Grants:Project/Rapid/Shared Knowledge/Capacity development for underrepresented communities

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MK-SK/Capacity development for underrepresented communities
The project aims to develop capacities for sustaining the Aromanian and Balkan Romani Wikipedias, as well as to enable the people with hearing loss who use the Macedonian Sign Language to contribute to the Wikimedia projects.
targetAromanian Wikipedia, Balkan Romani Wikipedia, Macedonian Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata
start date1 June
start year2022
end date31 January
end year2023
budget (local currency)18,100 EUR
budget (USD)19,752 USD
grant typeorganisation
organization (if applicable)• Shared Knowledge
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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

What specific Movement Strategy Initiative does your project focus on and why? Please select one of the initiatives described here
38. Content initiatives in underrepresented communities. Our project includes activities aimed at reaching out to the Aromanian-speaking and Romani-speaking communities in order to build Wikipedia communities which would sustain the growth of the Aromanian Wikipedia and the Balkan Romani Wikipedia in the long run. In addition, we plan to reach out to and create open knowledge for the community of people with hearing loss which uses the Macedonian Sign Language.

Project Background[edit]

When do you intend to begin this project and when will it be completed?
Start date: 1 June 2022 (flexible)
End date: 31 January 2023
Where will your project activities be happening?
The project activities will take place both in-person and online. There will be in-person workshops and edit-a-thons with members from Aromanian and Romani organisations, as well as from the National Association of Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Additionally, there will be online workshops, editing contests and other editing challenges which will be held online. Wikimedia projects which will benefit from the project activities are the Aromanian Wikipedia, the Balkan Romani Wikipedia, the Macedonian Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata.
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.
We plan to collaborate with the communities on the Aromanian and Balkan Romani Wikipedias, with affiliates from countries with sizable populations of Aromanian and Balkan Romani speakers, and with affiliates working towards greater language diversity.
  • The members of the two Wikipedia communities will provide more insights about the projects so that we can streamline our planned activities in order to support their future growth.
  • The affiliates from countries with sizable populations of speakers of these two languages will work to adopt our approach and expand our activities in their countries.
  • The affiliates working towards greater language diversity will share expertise on how to proceed with the development of sustainable Wikipedia communities.
In addition, we plan to partner with the following three organisations:
  • Union of Aromanian Culture in Macedonia. This organisation will make efforts to gather interested people in working on the Aromanian Wikipedia, find people who will make translations into Aromanian, identify resources in the Aromanian language, and provide technical support to people with special requests.
  • Romalitico. This organisation will make efforts to gather interested people in working on the Balkan Romani Wikipedia, find people who will make translations into Romani and identify resources in the Romani language, and provide technical support to people with special requests.
  • National Council of Disability Organisations of Macedonia. This organisation will make efforts to gather interested people from the community of people with hearing loss in working on the Macedonian Wikipedia and find language interpreters who will facilitate the public events.
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 include:
  • Community building. Since the communities on the Aromanian and Balkan Romani Wikipedias are almost non-existent and the number of native speakers of these two languages is gradually decreasing, the main challenge of our project is to conduct a research which will identify the native speakers and encourage them to build a community which would have to achieve sustainable growth of the two Wikipedias in the long run.
  • Identifying resources. Although Aromanian and Romani are constitutionally recognised minority languages in Macedonia, they are co-official only at municipal level, there is no full curriculum in either of the two languages and the body of written materials is extremely scarce. This poses difficulties to identify and access resources in these two languages in order to digitise them and put them to use for editing purposes.
  • Experimenting. The project activities aimed at aiding the users of the Macedonian Sign Language to get involved in editing the Wikimedia projects will involve the presence of a sign language interpreter during public events, which creates uncertainty regarding the efficiency of this innovative form of learning.
The opportunities that this project aspires to seize include:
  • Language preservation. The engagement of the Aromanian-speaking and Romani-speaking communities in editing Wikipedia is a good opportunity to prevent the decline of the number of native speakers and help speakers who are not fluent in using the language in written form to get proficiency in it.
  • Breaking barriers. The use of sign language interpreters during public events will facilitate the process of instructing members from the community of people with hearing loss and it will practically break all barriers which prevent these people as a disadvantaged group from accessing this form of learning.
  • Community growth. The outreach to the Aromanian-speaking and Romani-speaking communities opens up an opportunity for sustained long-term community growth of two very small Wikipedias in two underrepresented languages, and the inclusion of the community of people with hearing loss by providing universal access to all forms of learning increases the base of potential editors on the Wikimedia projects in the future.
Does this project aim to apply one of the examples shared in the call for grants and if so which one?
Yes, partly. We plan to implement elements from both the research and planning examples in order to proceed with the outreach to the underrepresented communities.

