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

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Overview[edit]

Executive Summary[edit]

This year was of particular importance for the chapter and very different from previous years. It was affected by two major events, namely, the handing-over of the chapter’s leadership to a new ED, and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The latter required a readjustment of our entire array of activities to meet the new conditions. Nevertheless, and despite the complexity and uncertainty that characterized this year, we can say with much satisfaction that we met most of our goals, as detailed below, and even managed to develop and expand our inventory of tools as a result thereof. We did our best to use the crisis for creating a new range of opportunities and expanding our abilities.

Functional continuity and implementation of the predefined working plan were the two immediate goals following the leadership change. Nevertheless, the outbreak of the pandemic, only two and a half months later, created crisis conditions that forced us to change our method of work, particularly in light of the strict lockdown, which was imposed for several long periods of time. Office work had to switch to telecommuting and our public activities had to change immediately in all of their aspects and components. The challenges were both on the personal level, as well as the professional one, as individuals and as a team. Unfortunately, the uncertainty imposed by the pandemic is still ongoing, but we were successful in adjusting our practices both internally, within the chapter, and externally, vis-à-vis our partners and the stakeholders to the new reality and the changes required therefrom.

Main Challenges and strategy adopted

Securing the health and wellbeing of our team, and handling the objective functional difficulties of each member, were our major concerns. Beyond that, we had to meet the big challenge of offering high-quality adapted and creative alternatives to the chapter’s regular forms of activity, as quickly as possible, preserving and fostering existing cooperations, and exhausting new possibilities and opportunities.   Our work was done while constantly evaluating the situation and adjusting our abilities and methods to the new reality and its limitations. Also, resource development challenges became  more significant than ever before in light of the financial uncertainty that has affected donors and funds, and yet we managed to meet the goals. More details about the strategy we adopted are available here.

Selected Achievement and Developments

  • The forced suspension of in-person activity triggered a strategic decision to accelerate the professional process of course digitization and remote learning capacity building. The result was the development of an improved online version of our editing course. A focused process of skill and knowhow development enabled us to expand our toolbox, not merely as an alternative for the traditional methods, but as a method in its own right. The proficiency gained has been incorporated into almost every area of our activity (including the Senior Citizens Editing Course, Hebrew and Arabic activity within the educational system and in the Higher Education system, as well as in community and public events). The digital transition also enabled us to reach out to new audiences, less reached before, such as the geographical periphery, and meet other accessibility challenges.
  • Following a thorough development process that had started already during 2019, we  launched during Q3 of 2020 the Tutorial for Wikidata Query Service, which aims at providing a friendly introduction to SPARQL for people with no background in writing queries or programming. This is the first instructional tool developed by WMIL for the global community, therefore its content was developed in English first (and only then translated into Hebrew). As was originally estimated, the tool stirred a lot of interest among chapters and user groups, that turned to us expressing their interest in translating it into their own languages, and are now doing so in coordination and collaboration with our Wikidata coordinator who led the development.  (More information in section 4.1)
  • The project of developing the GLAM Wiki Dashboard was made possible thanks to an earmarked grant WMIL had received by mid 2020. We consider it a strategic tool for digital outreach to GLAM institutions, both globally and locally, and a means for enhancing our GLAM activities which is currently relatively modest. The project is aimed at providing GLAM institutes with an effective, accessible and easy-to-follow statistical interface, to track the usage and exposure of their free-content files uploaded to Wikimedia projects, based on several selected indices and various time frames. The GLAM Wiki dashboard is a project of Wikimedia Israel, with support and advice from Wikimedia Sverige, built upon open-source infrastructure originally developed by Wikimedia CH. Already in its prototype stage, as planned, it is now being probed for feedback by a number of GLAM institutes, including, on top of Israeli ones, several Swedish and Brazilian GLAM institutes, who were brought on board thanks to our colleagues in the respected chapters.  (More information in section 3.5)

Looking back at the year that just ended, and as far as the impact is concerned, we feel that Wikimedia Israel has taken another significant step forward, and we expect to continue this trend in 2021 despite the reality of uncertainty that still reigns here and globally.


Overall[edit]

Program Participants Newly registered Content pages Index of choice Index of choice
Wiki-Women (annual target) 8 8 23 Writing content about women in educational, academic and other projects 3 edit-a-thons

* More indices of choice are listed in the relevant part of this report.

TOTAL 2020 49 12 31 (14 new articles, 4

expansions, 13 gnomings)

partially performed (details under “Wiki-Woman”) 2 edit-a-thons
Senior Citizens (annual target) 140 75 995 Average grade of 4.5 in the course feedback questionnaire 20 participants continue to edit for at least three months after the course.

* More indices of choice are listed in the relevant part of this report.

TOTAL 2020 208 46 6,807 Average grade of 5.35 in the course feedback questionnaire 23 participants continued to edit at least 3 months after the course
Hebrew Education Program (annual target) 1,100 - 460 33 guided teachers 20 new teachers, trained and guided
TOTAL 2020 945 347 305 31 guided teachers 18 new teachers, trained and guided
Arabic Education Program (annual target) 200 - 250 10 new classes -
TOTAL 2020 342 166 109 12 new classes 6 new teachers joined the program
Collaboration with GLAM institutions (annual target) N/A - 230 1Lib1Ref * See comment #1 below the table * See comment #1 below the table
TOTAL 2020 94 1Lib1ref - (4,704 gnomings 1Lib1ref),

7,063 new images uploaded to the Commons (5,486 images from the IDF spokesperson archive

1,666 new images)

- * See comment #1 below the table
Higher-education (annual target) 450 - 450 (300 new articles and 150 expansions) - -
TOTAL 2020 572 346 366 (313 new and 53 expansions) - -
Wikidata (annual target) - - 4,500 - -
TOTAL 2020 - - 15,233 (6545 new items, 8,678 edits on existing items) - -
Training (annual target) 18 N/A N/A * See comment #2 below the table * See comment #2 below the table
TOTAL 2020 100 (non-unique) - - - -
Miscellaneous - - - - See comment #1 below the table
TOTAL 2020 312 25 268 WP articles (81 gnomings, 13 expansions, 174 new articles), 1,582 files for the Commons
Total annual target for all programs 1,898 N/A

was set as a goal

6,908 N/A N/A
TOTAL 2020 2,622 942 New articles 7,722

Expansions 70

Gnomings 4,798

New images 7,063 3,248

Wikidata;

New items 6545

Edits on existing items 8,678

- -

#1 - These projects were not originally included in our working plan, usually because the opportunity to launch them was attained during the year. Quantitative assessment in advance was therefore impossible.

#2 - Training requires such infrastructures as instructional materials and human resources. Therefore, some of the common indices (new users, content pages) are inapplicable in this domain. We set a wide variety of domain-specific indices that are compatible with its special nature, e.g. development, updating and distribution of instructional tools, and holding of meetings, workshops and talks for learning and enrichment. These indices, with the levels of performance, appear under “Building Capacities - Training” in this report.

