that the grounds set by the current technological immersion policies and their outreach, facilitate the implementation of our own education projects. Wikipedia is a well-known project among most leading authorities in education.

It really was a pleasant surprise to discover what Wikipedia actually is.

I had some concerns mainly related to the reliability of the information offered. Discovering that it is a free content encyclopedia, open for anyone to contribute and edit, that it is constantly updated and that it provides reliable information, is a definition that summarizes the qualities of this tool.All of us, no matter where we are, create knowledge. Consolidating all cultures in all languages, simultaneously and under the same motto: to be clear, constructive and neutral and to build a reliable foundation.
Slomit Milchiker –Teacher in charge of the Wikimedia workshop at the Scholem Aleijem school

What do teachers know about Wikipedia, are they aware of the implications of using Wikipedia in the classroom? Do they know how to use it as a teaching resource? And more specifically, what are the real initiatives, experiences and practices they translate into? What are the different national policies in the educational context?

We have the highest expectations in regard to the production of quality materials by our students, and we believe it is a way to contribute to the richness inherent to this universe. Our objective is for students to take the opportunities offered by Wikimedia, to reflect on their productions, to learn from their peers, and to work in cooperation, boosting the digital competencies they already possess.
Marcelo Dal Modin, ORT school coordinator, Belgrano site. (School that belongs to the Advisory Board of the Conectar Igualdad program)

Lesson 1: Changing the approach: focusing on educational referents

According to this statement, the acceptance of Wikipedia and its sister projects is wider than we had expected. Clearly there was no proposal for a systematic implementation of technology in education environments, so the inclusion of these practices mean that we have reached deep within the educational system. We are generating digital culture in environments where more traditional education practices had been prevalent until now.

At Wikimedia Argentina we acknowledge the need for a political proposal, but as we understand it, a policy is not enough to really promote the new attitudes and roles that teachers and students must take, for us to reach our goal.

On the other hand, approaching subjects such as copyright, free license, collaborative writing, etc., is an innovation in the world of education, where for many years there was a reluctance to share knowledge and learning through trial and error, strategies which are basic in contexts such as Wikipedia.

In this sense, even though our target audience could be students initially, from early on we realized that the real actors who can change the paradigm and the new way to build knowledge within the classroom, are teachers and experts in education who obviously mainstream national politics, but who also need to update their teaching resources.

This initial step, which we consider vital at Wikimedia Argentina, is necessary for a number of reasons:

  1. Schools in Argentina are conservative environments where the actors who can impulse change are basically teachers.
  2. Teachers are considered the engines that power the scalability of Wikimedia Argentina’s education project.

This way, and taking into consideration the fact that the academic year begins at the end of March in Argentina, we have trained 671 leaders in education via onsite and online courses. 467 of these teachers are new editors of Wikimedia projects. After the training sessions 93% of the participants considered they had improved their knowledge of Wikimedia projects and other concepts such as the implications of free culture or the idea of collaborative construction of knowledge through the example of Wikipedia and its sister projects.

Leaders in education

Wokshops and online courses: approaching the educational referents

Curso virtual

Both the onsite workshops and the online courses offered in alliance with RELPE (a network that links professors, teachers and technological education leaders at all levels in the country and the region –bringing together distant geographical areas) and currently with the National University of La Plata (university level), are Wikimedia Argentina’s response to the demands of the education community.

Working in education with Wikimedia projects at the University involves an exercise of reflection about unlimited access to knowledge, taking on the tension existing between tradition and innovation, vertical and horizontal structures, copyright and free circulation, individuality and networks. Our biggest challenge is to make teachers really assimilate our proposals, appropriating and participate actively in them, since there is still a lot to do, a lot to discuss about, many productions to share.
María Mercedes Martín, Training and ICT coordinator. Department of Technology and Learning. National University of La Plata.

Our answer to the “what?” “how?” “in which way?” has been the training of experts in education not only on the different Wikimedia projects, but also on editing Wikipedia, to give them a new capacity that they can in turn teach to their students in the classroom.

Thanks to the online course with RELPE, where 175 teachers have finished in time and form from the 315 who started the course, 115 articles have been improved, 229 are new users, 1258 editions have been made and 646 554 bytes Meanwhile, the UNLP online course is being taken by 24 educational referents.

Editing workshops are the answer to deal with the context of the educational referents we work with. Ignoring the distances, and attending the needs presented by national programs as Conectar Igualdad and Plan Sarmiento, 292 educational referents have been trained and 8 articles created or improved.

Lesson 2: Looking for a major involvement in our local context

We must remark on the difficulty to reach all students. We understand the potential of the context well, but unfortunately, guaranteeing equal opportunities, does not mean equal resources being available. Policies are necessary. They are an ideal frame from where to begin.
However, are they really sufficient? Can a Non-profit Organization solve the structural and cultural issues arising with the different educational institutions?
The answer is no.
The characteristics of students in primary and secondary schools is far from those of University students. A National Law on Compulsory Education exists in Argentina (as well as an Universal allowance per child which is only given if the child is attending school) according to which all students must complete the school levels and meet the minimum education requisites stipulated by the National Council of Education.
University student profiles however, have an inherent motivation and educational expectations, while a school student may or may not respond positively to a new didactic proposal or make sensible use of the tools he or she has access to. In this sense, Wikimedia Argentina has changed its initial approach which was to reach students in the most direct way possible, not only through the work of teachers, but also adapting our objectives to the school cultural context in Argentina. This way different actors are involved such as professors, teachers, leading names in technological education, in order to generate an environment which sustains our proposals, creating a link between them rather than having them as sporadic and isolated activities, and responding to each particular educational need. This approach guarantees real involvement from the actors, adds value to our proposal and in short, prompts genuine ownership of the projects by the actors.

Therefore, we have opted for Educational edit-a-thons at the National College of La Plata- 120 participants,1 article improved, 13 created, 2 students remain active- competitions where young people got involved with specific slogans like taking pictures of their schools and where 135 students of ORT have risen more than 400 photographies and quarterly editing workshops as response to the needs of the school culture Argentina. In this sense, we have made three quarterly experiences with 2 university courses and 1 high school course. Both contexts with different results come to represent the different contexts difficulties, and during the implementation we had to reformulate the initial objectives as following:

Number of people involved Number of articles Number of bytes added Dates Initial objective Review objective Comments
Scholem Aleijem School- secondary school 40 1 9856 13th March-13th June Improvement and creation of new articles Better understanding and knowledge of Wikipedia and its sisters projects Teacher with lots of initiative, but low wikipedia skills and resources.
FLACSO -postgraduate 43 5 178920 18th of June- 1st of July Improvement of articles Encourage the activity as own and part of their evaluation program Good initial knowledge. Good level of resources.
UNDP - 1st year college 13 1 4749 20th April- 25th June Improvement of articles Improvement of the knowledge of Wikipedia and how to edit. Teacher starting to edit in Wikipedia


Lesson 3: When having the same access does not mean having the same resources

Not all the results of this first semester have been favorable or met our initial expectations. One of the first things we learnt in the past 6 months of implementation, is that pursuing equitable access to learning tools does not mean that all schools count with the same resources in terms of materials, knowledge and use of the resources.

Despite the above, and after making some changes to our initial vision, we have managed to adapt our activities to the reality of Argentine schools. We have already mentioned the conservatism present in academic environments, but it must be remarked that there is a lot of effort and work at schools to build their historical memory and defend the right to identity. This strong paradigm is a favorable environment for teachers and students to work along together, and increases our outreach considerably. To date, 401 students have worked directly on Wikimedia projects, 85% of which are currently new users.

So, are students the answer to bigger and better content on Wikipedia and its sister projects?

So far, we understand we are on the right path in terms of coverage and scalability of the project. Wikimedia Argentina has a solid Education program and is working alongside the main actors in education. If we speak of generating more –which is not necessarily better- content, we are still moving slowly. Not due to lack of access but because the process of reaching teachers and secondly students, requires disassembling some strongly set misconceptions about the usefulness of Wikipedia and its reliability. We continue to bet on these meta groups adapting our focus to the reality with which we work. Teachers are trying very hard to deconstruct deeply-rooted cultural concepts and to facilitate spaces where their students can develop critical thinking and build their own identity in the digital world.

Given the resources[2] we have at Wikimedia Argentina, and the heterogeneity of realities, geographical distances and experiences we have encountered in the past months, we come across the challenge to reach as many teachers as possible. We have learnt that we need to provide tools which can be consulted at any time and place, rather than trying to teach these tools one-to-one, which would be difficult to achieve. Moreover, the real empowerment lies not on generating a presence-based bond with teachers, but in them identifying their needs, being aware of their contexts and knowing the Wikimedia projects choosing only the project(s) which actually are sustainable for them. We make every effort to give support to teachers in their activities, but in addition we are developing new and better materials, as well as a new training methodology adapted to the needs of each actor, with the aim to improve our results in terms of numbers of edits, and numbers of new independent and autonomous editors. The Education website is an example of this strategy, looking to gain a position as reference site, with contents generated by other teachers. We can also mention our posts in Argentine educational and jurisdictional portals such as Educ.ar and @Aprender in the province of Entre Ríos.

Community Support[edit]

Our education program is strongly linked to the interaction with the teaching community. In this context, each of the initiatives carried out by Wikimedia Argentina has responded to the motto of giving the participants in our programs a leading role, making teachers and experts in education ambassadors of our actions. This is a means as well as an end to favor the scalability of our projects and constitutes the main objective of this strategic line in education.

  1. Wikipedist ambassadors: The construction of a network of wikipedist ambassadors, gained during the development of our programs, as autonomous actors who can develop activities, is necessary to escalate the education program and to take on emerging projects with objectives which mainstream the GLAM and Federalization programs.

Community Support: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
15 teachers as ambassadors
n/a 10/15 8/15. We are now building our educational community. For that reason we have conducted a survey where 16 people would like to be part of the educational work group. The data is not yet avaliable.
3 teachers in charge of Campus Rep activities
n/a n/a Not scheduled. We are on our work of building the educational community. No results available yet.

Background and context: Scalable programs: a community of participants or a community of ambassadors?[edit]

The role of Wikimedia Argentina: actions as means to an end


Our reward is in the effort, not the result. Full effort is full victory

Mahatma Gandhi.

Wikiworshop testimonies

One of the main metrics for Wikimedia Argentina, by which we measure our success and generate changes if necessary, is to be able to evaluate our actions not as final objectives by themselves but as means to an end. The core of our objective is not how many participants attend our activities, but how many of them become part of Wikimedia Argentina as volunteers or “Wikipedist ambassadors”. This is, for them to customize and take ownership of the proposal and to put it forward in different educational spaces and communities.

The brief experience we have had so far in the Education program, is that we have been able to listen to the needs and educational trajectory of our collaborators, allowing us to give them tailor-made solutions, facilitating for our projects to gain relevance and validation and also showing the high degree of flexibility and adaptability of the projects to different educational proposals. This practice is consolidating and extending as a general work practice.

After I jumped into wikipedist waters, I had an insight of the cultural and educational relevance of incorporating wikiprojects to the existing educational proposals, not just as a source of information, demystifying the myths of low reliability. In the Wikimedia universe there are certain steps to building knowledge that reproduce, in some aspects, the way knowledge is generated in scientific communities: there is debate, agreements on the style of writing, reference sources, methods of work established to ensure the accuracy of the information.
Miriam Latorre, graduate in Education and tutor of the online course “bridges between school, digital and free cultures

However, we do not stop at this. We believe that our assessment must consider the “afterwards”, what happens after our activities? What is the degree of genuine ownership and installed capacity?

Wikimedia Argentina’s Education program is partly focused on covering the demands of the teaching community. The strategic lines are clearly established accordingly in our program. However, the wiki culture that frames our projects opens a door for collaborative construction of our activities. This concept shakes the foundations of school traditions and culture, since our activities tend to move teachers from their usual standpoint of power and authority, an innovative approach for which teachers are usually not trained. In this regard, Wikimedia Argentina measures the development and evaluation of its projects by the degree of scalability of its actions. This means, not just presenting a proposal, but to converse and merge with the local contexts and needs.

What we learned: scaling up programs as projects incubators

In 2014, the online course “Bridges between school, digital and free cultures” was our innovative answer to a first attempt at getting to know the needs of the community. Conceived as an incubator course the results showed high levels of acceptance of its contents with a completion rate of around 70% - a high mark for a course which granted no academic accreditation, carried out over the last semester of the academic year and having quite a long duration. Even though it was a success in terms of community response, later surveys proved that the time allocated to editing had not been enough and that 96% of the participants demanded a second edition, considering the first one as an introduction to free culture. The maturation and bonding times of this kind of proposals are sometimes slower in school environments, mainly because they involve a deep change from the existing logics.