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.
The project will be implemented in three phases:
  • Research (from 1 June to 31 August 2022).
  • Implementation (from 1 September to 31 December 2022)
  • Evaluation (from 1 to 31 January 2023)
1) Research. The research phase aims to explore the current state of each community. Considering that the Aromanian and Romani language communities slightly differ from the Macedonian Sign Language community, there will be two different sets of questions in order to get information in accordance with their specifics. For instance, relevant information about the Aromanian and Romani language communities includes number of speakers, number of proficient users of the written language, number of local dialects, geographic distribution of speakers, age and education of speakers, availability of written materials in the languages, as well as specific needs regarding access to Internet and digital technologies; on the other hand, relevant information about the Macedonian Sign Language includes number of users, number of proficient users of the Macedonian language, geographic distribution of speakers, preference towards specific type of educational events, as well as specific needs that would allow the member of this community to actively participate. Romalitico, which is one of our partnering organisations in this project, has a years-long record of policy-oriented research on affairs concerned with the Romani-speaking community in Macedonia, so the expertise of this organisation will be of instrumental importance in shaping the research.
This phase will last three months, and it will include the following activities:
  • Conducting research. Surveys will be launched to identify the needs and possible involvement of native speakers of Aromanian and Romani languages, as well as users of the Macedonian Sign Language. Additionally, we plan to conduct a couple of interviews with the leaders of the partnering organisations in order to get a more comprehensive overview.
  • Analysing responses. Quantitative and qualitative methods will be applied to analyse the responses provided by participants in the research. The responses will have to clearly map the needs of the surveyed and interviewed communities, as well as show which directions should be taken in the future phases of the project and
  • Publishing results. The results from the research will be published both onwiki and by other means of communication in a form which will allow us to easily draw conclusions and shape the future courses of action.
2) Implementation. The implementation phase aims to use the knowledge acquired in the research phase in order to set up infrastructure for each community and plan activities which will suit the identified needs. In particular, we plan to develop capacities by organising workshops, edit-a-thons and writing contests as traditional activities with long history of successful implementation in the movement, but we also intend to experiment with novelties based on the findings from the research which will either calibrate these activities to address the specific needs of the communities or start off with completely new activities.
This phase will last four months, and it will include the following activities:
  • Activity planning. Activities will be planned on the basis of the results from the research. The results should not alter the main goals of the project, but they can impact the means by which the goals will be achieved.
  • Holding meetings. In-person and online meetings will be held with the partnering organisations throughout the entire course of the project. They will have to ease the processes of coordination, short-term planning and evaluation of activities.
  • Organising workshops. In-person and online workshops will be organised in order to introduce participants with Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects, to teach them how to edit Wikipedia articles, upload images to Wikimedia Commons and contribute to Wikidata, and to instruct them about the administration and governance of specific Wikimedia projects.
  • Building infrastructure. This activity will involve translation of Wikipedia pages and guidelines, as well as learning resources into Aromanian and Romani in order to build the necessary infrastructure for community building on the Aromanian and Balkan Romani Wikipedias.
  • Organising edit-a-thons. We plan to organise both in-person and online edit-a-thons in which participants will be trained to edit Wikipedia and will have the opportunity to edit articles under the mentorship of experienced Wikipedians.
  • Organising writing contests. We plan to organise writing contests in order to stimulate editors to work towards filling the content gap in thematic areas which are relevant for the speakers of Aromanian and the Romani languages. Additionally, we also plan to organise a writing contest in which eligible participants will be only members from the community of people with hearing loss.
  • Starting education programmes. Despite the fact that there is no full curriculum in the Aromanian and Romani languages, there are schools in which these two languages are taught as distinct subjects. Our intent is to connect with these schools in order to introduce the activity of editing Wikipedia as part of the curriculum of these subjects.
3) Evaluation. The evaluation phase aims to measure the project outcomes, identify the strengths and weaknesses from its implementation, as well as to communicate the results and tell the story with like-minded communities in the movement. In fact, the evaluation will have to clearly indicate how the state of these underrepresented communities changed as a result of the implementation of our project, whether the research-based planning of activities helped increase the value added, and what are the positive practices which can be replicated in the future by working with similar underrepresented communities. Concerning the reporting and storytelling as integral processes in this phase, we find it particularly important to use different forms and channels in order to reach to wider audiences in a more effective way.
This phase will last one month, and it will include the following activities:
  • Project evaluation.The project will be evaluated based on the activities implemented in the preceding phases in order to better plan similar projects and programmes in the future.
  • Reporting. The main findings from the evaluation along with a summary of the project's implementation will be reflected in the general project report which will be publicly available.
  • Storytelling. We intend to engage with storytelling by writing specific reports in which we will share our learning and positive practices from the project's implementation with the other communities in the Wikimedia movement.
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
  • On-wiki report. The implementation of the project will be summarised in a general report which will be published on Meta. (Kiril Simeonovski, Toni Ristovski)
  • Blog posts. Specific activities and events will be documented in blog posts and reports published on Diff and on the websites of the partnering organisations. (Nino Bogdanovski, Dean Lazarevski, members of the partnering organisations)
  • Public presentations. Presentations about the project activities will be delivered at in-person and online events. (Kiril Simeonovski, Toni Ristovski, members of the partnering organisations)
  • Guest appearances. Guest appearances in television and radio shows will be used to introduce the general public with the project and its activities. (Nino Bogdanovski, Dean Lazarevski, Kiril Simeonovski, Toni Ristovski, members of the partnering organisations)
  • Social media. Announcements about specific events will be published in groups on the social media in order to enable direct communication with interested people. (Nino Bogdanovski, Dean Lazarevski, members of the partnering organisations)
Who will be responsible for delivering on this project and what are their roles and responsibilities?
We plan to hire two part-time employees who will work on implementing the project, and we will also engage one staff member of Shared Knowledge to support some activities:
  • Nino Bogdanovski as Project Coordinator will be responsible for conducting the research, planning the activities in the project, communicating with partnering organisations, monitoring the development of the project and evaluating the project outcomes.
  • Dean Lazarevski as Events Coordinator will be responsible for planning and organising events, communicating with partnering organisations, communicating with the Wikipedia communities and promoting the project activities.
  • Ivan Żivkoviḱ as Administration and Logistics Community Coordinator of Shared Knowledge will be responsible for the administrative tasks related to the project.
The following community volunteers will support the implementation of the project:
  • Kiril Simeonovski
  • Toni Ristovski