Enhancing diversity[edit]

∵ Wiki-Women[edit]

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Total 2020 Comments
Content pages 23 (8 articles or expansions + 15 gnomings) 130% performance: 30 content pages (13 new articles, 4 expansions, 13 gnomings) 135% performance: 31 content pages (14 new articles, 4 expansions, 13 gnomings) H2 was dedicated mainly for infrastructure development in order to expand future activity.
No. of  participants 8 49 (around 610% performance) 49 (around 610% performance)
New female editors 8 12 (150% performance) 12 (150% performance)
Index of choice Countering gender gap on Wikipedia by writing content about women in educational projects at schools in both Hebrew and Arabic (2 classes) Not completed yet Partially performed An educational initiative for writing 60-90 articles about women, with the participation of 3 classes, all are about to complete the process. Issues related to the coronavirus crisis delayed the upload of the products, which will finish during 2021.
Index of choice Encouraging narrowing gender gap tasks in both academic projects and senior citizens courses Completed Completed
Index of choice 55% of the participants in the senior citizens activities will be women. Nearly completed: 50% women among participants of 2.5 cycles of the editing course for senior citizens that took place 48% women among participants of 3.5 rounds of this course A round of the senior citizens’ course meant for women only changed the balance in favor of the women, but it ended in 2021, and so will be reported next year.
Index of choice Organizing 3 edit-a-thons to celebrate International Women's day/month Nearly completed: 3 edit-a-thon organized, of them, 2 took place (on International Women’s Day and on International Nurses Day) and one canceled at the last moment due to the COVID-19 crisis. Nearly completed (see H1) From March 2020 onwards, the edit-a-thon events became impossible due to the coronavirus crisis.
Art+feminism - an event for creating content on he-wp about female artists, March 2020
A senior citizen course graduate receives remote support from a WMIL volunteer. We place special emphasis on accompanying women who have completed the course in their first steps as editors at Wikipedia.
  • The Program’s Rationale

Narrowing gender gaps on he-wp and other Wikimedia projects:

  1. Narrowing the demographic gap, i.e. recruiting more female editors and encouraging the persistence of existing female editors
  2. Narrowing the content gap, i.e. encouraging the addition of quality content related to women, feminism and gender
  • What’s been done?
    • Two edit-a-thons for creating he-wp articles about women: an in-person edit-a-thon for creating articles about female artists and an online edit-a-thon for creating articles about women in medical professions
    • Including two article writing initiatives about women and women-related topics in our educational and academic programs
    • Investing in the maintenance and regeneration of women-related missing-article lists, particularly the Hebrew version of WikiProject Women in Red
    • Launching a first he-wp editing course for women only (more details below) and a special project for youths about ar-wp, whose participants were 90% female (detailed explanation under “Test Case” in “Arabic Education Program”)

For more details about these activities and others, see Progress Report 2020.

  • Achievements and Highlights
    • Expanding this program’s audiences through interorganizational cooperations and by diversifying the types of activities and marketing channels
    • Through chapter’s activities, adding rich and blanched content to some central and emotionally charged women- and gender-related articles on he-wp (such as, domestic violence, breast cancer, women in Judaism, ‘get’ refusal and ‘deadly woman’)
  • Challenges and Lessons Learned

The decision to open a women-only editing course meant a risk we had to take. We could not predict how the idea of gender separation would be perceived in this context, particularly since in Israel, gender separation is often associated with religious conservatism or backlash against feminism. In practice, this decision proved successful beyond expectations.

  • Most participants said the women-only setting made them feel better throughout the course. Some even said it was their reason for taking part.
  • The instructing team felt that this format encouraged an open honest discourse, which is not always the case in a gender-mixed environment.
  • The single-gender environment allowed us to combine messages that are specifically relevant to women and support their engagement in Wikipedia. For example, we saw that women were more hesitant than men about their competence to edit Wikipedia, therefore we emphasized their competence and the importance of their involvement in the process of editing, as part of promoting gender equality in Wikipedia. These messages were apparently fruitful, because the group showed high motivation to pursue editing.

Note: The complete data about the women’s editing course will be reported during 2021, since the course ended during this year.

∵ Senior citizens[edit]

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Total 2020 Comments
Content pages 995 content pages (415 articles and expansions, 580 gnomings) 270% performance: 2,725 content pages 684% performance: 6,807 content pages Breakdown: 2,029 new articles and expansions on he-wp + 74 new pages and expansions on wikidata + 2,791 gnomings on he-wp + 1,534 gnomings on wikidata + 379 new pages on the Commons
No. of participants 140 100% performance: 145 participations 149% performance: 208 participations
New editors 75 41% performance: 31 new editors 61% performance: 46 new editors The gap results from the unexpected activity freeze owing to the coronavirus crisis
Additional index Evaluation of the senior citizens’ course: Average grade to be at least 4.5 out of 6 in the course feedback questionnaire. 120% performance: Average grade was 5.44 among respondents. (In addition, 100% wrote they would recommend the course to their friends.) 118% performance: Average grade was 5.35 among respondents. (In addition, 95% wrote they would recommend the course to their friends.)
Additional index 20 participants will continue to edit for at least three months after the course. 115% performance: 23 participants continued to edit 3 months after the course had ended. (Data refer to courses that ended between November 2019 and March 2020.) 115% performance (see H1) Data about the persistence rate among participants of another course that ended on the last days of 2020, will be available in 2021.
Additional index To Organize 8 meetings for former course participants 100% performance: 8 meetings 125% performance: 10 meetings
Additional index 5 participants to be recruited as WMIL volunteers 40% performance: 2 participants were recruited as new WMIL volunteers 100% performance: 5 participants were recruited as new WMIL volunteers
  • The Program’s Rationale

The program is meant –

  1. to allow its participants to become WP editors;
  2. to strengthen and diversify he-wp’s core of editors;
  3. to contribute to the creation of a large amount of diversified quality content on he-wp;
  4. to expand WMIL’s team of volunteer instructors.

The program includes two channels: (1) WP editing course, which includes group and personal guidance; (2) advanced track of support, additional information and volunteering offered to course graduates (see Impact Report 2019 under “Community Support” for more details).

  • What’s been done? (including challenges and achievements)
    • We completed two successful rounds of our editing course, with organizations that have become new partners to the program.
    • In March, following the coronavirus crisis, we had to stop a third round of the course while it was ongoing, and freeze any additional activity, as it was still based, back then, on in-person sessions.
    • The freeze was used as an opportunity for a massive investment in our tutoring infrastructure:
      1. We accelerated and expanded the upgrading process of the course, which had started indeed before the crisis, but was still in its very beginning.
      2. We diverted the development efforts toward the production of a digital version adjusted for remote tutoring, in order to allow the implementation of the course uniterruptly during the crisis, and to expand our options in the future.
    • At the end of the development, we successfully launched a pilot round of the course’s digital version.
    • At the end of the pilot-round, we conducted a lesson-learning process and implemented its results in an improved round that opened at the end of 2020.
    • The development of the online version provoked much interest among our potential partners. An option is being examined to introduce it to the “Campus IL” project - the national digital learning venture.
    • We continued to encourage the activity of course graduates in various ways, including issuing six periodical newsletters with suggestions for activities, and offering personal guidance to 40 graduates.
  • Lessons Learned – about the power of rich well-designed learning environment

While creating the digital version of our editing course, we built a digital learning environment that presented the formal and technical aspects of editing on WP, e.g. using the visual editor’s toolbar or the various forms of WP links.

