Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/“S-gâb diiste” (Zapotec knowledge)

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statusnot funded
“S-gâb diiste” (Zapotec knowledge)
start and end datesJuly 2023 - July 2024
budget (USD)4,800 USD
fiscal year2022-23
applicant(s)• Rodrigo Pérez



Rodrigo Pérez

Affiliation or grant type



Rodrigo Pérez

Wikimedia username(s)

Project title

“S-gâb diiste” (Zapotec knowledge)

Research proposal


Description of the proposed project, including aims and approach. Be sure to clearly state the problem, why it is important, why previous approaches (if any) have been insufficient, and your methods to address it.

The traditional knowledge of native peoples constitutes a vast source of information that has allowed them to face various problems throughout their history, for example, adapting to climate change, health, among others. This adaptation has its origin in a large part of the knowledge that has been transmitted from generation to generation and that, with the arrival of COVID-19, reaffirmed that this knowledge, together with traditional government systems and social networks reinforce the idea of that it is possible to collectively respond to change and build resilience in other populations.

Much of this knowledge is not available to the rest of the world due to various obstacles, one of which is the requirement that the traditional knowledge of native peoples meet the requirements of scientific knowledge. Wikimedia itself, in its Movement Strategy 2023, indicates that, “due to the characteristics of Wikipedia, they have produced a successful body of encyclopedic, descriptive and fact-based written knowledge, but they have also limited the content that it can include. For example, due to the inability to comply with the visibility and referencing policies, some issues related to underrepresented and unrepresented communities are left aside, such as indigenous peoples who have not historically held positions of power and have not been able to create the infrastructure to document it by the same methods”.

To overcome this barrier, the project ""S-gâb diiste"" (Zapotec Knowledge, in English) seeks to create a model for incorporating the knowledge of the original Zapotec peoples into the Wikipedia platform, starting from the worldview and collective construction of the people. Zapotec from the South Central Sierra of Oaxaca. To meet this objective, three lines are proposed: 1) Discuss collectively about the guidelines and the most important characteristics of the traditional knowledge of the Zapotec people that are sought to be shared on Wikipedia, 2) Generate relevant recommendations to strengthen the inclusion of traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples on Wikipedia and open digital media and 3) Collect and share 20 case studies (web pages) on indigenous traditional knowledge using their own methodologies (for example, oral quotations, co-production of knowledge, iconography, among others that arise from the query).


  • A.Investigador asociado estudio: Seguridad digital en poblaciones indígenas: Estudio de caso: Zapotecos de México. Global Voices, enero a diciembre 2022. (Autor de artículo).
  • B. Desarrollo de una caja de herramientas en materia de remesas, inclusión financiera y acceso a servicios. Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM). 7 de junio al 31 de septiembre 2022 (Autor).
  • C. Especialista en resiliencia social y ambiental, Proyecto Cerrando Brechas: Protección Social para las Mujeres en México”, Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO). 23 de septiembre de 2021 – 31 de enero de 2022 (Consultor)
  • D. Contratista Individual para el Diagnóstico sobre el acceso al autoempleo regular de personas migrantes con diferentes condiciones de estancia en México. Organización Internacional de las Migraciones (OIM). 20 de mayo de 2021 – 18 agosto 2021. (Autor)
  • E. Contratista Individual para la “Consultoría Estudio sobre la participación de los pueblos y comunidades indígenas y las personas afrodescendientes y afromexicanas en la Administración Pública Federal (APF). Requerido por el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo y la Secretaría de la Función Pública. 24 de junio de 2020 – 30 de noviembre de 2020. (Autor)
  • F. Investigador principal para la realización del estudio: Exploración de las mejores prácticas para la creación de conocimiento libre en lenguas indígenas en Wikipedia, financiado por la Fundación Wikimedia y Rising Global Voices. Noviembre 2016 – mayo 2017 (Autor)


Approximate amount requested in USD.

4,800 USD

Budget Description

Briefly describe what you expect to spend money on (specific budgets and details are not necessary at this time).

The requested budget will be used to pay for two community workshops in two locations, which includes payment for the venue, food services, and transportation payment for people (500 USD). USD 300 will be used for transportation expenses of the researcher to the workshops and visits to the locations (at least 5) to collect information for the case studies and USD 4000 will be used to pay seven months of fees (571.42 per month).


Address the impact and relevance to the Wikimedia projects, including the degree to which the research will address the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction and/or support the work of Wikimedia user groups, affiliates, and developer communities. If your work relates to knowledge gaps, please directly relate it to the knowledge gaps taxonomy.

The proposed project meets the recommendation: Innovate in free knowledge of Wikimedia's 2030 Strategy. The expected impact is that both Wikimedia and users have access to the knowledge of native peoples based on a model consulted, created and approved by these same populations. To do this, new methods will be used that will help Wikimedia to know more closely the needs of these populations and the changes that must be sought so this knowledge can be released into its platform and thereby contribute to various international agreements and the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), among others.


Plans for dissemination.

The results will be released through the creation of a Wiki (page?) on Wikimedia about the project and sharing its results in different media, social networks and institutions such as: Rising Voices, Surco AC, Juan Luis de Cordova Library, Center for Digital Culture of the City de México, Mozilla Nativo, Wikimedia México, among others. In addition to presenting the results in the community (San Andrés Paxtlán) and a scientific article will be published.

Past Contributions

Prior contributions to related academic and/or research projects and/or the Wikimedia and free culture communities. If you do not have prior experience, please explain your planned contributions.

In 2017, I developed the study Opportunities and challenges for free knowledge on Wikipedia, which has served as a reference for users and institutions seeking to create content in indigenous languages on digital platforms. The study has also been referenced by academia (four type A citations). I have also developed courses, workshops and studies related to the inclusion of indigenous languages in the digital environment: Firefox in Zapotec, digital security in indigenous populations, free software in Zapotec, electronic poetry in Zapotec, digital activism in indigenous languages, among others.

I agree to license the information I entered in this form excluding the pronouns, countries of residence, and email addresses under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0. I understand that the decision to fund this Research Fund application, the application itself along with all the information entered by my in this form excluding the pronouns, country of residences, and email addresses of the personnel will be published on Wikimedia Foundation Funds pages on Meta-Wiki and will be made available to the public in perpetuity. To make the results of your research actionable and reusable by the Wikimedia volunteer communities, affiliates and Foundation, I agree that any output of my research will comply with the WMF Open Access Policy. I also confirm that I have read the privacy statement and agree to abide by the WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.