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 abide by the Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct in every offline and online event. In order to ensure that the conversations are productive, we will prepare a standardised set of questions for the interviews, make a list of topics for discussion before every meeting, and make a clear schedule before every event.
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.
Yes, our activities include in-person events, but we need to find out the number of interested participants and their preferences, so the right timing for completing the Risk Assessment protocol would be after sometime after publishing the results from the research.
If your activities include the use of paid online tools, please describe what tools these are and how you intend to use them.
Yes, we consider purchasing a Zoom licence in order to use that tool to host online events.
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.
  • Aromanian language (Sterjo Papulii)
  • Romani language (Deniz Selmani & Marija Sulejmanova)
  • Macedonian Sign Language (Viktoria Volak)
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 project aims to reach out to underrepresented communities in order to get them involved in the Wikimedia movement. In particular, we plan to work with two types of underrepresented communities: 1) speakers of endangered minority languages and 2) people with disabilities. Of the first type, we intend to engage the Aromanian-speaking and Romani-speaking communities in Macedonia; and of the second type, our plan is to engage people with hearing loss from Macedonia who use the Macedonian Sign Language. The rationale for working with each of these communities is explained in turn.
  • The activities planned for the speakers of endangered minority languages will target the Aromanian-speaking and Romani-speaking communities in Macedonia with the goal of building Wikipedia communities in these languages. Aromanian and Romani are not official languages in any country of the world, very little efforts are done to promote and preserve these languages, and the Aromanian and Romani communities are subject to language assimilation, which ultimately results in declining figures of native speakers. The situation is similar in Macedonia where they are recognised minority languages and co-official at municipal level in some parts of the country, yet there is no full curriculum in either of the two and they are taught only as distinct subjects. As a result, many members of the Aromanian and Romani communities use Macedonian as their primary language, which results in declining fluency in their native languages, especially when it comes to writing. Furthermore, the Aromanian Wikipedia has less than 1,300 articles with only one administrator and no organised community, whereas the Balkan Romani Wikipedia is still in the incubator with very few contributions made from occasional editors.
  • The activities planned for the people with disabilities will target members of the deaf community in Macedonia who use the Macedonian Sign Language with the goal of getting these people involved in contributing to the Wikimedia projects. The projects and events organised in the Wikimedia movement create barriers for people with disabilities to learn and contribute to the Wikimedia projects. For instance, people with visual impairment are not able to learn from the written manuals, while people with hearing loss are not able to learn from presentations during workshops, edit-a-thons and conferences. Some efforts have been made to break this barrier for the people with visual impairment by producing audio files (e.g. Spoken Wikipedia), but very little has been done to provide access to learning and knowledge for the people with hearing loss. The community of people with hearing loss in Macedonia uses the Macedonian Sign Language as means of communication. While there are interpreters who can use this language to communicate with these people, there are not many instances in which this activity is provided, which prevents this group of disabled people from comprehending the discussions during public events.
The implementation of this project will have to contribute to the following two principles: 1) universal coverage and 2) universal access. Universal coverage will be furthered through the work with the Aromanian-speaking and Romani-speaking communities, whereas universal access will be provided through the work with the community of people with hearing loss.
A summary of information on the communities involved in the project is given in the box below.
Aromanian-speaking community