At first, we presumed that the average learner will encounter some difficulty understanding the contents presented without a live human mediator. However, the experience we gained with this environment in several courses we conducted, led us to trust it more than we initially did. The environment receives very positive feedback from the learners, and we notice that its contents hardly ever need any human mediation. This fact entails many advantages that were unexpected:

  1. When it comes to the contents included in the digital environment, each learner can learn and edit on their own time and at their own pace. As a result, the learning process has become more sensitive and adjusted to the difference among the learners.
  2. The contents at the digital environment remain available to the participants when the course is over. As a result, they do not need human help for revisiting the subjects, and their independence as course graduates increases.
  3. Since the digital learning environment deals with the formal technical aspects of editing, we are exempted from the need to address these subjects during the course’s group sessions. As a result, there is more free time to answer unexpected questions and needs, as well as for handling contents of subjective or multifaceted nature, which are well-suited for a discussion in a live multi-participant forum (e.g. editing-related dilemmas or emotions provoked by the process of editing in a collaborative environment).
  4. The digital environment normally serves as one of three pivots (alongside group video conferences and private tutoring channels). Nevertheless, we found out that it can stand as a single pivot of an independent narrower process of learning. This fact opens new directions for activities with new audiences, organizations and learning platforms (e.g. the “Campus IL” project). Such activities could take place with minimal investment on our part in terms of team working hours.

The environment we developed includes dozens of instructional materials of various kinds, built in a carefully planned sequence. Its development required a great deal of organizational resources. The investment paid off beyond our expectations – it allows us to turn the training process into more flexible, rich and profound, to empower the learners and to make a better use of our instructional team. Moreover, it bears a potential of expanding our activities and target audiences in the future. We came to learn that a well-built teaching environment is an instructional resource of very great value.

The story of the development of this digital environment is also a proof that a crisis can be not merely an opportunity, but a chance for a real breakthrough. It was the coronavirus crisis that triggered the development, in order to find solutions to the newly imposed constraints; while the resources became available, at least partially, owing to the freeze of all in-person activities.


Creating Content[edit]

∵ Hebrew Education Program[edit]

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Projected (end of year) Comments
No. of participants 1100 945 945 See comment #1 below the table
No. of new users in he-wp and he-wiktionary not define 347 347
No. of new articles 460 (new articles and expansions) 298 (210 he-wp / 88 he-wiktionary) 298 (210 he-wp / 88 he-wiktionary)
No. of expansions defined in previous metric 45 52 Articles that were added during the second term of the school year. They were added later to the editing course of the Youth Bible Society.
Wiki-gnomings no 55 55
No. of classes (he- wiktionary) 9 13 13
No. of classes (he-wp) 30 23 23
Guided teachers 33 31 31
New teachers, trained & guided 20 18 18

#1 Most of the 2020-21 projects started during the 2nd school term of 2020. Since they will come to fruition only during the first school term of 2021, the number of participants and products will be counted in 2021. Accordingly, the yearly Metrix figures detailed in the table are mostly identical to the figures of H1.

The Program’s Rationale:

  • Our activity within the educational system aims at enriching and diversifying the content of Wikipedia by encouraging students to produce knowledge-based contents for Wikipedia, rather than just use them passively. Simultaneously, and through this content-production process, they also obtain tools for better understanding how Wikipedia works. Through practical experience in writing new articles and expanding existing ones, they come to learn when a text is worthy of publication, on Wikipedia and in general. These goals are compatible with those of the Ministry of Education, which is willing to cooperate with us in integrating innovative, knowledge-based and digital-literacy tools into the curriculum, as well as cultivating writing skills, based on assessment and evaluation of resources, among the younger generation, which will help them later in their academic studies. The main activity in this field is in the framework of the “Students Write Wikipedia” program and the Hebrew-Wiktionary editing projects.

The program’s Status:

  • Despite many challenges stemming from the COVID-19 crisis, the program achieved most of its goals and reached 72% of its preplanned annual objectives. Following the outbreak of the crisis, several schools changed part of the project implementation plan (set forth earlier this year with them) or postponed the implementation date.
  • H2 was dedicated to recruiting new teachers and pushing new projects forward, the results thereof will be seen during the first school term of 2021. The WP article-writing assignment, that takes place within Tel Aviv University’s Science-Oriented Youth Program, was supposed to be completed during November 2020, but postponed to February-March 2021 owing to constraints imposed by the coronavirus crisis. This postponement had a significant influence on the number of products in 2020.
High School in Ramla - Israel

What’s been done?

  • At the end of June 2020, 26 out of 40 classes completed the project and wrote an overall of 330 articles (252 he-wp articles and 88 he-wiktionary entries). Three of these classes received online guidance for uploading the articles.
  • In light of the lockdown and the closedown of most schools, new adjusted instructional materials have been developed, to facilitate remote tutoring. These included films (mainly screen-capture videos) and documents, dealing with technical issues related to WP, as well as substantial issues related to encyclopedic writing, such as finding resources and evaluating their reliability.
  • At September 20202, a two-meeting training for 13 new teachers who had joined the project was conducted, where instructional documents were presented and questions about the project were raised. We also prepared lists of suggested topics for writing and discussed the structure of a WP article, critical reading of a WP article etc.
  • We developed a special cooperation with the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem and the Beit Ariela Municipal Library of Tel Aviv, to ensure that these libraries provide remote services, including finding resources of information and scanning relevant documents.
משוב תלמידים כותבים ויקיפדיה - 1.jpg

Achievements and Highlights

  • We made an effort to develop systematic top-to-bottom cooperations with the following bodies: the Ministry of Education, the AMIT school network, the Amal school network, and the Mofet program (a program for enhancing math, physics and culture studies). Some of these cooperations have already been fruitful. Thanks to a cooperation that has started about a year and a half ago, five classes of the Mofet Association participate this year in the “Students Write Wiktionary” project.
  • We promoted new cooperations with the Ministry of Education, most notably, a recognition in our projects as alternative evaluation methods for the “Bagrut” certificate (i.e. an alternative to certain matriculation exams). This cooperation is relevant mostly for topics such as history and civics, and is conducted through the MOE’s chief inspectors and senior teacher trainers, who help in finding the most qualified teachers and contacting them.
  • The MOE recognized our courses, this year for the first time, as giving eligibility for special salary benefits for teachers. The MOE encourages teachers to take training courses by offering them these benefits, and our courses are now part of this program. This opens up more opportunities for working with chief inspectors, leading larger training programs and promoting editing projects.
  • We continued to work with a diverse audience of students: groups of gifted students, students from the center as well as from geographical or social peripheries. Nevertheless, in light of the difficulties resulting from the quick transition to remote teaching, we concentrated our efforts in the gifted students’ classes – 18 such classes took part in our program this year.
  • During this year too, one class from the Arabic-speaking educational system, will participate in the Hebrew-speaking program and contribute to he-wp articles related to the Arab Bedouin culture.
High School in Ashdod- Israel

Challenges: Working during the COVID-19 crisis

  • The coronavirus crisis is at the background of all of our projects. In certain aspects, its impact on teachers and students this school year is even harder than in the previous year, because teachers who started to teach in September 2020 did not have a chance to get to know their students and meet them face to face. Consequently, they report a great difficulty in starting a long-term process and committing to a certain amount of products. Nevertheless, this situation also bears an opportunity with regard to remote teaching. Many teachers seek a different kind of remote teaching, in which the students are more active and creative. So far, some of the teachers have remained committed to the project and see its benefits in turning remote teaching into a more significant process. Ten classes have left when the teachers realized they would not be able to conduct in-person meetings.
  • More classes were recruited to the “Student Write Wiktionary” program. This is a shorter program and therefore more suited for certain classes.