Wikipedist Map

The 2015 edition was adapted to the mentioned needs, focusing strongly on introducing participants into Wikimedia platforms (even though they were the strongest points of reluctance or difficulty for teachers) from the beginning. The reformulation of contents aimed specifically at learning how to edit Wikipedia, has come hand in hand with the impact of the results achieved in the 2014 edition. 6 months after the end of the course, 249 edits have been made, 13 new articles have been created, 82871 bytes added and 12 active editors, with at least 5 edits during the 6 months that followed the course, which means a retention rate of 12% approximately. Although we have achieved remarkable results in 2015 –the course becoming a reference in the country and the region, with over 1000 people signing in for the first edition -which is an indicator of the interest this proposal raises- the most interesting point when we evaluate our education activities is the afterwards.

Final video "Bridges between school, digital and free cultures 2015"

As well, to generate quality own materials that articulate education specialists references, school practices and proposals for creation. The scaling and positioning of the materials created and designed in the online course have been a success. One learning pattern designed for that reason can be found here

Evaluating the Education program means evaluating its scalability through a two-dimensional assessment:

  1. Increasing the implication of participants: this is measured by the proposals and interventions generated at the actors’ own initiative.
  2. Favoring and legitimizing debate about Wikipedia on local and public agendas: promoting its inclusion in the development of inclusive educational activities.

In sum, from this perspective we cannot analyze our results without considering the process involved, nor the development of activities if they do not become sustainable, understanding sustainability as the generation of autonomous actions which respond to measurable, specific objectives.

Workshops with multiplier effect

On a participative level, the editing workshops -8 organized so far- have been an important source of scalability opportunities for the program. We are still surprised by the general lack of awareness and the misconceptions built around Wikipedia in educational environments, which obviously translates in people’s reluctance to use this tool.

Secondary Schools

Initiatives such as the work we have been carrying out at the Scholem school, where 40 students are learning what free culture mains and how to edit –with 78 edits made to this date- are an example of our objective to encourage users to take ownership of the project, and are the result of Wikimedia Argentina’s effort - Sholem is the result of a previous activity with Fundación Bamá- to generate debate on free culture and Wikipedia as educational project.

The workshop gave me the opportunity to get to know and challenge myself to explore Wikipedia, acquiring knowledge of the world and being able to contribute to it with my own knowledge.I really enjoyed the activities and videos, they really helped in getting to know and exploring Wikipedia.It was an opportunity to challenge ourselves and our knowledge, and to explore different insights of the world. We learnt, and enjoyed learning at each of the sessions of the workshop.I did not know that anyone can contribute to Wikipedia. Nor could I imagine the amount of people involved behind each article. I mean, someone uploads some information and there is always other people behind making sure it is accurate. I realize that if someone gives information which is not correct, it will be quickly deleted so it appears on the web as little time as possible.I learnt how to edit and create links in my articles.I would tell someone my age that it is easy to contribute with information, and that there might be articles which are not complete, and you can always bring in something new. The important thing is for the information to be as complete as possible so it is useful for everyone. Agustina Szkop, 4th year student at the Scholem Aleijem School

Testimonies of the Scholem Aleijem school


As a result of our work to generate spaces for debate and thought about Wikimedia and its projects among the teaching community new projects have been designed and absorbed by our counterparts with support from Wikimedia Argentina, obtaining specific results. These are what we call WikiLabs, incubators where we can test proposals, co-create activities and evaluate their usefulness with students and teachers.

We are usually presented with requests for examples of implementation by our strategic allies. The WikiLabs are spaces which we can use as reference.

The educational edit-a-thona conducted so far have involved the participation of 204 students and experts in education, with 24 new articles created/edited. Despite the results being modest in terms of contents, 2 of the students are currently regular editors of Wikipedia, with over 13 articles produced after the editing workshop.

The collaborative construction of Argentina’s historical memory through the highlighting of historical spaces or the access to historical archives from which to start building their identity, has become a core topic that responds to our objectives from several different perspectives: a) it is content that is developed at schools b) it opens the door for sustained cooperation with cultural institutions, rather than occasional collaborations. In this regard, we have not had to look for new partners, but we have brought students closer to museums, archives and galleries, to work alongside teachers using the contents these institutions have to offer.


University Level

FLACSO

A university level, the scalability of our program has translated into a cooperation agreement with the National University of La Plata and the Human Rights Chair, a consequence and direct response to a workshop about Wikipedia and its sister projects. We are currently conducting a pilot test with the assistance of 13 first-year sociology students. They have been working in the collaborative writing of an article. During the second quarter of the academic year, and using the experience acquired, these students will work in the creation and improvement of articles related to Human Rights. Also, thanks to the agreement signed in 2014 with FLACSO, the department of specialization in education and technology through its 43 students, has improved 5 articles that have meant an increase of 178920 bytes . The challenge now is to establish these pilot tests as part of the curriculum of courses and lectures.

Government

Tandil

The Conectar Igualdad program has been our partner in the execution and articulation of the program. It has also been a propitious frame where Wikimedia Argentina, as advisor, has undertaken new education initiatives with new actors. As an example of these initiatives, we have participated in the Universo Sábato program in the city of Tandil. This initiative contemplated the training of students of Education, 34, and the edition of 8 relevant articles. We also organized talks with students in the first years. The city responded to our project with a high level of participation and the subject of Wikimedia was introduced in the educational agendas.

Another example of Wikiworkshops is the activity carried out at ORT schools, where more than 100 teachers have been trained on Wiki culture since 2014. This was necessary in order to establish the Wikimedia identity “brand”. Around 135 students participated actively in the “Lights, camera, click”” competition, contributing with over 400 photographs.

Find the rest of images on Wikimedia Commons
ORT schools have great potential for us, since they are one of the main educational points of reference in Argentina. They are part of the advisory board of the Conectar Igualdad program. After the success of the teacher training courses, we are currently designing a strategy for joint development of activities.

Lesson 2: a sustainable debate as multiplier of experiences

Concerning the debate on the sustainability of Wiki culture, we refer to the results of the online course which, unlike other projects, is not measured by the classic indicators of number of edits and improved articles -115 in the last edition- but by the number of referrals and ambassadors who commit themselves to our project, as actors who transmit their installed capacities, and are able to replicate the project in their own environments with positive results (per example, the teachers of the online course 2015 are last year students). At present, the project has been taken on by the National University of La Plata and the @prender portal in the province of Paraná, with the support of Wikimedia Argentina, facilitating the transmission of knowledge through actions powered by the participants themselves. We currently count with the support of 8 leading names in the field of education located strategically, as well as a number of education ambassadors.

Participating in an activity does not generate a sense of identity per se, however, a strong sense of bonding is achieved when participants make these activities their own and when they take the initiative to reproduce these activities elsewhere. Wikimedia Argentina faces the challenge of turning the volunteers who worked in replicating activities into permanent allies. During the first 6 months of 2015, and particularly since the beginning of school and university activities, Wikimedia Argentina has undertaken the following activities that have escalated as follows:

Tree of scaling projects

Through 6 different educational experiences, Wikimedia Argentina has promoted 9 activities.The program structure that defines the sustainability of the debate is based precisely on understanding its scalable potential. From this point of view and using Jocelyn DeJong theory, the type of scaling up propose through the education program it is as follows:

Strategy 1: Organizational expansion Strategy 2: Catalysing Role Strategy 3: Diffusion Strategy 4: Influency policy Strategy 5: Mainstreaming in Development
Main Objectives Diversify proposals through autonomous actors Fostering ownership of educational proposal Improve knowledge of Wikimedia projects in the educational community Encourage debate on free culture and Wikimedia projects Legitimize Wikipedia and its sister projects in school settings
Type of organization involved Wikimedia Argentina Educational referents Educational community in its amplitude Education Ministry, Schools, Non-formal education schools All school environments without distinction.

Considering the above, can we say that we propitiate the sustained engagement of experts in education? Can we speak of a community of ambassadors? The reality is that we are learning from the process of creating a firm and sustainable bond between participants and projects. It is not an easy task for any organization to increase its number of volunteers and for them to sustain their commitment over a long period of time.

(...) I included a section dedicated to the production of contents on Wikipedia and the role that teachers can play in relation to it, in the program of the subject I teach at the Teacher Training Institute. My personal wish is to be able to think about schools not just as places where contents are transferred but also as places where knowledge is produced. How can we achieve this? Wikimedia projects and their methods of production give us some clues that we, as teachers, need to interpret through our didactic lens. This brings to us the potential to change the course of events at our schools and turn them into spaces for creation. It takes courage, creativity and determination to take the quantum leap required.
Miriam Latorre, tutor of the course “Bridges between school, digital and free cultures

It would be hasty to speak of results at this time. The fact that we count with teachers who are passionate about the subject and keen to get involved does not guarantee positive results. Initial analyses must go really in depth and generate a broad and accurate view of the actual possibilities of our counterparts. We need to make a clear distinction between wanting to do and the real needs of our organization in respect of the results that could be achieved. For a team as small as Wikimedia Argentina, it is an exhausting exercise to not only comply with the guidelines of national policies, which mainstream each of our actions, but also to respond to the demands presented by each of the actors who want to cooperate with us, always from their own concept of validity, without sufficient resources and depending largely on our own work. In this sense we are making a great effort to focus, to respond strategically and to support those initiatives which are backed up by teams who are strong enough to provide positive results.

From being a student to become a teacher: Paola's experience in the online course
"In september 2014 I learnt on Twitter that there was going to be a course related to the subject of Wikipedia:”Bridges between school, digital and free cultures”. I did not think it twice, and contacted the organization to sign up for the course.

I found it very motivating that the course was offered from Wikimedia Argentina through the RELPE network, making way for the possibility of sharing with the global community experiences of integration of educational proposals including technology (…). During the course I was able to incorporate the Wikimedia project for the recognition and elaboration of primary sources in didactic sequences we carry out in the class, through the activities that were proposed over the duration of the course, the experience of developing collaborative projects and activities created an instance for exchange where we were able to “build” from our own experiences (hands-on learning) and acquiring skills such as team cooperation, integrated use of IT tools, as well as practicing responsibility, communication, direction and management of the difficulties found (…)
In mid-April 2015, I received an invitation from the Wikimedia Argentina team to be a part of the activating team in the new edition of the course. I was very happy and proud to be able to contribute (…).
The past 2 months of work with #wikipuentes (wikibridges) has given me the chance to examine the idea of “learning with others” from a different dimension; supporting, monitoring, encouraging interaction and social learning, allowed me to strengthen and enhance my own learning environment. From the beginning, the team of tutors agreed to concentrate on the development of communication skills, to be able to put ourselves in the place of the others, to offer them encouragement and to create a bond with others from the standpoint of empathy. We divided into groups in order to carry out this task. In regard to group messages, we agreed they must convey encouragement and support, trying to build bridges between known and unknown, experienced and not experienced, always from a place that allows us to really reach the others. The activity in the forums was truly enlightening, although we also made room for interpersonal communication, through one-to-one communication. I have had continuous two-directional communication with some participants who have preferred this way of communication. It has been rewarding to hear the testimonials of participating teachers who have started to be familiar with the use of Wikimedia, opening a whole new range of possibilities for activities and projects to be carried out in the classroom making use of this collaborative encyclopedia. It encourages me to continue to participate in other similar collective projects. However, I do believe it is a challenge, at least short-term, to design projects at institutional level to continue this line of thought, that allow for those “bridges” to be built, and to add new teachers and actors from educational environments to this culture of collaboration and joint construction of knowledge"

Paola Andrea Dellepiane, student and participant in the 2014 edition of the course

Cooperation[edit]

Wikimedia Argentina has made profound changes to its initial approach to the cooperation and education line. On a first approach we tried to make the movement as inclusive as possible at educational level. However, our cooperation actions have turned towards generating a new debate which did not previously exist: the role of women as generators of knowledge and contents in the digital world. Argentina is a country where the disparity between men and women, particularly in terms of work opportunities, is still largely present. The debate was based on classical arguments and concepts, without considering the incidence, or lack of it, of women in the construction of knowledge.
Wikimedia Argentina has worked to open a new line of analysis on the role of women, emphasizing this line in each of its activities. At present, all our programs take into account the number of women directly affected by our activities.
Activities so far:

  1. Gender: positioning of new debates about gender, paying particular attention to the factors which widen the gender breach in the sphere of knowledge, by making new alliances and finding key counterparts.

