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Grants:APG/Proposals/2019-2020 round 1/Wikimedia CH/Impact report form

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Purpose of the report[edit]

This form is for organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants to report on their results to date. For progress reports, the time period for this report will the first 6 months of each grant (e.g. 1 January - 30 June of the current year). For impact reports, the time period for this report will be the full 12 months of this grant, including the period already reported on in the progress report (e.g. 1 January - 31 December 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.

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.


Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. number of total participants 820 (1st half 2020) +
160 (GLAM) +
320 (Education) +
630 (Community)
= 1,930 of 1,950
This metric is aligned with the 2020 goal. It's slightly below cause the COVID lockdown where we cancelled several offline activities partially compensated by online activities. This impact has been registered mainly in education program.
2. number of newly registered users 210 (1st half 2020) +
20 (GLAM) +
15 (Education) +
30 (Community)
= 275 of 225
This metric is aligned with the 2020 goal.
3. number of content pages created or improved, across all Wikimedia projects 26,000 (1st half 2020) +
6,000 (GLAM) +
180 (Education) +
15,000 (Community)
= 47,180 of 36,000
This metric is aligned with the 2020 goal.
4. Content reused by other Wikimedia projects 15,000 (1st half 2020) +
950 (GLAM) +
120 (Education) +
3,000 (Community)
= 19,070 of 9,000
This metric has been reached quickly and it supports our decision to focus on quality regarding the "number of content pages created or improved." Instead of proceeding with mass uploading, we are focusing more on impact in all Wikimedia projects, which means that the "Content reused by other Wikimedia projects" metric will have more value.
5. Number of people reached in Switzerland 700,000 (1st half 2020) +
150,000 (GLAM) +
200,000 (Education) +
500,000 (Community)
= 1,550,000 of 1,450,000 - 1,550,000
This metric is aligned with the 2020 goal.

Telling your program stories - all programs[edit]

Executive Summary

Like many organizations in 2020, Wikimedia CH had to adapt operations to the global health crisis. Despite the online nature of Wikimedia projects, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in Switzerland greatly impacted our face-to-face activities, as demonstrated in this report’s Metrics section. However, as our team already works virtually under “normal” circumstances — in such a multilingual country, we don’t have a physical office — Wikimedia CH was able to swiftly move into a totally virtual world, accompanying partners and stakeholders on their digitization and remote-working journeys and sometimes even providing consultation to them. Our chapter’s agile, adaptable and creative nature allowed us to turn many challenges into opportunities and learnings that we will take with us into 2021.

Humanly speaking[edit]

As mentioned, our team is used to working remotely and using technology to communicate, so we were able to continue operating as usual, despite programmatic disruptions. That said, the pandemic still posed challenges at the human level, as every member of our team was impacted emotionally by the stress of the pandemic. Illness, fear, caretaking for children and other family members — even with a virtual team, the crisis took a toll on our people and our work. Much time and effort were spent helping each other through this difficult time and accommodating changing personal needs.

Outside the pandemic, we continued to reduce administrative costs while also working toward greater financial sustainability and stability. To this end, we hired a Fundraising and Grant Manager, Darja Budanov, at 90% to develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders while meeting the chapter’s financial and budgetary requirements. She has already developed a general fundraising and donor strategy for Wikimedia CH and is working on an annual institutional grants strategy and calendar for submitting proposals to funding institutions.

We also worked on our compensation and benefits scheme to attract and retain talent. Being a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in a competitive environment like Switzerland, it is always hard to counter the rapid turnover of staff. Last, we worked on obtaining the appropriate insurance plans for our chapter.


In terms of our organization, our focus in 2020 was on strategy, specifically making progress on Wikimedia CH’s new five-year strategic plan, which will align with the Wikimedia Movement’s 2030 Strategy. To develop our five-year strategy, we are working with expert consultants — one of which has been working on the Wikimedia Movement strategy. They are accompanying us as we implement the participatory Theory U framework, which leverages the techniques of presencing (mindfulness) and sensemaking (syncing information) through approaches like Social Presencing Theatre, the Cynefin framework, the Technology of Participation and Design Thinking. We have had regular online sessions and had hoped to have a three-day in-person workshop towards the end of the year; however, due to the pandemic, it had to be rescheduled for April 2021. We have interviewed diverse stakeholders, partners, donors, etc., and have involved the board and staff at every step. Using new and unconventional approaches to develop the five-year plan, we hope to create an end result that positions our organization as a leader in our space. We have been involved in global conversations around the Movement’s 2030 Strategy and are reviewing our vision and mission to harmonize it with the Movement’s vision and way forward.

The year 2020 also saw changes to our board. As a result of the pandemic, Wikimedia CH held its ordinary General Assembly online for the first time ever. During the assembly, Matthias Nepfer — head of innovation and information management with the Swiss National Library — was elected as a board member, and Muriel Staub became Wikimedia CH’s new president. With these changes, our chapter took an active role in guiding the board throughout the year, culminating with an Extraordinary General Assembly in December where we presented both our budget as well as our programs for 2021.

In 2021, Wikipedia celebrates its 20th birthday, coinciding with celebrations around 50 years of women’s suffrage in Switzerland. With activities around these two significant milestones starting in January 2021, we spent much of the second half of 2020 preparing various initiatives.


As mentioned, many programmatic activities were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, while others were moved online. While not always easy, our team continuously adapted and adjusted, finding new and creative ways to keep our important work going throughout the crisis.

Program GLAM saw the cancellation of several key initiatives, including a GLAM on Tour event and a guided tour of the Biel Bauhaus. The Swiss International Museums Day was postponed; however, we still worked closely with other chapters and led online, cross-border activities around the event. The pandemic also pushed the #GLAMhack 2020 online, which posed a significant challenge: how to maintain enthusiasm and collaboration without face-to-face engagement. Working with event organizers and partners, we found creative solutions that not only led to a successful event but also set a record in terms of gender parity and international participation. Meanwhile, we delivered an integration project with the Montreux Jazz Festival Archives and supported the Wikipedian in Residence project for the first time in several years.

Program Education activities were quite limited because of the pandemic; however, the limitations provided the opportunity to focus on important building blocks for strategic activities. Among these was openedu.ch, an open education platform that provides teachers, trainers and students with a knowledge management system based on Wikimedia projects. We also worked on a communications plan for outreach about our educational initiatives. Meanwhile, certain in-person events were moved online, including the annual Wikipedia for Peace workshop, which was turned into two virtual camps. Our chapter was also very involved in organizing the Wiki Science Competition, including the international competition.

Like the other programs, Program Community saw some event cancellations but also delivered many successful activities by adapting to the situation and moving certain events to a virtual setting. In particular, the team made progress around knowledge equity as it relates to women and minorities through several initiatives, including the Women for Wikipedia edit-a-thon and activities through the Art + Feminism campaign and with Les sans pagEs. With the ongoing global backlash against anti-Black racism, our work with Noircir Wikipedia to increase articles about Black people and culture was especially important. We also moved forward on the WikiDroitsHumains project in collaboration with the French and Argentinian chapters as well as the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. Last but not least, even though the German-speaking and French-speaking WikiCons were cancelled, our chapter was very involved in organizing the first online itWikiCon, which was both a success and an opportunity for learning.

In terms of Partnerships & Outreach, we continued to foster and build upon important partnerships both in Switzerland and at the international level. Our work focused on supporting communications around COVID-19 tracking and pandemic readiness, as well as the SwissCovid App Facts initiative. We also focused on professionalizing our outreach activities with a new communications and outreach strategy to support our efforts as well as a new donor strategy to support fundraising. Meanwhile, despite the cancellations of the German- and French-speaking WikiCons, we continued to work closely with neighboring chapters on several initiatives and activities across all programs. Last, we began discussions with Swiss climate organizations, already laying the foundation for climate change as a potential new strategic impact direction.

Technically speaking[edit]

We are continuing to change our organization to prepare it for the future, both with technology and with the ongoing professionalization of our outreach efforts. This includes putting into place systems and tools that will allow us to be more agile, efficient and automated so that our small team spends its time on value-added activities rather than administration. In particular, we are using online tools to support our activities, including SharePoint to facilitate collaboration and Salesforce for NGOs to streamline outreach, accounting and fundraising. We also launched an external newsletter for more than 16,000 subscribers and continuously refine our website. There are still many issues to solve, but we are already in a much better position than before, paving the way for more professional and strategic outreach and activities going forward. All these tools are helping us get closer to our stakeholders and position the chapter as an established leader and partner in free knowledge in Switzerland and beyond.

