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Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Editing Wikipedia Together - online free course for volunteers invested in community development and open access

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Editing Wikipedia Together - online free course for volunteers invested in community development and open access
start date2022-07-112022-07-11T00:00:00Z
end date2023-05-122023-06-15T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)76320 RON
amount requested (USD)17100 USD
amount recommended (USD)17100
grant typeWikimedia Affiliate (chapter, thematic org., or user group)
funding regionCEECA
decision fiscal year2021-22
funding program roundRound 2
organization (if applicable)Wikimedians of Romania and Moldova User Group

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Applicant details[edit]

Wikimedia username(s):


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 Institute Bucharest

M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.

Făgăraș Research Institute

Additional information[edit]

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.

Romania and Republic of Moldova

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



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?

WMROMD, is a group that, from its inception, has as its objectives to reach out and bring new users in the community and to improve the quality of content available in Wikipedia Romania. The community of editors did not change substantially over time and the efforts to bring new users developed gradually.

In the absence of dedicated and structured content în Romanian helping the public to learn about how to become Wikimedians, we tried to also create that content, in parallel with the activities mentioned above. The efforts to create educational content and reach out to new users were described in presentations at Wikimania 2021 and Wikimedia CEE Online Meeting 2021 as well as in https://diff.wikimedia.org/ article #1Lib1Ref Journal: Healing “professional trauma” in postcommunist Romanian libraries. The Romanian speaking library community contributed to piloting the materials we created and helped the group improve them step by step.

WMROMD has been working with communities of librarians teaching them the first steps of editing Wikipedia. While doing so we learned that new users need to be guided through better structured learning processes and assignments to help them gain enough knowledge and confidence to continue their contributions after the conclusion of our projects.

What we are proposing is to use what we learned as a group in the past 5 years, and to channel this to advance not only the content of the materials we create but also the impact these materials have for the community (more users, more usage of the materials and more good quality content and projects in Romanian).

The learning process we propose is structured on three levels and we will develop the content for these levels based on the exciting experience with new editors from Learning circles and online and face-to-face sharing sessions organized from 2018 to 2021. While the first level might seem easier to learn, unless we provide effective guidance for the new editors to anchor the lessons in their own interest (professional or personal) the chances are they will not continue with editing.

2. What is the change that you are trying to bring about and why is this important?

Learning how to edit Wikipedia pages requires time and commitment. However, the new editor is often alone in this process and has a hard time learning, in a structured way, the steps necessary to evolve from a newby to an editor with experience and then to an editor with an advanced understanding of the Wiki projects. The WMROMD activities over the past four years showed that the community needs to have more coherent materials that walk newcomers through the learning process and provide them with support.

Building on our prior experience of introducing newbies to Wikipedia editing (creating online videos or the content for a series of 6 peer learning meetings, using the methodology of the Learning Circle), the courses we propose now are going to take new users and walk them through three phases: beginners, creator of new Wikipedia pages, and being aware of the connected data on Wiki projects. At the same time, the courses will be promoted to their larger target public through external and internal communication campaigns.

The first course will be offered in 2 regions in Romania, where we will work with librarians from both city and rural communities because we have seen in previous Learning Circles that librarians are good community promoters and have the basic skills needed to engage in acquiring good editing practices within the Wikipedia Romania community. Librarians have good reference resources in their collections and can contribute quality information about their communities. Course 1 is an entry level course that will encourage new contributors to improve existing articles. The course will be promoted through a social media campaign dedicated to volunteers who want to develop new skills. We did not try to reach out to new volunteers through media campaigning before, so this pilot will provide the community an opportunity to be visible within the civic society. This course will also be promoted in workshops with representatives of at least 3 NGOs and institutions from Romania and Moldova. WMROMD will look for partner institutions that could disseminate this course it in their networks.

The second course will address the low number of editors succeeding to create new pages on Wikipedia Romania. The struggle of new editors to create new pages is real and the community does not have a good record of encouraging them to persevere. The course will provide a newcomer-oriented guide to the existing Wikimedia resources for creating new pages with quality content and support instruments for this process. The participants will be the ones that participated in the course 1. We anticipate that some of them will not continue so we will extend the invitation to volunteers from online sessions and Learning Circle events in 2020 and 2021. The course will be promoted to the larger audience of new editors on Wikipedia by including it in at least 2 campaigns for new articles on topics relevant to Romanian and Moldovan culture (like, for example, Romanian Culture Day, Dragobete). While we have a good record with creating online campaigns (like Wiki Loves Monuments and Wiki Loves Romania) we never promoted learning materials to help new editors easily navigate the process of becoming long term contributors to Wikipedia.

