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Grants:PEG/Abbas Mahmood/Wikipedian in Residence at the Kenya National Archives

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Not funded
This grant submission from an group, organization, or individual in 2013-14 was not funded by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Prior to 2011, reasons for not funding this submission were communicated in private and may not be available on the discussion page. For more information about a particular request, please contact the grantee directly or send your questions to grants at wikimedia dot org.
  • Beginning in 2011, reasons for not funding this submission are communicated publicly on the discussion page of this submission.
  • Since this grant request was not funded, no report is required and no further action is required from the grantee.

Legal name of organization or individual requesting this grant
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Grant contact name
Abbas Mahmood
Grant contact username or email
Grant contact title (position)
Project Lead
Project lead name
Project lead username or email
Project lead title (position), if any
Full project name
Wikipedian in Residence at the Kenya National Archives
Amount requested in USD or local currency (USD will be assumed if no other currency is specified)
EUR 9000
Provisional target start date
February 2013
Provisional completion date
August 2013

Budget breakdown

Item Cost Remarks
Internet & Communication expenses €10 (per week) x 24 weeks = EUR 240
Workshops €100 x 12 workshops = €1200 Each workshop (once every fortnight) will cost approximately €100. This will be used to cover snacks/lunch; reimburse volunteer expenses (e.g. transport); print banners/merchandise, etc
Travel €300 x 5 trips = €1500 The 300 Unit Cost is expected to cover the cost of travel, accommodation, and per diem. 5 trips will be split between going to the various Archive facilities countrywide and doing outreach at other cultural institutions.
Compensation (remainder) €1000 x 6 months = €6000 To cover the Wikipedian in Residence's stipend.

Project goal


To freely share Kenyan content that's relevant to both the Kenya National Archives and Wikimedia

Project scope and list of activities


Background and context


For over a year now, I've been negotiating the possibility of a Wikipedian in Residence at the Kenya National Archives. The Kenya National Archives is a public, government institution whose mandate is to acquire, preserve and make accessible records and archives to the public. The Archives hosts millions of records in several facilities across the country, ranging from photo repositories depicting Kenyan/African culture, thousands of exclusive reference materials and significant historical documents. After numerous, tireless back-and-forth meetings, the Kenya National Archives is on the verge of signing an Agreement to host the first ever Wikipedian in Residence in an Archive in Sub-Saharan Africa.

From the start, it was made clear that the Kenya National Archives will not provide financial support for the project. This is because of a number of reasons:

  • The Kenya National Archives (and the general cultural sector) is under-resourced;
  • Getting funding from the government is usually a bureaucratic process. Budgets are usually reviewed annually, so the soonest this can be budgeted for (if at all it'll be approved) is in the 2013-14 year.
  • Therefore, a financial investment in a Wikimedia partnership is a non-priority for the Archives. (Although we will receive in-kind support, such as the usage of a room to host workshops)
  • The few African GLAMWiki parterships that I know of have gotten financial support from external sources, rather than the host institutions (e.g. Doulart Museum in Cameroon got funding for its Wikipedian in Residence from the Orange Foundation).



The Wikipedian in Residence will basically:

  • Come up with a list of relevant articles that could be written on (English & Swahili) Wikipedia, using the Archive resources.
  • Host regular editathons (together with the Researchers, Archives staff and Wikimedia volunteers).
  • Organize regular backstage passes for the Wikimedia volunteers, to increase their awareness of the Archives (which will empower them to improve Archive-related content).
  • Negotiate and organize image donation from the Archives repository to Wikimedia Commons, under a free licence.
  • Identify various Archive facilities countrywide and explore any relevant material that could benefit this project.
  • Conduct outreach activities at other cultural institutions.
  • Closely work with the Research Department of the Archives to improve relevant content on Wikimedia.

Non-financial requirements


Fit to strategy

  • Increased participation - It is expected that through the regular editathons that will be undertaken, new editors will start contributing to Wikimedia.
  • Increased quality of Kenyan/African content on Wikimedia projects.
  • Increased awareness of Wikimedia projects.

Other benefits


Measures of success

  • Successful digitization of the Murumbi Gallery (the centerpiece of the Kenya National Archives).
  • Getting photos of notable Kenyan leaders/historians/politicians, etc.
  • Ability to attract interest from other Kenyan cultural institutions to undertake a similar GLAM project with them too.
  • Increased number of articles related to Kenya.
  • Increased participation in Wikimedia projects, from the Kenyan cultural sector.
  • Number of editing workshops/outreach efforts carried out.

Team members (optional)