Grants:Project/MSIG/Building the Language Diversity Hub

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WMNO/Building the Language Diversity Hub
Building on the work from previous proposals, building the Hub, improving the incubator and supporting communities.
targetSmall and new language communities using Wikimedia projects.
start dateJune
start year2023
end dateJune 30
end year2025
budget (local currency)USD 191000
budget (USD)191000
grant typeOrganization
non-profit statusyes
contact(s)• sadik(_AT_)• wikimedialanguagediversityhub(_AT_)
organization (if applicable)• Wikitongues on behalf of the Wikimedia Language Diversity Hub

Applications are not required to be in English. Please complete the application in your preferred language.

Project Goal[edit]

What will be the outputs of your project and how will those outputs contribute to advancing a specific Movement Strategy Initiative

Building the Language Diversity Hub

The goal of this project is to pilot the Language Diversity Hub by launching initiatives that will support emerging language communities, and improve the way knowledge and capacities are shared between the different language communities using Wikimedia projects. The vision of the Language Diversity Hub is to

  • Be the learning and onboarding spot for new language versions of Wikimedia projects.
  • Actively work to bring more languages into the Wikimedia movement.
  • Bring more awareness to the challenges experienced by emerging language communities and cultivate multilingual approaches across all movement strategy initiatives.
  • Actively support and further develop existing language communities.
  • Be a central point for collaboration for language-diversity projects both internally and externally to the Wikimedia movement.

What specific Movement Strategy Initiative does your project focus on and why? Please select one of the initiatives described here
Ensure Equity in Decision-Making -> Regional and thematic hubs: Although a hub will touch upon many different movement strategy initiatives, the core idea of this pilot is to explore a few different roles the Language Diversity Hub might take on. We have already documented many of the barriers for smaller language communities on Wikipedia, and through this work we hope to get an idea about what activities the hub can take on and make a difference, and which activities are less important parts of the Language Diversity Hub.

Project Background[edit]

When do you intend to begin this project and when will it be completed?
June 2023–June 2025

A rough timeline of the project:

June 2023–September 2023 Preparation and planning:
  • Defining grant criteria and setting up a grant committee.
  • Update the digital presence of the hub on Meta, prepare a website, establish social media, etc.
  • Prioritize tasks and resources needed for the coming year.
  • Choose a time for a Language Hub Meet-up.
October–December Outreach and communication, funding 1
  • information about grants and receiving and evaluating grant applications.
  • Begin the work of gathering an overview of tools, learning materials, and best practices developed by the different language communities.
January–March 2024 Distributing grants and providing support to projects.
April–June 2024 Outreach and communication, funding 2.
July–September 2024 Distributing grants and providing support to projects.

Evaluating progress in the first year. Prioritizing tasks and resources for the next year. Choosing a time and place for the second Langauge Hub Meet-up.

October–December 2024 Outreach and communication, funding 3.

Starting to prepare for the next funding round for the hub.

January–March 2025 Distributing grants and providing support.
April–June 2025 Funding 4, will be distributed at the end of the project period.
Before July 30 Prepare the project report.
Where will your project activities be happening?
This is a global hub, and the majority of the activity will happen online.

This project will stimulate the participation of underrepresented communities in Wikimedia conferences.