The third course is aimed at advanced editors. The community of editors had few meetings for the past years and has not worked together to better understand the existing connections between Wikimedia projects. As such, the course will propose an exploration of the connected data within the Wikipedia projects that will answer the inquiries of more advanced Wikipedia editors and clarify aspects related to copyright and Wikidata projects. The course will be promoted internally within the Wikipedia Romania community, following a communication plan, and will look at topics of interest of the community. It will provide answers and learning experiences in ways that will develop the skills of volunteer editors.

3. Describe your main approaches or strategies to achieve these changes and why you think they will be effective.

The 4 objectives that we aim for include activities that will come to answer important community needs: developing level-appropriate educational content for users (new, beginners and advanced) and promoting these new materials through internal and external communication campaigns. The objectives set in the project are:

O1. Develop an online course (with three modules) O2. Pilot each module O3. Update the course content & format O4. Promote the course to volunteers but also to NGOs and institutions involved in promoting local history and communities

O1. Develop an online course (with three modules) Based on our experience in the past years, we will create three online courses on three levels of difficulty that will bring together users that are new to the community with users who have some experience but can develop and contribute more. In all our projects we paid attention to the learning objectives we set out and the learning process of participants. The topics we want to incorporate in these new courses come from what the participants told us and from the observations we made on the Wikipedia Romania community. The objective of these courses is to provide a rewarding and effective way for volunteers to develop their skills as editors.

O2. Pilot each module Courses will be piloted in online and offline sessions, with participants volunteers from partner libraries but also with members of the Wikipedia community. The first two courses will be piloted in 2 rounds allowing us to adjust the delivery of the course and set realistic objectives for this process. We are confident that the content and the interactive form in which the courses will be developed and delivered will create a supportive environment for all volunteers. The piloting phase will include feedback forms that participants will fill in and that will help the next objective.

O3. Update the course content & format Based on delivery of the courses, the content and format of the created courses will be updated by the team.

O4. Promote the courses to volunteers but also to NGOs and institutions involved in promoting local history and communities The team will work with a communication expert to develop communication plans that will enhance the promotion activities we think could have an impact not only on the general public but also on the community of Wikipedia volunteers itself. Up to this moment WMROMD did not have any strategy on communication and outreach and we believe this project will allow for piloting of communication plans that will contribute to more effective engagement of volunteers.

4. What are the activities you will be developing and delivering as part of these approaches or strategies?

We are listing the activities below, with short descriptions for each. O1A1 Develop Course 1 - introduction to Wikipedia editing This course will be a friendly introduction to Wikipedia and will be available to be used in informal meetings that promote Wikipedia in Romanian.

O1A2 Develop Course 2 - Creating a new Wikipedia page This course will provide structure and practical suggestions on how to build a Wikipedia page from scratch.

O1A3 Develop Course 3 - Connected data on Wiki projects and copyright This course will discuss Wikimedia projects connected and provide an overall understanding of them. New wikipedia editors but also editors with experience will gain practical support in better using the existing content and Wikipedia projects for better quality content.

O2A1 Pilot the Course 1 online in two regions of Romania The course will be offered online to at least 20 participants from 2 counties in Romania, in two separate iterations. In each county the practical examples will be adapted for cultural relevance.

O2A2 Pilot the Course 2 in hybrid format with participants from two counties of Romania The course will be offered to at least 20 participants that went through Course 1 but also to the people that took online training sessions or Learning Circles sessions in 2020 and 2021 with WMROMD volunteers.

O2A3 Pilot the Course 3 with participants from at least two counties of Romania and Wikipedia editors The course will be offered in a hybrid format to everybody who took the first two courses and to Wikipedia editors with more than 500 edits. The course will include online sessions but also, at least 2 days in person workshops.

O3A1 Update Course 1 The course will be updated in content and format based on piloted sessions and feedback forms

O3A2 Update Course 2 The course will be updated in content and format based on piloted sessions and feedback forms

O3A2 Update Course 3 The course will be updated in content and format based on piloted sessions and feedback forms

The project team will update the courses after each pilot session and will document the changes.

O4A1 Organize at least three thematic meetings to promote the course to NGOs and institutions from Romania and Republic of Moldova Once the materials of the courses are available the project team will promote them to NGOs and public institutions that have trainers and community members dedicated to promoting local history, heritage and free access to information. There will be at least three meetings, of at least half a day each, and a few online calls.

O4A2 Promote the introductory courses through an online campaign The campaign on social media will encourage new editors to try their hand.

O4A3 Promote Course 2 through a competition of new pages Organized around special days like National day of Romania or Romanian Cultural HeritageDay, these competitions will encourage the creation of new pages.

O4A4 Promote Course 3 through online meetings with Wikipedia editors Starting in November monthly online meetings for Wikipedia editors will be set and facilitated by the project team.

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?