Strategic context for Wikimedia CH

Wikimedia CH is the Swiss chapter of the global Wikimedia Movement and is officially recognized as such by the Wikimedia Foundation. In this report, we tell the story of our work in four strategic programs:

  1. Program GLAM – We collaborate with galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) throughout Switzerland to provide digital access to memory institutions’ collections and artifacts. We aim to share the country’s culture and history in a sustainable format and across all borders.
  2. Program Education – We deliver and collaborate on education programs that advance learning at every level, for both children and adults. Our work supports lifelong learning as well as teachers and trainers at schools, universities and other institutions of higher education.
  3. Program Community – We help the Wikimedia CH community grow, supporting existing members and cultivating new Wikipedians. Among other activities, we train and mentor Wikipedia editors and support the diverse and multicultural interests of our community with targeted programming.
  4. Partnership & Outreach – We believe in using our unique position in the field of information exchange to be an influencer on national and international issues concerning open access and open knowledge. We offer our viewpoints on copyright, technology and more.

We use the image of a house to represent our work. The roof represents our mission of curating and disseminating free knowledge. The house itself is filled with the four strategic programs: GLAM, Education, Community and Partnership & Outreach. The walls and windows encompass and give form to our strategic directions. The walls are our technology, processes (financial policies, guidelines, etc.) and soft skills (human resources, people development). The windows give us transparency, representing good governance and collaboration. The house rests securely on the foundation of our solid legal background and is surrounded by a neighborhood of like-minded organizations, chapters, the Wikiverse and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Program GLAM

A1.Background and context

Despite the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, Program GLAM saw a highly successful year. Thanks to our ability to quickly adapt to the situation and move our activities to online formats, we delivered almost our entire plan and, in some cases, went above and beyond our objectives. The only projects that were postponed completely were the two GLAM on Tour events (New Museum Biel and Montreux Jazz Archives [MJF]) that required on-site organization and in-person exchange.

Moving many of our activities to a virtual format created new challenges but also new opportunities that led to exceptional results. For example, the virtual #GLAMhack 2020 event ended up attracting participants from all over the world who may not have been able to attend in person. Meanwhile, International Museums Day (IMD) presented an opportunity to collaborate closely with chapters in Austria, Germany, France and Italy to launch a cross-border IMD2020 and organize a Wikidata Contest. What’s more, for the first time ever, we worked closely with the International Council of Museums (ICOM). This was a major achievement, as we have had difficulty in the past working with ICOM at the national level.

We also finalized and delivered two major projects: the Wikidata Project for the MJF Archives and the GLAM Statistical Tool, including the statistical dashboard, approved by our GLAM Partner Network. With this step, we completed the application and have started the process of sharing it with other Wikimedia chapters.

To advance the integration of audiovisual content in Wikimedia projects, we strengthened our partnership with the Cinémathèque Suisse and are evaluating a project for a possible collaboration in 2021. The head of Cinémathèque Suisse’s film department intends to discuss a collaborative Wiki project with collectors at other film libraries to enrich their collections. In particular, they would like to donate old restored chromolithographic loops, which are short films similar to animation that were projected with toy lanterns at the turn of the 20th century. The project challenge is to identify them precisely since a comprehensive set of records does not yet exist — the catalogues are scattered among collectors, for example.

Last, we continued to build upon our relationships with important institutions, such as the MJF Archives, SBB Historic, the Swiss National Library and the Library of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich). By continuing programs that have worked in the past and building on existing relationships, we are building continuity and trust as a proven resource in an uncertain time.

A2.Highlight activities

Montreux Jazz Festival Archives[edit]

In 2020, we finished and delivered the Wikidata integration project with the MJF Archives in collaboration with Synapta. The MJF Archives contain structured data about the concerts performed over the years as part of the festival, including data about musicians, songs and concerts. The metadata, which is free of rights, was extracted from the MJF database with the objective of enriching the Wikidata knowledge base with quality information while enriching the MJF authority file, enabling a flow of information from Wikidata to the MJF Archives.

The project kicked off in February. The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in collaboration with the Claude Nobs Foundation, provided Synapta with a dump of the MJF database. Synapta handled the subsequent data integration and software development activities. First, they analyzed the MJF data model, and then they aligned the data with the respective Wikidata items. This operation, done manually, made it possible to have common reference points between the two databases.

To perform the alignment with Wikidata, the MJF Archives team exposed the MJF data through webpages reachable with standard URLs. Synapta then interlinked types of entities with Wikidata, including musicians (approx. 17,000 items), songs (approx. 47,000 items) and concerts (approx. 4,500 items). For songs and concerts, a Wikidata bot was developed, while for musicians, manual interlinking was required, as the risk of creating misalignment was too high to use automation.

Thanks to the integration with Wikidata, the MJF data are merged with and enriched by the data uploaded by the community. For example, we can now perform a query to Wikidata to get the birthplace of every MJF musician.

Finally, a database was developed to track and store changes to the MJF metadata. Meanwhile, the project also created a service to check the MJF database daily and send a notification email to the MJF staff in case of changes.

Wikipedian in Residence at the Iron Library[edit]
A Wikipedian in Residence (WiR) is a Wikipedian placed with an institution to facilitate Wikipedia entries related to that institution’s mission, to encourage and assist the institution in releasing material under open licenses, and to develop the relationship between the host institution and the Wikimedia community. A WiR generally helps coordinate Wikipedia-related outreach events between the GLAM and the general public, such as edit-a-thons.

For the first time in several years, there was a short WiR at the Iron Library, a longtime GLAM partner with which we hosted a GLAM on Tour event in 2019, as well as Wikipedia Workshops in previous years. For a week in September, two Wikipedians (Medea7 and 1rhb) collaborated with Franziska Eggimann, the director of the Iron Library, and Christopher Zoller-Blundell, an academic librarian. By the end of the week, nearly all the cultural assets in the inner city of Schaffhausen were illustrated, whereas no photos had previously existed. What’s more, several other culturally significant articles and biographies were created or improved, while several photos were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

The WiR initiative built on our previous relationship with an important GLAM, adding value to their operations and positioning Wikimedia CH as a trusted, long-term partner.

A3.Additional program activities

Program 1: Libraries and archives

Despite the pandemic, our team worked hard to execute the plan and saw many achievements in partnership with libraries and archives. What’s more, close collaboration between our GLAM and Education programs helped ensure more coherent initiatives throughout Switzerland.

The year 2020 saw the launch of the WikiProjekt Appenzellerland, which aims to complete the content of the Cantonal Library and State Archive about the canton of Appenzell and its personalities, families and more using their archival holdings and the Historical Lexicon of Switzerland. We partnered with the Cantonal Administration Appenzell Ausserrhoden, which marked the first time a cantonal administration implemented a Wiki-related project largely by themselves. The project includes completing Wikipedia articles, releasing valuable images under a CC BY-SA Creative Commons license on Wikimedia Commons and launching a transcription project on Wikisource.

We also strengthened relationships with existing partners through both new and ongoing projects. We continued our work with SBB Historic to add content and images to Wikimedia Commons and organized a virtual Wikipedia Studio to upload images of the main SBB workshops to Wikimedia Commons. Meanwhile, the Swiss National Library launched a project to archive Wikipedia articles related to Switzerland. In the context of the library’s Sharing exhibition, Debora Lopomo, GLAM Program & Partnership Manager, spoke in an Instagram Live event with Hannes Mangold about content sharing, the various Wikimedia projects and the long-standing cooperation between the Swiss National Library and Wikimedia CH.

Through our partnership with the ETH Library in Zurich, we implemented activities initiated during last year’s Wikipedia Action Day 2212. The aim was to enrich Wikipedia articles on 2,212 Swiss municipalities with aerial photos by the Swiss aerial pioneer Walter Mittelholzer and his successor Werner Friedli. Despite the lockdown and ETH Library employees working from home, the project finished in June with nearly 5,800 articles improved by 44 employees in four languages!

Last, as part of our long-standing relationship with the Vevey Library, we helped organize two workshops aimed at creating articles about Swiss women. The library organized the first event with contributions from the town archives and the Historical Museum of Vevey, which prepared sources for the participants. The second workshop took place online due to the pandemic. The events attracted 25 participants, many of them complete beginners, and created and improved several high-quality biographies.

Document de présentation
Document de présentation

Throughout the year, we strengthened the collaboration with Program Education to implement activities aimed at developing knowledge and skills among both GLAM employees and the GLAM community. We worked closely with Wikimedia France and the French and Swiss Associations of Archivists to organize a series of WikiArchives webinars to help GLAM professionals understand how Wikimedia projects and other tools could help them contribute to preserving and sharing cultural heritage. We also organized five virtual workshops through WikiNeocomensia, a project with the University of Neuchâtel and the Laténium Museum of Archeology whereby Wikipedians train future museum personnel to edit Wikipedia and share the results of their research, with the aim of improving the quality of articles and learning about scientific disclosure. The workshops included a Wikidata + OpenRefine event focusing on cleaning cultural data and importing it into Wikidata. Thanks to more robust outreach efforts, these workshops saw increased participation compared to past years. Last, as a result of a GLAM partner request and our focus on GLAM + Education, we organized a training session for archivists at the Cinémathèque Suisse to teach them to edit Wikipedia articles about cinema.