Cooperation: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
2 workshops in Villa 21
n/a At least 2 re-defined as GLAM activity
5 workshops held in adult education
n/A n/a Not scheduled yet.
Establishing a sustainable debate about gender gap in Wikipedia
n/a 2 workshops for the Wikimedia community and volunteers Education cooperation target re-defined. Goal: to better improve the knowledge of gender matters in Wikipedia and carry out at least 2 workshops in order to make the project a more friendly space among editors. Workshops will be carried out by a Wikimedia Argentina volunteer Jaluj. Scheduled in September.

Background and context: Debating the meaning of cooperation in Education: changing our approach[edit]

Wikimedia Argentina: opening the doors to a new debate on gender issues

Gender and digital gap edit-a-thon

Argentina is a country committed to equality between men and women.
From a regional level is one of the few countries with a comprehensive law on protection for women (law 26,485) promoted by the current government. The problematic is present in the public agenda.
Specifically, the violence against women is a priority policy in Argentina as well as in the media, given that during 2014, 277 women were killed by their partners or relatives. Similarly, through the secretary of women, Argentina, a country that has signed the CEDAW and adheres to the Beijing platform, works the state policies through mainstreaming gender and improving opportunities for girls and women to help them access to the employment and educational opportunities, especially in vulnerable contexts. In this sense, the debate on gender equality, is already active in the Argentine society.

Wikimedia Argentina understood that Wikimedia as a movement that should come up as an inclusive project, respecting differences, generating spaces that favored social integration. However, talking about social inclusion is talking about a concept which is too global, difficult to reach and measure. We have definitely learnt along the way that our proposals must respond to measurable objectives, far from utopic goals. Wikimedia Argentina has made significant changes in the strategic line of cooperation within the field of education.

In this context and in regards to education, Wikimedia Argentina has concentrated its cooperation-related activities on the objective of narrowing the gender breach in the access and construction of knowledge. We decided not to focus on the breach of access to knowledge because the national policies on the subject of assimilation of digital tools, affect all students in the country alike. The fact that women have little presence in Wikimedia projects as editors of contents is an undeniable reality for Wikimedia in Spanish.
However, what do we know about their possibilities of accessing technology? What are the chances of accessing knowledge in countries known as Global South?
Argentina is not an exception to the cultural structure present in a large part of developing countries. Women have been historically relegated to domestic tasks, while men have occupied cultural life. The eternal debate of care vs use.

Editatón -Gender and digital gap edit-a-thon

Wikimedia Argentina, through a number of activities such as the editing workshops, education editathons and online courses (Wikiworkshops) has come to the conclusion that part of the problem lies on the way that women make their voices heard in Wikimedia projects, as a reflection of a society where women fight against glass ceilings and the silencing of their opinions. On another hand, it is surprising how the number of women teachers is exponentially higher than the number of men teachers, so this is an adequate frame to approach the subject of gender breach. The work carried out to highlight and address this situation has been varied, but always within our educational motto of change being possible through schools and teachers. To date, Wikimedia Argentina has trained 401 students, 163 of them women, all of which have become new users of Wikipedia.

Women educators

Likewise, of the 617 experts in education trained so far, 475 are women, direct actors of change in the classroom. We have been focusing strongly on raising awareness on a subject that is completely unknown to the population. In many senses, the Argentine society does not see itself as a constructor of knowledge, despite the important work they have been carrying out in the reconstruction of their historical memory.

Lesson 1: Opening the debate to start changing the paradigm

We have set the foundations for the achievement of this objective through multiple activities. We have organized 3 workshops in universities where we have approached the subject of gender breach in the specific context of edition on Wikipedia. Also, we belong to a number of networks dedicated to the promotion of women as generators of knowledge such as Girls in tech, impulsed by Melina Masnatta, with the aim to take the first step towards debate and to provide spaces for reflection on this issue. We want to go one step further from the classic debate that focuses on the equality of men and women: why don’t they participate in spaces of creation of knowledge?

Through our cooperation agreement with IIPE UNESCO, we organized different activities during Women’s Month, aimed at promoting the inclusion of women as generators of contents. During a 4-hour work lunch we discussed the issue of the lack of appropriation of technology by women. More than 40 women and men of different ages and professions participated in this activity which ended with a specialized webinar attended by 700 people. On 21st March 2015 we held an editathon focused on improving gender concepts. There were 19 participants in this activity, 12 of them women, who created 1 article and edited 6. 2 of these female participants are currently active users, with 3 participations each, 3 months after the event.

IIPE UNESCO Editathon

We are still facing a challenge. Of the 19 participants in the editathon, 9 were Wikipedists, all of them men. The organization is finding some difficulties in increasing the number of volunteers and also in conveying and highlighting the work performed by women who are part of the Wikimedia Argentina community but participate to a lesser degree in our activities.

The next few months will be key for the definition of this objective. We are signing cooperation agreements with organizations powered by women and reference persons in the country. Our message and thoughts are always oriented towards the freedom of women to contribute with their knowledge from the standpoint of their own choices, finding their own place and identity in the digital and knowledge construction spaces.

We have opened the door of debate and we are just beginning the academic year, so we believe we have good perspectives and promising alliances ahead.

Education resources[edit]

educational resources

Wikimedia Argentina found that the educational field didn't have the aswer to the needs presented by the teachers. There were no resorces and materials designed about free cultures, Wikimedia projects and the diverses educational experiences in the region. Fo that reason, we created our own material but, as well, we encourage teachers too to be more material producers.
Find the most important and useful material as follows:

Wikimedia Argentina produced three learning patterns

Contribution to the Educational Newsletter

Resources from “Bridges between school, digital and free cultures”

"Bridges between school, digital and free cultures" Wikiprojects 2014

What we learned so far though the Education program[edit]

We have learnt 5 things 5 things we would not do again
  • Whenever “WMAR” is not known in the educational institutions we want to approach, making strategic alliances with well-stablished education portals is a key strategic action.
  • There are several infrastructure issues, such as connectivity, which are still not solved at regional level. This is a conditioning factor at the time of considering digital materials since, for instance, they must be created in downloadable format.
  • Our investment of time in the creation of quality digital material (such as online courses and the design of the proposals to publicize them) was rewarded not only with us gaining participant loyalty but also facilitated the replication of the activity in their own spaces (web portals and classes)
  • On many occasions, the schedules of institutional organisms set the pace of our own agendas, forcing us to adapt to their needs.
  • The interface, rules and edition processes of Wikipedia and its projects, evidence the lack of knowledge and educational practices where concepts such as collaborative construction are involved.
  • Working on campuses or digital environments which belong to other organisms who restrict our work in technical matters.
  • We need to agree on the minimum requisites our prospective partners must meet prior to generating distance learning strategies. On many occasions we have had to take care of every single detail, even the onsite assembly of work spaces for the proposed events.
  • Accommodating the agendas and timeframes of partnerships when they are sometimes very different to ours, which puts a great strain on us.
  • Accommodating the extensions of time demanded by our partners (for instance the duration of a course), even when in many cases this is counterproductive
  • Offering turnkey solutions which mean supplying all of the required resources (contents, guidance, implementation, etc., this is, design, implementation and evaluation) as on many occasions this ends in a lack of involvement from the partners or their failure to meet the terms of our agreement.

Which are our next steps within the Education Program?[edit]

Next steps: the following months Stakeholders

• To continue to work in educational contexts thorugh editing workshops.
• To consolidate and improve results in primary and secondary schools and universities where we are already present.
• To promote the acquisition and learning of editing skills, through editing competitions launched with established counterparts.
• To continue to bring up the debate on women as generators of knowledge.
• To keep working and strengthening our cooperation with key counterparts in Argentina.

  • National and local government.
  • Working with same schools and universities.
  • New online course editions with the National Teaching Institute
  • New and better material for teachers produced: alliance with Educatina and other video producers.
  • IIPE UNESCO

GLAM Program[edit]

The GLAM program, Wikimedia Argentina’s program for cultural promotion, has also changed its foundations and structures, and its strategy in general. The contextual reality of Argentina has taken us to work with very specific counterparts related to the construction of the historical memory of the country. In this sense, a focused strategy that allows us to mainstream GLAM work and the education project, is giving positive results in the frame of the GLAM projects.
Also, the training of key coordinators in each institution, and a strategy focused in the long-term, have proved to the the most adequate answer to a cultural context which is not always favorable in Argentina. At present, we are concentrating our work in 3 counterparts, as well as encouraging the work of volunteers and responding to their demands. The first call for projects for volunteers returned 10 projects, 7 of which were accepted, and 3 of them finally chosen to be supported by Wikimedia Argentina.

Stakeholders involved:

Activities Comment
MNBA National Museum of Fine Arts
Archivo Histórico de la Provincia de Buenos Aires Historical Archives of the Province of Buenos Aires
UNESCO UNESCO
Gobierno de la Ciudad City Government
Ministerio de Seguridad Security Ministry
Museo del Bicentenario Bicentennial Museum
Colegio Nacional de La Plata National school of La Plata


Strategic lines in GLAM[edit]

Participation and content[edit]

The GLAM projecs are a very important source of contents. Not just for Wikimedia Commons or Wikisoruce, but also for Wikipedia, since the release of materials under free licenses provide larger and better quality contents for this project. Wikimedia Argentina is compromised to impulse activities and projects around this objective within the GLAM project, following our efforts to redesign our approach and understand the context where our activities take place.

Activities carried out so far:

  1. Digitization project: we have put a stronger focus on qualitative results, the digitization project is at quite a developed stage, with two stable partners. This project is starting to show significant results.
  2. Editing workshops at schools: because of the strong link between editing activities and the education program, we have moved part of the editing workshops to schools, mainstreaming the paradigm of highlighting local and cultural patrimony through the students.
  3. Editing competitions: there have been important modifications to the 2015 editing competition. Though we are still launching the competition in association with the same counterpart, UNESCO, the competition will now have as main objective the improvement of articles with photographic material.
  4. Photography competitions: After the closure of the Lights, Camera, Click! Competition (Luz, cámara, clic!) Wikimedia Argentina keeps counting on photography competitions to improve the contents of Wikimedia Commons.
  5. Editathons: we are designing a new approach to editathons. We find that editathons do not generate new editors, and we do not usually find new learners, while the cost for volunteers is high. We believe that mainstreaming edithatons with education is an effective solution in this case. Also, establishing a strategic line to follow, will give us more and better organization of our work through these activities.

Participation and content metrics overview: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
1 editing contest on WikiTravel
140 participants 12 new articles Contests re-defined in its targets. At least 150 participants and 100 articles improved

Launched the 1st of June. Find the contest page [1] After analyzing the results of 2014 contest we designed this new contest according to the need and possibilities of children between 7 and 13 years. Today's contest about inmaterial heritage of Argentina is focused on taking pictures and improving articles.

1 photo contest
326 participants, 96 articles improved, 2042 pictures 200 participants, 3000 pictures Scheduled in August 2015
5 editing workshops
n/a At least 5 editing workshops 170 students trained in 4 editing workshops.
80% of participants become new users
n/a At least 80% 118/170
100 students attending
n/a Above the target. 170/100
10 edit-a-thons done with 8 different institutions
9 editions carried out, 136 participants Target re-defined. 6 cultural edit-a-thons 2/10. Changing paradigm regarding cultural edit-a-thons.
1000 new images from edit-a-thons
299 pictures 1000 No results yet available.
3000 documents under public domain
1816 new images under public domain Above target. At least 3000 2241/3000
3 new alliances with cultural institution for the digitalization project
3 2. Under target 1/3. Strategy focused on consolidating the actual cultural alliances
3 capacitations for cultural referents done
n/a At least 3 2/3. Third scheduled on August 27th.
1 Wikipedian in Residence
n/a 1 Not yet scheduled. Explanation about the figure of a WIR in argentine cultural institutions can be found on the background and context section.

Background and context: Building a culture for memory in Argentina[edit]

Argentina is a country of great cultural wealth that unfortunately is affected by the apathy surrounding national and regional institutions. For a long time, Argentina’s history has been blurred by the different coups occurred in the country. This historical drawback has been both political, erasing the memory of whole governments and movements, and conceptual: what cannot be seen, did not happen. In consequence, for a long time there were no policies that protected and preserved the historical cultural heritage. Museums have been neglected, entire archives wasted, elements of historical architecture demolished in favor of modern urban growth. In this context, only fifteen years ago did government policies start to highlight and give relevance to human rights.

