Grants:Project/WM BE/Public facing activities 2017
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
Explain the problem that you are trying to solve with this project or the opportunity you’re taking advantage of. What is the issue you want to address? You can update and add to this later.
After the founding of Wikimedia Belgium two years ago (and the rough ride followed), we now are moving towards a stable development. Thanks to our projects, communication, and outreach, we get more requests from community members to do activities and from partner organisations to collaborate with them. We like to use these upcoming opportunities and grow a stable organisation that facilitates the interaction of external organisations and our community. With this grant request we like to enable Wikimedia Belgium to support our volunteers and their projects and to enable collaborations with partner organisations, all activities to enrich Wikipedia, Commons and their sister projects with more knowledge.
At the same time we face some difficulties we'd like to address with this grant request.
- We have a limited number of volunteers active in our area.
- The volunteers that are available are too limited in their experiences and skills. This results also in less documentation and less metrics. (see talk page)
- As Belgium is a multilingual country, we are having legal requirements and local people expect to be communicated with in their local language, we need to communicate in at least three languages with sufficient quality, and this causes a too heavy drain on the available (time of our) volunteers. (see talk page)
- In comparison with neighbouring countries, relatively less knowledge and image material about/from Belgium is available on Wikipedia and Commons. On particular topic where we notice this to be the case is the sector of the arts.
In the past period we sadly also faced internal issues.
What is your solution?
If you think of your project as an experiment in solving the problem you just described, what is the particular solution you're aiming to test? You will provide details of your plan below, but explain your main idea here.
Our plan provides support for collaborations with cultural institutions, educational institutions, and other organisations, and other activities of local volunteers. Most activities aren't done for the first time, but already tried out in the past years years, with success (past activities). This year we especially like to focus on supporting those successful activities and projects that improve our situation.
In the past period (January-September 2016) we organised 16 open edit-a-thons, 7 closed workshops, had 2 education collaborations, gave 33 presentations about Wikipedia/Wikimedia, organised/participated in 7 other open events, organised 6 wikimeets, had 2 general assemblies, 4 board meetings, 59 organisational meetings with external partners or internal meetings as part of a project, published 2 newsletters, 21 other publications (press releases, announcements, official letters), 2 volunteers followed a training, 19 people participated in 10 conferences, organised 2 photo contests, had 21 photography sessions, and 1 double writing week. This resulted in (registered, among more output) implementation of Freedom of Panorama (FOP) in Belgium, 1737 previously deleted files restored on Commons thanks to FOP, in 3026 new files, 418 new articles in 15 languages and 52 largely improved articles (photo contests + Brussels writing weeks). Another outcome is the addition of 30,000 artworks from 8 Flemish museums to Wikidata, as well as the almost entire collection of one museum in Brussels. Other projects and activities also had output, but those output is not registered or project is still ongoing.
A lot of organisational meetings with partners have not yet resulted in output, due to the time partner organisations need to process and implement the collaboration with Wikipedia/Wikimedia in their own organisation. For the coming months and coming year we have a series of activities with partner organisations in the pipeline and we conclude that the personal attention we give to partner organisations by meeting them face-to-face works. Seeing the first results coming up, together with the enthusiasm of both the local volunteers as our partner organisations, we like to continue in this direction, as we think this is the right way to fulfil our goal in getting more knowledge on Wikipedia and her sister projects.
Even while we make good progress, we have some difficulties we need to address.
- We have a limited number of volunteers active in our area, which is caused by being a new organisation, but also as the wiki environment is not as transparent as it comes to who we should reach to (because being interested) with our communication. We think the best way we can reach out is by organising a wide range of activities where we also communicate about Wikipedia/Wikimedia.
