Grants:Project/Rapid/UG CI/African Wikimedia Developers/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.
  • To read the approved grant submission describing the plan for this project, please visit Grants:Project/Rapid/UG CI/African Wikimedia Developers.
  • 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?

Proposed Goals Achieved Goals
Increase the awareness of volunteer developer opportunities in Africa The communication around the event reached around 10 000 individuals online. +8000 people on Facebook alone[1], where stats showed that 200 people commented and shared the announcement post. So far two blog posts were published on Wikimedia Côte d'Ivoire website [2][3]
Recruit new volunteer developers from the continent We have recruited 18 volunteer developers
Create a community of developers on the continent The community of volunteer Wikimedia developers in Abidjan has already started to work together mainly via its French-speaking mailing list,, but also through the African Wikimedia developers mailing list. Several hangout sessions have been held since the end of the training to allow volunteers to discuss and work together. A live session was held in February and recorded on youtube. In that 2-hour video[4], participants, guided by Derick and Samuel, work collaboratively on solving a bug in a Mediawiki extension.
Participate in solving technical problems from the larger community During the training session, attendees were able to submit patches to Gerrit, fixing bugs in the Mediawiki software. In total 34 patches were submitted[5] as participants worked on more than 30 Mediawiki extensions.
Promote participation in continental and international programs that benefit the community (GSoC) Participants were exposed to GSoC 2018 and two of them, being students, showed interest and are currently being guided through the registration and participation process.
Ensure participation from Africa in tech related community events such as Hackathon We have created the excitement about such events and hope to encourage the participation of many from during next events.


Please report on your original project targets.

1/2 of the total number of communities in Africa know about us.
Target outcome Achieved outcome Explanation
At least 20 people attend the event. 18 people attended. We fell short of this target by 2 people accounting for 10% of the total expected number of participants.
Recruiting at least 15 volunteers We recruited 18 people at the event In total we recruited more than 15 volunteers who have shown keen interest to contribute to this program. We exceeded this target by 3 more participants accounting for a total increase of 120%.
Maintain a minimum of 5 active developers at the end of the pilot phase 7 Since the training around 7 volunteers have been active in Hangout sessions, and kept in touch through the mailing list. Most of them get in touch with Samuel and Derick for assistance and guidance when working on a bug. For instance, on 12 March, one of them submitted a patch to Gerrit, the first of the Africa Wikimedia developers team for this month of March.
If 1/2 of the total number of communities in Africa know about us. We have created the awareness of the program to more than 90% of the communities in Africa. When shared on Facebook, the announcement post generated reactions (shares, likes, comments) from many communities within Africa and beyond. The announcement as well as the highlights of the training session were also shared in the Africa Wikimedians mailing, gathering good reactions from wikimedians from the continent and from abroad such as Katherine Maher.


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?[edit]


Our means of disseminating information was very successful as we were able to reach 65 registrations for the event. We used all notable means of sharing information about the event. Some of which included social media, emails, newsletter and social profiles of partner organisations. We knew based on our previous experience that participation rate is high in Côte d'Ivoire when people are contacted by telephone and reminded regularly. So, we combined some tactics to ensure effective participation from a qualified audience. Below are some steps taken:

  • We were expecting 20 participants however we opened registration for 65 people and narrowed down to 23 people.
  • We sent email two (2) weeks to the training day. Reminding participants of the event, preparation before the event, shared some resources and gently prompted all registered participants to confirm participation or inability to attend.We repeated step 2 again one (1) week to event date.
  • In the week of the event, exactly two (2) days before the event date, we finally called all 23 registered participants to confirm their participation, 20 participants confirmed attendance, 3 notified their inability to attend quite late though, and 2 confirmed but did not attend.

This precautionary steps probably explains why we exceeded our expected number of recruited participants for the event. However we also think its keen to revise these steps to avoid further absenteeism as was experienced at the event.

Filtering, motivating and pairing[edit]

We were greatly concerned with the technical know-how of participants as this was a crucial aspect for the training.

  • We made some interviews by telephone, asking technical questions to participants. Eg: Are you familiar with OOP programming in PHP? What does polymorphism mean in programming? Have you ever developed an app or tool in PHP or any other language, if yes what was it about? Are you sure you will be able to attend the two days?
  • After filtering participants we built a final list and started to remind the selected participants.

Our training method was participatory and also laid a strong emphasis on the Why behind volunteering. The introductory talk (intro to the movement, Why this project, the essence of an African developer community and opportunities for developers handled by Donatien and Felix) gave solid foundation for participants to clearly understand what their contribution meant to the movement. Also basing on personal experiences from local Wikimedians and Felix, attendees had the chance to understand how beneficial this project could be to themselves.

The technical training also went pretty well and participants greatly appreciated their first steps with Git and Gerrit. They were paired and worked closely during the two-day session. This strengthened their sense of collaboration some noted.

A good number of patches were submitted and participants worked on more than 30 Mediawiki extensions. This was achieved by a preparation from trainers, gathering real bugs for participants to work on.

