Grants:PEG/7amleh/Workshops to promote Palestinian participation on Wikipedia
- Increasing the quantity and quality of articles uploaded by Palestinians on the Arabic Wikipedia.
- Increase the number of Palestinian volunteer editors to Wikipedia.
- Create a small network of Wikipedia trainers who would be able to sustain the project into the future.
- Run five workshops over a six month period for Palestinians wishing to participate in Wikipedia, teaching them the skills needed to create and edit articles on Wikipedia. Participants will be taught what a wiki is and how to use it, including research skills, editing skills, wiki syntax and referencing. They will also be instructed on how to engage in critical reading and write balanced articles.
- Aforementioned workshops will take place in Haifa with the aim of generating content for Wikipedia pages based on local areas/sites which are relevant to promoting Palestinian culture or history. Attendees will be expected to collect data in the field and return between the workshops to create Wikipedia articles for online publication.
- A typical workshop will begin with a lecture on the history of Wikipedia, and a comparison between Arabic Wikipedia and other language versions of the encyclopedia. The purpose of this exercise is to show the stark difference in content between Arabic and some of the other major world languages. This in turn should highlight the urgency of increased contribution in order to enrich the Arabic content, and provide the motivation for doing so. Next, a brief overview of the pillars of Wikipedia and the fundamentals of editing, sourcing, attribution and other policies will be discussed. A discussion about the neutral point of view and its relevance in the Palestinian context will be offered next. Finally, the technical workshop will commence, by guiding the students through account creation, switching on visual editor, and the basics of using visual editor. The students will be given time to practice those skills in the first session, and given a homework assignment. In the second and subsequent sessions, assignments will be discussed, and iterations of editing the same article will be executed, in order for the students to feel what it is like to edit "in the wild", and what concerns newcomers have. Class time will be used to discuss the editing experience, answering questions, and coming up with solutions in a friendly setting.
We believe that by having more Palestinians contributing to Wikipedia, we will be able to give a representation of and information about Palestinian life, culture, and society to the rest of the world. This will contribute to a new authentic Arabic content in Wikipedia.
Palestinian youth; Arabic Wikipedia and Commons.
Fit with strategy
What crucial thing will the project try to change or benefit in the Wikimedia movement? Please select the Wikimedia strategic priority(ies) that your project most directly aims to impact and explain how your project fits. Most projects fit all strategic priorites. However, we would like project managers to focus their efforts on impacting 1-2 strategic priorities. Examples of strategic priorities can be found at here.
Arabic contributions to Wikipedia are currently ranked 21st in the world with over a million users contributing to the online platform . Yet Palestinian engagement in Wikipedia is limited with just ten of the top 500 contributors in the region self-identifying as Palestinian . This project will increase participation by promoting the number of Palestinian Wikipedia contributors, and has a high impact potential due to the sustainability of the project afforded by the creation of a network of student trainers who can continue to run workshops teaching Palestinian youth how to participate in Wikipedia content creation.
Measures of success
Please provide a list of both quantitative and qualitative criteria that will be used determine how successful the project is. You will need to report on the success of the project according to these measures after the project is completed. See the PEG Program Resources for suggested measures of success. Note: In addition to your project-specific measures of success, you will also be asked to report on some Global Metrics at the end of your final report. Please keep this in mind as you plan, and we'll support you as you begin your project.
- We will measure the success of our project by looking at the amount of the participant's contributions to Wikipedia, the duration of their contributions (we believe that the group will be contributing for two years), and the amount of visits to their articles or articles they have edited.
