Grants:Project/Rapid/Reem Al-Kashif/Wiki Science Competition 2017 Egypt/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Rapid Grant approved in FY 2017-18 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wiki Science Competition 2017 Egypt

Planning the contest was an intense, yet rewarding, activity. For convenience, I will briefly list below the steps taken in every stage.

I. Planning

Wiki science competition 2018 Egypt - Flyer

The planning for this competition started in December 2017 after I heard about the Science Photos Competition in Wikimania 2017. The original plan was having a local competition first then going up to the international competition that was happening in December 2017. Adjustments had to be made due to the short time I had for proposing the grant. Hence, I went for a local competition only. A local competition seemed like a good stepping stone, especially that scientific photography is a niche market that is even more niche in my community. It would spread awareness of this specific type of photography, create a buzz for the international competition, and create a base of new contributors in that area. This focus on science in Wikimedia was something missing in our community, so I decided to make it happen. To overcome the lack of awareness of scientific photography and funds to hold the competition, in December, 2017, I applied for a rapid grant to hold competition. The grant was approved on 20 December 2017. Hence, the competition was decided to start on February 15th, 2018 to March 15th 2018.

From December 2017 to February 2018, Kamal was working with presenters from different concerned organizations (like The Astronomical Society of Mahmoud Mosque (ASMM) & AstroTrips- logos are on the workshop flyer) for a workshop that was scheduled to take place during the competition to advertise it, spread awareness of Wikimedia and scientific photography, and get new contributors. I also created a Wiki landing page for the competition. When we got the green light, Kamal & I immediately looked for a venue, went to book it, contact speakers to arrange a suitable date and time, created the Facebook page for the competition, and started posting and advertising about it.

After a lot of work (reaching consensus on the date, booking the venue, getting snacks and beverages for the 4-hour workshop, printing flyers and certificates, borrowing microphone equipment, arranging the seating, getting a photographer for documentation, advertising the event on many related groups and pages on Facebook, replying to queries), on February 23rd, 2018, the workshop (flyer to the right) was held. Th Facebook event reached 9.4K people and 264 responses, the highest among all the other events by Wikimedia Egypt at the time. Although the event was free and open to all those interested to come, I had to create a registration form on Google Forms for people to sign-up before coming because of the standard venue capacity and safety issues. The form later came in handy when it was time to contact the winners. The workshop's agenda was posted to the Competition's Facebook page. The workshop's structure was that of consecutive smaller sessions with one expert talking about his area of expertise followed by another. In total, we had 5 expert photographers in astronomical, bird, wild life, macro, and architectural photography. In the middle of the workshop, there was a break for the attendees in which beverages and snacks were provided in the back of the room.

The number of registered people for the workshop was 79 while the actual number of attendees was 50 people (the max capacity of the booked venue). Many of the participants became contributors to Wikimedia after the workshop. It was honestly an eye-opening session into the world of scientific photography. The way speakers spoke about different areas of scientific photography and how their expertise got the audience engaged was truly one of the nicest things that has happened in this competition. In the workshop, we handed flyers about the competition and how to contribute to it. We also requested uploading the parts of the valuable presentations slides used by the expert speakers. The audience interacted with the speakers asking for photography advice and instructions as they had fun listening to their informative stories about scientific photography in Egypt. It was also a good opportunity to present the Egyptian User Group and its activities to more people. Kamal & I did this in our introduction of the competition (slides to the right). After the workshop, I took the remaining packed snacks and beverages to another Wiki event. We kept in contact with those interested through Facebook. I provided help with uploading the pictures and even personalized tutorials. The workshop definitely helped getting people's attention, however, more time was needed to get more participants to contribute to this new competition. Therefore, the end date was extended to March 31st, 2018.

Later on, we were still in contact with people replying to their queries regarding the results and the award ceremony. We were also in contact with a jury of photographers to get them to review the entries. The jury advised the results which were published on May 8th, 2018 and the winners were contacted.