We also leveraged proven, replicable formats to continue the work of past years. For example, in-person edit-a-thons were held at various GLAMs throughout the year (when possible, given the situation). We also once again supported International Archives Week to complete and improve the presence of archives on Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

Program 2: Museums and galleries

The pandemic especially impacted our work with museums and galleries. While we delivered on the vast majority of our plan, two initiatives — the GLAM on Tour event in collaboration with the Neues Museum Biel and a guided visit of the Bauhaus in Biel — were unable to take place.

Map visualization of the museum landscape in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Italy
Map visualization of the museum landscape in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Italy

That said, the year’s uncertainty also created opportunities, as seen in IMD2020. For the first time ever, we collaborated with all of Switzerland’s neighboring chapters to help bring museum content online. As the project initiator and lead chapter, we led 2020’s activities, which included an online awareness campaign in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Italy; an expanded geographic map visualizing the museum landscape in those same countries; and a Wikidata Contest to improve data about museums in the participating countries. The results speak for themselves: 278 participants created 715 items and edited nearly 20,000 others. During the two-week-long contest, the number of edits reached 175,000, representing 28.6 million bytes! Also, for the first time ever, we worked closely with ICOM at the national level — a first for any chapter. For more details about IMD2020, see our 2020 Progress Report.

We also organized workshops in partnership with the Museum of Communications in Bern, as well as the Museum of Underground Mills. Our collaboration with the latter will continue in 2021 with workshops led by Flor Méchain, Wikimedia CH Community Manager.

With the aim of protecting cultural heritage, we supported the Transnational Conference of Open Data and Open Maps for Heritage Protection in Bellinzona, Ticino. The event provided an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of digitalizing cultural content to protect it from the effects of natural disasters, especially those linked to climate change. Climate change was also the focus of a call to action we signed urging the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to set a global standard to protect GLAM sites and other cultural heritage institutions from the devastating effects of natural disasters.

Last, we were contacted by SIKART, a Swiss dictionary for art, which was seeking support in creating templates to use their dictionary as a reference on Wikipedia. They were already using a German template, so we helped create models in French, English and Italian. This project exemplifies how we can support GLAM organizations by leveraging synergies.

Program 3: National and international GLAM outreach

Despite the pandemic situation, we engaged in several outreach initiatives in both the national and international GLAM communities.

We are committed to strengthening cross-border collaboration with neighboring chapters and fostering common projects. To that end, we participated in two meetings with the GLAM DACH Network, one regarding the Kulturbotschafter (cultural ambassador) program and one with GLAM representatives of the Swiss, German and Austrian chapters to discuss and share ways of working, especially during the pandemic. We are also exploring the WikiLibrary Manifest, a program run by the German chapter, to connect libraries and Wikimedia with Swiss GLAM partners. We have several questions about how the manifest will operate and are waiting for a more concrete concept. Nevertheless, the Central Library in Zurich has already signed the WikiLibrary Manifest.

As a result of successful projects around audio and audiovisual content with the Swiss National Sound Archives, the MJF Archives and the CC0-Project, Wikimedia CH was invited to participate in a working group organized by the largest media house in Switzerland, SRG SSR, to discuss the opening of their audio and audiovisual archives.

We also brought our experience around GLAM in the time of COVID-19 to the first-ever Cultural Innovation Open Lab, hosted by the University of Lausanne and the EPFL. The new interdisciplinary project aims to develop digital tools and practices to help museums, music festivals and theaters continue to operate — and even thrive — in an age of social distancing. These initiatives are not only an avenue for us to learn and provide guidance but also a great opportunity to position Wikimedia CH as an important partner among key contacts at GLAM institutions throughout Switzerland.

Another opportunity for networking and knowledge-sharing was Wikimedia CH’s participation at Cultura Suisse, a trade show for museums, monument preservation and cultural heritage in Bern. We also participated in the Creative Commons Global Summit and the Rethinking Culture and Science event organized by the German National Library.

Finally, we were happy to welcome new members to the GLAM Wiki Network: the Cantonal Administration Appenzell Ausserrhoden, the Swiss Archives of Performing Arts and the Association of Swiss Archivists.

Program 4: Digital competence & technology

Due to the pandemic, the 6th edition of the Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon was held virtually, presenting a unique challenge on how to maintain the engagement and collaboration necessary for a hackathon. Hosted by the Swiss Institute for Information Science at the University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with the Institute for Multimedia Production, the event was live-streamed, and organizers led the event on-camera from a stage from Chur.

While organizing a virtual event had its challenges, it also created opportunities. Sixty-eight participants (nearly half of them women) from 18 countries joined and shared — a new record for the hackathon both in terms of gender parity and international participation. Along with virtual break rooms, cocktail hours and other ways to interact online, this diversity led to a successful event despite the circumstances. With 15 diverse projects, a successful pre-event in Bern and a rich side program open to anyone, the event garnered incredibly positive feedback and results despite its online format.

The year 2020 also marked the fifth anniversary of the event. To celebrate this milestone, around 40 participants gathered for a day of inspiration, exchange and brainstorming at the Swiss National Library. Participants looked back at past #GLAMhack editions with a retrospective while also looking forward with a workshop on “Linked Open Data Ecosystem for Heritage Data” and a brainstorming session for #GLAMhack.

In terms of digital tools, the first half of the year saw the release of the WMCH Map Service, while the GLAM Statistical Tool was delivered in two rounds, the second of which included the first prototype of a statistical dashboard. The final version of the GLAM Statistical Tool significantly improves its usability with a new dashboard and functionalities like search features for media files, a statistical drill-down by image category, category-related statistics and analyses of unused media on a statistical level. It is also a practical instrument for planning future work. The GLAM Statistical Tool now has an algorithm that suggests unused media files to be added to selected Wikipedia articles, with direct links to the suggested articles. For now, the project is complete — we will only handle small change requests from GLAM partners if necessary. Wikimedia Israel is implementing the tool for Israeli GLAM institutions and will translate the tool into Hebrew. We have also started discussions with Wikimedia Sweden and the Wikimedia Foundation for a more global approach to share our achievements. For a global rollout, in 2021 Wikimedia CH will work on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that needs to be signed by every chapter to adopt the GLAM Statistical Tool “Cassandra,” developed by WMCH.

An optimized and newly designed version of the WMCH Map Service was released for IMD2020. Due to the WMCH Map Service’s popularity, we needed to increase performance to process a high amount of data while maintaining responsiveness. Together with our partner Synapta, we implemented a new library, which is compatible with the tool’s functionalities and design and delivers the required response time for launching larger projects like IMD2020. With this release, we also implemented a historical database and a feature to explore how the map and content change over time. This new Browse History functionality allows us to measure the impact of campaigns — for example, the IMD2020 Wikidata Contest.

A4.Progress toward the plan

Despite the pandemic situation, we were able to execute most of our planned projects with a combination of creativity and adaptability to move previously in-person events online. Our activities continue to be guided by a joint focus on both expanding the diversity of our programs and maintaining continuity through replicable, scalable formats.

Throughout the year, our projects were aligned with our goals of awareness-building among GLAM institutions to position Wikimedia CH as a trusted partner to GLAMs, as well as cross-border collaboration to work more closely with other chapters. We continued to build on long-standing relationships while also creating new ones, both with partner organizations and within the Wikiverse. With our focus area of Digital Competence & Technology, we improved the functionalities and expanded the scope of the GLAM Statistical Tool and the WMCH Map Service to continue to meet the needs of our GLAM Partner Network. Particularly in the case of the map service, the expansion of the map to neighboring countries was an important step forward for both our cross-chapter collaboration and our role as an international partner to GLAM institutions.

We also continued to deliver on our promise of integrating GLAM + Education with several trainings for GLAM professionals throughout Switzerland.

A5.Lessons for our future work

Learning and sharing

Consolidate activities to focus on quality, not quantity – The GLAM program is successfully growing every year; however, program resources, including staff, remain the same. Therefore, it will be crucial to consolidate projects and reduce the workload by pursuing fewer activities and focusing on those that make the biggest impact. This will probably not be achievable in 2021 but will hopefully happen by 2022.

Improve cross-border collaboration – In 2020, we learned that while collaboration with other chapters is important, every chapter needs to engage equally. In the case of IMD2020, it took significant time and energy to bring the five chapters together and get them on the same page. While the other chapters were interested in participating, there was minimal response and input, which made the work much more difficult. Going forward, we will need to evaluate how to work together on cross-border projects to avoid a similar situation in the future.

Be adaptable and creative – The pandemic created a significant challenge to our planned programs. Instead of just cancelling or postponing everything, we got creative to explore how to take in-person events online without losing the spirit or impeding participants’ exchanges. While not every event could be held virtually, we learned that with a little creativity, some events were not only possible online but could actually reach more people. Going forward, we should remember these experiences and integrate more online activities in future projects.