It is important to stress that the Congress and the Executive made advances towards revoking amnesty laws, judges –especially the Court- declared the laws concerning amnesty and indults unconstitutional, and the non-applicability of Statutory Limitations to crimes against Humanity, this is, the non-prescription of these crimes
Ricardo Lorenzetti, president of the Supreme Court of Justice

Thanks to this work, bringing memory back to society has had as an immediate consequence the revaluation of Argentina’s social and cultural Patrimony. In addition, Argentina celebrated its bicentennial in 2010 and an exercise of recalling the darkest most important chapters of national history was made. Despite these efforts, it is still difficult to revert the damage of 50 years of neglect of the local patrimony.

The role of Wikimedia Argentina: promoting free and open culture as a platform for memory
Wikimedia Argentina has been working hard in a sector which, historical difficulties aside, is characterized by secrecy. Accessing relevant institutions and working with them as counterparts, us not belonging to any bodies of the government, is a difficult task in Argentina. We must first educate the institution, what is free culture? Why the Spanish translation of free culture does not mean “giving away your work for free”? This is the task we currently have in our hands, looking to position ourselves inside some strategic organizations of the City government, such as BA Camp and BA Hackathon, or institutions related to the national government such as the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Historical Archives of the Province of Buenos Aires, where 5 people have been trained with the objective not just to understand what Wikipedia is, but also the ways in which we can work together.

My prejudice regarding Wikipedia, if I had any, was the fact that I could not imagine that its human team would be available to work with collectivities such as ours outside the web. Discovering the good disposition of the team and being invited to build projects together was inspiring and left me wanting to transmit that inspiration on to other colleagues
Iván Basurto Delgado, Assistant Secretary of AERA (association of Ecuadorians residing in Argentina)

Lesson 1: Less is more
After several years of working with institutions linked to human rights, as we did in the editathon for Memory and the Bicentennial Museum editathon, we realize that even though these activities had helped us to position our chapter within the public agenda, the results achieved were far from what we expected, being occasional and short-term actions. In this sense, we are turning towards a “less is more” approach. Fewer counterparts, but better results.
We need to put aside high impact activities in favor of sustaining our presence within institutions. If Wikimedia wants to transcend and become more than just an organizer of occasional activities, we need to become part of the agenda of institutions during the whole year, be it election year or not. It may be an arduous task to foresee the timeframes of different institutions and adapt to their government agendas, but it is the only way to start opening doors and for Wikimedia Argentina’s work to start being perceived as beneficial for the institutions who participate as actors.

Our first contact with Wikipedia was in April this year. We invited them to participate in our initiative Buenos Aires Ciudad Abierta (Buenos Aires Open City) to work along with the team from the General Direction of Collectivities. Buenos Aires Open City is an instance of citizen participation and collaboration that encourages discussion, exploration and joint design of collaborative solutions to the most pressing problems of our city. The project aims to highlight the existing information about the different collectivities present in the City, and facilitate the access to this information. Working in cooperation directly with the collectivities involved and providing them with tools to collect material and information to upload to Wikipedia through the celebration of an editathon (…)
Laura Paonessa, Community Operations ManagerGovernment laboratory.

Wikimedia’s team worked along with the Collectivities team over the last month, participating of each of the stages of the Buenos Aires Open City initiative:

-Buenos Aires Camp: we held a workshop concerning wiki culture and the Wikimedia ecosystem, and organized panel discussions where we outlined the collectivities project. It was decided that we would work with the Peruvian, Ecuadorian and Colombian collectivities.
-Activation: we worked in the Laboratory to organize the ideas gathered in the BACamp. We counted with the participation of representatives from the chosen collectivities.

-Buenos Aires Hackathon: another workshop was offered as an introduction to the first steps in the edition of contents on Wikipedia. That same day, during the afternoon, there was an exercise of edition of articles referred to each collectivity. For this, we counted on the support of a group of volunteers who worked with the representatives of each community.

2015 is election year in Argentina. There will be elections for Governors and also for a new President. Public institutions, which are the ones with bigger needs and more receptive to working with Wikimedia Argentina, are bound to these electoral events and try to use the activities carried out with our chapter as campaign tools. Wikimedia Argentina has decided to focus on a few particular institutions, probably fewer than we could, but who are of higher strategic value for us. In this sense, we do not work with any cultural institution until they receive prior editing training -2 workshops held so far- and it is also our requirement that they designate a leader or responsible person for the project within the organization. What we aim for is to change our previous work paradigm and link all of the strategic lines of the GLAM project: digitization of contents-editing workshops and editathons, always serving the needs of each institution as well as our own objectives.

The work we carry out in cooperation with Wikimedia is to upload a number of images of works of art in the Museum the copyright of which is of public domain. At the same time we are coordinating the free-use loan of a DIY Scanner provided by Wikimedia for the Museum, to facilitate the digitization of several catalogues from exhibitions at the National Museum of Fine Arts. Lastly, we are planning on an editathon of the Museum’s wiki, which will be open for the work team at the Museum as well as wikipedists from the community.
Lucas Reydó, community Manager at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

Lesson 2: technical issues

The Historical Archives of the Province of Buenos Aires

Aside from responding to institutions’ needs and promoting the project, we face several side difficulties. The digitization project, despite its great potential, is often hindered by a lack of resources. The majority of archives does not count with the material and human resources needed to put into value the amount of archives they keep. The Historical Archives of the Province of Buenos Aires, one of our partner institutions, has digitized only 1% of their material, and their resources are reduced to 2 manual scans and a computer running on Windows XP. The people in charge of uploading the material are two designers who work part-time at the Museum, so right now the materials given to us are being uploaded by two of our volunteers. There are currently 256 images available on Wikimedia Commons and 21 articles have been improved thanks to them (17 distinct images).

Find the rest of images on Wikimedia Commons

Despite the above we consider that the Archive is one of our strongest counterparts. They have received one of our scanners, which they have not been able to use due to incompatibility with their computer system. We expect the problem to be solved during July or August and we hope, seen that the compromise from this institution is firm, that the results will improve considerably. In this case, the institution perceives us as a source of help through which more and more resources become accessible. As organizations, we both share the same vision and work policies, and the staff –already trained- is easy to approach and fully compromised.

Lesson 3: No yet ready for a WIR, but a timid yes to have a project manager

National Museum of Fine Arts

The National Museum of Fine Arts shares a similar reality, with the difference that they have designated one of their staff who -after training- is in charge of supporting the upload of material to Wikimedia Commons. We need to remark on an issue which is common to all the institutions we work with: the great reluctance we find when we explain that they can count on the assistance of a resident wikipedist. Wikimedia Argentina’s intention was to incorporate a Resident wikipedist in at least some institution during 2015, and although we have not abandoned this objective, we do realize that it will be complex to achieve. In any case, our strategy of training and designating a person in charge within participating institutions is starting to work, although we still need the support of a volunteer from Wikimedia Argentina to keep up with the work load. At present, images of 710 works of art from the National Museum have been released to Wikimedia Commons, 342 articles have been improved, 293 of them with distinct images and, following an initiative which invited wikipedists to edit, 46 articles have been edited thanks to the work of 8 volunteers. We are timidly starting to set foot in the General Archives of the Nation, an institution which is still reluctant to release images of the history of Argentina even though they are already of public domain. In our initial approach they agreed to release 155 images which will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by 1 volunteer.

Find the rest of images on Wikimedia Commons

Not only is our work with cultural institutions slow, our resources in terms of time are not enough either, to be able to manage several projects at once, mainstreaming activities which bring not just an improvement of contents but also tackle each of the existing misconceptions about Wikimedia projects. Considering all this, what should be our strategy to work effectively with other organizations?

A new paradigm: cross-program activities

We find one possible answer to this question in educational editathons and editing workshops -4 organized to date- which link schools with cultural organizations in a shared space where they can collectively build the memory of Argentina at historical level, and at the same time new and future wikipedists learn how to edit. Over the course of two sessions carried out at the National School of La Plata, we took the archives to the classroom, where 120 children learnt how to participate in Wikipedia and its sister projects, and further from the edition of the one best article in the school, 2 students have later produced 13 new articles. The construction of memory is a subject which mainstreams remarkably all the contents related to the preservation of cultural and social history of the country. A large part of this construction takes place in school environments, given that they have received netbooks and other resources as part of the national policies in education.

We decided then to mainstream the efforts of Wikimedia Argentina, the contents of institutions and the resources –human resources brought by schools in order to stablish dynamic schemes where we can teach young students what the basic values of Wikiimedia Argentina are.

Narrowing the scope of editathons and reformulating them as activities, have been of great importance for Wikimedia Argentina. The change in the paradigm has been remarkable. We will talk about this point more in depth later on, but we consider that editathons are not strategies that generate value in terms of numbers of new editors or in quantity of contents. Defining a new strategic line of work, such as the creation of spaces for the reconstruction of memory, is a priority for us to continue our work in an organized and coherent way. In this sense, the initiatives that support the creation and improvement of more and better articles are already showing better results than editathons (2 carried out so far – 2 articles created, 7 articles improved and 30 participants).

Another way to enrich and add contents from the cultural sphere is the organization of editing and photography competitions. These activities are coherent with our strategy of linking our different programs. As we mentioned before, we often find that schools count with the tools but not with the resources needed to use them. Many schools do not have a WIFI connection in their facilities, even though the government has supplied netbooks to all primary and secondary school children, so part of the work that could be carried out in the class becomes homework. We are confident about the success that editing competitions can have among primary and secondary school students.

The availability of computers at home throughout the territory has gone up from 20.5% to 47%.over the last decade, meaning an increase of 26,5% in the number of households that have access to a computer between 2001 and 2010. According to this data, 3.653.823 new homes acquired a computer during this period (…). The regions with the highest numbers of households with computers are: Tierra del Fuego 73,7%,CABA 68,6%,Santa Cruz 63,8%
(INDEC official data – General household survey 2010)

In 2014 we conducted a pilot project with children of primary school as participants, to edit on Wikitravel. We learnt that children definitely have no difficulties in taking and uploading pictures on to articles, but it was difficult for kids their age to write articles correctly. Even then, 14 articles were improved or created in Wikitravel. In this context, we have just launched a competition together with UNESCO, on the subject of intangible cultural patrimony. With this competition we aim for students in primary school to improve Wikipedia articles with pictures taken by themselves, uploading them to Wikimedia Commons first (find the contest page on the following linkThere will be, as well, an editing competition for students in secondary school which will be framed in our agreement with the Educ.ar portal (find the contest page on the following link The moto of this competition will be to put into value the photographic material gathered in the last edition of WikiLovesMonuments. At the same time, the editing competitions for adults will take a different color. Given that initiatives of short duration on a specific topic are generating a good response, we will continue to put forward editing challenges on different subjects for the rest of the year.

In addition, the Lights, Camera, Click! competition, whose objective was to generate a bank of free use images, ended on 31st May, with 1113 new images of Argentine schools.

Vera Rex testimony

We invited participants from school communities to portray their schools in pictures, upload them to Wikimedia Commons and categorize them, and then then to share them in a space called “free images of Argentine schools” (…). The idea is to put into value our schools and to create a bank of labelled and categorized images which can be used freely, responsibly. This is our contribution.
Vera Rex, ICT and Education Mananager. Coordinator the Training department at the IBERTIC Institute. ICT Manager.


Our approach to the GLAM projects has changed substantially for Wikimedia Argentina. We are now promoting activities which link education and promotion of culture in order to reach new participants and introduce them to culture and to social responsibility and citizenship. We are aiming to involve the Wikipedist community as well as new participants through editing and photography competitions. The actors involved are being systematically reduced by follow up and monthly meetings -9 to date-. Focal points and compulsory training sessions and workshops are part of our new answers to the results previously obtained. All of this work is carried out simultaneously with the wearing task of trying to meet the public agendas, to promote Wikimedia Argentina’s proposal and to work in long-term partnerships.

Community Support[edit]

It is complicated for all Wikimedia organizations to engage volunteers for their projects. Wikimedia Argentina is not an exception and activities we had traditionally used to add volunteers to the organization are not working to bring people into the team in a long-term commitment. Actions such as editathons are an exhausting exercise for our team in comparison to the poor results returned.
Keeping close contact with the community is a necessary, but insufficient, task.With our reduced number of staff, strategies such as the calls for projects and responding to the demands of volunteers and editors through community meetings are redefining our previous work parameters in the GLAM projects.