- The volunteers that are available are too limited in their experiences and skills. That is why we think it is important for our volunteers to follow trainings and participate at conferences, to learn how to better organise projects, create better metrics, and learn from other volunteers and best practices presented. Also we think this would inspire to provide better documentation and organisation of metrics. (see talk page)
- As Belgium is a multilingual country, we having legal requirements and local people expect to be communicated with in their local language, we need to communicate in at least three languages with sufficient quality, and this causes a too heavy drain on the available (time of our) volunteers. In the past periods we have tried to solve this by expanding our volunteer base and to find an as large as possible group of volunteers that are able to provide us structurally translations with sufficient quality. Our volunteer base has grown, but the expectation to find enough volunteers that are willing to provide us translations every month failed to reach. Too often complaints about translations have reached us and we see not being able to provide proper translations as a large risk for our organisation and our activities. After having tried to find other ways to solve this issue, and we see no possibility to grow as organisation to get this done alternatively, we think the only way to solve this is by hiring someone parttime to help us in this.
Secondly, related to translation is the communication towards our partners in various languages. In the past period (2016) we got the opportunity that one of our partners provided us temporary with a project manager who could communicate in the various languages spoken in Belgium. Largely thanks to that person, we managed to provide the necessary support towards our partners we worked with and are very successful in the activities organised. So our solution is that we have someone paid for providing translations and support is in our multilingual communication. (see talk page)
- In comparison with neighbouring countries, relatively less knowledge and image material about/from Belgium is available on Wikipedia and Commons. By organising the writing weeks about Brussels and the organisation of Wiki Loves Art, we managed to close the "Belgiumgap" a bit. Thanks to the success of these projects, we like to grow further on these projects. We think that by organising at least two times a double writing week in 2017, together with multiple partnerships with various organisations, we get more attention for the Belgian subjects, get more articles in Wikipedia, and get more media in Wikimedia Commons.
Regarding our internal issue, we work on improving our internal procedures, making sure internal control is in place, and have at least two people processing declarations.
Explain what are you trying to accomplish with this project, or what do you expect will change as a result of this grant.
We would like to provide a growth in community support and initiatives, more activities being organised, growth in GLAM support and activities, growth in activities with educational institutions, and more professional support towards our community and partner organisations.
Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?
In our newsletter from September 2016 we asked our community what Wikimedia Belgium should do in 2017 and what they want to do themselves in 2017. The result was a series of reactions by volunteers on the talk page and by e-mail. These reactions, combined with already ongoing collaborations and earlier expressed feedback, we have come to this grant request.
Below we have only listed those activities we are able to do with our current volunteer base and have resources for, based on our experiences over 2016. The projects are small in scale, but relatively large in impact. With this grant request, we try to create an overview of those activities that are already planned or of what we are very sure of they will take place. At the beginning of a year we do not precisely know what we can expect in later months, but we strive to take up the many (similar) opportunities (as described) that will come up during a year for what we have the capacity. For us it is important that we can support small initiatives in the coming year that we with this plan haven't foreseen, and come from partner organisations and community members.
- Writing weeks Brussels: In 2016 we supported the initiative of a local user and organised together the writing weeks Brussels (2016 info). The project is in its core online, but we notice at the same time that new users find it difficult to start on their own, alone at home, and we have found the local libraries open for collaboration with Wikipedia, and interested in growing their role of supporting local Wikipedia editors with their first steps. Together with local libraries, experienced volunteers from Wikipedia formed on site (on 10 moments and locations) a contact point where questions could be asked by new editors who have questions or wanted to learn more. Also there was space to work on articles under guidance. Our project was in 2016 supported by the Flemish Community Commission (VGC) and provided us access to their network of libraries, as well as organisational support in communication towards both the participating libraries as the rest of Brussels. With success, as 14 media Belgian organisations published about the project and more than 407 new (registered) articles have been written about the capital, plus 49+ articles largely improved, with more than 107 Wikipedia editors involved in 15 language Wikipedias. Both the organising volunteers, the local libraries, the VGC, and WMBE consider the project very successful, and we like to repeat this success in 2017. In 2016 we focussed on the Dutch speaking part of Brussels, in 2017 we like to expand our focus to both the Dutch and French speaking community in Brussels and beyond. To be well prepared, just as in 2016 we organised trainings/workshops, we provide in 2017 the library staff in 4 Wikipedia workshops the Wikipedia background about Wikipedia/Wikimedia and introduce them to the basic principles of editing Wikipedia (travel costs: € 160). We also provide them with Wikipedia editing cheatsheets and info materials. During the event we have experienced Wikipedia editors (at least 2) available at about 10 sessions, who can help new Wikipedia editors with their first steps on Wikipedia (travel costs: € 500). By organising this event, including the preparation of the creation of lists to get a full overview on topics, we think we can close the Belgiumgap a bit, and stimulate to have more articles written by volunteers about topics from this region.