Encourage partners to promote and prepare events in advance – Participation at events is greatly improved if the GLAM partner promotes the event through its own channels. In the case of the two workshops with the Vevey Library, the first event was advertised by the library for a few months and had nearly three times the number of participants as the second, which was not promoted as much. Furthermore, advance preparation allows GLAM partners to prepare solid sources, making the workshops more productive and easier to run.

Looking ahead

Looking forward to 2021, we will keep our strategic course focusing on continuity and diversity while collaborating, expanding and sharing our knowledge.

Our program in 2021 is incredibly vast (see Annual Plan 2021). With the 50th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Switzerland falling on the same year that Wikipedia celebrates 20 years of existence, our GLAM program will be very busy. In this historical year, we have decided to celebrate 50 years of women’s voting rights in Switzerland by launching a dedicated program focusing on this important event. The aim of the program activities, which will rely heavily on community involvement in Switzerland and across borders, is to close the gaps in Wikimedia projects concerning women’s biographies and women’s political advancements in the last century.

In addition to this full roster of events, we will continue to diversify our program by supporting two interesting new projects. Sum of All Swiss GLAMs aims to improve the information about heritage institutions on Wikidata and to promote the use of this information on Wikipedia and in other projects. Meanwhile, the Fish Fossil Collection Data Transfer aims to use data about fossils uploaded on Commons by the Natural History Museum of Neuchâtel to create the corresponding entities on Wikidata.

In terms of continuity, we will continue to support IMD2021 and International Archives Week 2021. Our strategic objective is to go global with both initiatives and expand our activities every year. Due to the packed GLAM program in 2021, we anticipate being able to scale the project starting in 2022/23. We’ll also support the 2021 #GLAMhack, which will take place at ETH Library in Zurich and will continue to grow our GLAM Partner Network, which now reaches throughout Switzerland. Last, if the situation in the coming year allows for a physical event, we will organize the two GLAM on Tour events we had to cancel in 2020.

Program Education

B1.Background and context

Motivational plan - Wikimedia CH education booklet

Program Education delivers and collaborates on educational programs that advance learning at every level, from children to adults. Our work supports lifelong learning, as well as teachers and professors at schools, universities and other institutions of higher education.

We use the word “education” as proposed by the Swiss and European programs, applying the term not only to schools or universities but also to the learning and development of every person at every age. This is important because in the Movement’s 2030 Strategy, (1) Invest in Skills and Leadership Development and (2) Manage Internal Knowledge are principles that have been considered among the community’s final recommendations.

While the pandemic significantly impacted our Education activities, 2020 was an opportunity to refocus on our strategy and finish certain core projects, namely a communications plan and openedu.ch.

Our approach for 2020 primarily aimed to offer professional services — and tools, methodologies and case studies — to the main actors in the field of education, namely teachers, educators, cantonal departments, universities, etc. To satisfy the increasing number of requests for content and activities, we decided to play more of a supporting role instead of becoming a main player. By doing so, we hope to enable important actors already active within Switzerland’s education field to become motivators and mentors. This approach will ultimately allow education programs to be replicated within all cantons while increasing our partnerships and visibility. In our view, this closely aligns with the overall Wikimedia 2030 Strategy, specifically tackling the concept of “knowledge as a service.”

B2.Highlight activities

Openedu.ch screenshot

Openedu.ch is a project to organize the material available through Wikimedia projects for schools, universities and continuous training. It aims to create a more usable, accessible format for teachers, educators and education departments.

Wikimedia’s projects offer a lot of material for education, but this material is not well organized or hasn’t been created for educational purposes. To solve these issues, we aimed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Collect all material in the Wikimedia world and adapt it for education and learning.
  • Structure this material to be adapted for teachers and educational offices.

While the project proposes tools and experiences related more closely to teaching, pedagogy and current school curricula, it also incorporates the broader, more inclusive concept of lifelong education. This idea of learning from birth to old age is already present in Switzerland and Europe. In fact, Switzerland has recently begun putting greater emphasis on the concept of skills for life by encouraging continuous training, similar to what is being done at the European level. The term “education” no longer just encompasses schools or universities but, instead, refers to the entire learning system into adulthood. As such, a repository that allows Wikimedia projects (and others) to support education becomes indispensable in the Swiss context.

We launched openedu.ch in December after defining keywords and mapping EU skills for lifelong learning with Wikimedia projects. Such skills include the following:

  • Literacy competence
  • Multilingual competence
  • Competence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • Digital competence
  • Personal, social and learning competence
  • Citizenship competence
  • Entrepreneurship competence
  • Cultural awareness and expression competence

To ensure the platform met the needs of users and key stakeholders, we held several focus groups with teachers, education experts and Wikimedia CH staff. As a result, the platform and related resources focus on inclusivity and equity, namely, closing the digital gap, facilitating access to learning, creating connections across curricula, increasing representation, democratizing knowledge and promoting neutrality in information.

While we are still working on the platform’s back-end, it has already garnered several interested partners. We will continue to nurture these partnerships going forward.

Wiki Science Competition[edit]

The Wiki Science Competition is an international photo contest to encourage the creation and, especially, the free sharing of scientific imagery. It takes place every two years in November.

The competition happens at two levels: national and international. In many countries, a national contest has its own jury and prizes. Winning pictures at the national level then advance to the international final and are judged by the international jury. For countries with no national organizing team, a second international jury chooses the national candidates for the international final. This way, every photographer in the world has the opportunity to participate.

In 2020, we organized the national event and the year’s edition of the photo contest. Since it is an online event, it was not impacted by the pandemic. For the first time, we joined the international organization team and supported all international activities in collaboration with Wikimedia Estonia. We also hosted an awards ceremony for the 2019 Swiss winners of the competition at the ETH Hönggerberg campus in Zurich.

For the first time, Figure 1A, a scientific image exhibition organized each year in Lausanne, included one of our Wiki Science Competition photographs, taken by Dr. Hans Stuessi.

B3.Additional program activities

Program 1: Schools (primary and lower secondary levels)
Wikimini home page French version

The activities planned in this program were the following:

  • Laboratories and Wikicamps
  • Openedu.ch

In 2020, we started the new season of #theLab, a series of laboratories in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland. Unfortunately, we had to stop them at the end of February due to the pandemic.

We also finished the openedu.ch project, which is described in the previous section on Education's highlight activities.

What is more, we looked at ways to support schools and students during the pandemic. We began discussions around more formal collaboration with some projects adapted for education to offer teachers tools and educational solutions.

We have been working on strengthening partnerships in this area. For example, we looked at how to better support Dicoado, a dictionary for and written by students that is present in Switzerland’s French linguistic area and has been developed by a teacher. Similarly, we strengthened our longtime partnership with Wikimini, an online encyclopedia for and by kids that receives around 200,000 pageviews per month. In December, we helped migrate it to a new server in a more reliable data center. We also began planning improvements to the platform as it expands to other languages.

Moreover, we have started a collaboration with Chinderzytig, an association of teachers that publishes a newspaper for young people. We are also discussing a potential collaboration with Klexikon, a Wikipedia for young people and a very widespread project in the German linguistic area.

Last, we supported a project to simplify the Italian Wikipedia with the aim of making it more accessible to students by following the Txikipedia model in the Basque community.

These projects align with the goal of changing the school program in Switzerland, where digital skills have been introduced in schools starting at the primary level and where Wikimedia projects can play an important role.

Program 2: Universities & high schools

The universities and high schools program proposed to focus on the following:

  • Hackathons and Wikicamps
  • Open Science

While our planned hackathons with some major universities like EPFL were pushed back to 2021, we were able to organize an important edit-a-thon with ETH Zurich and 500 Women Scientists in celebration of International Women’s Day. The objective of the event was to increase the representation of women on Wikipedia. Despite reduced participant numbers due to the pandemic, the group made significant contributions to Wikipedia and contacted the women scientists about whom biographies were written during the event.

Additionally, the WikiNeocomensia project continued throughout 2020 with 18 students who were studying the humanities at the University of Neuchâtel. In a remarkable display of productivity and high-quality content, the students created 94 articles, improved 283 and added 1,100 references. See the libraries and archives information in the GLAM section of this report for more details.

As part of the WikiNeocomensia project, Adrien Wyssbrod, PhD, University of Cambridge, and Amandine Cabrio, PhD student, University of Neuchâtel, gave a class to doctoral students to teach them why and how to share their research on Wikipedia. The class took place at the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO) and had eight participants.

We also began collaborating with Franklin University, one of the oldest American institutions of higher education in Europe and the first to be established in Switzerland. Together, we organized a webinar about fake news, which included a presentation by Leila Zia, Principal Research Scientist and Head of Research at Wikimedia Foundation. Later in the year, we were invited to present during a webinar entitled “What makes information ‘reliable,’ and what does it mean for you? A conversation with the Wikimedia Team.”