Activities carried out so far:

  1. Volunteer project support: Wikimedia Argentina works thanks to its volunteers and for its volunteers, but we had never had a clear strategy to channel their needs. The I Call for Project has been a pilot test for the design of a new way of communication with our volunteers and, hopefully, of increasing their implication.

Community Support: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
3 work groups committed to GLAM
n/a Under target. 1 group projected No results yet. A survey conducted to engage volunteers to programs. 19 people are interested on being part of a work group but 16 want to be part of the Education work group and 2 part of the GLAM group and 1 part of the Federalization group.
A survey conducted to better know our community of editors
n/a 100 193/100. Re-defined as a Federalization activity.
20 projects presented by the community on a call for competition
n/a 20. On target 10/20

Background and context: When solid bases does not mean better results[edit]


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has

Margaret Mead.


Volunteer´s meeting

Wikimedia Argentina is currently a partner with 70 associates, a number that has not increased proportionally over the years. This is an example of what a closed circle the Argentine chapter is. The partners and group of volunteers that we work with have reached a status of familiarity with us, and even though there is a larger number of people editing at local level, the people working directly with Wikimedia Argentina are basically the same.

Counting on a group of people who have known each other for several years, creates a tight bond that translates into the solid base of volunteers that Wikimedia Argentina has. It was thanks to volunteers that Iberoconf 2014 was possible; the work carried out would not have been possible without them. However, even counting with community loyalty, we run the risk of wikipedists getting tired and participating less in our activities. This is, for the enthusiasm of the community to wear out if there is not a new focus of the activities and the way we organize the work we do with volunteers.
During the first semester of 2015 we thought of new strategies to consolidate our group and continue to grow. We believe it is key to have new faces in the activities organized by Wikimedia Argentina if we want to keep our movement alive. This way the enthusiasm to be a wikipedist remains high.
In April 2015, we held the first volunteer meeting open to the whole community. The meeting took place in our own offices and, although it did not attract new participants, we provided an instance and a place for volunteers to express their views on the lines and projects that the Argentine chapter has to follow. Among the suggestions they made two ideas were point as more important:

  1. the idea that editathons needed to be more extense. They found that, by the time partipants are starting to grasp the wiki philosophy and getting enthusiastic about editing, it was already time to leave.
  2. the movement and specifically Wikimedia Argentina, need to give our volunteers, the right support back.
I think the most important thing we can do to deal with the “wiki is very complicated” “I don’t understand this”, is to give them opportunity to experiment and practice. I guess that hands-on work makes it easier to understand and assimilate how wiki works. (...) So, how can we balance theory and practice? This is a complicated issue especially where time is concerned. I would be happy to have unlimited time so there would be enough theory and practice, but obviously this may be too tiring or boring for other people. '.
Lucas Reynoso, Wikimedia Argentina volunteer.

Lesson 1: The edit-a-thons as they are, became obsolete

We have come to the conclusion that editathons are no longer useful to engage new volunteers or broaden the circle of knowledge as they used to be, unless they are accompanied by a simultaneous editing workshop We are now designing editathons to be spaces for learning rather than for editing. They will be events where we can explain the wiki dynamics and philosophy so that participants can hear testimonials directly from volunteers and volunteers can bring in their installed capacity of how to work in Wikipedia.

From that first volunteer meeting, even if no new faces were present, we arrived to a few conclusions on what should be the steps to follow in respect of the events and strategies that are attractive for existing and potential volunteers. On one hand, we decided to include a wiki workshop in each editathon to facilitate the assimilation of the basic pillars of our movement, rather than having volunteers explain it to each participant individually.

Lesson 2: Empower volunteers to further strengthen its commitment to the movement.

Another initiative which was met with enthusiasm was the calling for projects where all users of Wikimedia in Spanish in Argentina can put forward a project of their own and for Wikimedia Argentina to support them.
This initiative translated into 10 projects, 2 of which were chosen. The first one being a project of train photography which will be supported institutionally and financially.

When Wikimedia Argentina called for projects from local users I decided it was a good opportunity to receive some help in a project I had had in mind for some time, which was to make a collection of photographs of the 83 subway stations in the network. The project aims to portray the architecture, engineering, details, art, etc… that exist underground in our own city, in order to take good pictures that can go with related articles, increasing their visibility and enriching the description of this means of transport.I believe the result will be positive and will allow me to continue my investigation about this means of transport in the City, as well as showing others how Wikipedia can be the place to develop their projects.
Mauricio Genta, Wikimedia Argentina volunteer.

The second initiative chosen in the call for projects is an editing and photography competition around the topic of the protected natural áreas in Argentina. This project will be developed by a volunteer student of tourism who noticed the lack of articles on this subject in Wikipedia.

In sum, we believe that encouraging the interests of volunteers, we will manage to engage other volunteers and generate a broader network.

Our volunteer Ezarate

Wikimedia Argentina believes that empowering the members of the movement and giving them credit for the role they play, they will be able to transmit the message and continue to enlarge the cooperation circle. To achieve this, we are in the middle of producing a video where we asked a number of volunteers how they got involved in the movement, what their hobbies are and what their interest is in collaborating with Wikimedia Argentina. The idea is to give the the leading part in the movement. This line of work will not stop at the making of a publicitary spot, but will encourage participation through all channels be it digital or analogical. During 2015 volunteers of Wikimedia Argentina gave several talks. Mauricio Genta, student of Library and Information sciences at the B.N.M.M gave a talk at this institution for students from all years, where he spoke about Wikipedia and the differences between it and analogical enciclopedias.

One of our most active librarians and editors participated in FLIsol Salta, the largest free-software event in Latin America, talking about the Encyclopedic relevance in Wikipedia.
This way we are generating the space for them to transmit their knowledge and work on projects which respond to their needs.

Our main next challenge?
To address one of our volunteers main desires: join new faces... and maybe, be able to continue changing the world for the better

Cooperation[edit]

GLAM responds to the cooperation strategic line by implementing inclusive initiatives. Minority groups and disadvantaged communities are target contexts where we develop our line of work towards making our Movement accessible to everyone. This is not a random aspect of our work. Argentina is a country built by immigrants who represent approximately 50% of the population. Buenos Aires gathers more than 40 collectivities who contribute to the historical construction of the City and the political culture of the country. We have also tried to get a better grasp of the profile of our editors, so we can improve our response to their demands and we have broadened our concept of counterpart. In this sense, understanding the rest of organizations in the Iberocoop network as close counterparts has been key to organize joint projects which, though still at initial stage, are expected to have a high impact in terms of results.
Activities carried out so far:

  1. Minority groups and disadvantaged communities workshops: one workshop conducted in one Villa in Buenos Aires as part of our objective of building a more inclusive movement.
  2. Regional cooperation: definitions of roles and first actions with Iberocoop with great results as part of our strategy in regional cooperation.

Cooperation: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
2 workshops in la Villa 21
n/a 2 1/2. Second scheduled in August 2015
1 photo contest on social diversity
n/a 50 participants, 200 images Scheduled in September 2015
Research on women's role in the digital world
n/a 1 project- in an early stage-, being design by one Wikimedia volunteer and Wikimedia Argentina Not yet scheduled

Background and context: Reformulating the paradigm: South-South cooperation[edit]

New paradigms of cooperation have come to widen the spectrum of actuation of countries that were considered Global South. Breaking away from the traditional vertical schemes promoted in the 80’s, in the first few years of the 21st century, developing countries began to understand that facing common problems through direct, horizontal relationships, could be the real answer to the development process from a sustainable point of view. Away from the economics-based approach coming from northern countries and from the concept of exchange merely as a commercial transaction, the new paradigm was built as a window to understanding political, social, economic and cultural exchange, with specific parameters of development and growth, and with the objective to promote regional, sub regional and interregional cooperation.

Wikimedia Argentina’s role; the construction of knowledge through the implementation of a new concept of cooperation.

GLAM projects and activities involve in the majority of cases, the cooperation between organizations. Wikimedia Argentina regards its GLAM counterparts as focal points for the articulation of projects. For this reason, we are currently redefining a good part of our actions with longer-term strategies where institutions are more involved, and also working with a smaller number of counterparts to ensure sustainable results long-term. In this sense, we push forward cooperation in GLAM proyects through two main strategies:

1) Regional replicability: In terms of GLAM projects, we understand that not only does cooperation allow for replication of successful projects such as WikiLovesMonuments, but it also allows us to implement regional strategies which are more focused on generating larger and better contents in similar contexts. From this point of view, we understand regional venues as learning contexts where the development of activities can, in turn, generate new spaces for construction of collaborative knowledge, favoring the developmental processes of the countries involved in Wikimedia’s initiatives. Chapters must be the first counterparts of our Movement: organized work which is shared with the rest of Wikimedia chapters, is the best environment for growth for the organizations, with diverse spaces for development.

Lesson 1: Iberocoop, GLAM and South-South cooperation for the generation of knowledge.

In this line of work, Iberocoop is one of the most interesting work áreas for Wikimedia Argentina. Counting with so many different contexts, the GLAM projects open the door to an endless number of possibilities to work, not only at regional level with coordinated activities, but also with regions where a Wikimedia organization is not physically near, making it possible to bring projects and activities to Wikipedists in those regions. In sum, making Wikimedia an inclusive movement.

The woman you never met
Concurso logo-3.jpg

In this frame, we organized the work and work groups to coordinate the competition “The woman you never met” (“La mujer que nunca conociste”). As part of the initiatives for Woment’s month, 8 organizations from the Iberocoop network –including us- organized and editing competition with the aim to increase the number of articles on the subject of women on Wikipedia. The competiton tried to be an instance for both cooperative work, and strengthening of the local chapters, with the shared objective to improve and increase the number of articles about women in the Spanish, Portuguese and Italian Wikipedias. The competition run from 8th March until 12th April 2015 and counted with the participation of editors from 11 chapters, 43 participants -4 new editors- and 389 new articles created. Female participation amounted to 38%, a higher rate than the average for Wikipedia. Wikipedists in Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Mexico, Panama, El Salvador and Argentina participated in the competition.

2) Local cooperation for the construction of history: Argentina is a country of immigrants. From the end of the 19th century, the country has stood as a receptor of people. It is estimated that nowadays 50% of the Argentine population born in Argentina, come from migrant ancestors, Spanish and Italian. Argentina is for instance, the country with the third largest Jewish community in the world and, at present, 41 different collectivities coexist in a city such as Buenos Aires, influencing the cultural and social history of Argentina. Trying to understand the historical and cultural construction of the country, without considering its foundations, is like trying to build a house starting at the roof. At present, there are groups of immigrants who have settled in the country permanently, becoming part of Argentina’s society. As well as the communities of Europeans, who were the first immigrants arriving to Argentina, we now notice the presence of collectivities from other Latin American countries, from South America specially. These communities are experiencing an exponential growth, mainly in vulnerable and poorer contexts. Community spaces, associations and cultural institutions have been created to receive, bond and support new immigrants arriving in the country. In this sense, the exchange among already settled, newly arrived immigrants and their Friends and families residing in their countries of origin has facilitated the construction of social and community networks and the integration of immigrants –even if heterogeneously- in the different structures of Argentine society.

Lesson 2: Construction of knowledge through the voices of minority groups.

South-South cooperation is understood not just as the exchange between different regions of one or several countries. Wikimedia Argentina understands the importance of minority groups that settle locally, as key participants in the historical and social construction of the country. How can we approach the cultural foundation of Argentina without considering its strong migratory history? Minority groups and collectivities are on many occasions the closest representation of the cultural origins of the Argentine people. In this context, collectivities become points of articulation from which we can impulse the collaborative construction of knowledge, highlighting the cultural impact of these groups in the Argentine society, as well as making a visual reconstruction of the history of their ancestors.

Presentación de proyecto - Ciudad Oculta landscape

With all this, accessing collectivities and their context has not always been easy. We designed a line of work in the territory which has not generated satisfactory results. Following the training courses on Free Culture in the frame of the Sarmiento program organized by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, a number of technological education facilitators approached with a proposal for work in different vulnerable districts of the city with people from diverse origins, such as Barrio de La Boca and Barracas. However, due to inside policies in the system, our contact has been intermittent and none of our lines of work succeeded. Still, we continue to insist on the democratic and inclusive construction of knowledge obtained through the participation of every sector of our society. In this regard, we are currently outlining a project with the Secretary of Public Security, to work together with the residents of Ciudad Oculta, in Villa Lugano. The subsecretary of citizen participation, together with the residents of Ciudad Oculta have put their experiences together in the book “Autobiography of a Neighborhood. Barrio General Manuel Belgrano/Ciudad Oculta” ("La autobiografía de un barrio. Barrio General Manuel Belgrano / Ciudad Oculta").