Klaul - will be the manager of the project and be responsible for the team coordination Strainu - will be the coordinator of the courses development and technical support Giku - will assist with reaching out to community in Republic of Moldova and engagement with more senior editors CEllen - will coordinate the communication plans and their implementation Everyone in the team will be involved in promoting activities online but also face to face.

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.

Geography, Socioeconomic Status

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.

Working with public librarians from rural communities will enrich the volunteer editors community with people having knowledge and resources to document rural ares of the country. These regions are usually poorly covered in Wikipedia.

Half of the population of Romania lives in rural communities and these communities are poorer than the urban ones. Getting volunteers from these communities is not easy and we hope our approach of guidance and support will pay off. Based on our previous experiences connecting with volunteers from rural communities in learning environment while encouraging them to document their communities was a good approach.

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, Advocacy

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 , Socioeconomic status

11. What are your strategies for engaging participants, particularly those that currently are non-Wikimedia?

In our previous activities, inviting people to contribute with materials and content that they care about proved to be a successful strategy. Engaging people in peer to peer learning processes was also successful. We want to engage editor with experience in peer to peer learning and we are confident that together we will become better editors.

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?

The courses we will create will, of course, include discussion of UCOC and Friendly Space Policy in all 3 courses. So we expect discussions about these policies to be complex and contribute to better internalizing them by community members (new and old) .

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.

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 work with 2 county libraries that each have a local network of rural libraries in their professional jurisdiction. We are already discussing this partnership with libraries that know about our previous work with other libraries. The libraries will offer their space for face to face training. Local libraries will cover their transportation costs to our courses.

15. How do you hope to sustain or expand the work carried out in this proposal after the grant?

This project is the scale up version of a couple of projects we did in the past years (online sessions and Learning Circle) and we are excited about growing the content available for volunteer learners. At the same time, we are involving more experienced editors in the learning process and this will contribute to a community culture that encourages and supports the continuous development of its members. In this project WMROMD pilots communication campaigns and we will practice this while promoting the content of the courses. At the same time these communication exercises will allow us to set future communication goals that are more ambitious and effective.

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 external risks are coming from the instability in the region and the fact that some members of the team might relocate and not be able to participate in the face to face event. If this will be the case the workload for the impacted activities will be redistributed to other members of WMROMD.

We will be working with librarians from rural communities and the first course we will offer to them will be online. For some of them this might not be as engaging as face to face meetings and there might be a risk of loosing them before the end of the course. The experience with the Learning Circles in 2021 will prove useful in engaging them more. Moreover, the coordination of this activity at county level with the support of the partner County Library will minimize this risk. Also, in setting the indicators for the number of participants in our courses we took into account that some of them will not continue to next course.

Before this project the WMROMD group did not reach out to the whole community of Wikipedia volunteers and invite them to develop their skills. This should happen in Course 3 in this project and to prepare for a positive answer from the community we will do monthly online meetings for members of the community to ask questions. This will engage them in learning sessions as a community before the Course will be piloted.

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, Provide for Safety and Inclusion

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[edit]

19. What do you hope to learn from your work in this fund proposal?

What are the kind of resources that librarians from small communities are familiar with and how they can be used best for Wikipedia articles?

  • Will pay attention to references used in articles

What topics are people from rural communities passionate to explore?

  • Will pay attention to the topics selected to edit

What technical hurdles do people face which discourages them from contributing to Wikipedia? (this question goes for new editors as well as advance ones)

  • Observation of their editing work
What communication good practices can we add to our way of communicating with the volunteers and the public?
  • Working on the communication plan and implementing it for the activities in this project

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.

Main Metrics Description Target
References used What references new editors use 30
Categories and subcategoris of topics List with most popular categories (and subcategories) of topics introduced by participants N/A
Help resources Identify the resources used by participants to find their way back into editing. N/A

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.

Additional Metrics Description Target
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 N/A N/A
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 N/A N/A
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.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants New participants

20 taking the course 1 20 participating in workshops 20 participating in competitions Returning participants 10 taking course 2 and 3 10 participating in workshops

Number of editors 15 - participating in course 2 and 3

2 - participating in workshops 20 - participating in competitions

Number of organizers Volunteers helping with courses - 4

Volunteer organizers of promotion workshops - 5 Volunteer communication advisors - 2

Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikipedia 30 new articles

50 articles improved

On Wikidata 150 edits 10 new entries


21.1 If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation.


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

In the past we used Event Metrics and this is what we plan to use now. But we are happy to explore other tools.

Financial Proposal[edit]

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.

76320 RON

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

17100 USD

23.3 Please upload your budget for this proposal or indicate the link to it.

Budget uploaded

23.4 Please include any additional observations or comments you would like to include about your budget.


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[edit]

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.

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