Are you collaborating with other communities or affiliates on this project? Please provide details of how partners intend to work together to achieve the project goal.
The project was initiated by the Steering Committee of the Wikimedia Language Diversity Hub. The Steering Committee is made up of a diverse group of Wikimedians with experience with small language communities. Since the beginning of August 2021, observer members of the steering committee have been included. Everyone engaged in language diversity is welcome to join our meetings as an observer. We will be actively reaching out to more affiliates to join the hub as part of building a structure for exchanging experience, knowledge, and capacities.
  • Wikimedia Norway took the initiative for the hub in 2021 and was responsible for the first research phase. For the piloting phase, Wikitongues will take over as the fiscal sponsor, taking on the responsibility of receiving the grant and being in charge of the transfer of funds to the right recipients. Wikitongues will contribute to the grant-making, and will keep their role as a member of the Steering Committee.
  • Wikimedia Norway will contribute in the role of a tech lead, leading the collaboration with one of our partners for this project. This role is filled by Jon Harald Søby, who is also a part of the Wikimedia Foundation Language Committee, a role where he will provide support for language versions in the incubator.
  • The project lead role will be held by Sadik Shahadu, who has been an active member of the steering committee since the beginning. He has broad experience in the whole process, from entering the incubator through graduating from it, as well as building up user groups and communities. He has had many different roles within the Wikimedia movement, and with organizations aligned with the movement.
  • Wikitongues have, through their work with community grants, built a solid infrastructure for transferring money to many countries. 75 % of the groups interviewed in the research phase said money was a limiting factor for their ability to contribute to Wikipedia. With Wikitongues as a fiscal sponsor, we are able to include grantmaking as a part of the hub's activities in the piloting phase.
  • A part of the piloting will be exploring how to establish collaborations with other affiliates and especially external partners. Examples of this include Giellatekno and Endangered Alphabets. Other potential partners might come along during this project period. Many of the barriers experienced by the smaller language communities are due to obstacles outside Wikimedia. To build a digital presence for these languages requires resources not found internally in our movement. On the other hand, many potential partners have the skills and resources, but they might lack the activists or the community needed to research, develop, test, or even implement their systems.
  • The first partnerships will primarily be about developing tools and resources to support the communities. In this early phase of the pilot, we will be open to exploring different kinds of collaborations and partnerships that, in some way, can support some or all of the small language communities. Providing a broad network of experts that can be tapped into when needed by someone in the community can be one of the services the Hub offers. Partnerships are a step towards that service.
  • Building a database of experts in linguistics and language technology is another way to build a network that can support the communities, and also the Language Committee and Wikitongues in their work.
What specific challenge will your project be aiming to solve? And what opportunities do you plan to take advantage of to solve the problem?
In the research phase, we documented several challenges that we believe the hub can contribute to solving. We still don’t know exactly what role the hubs will have in the movement, but we know that a structure that provides systematic support to the new, small, and under-resourced languages is needed. The key focus of this proposal is to look for ways we can use the hub-structure to solve those problems. The key problems we will address are:

Financial barriers: Many communities report that the economy is a limiting factor in their ability to contribute to the wiki-projects. They often don’t know about the opportunities for financial support, or they find it hard to apply for existing grants. We wish to build on Wikitongues’ experience and infrastructure for grantmaking, to make smaller grants available to communities that might otherwise struggle to access grants from other parts of the movement. During this period, we wish to explore if grantmaking to smaller communities will contribute to their growth and prosperity.

There is a need for more support for the smaller communities, both in terms of training, capacity building, and community building. Several of the barriers mentioned in the research report were related to this challenge. Building on the resources found in the steering committee and the hub network, we wish to explore several methods for skill sharing and capacity building in this project. We believe the hub can be a community that can support everyday issues, while also being an advocate for these communities.

Challenges with language technology limit the abilities of many contributors. Building on internal hub resources and actors in the network, we wish to explore the opportunity to build an infrastructure for creating keyboards and other digital tools that will benefit smaller languages on and beyond the Wikimedia projects.

Does this project aim to apply one of the examples shared in the call for grants and if so which one?

Project Activities[edit]

What specific activities will be carried out during this project? Please describe the specific activities that will be carried out during this project.
  • Grantmaking

We will set aside money for two grants: a general community grant and a conference grant. The community grant will have two application rounds every year, and the grant will be evaluated and followed up by a combined Wikitongues and hub committee. The grant is a way for us to provide resources as part of the support we offer. If, for example, a language community wishes to translate a part of MediaWiki, the hub can provide advice and practical support from the hub-network. We can also provide a grant for organizing a competition, a seminar, or buying the equipment needed to actually do it.

Working document for defining grants criteria


Year 1 Year 2
Number of applicants for grants 20 20
Number of different language communities receiving grants 6 6
  • Onboarding and follow up of new languages

We want to create a funnel for onboarding and supporting new language versions. This includes activities to attract new languages, systematic support in the incubator, and support during the transition from the Wikimedia Incubator to a fully-fledged wiki. The work will be a mix of active outreach, the implementation of online tools to facilitate onboarding, and personal follow up on the new language versions.