In line with the work of reconstruction of memory which is so present in the development of Argentina, we collaborated in this project with the aim to break the situation of inequality of access to resources, and to favor the creation of instances for citizen participation. We believe this is the way to put into value the history of the most disadvantaged districts of the city, through the accounts and pictures of their own protagonists. To date, the first community meeting has been celebrated with 60 residents participating and with the compromise to carry out two editing workshops and a photography competition focusing on reconstructing the history of the neighborhood and its impact on Argentinas culture and history. In this context, Wikipedia can be understood as a place to give voice to many silent communities. Wikimedia Argentina also receives requests from minority groups for instances where they can give visibility to the work they contribute to the construction of the new Argentine society. Thanks to the Laboratory of the City Government of Buenos Aires we reached an agreement with the observatory of collectivities (observatorio de colectividades ) who were present at the introductory talk on Free Culture and Wikipedia that we gave during the BA Hackathon. 23 people participated in this event, learning about the Wikipedia world. After the talk, we were approached by experts from different associations such as the Greek, Scottish and Peruvian, who expressed their interest in working on articles in an editathon being held in the frame of the Hackathon. 3 articles were improved by 11 people during this event.

Our first contact was made through the invitation we received from the Department of Collectivities of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires (Laura Basadoni), to participate in the BA Hackathon 2015. At present, we are creating articles related to ecuadorian immigration to Argentina and making proposals for parallel support articles which can be linked with one another (…) Did I have any prejudices in regard to Wikipedia? Probably the fact that I never thought its human resources would be so ready to work with collectivities such as ours outside the web.
Iván Basurto Delgado (Pro Secretary of AERA - Asociación de Ecuatorianos Residentes en Argentina (association of Ecuadorians Residing in Argentina)

Free Knowledge Awareness[edit]

Increasing the existing knowledge about free culture is a cross-cutting pillar of each of the actions carried out by WIkimedia Argentina. In the context of GLAM projetcs, this line has led to important activities such as the translation of the GLAM-Survey. Even though we still have not launched this survey, the team is working for it to be a resource that all Spanish-speaking countries can use, highlighting the work of their respective cultural institutions in matters of free culture and projects.
Activities carried out so far:

  1. Training sessions at cultural institutions: we carry out training courses at cultural institutions with the aim to establish a point of reference to coordinate the project and transmit the philosophy of free culture to the rest of the team, in a sustainable way.
  2. GLAM Survey:Wikimedia Argentina has been working with the GLAM-Survet team to set up the survey in Spanish.

Free knowledge awareness: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
5 trainees in cultural institutions
n/a On target 2/5. Third will take place on August 27.
GLAM Survey conducted in 10 main cultural institutions
n/a Not yet scheduled WMAR was helping translating and setting up the survey. Now is available in Spanish and we will conducting it on September. We are, now a days, collecting the data.

Background and context: Setting the values of free culture [edit]

What is free culture? Why doesn’t “free culture” mean “giving away your work for free”? What is a creative commons license? What is the role of Wikipedia in respect of free culture?.

How to work with cultural institutions without making them feel attacked? How do they understand the benefits of working together if the don't understand our values?

We are working in a more sustainable relations and work with cultural institutions. In orden to achieve real immersion and understanding of our movement in our counterparts, it is necessary to educate each of the involved actors in these issues. Free culture is a strategic line that cross-cuts not just GLAM but also the education and federalization programs. This is the reason why at the time of defining the lines of work with new institutions we include spaces for training and discussion on free culture. Assimilating this concept is vital to understand and work with Wikimedia Argentina. It is necessary for Wikimedia’s points of reference in each institution to receive an introduction to this subject which they can, in turn, transmit on to their work teams and related work areas.Its about learning what the philosophy behind free culture is, and how Wikimedia Argentina constructs it. We expect that if we are effective in our work, the wiki philosophy will be successfully extended to other actors and places.

Lesson 1: our ambassadors, much closer than we thought. The concept of free culture, and the conscience of what it involves, requires of people who can transmit it on to others. Cultural institutions in Argentina are largely unaware of this concept and what it means. The best strategy in order to improve the existing knowledge and generate sustainable partnerships with cultural institutions, is to create opportunities for staff training. In this regard, we already carried out workshops on free culture with staff from the National Museum of Fine Arts, where the community manager, head of media relations, and designated curators selected by our point of reference in the museum were trained on key issues such as public Domains, what copyleft means, and which are the different types of license in Wikimedia Commons. This work resulted in the upload of over 700 images of works of art, uploaded during the campaign created for them on Wikimedia Commons.
We are beginning the same process at the Historical Archives of the Province of Buenos Aires, where we already gave our first talk. The archives have started to upload their material to Wikimedia Commons. Aside from this, we recently began to work with the Library of the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires. We have also arranged a training session next 27th August for students of Library Sciences from the city of La Plata after which they will receive certificates of attendance, which guarantee they have been trained on free culture by Wikimedia Argentina. Wikimedia Argentina believes that setting training processes as objectives is vital to consolidate the values of free culture.

The strategy is not accidental. As we believe that focus on key stakeholders is necessary, part of the answer why we do it , is exactly to avoid building on nothing. Take a step back is necessary.
As educational institutions, cultural institutions in Argentina are conservative areas where the egos, according to everybody's work, is very present. Breaking with the structure is not simple. In this sense, we find that the designation of a focal point for the project within the institution is a valid strategy. They feel that they don't lose control of the project and remain the protagonists within the documents released.

We can not speak of a paradigm shift if we don't introduce the debate on free culture in cultural institutions. And yet it is necessary but not sufficient.

We have hard work ahead. But the fact of working well with the National Museum of Fine Arts, a very conservative space, can be the example that comes to encourage other actors.

Are we interested in the number of documents released under free licences?
Obviously yes

But is our first priority?
The answer is no.

Making cultural institutions understand their leading role in promoting culture and the construction of knowledge as a human right and understand that their work is necessary and indispensable to work towards this goal, it is just what we are looking for: at last a long-term commitment.

What we learned so far though the GLAM program[edit]

We have learnt 5 things 5 things we would not do again

• Being counterparts of regional and national institutions is a very difficult task, but we must continue to work with them, planning mid- and long-term objectives. These are strategic actors and are vital for us to have a place in the public agenda. Less is more.
• We need to change the work paradigm we had until now. It is not worth investing time and resources in a large number of editathons. Instead we need to focus on generating partnerships.
• The editathons that work best for us are Education editathons, because they are oriented to people who are digital natives in the use of the virtual encyclopedia, which gives us more chances of them continuing to use the platform.
• We need to increase our diffusion channels to promote Wikimedia, find new volunteers and maintain the enthusiasm of the ones who have worked for us for years.
• We need to stablish strategic lines of work which outline the contents and ensure harmony in our objectives and results as well as better focus.

• The cultural activities impulsed by Wikimedia must always be accompanied of prior training and designation of responsible contact persons within our partner institutions.
• Editathons must be reformulated, as they are not bringing new volunteers to our organization.
• Our activities must be planned for long-term results, even if short-term results are not the expected in terms of numbers.
• We will not work without considering our context.
• Activities will be carried out not only according to the demand, but also according to the resources

Which are our next steps within the GLAM Program?[edit]

Next steps: the following months Stakeholders

• We will continue to build the pillars of the GLAM projects considering our context, with specific partners and with activities which favor the sustainability of the program: editing workshops and training for the designated points of reference responsible for coordinating our projects inside each institution.
• We will continue to improve the knowledge about free culture, with the objective to close the year with three consolidated counterparts who are compromised with the digitization project.
• We will continue to propose competitions and editing activities which improve the contents of Wikimedia Commons by engaging the community in our proposals.
• We will continue our work to generate inclusive spaces, where new paradigms of cooperation serve the needs of our context.
• We will continue to power the work and initiatives of volunteers.


Federalization Program[edit]

The federalization program is the program that is running more slowly. The team has met with major issues to address. From define whether to focus on building communities from scratch or enhance those where our community is or where projects are being carried out, it has been a difficult job of refocusing. Wikimedia Argentina is working to realize a better analysis of the program to generate the expected results.

'Stakeholders involved:

Activities Comment
Argentine editors Survey conducted among argentine volunteers
APrender Educational Portal Educational Portal of the province of Entre Rios
National University of Mendoza National University of Mendoza
University of Entre Rios University of Entre Rios
Conectar Igualdad a Government initiative designed to improve educational equality and reduce the digital literacy gap in Argentina
University of Palermo University of Palermo

Strategic lines in Federalization[edit]

Participation and content[edit]

Federalization is the slowest of our programs in terms of development. We understand that we need to take our initiatives geographically further from Buenos Aires. We also needed to take previous steps aimed at getting to know our community. The results we hoped for in terms of contents, have not been achieved, although narrowing the scope of our potential communities has helped us to design with more accuracy the path to follow.
Activities carried out so far:

  1. Locating our editors: an open survey for the editors of Wikimedia projects was conducted online during one month, with 193 editors participating. This action, which began as a means to constitute work groups for GLAM, became a survey to define where our editors are, pointing out where we should concentrate our efforts.
  2. Meetings with communities in the inland regions: we are still at very early stages of this initiative. To date, the regions of Entre Rios and Rosario are the places where we have been physically present for the organization of activities. Our presence has been telematics in other regions, among which we can highlight Resistencia, in Chaco. We expect to include Rosario and Cordoba in the next 6 months, and support the activities which are being organized in Mendoza.

Participation and content metrics overview: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
5 meetings with communities
2 3. Under target 2/5. Late August we are preparing the first meeting in Rosario. The first weekend of September we are supporting the edit-a-thon in Mendoza. In october we are preparing the encounter in Cordoba.
3 communities well stablished
1 3 1/3. Re-defining the concept of community.
Survey among editors
n/a 100 193/100. Was considered a GLAM activity but re-defined as a Federalization activity

Background and context: Grouping instituions and giving them working mottos, as a way to generate new communities.[edit]

When distance redefines concepts.

Argentina is the second largest country in South America, with a total surface of 2.791.810 km². It is divided into 24 provinces. Managing a federalization project in such a large country involves an equally large investment of time for a team of three people. To this, we need to add the fact that Argentina does not count with a network of trains that reach all points of the country, and also the fact that the devaluation and inflation the country has suffered for more than two years, make it extremely expensive to travel by plane. In August 2012 only, the fare for a flight increased in 12% (data from the Official Bulletin of the Secretary of Transport, resolution 834). This meant that Wikimedia Argentina had to choose carefully the places to work with and support in person. In this context, we understood the need to redefine the concept of federalization. We understood that federalization does not mean to be physically present in a place exclusively. By mainstreaming activities, generally in education, we have come to understand that when different communities take ownership of our initiatives, with a working methodology that involves our support and coordination without our physical presence along the process, it can also be considered part of our federalization process.

Lesson 1: Federalization through key actors as a strategy to “presentialize” our projects.

At Wikimedia Argentina we have learnt and understood what federalization means for us. The redefinition of the concept, has been the answer to the difficulties posed by our geographical and economical context, with communities outside the City of Buenos Aires taking ownership and putting into work the different initiatives put forward by Wikimedia.

One of the strategic lines we consider, for Wikimedia to be present throughout the country, is to link the federalization task with online distance courses. This way we can have a continuous presence while taking care of our other educational projects. So far, we have organized two courses, one of them in partnership with Relpe, and another one as an initiative appropriated by the University of La Plata. During each of these courses we tried to generate participan loyalty by making them Wikiambassadors and giving them the necessary tools to start editing.

I have been aware of the activities of Wikimedia Argentina for a few years now, through the subjects I develop and research, through contact with some of its members who are colleagues at the University, and through my own participation in the “Wikimedia Challenge” project at the FLACSO Graduate Network to which I belong; my closest and most direct contact with Wikimedia was during the training and promotion work on free digital culture that we have been developing as Distance Learning Team. We work to raise consciousness on copyright and open licenses, the publication under Creative Commons licenses, carrying out, promoting and enriching the Repository of Open Education Resources (REA) found within the institutional Repository (SEDICI) for teachers to keep, preserve and give visibility their productions in didactical areas.
María Mercedes Martín, Training and ICT coordinator. Department of Technology and Distance Learning at the National University of La Plata.