What's Next?

  • Students of Tel Aviv University’s Science-Oriented Youth program will upload about 100 articles soon (following a postponement of several months).
  • About 30 classes taking part in the “Students Write Wikipedia” and “Students Write Wiktionary” programs will complete the program by June 2021.
  • We will continue our cooperation with the MOE program for alternative evaluation in the fields of history and civics, as well as our cooperation with Amit and Amal school networks.

Case Study - Editing Course for the Youth Bible Society As the first lockdown started (March 2020), students found themselves locked at home for several weeks. We then received a message from the Youth Bible Society, which is run by and for youths, voluntarily, as part of their non-curricular education, with a request to learn how to edit Wikipedia. They wished to add and expand articles related to the Hebrew Bible. Within a short period of time, we developed a three-meeting online workshop for them, which was attended by 17 male and female youths. In this workshop, they learned how to edit Wikipedia and participate in discussions on talk pages. Following this workshop, 20 articles were expanded significantly, new templates and references were added and many more minor edits were made in 45 other articles. This yield is impressive considering the size of this group. Four of the participants in the workshop showed high engagement and devotion and are likely to keep contributing content in the future. This experience helped us further when we started to build an online editing course based on screen-capture videos, online and offline materials, and online meetings. This model later served as the basis of every online editing course.

∵ Arabic Education Program[edit]

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Projected (end of year) Comments
No. of Classes (Ar-wp) 20 9 classes at 7

schools

12 classes at 8 schools
No. of Participants 200 167 342
No. of Articles 250 89 (66 new, 23 improved) 109 (66 new, 43 improved) Activity at some schools was terminated due to COVID-19 related difficulties.

Competition in collaboration with NLI did not take place as planned due to COVID-19.

New schools and classes 10 3 6 6 new teachers joined the program. Some activity began in late 2020 and continued in 2021.

The Program’s Rationale

The program introduces Wikipedia and free knowledge to Arabic-speaking schools for both students and teachers, in addition to establishing collaborations with cultural and tech institutions that serve the Arab community in Israel and provide services for Arabic-speaking audiences. The program’s main target audience is middle- and high-school students. The program offers the students and teachers an opportunity to learn how Wikipedia works and how to use the platform, which involves a process of unlearning misconceptions, and clarifying the brighter sides of free knowledge and wisdom of the crowd. The program offers a pivotal chance to exercise and improve writing skills in Fuṣḥā Arabic, while learning about the structure of a research-based encyclopedic essay which will assist the students in their academic studies and through which they enhance digital literacy. Our major objectives are to enrich content in the Arabic Wikipedia and encourage school teachers to direct and accompany students in the process of learning and uploading the content they write to Wikipedia. The program highlights the importance of producing knowledge and making information accessible to Arabic Internet readers around the globe. Thus, some schools choose to adopt the program as part of their social involvement program where students volunteer through writing content for ar-wp.

During the first half of 2020, activity continued in some schools, whereas in others it was disrupted due to the global pandemic. Some schools showed flexibility to conduct activities during the summer vacation, i.e. in the months of July and August, given the opportunity of online sessions. However, the outcome number of articles was majorly affected by the new learning and teaching conditions, as some schools dropped out of the program due to the unstable conditions and difficulties to follow up with the students. Planned collaboration with the National Library of Israel, including an article-writing competition, was not conducted as the institution’s activities were affected by the pandemic and the restrictions.

H2 of 2020 was devoted to assessing the impact of the pandemic on the work process with school staff and students. The chapter focused on developing a marketing strategy for the educational program, reaching out to more schools and recruiting new teachers who would lead programs across the country. In the first semester of the academic year 2020-21, the program was introduced to 180 students in five schools. Fourteen schools showed interest in the program for the school year 2020-21, seven of them are new schools. The writing process and workshops continue in 2021.

What’s been done?

  • By June 2020, 7 schools took part in the program. Six (out of 8) groups completed their task, writing and improving 109 articles. To assist both teachers and students during the lockdown, the chapter provided them with multiple tools to facilitate remote learning, including instructions for how “Wiki Warsha” can be efficiently used especially during these times.
  • The chapter helped teachers to present the project to students, offering them solutions and tips, and accompanying the process of managing the groups.
  • The chapter provided the schools with topics for writing, as teachers do not engage in the process of building these lists.
  • One academic institute showed interest in including the program in the social involvement unit, where students may substitute volunteer work with WP editing. The project will take place in 2021.

Achievements and Highlights

  • Collaboration with Ministry of Education: In 2020, the chapter began a series of negotiations with the Ministry of Education regarding the implementation of the program in the curriculum as part of the Ministry’s plan to enhance Arabic students' capacity in the Arabic language as part of integrating digital literacy learning tools into the curriculum. The chapter suggested that the work should be done directly with the teachers who will be trained to become project leaders in schools. The initial plan with MOE representatives of the Arabic Education Sector was freezed due to political instability that affected the work of the Ministry.. The discussions about the collaboration with MOE has been revived in late 2020 and continues in 2021 with the Arabic-language supervisor who suggested that writing a Wikipedia article will be used as a metric tool for alternative evaluation, which constitutes 30% of the students final “Bagrut” (matriculation) grade in Arabic language and literature.
  • The chapter participated in a webinar organized by Siraj, an NGO which serves the Bedouin community in the Negev in the tech sector. The webinar presented the chapter’s Arabic program and an introduction about Wikipedia. It was attended by 100 participants, most of them were college students. Following the webinar, and in collaboration with Siraj, an editing course is planned for 2021.

Challenges and Lessons Learned

  • The transition to online workshops has had its pros and cons. The Arabic education coordinator created a new set of instructions, compatible with the new circumstances, to help the teachers run the school projects, both in synchronous and asynchronous learning. During the year, teachers showed more liability to engaging in a technological atmosphere, and showed more flexibility with organizing workshops after school hours. They showed more openness to leading instructions to the students via Zoom sessions and inviting larger numbers of students to opening lectures.
  • Managing communication virtually with school staff and conducting online lectures and editing workshops has made the work more comfortable for the program’s coordinator. Due to a poor public transportation system and lack of services in Arab towns and cities, the coordinator had to drive to schools across the country in order to present the project and to instruct the teachers and students. Following the pandemic, new solutions were adopted.
  • Creating topic lists and article suggestions for Wiki tasks remains a challenge. The chapter seeks to create training materials in this field for teachers and future trainers. Since the absence of local volunteers in Arabic Wikipedia. The Arabic Education program relies solely on the capacity of the field’s coordinator at the chapter.

Case Study

The chapter ran the “Wikipedia Ambassadors” program with ten participants from six schools in different cities and towns. The primary plan of the program was to take place in the format of biweekly  meetings, where participants convene to attend intensive Wikipedia edit-a-thons, capacity building workshops, lectures, museums and library tours. Due to the restrictions and limitations of movement, the meetings were conducted online. The program included lectures by guest speakers on multiple topics: (1) Community-based work, (2) Using the Archive in Academic Research, (3) Marketing and Design, (4) Design Thinking workshop. The participants were trained to raise awareness on Wikipedia with emphasis on collaborative production of knowledge. The students expressed their enthusiasm to take part in the program especially during lockdown. The program ends in early 2021.