The first step will be to provide a registration form for requesting a new language version of Wikipedia. Links to the form can be accessible on relevant websites, such as the Language Diversity Hub meta-page, Wikitongues’ website, and the incubator main page. After registering interest in this form, someone from the hub will reach out and welcome them, and they will start sharing resources to get them started with the incubator. This is different from the process today, where there is no active contact with new people in the incubator, until they themselves ask for help.

The goal is to be able to identify needs and provide a community early in the process, which will give new language communities a faster onboarding and a flying start of their Wikipedia work

This support has been provided by the individual Language Committee members and some other volunteers on a volunteer basis for many years. The Language Committee is well represented in the Hub, and their knowledge and network have been essential for the research phase of the Hub. We believe that the responsibility of welcoming and supporting new language versions of Wikimedia projects is too big to rest solely on the shoulders of volunteers. Several members of the steering committee will contribute to this, and the budget post for project participants can be used for financing this work.


Activity Year 1 year 2
Languages are actively brought into the incubator. including languages that might be present on other wiki projects. 5 15
Languages followed all the way from the Wikimedia Incubator to a fully-fledged wiki. 5 12

  • Community support for existing language communities Tasks:

Gather an overview of tools, learning materials, and best practices developed by the different language communities. Gathering this in one place will increase the learning between the communities, and good practices might spread more rapidly. actively using the experiences and practices of different communities to inspire others, and using the grants to provide resources to go through with projects. One example of activities the hub can inspire others to do: experiences from Morocco. Sharing experiences within the community can happen through newsletters, channels on Wiki and social media, and open meetings for the hub.

In everything we do as a hub, our goal is to be inclusive and provide the network and community that contributors to larger language versions have in their own language. Some of these tasks can be funded over the project participants budget, as well as being a part of the role of the project lead.

  • Database of linguists

In many situations, we see that communities need access to language experts or linguists, and they might be hard to find. We also think that linguists and language activists are often unaware of how Wikimedia projects can be used in language activism. We wish to do active outreach to linguists and language activists, and create a database of people the hub can inform about current activities and reach out to when specific help is needed.


Year 1 Year 2
Linguists in databases with a proven interest in the hub work 15 30
  • Collaboration with external partners

Contribute to the development of language technology for smaller languages. We want to collaborate with Giellatekno and Endangered Alphabets, to see if we can develop a pathway to easily create keyboards and necessary language tools for smaller and underrepresented languages. This collaboration will show how the Wikimedia platforms can play a role in developing language technology, and will support bullet point 4 above as well.

  • The first meet-up for the Language Diversity Hub

Many participants have wished for a chance to meet physically, and have the time to work intensively together on several of these tasks. The meeting will be for the steering committee, including the observer members. Plans for the meeting will be made during the first period of the proposal.

How do you intend to keep communities updated on the progress and outcomes of the project? Please add the names or usernames of these individuals responsible for updating the community
Most of the activities described play a part in establishing the Language Diversity Hub as a central point for information and activities related to the new and smaller language communities in the Wikimedia movement. Communication about these activities could also be defined as an activity in itself and will be an important part of the work. Furthermore, we will also focus on communication targeted at growing the community, both inside the Wiki and outside. Methods for communication will be:

Regular meetings for the community, online, and offline when possible.

  • Establishing a Language Diversity Newsletter
  • Activity in relevant Telegram groups
  • Participating and sharing information in the Movement Strategy forum
  • Participating and presenting at Wikimedia conferences
  • Setting up a website, a G Suite account, and a newsletter system.
Who will be responsible for delivering on this project and what are their roles and responsibilities?
  • Fiscal sponsorship: Wikitongues
  • Project lead: Sadik Shahadu, supported by previous project lead Mali Brødreskift.
  • Tech Lead: Jon Harald Søby(Wikimedia Norge). His responsibility will be related to the technical support the hub provides, and his involvement in the Giellatekno-collaboration. Tasks will be further defined during the project period.
  • Project participants: The hub wishes to keep flexibility to hire people on shorter or longer contracts to achieve the goals of this ambitious proposal. This can help support capacity building in the language diversity community and provide opportunities to put in extra effort when needed. We wish to engage project participants from different geographical and linguistic regions to keep the team diverse and close to the communities we wish to reach with this hub. It is also a way of building capacity in different communities.