For Open Science, we helped organize the 2020 Wiki Science Competition (see the previous highlighted activities) and hosted an awards ceremony for the 2019 Swiss winners of the competition. We also had a significant collaboration with Science et Cité concerning the project “Dr. Edith Wicki,” which focuses on outreach in universities’ scientific departments. The goal of the collaboration was to inform universities about the potential to publish scientific content on Wikipedia.

Program 3: Lifelong learning

The lifelong learning program proposed to focus on the following:

  • Trainers
  • Training Days
  • A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Lifelong learning was considered to be one of the pillars of our 2020 plan, but due to the pandemic, we postponed much of it to 2021. Instead, we focused on the openedu.ch initiative, following the demand for the digitalization of schools, as generated by the pandemic. We spent the year planning and preparing the lifelong-learning platform for 2021, as well as building partnerships.

We did, however, successfully complete a few activities, which were all online. One of these encompassed the virtual Wikicamps we organized this year in collaboration with Service Civil International (SCI). This year included two virtual camps: the annual Wikipedia for Peace Camp and a special camp celebrating SCI’s 100th anniversary. The first, Wikipedia for Peace Online: No More War, was a huge success in terms of representation and diversity, with more than half of the 15 participants comprising women or students and with two Wikipedians from Wikimedia Armenia. The event resulted in 44 articles in Hungarian, Russian, Serbian, French, Italian, Czech and German. The theme of the second virtual camp was “Writing about SCI History.” During this camp, 11 participants created or added to 56 articles.

The virtual Wikicamps served as a model that helped us build a format we have started proposing to larger institutions and partners to train on Wikimedia projects while encouraging team building. For example, we have proposed this format to the International Federation of the Red Cross.

For the MOOC, we made progress around creating a framework, while the agreements for a MOOC led us to the first meetings with SwissMOOC for a possible collaboration.

Program 4: Reorganization & diversity

The pandemic was an opportunity to reconsider Program Education’s organization, including ways to improve communication and distribute responsibilities better.

The creation of the first Swiss-wide project (openedu.ch) in a country where education is managed by canton and decentralized helped us learn how to approach schools and institutions and consider how to better organize the program to be more efficient.

We also improved our communication materials, updated our strategy and extended the team to include experts and teachers. We have also considered continuing in that direction by creating a scientific committee that can help improve the program.

B4.Progress toward the plan

In the early months of 2020, we carried out Program Education as planned, but with the closure of schools and universities due to the pandemic, there was a halt to activities and a change of priorities. We focused instead on organizational projects to help us face the second half of the year with more effective and useful tools. Although currently in its beta version, openedu.ch is already receiving good feedback from potential partners and other chapters.

While many activities were cancelled, we were able to focus on the program’s organization and structure, consolidating the work done in 2019.

B5.Lessons for our future work

Learning and sharing

During the educational reorganization, we reflected a lot on the current state and future path of education in the program. Here are some of this year’s lessons so far:

Communicate better – We realized that extraordinary things are happening in the Wikimedia world, but they are not transmitted effectively. Many teachers, for example, do not know our projects or how to best use them at school. As a result, university students and professionals are unaware of the many possibilities offered by acquiring knowledge through Wikimedia projects. Our goal, therefore, has been to improve this communication.

Ensure that bottom-up organization is part of a global strategy – In the past, Program Education activities were proposed and started via a predominantly bottom-up approach. Volunteers, partners and community members proposed a project that met a specific need, but it was not necessarily tied to a predetermined strategic goal. This led to disjointed projects. We are thrilled to have defined a programmatic strategy in 2019 in line with the recommendations of the Wikimedia Global Movement. We have already started to give more coherence to the program by stopping the activities that do not fit the strategy and by improving and adding to the activities that do.

Differentiate Education from GLAM and Community – Our chapter’s GLAM and Community programs are more established than Program Education. While there will always be an overlap between the three, it is important to articulate a distinct vision and purpose. The new strategy allows us to explain why the Education program differs and, in fact, should differ. As we built and launched the strategy in 2019, we found that the hardest job was creating an understanding around our new strategy and goals. But we must be persistent in “defining our why.” Program Education has a new strategy. It stands apart from GLAM and Community, and Wikimedia brings value to Swiss education. The strategy has already produced many advantages in this regard, allowing us to speak credibly with the main players in the field of education, including teachers, schools, universities and training centers.

Looking ahead

As a result of significant demand for support and funding, Program Education will expand in 2021.

Looking ahead, our focus will be to help schools make use of Wikimedia projects in their classes, particularly through openedu.ch. We will also work to help universities improve curricula by offering successful models and case studies and by proposing Wikimedia projects showcasing a modern and innovative solution for scientific research. We will especially focus on the “skills for life model” and how Wikimedia projects can help students acquire the necessary skills for the workplaces of the future. We will also organize edit-a-thons on key topics, such as 50 years of voting rights for women in Switzerland.

Lifelong learning will also be key in 2021. For example, we would like to offer training solutions on some tools — such as Wikidata — to professionals and teachers, with the ultimate objective of creating a certification program.

For reorganization, the focus will lie on strong and reliable partnerships and the creation of a scientific committee to support our work — an important step to increase quality.

Last, we’ll support schools and teachers with existing digital tools and solutions. We’ve already received proposals that support this initiative.

Program Community

C1.Background and context

Following a review of Program Community’s strategy in 2019, we continued our focus on four main areas in 2020:

  • Community health – tending to the relationships we have built with longtime Wikipedians.
  • Community building – motivating new volunteers to continue their involvement with our chapter.
  • Community recruitment – attracting new people to our chapter and the Wikimedia Movement.
  • International collaboration – reaching out to and working with other chapters and international groups committed to supporting free and unbiased knowledge.

We are also closely following the discussion around the Wikimedia Movement’s 2030 Strategy, specifically the working groups addressing community issues.

Core to our Community strategy is the idea of “knowledge equity,” particularly among women and minorities, who are less represented both in our community and in Wikimedia project content. As such, 2020 saw several events aimed at increasing representation on Wikipedia and diversifying our community of editors. These initiatives also allow participants to edit based on topics that interest them, which has proven to increase engagement and support community retention.

C2.Highlight activities

Community management during the pandemic[edit]

As an organization based on online tools, the Wikimedia CH community is largely virtual. That said, a key part of our community management plan is offline events. These in-person events allow longtime community members to get to know the person behind the username while creating a sense of welcome and providing technical support to newer members.

Unfortunately, a global pandemic meant that many in-person Community events had to be postponed, cancelled or moved online. To maintain a sense of community, we had to adapt our ways of working and be more creative to engage new and long-term members alike. It was our job to create opportunity out of a difficult situation.

In the case of activities moving from an in-person event to a virtual format, we saw both challenges and opportunities. For example, most of the Noircir Wikipedia workshops — a series of events that aim to increase the representation of Black people and issues on Wikimepedia — took place online, which allowed participants from Africa and the Caribbean to join for the first time.

The increasingly online nature of our community work also required us to better facilitate communication within our community. One of the ways we did this was by moving regular meetings among German-speaking Wikipedians online through an open video channel. We launched a closed mailing list in three languages, where subscribers can both learn about upcoming activities and promote their own initiatives around Wikimedia projects. Given that many of our community activities were moved online, we also refreshed our Respectful Behavior Space Policy for virtual events. The General Assemblies were all online, and we also provided licenses for video conference tools.

As COVID-19 forced us to postpone many of our in-person recruitment events, we also went online with our efforts to teach new editors about Wikipedia. For example, Community Manager Ulrich Lantermann created a video tutorial about how to create a biography on Wikipedia, aimed at those new to Wikimedia projects.

itWikiCon 2020[edit]

For the first time ever, the annual WikiCon on Wikimedia projects in the Italian language, itWikiCon 2020, was held entirely online on the 24th and 25th of October. The conference included talks from Jimmy Wales and Katherine Maher, among others. We were part of the organization team and were very involved in the preparation, which allowed us to learn from the experience. Specifically, we helped contact speakers, communicate about the event and support volunteers with giveaways. View the full case study of lessons learned.

The conference was organized by volunteers on 100% free software and engaged only local or nonprofit service providers. While this approach aligned with the spirit and values of Wikimedia, it also created challenges around organization and participant engagement.

Overall, the virtual format provided many key learnings that we will be able to use going forward. For example, we saw that, while many (more than 100) people were viewing the conference and chatting, few of them were interacting in real-time with audio and video. With several tools available to engage participants, not all of them used all the tools, which limited exchange between viewers.

In terms of organization, the virtual format was an opportunity to open the organization to more people. To encourage more engagement from different organizers, we avoided a core organizing committee and opted for a more open approach. This allowed us to source new skills needed to run the conference but also made organizing a little more difficult to manage.

