Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Discover, Develop, Invent on Wikipedia, Together
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- Wikimedians of Romania and Moldova User Group
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?
H.1 Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?
- Goethe Institut Bucharest
M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?
M1. Fiscal organization name.
- Făgăraș Research Institute
R. Where will this proposal be implemented?
S. Please indicate whether your work will be focused on one country (local), more than one or several countries in your region (regional) or has a cross-regional (global) scope:
S1. If you have answered regional or international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.
- We will have regular activities in Romania but at the same time activities will take place in Moldova. We plan to have discussions and pilot an activity with Wikimedia Hungary.
T. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)
- WMROMD Facebook community https://www.facebook.com/WMROMD
M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?
M1. Fiscal organization name.
- Făgăraș Research Institute
1. What is the overall vision of your organization and how does this proposal contribute to this? How does this proposal connect to past work and learning?
Wikimedians of Romania and Moldova User Group (WMROMD) is a Wikipedia affiliate that has been working mostly on small grants and punctual activities. WMROMD is making continual efforts to diversify the pool of new editors, enhance content and invest in training editors to better understand and use the wikimedia platforms.
In the past year we have been implementing two larger grants that allowed us to have part time staff for administrative tasks and for communication as well as to open up to new păartnership and initiate conversation with NGOs. These 8-10 month long grants created a space for community members (new and experienced editors) to meet and work together. That is why we are proposing a year long grant for the user group to:
V1. Discover: Starting the process of designing a plan for strategic communication and recruitment of volunteers V2. Develop: Continue activities and campaigns that became traditional for the community but include stronger communication and partnership components V3. Invent: Pilot new ideas and projects
V1. Discover: we will be focusing on developing a plan for a communication strategy both for external communication (with the general public and possible partners) and internally (with the members of Wikipedia editors’ community). This direction will also look into practices of managing, engaging and keeping volunteers in the program. This is a discovery path for WMROMD because we need to agree as a community on how we want to grow and also how to present Wikipedia and the community to larger audiences.
V2.Develop: We will continue activities that we have been doing like online monthly meetings for the community, continue existing collaborations with higher education programs, promote existing courses (WMROMD courses but also WikiEdu) and repeating campaigns (like CEE Spring, Wiki Loves Monuments Moldova and a bike-quest, Asian Month, Oceania Month, #1lib1ref, WikiMărțisor - a WikiGap inspired campaign). All these activities will be coordinated by volunteers from the community; however, we will provide support through reaching out to dedicated NGOs with whom we can partner on specific topics, hire collaborators on communication and consultants where needed to increase the impact of these activities. As we started conversation with NGOs that work with volunteers, we want in 2024 to have them participate in the Week of the Volunteers organized at national level for NGOs through a communication campaign to celebrate Wikipedia volunteers.
V3:Invent: We will pilot new activities and approaches building on our current network of volunteers and partners. With librarians that WMROMD trained in 2022-2023 we will pilot Wikimedian in Residence for a librarian to be hosted by a GLAM institution and WikiSeniors where we will train up to 30-50 people over 50 years of age to understand and perform easy edits on Wikipedia. Moreover we want to create support mechanisms for minority languages volunteers (Aromanian, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Roma).
The manner in which we will Discover, Develop and Invent activities in Wikipedia will be together, as a connected organization and a growing and diversifying editing community.
2. What is the change that you are trying to bring about and why is this important?
Capacity building in a volunteer-run organization is a complex process that requires strategic planning and support. WMROMD is an organization that proved in time, through its members, that it can engage with the editing community and organize activities. However, the individual approaches were limited by the lack of administrative and communication support as well as a unified strategic goal. This grant will help WMROMD work as one community that supports its members and volunteers in getting engaged in activities. This will allow more people to lead activities and promote Wikipedia.
3. Describe your main approaches or strategies to achieve these changes and why you think they will be effective.
The 2023 #1lib1ref campaign was a pilot in this direction. We encouraged librarians that we trained in the past years to organize their local events, and that put Romanian language wikipedia on third position in the CEE #1lib1ref campaign, with 29 editors, 615 pages improved and 1184 edits. Going further, we need to decide on the directions we want to develop the WMROMD user group and engage as many volunteers as we can in the process.