Simultaneously, since the day the grant was approved, we were trying to get two things: 1. the funds & 2. photo donations from the organizations involved.

Currently, we are preparing for a small award ceremony using the little surplus we have.

II. Execution

Wiki Science competition 2018 Egypt - presentation
  • 07 December 2017 -> Grant proposed
  • 20 December 2017 -> Grant approved
  • 15 February 2018 -> Competition started
  • 17 February 2018 -> Workshop details announced & registration started
  • 22 February 2018-> Workshop timetable posted
  • 23 February 2018 -> Workshop held
  • 31 March 2018 -> Competition ended
  • 08 May 2018 -> Results announced
  • 10 June 2018 -> Funds received
  • 10 August 2018 -> Award ceremony
Winners & Attendees in Wiki Science Photo Competition Egypt

III. Follow-up

Wiki Science competition 2018 Egypt - Speakers & Jury members

Results were announced and winners were contacted. We still reply to queries on the competition's page. Kamal is still in contact with the donors to prepare and upload the photo donations. We are putting together a small award ceremony.

Update: On Aug 10th, 2018, I held a small celebration ceremony for the winners in a room in a co-working space that we rented for an hour (from 3:00 to 4:00pm Cairo time). I gave the certificates of appreciation that I made, the money awards, and provided snacks for the attendees. I used to get some quick feedback from the attendees on the spot, but I am also putting together a survey for them to take at home. After that, Kamal invited two top contributors to lunch with us to get more insights from them on how to improve the competition even more. They did provide useful information about what would motivate them and how to promote the competition more. Kindly find the financial details of that ceremony below.


Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?

  1. Goal no. 1 was "Add high-quality scientific pictures to Wikimedia Commons to be used on Wikipedia".

This goal was met as participants uploaded pictures to commons.

  1. Goal no. 2 was "Recruit new editors".

Almost all of the contributors to the competition were new to Wikimedia. Through guides like this and online help, they were able to make their first edits to commons.

  1. Goal no.3 was "Engage existing editors".

Only a few existing editors were engaged in the competition. Since this was the first competition of its kind locally, it was challenging to get the existing editors to help the newcomers and take time from helping the already established projects.

  1. Goal no. 4 was "Raising awareness of the use of Wikimedia in science"

The workshop that has been done in the beginning played a great role in this. Participants got to hear from many photography and Wikimedia experts on how scientific pictures belong to free use on Wikimedia.

Generally speaking, I would say that we met our goals. I am happy with how the competition went looking at the different challenges we faced and its novelty.


Please report on your original project targets.

Workshop group photo

Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
Number of participants: an organization donating pictures and about 10-15 individual participants Two donating organizations were involved (ASMM & AstroTrips) & 34 participants We promoted the competition well on Facebook, so we got more people & Kamal did a great job communicating with the organizations and speakers.
Number of photos uploaded to Wikimedia Commons: +250 131 photos The field of the competition added to how it is being held for the first time. The donors are also still preparing their photos, so they are not yet on commons.
Number of photos used on Wikimedia projects: +100 38 picture used on 62 pages in 4 Wikis (from GLAMorgan) It was not part of the contestants' duties to use the pictures on Wiki pages. I categorized and used as much as possible.