∵ Higher Education[edit]

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Total 2020 Comments
Participants 450 265 572
Content pages 450 (300 new articles and 150 expansions) 176 (164 new and 12 expansions) 366 (313 new and 53 expansions
New editors - 214 346

Our higher education program is focused on supporting lecturers who incorporate a Wikipedia assignment in their course. At the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year there were 14 courses (13 lecturers) in which a Wikipedia assignment was included. The disruption of the academic studies as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic did not impact most of these courses, except two courses that under the circumstances did not manage to finish the assignment. However, as it became clear that in-person examinations would not be possible, there was an increase in the number of academic lecturers who contacted us to inquire about using a Wikipedia assignment as an alternative to Zoom-examinations, which they felt were highly prone to cheating. At the Ben Gurion University, in the course “Physics for Medicine Students”, the lecturer replaced the usual exam with writing an article about a medical instrument, requiring the students to include in the article an explanation of the physical principles that are applied. Students were also aware that they might be tested in a video-call about the article they wrote, so as to deter them from simply translating the equivalent article from English Wikipedia into Hebrew. In the current (2020-2021) academic year there are five new lecturers teaching 8 courses in which the Wikipedia assignment is used.

In addition, there are two new academic programs in which we will try a different model of work. Until now, in all WMIL-led academic collaborations the students write the article outside of Wikipedia and submit it to the lecturer, as they would in a normal course. Only after the work has been graded and corrected do they upload it as a Wikipedia article. In the new kind of collaboration the students will learn to edit and train to become Wikipedians in a four-parted Wikipedia online course. The first pilot will be done at the Haifa University Honours program. The second program is a special project with the Hebrew University’s Center for Disability Studies with students who receive a scholarship for participating in this project, in order to train them as Wikipedians so that they can work on reducing the knowledge gap regarding disabilities on Hebrew Wikipedia.

Another type of collaboration was launched to promote writing articles in the field of Life Sciences – an area which is sorely lacking in Hebrew Wikipedia. Professor Yossi Yovel from the Life Science faculty at the Tel-Aviv University and Professor Itzik Mizrahi from the Life Sciences department at the Ben-Gurion University suggested that any biology student – from second-year undergraduate to advanced graduate (Master) students – could write a Wikipedia article for academic credit. This idea was suggested in 2019 and due to the pandemic was fast-tracked by both universities. This is also a joint project with the Israel Young Academy. Wikipedia articles which will be written in this project could be submitted to receive an “Academy Standard” which means they may be used by high-school teachers as syllabus material. It is the first time we attempt to promote Wikipedia articles into high-school curricula.

As we mentioned in the Progress Report, we also launched a new kind of collaboration at the Kibbutzim College of Education which involves history students researching the background and context in which historical pictures on Commons were taken and uploading a precis of the final research report to the photo description on Commons (see Education Newsletter, August 2020).

Shani Evenstein-Sigalov, who has been teaching Wikipedia courses to students at the Tel Aviv University since 2013, continued to teach the all-campus elective Wikipedia Course, now titled “From Wikipedia to Wikidata”.In 2019-2020 she taught the Wiki-Med course for the 7th year, and she is teaching it for the 8th(!) time in 2020-2021.

Dr. Tehila Hertz started in 2017 the Wikishtetl project, in which articles about Jewish communities that perished or suffered during the Holocaust were written as part of an academic course she was teaching (see Education Newsletter March 2017). This year Dr. Hertz organized a writing competition on this topic. The competition opened on Holocaust Memorial Day (April 20th) and ended on Tisha B'Av (July 29th) and resulted in 44 new articles.

∵ Wikidata[edit]

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Total 2020 Comments
Content page 4,500 13,099 (4,966 new items, 8,133 edits on existing items) 15,233 (6545 new items, 8,678 edits on existing items)

This program focuses on promoting collaborations for content creation and enrichment of Wikidata. The main challenge for this program is there is no established Wikidata community in Israel. We are therefore focusing our efforts on collaborating with relevant audiences in academia, GLAM institutions and the education system, with whom we already have a working relationship

Academia: In the Progress Report we described how two M.A. students from the University of Haifa’s School of Information worked on Wikidata as part of their obligatory internship. One student worked on Israeli heritage sites, while another worked on data scraped from the Israeli Museum Portal. This was a very successful collaboration which led to the creation of 4,657 new items and updating around 7,500 statements on existing items. Unfortunately, the program at the university was discontinued. Currently, the only university in Israel that offers Information Studies is the Bar-Ilan university, and having spoken with the head of the program a Wikidata internship will be one of the options their students can choose from. Additional content creation was done in Shani Evenstein-Sigalov’s course “From Wikipedia to Wikidata”. In the course students created 308 new Wikidata items and edited statements on another 215 existing items.

GLAM Our partners at the National Library have started to synchronize their National Authority File with Wikidata, beginning with a relatively small pilot of publishers data. In 2020, 1580 new items were created and 545 statements were added to existing items. (Add visualization to fields of interest of Israeli publishers). We intend to build upon and expand this collaboration in 2021.

Screenshot from the series of instructional videos about Wikidata created for the Ministry of Education

High schools: We previously reported about the pilot project with the Cyber Informatics matriculation track at the Ort High School in Lod. Due to the Corona crisis the project did not proceed as planned. We did however gain valuable insights and conclusions from the pilot. The main conclusion was that the teachers need in-depth training to be able to supervise their students. The Wikidata coordinator was scheduled to give an 8-part online training in November, which would be mandatory for all teachers of the track. Unfortunately, the Israeli government did not pass the budget for 2020, and consequently the training had to be postponed (to an unknown date, as the government has fallen and we are heading to new elections). In an effort to at least offer some training to teachers who are interested in offering their students the option of doing their 10th grade project with Wikidata, the Wikidata coordinator recorded 6 videos about Wikidata, including demonstrations and exercises that teachers could do with their students. The videos are available at the Ministry of Education website, as part of the online offering of educational material for teachers.

∵ Collaboration with GLAM institutions[edit]

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Total 2020 Comments
No. of Institutions - 30 30
No. of Participants 1Lib1Ref - 94 94
Wiki-gnomings 1Lib1Ref 230 4704 4704
Images uploaded to Commons - 1666 images 1628 IDF Spokesman Archive, 38 various archives

The Program’s Rationale

This program aims at fostering new partnerships as well as expanding and diversifying existing collaborations with GLAM institutions, in order to promote public awareness for the importance of releasing free content to the public domain, and encourage its uploading to Wiki projects (which locally is fairly low). This is also the reason behind the initiative we took to develop the GLAM Wiki Dashboard as a Strategic Digital Outreach to cultural & Content institutions for both local and global needs.

What’s been done?