In this frame, we thought it would be interesting to take one step further and offer, together with Wikimedia Argentina an online learning proposal for the teachers of the UNLP: What role can Wikipedia play in Universities?: Myths, uses and possibilities (“¿Por qué Wikipedia en la Universidad?: Mitos, usos y posibilidades”)

Thanks to our partnership with the Conectar Igualdad program, we could concentrate our work on teacher training institutions. So far we have organized one training workshop in Tandil as part of the Sábato project, where we explained the Wikimedia projects to teachers and students of the Faculty of Language and Literature, giving the projects an educational vision and working on the generation and improvement of articles related to the life and works of Ernesto Sábato- 8 improved/created so far-


The proposal we are developing is linked to our work agreement with the National University of the Center of the City of Buenos Aires – UNICEN, in the frame of the program “Universe of Letters and Arts” which aims to promote culture through the study of the life and work of national authors (Ernesto Sábato, in this edition). In this line, we set to highlight information about the life and works of Ernesto Sábato, through collaborative editing of contents on Wikipedia. The initiative generated high expectation among the participants who were working in the search, analysis and processing of information to go ahead with the edition of the selected contents. It has been a highly stimulating experience for our education community and we hope to be able to follow up with the link created, with new proposals.

So far, my experience with Wikimedia has been very satisfactory. I could say that the experience “blew my mind”. I had no prejudices towards Wikimedia, but I did not know the multiple possibilities it offered either. From our first meeting, I have felt that each activity, proposal and project we have ever thought about has a clear connection with the “wiki” world. There is a communion of interests and beliefs in respect to the collective construction of knowledge and the equity and freedom that such construction means for all of us.
Erica Lanzini, (referent of the Conectar Igualdad program at the Buenos Aires Regional Headquarters I of the Argentine National Social Security Administration – ANSES)

Initiatives like the one carried out in Tandil, or the editing competitions, where our participants and points of reference receive training and are able to coordinate editing challenges by themselves later on, are starting to give good results for Wikimedia Argentina and its projects. These experiences help us to understand our community better. Defining proposals under a specific motto works remarkably better among our editors, either new or veteran, than leaving the editing work open to an unlimited array of topics.

Lesson 2: Knowing our editors in order to establish communities.

Understanding the community means getting to know which editors currently and regularly edit on Wikipedia. For this reason, and in order to determine which our strongest community was, we conducted a survey to find out the number of editors in the country. We received 193 answers to the survey, which shed some light on metrics we already guessed. According to the data obtained, the highest number of editors of Wikipedia are in Buenos Aires, followed by Cordoba. Santa Fe is the third province with the largest population of wikipedists. Generating work from scratch in the rest of the provinces is a complex task to fulfill short-term, however we will continue to make efforts to try and reach the places with lower numbers of editors.
We are starting to work with different proposals in those regions where our presence is more significant and where we count with editors who are keen to work on Wikimedia projects. The fact that these are experienced editors guarantees the concept of free culture is already acquired without having to organize any previous training. From this perspective, we have a consolidated community in Mendoza which, although not very large in numbers is organizing its second editathon already.
We are also working with the community in Rosario and we are supporting –on line- a project focused on minorities, with two volunteer editors in Resistencia, in the province of Chaco.

Map of editors in Argentina

Lesson 3: Having editors does not mean having volunteers.

The survey revealed that Argentina has a higher number of editors than we realized. However, counting with editors does not mean counting with volunteers. It is a well-known fact that Wikipedia editors work independently and autonomously, only 8% of the editors that completed the survey work in other projects, which is a very significant data to consider.
The lack of knowledge concerning the organization -74.2% of people do not know who we are-, explains the independence that exists between the organization and its wikipedists and marks the high level of sustainability of a project such as Wikipedia. In this sense only 56% of the editors who returned the survey were ready to participate in other ways, in terms of time and compromise to become part of Wikimedia and its activities, and we have yet to see the commitment these editors may really have.

Community Support[edit]

In matters of community support within the federalization program, Wikimedia Argentina has redefined its priorities in agreement with its new strategy. We understood that federalization also implied escalating and favoring the appropriation of projects at local level, to improve our capacities in Argentine provinces. In this context, we continue to work to strengthen our existing communities, supporting the processes emerging from them. At the same time we support emerging projects in provinces and cities in the inland regions. It is always complex to start working in a community from zero. During 2015 Wikimedia Argentina will work with two new provinces where we have come across a considerable number of wikipedists.

Activities carried out so far:

  1. Supporting emerging communities: We have not been able to support communities in the way we had expected. However, we have oriented our efforts towards impulsing projects put forward by the community as a result of escalating other programs.

Community Support: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
5 free trainings
n/a Under target. N/A 1 plan of free trainings starting to be develop with one volunteer.
A more participative blog
n/a Under target.N/A 1/15. Wikimedia Argentina is making huge efforts in taking in mind the opinion and experiences from our volunteers and community. 'Our Federalization strategy has change. However giving voice to our volunteers and community remains as an objective to be achieved.
Supporting emerge communities
n/a 4 2/4. Supporting emerge communities as an answer to our federalizations goals.

Background and context: When political decentralization redefines a program[edit]

Latin American countries, Argentina in particular, are considered decentralized countries at legal level. This means there is a correct transfer of political powers to the different provinces, and ensures the economical and tax decentralization of the resources. The population and different societies count on the powers of the government as resources which are close to their demands and needs.
Despite the above, the many years of political centralization are still a constant present in the reality of the Argentine provinces. A lot less populated –considering that 45% of the population lives in the autonomous City of Buenos Aires and its province- although well adapted to the new government structure built after the restitution of democracy, these provinces have not been able to generate debate on the decentralization of culture which is still mainly concentrated in the capital of the country.
The inequality of the proposals that reach the inland regions of the country is reflected not only in cultural aspects, but also at educational level. The lack of resources and initiatives is a lot more evident in the provinces than it is in the capital. For this reason Wikimedia Argentina promotes and encourages the appropriation of each of its inititatives in educational spaces, provided they promote the cultural wealth of the province in our projects. Still, the territory is large and the needs to fulfill are many. Of the 24 provinces in Argentina, we have met and had contact with users in Misiones, Mendoza, Santa Fe and Entre Rios but we still have a lot of territory to cover. This task will take some time. Wikimedia Argentina knows that it is not possible to work in all the provinces in the same year, so this is a medium and long term project for us. For this reason, our annual proposal we set the goal of stablishing a maximum of 3 communities during 2015.

Also for the mentioned reasons, we have designed two strategic lines to follow:

1) We continue to promote inclusive activities –which involve educational and cultural aspects- with already consolidated work groups such as Mendoza. In 2014 we had our first wikipedist meeting in the area, as a result of which, an environmental editathon was organized. The activities to be carried out in this province have already been agreed on. Our staff will be travelling to Mendoza in the month of October to develop a number of activities during the Arts Week at the faculty of Art and Design of he UNCuyo, and also an editathon in the same frame. This activity will be carried out in cooperation with Wikimedia Chile. It will be the first coordinated activity of the trans-Andean belt for Iberocoop. Mendoza is a strategic place for the Chilean community. Coordinating activities of such magnitude –two days of work at the university, with an editing workshop and an editathon- promote the decentralization of the activities of both institutions outside the capital cities of both countries, as well as capitalizing and promoting joint cultural initiatives through similar cultural expressions and with the aim to improve the contents of the Wikimedia projects.

2) On another hand, we took the ideas emerging from other activities, to impulse work in the provinces. This year, we worked with the staff at the education portal @prender, from the province of Entre Rios. The proposed initiative, which was a replication of the online course, adapted by point of reference participants in the country, was the result and the response from the education team of Entre Rios after attending the editing workshop held in December 2014 within the frame of the Encuentro Nacional del PCI “Balances y Desafíos 2015 (National meeting of the Conectar Igualdad Project: evaluation and challenges for 2015”). The appropriation of our initiative by the province was the response of the education community to “offer innovative resources for the teaching community”.

A joint proposal in the province of Entre Rios
We then started –in March this year— an exchage with referents from Wikimedia Argentina in order to design a joint proposal aimed for the teachers in our province and based on three pillars: to increase and improve the use of the technological tools available at schools through powerful pedagogical proposals,to build “bridges between school culture and free culture, to promote the use of Wikipedia as didactic resource to stimulate the collaborative construction of knowledge.This initiative resulted in the creation of “Ser Wiki” (Being Wiki), a teaching proposal for teachers –based on the contents of the course “bridges between school, digital and free cultures”- which invites them to be part of the universe of free culture and to take ownership of Wikimedia Argentina’s projects to work in their classrooms. The proposal considers a 6-week course and includes 5 virtual meetings, 2 on-site meetings and ends with the elaboration of a WIKIPROJECT.The open invitation which was made through the Portal, attracted a total of 45 teachers, who have already participated in the first on-site meeting which took place last 28th May. The @prender Portal has created the “Ser WIKI” colletion which will be highlighed in their main page for the duration of the course. The contents of the classes and documents in downloadable format will be available here.In addition, a closed group on Facebook has been created, where activities, ideas, questions and projects are exchanged on a weekly basis (…). In the second half of the year we will support the teachers to concrete and carry forward the WIKIPROJECT they designed in the course, involving their students in the process.
Claudia Azcarate, @prender Portal Entre Ríos


Even though this initiative has not started, is is obvious that teachers have quickly realized the pedagogic potential of working with Wikimedia, viewing its projects not just as a source of information and reference, but as a genuine didactic resource that can change the methods of teaching and combining technology and education practices.

Wikimedia Argentina has reviewed the way inland communities are supported, making specific proposals that help them highlight the work they have been developing, and to boost the resources they currently possess to improve their work at educational level and in the classroom. This approach has a good reason to be: it is the answer to the context we live in and the demands from the community.

At the same time, we would like to make very clear that we do not neglect the approach to and construction of communities of native wikipedists and editors. The proposals in the provinces are possible because people with initiative and who are linked to our actions, manage to organize and decide to carry out projects adapted to their needs with the Wikimedia Argentina signature.

It is complex to work from zero with a community that despite knowing the tooks, does not have a previous confidence network. We need to stress the fact that they count with a large number of wikipedists to help them design activities mid-and long-term. This is why during the first weekend of September or late August we will be having our first meeting with editors in the province of Santa Fe. We are, as well, organizing a first meeting in the city of Cordoba to start designing work proposals from zero. The most important thing is to try to generate small groups of work who feel that Wikimedia Argentina is there to support them and, should they have a project proposal of their own, their local chapter can advise them or even give them financial support.

Cooperation[edit]

The program federalization is intrinsically mainstreamed by cooperation.
In this context, we understand cooperation in the program as the presence of each chapter in international meetings and the work we do in strengthening regional relations and cooperation with other organizations.

Cooperation: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
3 representative in WMCO 2015
3 representatives 3 3/3.
3 representatives in Wikimania 2015
2 3 4/3. Melina Masnatta has been invited by WMF
2 representatives in Iberoconf 2015
Iberoconf 2014 was held in Argentina Not scheduled in 2015 Iberoconf won't take place during 2015. We are focused on organizing the work together and trying to improve our results.
2 representatives in international events
2 Not scheduled yet In 2014 Melina Masnatta was a panelist in Virtual Educa in Perú. As well, Anna Torres was invited at the ED's retreat in Paris.

Background and context: How is our chapter positioned at global level?[edit]

2015 as a year of positioning.

Presenting Wikimedia Argentina’s programs and projects, and being able to talk about our work, the lessons learnt and the difficulties found in our daily activities, from the lips of our own staff at an international event, was a pending issue for us since 2014. During that year, we went through deep changes in the team, not only with the arrival of a new executive director, but also with the hiring of a Manager of Education (which our local chapter had never had before) and the difficulties we came across to cover the position of Manager of Communication.

Lesson 1: the Board as our first local counterpart.

Seen the many changes experienced during 2015, our local representation abroad was very focused, and leaded in every instance by the organization’s Board who really made an extra effort in their responsibilities. In any case, this situation is not rare for our chapter. The Board is the first actor of cooperation for Wikimedia Argentina, giving presence to our work at local and international level. In this sense, they play a vital role in the sustainability of the organization and are solid representatives of the objectives and proposals impulsed by Wikimedia Argentina. Through our monthly board meetings and daily communications, and thanks to the balanced construction of our chapter where each member takes responsibility for their own work and role, the Board represent for our organization’s staff our first supporting counterpart and a local guide.