Grants committee: representatives from Wikitongues and the hub. Wikitongues will provide help and guidance in the process.

Additional information[edit]

If your activities include community discussions, what is your plan for ensuring that the conversations are productive? Provide a link to a Friendly Space Policy or UCoC that will be implemented to support these discussions.
We will follow the UCoC in all our community discussions.
If your activities include the use of paid online tools, please describe what tools these are and how you intend to use them.
Zoom for community online meetings, G suite for general communication, Website for documentation
Do your activities include the translation of materials, and if so, in what languages will the translation be done? Please include details of those responsible for making the translations.
We are working with a large number of different languages, and there will be a need for translation especially for Media Wiki interface as many of the language communities will be working to build their language Wikis. We will make information available in the MS forum for easy translation and communication across many of the language barriers.
Are there any other details you would like to share? Consider providing rationale, research or community discussion outputs, and any other similar information, that will give more context on your proposed project.

This proposal builds on the research we did in the last funding round, but it is also based on the extensive work done in creating the Movement Strategy Recommendations. With this proposal, we work for a more equitable distribution of power, resources, and opportunities. This will contribute to reaching our potential as a global movement. We will contribute to a better understanding of the vastness of contributions across different communities and languages and increase awareness among internal and external stakeholders so we, as a movement, can better support the newest members of our communities.

Governance Through this work, we will continue to build the organizational structure necessary to achieve a global, thematic hub that keeps the new and/or under-resourced language communities in focus. We have chosen not to focus on building governance yet, as we are afraid it might just increase the barriers to involvement for some groups. Instead, we wish to leave the hub to gain experience solving problems and building a network in the smaller communities first. We expect that with increased awareness of the problems we are addressing, and how the hub contributes to a solution, there will be more interest in contributing to the work of the hub as well. The hub is governed by the steering committee, which is open to everyone interested in this work. If we come into a situation where there is a need to vote to make a decision, it will be the original members of the steering committee that will have the right to vote. In relation to providing grants, governance will be important. That is why we will use the first three months to prepare guidelines for this process.


After your activities are complete, we would like to understand the draft implementation plan for your community. You will be required to prepare a document detailing this plan around a movement strategy initiative. This report can be prepared through Meta-wiki using the Share your results button on this page. The report can be prepared in your language, and is not required to be written in English.

In this report, you will be asked to:

  • Provide a link to the draft implementation plan document or Wikimedia page
  • Describe what activities supported the development of the plan
  • Describe how and where you have communicated your plan to relevant communities.
  • Report on how your funding was spent

Your draft implementation plan document should address the following questions clearly:

  • What movement strategy initiative or goal are you addressing?
  • What activities will you be doing to address that initiative?
  • What do you expect will happen as a result of your activities? How do those outcomes address the movement strategy initiative?
  • How will you measure or evaluate your activities? What tools or methods will you use to evaluate your activities?

To create a draft implementation plan, we recommend the use of a logic model, which will help you and your team think about goals, activities, outcomes, and other factors in an organized way. Please refer the following resources to develop a logic model:

Please confirm below that you will be able to prepare a draft implementation plan document by the end of your grant:

  • yes.

Optionally, you are welcome to include other information you'd like to share around participation and representation in your activities. Please include any additional outcomes you would like to report on below:

  • We welcome everyone with interest in small language communities to join our steerings committee meetings, or to get involved in any other way. Networking and connecting people and resources is possibly the most important aspect of the hubs.


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too! The budget is also accessible in this spreadsheet.

