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Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Alliances Fund/WikiGraphers:Visualizing Open Knowledge (2023-2024)

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statusNot funded
WikiGraphers: Visualizing Open Knowledge (2023-2024)
The primary goal of the project is to continue improving the visual content of Wikipedia, which will be done by a diverse group of 40 students who will gain visualization skills. They will visualize Armenian Wikipedia educational articles as part of their practical learning. In addition, this project will lay the foundation for the retention and development of the community of Wikigraphers who will contribute to the visual development of Wikimedia projects.
start date2023-06-01
end date2024-03-31
budget (local currency)19501200 AMD
budget (USD)50652 USD
grant typeMission-aligned organization
organization typeNon profit organisation
funding regionCEECA
decision fiscal year2022-23
funding program roundRound 2
applicant(s)• Armen Mirzoyan - user:Armenmir, Lilit Tarkhanyan - user:Lilitik22
organization (if applicable)• Investigative Journalists NGO

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Applicant information


A. Organization type

Mission-aligned organization

B. Organization name

Investigative Journalists NGO

E. Do you have an account on a Wikimedia project?


E1. Please provide the main Wikimedia Username (required) and Usernames of people related to this proposal.

Armen Mirzoyan - user:Armenmir,

Lilit Tarkhanyan - user:Lilitik22

G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?

H1. Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?
You can find the grants list attached to this proposal (for the previous 7 years).
H2. Please state the size of these grants from the following options.
Above 50,000 USD
H3. What type of organization (s) did you receive grants from?
Government, National NGO, International NGO, Bilateral or Multilateral Organizations, Endowment funds
H4. What percentage of your program budget do other funders contribute to?
More than 75%

1. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


1a. Fiscal organization name.


2. Are you legally registered?


3. What type of organization are you?

Non profit organisation

4. What is your organization or group's mission and how does it align with the Wikimedia movement?

Investigative Journalists NGO has been spreading and advancing investigative journalism in Armenia for over 22 years. We are a member of international networks such as GIJN and OCCRP.

In 2019 the NGO established its school - Hetq Media Factory, where students learn data analysis, investigative reporting, illustration/animation, multimedia storytelling, and GIS. We highlight the importance of everyone's right to an equal education, which is why studying at Media Factory is free.

5. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

Investigative Journalists NGO publishes its investigations and journalistic articles on hetq.am. Hetq is available on the following social media:
  • Facebook: fb.com/hetqonline
  • Instagram: instagram.com/hetq_online
  • Twitter: twitter.com/Hetq_Trace

The official website of Hetq Media Factory is mediafactory.am. The social media pages are:

  • Facebook: fb.com/hetqfactory
  • Instagram: instagram.com/hetqfactory
  • Twitter: twitter.com/HetqFactory

Grant proposal


6. Please state the title of your proposal.

WikiGraphers: Visualizing Open Knowledge (2023-2024)

9. Where will this proposal be implemented?


10. Indicate if it is a local, international, or regional proposal and if it involves several countries?


10a. If you have answered international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

10b. Are there any specific sub-regions or areas where your proposal will be implemented?


11. What is the challenge or problem you are addressing and why is this important?

Armenian Wikipedia continues to be one of the dynamically developing online encyclopedias in the region. A number of events and projects have been initiated to develop the textual content of the Armenian Wikipedia. Despite the increase in the number of articles, mainly due to the translation of foreign language Wikipedias, the visual representation of these articles remains unimproved. The editors, not having visualization skills, continue to take visuals for articles from foreign language Wikipedias without translating the textual content of the illustrations. That is why, at the end of 2021, Investigative Journalists NGO, aiming to develop the visual content of Armenian Wikipedia, initiated Wikigraphers. Visualizing Open Knowledge project.

Using visualizations on Wikipedia is important because it can enhance the clarity and accessibility of information, making it easier for readers to understand and remember. Visualizations, such as illustrations, diagrams, maps, charts, and graphs, can help convey complex concepts and data in a more digestible format. Visualizations can also make the information more engaging and interesting to readers, increasing their motivation to learn and explore further.

To continue developing the skills of Armenian Wikipedia editors, to attract new editors and retain the already formed community of WikiGraphers, as well as to develop the visual side of Armenian Wikipedia articles, Hetq Media Factory, whose curriculum is based on the “learning by doing” method, aims to continue the implementation of the “WikiGraphers: Visualizing Open Knowledge” project. The program will help to educate and equip Wiki editors with visualization and design skills to contribute to the visualization of Wikipedia articles, thus making them more comprehensive and accessible.