Romani-speaking community (specifically Balkan Romani)

Macedonian Sign Language community

  • Number of users: ~6,000 (2011)
  • Geographic distribution: Macedonia
  • Official status: Yes
  • Language edition of Wikipedia: not available
  • Other Wikimedia affiliates with potential interest in developing this community: GLAM Macedonia User Group


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!

Item Description Research phase Implementation phase Evaluation phase Total
Amount in € Amount in $ Amount in € Amount in $ Amount in € Amount in $ Amount in € Amount in $
Project Coordinator 15 hours weekly per €15/hour for 36 weeks 3,150 3,319 4,050 4,267 900 948 8,100 8,534
Events Coordinator 15 hours weekly per €10/hour for 18 weeks 0 0 2,700 2,845 0 0 2,700 2,845
Workshops 6 workshops per €150/workshop 0 0 900 948 0 0 900 948
Edit-a-thons 6 edit-a-thons per €150/edit-a-thon 0 0 900 948 0 0 900 948
Editing contests 3 contests per €500/contest 0 0 1,500 1,581 0 0 1,500 1,581
Translation translation of manuals and pages into Aromanian and Romani 200 211 800 843 0 0 1,000 1,054
Interpretation Interpretation into the Macedonian Sign Language during events 0 0 600 632 0 0 600 632
Conference tool licence annual subscription fee for a standard package 0 0 300 316 0 0 300 316
Printing printing of manuals translated in Aromanian and Romani 200 211 400 421 0 0 600 632
Contingency fee incidentals, rise in prices, minor items 300 316 1,000 1,054 200 211 1,500 1,581
Total 3,850 4,057 13,150 13,855 1,100 1,159 18,100 19,071

Conversion from € to $ was done using the exchange rate at Oanda on 12 May 2022.


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!


  • Volunteer I like to participate as a volunteer in creating Wikipedia by contributing my time and energy to help build and expand the online encyclopedia. I also enjoy interacting with other users and learning from their expertise. 10:58, 11 August 2022 (UTC)