Lesson 2: When counterparts are closer than we expected.

Understanding the Wikimedia movement means looking at it from the perspective of the multiple organizations that derive from the horizontality that characterizes a volunteer movement. We cannot conceive working as an isolated entity, when Wikimedia Argentina shares objectives and results through the promotion of one of the most widely spoken languages in the world: the Spanish language. In this context, and after the changes in our staff experienced during 2014, 2015 made us realize that our best supporters and counterparts are the rest of chapters and user groups who belong to the movement already. The Latin American network Iberocoop, is the response from Spanish, Italian and Portuguese-speaking countries to similar contexts where we have outlined common objectives and strategic lines to improve WIkimedia projects in terms of participation and contents. Iberoconf 2014 has meant a new orientation and a redefinition of the relations and responsibilities inside the movement, professionalizing it. In this context we are now supporting a process which defines, for the first time, different coordination roles within our structure, working with other chapters in the coordination and definition of the general GLAM project coordinators and also in the Education project. In terms of results, we had a great start of the year with the coordination of the editing and translation competition The woman you never met, where we worked in partnership with 8 other organizations. This was a very successful event in matters of incorporation of women editors, who amounted to 38% of the participants. At present, we are working on the outlining of an activity who involves the Spanish cultural centers in the region in GLAM matters, and the coordinator of Education is working on an activity which allows for participation of all the chapter and user groups in Iberocoop despite the disparities of their local contexts.

We believe also that this is the year to show the rest of the Wikimedia community part of the trajectory of our local chapter in the last few years. During the month of April, our manager of Education travelled to Chile for the first national conference Wikimedia 2015, which was focused on three main subjects: the challenges that Wikimedia is currently facing, the development of projects that favor free knowledge (including agreements with cultural institutions or “GLAM”) and the conduction of education projects in Wikipedia.

Our presence in events of the Wikimedia community did not stop there. In the month of May our executive director attended the Wikimedia Conference where she participated as speaker in a panel discussion on the role of local organizations as well as another panel on regional cooperation. She also attended scheduled work meetings with other executive directors and participated as an audience in other debates with the objective to improve her knowledge of some specific matters. Over the month of July our manager of Education will coordinate part of the activities of the Education pre-conference while the executive director will give a series of talks in the frame of Wikimania 2015, addressing the subjects of Regional Cooperation and Women in Wikipedia.

Our presence in the region is not limited to the above activities. We have already established channels of communication and present our news on a monthly basis in a newsletter on Education and GLAM. One of the objectives for the second semester of the year is to reinforce the communication with Iberocoop through a regional newsletter. We believe that consolidating the relationships and communication with the Iberocoop network is vital for us to continue to coordinate activities together.

Free knowledge awareness[edit]

In terms of improving the awareness of free access to knowledge, WIkimedia Argentina has concentrated its Federalization strategy on training courses both online and onsite, which improve the existing knowledge about free culture in the inland regions of the country. This is a concept that still requires training processes, and is not present in teaching and education environments at general level. Each activity we carry out in the provinces is completed with parallel training in educational institutions.

Activities carried out so far:

  1. Training sessions in the inland regions of the country: to date, each visit to the inland provinces has been accompanied by training activities. So far, one training course was carried out at the university of Entre Rios, and two courses in Tandil.

Free knowledge awareness: progress against objectives proposed on 2014 annual proposal[edit]

Goal Progress Last year (if applicable) Projected Comments
1 free culture lab created
n/a Not scheduled Focus changed. The 2015 target has been changed for this matter.
Lectures in the provinces
3 At least 5 Lectures on free culture in the province as a way to empower the community.

Background and context: Young students as ambassadors of free culture [edit]

The provinces of Argentina are even more conservative structures if we talk about education and culture. Obviously, we can speak of pioneering schools that try to break and innovate but they are not the majority. The Conectar Igualdad program has provided them with a valuable tool that is much more than just possessing;they must work with the netbooks in the classroom. The educational conservatism clashes in these contexts with a new digital generation of youth.

Free culture workshop

We find that the education sphere offers the most opportunities for work. Young students are very aware of the power of the internet, social networks and an increasing number of them have suffered cyberbullying.Young people know very well about the power of a picture uploaded on a social platform and appreciate the value of online privacy. For this reason, we think it is key for us to take every opportunity when we carry out activities outside Buenos Aires, to also give talks at schools where the youngest children are the receptors of these concepts
The objective and the challenge is, how can we transmit this concept without creating confusion? We believe online courses can play a vital role in this case. For this reason, at the time of designing long distance courses me make sure there is a number of tutors to accompany the work, to offer real support on a subject and at the same time help deconstruct some erroneous myths: something being of public dominion does not mean giving it away for free, releasing contents is not wasting your work. So far, we could give talks on Free Culture at the University of Entre Rios and to first and second year students in Tandil. . At the same time, they are easily able to grasp concepts such as free culture, creative commons licenses and collaborative work. We already established in previous sections the difficulty of reaching the student. The presence of teachers in the classroom is still very noticeable. Not only as an organizer but as a transmitter of knowledge. We constantly ask ourselves if this is the ideal situation.

What if a student is put for a while in front of the classroom?
What if a student embedded in digital culture could teach teachers how to apply the new tools we now have at their disposal?
For sure we would have more and better results.

But the reality is that our capacity to influence in the classroom should respect the institutional stages.
Our strategy?: continue to bring proposals to the provinces to open minds and change structures of thought.

What we learned so far though the Federalization program[edit]

We have learnt 5 things 5 things we would not do again

• Carrying out activities such as competitions and online courses in the inland regions of the country, opens a whole range of possibilities for the construction of communities.
• Not all communities are constituted through established editors. There are emerging communities appropriating projects, which must be taken into consideration.
• The fact that there are editors in the country, does not mean they will engage as volunteers.
• Knowing our editors is necessary to build communities from zero.
• It is important for Wikimedia Argentina to take a consolidated position in the region as a space of support for other Ibero-American chapters, and to take the role of organizer of communication in the Iberocoop network.

• The focus of the Federalization program must be reformulated regarding.
• We need to understand the intentions and the will of our editors, and avoid insisting on the construction of communities whenever it is clear that there are no possibilities for such constructions.
• Iberocoop must be one more space for work towards established expected results. Short-term activities do not bring any value to us as a group.
• We will not work in the creation of more than two or three communities per year. The generation of communities involves a lot of time and they need to be accompanied each step of the way until they become a solid community.
• We will not relegate our position within the community to the background.

Which are our next steps within the Federalization Program?[edit]

Next steps: the following months Stakeholders

• We will continue to power emerging projects in the inland regions of the country, such as the replication of a distance learning course at the Teacher Training Center in Pehuajó.
• We will continue to try and build a solid foundation of Wikiambassadors as protagonists and activators of Wikimedia projects.
• We will impulse projects with editors in the inland region, with onsite and online support, as we currently do in Resistencia.
• We will work to establish solid communities like the community we have in Mendoza, who are organizing activities for the second semester of the year.
• We will work to constitute at least two new communities from zero: Rosario and Córdoba.
• We will continue to impulse the presence of Wikimedia Argentina by supporting, coordinating and encouraging work in the Iberocoop network.


Media and Communication[edit]

Mention in local press

Capacitation

Editathon National University of La Plata

Gender Gap

Institucional Content

  • With Focus on Catalunya - interview to Anna Torres, executive director of WMAR

Contest

Organizational sustainability[edit]

One of the main works carried out by Wikimedia Argentina during these first semester of 2015 has been empowering and fostering the organization itself. In this matter, we have been working on the following improvements:
Staff: Wikimedia Argentina has a stable staff composed by three full time and one part-time positions. After a difficult 2014 year where all the staff changed, having a full time working staff is considered a big step.
In this context, roles have been defined to the new situation and even though we are still learning - Giselle Bordoy, our communication manager started working with us on February 2015-, we can truly say that a more comprenhensive and specific definition of roles has been achieved.
In this point, we are now working on 2016-2018 strategic plan, after one year of working at least two people together in the team and having drawn the needs and opportunities according to our local context.

Board: the Board of Wikimedia Argentina along with the staff, have been working closely during the last year. In particular these 6 first months, the activities between us can be described as follows:

  • Monthly Board meeting: every month we hold a board meeting. The ED, presents on the meetings the main news and concerns regarding the daily work. As well, our administration officer explains any significant expenses done and any siginificant budget change.
  • Every day work: the ED shares every activity with the board member as a daiy work
  • Meetings: At least one time per month, all the staff has a meeting with the main chairs of the Board to share concerns, development of activities or any other project that we carry out. The Board as a close member and partner of our work is a great value to consider in Wikimedia Argentina.

Volunteers & members and our communication strategy: Thanks to our new head of communications, we have been able to establish a more precise communication strategy. In this sense, we have stablished our volunteers and partners as protagonists of our internal communication. Each and every one of the activities are communicated to our partners and volunteers in advance, in order to hear their views and answer to the questions they may have about it. We promote thus a space of belonging, where no one feels outside the movement (including minors can participate in our activities with the appropriate parental approval) and where the voices are heard. We are now improving internal communication through our monthly newsletter and opening the blog of the organization as a participatory space.

At the regional level we are to regain the newsletter of Iberocoop, with an initial proposal for August.

WMF and other stakeholders: Wikimedia Argentina maintains a close relationship with Wikimedia Foundation. Communication channels are appropriate and our needs are catered to the demands. In this sense:

  • Wikimedia Argentina has reported monthly activities and presented in time and form each of the requirements of the Foundation, especially those relative to the financial statement.
    . Find the monthly reports in Spanish here. Our financial statment can be found here
  • . Field site visit: Members of the Wikimedia Foundation visited us in early April. During three days, we worked with our partners and also about our programs and strategic lines. Its general recommendation to be more strategically focused is being carried out gradually after a year of hard work of positioning the band within the argentine institutions.
  • . Our ED maintains direct communication with the rest of EDs, which are considered a very valuable partners of the organization.

Revenues received during this six-month period[edit]

Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

1 USD = 9,125 ARS (http://www.bna.com.ar/ National Bank of Argentina)

Table 2 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

  • Please also include any in-kind contributions or resources that you have received in this revenues table. This might include donated office space, services, prizes, food, etc. If you are to provide a monetary equivalent (e.g. $500 for food from Organization X for service Y), please include it in this table. Otherwise, please highlight the contribution, as well as the name of the partner, in the notes section.
Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
Annual Grant USD 212,000 USD 123,667 USD - - - 123,667 USD 123,667 USD 123,667 USD We are using the dollar as the currency, because the Argentine Peso suffers devaluations daily. Gets really difficult for us to express our expenditures in our local currency.

* Provide estimates in US Dollars


Spending during this six-month period[edit]

Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

Table 3 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

(The "budgeted" amount is the total planned for the year as submitted in your proposal form or your revised plan, and the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year. The "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative amount spent over the budgeted amount.)
Expense Currency Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan
Staff Expenses ARS 996,317 ARS - 451,939 ARS - - 451,939 ARS 115,935 USD 52,589 USD 45% n/a
General Administration ARS 270,479 ARS - 185,392 ARS - - 185,392 ARS 31,474 USD 21,573 USD 69% n/a
Education program ARS 158,050 ARS - 70,339 ARS - - 70,339 ARS 18,391 USD 8,184 USD 45% n/a
GLAM program ARS 142,567 ARS - 30,113 ARS - - 30,113 ARS 16,589 USD 3,504 USD 21% n/a
Federalization & Community Support program ARS 254,470 ARS - 200,751 ARS - - 200,751 ARS 29, 611 USD 23,360 USD 79% n/a
TOTAL ARS 1.821,883 ARS - 938,533 ARS - - 938,533 ARS 212.000 USD 109,210 USD 52% n/a

* Provide estimates in US Dollars


Compliance[edit]

Is your organization compliant with the terms outlined in the grant agreement?[edit]

As required in the grant agreement, please report any deviations from your grant proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.

Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? YES

Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Grant funds as outlined in the grant agreement? YES

Signature[edit]

Once complete, please sign below with the usual four tildes.

Resources[edit]

Resources to plan for measurement[edit]

Resources for storytelling[edit]


  1. [ http://cippec.org/mapeal/Mapeal ].
  2. see the section: Educational resources