By the end of the grant we expect to have achieved the following:
- 15 new Palestinian editors/contributors to Wikipedia
- 75 new articles added to the Arabic Wikipedia
Resources and risks
Farah Mostaklem (Fjmustak) and Maisara Abedelahk (Uwe_a)
On March 3rd 2015, 7amleh organised an event titled “Amplifying the Palestinian Voice on Wikipedia”, which aimed to foster discussion about how to enrich the Arab and Palestinian content on Wikipedia. The round table was attended by both experts of, and those interested in, the field of digital space. Many attendees expressed interest in the role of Arab and Palestinian contributions in developing Wikipedia into an accessible and easily available resource which benefits everyone. The panel of speakers included Nidal Jarrar, a Jordanian-Palestinian Wikipedia editor and administrator, who spoke about the importance of volunteering and other efforts in enriching the Arab and Palestinian content on the website, as well as the necessity of following rules for article contribution, such as easily understandable text, objectivity and neutrality. The second speaker on the panel Maysara Abdul Haq, a technician with interest in internet content, primarily spoke about Wikipedia as a platform for reproducing the prevailing discourse. Abdul Haq spoke about the scarcity of rich Arab content, which heavily depends on frequently translating articles from other languages. Abdul Haq suggested that a more developed Arab and Palestinian presence on Wikipedia content could reshape the prevailing discourse as well as correct articles which contained poor information and references regarding Palestinian issues. Abdul Haq also spoke of the importance of having active volunteers on Wikipedia who were able to produce content that showcases Arab Palestinian history, knowledge, science and stories. The third presentation of the round table discussion was by Marwa Hannah and Alaa Kabha – Wikipedia editors and activists- who spoke about the fundamentals of writing for Wikipedia. After the final presentation, audience participants began a discussion on how, as Palestinians, they could build on the practical advice they had been given, and the methods with which they could implement what had been discussed. Participants were eager to take up the issue in other circles through recruiting volunteers – especially university students- to enrich the Palestinian content of Wikipedia .
On October 3rd 2015, 7amleh organised a workshop at Birzeit University on the use of Wikipedia as a tool to raise the profile of Palestinian issues online. The aim of the workshop was to demonstrate the value of increasing Palestinian engagement on Wikipedia and bringing together existing activists so they are able to coordinate together effectively. Two local web activists, Farah Mustaklim and Rami Shenewai, taught attendees the necessary skills for Wikipedia editing whilst also outlining editorial policy issues and discussing strategies for maximizing productivity and online presence. The group was also addressed by the Wikimedia representative for the MENA region, Samir Sharabaty, who spoke from his home in Egypt via Google Hangouts, and highlighted the need to promote the use of Arabic on Wikipedia which is currently disproportionately underrepresented .
Skill gaps in project leadership team
We will be offering training for future team leaders in order to cover any gaps in their knowledge and skill set.
This is the first time we are working on this type of project at such a large scale, covering many different geographic regions. In order to minimize any risks associated with the project scale, we will be recruiting a skilled and well-trained team and involving other relevant and experienced community volunteers, who will assist in project facilitation. We will also be working with the WMF Learning & Evaluation Team to develop an appropriate measurement and evaluation plan.
Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here. See Budget Guidelines. Grantees are subject to line-item scrutiny of expenses. Changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.
Project budget table
|Number||Category||Item description||Unit||Number of units||Cost per unit||Total cost||Currency||Notes|
|1||Human resources||Scholarship cost||Trainer||1||$1000||$1000||$||Funding for the scholarship for trainer will not be paid through WMF grant|
|3||Material costs||Food/drink||Workshop||5||$100||$500||$||Snacks and drinks will be provided to each participant.|
|4||Material costs||Transportation||Workshop||5||$60||$300||$||The transportation will consist of the expenses from Jerusalem- Haifa (and vice versa) for the trainer who is based in Jerusalem city.|
|5||Material costs||Communications||Month||6||$150||$900||$||Costs are allocated for recruitment, coordination, and calls between the trainer and the participants|
Total cost of project
Total amount requested
Total amount requested from the Project and Event Grants Program.
$3,800$2,800 USD to cover advertising, communications, transportation, meals and venue. Scholarship for trainer to be paid through other funding sources.
Additional sources of revenue
Additional sources of revenue, other than the Project and Event Grants Program, that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded.
See a description of non financial assistance available. Please inform the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) of any requirements for non-financial assistance now.
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