Through Discovery we will look at what we need within the user group and partners to develop as an organization and find the support we need. Organizational development is a lengthy process but we are committed to start it. Through Develop we plan to continue the activities we are already doing but in a more sustainable way. We plan to find partners (NGOs and institutions) when planning each activity and, while implementing, to engage in more effective communication strategies about the work we will do together. Through Invent we want to try new approaches and encourage our volunteers to become themselves organizers of activities. We want to also create new relations by reaching out to new volunteers and partners. All activities we are embarking on have a coordinator among the members of the user group or the active volunteer in the community. By encouraging and supporting everyone’s involvement in organizing the UG activities we want to grow a more robust community and organization while opening up to the general public.
4. What are the activities you will be developing and delivering as part of these approaches or strategies?
V1. Discover: we will be focusing on strategic planning and organizational development A1. Developing a plan for a communication strategy – while working with a communication professional to understand the process – and start taking steps in that direction A2. Starting a facilitated conversation about managing volunteers
V2 .Develop: We will continue activities that we have been doing for the general public and we will add extra efforts to reach out to interested NGO partners and to communicate more about these activities. All these activities will be coordinated by volunteers from the community; however, we will provide support through reaching out to dedicated NGOs with whom we can partner, hiring collaborators on communication and consultants where needed to increase the impact of these activities.
A3. We will continue to organize online monthly meetings for the editing community based on the questions and inquiries of the members
A4. We will continue existing collaborations with higher education programs to introduce Wikipedia editing to students from at least three University programs. We will continue and build upon the previous work done with universities in Bucharest, Cluj and Iași. We will try to include the courses made in 2022-2023 in the curricula and offer support by Internet whenever possible. We will also spread, promote and customize existing courses (developed by WMROMD but also WikiEdu) Based on the 3 courses developed during the 2022-2023 grant, we want to develop more content targeted at different kind of users: A crash-course (2-3 weeks) for university students; A crash-course (2-3 weeks) for translators; Improving the existing guides on the Romanian Wikipedia (Ajutor:Bun venit and Ajutor:Cum scriu un articol);
A5.Organize CEE Spring 2024 - Organize the annual CEESpring contest on rowp and potentially on Aromanian Wikipedia (roa-rup) - depending on the identification of a native speaker and/or based on a collaboration with Open Knowledge Macedonia
A6.Organize Wiki Loves Monuments Moldova 2023 and include a bike-quest with it, Moldovan iteration of the international photo contest Wiki Loves Monuments and a gamified exploration of cultural heritage of Moldova on bicycles – 2nd iteration. The gist of it is sending willing people on bicycles out to the countryside to find cultural heritage monuments and take photos; while they’re at it we encourage them to also take photos of other things of encyclopedic interest: schools, wineries, town halls, village stadiums, etc. A points system is in place to identify the winner.
A7. Organize Asian and Oceania Month 2023 (and other contests that the community might want) Well-established writing challenges Asian Month and Oceanic Month organized on the Romanian Wikipedia will have participants benefit from additional prizes other than those awarded by the international organizers.
In total we budgeted for 4 such entries. None of these will be organized by members of the user group, but by individual members of the community, so the subject and details are determined by the respective organizers.
A8. Organize #1lib1ref 2024, A new edition of the #1lib1ref campaign will involve librarian volunteers that will organize local events for other librarians in their network (including rural librarians).
A9. Organize WikiMărțisor 2024 - a WikiGap inspired campaign. Inspired by WikiGap, Wikimartisor 2024 will be the second edition of this 2 week campaign to encourage editing and creation of articles with biographies of women. We will increase the number of partner NGOs and explore new ways to promote the campaign.
A10. Week of the Volunteers 2024 - We will get involved in the national campaign that celebrates volunteers in Romania and we will celebrate and promote Wikipedia volunteers.
V3. Invent: We will encourage our volunteers and partners to become organizers of activities and to get involved in training new editors and content creation or import.
A11. Wikimedian in Residence - one librarian from the cohort trained by WMROMD in 2022-2023 will become a Wikimedian in residence in a GLAM institution
A12. Wiki Seniors - up to 50 people over 50 will be trained to understand and perform easy edits on Wikipedia by librarians trained by WMROMD in 2022-2023. This is a large project, financed 67% through a CFP from Orange Romania running in parallel with this grant request. In the event that this ambitious project is not financed, we will attempt to use the budget requested in this grant to run a smaller number of training (2 out of the 5 planned). While the direct impact will be lower, we feel the self-replicating potential of the project is significant, so long term it still makes sense to attempt it.
A13. Support for minority languages (Aromanian, Hungarian) - We will organize at least a couple of activities to engage people speaking minority languages into editing Wikipedia and connecting to the language Wikipedia projects.
