Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Empowering Italian GLAMs

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Empowering Italian GLAMs
start date2022-05-012022-09-01T00:00:00Z
end date2024-01-312024-06-30T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)80160 EUR
amount requested (USD)87291.03 USD
amount recommended (USD)87291.03
grant typeWikimedia Affiliate (chapter, thematic org., or user group)
funding regionNWE
decision fiscal year2021-22
funding program roundRound 2
applicant and people related to proposaliopensa
organization (if applicable)Wikimedia Italia
Midpoint Learning Report 
Final Learning Report

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Applicant details[edit]

Wikimedia username(s):



Wikimedia Italia

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?

Wikimedia Italia has received grants from Cariplo Foundation and European Union (as partner).

Iolanda Pensa has fundraised for Wikimania Esino Lario (Cariplo Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation) and for her work as researcher (from swissuniversities, Swiss National Fund, South African National Fund, SNIS Swiss Network for International Studies, Wikimedia CH, European interreg funds). Here the list of projects Iolanda Pensa has been developing; here the list of grants received from the Wikimedia movement

M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.


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.

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

Wikimedia Italia website

Wiki of the association

M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


M1. Fiscal organization name.



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?

Empowering Italian GLAMs aims at addressing all Italian museums and heritage institutions in using open licences and the Wikimedia projects for sharing and reusing content related to their digital collections. The project is structured into 3 workpackages addressing 3000 institutions (invited to join a Wikipedia campaign by provided images of their institutions), triggering 500 institutions (involved in releasing a collection with open license and upload it on the Wikimedia projects) and focusing on 5 institutions (guided to embrace an open strategy on their entire institutions).

The proposal is promoted by Wikimedia Italia and it involves a very significant network of partner organisations specialised in all the relevant aspects of the project: museums and heritage institutions (ICOM Italia), open licenses and cultural rights (Creative Commons Italia), research (University of Torino and Erasmus University in Rotterdam) and of course the Wikimedia projects and OpenStreetMap (Wikimedia Italia). The proposal relies on the experiences of all institutions involved and it is designed to contribute to their vision by targeting museums and heritage institutions and involving them in a digital strategy, which is based on open licences and the upload of content on the Wikimedia projects, and it is meant to enhance those institutions.

(Please refer to the attachment "Institutions involved" for a presentation of the institutions involved, the relevance of the proposal related to their vision and their experiences in the field; the table is also available on

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

We want to reach all Italian museums and heritage institutions and to build a national strategy, implemented with the relevant partners and envisioning different ways institutions can implement open access and contribute to online knowledge on the Wikimedia projects. This new approach can allow us to involve a wide number of institutions and it provides an alternative to wikipedians in residence which are our current approach to GLAM-Wiki cooperation but which is not scalable and it can not applied to large number of institutions all-over the world.

Opportunities Italy has more than 4,500 museums and heritage institutions Italian museums and GLAMs are well-documented on Wikidata The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition toward disseminating and sharing digital content of their collections. While there are still legal, technical and cultural barriers in many cases, there is an increasing demand for adopting open-access policies. Institutions are used to communication campaign and contributing to disseminate knowledge about their institution by providing content, data and images (i.e. to journalists). Providing images, texts and data for a communication campaign doesn't imply an open access strategy, but - nevertheless - it allows institutions to actually use open access (by providing this content with an open license or under CC0). A Wikipedia communication campaign is a way to start a conversation with many institutions, to reach them and to inform them about open access. Not all institutions can contribute to the Wikimedia projects with their collections (many do not have digital collections and staff); it is important to consider the potential contribution of different kind of institutions. A selection of digital content can be available from a previous exhibition or publication (with captions and introductory information); this content can be relevant for the Wikimedia projects and quite easy to provide by institutions. After over 10 years of experience with GLAM-Wiki projects we have best practices and tools which can allow institutions to implement a institutional open access strategy on all their content. Approaching institutions through a DMP Data Management Plan can allow to consider all aspects of an institution into an open access strategy (example: Museo Egizio DMP Data Management Plan, 2021 in the frame of the Creative Commons GLAM Certificate). A pilot experience implemented in the challenging context of Italy can produce guidelines and be replicated.

