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Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/Project Walenisi - Exploring Rehabilitation Centres As Pillars of Government Sponsored Open Knowledge Community Building

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statusnot funded
Project Walenisi - Exploring Rehabilitation Centres As Pillars of Government Sponsored Open Knowledge Community Building
start and end datesJuly 1 2022 - June 30 2023
budget (USD)40,000-50,000 USD
applicant(s)• Teri Wanderi



Applicant's Wikimedia username. If one is not provided, then the applicant's name will be provided for community review.

Teri Wanderi

Project title

Project Walenisi - Exploring Rehabilitation Centres As Pillars of Government Sponsored Open Knowledge Community Building

Entity Receiving Funds

Provide the name of the individual or organization that would receive the funds.

Teri Wanderi

Research proposal[edit]


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.

Project Aims:

The project will seek to explore the impact of introducing computer technology skills focusing on open infrastructure to Kenya's Eligible Prison Population as a substitute to the current manual labor work that they primarily engage in. If successful, this would create a strategy to onboard more diverse wikimedia contributors while creating a dignified way of preparing their prisoner population for re-entry into society.

The Problem:

Kenya is trying to grow its Wikimedia community but faces various challenges getting contributors who can consistently make an impact - many have to choose between earning a living to survive vs explore activities like knowledge contribution.

The Opportunity:

There are approximately 42,000 prisoners in Kenya, many of whom serve sentences of at least 6 months engaging in various manual works as part of rehabilitation. These prisoners have the time and resources - digital literacy, access to computers and the internet - that majority of our current volunteers lack. The average computer course takes about 4 months to complete. Prisoners would constitute a readily available user base, many are aged between 26-50 years - the median age of wikimedian contributors is between 35 to 44 years in creating a new group of diverse contributors who are unhindered by the key challenges faced by contributors in Kenya.

Previous Attempts:

There is no prior recorded attempt of this specific combination of digital literacy, open infrastructure and contribution to the open knowledge movement.


This research would be explored through literature review, interviews with prison officials, prisoners, representatives whose areas have the highest prison per resident count, technical experts on the security concerns of this approach and then proposed findings for developing a government first sponsored framework to piloting this proposal.


Many governments prefer when someone else does most of the leg work and then tells them where to point, what to fund and how it will make them look good. If we can find clarity around the state of prisoner computer literacy and establish a framework in which they can actively contribute to open knowledge as part of their rehabilitation, we could grow the Kenyan Wikimedia community more diversely. If successful, this could be a model adapted by other African nations looking for a dignified way of preparing their prisoner population for re-entry into society.


Approximate amount requested in USD.


Budget Description

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

  • A team of 5 whose salaries, operational stipends and benefits amount to 15,000;
  • field auditors, police security and local guides amounts to 19,000;
  • Computers and mobile phones total to 5,500
  • Software for data collection, analysis and reporting at 4,000
  • Open Access Publishing Costs are free for individuals. Publishing on free to read blogs is estimated at 1,600.
  • To ensure there are no issues around extractive knowledge, a honorarium shall be provided to respondents.

This totals to 4,000


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.

Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy Recommendations

Identify Topics for Impact

Greater diversity in contributors means potential for more unexplored topics core to filling in African Knowledge gaps - many are knowledgeable in their own culture and this would be one way to preserve undocumented African knowledge.

Ensure Equity in Decision-making

Greater diversity means people who are turning their life around still get to be heard when it comes to knowledge contribution

Increase the Sustainability of Our Movement

Inclusion of contributors with a consistent amount of time and skill to create necessary impact that if scaled, could solve the volunteer challenges currently faced in Africa


Plans for dissemination.

The findings will be converted into a report book with 4 parts - Top Sheet, Executive Summary, Research Findings & Profile Interviews. These will be distributed mainly through social media and as downloadable documents across various platforms in line with creative commons and open knowledge standards + best practices.

Scaled down versions may be published in daily news papers, magazines, blogs and sector specific organizations and possible government websites pending approval and access.

Past Contributions[edit]

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.

Ongoing contribution is as part of the Kenya Wikimedia Community. We are working to grow the community in Kenya since 2020 and have made some progress through meetups and editathons like the Afro Cine project. I have done some work with Invest in Open Infrastructure to explore the impact of governments on open infrastructure (report pending release). The research contributed to exploring the idea of empowering prisoners to be potential open knowledge contributors.

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.