Both in Armenia and throughout the world, accessible education continues to be the focus of attention and among the priorities of a number of organizations. Our NGO is not an exception. Free education ensures everyone has equal access to it, regardless of their financial background. This helps to reduce educational inequalities and ensures that every individual has an opportunity to learn and develop their skills. Studying and mastering modern visualization tools is quite expensive, and not everyone can afford them. The project enables free knowledge advocates interested in visualization not only to master visualization skills but also to use them to develop Wikipedia's visual content.

12. What is the main objective of your proposal? Please state why you think partnering with Wikimedia Movement helps to achieve this objective?

The primary goal of the project is to continue improving the visual content of Wikipedia, which will be done by a diverse group of 40 students who will gain visualization skills. They will visualize Armenian Wikipedia educational articles as part of their practical learning.

In addition, this project will lay the foundation for the retention and development of the community of Wikigraphers who will contribute to the visual development of Wikimedia projects.

13. Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective?

The project will start on June 1, 2023. The project implementation will be carried out by the following stages:
  • The contract signature process of the team and instructors.
  • The design of the curriculum and the study plans.
  • Call for admission, which will be spread on our social media, Wikimedia platforms, and partner organizations.
  • Selection of students:
    • Shortlist of applications
    • In-person interviews
  • Final selection of 20 students (for each stage), formation of 4 groups.

During the pilot project, constantly monitoring and analyzing the implementation process, we identified some changes we would like to undertake.

  • To keep the educational process more dynamic and to attract more participants to the Wikimedia Movement, we have divided the 8-month educational process into two phases, four months each, with 20 participants in each stage.
  • We have merged some courses to increase the project's effectiveness.
  • We have made some changes in the project team positions, not affecting the effectiveness of the teamwork. The “Visual Production Coordinator” responsibilities will be divided between the Project Manager and the Education Team Coordinator.

The curriculum will consist of 3 courses:

  • Wiki ideology and wiki editing. During the course, students will learn about the ideology of the Wikimedia movement, its values, Wiki Markup, wiki editing rules, and guidelines. We emphasize the advocacy of open and accessible knowledge for all.
  • Illustration. The students will learn to create graphical images (basic drawing techniques, color theory, digital tools, etc.) during the course. They will learn the technical skills and creative strategies needed to produce high-quality illustrations for the free encyclopedia.
  • Data visualization & mapping. Wikipedia articles are full of numerical data from various sources, based on which the students will create infographics to make it easier for readers to understand the information. Before creating infographics, students will update the data in the articles from reliable sources. Besides, students will also learn to map the existing data and create comprehensive visuals.

Each group will attend classes three times a week, learning all the subjects. The duration of each lesson will be 90 minutes. The study process will be: July-November 2023 and December - March 2024. All the visuals will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

Students will choose the educational articles they want to visualize, generate ideas, and discuss them with the instructors and the team, as a result of which they will create the visuals.

Hackathons. After the end of each round, a hackathon will be organized at Hetq Media Factory space with the participation of project participants, experienced WikiGraphers from the previous study year, and wiki editors of the Armenian Wikipedia, during which they will visualize Armenian Wikipedia articles. The hackathon will enable all participants to share knowledge and collaborate.

14. Are you running any in-person events or activities?


15. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified content knowledge gaps?

Age (regency) , Geography, Language, Socioeconomic Status, Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context), Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

16. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or thematic focus.

Education, Open Technology

17. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select all categories that apply.

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Geographic , Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Disabilities, Socioeconomic status, Age, Digital Access

18. Please tell us more about your target participants.

The WikiGraphers will again be selected through an open call to involve as diverse people as possible having different gender identities, sexual orientation, age, social status, etc. The course will be open to all interested people who want to acquire visual content creation skills, promote the creation and dissemination of free knowledge, and share its values. It has been three years since Hetq Media Factory educates 30 students a year with different educational backgrounds and skills. Having a carefully-designed educational plan based on the “learning by doing” method, all our students are successfully involved in the educational process, regardless of their initial knowledge base. In this project's scope, visual graphics and data visualization, mapping skills will be taught, and visuals created.

When selecting participants, their motivation, enthusiasm, and willingness to be included in the program will be considered. The accessibility of the project for underrepresented groups will be highly emphasized.

The groups will be formed according to the selected participants' knowledge level. The students will get acquainted with the visualization tools and the editing process in Wikimedia projects. Spreading Wiki ideology among the project participants will motivate them to continue contributing to Wikimedia projects, even after completing the program. In addition, to retain the graduates, they will be invited to the two Hackathons organized within the project, thus motivating them to continue to contribute to the visual development of the free encyclopedia. Besides, Hetq Media Factory is open for the graduates of the previous (and upcoming) rounds to come and edit, use the laptops and software to produce visuals at any time, and the project organizers will continue to support them.