Challenges Italy presents a particularly challenging context to open heritage Many institutions are not still aware of the potential of using Wikimedia projects and tools for sharing and reusing the knowledge related to their digital collections. GLAMs are very different institutions with large digitalized collections, some collections digitalised, no digitalized collections. Existing data from national statistics and research implemented by ICOM Italia are not integrated. We do not have an overview of the institutions, with their level of implementation of open access (open access policy, collaboration with the Wikimedia projects...) or their potential involvement in open access (presence of digitalized collections, presence of a communication person in the team, presence of an ICT person in the team...). The current approach of wikipedians in residence is not scalable and it addresses one institution at the time.

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

The project relays on a strategy based on "levels of involvement" addressing different groups of institutions with different approaches: addressing 3000 institutions, triggering 500 institutions and focusing on 5 institutions.

Addressing 3000 institutions. A national strategy requires to address all institutions, starting from updating a database, contacting them and monitoring changes. Institutions are invited to implement open access in a simple way (by providing few images, data and texts with an open license). The use of open access is not implemented on the collections (reducing legal issues), but on a very limited selection of documents (images of the museum exterior and interior, some examples of the collections, texts about the history of the institution and the collections, general data); for many museums that do not have digital collections this is a relevant way to contribute to open knowledge related to their institution.

Triggering 500 institutions. Not all institutions can easily contribute to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects; only a selection of institutions have digital collections and they can provide them or they can provide a selection of them. Institutions are invited to contribute to open knowledge by focusing on a specific theme; their contribution is not about the institution but about a theme the cultural institution preserves and promotes.

Focusing on 5 institutions. Open access among institutions doesn't only mean that institutions release their digital collections in public doman in CC0 ore with a public domain mark. Open access is an open approach that can be implemented by default on all content produced and collected by institutions. It requires an open access policy, websites with open licenes, clearing of rights, procedures to manage GDPR and rights management to allow the release of content with open licences, the use of an open approach on data (Open Data), educational resources (OER), research (Open Science), publications (Open Access). software (open software is required as a preference in Italy for public administrations in the frame of Open Government), open formats... This strategy focuses on implementing open access on the entire institution. This is a quality approach that focuses on specific case studies: it involves a series of institutions already implementing Open Access and it supports them in a wide strategy including Openness on the entire institution. The project supports the institutions, uploads their content, it links them to Wikidata and monitors the use of their content. It also implements the current good practices in the field of GLAM-Wiki projects and OpenGLAM. This strategy has been already drafted in the Museo Egizio DMP Data Management Plan.

(Please refer to the attachment "Strategy" for a presentation of the strategy and the learning questions related; the table is also available on

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

The project is structured into three workpackages, designed to implement the strategy with a series of activities: Workpackage 1 - Reaching 3000 museums; Workpackage 2 - Triggering 500 museums; Workpackage 3 - Focusing on 5 museums. Among the main activities implemented by the project there are improving Wikidata, producing a survey and form, producing an awareness campaign designed to reach 3000 institutions, engaging 500 institutions, focusing on 5 case studies, uploading and monitoring content, documenting and evaluating the activities and disseminating the results.

(Please refer to the attachment "Activities" for a detailed presentation of the activities, their link to the strategy and their expected outcome; the table is also available on Please refer to the budget for the detailed list of activities and who will implement them and with how many working days).

5. Do you want to apply for multi-year funding?      

Yes, for 2 year

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?

The project starts in May 2022 and ends in January 2024. The activities implemented in 2022 correspond to workpackage 1 and they are financed by Wikimedia Italia; the activities developed in 2023 correspond to workpackage 2 and 3. We request the support of Wikimedia Foundation to finance workpackage 2 and 3; and we provide co-funding for those packages. Please note that we have provided full details about activities and costs for the entire period. The proposal perfectly fits Wikimedia Italia strategy and specifically its focus on heritage and open content. Furthermore the proposal is strongly connected to our 2022-2024 working plan already envisioning Wiki Loves Monuments 2024 focussed on museums and an investments on GLAMs initiatives (wikipedians in residence, training and funds for museums and institutions).

6. Please include a timeline (operational calendar) for your proposal.

Please find attached the timeline.