Volunteers involvement[edit]

The event generated a vibrant involvement of local Wikimedians. Several roles were assigned to individuals before, during and after the event. For instance, during the training there were 2 photographers from the User Group, 2 note takers who wrote the blog posts, others who conveyed the equipment, etc.

What did not work so well?[edit]


In as much as we took several precautionary steps, some participants still didn't show up. All excess food was consumed by those present and by the organizing staff. Due to the slight difference - 2 expected who did not come - there wasn't much wastage.

Visa issues[edit]

Derick Alangi, one of the main trainers, could not travel from Cameroon to Côte d'Ivoire because there was a misunderstanding about obtaining a visa for the trip. As he had verified from a site that he didn't require a visa. We failed to check wether he actually needed a visa to Côte d'Ivoire and assumed he did not due to his findings. However, we managed to conduct the session without altering the quality of the training. The session was done partly remotely and partly in person with Samuel leading the technical parts of the session by working closely with Derick. Albeit this challenge arose an opportunity for a new trainer for the AWMD Project which we are extremely delighted about.

What would you do differently next time?[edit]

  • We intend to leave a margin of error of 30% in terms of confirmed participants in subsequent events. Even though we will follow all the steps mentioned to ensure we keep only those with adequate background and know-how or willing to attend, we will account for about only 70% of the confirmed list of participants to ensure effective participation.
  • Double check visa requirements even when participants are from the same region eg: West Africa.
  • Take into consideration that it will be required to book rooms with separate beds or two separate rooms since hotels in Côte d'Ivoire do not allow two men to share the same bed.


Grant funds spent[edit]

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

Travel Logistics
Return tickets
Ghana 400 200 Return air ticket was partly covered by the Developer Relation Team and $200 were covered by the Rapid grant
Cameroon 700 0 Return air ticket of team member and presenter was fully covered by the Developer Relation Team.
Feeding 120 120 Feeding expenses of trainers
Accommodation 90 000 164,35 375,663 Shared accommodation for trainers for 3 nights. As a general practice, hotels in Côte d'Ivoire refuse to have two men share the same room, unless the room has two single beds. We had to book two rooms for the trainers. Even though Derick could not use his room the hotel did not reimburse his fees, due to our late attempt to cancel the reservation, they explained. This exceeding amount has been partly compensated with the Event venue line.
Transportation to and from Airport 15000 28,05 28,05 Trainers tranportation from hotel to venue and back
Transportation to and from event venue 75000 140,25 140,25 Equipment and team transportation to and from venue
Event Logistics
T-shirts 150 000 280,50 280,50 Needed as a marketing tool for the event during and after
Event Venue 100 000 182,64 0 We found a partner who offered the training facility for free. This line was used to compensate the need to book a second hotel room.
Food 300 000 558,64 558,64 Feeding for an average of 25 participants per day for two days ( 2x25=50) .
Internet 60 000 109,58 109,58 The program will require internet usage, we plan to buy at least 40G for the two days.
Local Transport 90 000 164,38 164,38 Trainers transportation from hotel to venue and back. To cover chattered local transport for 3 days that will convey local organizers (2) and the foreign trainers (2)to and from training centre, including to and from airport
Phone calls 25 000 45,66 45,66 Cost of phone calls for the execution of the project
Total 1994,05 2022,72

Remaining funds[edit]

Do you have any remaining grant funds?

As per the actual spending outlined above we exceeded our original budget was exceeded by $28,67 which was caused by hotels requiring us to book another separate room or a room with two single beds. This amount has been absorbed by the organizing team.

Anything else[edit]

Anything else you want to share about your project?

The project was truly successful in our opinion. The various steps we took to overcome the problem of one of the trainers not being able to come in person, has taught us a lot of lessons that we'll draw from for next events. A breakdown of some notable milestones:

  • The communication around the event reached around 10 000 individuals online.
  • 15 newly recruited developers (5 more than the estimated newly recruits).
  • 34 patches submitted
  • A tool built for gathering monthly statistics of the AWMD project[5]
  • 90% of African Wikimedia Communities heard of the event.
  • We shared about the event on WCUG-CI website [2][3]
  • Around 250 pictures added to commonsfeaturing highlights of the training


  1. Hope, African (2018-02-15), English: Facebook statistics of the AWMD session in Abidjan social, retrieved 2018-03-13 
  2. a b "Le programme Africa Wikimedia Developers est à Abidjan | Wikimédia Côte d'Ivoire". (in fr-FR). Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  3. a b "Africa Wikimedia Developers : deuxième journée de formation pratique | Wikimédia Côte d'Ivoire". (in fr-FR). Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  4. Samuel Guebo (2018-02-25), Live session: Africa Wikimedia Developers - Abidjan #1, retrieved 2018-03-13 
  5. a b "AWMD Monthly stats | Africa Wikimedia Developers statistics.". Retrieved 2018-03-13.