Grants:Project/Rapid/Reda Benkhadra/Innovate in Free Knowledge

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Reda Benkhadra/Innovate in Free Knowledge
This proposal seeks to conduct a research to look into the state of Open/Free knowledge in the Middle East and Africa (MEA). In particular, I will consult with Wikimedia communities across projects and languages to determine key priorities for work to reduce the knowledge gap in the region.
targetThe project will impact the communities and Wikimedia projects in Africa and the Middle East.
start dateMarch 14th
start year2022
end dateJune 30th
end year2022
budget (local currency)31.619 MAD
budget (USD)3.453 USD
grant typeIndividual
granteeReda benkhadra
contact(s)• rbenkhadra1(_AT_)

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?

  • 41: Continuous experimentation, technology, and partnerships for content, formats, and devices :

This proposal seeks to conduct a research to look into the state of the Open/Free Knowledge in the Middle-East and Africa (MEA) in order to develop an understanding of the challenges of the communities and projects and search for ways to address them.

This region, with a great potential, is today exclusively covered and represented within our movement by User Groups, which are affiliates acting voluntarily and lacking the resources to move forward.

Reducing the knowledge gap in highly oral tradition societies require a special attention in order to 1) support affiliates in local content partnerships 2) develop tools and pathways along stakeholders outside the movement, particularly the GLAM and 3) address the needs of sister projects and low-resourced Wikipedias.

The study also intends to define priority action areas, and determine how a better resource allocation can benefit to those communities and projects (in light of the recent regionalization of funds).

Project Background[edit]

  • When do you intend to begin this project and when will it be completed?
  • Start date: 14 March 2022, End date: 30 June 2022
  • Where will your project activities be happening?
  • The project will fully take place online.
  • 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.
  • Affiliates, Wikipedians and Free Knowledge communities in the region will be engaged and consulted during different stages of the study in the view of preparing the implementation plan (see activities section).
  • What specific challenge will your project be aiming to solve? And what opportunities do you plan to take advantage of to solve the problem?

The challenges that this project aims to address:

  • Lack of information on the state-of-the-art of Free Knowledge : Little literature is available on the situation of Free Knowledge in the MEA region. Having enough information on the general background is crucial to better understand how Wikimedia movement fits into it.
  • Endangered knowledge systems in the region : UNESCO has compiled a list of endangered languages that require preservation and documentation. 380 languages have been identified in the MEA region. These languages are not only means of communication, but bear witness to the knowledge and know-how of several generations. Each language is reflective of the existing knowledge system within the community, as is the case with disaster management knowledge that has been crucial in times of pandemic.
  • Underdevelopment of (Wikimedia) sister projects and low-resourced Wikipedias especially in Africa : Wikipedia's centrality overshadows the other sister projects and their developments, and even in some cases smaller versions of Wikipedia are doomed to stagnate. Efforts to keep them alive are scattered.

The opportunities that this project aspires to seize:

  • Readiness of communities and affiliates to collaborating : Based on the conversations with the community at both WikiArabia and WikiIndaba 2021, during which the present subject was introduced, attendees and affiliates' members expressed a particular interest to continue the reflection around the thematic and participate in the elaboration of adequate action plans.
  • High interest in establishing partnerships and GLAM-related collaborations : Wikimedia User groups and projects in the region aim to grow by having local partners alongside them to document local culture, preserve knowledge and improve content.
  • Desire to enhance current tools and platforms : At various stages of the 2030 Strategy iteration, communities across this region have made several suggestions and recommendations for improving the current Wikimedia platforms and related tools.
  • Does this project aim to apply one of the examples shared in the call for grants and if so which one?
  • N/A

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.
  1. Exploration and background documentation : Conducting a desk research to gather preliminary information on Free knowledge in the MEA.
  2. Data collection: Facilitating focus groups and one-on-one interviews to exchange with community members and get their perspectives on the subject and the three aforementioned areas.
  3. Data analysis: Sorting and synthesizing the gathered data, and drawing first conclusions.
  4. Prioritization and defining action plan: Designing and disseminating a community survey to set the priorities (based on the outcomes of previous phase), and preparing an adequate road map.
  5. Report finalization, wrap-up and publication on Meta.
  6. Translation of the document into Arabic and French.
  • 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
  • I will communicate advancements and outcomes of the study to the community through different channels, such affiliates' mailing lists, village pumps, as well as Telegram groups, etc. Meetings/Conversation hours will also be organized to share the results of the study and interact with User groups' members and interested individuals, who will then be able to disseminate it to the communities of their regions in their local languages.
  • Who will be responsible for delivering on this project and what are their roles and responsibilities?

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.
  • If your activities include in-person events or activities, you will need to complete the steps outlined in the Risk Assessment protocol. Please provide a link to your completed copy of the risk assessment tool.
  • N/A
  • If your activities include the use of paid online tools, please describe what tools these are and how you intend to use them.
  • N/A
  • 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.
  • N/A
  • 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.
  • N/A


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:


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!

  • Research (time needed to review, perform analysis, or investigate any information needed to support implementation ideas or planning): 1764 USD (84 hours, at a rate of $21/hour)
  • Facilitation (facilitation time including facilitator preparation, meeting facilitation time, and debriefing): 630 USD (30 hours, at a rate of $21/hour)
  • Documentation (document preparation time, time spent documenting of discussion, post-meeting work): 210 USD (10 hours, at a rate of $21/hour)
  • Translation (translation costs for briefs and global materials): 672 USD (32 hours, at a rate of $21/hour)
  • Coordination (coordinator work to manage or support multiple workflows to prepare for meeting): 168 USD (8 hours, at a rate of $21/hour)
  • Other: Bank transfer fees : 9 USD

TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED IN USD: $3453 (31.619 MAD, OANDA November 15th)


Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!