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

The project can already reply on a consolidated working team involving all the partners (most of them paid within the project with a limited fee as consultant), Wikimedia Italia staff (as in-kind contribution) and a small team activated specifically for the project and including a person focussed on the Wikimedia projects and in particular Wikidata, a junior staff focussed on the contacts with museums and a junior researcher assuring the work on the project and the production of all the documentation and guidelines. Overall the organisational team is made up of 11 people. The project has two vacant positions which will be managed by two members of the team. The project relies on Wikimedia Italia structure (which has 9 employees) and 4 partner institutions; this allows the project to respond to possible organizational changes with a large team and other human resources connected with the different organisations. We expect to involve also 15 volunteers.

(Please refer to the attachment "Team" for a presentation of each team members, their role, payment and bio; the table is also available on

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.

Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context)

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.

The proposal addresses the knowledge gaps related to heritage.

In the case of Italy heritage is a challenging topic since the Italian legislation has specific restrictions for the commercial use of images of heritage sites and museums. Focusing on this topic contributes to fill an important knowledge gap and it allows the direct participation of institutions and contributors in Italy.

The fact of addressing all national museums is also an important strategy to enlarge the contribution of museums to the Wikimedia projects, by allowing a wider participation from different geographical areas and different kind of institutions and size. At the moment Wikimedia Italia - as all Wikimedia chapters - has implemented GLAM-Wiki cooperation mainly with large-size museums in few regions of its nations; this new approach can enrich the participation and the variety of institutions with an estimate of 500 institutions engaged.

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.

Culture, heritage or GLAM

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.


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

The project addresses all national museums and heritage institutions. We are aiming at addressing 3000 institutions distributed in all geographical areas of our country. This approach assured a large communication to a wide number of cultural experts and volunteers most of whom are not currently involved in the Wikimedia projects. The project triggers an indirect contribution to the Wikimedia projects through the use of open licenses and tools: those institutions are invited to provide content through a survey and form which guide them through the process of authorisation and release. This approach allows us to reach a wide number of people, to inform them about open access and to gradually involve them in our project. Training and coaching is provided throughout the process and Wikimedia Italia is also currently developing MOOC specifically designed for cultural institutions to allow further involvement.

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?

Wikimedia Italia has a Code of Conduct, it has immediately and officially supported the Wikimedia Universal Code of Conduct, it has been enforcing the Friendly Space Policy in all its events and activities and it has been adding the respect of the code of conduct as a priority for the association. As Wikimedia Italia we strongly believe in the necessity and importance of having projects, initiatives and in general an atmosphere characterized by respect, safety, support and an equitable environment for all participants and visitors. We lived in 2020 a particularly difficult year for the association and this experience was important to acknowledge how a common understanding of our community rules is essential for the well-being of all people involved and of the association. We commit to the respect of the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy also in this project by communicating them in all events and by respecting their principals in all our activities.

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.

This funding request to the Wikimedia Foundation is aimed at guarantee that our project involves the wider international community and it can benefit from the work of others and contribute to their work. Wikimedia Italia could have developed this project directly with only it resources, but we would have documented entirely the project only in Italian, we would have limited the dissemination activities, we would have invested much less in this project and we would have planned a project only with our Italian partners (and not envisioning the involvement of all their international networks). Having the support of Wikimedia Foundation is essential to make this initiative international and we expect this experience to benefit more countries. Furthermore we plan to communicate the project during our Wikimedia events (itwikicon - conference of the Wikimedia projects in Italian and Wikimania).

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.

The strength of this proposal is essentially the involvement of external non Wikimedia partners which are major stakeholders in the field of GLAM-Wiki projects. Specifically Creative Commons, ICOM International Council of Museums and research institutions with Wikimedia are a very relevant team to truly "empower GLAMs" and evaluate, document and disseminate this work.

All involved partners receive funding and contribute to the project (in-kind and with a reduction of their normal payment rates). Furthermore the project addresses 3000 museums and heritage institutions and plans to involve specifically 500. All those institutions benefit from the project.

