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Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Research Fund/The Impact of Wikidata-powered Infoboxes on Minority and Low-resourced Language Wikipedias in Africa

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statusnot funded
The Impact of Wikidata-powered Infoboxes on Minority and Low-resourced Language Wikipedias in Africa
start and end datesJuly 2023 - July 2024
budget (USD)27,280 USD
fiscal year2022-23
applicant(s)• Sadik Shahadu, Abdul-Rasheed Yussif and Mohammed-Kamaldeen Fuseini



Sadik Shahadu, Abdul-Rasheed Yussif and Mohammed-Kamaldeen Fuseini

Affiliation or grant type

Dagbani Wikimedians User Group


Sadik Shahadu, Abdul-Rasheed Yussif and Mohammed-Kamaldeen Fuseini

Wikimedia username(s)

Sadik Shahadu: User:Shahadusadik

Abdul-Rasheed Yussif: User:Din-nani1

Mohammed-Kamaldeen Fuseini: User:Dnshitobu

Project title

The Impact of Wikidata-powered Infoboxes on Minority and Low-resourced Language Wikipedias in Africa

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.

It's mostly complicated and not so easy to add infobox templates to Wikipedia articles, especially for newcomers and other contributors who don't know much about editing Wikipedia templates. This has become especially hard for Wikipedias in smaller languages that don't have infobox templates already set up. One of the best ways to add an infobox to a Wikipedia article is to modify an existing template to match the new topic or article. This process can be tedious and time-consuming.

A Wikipedia infobox is a fixed-format table that is usually added to the top right corner of an article to summarize something that all the articles have in common and to make it easier to find related articles. A databox, on the other hand, is a sidebox in an article that is powered by Wikidata and has either illustrative or structured data.

Although some efforts have been made to address this challenge by teaching volunteers how to create or edit Wikipedia templates, infoboxes, and Wikitexts, there is a need for us to learn more about how a Wikidata-powered infobox can help address this challenge.

During the 2022 Celtic Knot conference, I co-facilitated a 2-hour Databox session led by Lea (formerly of Wikimedia Deutschland) to introduce participants to Wikidata-powered infoboxes (Databox). While there was a lot of interest from the communities that attended the session, we currently don’t have a good idea of how useful databox is for smaller and under-resourced African language Wikipedias, the importance of linking Wikidata items to Wikipedia articles, or the use of databox on African language Wikipedias.

In this study, the Dagbani Wikimedians User Group will engage 12 African language Wikipedias selected from West Africa, East Africa, and North Africa Wikimedia communities to learn more about the impact of Wikidata-powered infoboxes on African language Wikipedias.

The focused languages for this research project are Dagbani, Swahili, Hausa, Ibo, Twi, Yoruba, Gurene-gur (incubator), Moore-mos (incubator), Ghanaian Pidgin-gpe (incubator), Fante-fat (incubator), Suomi-fon (incubator), and Berber Wikipedia.


  • Léa Lacroix User:Auregann, Project Consultant, Formerly with Wikimedia Deutschland, Italy.
  • Jon Harald Søby, User:Jon Harald Søby (WMNO) Project Advisor, Wikimedia Norge, Norway
  • Mohammed Sadat Abdulai, User:Mohammed Sadat (WMDE), Project Advisor, Wikimedia Deutschland
  • Alhassan Mohammed Awal, User:Alhassan Mohammed Awal, research interview, Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, Ghana
  • Musah Fuseini, User:Musahfm, research interview, Dagbani Wikimedians User Group
  • Fuseini Mugisu Suhuyini, User:Sir Amugi, Communications, Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, Ghana
  • Abdul-Rafiu Fuseini, User:Alhaj Darajaat, research interview, Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, Ghana
  • Zakaria Raha, User:Zak Raha, Report Documentation, Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, Ghana
  • Rukaya Hamida, User:Ruky Wumpini, Research interview, Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, Ghana
  • Abdul-Wadudu Alhassan User:Achiri Bitamsimli, Research interview, Dagbani Wikimedians User Group, Ghana


Approximate amount requested in USD.

27,280 USD

Budget Description

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

Consultancy and Data Analysis: USD 100/hr * 30 hrs = USD 3,000

Salary = 12 * 1400 = USD 14,400

Stipends for research design and data collection = 6 * 300 = USD 1,800

Communication and social media management = USD 1,000

Data allowance for research participants = 24 * 20 = USD 480

Software = USD 1,000

Report and documentation = USD 600

Administrative and bank charges = USD 2,000

Conference and travel expenses = USD 3,000

Total = 27,280


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 goal of the research is to collect and analyze data about the impact of Wikidata-powered infoboxes on smaller language Wikipedias. The findings will provide a starting point for further research and development of new solutions related to goal 2 of the 2030 Wikimedia Strategic Direction for contributors to small-language Wikipedias in Africa, which is to improve user experience.

This research will help us identify barriers for small-language Wikipedias, especially those that are related to adding infoboxes and editing templates on Wikipedia articles.

The findings from this research will lay the foundation for further work to support small language communities in Africa.


Plans for dissemination.

The outcome of this research will be announced on Wikimedia mailing lists

We plan to publish the findings of this research as an open-access material on our website dagbaniwikimedians.org

We plan to publish the research results on Meta.

We plan to present this research at Wikimedia conferences such as Wikimania, Wiki Indaba, and WikidataCon.

The outcome of this research will enable further studies or provide support for other communities interested in conducting similar research.

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.

Sadik Shahadu: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project/MSIG/WMNO/Language_Diversity_Hub

Sadik Shahadu:https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Gender_and_cultural_diversity_on_Wikimedia_Commons

Sadik Shahadu: https://rising.globalvoices.org/digital-security-language/

Sadik Shahadu: http://www.asianjde.com/ojs/index.php/AsianJDE/article/view/462


Set up your first Wikidata-powered infobox on your wiki with Databox - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35s0XXPrWzQ


How to add databox to Wikipedia articles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXT8Pt9MLa8

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.