  • 1Lib1Ref 2020: Our activity in the #1Lib1Ref campaign started in 2018. The activity is renewed every year as we organize editing workshops in collaboration with the National Library of Israel and other institutes. In 2020, 76 librarians participated in workshops in 15 towns. In addition to lectures about the campaign, participants joined editing workshops which put emphasis on adding references and citations to articles, adding bibliography lists to articles about authors, adding external resources to articles and more. This year’s success was led by our partner Orly Simon from the National Library of Israel, achieving 4700 #1Lib1Ref edits, the highest number in the campaign. The campaign received public and media attention as well.
  • In addition, a Workshop for School Librarians in Holon was organized upon a request from the education department of this municipality. Eighteen librarians took part and learned about WMIL’s educational projects, as well as about Wikipedia and its community. For the first time, they tried to use the WP interface and to add a source to an article of their choice, thereby joining the international 1LIB1REF project.
  • Collaboration with IDF Spokesman Archive: Launched by the end of 2019, this collaboration proves to be very successful and promising in terms of the amount of files uploaded to the Commons on a regular basis, and the number of views and uses that this content receives in a wide variety of projects. By the end of 2020, we reached 9,184 media files, integrated in around 130 projects. We were happy to learn that the images are used in many articles in different languages. For example the portrait of the late Prime Minister of Israel and former IDF Chief of Staff, Yizhak Rabin, was used in as many as 86 languages
  • Collaboration with the Association of Israeli Archivists: During Q1 of 2020, we reestablished a collaboration with this association, which was aimed at encouraging archives to release at least one archival item in a digital format to the public domain. WMIL took upon itself to upload the images to the Commons and include some of them in relevant content pages. Thirteen archives joined the venture and released historical images (total of 38 images). A seminar summarizing the project, with the participation of the Association of Israeli Archivists, the National Library of Israel and WMIL, was held later during July, during which we introduced the outcomes of this joint venture (see examples here and here, and here), and announced the kick off of the development of the GLAM Wiki Dashboard and its expected benefits to their work (see below)
  • The GLAM Wiki Dashboard is a global usage analysis tool for GLAM institutes, designated to follow free contents contributed to Wikimedia projects.It is a project of Wikimedia Israel, that was made possible thanks to a grant we received from a local foundation, and was developed with support and advice from Wikimedia Sverige, upon an open-source infrastructure originally developed by Wikimedia CH. It is meant to help GLAM institutes to follow the usage of their free-content files uploaded to Wikimedia projects using a friendly UX design for that end. The dashboard visualizes statistical data that reflects the level of exposure and usage of these public-domain files, based on several selected indices and various time frames, presented in various diagrams and graphs, thus allowing  the institutes to gain insights, identify trends and preferences, and realize the general influence of their free contents on Wikimedia-project users. It is currently being probed for feedback by a number of GLAM institutes, including, on top of Israeli ones, several Swedish, Brazilian and Argentinian  GLAM institutes, who were brought on board thanks to our colleagues in the respected chapters.

Miscellaneous

Projects opportunities which were not originally included in the work plan were enabled and achieved during the year

The results of some new initiatives and collaborations, some of which are incidental, but some may continue in the long run (e.g. a webinar for Ne'emanei Torah Va'Avodah, an editing workshop for writing articles about women in medicine, as a tribute to medical staffs during the coronavirus crisis), were reported under “miscelleneous” in the “overall” table. They include the sum of all products resulting from these activities, as well as the products of the WLM competition, which the chapter organized with the he-wp community.

Building Capacities[edit]

∵ Training[edit]

Development of instructional material[edit]

Field Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Total 2020 Comments
Hebrew instructional tools Updating and upgrading the current Hebrew instructional tools. Completed Completed Details below
Arabic instructional tools Arabic: Expanding the use of current Arabic instructional tools. Creating new tools designed for teachers. Completed Completed Details below
Wikidata instructional tools Developing an instructional tool which will assist in promoting contribution to Wikidata. Partly achieved (details are available in the progress report 2020) Completed Details below
Content Translation tool Examining the option to develop instructional tools in this field. Completed - A two-meeting webinar about the translation tool has been developed and presented. Completed (see H1) Details available under “Events” and “Wiki-Women”. Figures related to the webinar are included in these aforementioned paragraphs.
Screenshot from a short film about internal links to other Wikipedia articles - from our digital environment for learning how to edit Wikipedia
Homescreen of the WDQS tutorial site

For Wikipedia, in Arabic and Hebrew:

For the general public: We developed two lesson plans for interest-group courses and three guides for people in lockdown. We upgraded a guide for encyclopedic writing.

For participants in educational programs: We developed two workshop plans for teacher training; four short films were produced and eleven instructional documents for teachers and students were developed.

For senior citizens:

  • We created a digital environment for learning how to edit Wikipedia. In it, we included 100 different instructional materials, developed especially for this environment (17 films, 50 texts, 12 self-performed assignments, 9 questionnaires for self evaluation, 11 images for demonstration, and a page of links for further learning).
  • We created 6 lesson plans and 6 presentations for online meetings of the online course.

For Wiktionary, in Hebrew:

For participants in the educational programs: one short film was produced, and two instructional documents for teachers and students were developed.

For Wikidata:

  • We launched the tutorial for the Wikidata Query Service (WDQS) – a Wordpress website created for users who want to learn how to write SPARQL queries to query Wikidata. The main advantage of the WDQS tutorial over existing training tools is that the WDQS interface is embedded in the tutorial, such that queries and their results can be run and viewed without leaving the site. The tutorial content was developed in English and Hebrew by the Wikidata coordinator. It is the first instructional tool developed by WMIL with an eye to the global community. Not only is the website available in English, but it was designed such that it could be relatively easily translated and made available in other languages. We received several requests for collaborations to translate the tool into a number of languages, among them Italian, Macedonian, Spanish, Serbian, German, Dutch, Indonesian, and Brazilian Portugese. We hope in 2021 to see these collaborations come to fruition.
  • Six short videos explaining various aspects of Wikidata were produced as part of the materials for training teachers in the Cyber Informatics matriculation track (see ‘Creating content for Wikidata’ section)

Further details about these instructional materials and others that were created this year are available in the progress report 2020.

Development of Human Resources[edit]

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Total 2020 Comments
Volunteers meetings Holding 5 volunteers meetings (virtually, face to face). Performance of 60%: 3 online meetings took place. Performance of around 100% - 5 volunteers meetings, all of them virtually. Overall, there were 26 volunteers and 82 visits (i.e. 26 unique and 82 non-unique).
New volunteers

recruited

Recruiting 3 new volunteers. Performance of around 120%: 4 new volunteers have been recruited. Performance of around 120%: 4 new volunteers 5 additional volunteers returned after temporary ‘disappearance’.
Capacity building workshops Organizing 1-2 capacity building workshops for the team. Completed 100% Completed 100% In addition, we held a six-meeting process of learning and consultation with an external expert, attended by 2 team members, who led the development of the online senior-citizen course.
No. of participants 18 unique participants 150% performance: 27 unique participants 183% performance: 33 unique participants The original goal was 18 unique participants (and not as written by mistake in the half-year report). The correct goal appears in the working plan.

What’s been done?

An online meeting of WMIL volunteer instructors, December 2020
  • Volunteer instructors: Five online meetings were held for this group of volunteers, for the purpose of updating, learning and networking.
  • WMIL staff members:
    • We established a forum for team members who deal with education and tutoring. The forum meets on a monthly basis to promote peer learning and feedback, to brainstorm and to consult on professional issues.
    • We invested in professional training for the entire team in the field of remote tutoring, as part of our adjustments to the coronavirus crisis. More details under “Main Challenges”.