The project implementation process and the open call of admission will be promoted on our social media pages, newsletter, and through the communication channels of our partners. To increase the visibility of the program, we plan to use online ads, which will allow us to reach a more targeted audience. To present the project's mission, activities, and results, we plan to write about it in the Wikimedia Foundation Educational Newsletter. We will also share our success stories during conferences, video calls, various meet-ups, etc.

19. Do you have plans to work with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


19a. If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

With more than ten years of editing experience in Wikimedia projects, the project manager, the education team coordinator and the Wiki instructor have a clear idea of the capabilities of Armenian Wikipedia editors, what kind of projects are carried out on Wikipedia, and the problems and challenges the community faces. Formerly a member of the Wikimedia Armenia staff, over the years, we have designed and implemented numerous projects that have gained widespread recognition not only in the local but also in the international Wiki community (WikiCamps, WikiClubs, CEE Meeting 2016, Wikipedia Education Collaborative Meeting in Yerevan 2017).

As soon as the funding for the project is approved we will inform the Wiki community and the general public about the continuation of the project.

Realizing the importance of the project, the Armenian Wikipedia community supported the project, evidenced by their active participation in the two hackathons and their written comments on the project.

19b. If no, please tell us the reasons why it has not been possible to make these connections.


20. Will you be working with other external non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


20a. If yes, please describe these partnerships.


20a. If yes, indicate sharing of resources from these partners (in kind support, grants, donations, payments).


21. Please tell us how your organization is structured.

The Investigative Journalists NGO is the founding organization of two separate structures operating in parallel: Hetq Newsroom and Hetq Media Factory. Hetq is a well-known and well-respected investigative newsroom. Hetq Media Factory is the investigative and multimedia journalism school of the NGO operating in Yerevan, the leading journalistic non-formal school in Armenia known for its investigations and multimedia stories produced by students.

Since 2020, Hetq Media Factory students have won a number of local and international awards for their journalistic articles. After graduating from the Media Factory, our graduates work in Armenia's leading media, contributing to the progress and development of quality journalism in Armenia.

Both Hetq and Media Factory are governed by joint decisions of their boards. The board members are the Investigative Journalists NGO President, Executive Director of Hetq, Head of Media Factory, and Financial Director of Investigative Journalists NGO.

Attached is the structure of the decision-making procedure at Investigative Journalists NGO. The data about the project team are presented in the 22nd question.

22. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

The project staff includes
  • Project Manager - Armen Mirzoyan (User:Armenmir, editor since 2011). Yerevan State University Alumni, has received NGO Project Management Certificate from the American University of Armenia. Has 6 years of experience in managing/coordinating programs and various grant projects. Worked as WikiClubs’ Coordinator at Wikimedia Armenia. Since 2019, is the Administrative Manager of Hetq Media Factory. He is also a journalist at Hetq, mainly covering foreign policy and international relations. Now he is doing his Ph.D. in Political Science at Yerevan State University.
  • Education Team Coordinator - Lilit Tarkhanyan (user:Lilitik22, editor since 2011). Yerevan State Linguistic University Alumni. She has 10 years of experience in managing/coordinating educational programs and various grant projects. Co-founder of Wikimedia Armenia and Wikipedia Education Collaborative, which later evolved into the Wikipedia & Education user group. Has worked at Wikimedia Armenia as an Education Program Coordinator. Since 2020, she has been the Education Team Lead of Hetq Media Factory.
  • Accountant - Shushan Margaryan. She has 12 years of professional experience as an accountant.

Instructors include

  • Wiki instructor - Yurik Mkrtchyan (user:GeoO, editor since 2012). Yerevan State University Alumni. He has worked as a Social Media and Communications Coordinator at Wikimedia Armenia and has conducted a number of workshops on wiki editing and wiki ideology organized by WMAM. Since 2020, he has been the Social Media Manager of Hetq and Hetq Media Factory.
  • Illustration instructor - Garnik Stepanyan, National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia Alumni. He is a graphic and motion designer at one of the Armenian online leading news agencies — CivilNet, and the Illustrator/Animation instructor at Hetq Media Factory. He has over 10 years of experience in graphic and motion design.
  • Data visualization & mapping - Katya Mamyan. National Research University Higher School of Economics Alumni, Moscow. Data journalist, analyst. Since 2020, she has been teaching "Data Journalism" and "Technology in Journalism" at Hetq Media Factory. She is also a mentor for the LAMPA Accelerator of the Kyrgyz School of Data Journalism, conducting workshops for participants from post-Soviet states.

23. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  


Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation


24. What do you hope to learn from this proposal?

By implementing the project, we hope to improve and learn the following:
  • Methods of effective teaching skills vs knowledge: to teach skills, instructors need to coach students, encourage them to practice, and do the tasks with them repeatedly until they do it automatically. Teaching knowledge, in other words, shaping knowledge requires a different approach. Instructors need to explain the theoretical concepts of visualization, trying to form a knowledge-based taste in а long-term memory of a student.
  • Project implementation in any situation: in recent years, there have been force majeure situations in Armenia, which in some way had an impact on the course of the implemented programs. Among those situations are the coronavirus epidemic, and the Armenian-Azerbaijani armed clashes, both on the border of Armenia and in Nagorno-Karabakh. During the implementation of the pilot project, there were also armed clashes. Although in such situations, it is pretty difficult on the emotional level to concentrate and continue working at the same pace, both the team and the students overcame this emotional tension and successfully continued the project.
  • Creation of sustainable networks: creating a network of reliable partners that share the same values and are ready to collaborate requires long-term efforts. Every new project is an opportunity to expand the network.

Core Metrics


25. Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants Students. 40 students will participate in the project.

Instructors and team. In the metrics, we count as participants not only the students but also the instructors and the organizing team. We will have 3 instructors and 3 team members.

Hackathons. For each hackathon, we plan to involve ten active editors of the Armenian Wikipedia, as well as the graduates of the pilot program. We will have two hackathons.

Number of editors Students. The admission call will be open to all interested participants. 20 students will be selected for each round. We will have two rounds.

Instructors and team. Two of the three team members and one of the instructors are experienced wiki editors.

Hackathon. Each hackathon will be attended by the project participants, over 10 Wiki community members and graduates, as well as 3 instructors and 2 team members.

Number of organizers “WikiGraphers: Visualizing open knowledge” project team will consist of the project team and instructors. The team will include Project Manager, Education Team Coordinator, and Accountant. Instructors will include the Wiki ideology and wiki editing instructor, the Illustration instructor, and the Data visualization & mapping instructor. More details about each team member and the instructors can be found in section 22 (“Do you have the team needed to support this proposal?”). 6
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikipedia Within the framework of the “WikiGraphers: Visualizing Open Knowledge” project, it is planned to visualize over 300 educational articles on the Armenian Wikipedia. 300
Wikimedia Commons As already mentioned above, around 300 educational articles of the Armenian Wikipedia will be visualized within the framework of the project. Depending on the topic, articles can have a variety of visuals. Therefore, we give an approximate number of 550 visuals for all 300 articles. 550

25a. If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation. (optional)


26. What other information will you be collecting to learn about the impact of your work? (optional)

During the implementation of the program, we plan to conduct two evaluations regarding the educational component of the project. In each round, students will anonymously assess the education they receive during the project, the quality of the education they receive in each subject, how well the instructors share their knowledge with students, the instructors' engagement with the audience, and whether the students will continue to edit Wikimedia projects, etc.

27. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

  • For the number of participants, editors, organizers, content contributions per Wikimedia project and edit retentions, we will use Event Metrics and Attendance sheets.
  • To receive feedback from the students, we will conduct two anonymous evaluation surveys (Google forms).
  • We will use Facebook and Google Analytics to see the reach of our admission announcement. Via FB Analytics we can also count how many people our posts have reached and how many reactions or comments about visuals we have got.

28. How do you hope to share these results so that others can learn from them?

Make a short presentation of the experience, Create a training workshop to show others what we learned, Develop learning material for other users

Financial Proposal


29. What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency.

19501200 AMD

30. What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

50652 USD

31. & 32. Please provide a budget for the amount of funding requested.


33. What do you do to make sure there is a good management of funds?

Investigative Journalists NGO has been working under grant programs from various organizations for about twenty-two years, submitting programmatic and financial reports according to the established schedule. In addition, the organization undergoes an internal audit every year and an independent external audit every few years.

The organization maintains a computerized accounting system and received and managed grants from the European Union, the US Department of State, the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Armenia, the Embassy of Norway in Armenia, the Embassy of Switzerland in Armenia, the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Armenia, the National Endowment for Democracy, Open Society Foundation, USAID, Eurasia Partnership Foundation, OCCRP, Prague Civil Society Center, etc.

34. How will you contribute towards creating a supportive environment for participants using the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy?

“Investigative Journalists” NGO greatly enhances the supportive educational environment, which is why the organization has developed its own Rules and Regulations, including a Code of Conduct that excludes all forms of violence at the Media Factory and guarantees a friendly, respectful environment where everyone is welcomed and receives the professional and personal support he needs.

35. Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s):

Final message


By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

36. We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.