Grants:Project/Rapid/The Africa De-stubathon

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A power exercise to blast away 37,000+ stubs and try to reduce the stub count and improve general article quality for every country in Africa. If a success it's also a potential model for wikipedians in Africa and other developing world areas to emulate and run for their own regions and countries.
targetEnglish wikipedia primarily, though potentially French, Afrikaans and Yoruba
start dateOctober 15
start year2016
end dateNovember 27
end year2016
budget (USD)$1600 ($1850 if core stub prize is approved)
grant typeIndividual/group
granteeDr. Blofeld

Please see the sample Editathon/Training application before drafting your application.

Project Goal[edit]

Choose one or more of the following goals. You can add or delete goals as needed.

  1. Add or improve content
  2. Recruit new/existing editors

Project Plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. Be sure to answer the following questions:

1. Are you doing one editathon or training or a series of editathons or trainings?
Planning on running a big editathon/contest which aims to target improvements for every single African nation in total.

2. How will you let your community know about the event? Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions.
Potentially interested editors will be alerted by automated talk page messages, on Africa project pages, and on the central noticeboard.

3. Do you have experienced Wikimedia editors to lead the event?
I, Dr. Blofeld, have worked on African content on and off since 2006 and worked with John Carter to help set many of the African projects up in the early days and doing legwork on administrative divisions and national parks in particular. In those days, there was very few active editors working on the continent and I found it frustrating that we often only had one or two editors working on entire regions. It has long been a vision of mine to try to do something to bring more editors to working on African topics so literally every country is being worked on, but 2016 has been a big year on wikipedia in terms of unity and development as a team, I think we now have the editors we need to achieve it. In terms of experience, yes, I'm one of the most experienced wikipedia editors with 10 years of experience, and I've run a series of successful contests with over 1500 article improvements. User:Fsmatovu is a Ugandan wikipedian who endorses grant requests for running contests like this and am in contact with. Plus the idea would be that African wikipedians can copy this model at a later date and run their own destubathons for their own countries etc and spread this. This is also running as a part Wiki Loves Women contest, designed to get editors working on women articles as well as general content. The Wiki Loves Women project already has significant experience and success with bringing about West Africa improvements.

4. Do participants have the equipment or skills needed to participate and contribute high quality content? If not, how will you support them?
Resources needed are online, though some editors may need books and can apply for grants separately from their own chapters perhaps.

5. How will you engage participants after the event(s)?
I hope that the prize money will tempt more editors to participate than normal, I think you need that small prize for each country and then the larger ones for geo and women articles and good articles to try to get people working on the areas we most want. After the contest finishes I hope we can get more editors hooked on writing African content and keep them active until another contest is organised.

6. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?
This is being run in a way which compliments Wiki Loves Women and what they have achieved to do date. This contest is designed to reinforce their effort, scale it to a continent-wide one, encourage editors within Africa to get involved, as well as bringing about general articles improvements to the entire continent across a range of subjects. Due to some differences in opinion on my 10,000 article improvement challenge for Africa, it will be optional on whether contestants want their entries to count towards that goal.


How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets:

  1. Number of events

One event.

  1. Number of participants

If we can get at least a dozen contributors this would be good.

  1. Number of new editors

Not essential, but it would be good to see a couple of editors, existing and new who don't usually edit Africa getting involved too.

  1. Number of articles created or improved

Aiming for a minimum of 500 article improvements. Africa badly needs a general improvement drive of this sort, as overall it's one of the most poorly developed on wikipedia.

  1. Number of repeat participants (for projects that include a series of events)



What resources do you have? Include information on who is organising the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).

Online. I, Dr. Blofeld will be doing most of the vetting for entries to quickly check that they meet the rules. Dthomsen8 has offered $200 towards the prize fund and WMUK should be able to provide $300 towards the fund for geography/wildlife destubbing/GA reviewing.

What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense and include a total amount.

$1600 in total

  • $1100 for 55 sets of $20 prizes for the people who do the most destubs for each African country.
  • $400 into whoever destubs the most geography and wildlife articles for the whole of Africa during the contest, with $200 for first place, $100 for second, $50 for third, $25 for fourth, $15 for fifth and $10 for sixth.
  • $400 into whoever destubs/creates the most women articles for the whole of Africa during the contest, with $200 for first place, $100 for second, $50 for third, $25 for fourth, $15 for fifth and $10 for sixth.
  • $200 - Whoever produces the most Wikipedia:Good articles throughout the contest on an African subject.

$500 of the above will come from other sources as I didn't feel comfortable asking for more.

If there was support here, I would ideally like to see a further prize of around $250, distributed in a similar fashion to whoever does the most High importance destubs during the contest from the Wikipedia:WikiProject Africa/The Africa Destubathon/Core stubs bank. This way the mechanism would work to get people working on important stubs for every country! That prize will further benefit the women cause I think!

I'm gradually rooting out some of the stub artricles now, but what stands out is how few women bio articles there are for many countries. Worse than Europe/North America. Comoros for instance has just 2 or 3 women biography stubs. I will allow minimum 1.5 kb new articles too - no stubs though..Dr. Blofeld (talk) 11:51, 6 October 2016 (UTC)


  • Given Dr. Blofeld's wide experience, I think we will be able to achieve considerable progress through this approach.--Ipigott (talk) 21:39, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Anthere (talk) 14:57, 27 September 2016 (UTC) Also noting that Goethe Institute will be approached to provide $400 to support gifts.
Sounds promising. We could perhaps put that into West Africa and boost the prize money for the West African nation destubs, or for expanding the most West African women stubs? A possibility is that we ask editors prior to the contest if they want books to use towards this and something like that could help towards getting them materials to use prior to the contest? Don't mind, but I think the contest might be more productive if more people had books on Africa themselves.Dr. Blofeld (talk) 10:44, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
And we got a no for the 400 :( Public funding with target on specific countries would imply to restrict winners to certain geographical areas. Hmmm. Not willing to go into that. Anthere (talk)
  • Support Support This sounds like a really great, ambitious project. I think as a competition with prizes, this is a great idea. I recommend connecting with other possibly interested community initiatives like AfroCROWD as well! -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 17:20, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Thank you BrillLyle, yes I alerted them about this earlier. Great name for a project and initiative! At some point it would be well worth doing a contest on African American history and people, they could certainly be at the centre of running something like that. This one though is a raw basic improvement drive for Africa really, it certainly needs it.Dr. Blofeld (talk) 18:03, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support - Good to seelng that this is happening after all this time. Wikicology (talk) 21:39, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support - From a Wiki Loves Women point of veiw, we are very excited to be involved and excited to see who takes part, especially from the African continent. Thanks for the idea Dr. Blofeld!!. Personally, I am looking forward to getting started!! Islahaddow (talk) 05:00, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Thankyou both, yes I think it is an exciting prospect too to see an improvement to every African country at once. Many countries are poorly touched or don't get the attention they deserve, this would work to evenly distribute editors and content and break down some of the barriers that have been holding development back.Dr. Blofeld (talk) 08:02, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support - Good project with laudable and doable goals. I promise to help Dr. Blofeld in his project. 7&6=thirteen (talk) 18:42, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support - This is a very needed project. There are a ton of stubs that need to be expanded, especially in the area of African women's biographies and other topics relating to women's issues in Africa. Focusing attention here is important. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 19:54, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support Wikimedia UK have agreed to provide £250 (roughly equivalent to $300 as of writing) for the prizes as outlined by Dr. Blofeld above. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:35, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Support It's a great idea to expand the number of articles concerning women in Africa. Nattes à chat (talk) 10:38, 12 October 2016 (UTC)