Achievements and Highlights

  • Following a decrease in the number of volunteer instructors, which we experienced in past years, we initiated in 2019 certain activities that led to a recovery. This process reached its peak during this year, with 26 regular volunteers (long-term, new and returning) participating in five multi-participant video calls for networking, learning and consulting.
WMIL education and tutoring forum at a thinking and consultation meeting, December 2020

Main challenges

  • The main challenge we faced in the training field during this half, following the COVID-19 crisis, was expanding our knowledge about remote learning. In the first stage, we mapped the field and distinguished between two main types of remote learning: one-time webinars vs. continuous processes of group learning. In the second stage, we focused on our staff members acquiring professional experience in these two domains:
    • We held an internal workshop about one-time webinars and developed a written comprehensive guide for this matter;
    • We heard a professional comprehensive talk about continuous remote learning processes, given by the expert who advised us on the transition of our course for senior citizens into an online digital format.

Introducing Wikidata[edit]

Metric Yearly goal) Progress (H1) Total 2020 Comments
Introducing Wikidata to relevant affinity groups. 3 - 5 We introduced Wikidata at 3 data science departments at academic institutions, at the department of Information Studies at the Bar-Ilan University, and the Digital Humanities program at the University of Haifa.
Introducing Wikidata to GLAM institutions or interest groups 2 2 2 We introduce Wikidata at a conference on “Innovations in the Field of Education in Israel”. Another interested group was the Data Science union at the Association of Engineers, Architects and Graduates in Technological Sciences
Merging Wikidata in an academic course 1 - -
Organizing Wikidata workshops at GLAM institutions and interest groups 3 - - Planned activities were cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19
Launching a pilot Wikidata for young editors. 1 1 1
Recording webinars/videos 2 - 6 The videos were only created in the last quarter so we don’t have enough data on how many views they received.

The Wikidata program is the newest area of activity for WMIL. The main challenge for this program is that there is no established Wikidata community in Israel. We therefore need to promote awareness to Wikidata – within the general public, but with a focus on more specific, relevant groups: people with the appropriate technological background (developers, programmers, analysts) or people who come from the field of information science.

One part of this effort focussed on academic institutions. In recent years there has been a huge rise in demand for people with a background in data science, big data, information systems and data engineering, and other related fields. In 2019 the Israeli Council for Higher Education approved 19 of these new study programs in universities and colleges in Israel.

We met with the heads of these departments of several programs to introduce Wikidata and discuss the possibility of integrating it as part of the studies. We met with staff from the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering at the Ben Gurion University, as well as the head of the Big Data Program at the university's Computer Science department. We also met lecturers from the Data Science program at the University of Haifa. Another meeting was held with staff from the Statistics and Data Science department at the Hebrew University. In addition to these meetings, the Wikidata coordinator also met individually with the head of the Software and Data Engineering program at the Kinneret Academic College. While all these study programs have their main focus on machine learning, unstructured data, and relational databases, there was broad agreement that there is room to also teach about RDF databases, Knowledge Graphs, semantic networks, and other topics pertaining to Wikidata.

Our initial plan was to have Wikidata introduced as part of at least one course, potentially a course on database structures, or semantic modelling. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regular academic studies remain somewhat disrupted, such that lecturers are working under very uncertain circumstances (not to say chaos). Under these conditions it was difficult to plan and execute new forms of activities. Another obstacle we are facing is that none of the staff at these institutions have any hands-on experience with Wikidata, and WMIL lacks the expertise to train them on their level. Our plan for 2021 is to try and overcome this obstacle by relying on the expertise and experience of other Wikimedia Chapters, and in particular Wikimedia Deutschland, which has put us in touch with a few academic researchers (Prof. Dr. Debora Weber-Wulff, Prof. Dr. Ina Blümel, Dr. Daniel Mietchen) who have been working on the cusp of academic computer science and Wikidata. Our intention is to build on their knowledge and expertise and, together with a small team of Wikimedians who are involved in Education Outreach, spearhead this effort to develop the integration of Wikidata in these new emerging academic fields – an effort which we believe will have movement-wide beneficial effects.

We have also promoted Wikidata to programs related to Information Science – the department of Information Studies at the Bar-Ilan University, and the Digital Humanities program at the University of Haifa. These programs have a natural fit with a knowledge database such as Wikidata. Although we have not been able to make concrete plans, due to the factors mentioned above (COVID-10 impact and lack of WMIL experts), we are encouraged by the positive reactions of these stakeholders and will continue to develop these collaborations in 2021.

Another direction of focus is introducing Wikidata to professionals working in relevant fields. In July the Wikidata coordinator presented Wikidata to the Data Science union at the Association of Engineers, Architects and Graduates in Technological Sciences in Israel.

Unfortunately the COVID-19 crisis had a detrimental impact on our plans for organizing workshops and activities around Wikidata. The Fourth National Hackathon, one of the biggest events of its kind in Israel (co-sponsored by Wikimedia Israel)was planned to take place at the beginning of April, but due to the Corona crisis has been postponed to an unknown date. The training of highschool teachers in the Cyber Informatics matriculation track (see Creating Content) has also been postponed to 2021 (hopefully!). Our plan to have a Wikidata-a-thon around the topic of Israeli movies, as part of the collaboration with the Israeli Film Archive was also canceled. The possibility of moving these events to an online setting is rather limited, as the attraction point of these activities is mostly the human interaction (and food).

∵ Marketing and events[edit]

Engaging our community during COVID-19 pandemic


Our entire event program changed once a general lockdown was declared. To make the most of the situation, we decided to take this opportunity to enhance even more our interaction with the community while also reaching out to new audiences. Here are some examples:

Hebrew Wikipedia's 17th Birthday celebration
Pictures from the meetup
  • Hebrew Wikipedia editors' birthday meetup- For the first time, we held an online community meetup. 60 Wikipedians celebrated Hebrew Wikipedia’s founding anniversary. The participants played a few online games: Kahhot! trivia, Taboo and drawing riddles. They listen to a talk about Wikipedia, and for the last part of the meetup we divide them into “rooms to get to know each other better.
  • The “Lockdown Guide”: As more people were required to stay quarantined at home, even before a general lockdown was declared, and were looking for meaningful activity, we put together the Quarantine Guide in Hebrew and Arabic. These two web pages include links to WMIL instructional editing tools for new editors. During the first month of the lockdown 800 people read the guide, and some started to edit on He-wp.
Cloud gliding (advection fog) in Makhtesh Ramon, Negev Desert, Israel
Israel's WLM 2020- Cloud gliding in Makhtesh Ramon, Negev Desert, Israel
  • WLM – This year, the local group of volunteers decided to include in the contest two components: one for the best photograph and the other was a writing contest of articles about various monuments in Israel. 172 articles were written as part of the contest and 1,577 photos were submitted.
  • Online webinars- In light of the repeated lockdowns and the social distancing restrictions that characterized 2020, and in an attempt to keep in touch with our community, we came up with Wiki-Talk initiative, an online series of webinars about Wikipedia, presented by members of our community and WMIL staff. In 2020 we held 14 webinars via “Zoom” (10 talks and 4 workshops). We were excited to see the number of participants - about 65 on average. The program was extended beyond the lockdown period and is still ongoing. In the second half of 2020 we kept the series going with another talk about Bots in Wikipedia, with almost 50 participants. Another way to reach out to new people was tutorial webinars about uploading images to WikiCommons and how to participate in WLM contests.
  • A quarterly Newsletter- For the past two years, we have been distributing every three months a newsletter through our mailing list (which includes more than 5000 people, among them volunteers, partners, participants and followers) with updates on the latest news of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia world. In the second half of 2020 we sent quarterly newsletters, celebrating the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) with updates about the WLM contest, a new GLAM collaboration and more.
  • An editing course with the Ne'emanei Torah Va'Avodah movement - In August 2020, we held a WP editing course in cooperation with the NTA movement. It included three consecutive online meetings with an introduction talk, experiencing WP editing and some homework. It was attended by 12 participants. Following the course, 93 articles were edited, 10 of which saw significant expansions (more than 1,500 bytes). This course is another attempt to diversify the community of editors. Creating a WhatsApp group for the course participants allowed us to complete the course, send information that we could not offer during the course itself, and support the new editors. Some of them keep editing.