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?
    • Going for a local competition to get people's attention to this specific field of photography was a good idea since it spread awareness of that field, Wikimedia Egypt, and the international competition.
    • Communicating with donating organizations & speakers early makes it easier to get speakers/people to attend your event.
    • Having a venue in mind helps when it is time for booking. It cuts down time used in looking for suitable venues.
    • Creating a Facebook page for the competition, creating a Facebook event for the workshop, promoting the competition in related groups and pages works wonders in getting the word out.
    • Tasking a person with certain tasks they can do is helpful. For example, if someone lives near big discount stores, they should be getting the snacks and beverages and if someone has a big circle of relevant acquaintances, they should be responsible of contacting speakers and so on.
    • Having a Google Form for registration is a good idea to be able to contact those interested and the winners later on.
    • Having many experts in the different sections of scientific photography is a great idea. It helps catering for the different interests of the audience, eventually enriching the whole workshop.
    • The booked venue was big enough to accommodate a good number of attendees.
    • Having flyers about the competition and how to participate is very helpful. People usually need something to remind them of what they heard and give them contact details.
    • Giving a brief presentation about the local UG and its activities and the competition worked as a great introduction in the workshop.
    • Having a jury in place to review the photos helps when it is time to review the pictures.
  • What did not work so well?
    • Receiving the funds. In fact, it took over 5 months for us to receive the money. Had we waited until we get the funds, the competition might have never happened. We had to spend out of our own money which was really putting us under financial pressure.
    • The Wiki landing page was not really helpful since the competition was targeting new editors.
    • Having a second venue option would have been helpful especially in our case when prices went up in the venue we had in mind.
    • Having more posts and interaction on the Facebook page would have been even better for promotion and engagement.
    • Getting a paid Facebook ad would have helped a lot in making the competition more visible.
    • Getting a volunteer to take pictures of the event for documentation would have been better and less expensive than a photographer.
    • Having more people to help replying to queries would have taken a bit of load off our shoulders as messages can get overwhelming.
    • Letting people know in the beginning of the event that they can get snacks and drinks from the back of the room all the time not necessarily during the break might have been better for them to focus more.
  • What would you do differently next time?
    • Apply for the grant earlier.
    • Pay for a Facebook ad.
    • Organize photo taking and uploading meetups.


Grant funds spent[edit]

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

S/N Item Actual Quantity Estimated costs (EGP) Actual costs (EGP) Variances Notes
1 Day Workshop
1 Reserving Lecture hall in the Greek Campus for the workshops 1 2000 4150 please refer to here Capacity for 50 participants.
2 Snacks & beverages for the event refer to receipts 500 436.6 %
3 Getting a photographer for documenting the event and uploading to commons 1 1000 1000 0%
4 Certificates for the speakers in the Fundamentals of Scientific Photography Workshop (23 Feb 2018) 5 certificates 150 15 %
5 Flyers about the competition for the Workshop 80 copies 300 16
6 Ogranizer’s (Reem Al-Kashif) commuting 2 trips (to and from the venue) 300 31 %
Other project costs
7 Prizes for winners (1st place 250 USD, 2nd 200, 3rd 150 USD, 4th 100 USD) 4 12,425.5 12,390 %
- TOTAL PROJECT COST 16,675.5 EGP 18,038.6 EGP 1,363.1EGP **Forex rate used is $1 = 17.7, provided by the Central Bank of Egypt

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

Yes, we have 734 EGP remaining. We used them to print the certificates for the winners, put together a small award ceremony, but snacks for the attendees, and have lunch with the top contributors. Kindly find below all the financial details for the celebration.

Item Amount in EGP
Booking a co-working space for an hour (9 people attended) 90
Snacks and beverages for the celebration attendees 224.75
Lunch with two of the top winners 426.02
Reem's (organizer) metro commuting 6
Reem's taxi from store to venue to transport snacks 5
Tips for the snacks store staff for helping transporting the goods 5
Printing certificates & buying A4 envelopes for them 45
Total 802.77(&)

(&)The total spent was more than we had remaining and Kamal paid the amount left from his money.

Receipts sent over email. Pictures uploaded to Commons. Survey results will be added soon.

Commons Categories[edit]

  1. A category for the photos uploaded by the contestants.
  2. A category for documentation of the events in the competition.
  3. A category for the winning photos.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

My apologies for taking long to complete the report. I only received the funds on June 10th, 2018. It didn't make sense to write a report about how I spent money I haven't received yet before then.

Note: I don't know how to calculate the variances in the "grant funds spent" section.

Thank you for your time and effort.