Grants:Project/Rapid/Wiki In Africa/WikiAfrica Schools Colaboratory/Report
Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?
The event goals were to:
- Create visibility for Wikipedia as a means to develop students’ ICT and critical thinking skills with key people within the education movement
- Introduce key stakeholders to working with Wikipedia and WikiFundi as an educational tool
- Introduce stakeholders to the WikiAfrica Schools programme
- Consult with stakeholders on the future of the programme in South Africa, and beyond.
Did we meet our goals? .... Yes. The project met its goals and we were very happy with how it went; especially the people that it brought together and the ideas that were generated as a result. Three events were held with stakeholders in the education sector in Cape Town, South Africa.
The intention of the project was to invite and bring together a diverse group of individuals and organisations working either directly with the education sector or in fields relevant to the overall objective of the WikiAfrica School initiative. We sent out over 50 invitations and although not everyone had the opportunity to participate in the workshops, we were thrilled with the high level of interest we received. The idea of using Wikipedia as a tool in an educational context is clearly a project that inspires people in Cape Town, and more generally in South Africa. There was also a lot of enthusiasm for the project.
The purpose of the facilitated discussions was to help us understand what this initiative would look like at scale (specifically within the South African education system): what does its full potential look like, and what are the stages and key milestones we need to implement to get there. As the WikiAfrica Schools team had already engaged in a pilot programme (and two other education programmes), we had many ideas about how we thought it could scale, but we didn’t have enough knowledge of the education system and its various role players, challenges and opportunities in order to make a specific call one way or another. It was also important to get buy-in from the education sector for the programme.
The discussions gave us a lot of interesting and valuable intelligence, as well as insightful and creative suggestions as to how to package and deliver a larger scale project that would benefit students and teachers either during school time, or as an extracurricular activity.
The participants demonstrated an incredible level of engagement and excitement for the project and most wanted to continue to stay involved into the future.
Please report on your original project targets.
|Target outcome||Achieved outcome||Explanation|
|Session 1: Up to 10 participants||7 participants||We had an invaluable discussion with people who represented organisations working very closely with the educational sector who provided us key insights and suggestions for taking the project forward.|
|Session 2: Up to 30 participants||16 participants||We had a interesting discussion with people working in various fields connected to education and/or Wikipedia (such as arts & culture & journalism) in South Africa and received creative and practical suggestions for taking the project forward.|
|Session 3: 4-5 participants||7 participants||Based on our experience of the first two sessions, especially the fact that it was the end of the school year, we decided to postpone this session until 1at March 2018. In addition, we altered the format from a jury-based pitch event to a co-design workshop.|
|Organisations committed to ongoing collaboration: 5||10 organisations||10 organisations committed to being part of the process moving forward|
|Strategic plan completed||In progress||The plan will be completed after session 3 towards the end of May 2018.|
What worked well?
- The co-laboratory nature of this segment of a larger project worked very well. People were interested in the larger WikiAfrica Schools project and were appreciative that their expertise was being sought on what they saw as a worthwhile and potentially influential and effective project.
- The diversity of participants assisted in getting a range of different perspectives and ideas. Participants were specifically selected across the schools, education programmes, funding, communications and media sectors. Within the education sector, there were participants from NGOs working with literacy programmes to teachers and those organisations running student teacher support programmes.
- The difference in the structure of each meeting/ workshop / discussion allowed the conversations to progress without there being the need for consistency in attendance. Each time the right amount of people were there to tackle the problems.
- By being part of a larger project - a few of the heavier financial items were absorbed by the larger project funded by the Moleskine Fouundation. These costs included the flights and accommodation for Florence Devouard (France) and Adama Saneh (Italy) to attend and add their perspective and expertise. It also covered the project management and facilitation costs for Isla Haddow-Flood.
- There was clearly interest in the project - its unique qualities, goals and ambitions. So it was relatively easy to get people in our network interested.
- The workshops went very well and achieved most of their results.
What did not work so well?
- The timing for the first two workshops was not ideal as it conflicted with the end of the school year, which meant that some organisations working with or within the educational sector were busy.
- Organisations that we ‘cold called’ did not respond to our invitations (in comparison to those that were already in our network) and needed more follow-up time in order to find the right person to attend.
- One of the venues we chose turned out to not be as conducive to this type of workshop dialogue as we had expected.
- The larger workshop - with 16 participants - was not long enough as it did not give us enough time to work through some of the issues that were raised.
What would you do differently next time? * Have the workshops at a different time of the year.
- Be introduced to new organisations via our network so that we get beyond the ‘cold call’ status of the invitations.
- Double Check venue setup in advance of the sessions to make sure they are suitable. (Which we did for the second venue and it worked perfectly.)
- Within the project timeline we were able to change some things, such as the final workshop was redesigned into a carefully facilitated, interactive co-design workshop in order to get the most value from everyone’s participation.
Workshop notes and presentations
Grant funds spent
Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.
Please note the following table is still in draft format.
Budget Summary below
|Line Item||Amount allocated ZAR||Amount spent ZAR||Amount spent US||Amount left ZAR||Amount left US||Comments|
|2. Venue||R2,500.00||R3,224.00||$239.85||-R724.00||-$53.86||The venue costs were an underestimate. Luckily the venue for the second and final event was provided for free.|
|4. Equipment, comms, data, etc. :||R2,000.00||R400.00||$29.76||R1,600.00||$119.03|
|5. Local travel:||R1,000.00||R1,390.55||$103.45||-R390.55||-$29.05|
|7. Addtional costs||R2,541.00||$189.04||-R2,541.00||-$189.04||Unavoidable bank charges for forex transfer. Stickers and badges printed.|
|8. In kind support||R60,000.00||$4,463.62||2 x EU/CPT flights for two members of the project + 1 month project management at 50% (accommodation not included)|
Full project financials available from here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OjL3gUpymtvqsXcCdNdLOsIbT2CIkHkcvCpLDMMVJiI/edit?usp=sharing
Do you have any remaining grant funds?
Anything else you want to share about your project?
Given the input and feedback from the participants, it is clear that this project has the potential to scale throughout southern Africa as long as we put together the correct strategic plan in close collaboration with both current stakeholders in the educational sector as well as new players with valuable experience and insight. A well thought-out and implementable programme will not only help Wikipedia achieve its goals of greater coverage from and throughout Africa, but also be a potential game changer in the educational system itself.