While we look forward to the next in-person itWikiCon, the virtual format was a good learning experience for everyone involved. Going forward, we’ll use the lessons learned to explore using an online version of the event as an added bonus for those who can’t attend in person.

The success of the event, which had up to 150 attendees in the main sessions, moved us to create a committee to define guidelines, as well as a handbook to support future organizers. This group will meet regularly to plan itWikiCon 2021.

C3.Additional program activities

Program 1: Community health
New Year's brunch 2019 – Chiasso
New Year's brunch 2019 - Chiasso

Community health focuses on supporting long-standing chapter members.

Two of the ways we support our community is by financing their projects with grants and promoting them through our network. Wikimedia CH Grants fund Wikimedia community members — individuals, groups or organizations contributing to Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia or Commons — to organize projects or activities throughout the year with a budget from CHF 1,001. To make it easier for Wikipedians to request financial support, we reviewed and formalized our grant process in 2020. Our Wikimedia CH team worked together to adapt best practices from around the Movement to the Swiss context to create a clear, streamlined grant process, which was then approved by the board.

Another way we promote community health is by providing ways for Wikipedians to spend time together and build comradery as a community. While many of these events were cancelled or moved online, we still managed to have a few in-person activities. As in past years, we hosted New Year’s events and summer Wiknics across the country to give community members — who often only know each other online — valuable time for face-to-face networking. We also supported the Insubria group, which brings together members from the cross-border areas of Italy and Switzerland and which organized two editing events for the In the Steps of Carlo Amoretti project, mixing activities on Wikidata, Wikipedia, Wikivoyage and OpenStreetMap. Last, we organized a visit to an exhibit at the Nidwalden Museum for our German-speaking community members.

Program 2: Community building
Ennegreciendo Wikipedia
Ennegreciendo Wikipedia

Community building refers to activities that make newly acquired community members feel welcome.

To improve gender equity in both our community and our content, we supported several initiatives that encourage women to contribute to Wikipedia. The Women for Wikipedia edit-a-thon series, a collaboration with Swiss Radio and Television (SRF) and Ringier AG, brings together female journalists to write biographies of notable women that are missing on Wikipedia. We supported two online edit-a-thons that were highly successful despite a new format and resulted in nearly 160 new articles.

Similarly, the Wikipedia workshop “Who writes his_tory” was held in June in cooperation with the Solothurn Film Festival as part of the Art+Feminism campaign. The editing workshop focused on women in cinema and invited both newcomers and longtime Wikipedians to write articles about female directors and other women in film. The event attracted 11 authors, who created four new articles and edited seven, many of them in French (see all results here). What’s more, the collaboration with the film festival helped pave the way toward a new relationship with the fine arts institution.

We also continued our long-standing support of Les sans pagEs, which aims to increase the representation of women on Wikipedia, including a weekend of editing and organizing in August. The event attracted nine participants (seven in-person and two online) and resulted in the creation of a toolkit for organizers and seven Wikipedia articles. In addition, the group, along with Noircir Wikipedia, was featured on the inclusive news outlet AJ+ Francais in a video showcasing their work and its importance to the wider feminism movement.

With the international outcry over systemic racism against the Black community throughout the year, our support of Noircir Wikipedia was especially important. The project joined the campaign #visiblewikiwomenofcolors to increase the visibility of women of color on Wikipedia and created a new Wikidata page to gauge content gaps relevant to their project. The year 2020 saw 12 workshops for approximately 25 participants: nine on Wikipedia, two on Wikidata and one on Commons. One of the online workshops was held in collaboration with a museum in France, Magasin des Horizons, while another partnered with the Musée d’Ethnographie in Geneva. Both allowed participants to join from both Switzerland and France but also from Benin, Guadeloupe, French Guinea and Haïti. Beginning in November, the group held weekly meetings to monitor project progress (rate and improve articles linked to the project).

Program 3: Community recruitment

Recruitment is closely aligned with community building. Engaging new volunteers (community building) can inspire them to become long-term members and invite their friends (community recruitment). We therefore focus on building ongoing series of events around themes that spark their interests.

For example, Castles Dossier is a collaboration with OpenStreetMap to improve the representation of Swiss castles and palaces on Wikipedia by supplementing the Wiki content with geographic information from OpenStreetMap while populating OpenStreetMap with Wikimedia information (data, articles and photos.) As part of the project, 25 Swiss castles opened their gates and drawbridges to the public on the 4th of October to celebrate the 5th National Castles Day. The celebration included a photo challenge to participants to upload photos of the castles missing from the map or in Wikimedia Commons. Afterward, we opened up a four-language writing contest to create articles in the Swiss castles and palaces categories. The contest offered monetary prizes for the top contributors and included a weekly, one-hour video conference to exchange ideas. As a result of the competition, 14 participants created 136 new articles and expanded 35 articles. Meanwhile, all castles of the canton of Aargau are now on Wikipedia.

Other projects to engage new community members around specific topics included WikiProject Switzerland to improve Wikipedia’s articles related to the country and the European Water Project, a collaboration with OpenStreetMap to map water fountains throughout Switzerland and Europe. We also led workshops at Gymnasium Muttenz, where students in the self-led study program wrote scientific articles for Wikipedia. During the program, 23 students chose a topic of interest and wrote an article about it in the workshops and in their own time.

For 2020, we organized Wiki Loves Switzerland, the 10th Wiki Loves contest we’ve supported. After nine editions of Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Loves Earth, we decided to broaden the contest’s horizons beyond heritage and natural sites, with the aim of exploring and documenting the spirit of the Swiss confederation. Participants could choose to take pictures depicting the Swiss “soul” and upload them to Wikimedia Commons, or they could translate or modify articles about Swiss castles. The contest resulted in more than 2,750 new photos on Commons.

Another way we hope to recruit new members is through the Wikipedia Studios series, which invites new and experienced Wikipedians to learn about editing Wikipedia and work on articles about specific topics. Pairing an introductory session with an edit-a-thon allows newcomers to put what they learned directly into practice. In addition to virtual workshops, in 2020, we supported in-person workshops in collaboration with the Bildwechsel in Basel, the Winterthur Library, doku-zug.ch (which garnered regional media attention, including an article in the Luzerner Zeitung), the Communication Museum in Bern and SBB Historic in Olten.

Program 4: International collaboration
Volunteer Supporters Network meeting in Zurich

As a linguistically diverse country with a large international population, Switzerland is uniquely placed to collaborate with other countries. For this reason, we routinely work with the chapters of border countries on joint initiatives and cross-promote events together.

Sometimes this collaboration goes even further than border countries, as in the case of the project WikiDroitsHumains, which seeks to use Wikimedia projects to help Wikipedia users understand and champion human rights. The project involves Wikimedia Argentina, Wikimedia France, the Wikimedia Foundation and the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR). WikiDroitsHumains started as a collaboration between Wikimedia CH and Tonpseudo, a volunteer Wikipedian based in France, to replicate Wikimedia Argentina’s WikiDerechosHumanos efforts. It also aligns with #WikiforHumanRights, the Foundation’s partnership with OHCHR to improve content about human rights issues on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. To learn more about the project, watch Community Manager Flor Méchain’s video interview with Wikimedia Argentina.

The project pairs Wikipedians with human rights activists to bring fresh knowledge on relevant topics. It launched in 2020 with a meeting at the United Nations Office in Geneva that brought together nongovernmental and civil service organizations, experts from OHCHR and members of the Wikimedia community. The project also included a series of workshops to train human rights activists and improve articles on Wikipedia. Our focus was on intersex rights in France and Switzerland in collaboration with the French Collectif Intersexes et Allié.e.s and the Swiss InterAction Suisse, two associations for intersex rights. During the workshops, participants improved 23 articles (for example, by removing insulting terms and adding keywords and links to intersex information in articles about physical integrity and relevant rights) and created two new medical and biographical articles that treat the topic in a more respectful manner.

Another way we’re collaborating with other chapters is through the Volunteer Supporters Network. Since 2014, the network has aimed to improve volunteer and community support in the Wikimedia Movement by developing, growing and maintaining collaboration and by exchanging expertise, ideas and resources. To do so, we continuously work with other chapters on international meetings and conferences and collaborate on resources to support volunteers. We meet at least once a month and are currently discussing the impact of the new 2030 Strategy on our activities.

In normal years, we support WikiCons for the German-, French- and Italian-speaking communities (see the description of itWikiCon2020 in Program Community’s highlight activities). Due to COVID-19, the German and French chapters had to make the difficult decision to cancel their respective WikiCons for 2020.

C4.Progress toward the plan

Like the other programs, many of our Program Community activities were impacted by the pandemic. That said, one of our 2020 goals was to revitalize online projects. As the pandemic pushed several of the usual in-person events online, it was a good opportunity to test new formats for old initiatives.