5. Do you want to apply for multi-year funding?
5.1 If yes, provide a brief overview of Year 2 and Year 3 of the proposed plan and how this relates to the current proposal and your strategic plan?
6. Please include a timeline (operational calendar) for your proposal.
7. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?
Claudai Serbanuta - Manager of the grant and coordinator of part of activities Andrei Cipu - Strainu - course developer and coordinator of part of activities Gheorghe Iordachi - coordinator of activities in Moldova and technical support Ioana Avadanei - Communication person Stefab Cibian - (ICF) Advisor TBC Facilitator for communication strategic planning TBC Facilitator for working with volunteers
8. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified CONTENT knowledge gaps (Knowledge Inequity)? Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.
Content Gender gap, Age (regency) , Geography, Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial
8.1 In a few sentences, explain how your work is specifically addressing this content gap (or Knowledge inequity) to ensure a greater representation of knowledge.
Gender gap will be addressed in Wikimartisor and working with mostly women librarins.
Age (regency) will be addressed in A4. as one of the projects is dedicated to history, while the Islamic Studies project also favors middle-age subjects.
Geography will be addressed with Wiki Loves Monuments Moldova 2024 and this activity will include a bike-quest with it covering larger areas. Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial will be addressed with A13 as we will focus on contributions from representatives of ethnic minorities.
9. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or THEMATIC focus. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work and explain the rationale for identifying these themes.
Education, Culture, heritage or GLAM , Advocacy, Open Technology
10. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Please note, we had previously asked about inclusion and diversity in terms of CONTENTS, in this question we are asking about the diversity of PARTICIPANTS. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.
Geographic , Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Age
11. What are your strategies for engaging participants, particularly those that currently are non-Wikimedia?
The main approach we will use is engaging through trusted partners: we will use previously trained librarians and teachers, but also volunteers from other organizations, to reach out to their respective audiences. At the same time, we will continue to expand our network by actively establishing connections to like-minded organizations during professional events or directly through email or Facebook.
Our communication campaigns are mostly targeted at getting people familiar with our projects, but they also include calls for action.
12. In what ways are you actively seeking to contribute towards creating a safer, supportive, more equitable environment for participants and promoting the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy, and/or equivalent local policies and processes?
We are using the Friendly Space Policy in all the WMROMD meetings (online and offline) and all events that will be organized using this grant will adhere to it,
13. Do you have plans to work with Wikimedia communities, groups, or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?
13.1 If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.
WMROMD is a user group that is working with volunteers in two countries and in this grant we are trying to bring volunteers from both countries together in shared activities. This is the a larger grant where we brought together the activities planned in both countries. Members of WMROMD are regular participants at Wikimedia CEE Meeting and there we started discussing with Wikimedia Hungary about future collaboration with the Hungarian minority in Transylvania. Part of our Invent activities will be dedicated to piloting an activity that brings our organizations together.
14. Will you be working with other external, non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?
14.1 Please describe these partnerships and what motivates the potential partner to be part of the proposal and how they add value to your work.
We will reach out to at least 10 NGOs and 7 education institutions (universities and libraries). Among them University of Bucharest, Babes-Bolyai University, Agency for Inspection of Monuments of Moldova, Sibiu University Library, Argeș County Library, Sălaj County Library, Bicycle Aliance of Chisinau, F-Sides, National Library Association. With some of these partners we already started to communicate and make plans for 2023-2024.
We will initiate a conversation with Wikipedia Hungary to plan for shared activities.
15. How do you hope to sustain or expand the work carried out in this proposal after the grant?
The activities proposed will clarify the next steps needed for the development of the User Group and also will bring more volunteers closer to the mission of opening up access to knowledge through Wikipedia. The NGOs that we reached out to so far are interested in continuing to collaborate and we are confident that once we do shared activities with them and share the learning materials we created, they will bring with them more people interested in editing Wikipedia.
16. What kind of risks do you anticipate and how would you mitigate these. This can include factors such as external/contextual issues that may affect implementation, as well as internal issues, such as governance/leadership changes.
- The community of volunteers gives signs of being stressed and tired. The time spent online and on activities related to Wikipedia is fluctuating and, at times, decreasing. So there is a constant risk of lower involvement of existing volunteers. At the same time, new editors that join the community come with limited free time and energy to engage in the learning process needed to understand the community and the framework it functions on. As a consequence the retention rate is not great.
