Grants:Project/Rapid/Doctor 17/BhutanWiki/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2018-19 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Rapid/Doctor 17/BhutanWiki.
  • You may still comment on this report on its discussion page, or visit the discussion page to read the discussion about this report.
  • You are welcome to Email rapidgrants at wikimedia dot org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went? Yes. The goals were modest, just to introduce a key group of Bhutanese to the protocols of publishing on English Wikipedia, make them aware of the Dzongkha site, and start a conversation in the country about the world of possibilities Wikipedia might bring to different communities. I also wanted feedback that would help me design a larger project, for which I will seek further funding. All these goals were met. The participants were enthusiastic and focused, highly educated and skilled in writing Dzongkha, but with varying levels of English writing capabilities. The host, Bhutan Media Foundation, chose the participants and were themselves very enthusiastic, viewing Wikipedia training as improving media literacy and therefore part of their royal mandate. They posted reports and photos across a range of media - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as their own website [1] which worked very well to create a buzz in the community. They considered it a great success and would like to host more in future.


Please report on your original project targets.

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
Introduce a key group in Bhutan to the world of Wikipedia The training introduced 11 journalists and editors from Dzongkha publications in Bhutan to English and Dzongkha Wikipedias Bhutan Media Foundation chose these participants as they are highly placed within the Dzongkha community and this training was intended to create awareness amongst them of Wikipedia, particularly the Dzongkha site which was launched in 2008, but after an initial burst of articles, has become dormant. By teaching this group the protocols of English Wikipedia, they would be able to transfer those skills to the Dzongkha platform.
It is the first step towards a longer term goal of building an editing community It helped me work out how I might proceed in creating editing communities in future. The cohort worked solo, in pairs and in groups, collaborating on articles, discussing and sharing as they went, which created a lively atmosphere. It was clear everyone enjoyed the process.


Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:

  • What worked well?

The first step was for each of the groups (or solos) to create a user page with their Wikipedia name and then a banner declaring them as Bhutanese, a member of the Bhutan-Wiki project and a Dzongkha speaker. This was easy and they could immediately see results and, hopefully, feel part of a new Bhutanese community of editors. The second task was to make minor edits to pages on Bhutan. I provided a range of printed materials - Bhutanese books, newspaper cuttings and magazines - for them to add a line or two and a reference to existing pages. This introduced them to wiki mark-up language and gave them immediate results.

  • What did not work so well?

Creating new articles in English. If I had another day, or another session the following morning, we could have worked on that. But they needed to finish by 4pm.

  • What would you do differently next time?

Probably run it for another day, but I'm not sure that is feasible. These journalists came during their workday. It's a big ask of their employers. Perhaps an evening session for those interested?


Grant funds spent[edit]

Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.

The funds were spent as specified:

  • US$600 to Bhutan Media Foundation to cover costs of hiring the hall at Journalists Association of Bhutan, catering, internet, etc.
  • My costs were around US$274.

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

Yes, US$509 that was intended for bringing in a trainer from India. I will return it.

Remaining funds from this grant have been returned to WMF in the amount of US$486.27 (reflects bank fee deducted from total amount wired).

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project? After the session, I immediately re-edited my slides according to the questions asked during training and provided them to BMF, at their request. We had a debrief the following day - members of the BMF executive and myself - to discuss the training and everyone was on a high. The Facebook page was generating lots of comments, with other Bhutanese journalists wanting to know when would be the next training day, why weren't they included, as well as questions asking about the Dzongkha Wikipedia. BMF's use of social media to publicize the training was extremely effective.