What’s more, we made significant strides toward more effective Community communication, both through dedicated email lists and because of our more general communications efforts. Events are now easier to find on the website, while the newsletter and social media outreach make them more visible to potential participants.

C5.Lessons for our future work

Learning and sharing

A few key events — itWikiCon, WikiDroitsHumains and Women for Wikipedia — presented a few issues to consider for future initiatives.

Be open to new ideas to encourage engagement – During the organization of itWikiCon, the conference improved dramatically when the answer to a new idea was “Yes, let’s do it!” or “Yes, but let’s fix this problem before working on it!” We saw that things progressed better when we focused on overcoming the problem rather than shooting down constructive ideas out of fear, prejudice or ego around other people’s work. Nobody likes hearing “no.” If an idea comes from a volunteer, and if that idea is in line with the project, it deserves a “yes” by default. After the yes, then we can discuss its strengths and weaknesses, but without a preventive “no.”

Understand and adjust for the sensitivity of political topics – During the first hands-on WikiDroitsHumains workshop, some participants mentioned being afraid to add #WikiDroitsHumains to their edit summary due to the political nature of such a statement. The hashtag was meant to keep track of metrics. Therefore, omitting it in summaries resulted in a very lengthy process of tracking the activity of these regularly active Wikipedians, for whom an outreach dashboard would have reported all sorts of activity from the workshop and beyond. To remedy this issue, we are working with Wikimedia France to explore how to prevent harassment for Wikipedians participating in this series of human rights workshops.

Anticipate and mitigate non-neutral editing – A challenge that was raised during the WikiDroitsHumains project concerns how to cooperate with passionate (i.e., non-neutral) people, such as activists, while maintaining the neutrality necessary for Wikipedia contributions. We are discussing a methodology for such work to provide the relevant knowledge needed so that activists can provide support without creating conflicts within the established Wikipedian community.

Looking ahead

Looking ahead to 2021, we will continue our work on gender, handicap and racial diversity. These events fulfill all four of our main directions of action and relate to knowledge equity, a core pillar of the Wikimedia 2030 Strategy.

We also aim to start motivating volunteers by offering medals for long-term contributors at a WikiSwiss Awards Ceremony. As such, it will become increasingly important to use various tools to monitor volunteer activities.

Besides our ongoing projects, we will begin organizing events around climate change and with new partners, such as the Red Cross. Such activities will support the goals of knowledge as a service and knowledge equity for Wikipedia readers and contributors.

Last but certainly not least, we will focus much of 2021 on celebrating Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary with various events throughout the country and the world. We have already begun planning various initiatives and will continue this work in 2021.

Partnerships & Outreach

D1.Background and context

Our Partnerships & Outreach efforts focus on international and national public relations, whereby we use our influence and expertise to promote issues around free knowledge. In Switzerland, we are seen as a trusted partner when it comes to topics related to the digital world. Our influence extends to the European level, as what happens in the EU impacts laws and policies in Switzerland.

Like the other programs, our Outreach activities were impacted by the pandemic, with important activities like a “friendraising” event postponed. Despite a challenging year for relationship-building, we maintained strong contact with partners and potential partners and saw more requests for support and partnership than in previous years. This demonstrates how we are increasingly becoming known as a key player in digital and knowledge topics.

We also continued our work to build partnerships, both in Switzerland and internationally, to advance policies and activities promoting a more knowledgeable society. Supporting this goal is our new communications strategy, which is already advancing outreach to new and existing stakeholders, including partners, community members, the media and like-minded organizations. The multichannel communications approach helps keep our organization top-of-mind among potential and current partners alike.

Another area of focus is fundraising. A new Fundraising and Grant Manager joined our team in August and spent the remaining months working on developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders.

D2.Highlight activities

SwissCovid App Facts and the Alliance Digitale[edit]

In 2020, we joined the Alliance Digitale, an association of civil society organizations that advocate digital change for the benefit of society as a whole. The Alliance, which began as an informal think tank and was formalized in 2020, gives civil society a strong voice in the digital transformation and puts people at the center of its activities.

We were introduced to the alliance through one of the leaders of Parldigi, which we have supported for years now (see the upcoming section about national outreach). Our participation in the alliance aligns with our support of Parldigi’s 2020 work around the SwissCovid app, a COVID-19 tracing app adopted by the Federal Office of Public Health to combat the pandemic.

A key initiative of the Alliance is SwissCovid App Facts, a website where readers can get answers to the most common questions about the app and ask questions that haven’t already been answered. The website aims to create more transparency around the app in terms the average reader can understand. As an alliance member, we supported an awareness campaign for the app through our communications channels.

Professionalizing our outreach, communications and fundraising approach[edit]
Wikimedia CH website – screenshot

One of our objectives as an organization is to build our reputation as a trusted partner in free, open and unbiased knowledge in Switzerland and beyond. As part of that effort, we have been focusing on professionalizing our outreach approach, supported by our communications and fundraising efforts. While communications and fundraising are not official strategic directions, when the chapter’s foundation is built with both, it supports all our programmatic activities.

In terms of outreach, we developed a new outreach strategy, which lays out our objectives and approaches going forward. The strategy document was a key step forward in this program, as it required significant alignment within our organization around definitions, positioning and the way forward.

On the communications side, we have been implementing a new communications strategy to reach a wider audience with a more compelling message. The strategy embraces the Wikimedia Movement’s 2030 Strategy and contributes to our annual plan’s objective of improving people’s top-of-mind awareness and understanding of our work. We communicate to our main stakeholders, partners and members through our website, social media, a monthly newsletter, press outreach and partnerships. The newsletter, in particular, has been key to staying top of mind and sharing our activities. It goes out to nearly 20,000 recipients and garners an open rate of over 40% — well above the industry average. We have also been much more active around media outreach, with proactive press releases and a new workflow to answer media requests.

Meanwhile, a new Fundraising and Grant Manager joined our team in August and has already made significant headway in professionalizing our fundraising efforts. The new position focuses on developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders while meeting the chapter’s financial and budgetary requirements.

In 2020, we conducted two fundraising campaigns, which reached out to our growing donor base via email as well as physical letters. Despite the pandemic and thanks to the generosity of our donors — many of whom have supported us for several years with larger donation amounts — total funds raised grew compared to past years. This is a clear sign that our donors and society in general highly value our work around free and reliable knowledge, especially in a year marked by misinformation around the pandemic and other global topics.

In the year’s last quarter, we developed and began implementing a new donor approach that will allow us to keep developing stronger relationships with our donors, especially our major donors. The approach includes, for example, regularly providing them with relevant updates on our work and reaching out more proactively. We also continued improving the donation page on our website and our donation processes, as well as refining the tools related to fundraising, following up with donors and replying to their requests and questions.

D3.Additional program activities

Program 1: International outreach

Despite the cancellation of 2020’s German-speaking and French-speaking WikiCons, we continued our collaboration with neighboring chapters to implement our programmatic activities. As mentioned in the other program sections, we supported or led several international initiatives, including itWikiCon and IMD2020. We also worked closely with other chapters on work concerning the 2030 Strategy as well as the organization of various strategy groups.

We continued to be one of the driving actors for WikiFranca, the partnership between francophone Wikimedia chapters and affiliated working groups. While we had supported the initiative financially in the past, all partners agreed that it would be more effective to establish a more formal association to better support French-speaking countries. We have the opportunity to take on an even greater role, as the association might likely be based in Switzerland with an antenna in Côte d’Ivoire. As discussions continue and plans for the future of the partnership solidify, we will see our involvement expand.

Finally and as mentioned in the GLAM section, we signed a call to action urging WIPO to set a global standard to protect cultural heritage institutions from the effects of climate change and natural disasters. Considering the pandemic and its devastating impact on GLAM institutions, an international response is critical.

Program 2: National outreach

Our national outreach activities aim to make an impact on Swiss policies that affect open and free knowledge.

In 2020, we continued our work with Parldigi, the Swiss Parliamentary Group on Digital Sustainability. We have supported the group as a sponsor and member for several years, providing insights and consultation on digital issues. Our work with Parldigi in 2020 focused on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Switzerland, which exposed many vulnerabilities and holes in Switzerland’s digital transformation. To advance changes in that area, we contributed to developing a call-to-action letter, which identifies areas to be addressed and suggests necessary measures to take. Included in the call to action is the need for digital tools to both mitigate the current pandemic and help prevent new outbreaks. As such, we supported Parldigi on their statement endorsing a COVID-19 tracing app that was chosen by the Federal Office of Public Health, as well as the virtual open hearing about the app, by sharing Parldigi’s position through our communications channels.

We also supported DINAcon, a conference on digital sustainability that is usually held in Bern but ended up being a virtual event in 2020. Muriel Staub, the president of our chapter, and Diego Hättenschwiler, a longtime Wikipedian, hosted a workshop entitled “Wikipedia: Global knowledge also in the global south?” We also supported the event by encouraging community members to attend and contribute.