Fundraising and strengthening organizational infrastructure[edit]

Despite the uncertainty that characterized the local and global economy, owing to the pandemic crisis, and the challenges it posed to the philanthropic world, we were able to meet our annual resource development goals.

  • We were able to obtain approval for an important grant from one of the local foundations, which had already supported us in the past. The process had been in the pipeline for over a year and did not show any progress until recently. This grant allowed us to realize the GLAM Wiki Dashboard initiative.
WMIL's holiday Give Away-flower seeds
  • Round-up Donations – WMIL is part of the Israeli round-up donation project (known locally as “Igul Letova”). This donation mechanism is based on the “long tail concept” – the sum of every transaction made with a credit card is rounded up to the nearest shekel. The small differences between the original sums and the actual charges are then aggregated and donated to charity organizations chosen by the credit card owner. A monthly donation is ILS 5.42 (USD ~1.5) on average. At the beginning of 2020 we had more than 2000 round-up donors. The number increased by 21% and reached 2432 donors by the end of the year owing to promotion activities. During our annual fundraising campaign, we published the opportunity to become a round-up donor and invited the public to join. In the yearly giveaway to our close members of the community, partners and collaborators, we sent a Happy New Year card with flower seeds and a designed postcard that highlighted WMIL main activities and achievements of the past Hebrew-calendar year. At the bottom part of the card we included a QR code and a call for action to be a part of the round-up donation program.
  • Expanding the number of General-Assembly members - We consider this move an important step toward increasing the public visibility of WMIL, and a means for strengthening the organization's infrastructure and its long-term sustainability. For that end, we proactively reached out to a number of dedicated volunteers, who proved to be very involved in our activities, and meet membership criteria, and asked them to consider this option. The reaction was very positive, and several of them asked indeed to join. As a result, we managed to increase the number of members of the General Assembly by 20%.

Press Review[edit]

In 2020 Wikimedia Israel was mentioned several times in the local media:

  • The Israeli #1LIB#1REF librarians who participated in the campaign added the largest number of references in the world and received media coverage from a big local newspaper, “Yediot Achronot” link.
  • Our collaboration with Hakibuzim College of Education, where the students explored archive images from Wiki Commons - https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5680672,00.html and another article after the collaboration link.
  • Students Write Wikipedia - teachers from one of the schools in the project talk about their experience in a teachers’ union magazine link.
  • Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary - A local newspaper interviewed a few Israeli editors about Wikipedia today link
  • The most viewed article on the Hebrew Wikipedia link.


Revenues received during this period (12 months for impact report)[edit]

Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

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

  • Please also include any in-kind contributions or resources that you have received in this revenues table. This might include donated office space, services, prizes, food, etc. If you are to provide a monetary equivalent (e.g. $500 for food from Organization X for service Y), please include it in this table. Otherwise, please highlight the contribution, as well as the name of the partner, in the notes section.
Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
Balance 2019 ILS 150,000 382,214 382,214 43,059 109,718 See comment below (Total Revenues)
Revenues from private donations ILS 15,000 2,990 6,244 3,311 3,677 9,234 4,305 2,650
Sponsorships ILS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Foundations ILS 446,000 96,203 1,261 310,770 18,267 426,501 128,002 122,431
Revenues from membership fees ILS 1,000 20 480 540 22 1,062 287 305
Wikimedia Foundation ILS 1,075,000 627,083 0 447,917 0 1,075,000 308,590 308,590
Revenues from collaborations ILS 30,000 5,000 1,000 0 1,250 7,250 8,610 2,081
Revenues from courses ILS 5,000 1,600 2,217 500 1,600 5,917 1,435 1,699
Round Up ILS 96,000 30,601 31,827 36,997 42,476 141,902 27,558 40,734
Revenues from companies ILS 10,000 0 0 0 0 0 2,870 0
In-kind donations ILS [600,000] 0 0 0 0 [933,117] [172,236] [267,972]
Total revenues (should equal the sum of the rows): ILS 1,828,000 1,145,711 43,029 800,036 67,292 2,056,067 524,716 590,215 WMIL met its fund collection goals for 2020 completely. The mix was somewhat different than expected, because some clauses were affected by the coronavirus crisis (e.g. partnerships that could not realize owing to the lockdown and social distancing regulations, travels abroad). The balance was not affected by the crisis, which means that some sources yielded more revenues than expected.

* Provide estimates in US Dollars


Spending during this period (12 months for impact report)[edit]

Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.

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

(The "budgeted" amount is the total planned for the year as submitted in your proposal form or your revised plan, and the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year. The "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative amount spent over the budgeted amount.)
Expense Currency Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan
Enhancing diversity ILS 283,470 83,818 43,372 51,135 51,697 230,022 81,373 66,030 81%
Wikidata and Enhancing Content ILS 117,993 25,747 31,756 21,313 18,403 97,219 33,871 27,908 82%
Education - Hebrew ILS 190,985 48,784 43,832 41,391 44,007 178,013 54,824 51,100 93%
Higher Education ILS 90,493 24,982 16,969 21,403 21,595 84,948 25,977 24,385 94%
Education - Arabic ILS 226,985 47,818 39,359 44,984 43,773 175,934 65,158 50,504 78%
Training ILS 146,985 30,000 23,321 31,846 18,345 99,300 42,194 28,505 68%
Free knowledge awareness ILS 26,000 206 0 13,996 84,057 98,258 7,464 28,206 378% Spending on free knowledge awareness items was eventually larger than originally planned, due to a special grant received in July earmarked for the development of the GlamWiki Dashboard. This grant application was in the pipeline for almost a year and it was not known when and if it will be approved. Accordingly it was taken into consideration in the initial budget planning and the working plan.
Global engagement ILS 49,000 2,714 3,422 1,369 2,317 9,822 14,066 2,819 20%
Communication and publicity ILS 210,000 48,335 39,891 47,019 50,558 179,402 60,283 51,499 85%
Management and Administration ILS 481,890 133,322 98,735 130,272 136,110 486,410 138,331 139,629 101%
TOTAL ILS 1,823,801 445,726 340,657 404,726 470,861 1,639,329 523,540 470,586 90% WMIL implemented appropriately its budget and its planned expenses. Budget percentage spent on some budgetary items was lower than originally planned, as a result from the COVID -19 restrictions and the Ministry of Health guidelines that forced us to either cancel them or convert them to online format. Also, the budget originally allocated for travels abroad was not used, and internal travels expenses were reduced.

* Provide estimates in US Dollars


Compliance[edit]

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

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

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

Signature[edit]

RevitalP-WMIL (talk) 10:18, 24 March 2021 (UTC)


Resources[edit]

Resources to plan for measurement[edit]

Resources for storytelling[edit]