Your local currency Please select your local currency in E1 USD
Expense type Expense details Number of Units Unit Price (USD) Expense Total (USD) Total requested (USD)
Staff related expenses Project lead position year 1 1 15,000.00 15000 191000
Staff related expenses project lead position year 2 1 15,000.00 15000
Staff related expenses Tech lead position year 1 1 15,000.00 15000
Staff related expenses Tech lead position year 2 1 15,000.00 15000
Staff related expenses Project participants year 1 1 15,000.00 15000
Staff related expenses Project participants year 2 1 15,000.00 15000
Travel and accommodation Travels for hub-representations year 1 2 1000 2000
Travel and accommodation Travels for hub-representations year 2 2 1000 2000
Travel and accommodation LangDivHub Meetup year 1 1 20000 20000
Travel and accommodation LangDivHub Meetup year 2 1 20000 20000
Internet and services Zoom, G-suite, website, domain etc year 1 1 500 500
Internet and services Zoom, G-suite, website, domain etc year 2 1 500 500
Other Wikitongues Language Revitalization Accelerator year 1 20 1000 20000
Other Wikitongues Language Revitalization Accelerator year 2 20 1000 20000
Contingency and administrative cost Wikitongues admin overhead year 1 1 $8,000.00 $8,000.00
Contingency and administrative cost Wikitongues admin overhead year 2 1 $8,000.00 $8,000.00

Completing your application[edit]

Once you have completed the application, please do the following:

  • Change the application status from status=draft to status=proposed in the {{Probox}} template.
  • Contact strategy2030(_AT_) to confirm your submission, as well as to request any support around your application.


An endorsement from community members (especially from outside your community) will be part of the considerations when reviewing your application. Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

  • I Strong support Strong support this proposal by The Wikimedia language diversity hub Cdilalo47 (talk) 19:27, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorsed anything the Dagbani Wikimedians User Group is asking for, because of their hardwork and dedication to the work they do.
  • I strongly endorsed this proposal Thank you. Abdulai Iddrisu (talk) 19:22, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
  • IStrong support Strong support this project Ruky Wunpini (talk) 19:45, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
  • I Strong support Strong support this project Sir Amugi (talk) 19:37, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse this project Alooissah (talk) 19:42, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorsed this project,Language Diversity hub is actually up in doing!!!SIR SUCCESS (NAA JAHINFO) (talk) 19:45, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support -- I strongly support this application. Kambai Akau (talk) 20:21, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
  • I support this project because it will actively bring more languages into the Wikimedia movement. User: Fquasie 21:39, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
  • When you empower a language, you are giving it a new life, hence empowering the people. When this is approved and funded, it will be a gateway for advocacy and onboarding of new languages for digitization. At the end of the day, we would have achieved the providers of the total sum of human knowledge. I throw my Strong support Strong support for this. Dnshitobu (talk) 06:43, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
  • I Strong support Strong support this project Azorbli (talk)
  • Strong support Strong support I support this project because language is life, power and instrument of culture. It is the instrument of domination and liberation and it is the reflection of ourselves therefore when this project is funded, it will give way for other languages to come into the light. 14:45, 5 June 2023 (UTC)
  • I Strong support Strong support this project Azorbli (talk)
  • Strong support Strong support I support this project because language is life, power and instrument of culture. It is the instrument of domination and liberation and it is the reflection of ourselves therefore when this project is funded, it will give way for other languages to come into the light.Jemima2019 (talk) 14:47, 5 June 2023 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support From the very beginning of the work with the Language Diversity Hub we experienced immense gratitude from smaller communities just for taking on this challenge. Although it has been hard to pin-point exactly what the hub should do, the need for a place to connect, get support, learn and share experiences with communities with similar challenges were clear. In the research project we documented barriers and identified a lot of paths we can go down. Through the next phase of this work we will try some of these paths, while growing and building this structure that we now know as a hub or a pilot. I am very grateful I got to play a part of this work through my role in Wikimedia Norge. Now I look forward to take part as a volunteer, leaving space for Sadik Shahadu to take on a leading role, supported by the amazing people of the Steering Committee and Wikitongues and the rest of this fantastic Wikimedia community. Not only is my support for this project strong, I also strongly believe in the importance of this project for many underresouces languages of this world. I am committed to support the Language Diversity Hub in all the ways possible.Malikbr (talk) 09:50, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support As a language activist and Wikimedian, I'm thrilled to see the beginnings of real infrastructure for expanding linguistic diversity across the movement, which is necessary to truly achieve the Wikimedia Foundation's mission. I'm so happy LDH exists and is growing, and I'm proud that Wikitongues will have the opportunity to serve as the Hub's fiscal sponsor. Bogreudell (talk) 17:55, 21 July 2023 (UTC)