On some activities like Wiki Loves Monuments, Moldova there is the risk of reaching saturation.
17. In what ways do you think your proposal most contributes to the Movement Strategy 2030 recommendations. Select a maximum of three options that most apply.
Increase the Sustainability of Our Movement, Invest in Skills and Leadership Development, Identify Topics for Impact
18. 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
19. What do you hope to learn from your work in this fund proposal?
Q1. How can the community of editors work and communicate better? Q2. How can we empower volunteers to organize promotional events to attract new editors? Q3. How we can help NGOs disseminate information about their topics in Romanian Is wikilove still relevant Q4 What topics new volunteers are more invested in? Q5 Do prizes attract new participants? We are having regular evaluation of activities and meetings where we discuss our observations. These questions we will try to address at various moments like when we plan the implementation of activities, after analyzing the partial results and when we report on the grant.
20. Based on these learning questions, what is the information or data you need to collect to answer these questions? Please register this information (as metric description) in the following space provided.
|strategic planning meetings||members of the user group meet and discuss about planning a communication strategy and about managing volunteers (A1, A2)||5|
|Students||Students engaged in undergraduate program engaged in a course to edit Wikipedia (A4)||100|
|Community online meetings||Regular online meetings for the community of editors (A3)||12|
|Materials promoting volunteers||Wikipedia volunteers will be promoted through social media and articles during the Week of Volunteers (A10)||10|
Here are some additional metrics that you can use if they are relevant to your work. Please note that this is just an optional list, mostly of quantitative metrics. They may complement the qualitative metrics you have defined in the previous boxes.
|Number of editors that continue to participate/retained after activities||N/A||N/A|
|Number of organizers that continue to participate/retained after activities||N/A||N/A|
|Number of strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability||2 University Libraries
3 Universities 5 New NGOS
|Feedback from participants on effective strategies for attracting and retaining contributors||N/A||N/A|
|Diversity of participants brought in by grantees||N/A||N/A|
|Number of people reached through social media publications||People reached on a monthly basis||6000|
|Number of activities developed||N/A||N/A|
|Number of volunteer hours||N/A||N/A|
21. Additional core quantitative metrics. These core metrics will not tell the whole story about your work, but they are important for measuring some Movement-wide changes. Please try to include these core metrics if they are relevant to your work. If they are not, please use the space provided to explain why they are not relevant or why you can not capture this data. Your explanation will help us review our core metrics and make sure we are using the best ones for the movement as a whole.
|Number of participants||A4 - 105
A5 - 20 A6 - 40 A7 - 20 A8 - 50 A9 - 20 A11 - 5 A12 - 55 A13 - 15
|Number of editors||A4 - 100
A5 - 20 A6 - 0 A7 - 20 A8 - 40 A9 - 15 A11 - 3 A12 - 55 A13 - 3
|Number of organizers||A4 - 3
A5 - 3 A6 - 2 A7 - 2 A8 - 7 A9 - 2 A11 - 2 A12 - 7 A13 - 1
|Wikipedia||A4 - 50
A5 - 300 A6 - 500 A7 - 500 A8 - 300 A9 - 100 (out of which 20 new articles created) A11 - 20 (out of which 10 new articles created) A12 - 300 A13 - 30
|Wikimedia Commons||A6 - 3800 new images
A11 - 20 new images A12 - 80 new images
21.1 If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation.
The amount of contributions of one new editor varies greately Currently we have 2 new editors that are big contributors and the hope is that future contributors will continue to be engaged with teh editing process.
22. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?
We will use:
- Participation lists for offline events
- PetScan for wikidata edits
- Wikimedia hashtag search
23. & 23.1 What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency. If you are thinking about a multi-year fund, please provide the amount for the first year.
- 93319 RON
23.2 What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?
- 20047 USD
23.3 Please upload your budget for this proposal or indicate the link to it.
23.4 Please include any additional observations or comments you would like to include about your budget.
- From 122,310.00RON total budget we have a co-financing of 29,000RON (most if it as part of another grant that we applied to ). The sum requested from WMF through this grant is 93,319RON (20,047USD)
This grant is consolidating three grants thatWMROMD is currently or has recently implanted and is the most ambition grant we submitted yet.
The work to manage grants and coordinate activities in the UserGroup was done mostly as volunteer work up until recently. The change to part time staff is increasing the administrative costs and it is difficult to maintain the balance between enlarging the team and keeping the administrative costs low.
Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.
- Other public document(s):
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