Last, we attended an event organized by Swiss Ladies Drive, the largest organizer of events for entrepreneurs, networkers and career women in Switzerland. We’re exploring similar events for women in digital and tech, where there might be opportunities to join a speakers’ panel or be a keynote speaker. For example, we’d planned to support an event with Women 4 Digital and ATED ICT Ticino, an organization we regularly sponsor that provides expertise to organize, promote and manage events in the information and communication technologies sector. The event, called Donne che Ispirano le Donne (Women Who Inspire Women), was to take place in Lugano for 100-120 people and included our executive director, Jenny Ebermann, as a keynote speaker. It aimed to introduce women of all ages to professions in STEM disciplines, including the many job opportunities available in this time of digital transformation. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled due to the pandemic and has not yet been rescheduled.

Program 3: Collaboration with like-minded associations

Building partnerships with like-minded organizations allows Wikimedia CH to make a greater impact by amplifying our message to new, sympathetic audiences. As such, we aim to collaborate with other advocates of free knowledge in Switzerland. In 2020, we saw an increased demand for support from our partners, which shows both the need for collaboration and the fact that we are building our reputation as a key player in this space.

Meanwhile, we increasingly see climate change as an area where Wikimedia can help make a difference. In Switzerland and abroad, organizations focusing on the environment abound but often struggle to share their important messages. We have therefore started initial discussions with Swiss-based environmental organizations to see how we might use Wikimedia projects to support their missions. For example, we are exploring a collaboration with the European Forum on Urban Forestry on how to use digital tools like OpenStreetMap to protect and encourage investment in urban green spaces. The project would include mapping urban forests on OpenStreetMap and using our communications channels for an awareness campaign.

We also continued our support of Kiwix, an offline reader for online content like Wikipedia. The year 2020 was big for the project: the Android app hit one million installs, Kiwix was named a Falling Walls winner in the Digital Education category for “breaking the wall of connectivity,” and the source code is now included in the GitHub Arctic Code Vault. The project also released an updated version of Wikipedia in English.

D4.Progress toward the plan

Despite a difficult year, we continued to leverage the Movement’s name recognition to support open and free knowledge, especially around the pandemic and related topics. Meanwhile, our efforts to professionalize our outreach approach, communications strategy and fundraising are already paying off, with increased engagement and donations.

On top of that, we leveraged the upcoming 20th anniversary of Wikipedia as a reason to reach out to past, present and potential stakeholders. Thanks to these efforts, we are well on our way in planning key events in 2021.

Collaboration with other chapters and organizations was also a priority. While the pandemic slowed down some of these activities, we still saw close cooperation with other chapters on projects across all strategic impact areas. What’s more, a new focus on climate change opens up a wealth of potential new partnerships and projects, which we will continue to explore going forward.

D5.Lessons for our future work

Learning and sharing

Question the status quo – In the past, Wikimedia CH sent out an irregular newsletter to approximately 300 community members. The process was inefficient, yielding content that the readers already knew, an unclear workflow, undefined responsibilities, text that was too long and uninviting, and a time-consuming drafting process that the team disliked. Rather than continue with business as usual, we completely revolutionized our newsletter approach. The result has been increased readership and open rates, positive feedback from audiences and a manageable process for the team. We learned that we should never be married to activities (administrative, programmatic or other) just because that is what has always been done. We should instead continuously question our activities and look for opportunities to innovate.

Leverage the team’s collective experience – Another learning from the newsletter refresh was to draw on the team’s experience and ideas to create more efficient processes and effective deliverables. As we worked to identify a new path for the newsletter, we held a team workshop where we discussed key challenges and brainstormed solutions. Several team members have worked with Wikimedia CH for years, so they had a wealth of knowledge to help streamline the process. By including them when developing the solution, they felt more accountable for its success and more motivated to contribute.

Looking ahead

The year 2021 will be a big one for Wikimedia CH, both at the chapter level and in the wider Wikiverse. With the 50th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Switzerland falling on the same year as Wikipedia’s 20th birthday, we will have many outreach opportunities. What’s more, we will continue our work on both the chapter’s five-year strategy and our contributions to the Movement’s 2030 Strategy. In 2021, we have several planning events already scheduled for both.

In terms of our communications strategy, we will develop a content calendar for social media outreach and will continue to refine our website. For fundraising, we will draw on feedback from donors and lessons learned during 2020’s fundraising campaigns to continue to improve our approach going forward. We are also refining our outreach messaging as an organization — work that will continue into next year.

Last, we will continue discussions with like-minded organizations, both with those with whom we have existing relationships and with potential new partners. A particular focus will be around climate change and the crossroads of environmental and digital issues. Regardless of the topic of focus, these partnerships allow us to combine our goals with those of other organizations, helping maximize our reach and impact.

Revenues received during this period (6 month for progress report, 12 months for impact report)[edit]

Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
Exchange Rate 1,0385 1,0385
Membership fees CHF 15'000,00 10'899,72 4'167,99 550,00 75,00 15'692,71 15'577,50 16'296,88 Thanks to sending out early reminders we were able to collect more fees than originally anticipated.
APG (Annual Plan Grant) CHF 150'000,00 87'500,00 0,00 62'500,00 0,00 150'000,00 155'775,00 155'775,00
WMF Fundraising Costs CHF 130'000,00 4'885,37 724,14 429,27 134'358,63 140'397,41 135'005,00 145'802,71 The final amount always varies slightly compared to the original planned amount, as it depends upon the real amount of money raised for the WMF at the end of the year.
Donations WMCH CHF 1'004'600,00 398'080,66 234'182,58 53'372,31 1'833'842,81 2'519'478,36 1'043'277,10 2'616'478,28 For the first time in WMCH's history, we were able to conduct email marketing campaigns and letter campaigns in a more professional way as our systems become slowly more effective. What is more, the whole year we communicated a lot about fake news and the importance of validated data and information. The Foundation also did a lot in that respect leading up to the US election. We believe that this helped tremendously in the public eye and drove people to respond in a very positive way to our fundraising efforts in Switzerland. This is why, for the first time ever, WMCH did not re-apply for a grant for 2021 so that the money could be distributed to other stakeholders within the wiki movement who are in need of support during these difficult times.
Pro Bono / In-kind donations CHF 10'000,00 503,60 1'248,45 62,60 5'670,95 7'485,60 10'385,00 7'773,80 Unfortunately, as many face to face events were not conducted, we saw less income here.
TOTAL CHF 1'309'600,00 501'869,35 240'323,16 116'914,18 1'973'947,39 2'833'054,08 1'360'019,60 2'942'126,66

Spending during this period (6 month for progress report, 12 months for impact report)[edit]

Expense Cur-
Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted
spent to date
Explanation of variances from plan
Exchange Rate 1,00498 1,00498
PROGRAM 1 - GLAM 120'000,00 26346,20 -1036,35 11113,00 16267,30 52690,15 120597,60 52952,55 43,91 2020 saw less spending because of COVID: the foreseen GLAM on Tour got cancelled as well as other events; we also received some reiumbursements back from work that has not been terminated or previous events.
PROGRAM 2 - Education CHF 130'000,00 30970,34 20211,74 12924,62 23771,04 87877,74 130647,40 88315,37 67,60 Many things had to be cancelled because of COVID; however we finally had the time to make major steps forward with our OpenEdu Programme
PROGRAM 3 - Community CHF 106'000,00 16640,81 5884,85 25284,58 36182,24 83992,48 106527,88 84410,76 79,24 Underspent here is linked to the cancellations of two major Wikicons: the German speaking and the French speaking one.
Program 4: International and National (Public) Relations CHF 75'000,00 7838,85 19177,07 26185,20 -894,02 52307,10 75373,50 52567,59 69,74 Due to COVID a major friendraising event had to be cancelled; other national outreach efforts were done virtually instead of in person and thus demanded less resources. What is more Wiki Events such as the summit in Berlin were also cancelled.
Staff Wages & Expenses CHF 597'770,00 146289,10 137726,85 152391,40 192596,16 629003,51 600746,89 632135,95 105,23 WMCH decided to finally hire a fundraising officer in order to support our fundraising efforts. This was desperately needed. Our new employee started in August 2020.
Operations (excludes staff and programs) CHF 280'740,00 65683,22 75652,15 60390,20 93223,42 294948,99 282138,09 296417,84 105,06 As WMCH had no previous experience working with reconciliations in terms of fundraising automatization, we under-estimated the costs when consolidating the original budget. Auditing costs also rose slightly during 2020.
TOTAL CHF 1'309'510,00 293'768,52 257'616,31 288'289,00 361'146,14 1'200'819,97 1'316'031,36 1'206'800,05 91,70


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.

  • No deviations

Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".

  • 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? Please answer "Yes" or "No".

  • YES


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Resources to plan for measurement[edit]

Resources for storytelling[edit]