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

As the timeline reports, this project is deeply inscribed into Wikimedia Italia working plan for 2022-2024. We have already included the activities planned for 2024 (not financed by this proposal) and in particular our contest Wiki Loves Monuments focussed in Italy in 2024 on museums and heritage institutions. We have also already planned financial support for GLAMs in 2023 and 2024 to support the positive fall-outs of this proposal and/or to provide funding for further development.

It is relevant to mention that we are also currently developing a project related to visualization of data related to museums and heritage and we are preparing a publication to monitor open knowledge in Italy with a focus in 2022 on Heritage and museums.

Collaborating with Italian museums is part of our long-term strategy related to heritage and open content. This assures the continuity of this initiative in the medium and long term.

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.

(Please refer to the attachment "Risk Mitigation Plan"; the table is also available on

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.

Innovate in Free Knowledge

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.  

Annual plan with the three main changes we want to implement and the working directions for 2022-2024 Wikimedia Italia strategy

Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation[edit]

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

(Please refer to the attachment "Learning questions" for the list of learning questions, the hypothesis and the planned metrics; the table is also available on

Please refer to the attachment "Metrics" for further details on how metrics are calculated).

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
Institutions contacted Number of institutions monitored on Wikidata and contacted to involve them in a Wikipedia communication campaign to collect open content for Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects 3000
Institutions reached Number of institutions which reply to us with a positive or negative answer. We collect also attitudes, motivations and needs 900
Institutions involved Number of institutions which provides us with content 500
People contacted collaborating with institutions Number of people contacted working with institutions 1000
People involved Number of people involved indirectly in the Wikimedia projects, by producing content with open licenses and tools 600

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 Number of institutions that publish an open license on their website or an open access policy 100
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 Volunteer work of the project coordinator (lead) for 328 hours and 15 volunteers for an estimate of 5 days each for a total of 600 hours 900

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 Number of people involved indirectly in the Wikimedia projects, by producing content with open licenses and tools. We measure their involvement through our form and survey 600
Number of editors Please note that the project triggers indirect contribution to the Wikimedia projects (see above). We envision the participation of 15 volunteers. 15
Number of organizers Please refer to the project team. We also plan to involve other 15 volunteers (not counted in this target). 11
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikidata Curated item on Wikidata for all Italian museums and heritage institution with upload of statistical and research data related to the collections, the propriety, the digitalisation process, open access policy... We can monitor the list of curated item with a code but Wikidata doesn't allows us to report details on changes (this is real obstacle for producing relevant metrics) 3000
Wikimedia Commons Images provided by the institutions involved and uploaded on Wikimedia Commons 12000
Wikipedia We expect articles on Wikipedia in Italian to be improved with data, content and images produced by the projects. We monitor this data. We expect that 20% of the articles related to institutions involved in the project will be improved. 100

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?

We monitor content on the Wikimedia projects with our specialised team and by using existing GLAM tools (this project coordinator was involved in implementing the visualization of Cassandra at the beginning of the project and we are currently discussing with Wikimedia CH possible collaborations to make this tool more widely available). Qualitative and quantitive analysis is also implemented by the three researchers involved in the project. Furthermore we use our form and survey as a tool to collect specific information.

Wikimedia Italia has also been working on several observatory with visualization of data (please refer for data related to heritage to and for data related to Wikipedia articles and their quality to

Please note that it is not possible to properly monitor Wikidata and it would be really important to implement tools which allow to monitor changes also on this project.

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.

80160 EUR

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

87291.03 USD

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

Please find attached the budget. The budget is also available here

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

Addressing all Italian museums and heritage institutions is a challenge, but it is also a powerful strategy to involve a wide variety of institutions, people and geographical areas. Each institution represent a source of knowledge and a network: envisioning to involve the largest number of institutions is an inclusive and game-changer strategy.

The project and its budget are designed to involve a large team of junior and senior experts, to bring all the multidisciplinary skills necessary to implement this strategy and to work over 2 years to have sufficient time to develop all the necessary activities. The project relies on previous experiences and benefits from the economic commitment of Wikimedia Italia.

Having the support of the Wikimedia Foundation strengthen the project, it allows this initiative to involve an international network and to work at an international level. It transforms the project from a local initiative to a pilot practice which targets the movement and which is developed to facilitate its potentialities and scalability.

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

Other public document(s): Proposal with tables

Folder with all the documents uploaded

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.