- Writing weeks Brabant: Noticing the success of the Brussels writing weeks, the province of Flemish Brabant wants to organise also writing weeks for their province. As language can easily be a reason for a dispute, and we like to give an international character to the writing weeks, we think it is better not to focus on only a Dutch speaking province, but also to include the French speaking Walloon Brabant, which formed until 1995 one province with Flemish Brabant. Also in this area we start first at 4 occasions with introducing library staff to Wikipedia/Wikimedia, how to edit, and more, similar to the ones in Brussels (travel costs: € 160). We also provide them with Wikipedia editing cheatsheets and info materials. During the event we have experienced Wikipedia editors (at least 2) available at about 10 sessions, who can help new Wikipedia editors with their first steps on Wikipedia (travel costs: € 500).
- GLAM partnership 1: Content donation + edit-a-thons: Already prepared in 2016, in January 2017 one of the federal institutes (not named publicly to avoid loosing the moment) donates 10,000 historic images from Belgium to Wikimedia Commons. With this content donation we are able to illustrate more articles with historical images from these subjects. The donation is already in preparation, a common understanding is in place and agreed on the steps to be taken, and started with the first few steps. Have already volunteers dedicated to guide this donation in the right direction. After the actual donation, two edit-a-thons will be organised to get these images used in Wikipedia articles, and to write articles about the topics on the photos that do not have an article yet (travel costs: € 250, location, facility and other costs covered by institute). At each edit-a-thon we will give a introduction in Wikipedia/Wikimedia, as well what to pay attention to when editing Wikipedia.
For us this project is important as it is the first step towards a larger more structural collaboration in what over a million images become available that can be donated to Wikimedia Commons.
- GLAM partnerships 2: Wiki Loves Art provided us a nice introduction in museums and heritage libraries. Already starting it in 2016, in 2017 we organise a follow up with each of the (about) 15 cultural institutions spread over Belgium. We have gained their interest, provided them with Wiki Loves Art as a safe introduction to Wikipedia and Wikimedia, and were all excited to see the results. In 2017 it is time for the next step, releasing images for Wikimedia Commons, releasing data for Wikidata, and more. Many things can be done by e-mail, but we have noticed in 2016 that meeting them personally, and getting to know their institution, we gained trust with, and preparedness to continue collaboration with us. We are happy to provide an overview of the upcoming and expected outcomes, but this requests already starts to get a bit long. Also for strategic reasons we like not to to disclose publicly all the details yet, to be able to give the institution the time to process, create further internal support and more. Like in 2016, we think we need to meet with them at least once or maybe twice (depending on the institution) in a year to maintain the momentum and keep the trust in us and to secure good communication (travel costs: € 750, we think we can limit the travel costs by combining multiple meetings). With each partner organisation we always keep in mind what material is useful for the work of our community and for the growth in knowledge on Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata. We especially look for holes in the available materials, but more important, try to continue on the successful Wikidata project of 2015-2016 (link). For a part the institution will add the media/data to Commons/Wikidata, another part will be done by our community. As our community is limited, we only take up projects we have the voluntary capacity for.
- GLAM partnership 3: Over the past years we started to collaborate increasingly with Packed vzw, one of our partner organisations in Wiki Loves Art and the organiser of the project Flemish art collections, Wikidata and Linked Open Data. Packed and Wikimedia Belgium are planning for 2017-2018 together the following activities:
- Donation of data from arts sector to Wikidata.
- Donation of images from arts sector to Commons.
- Organisation of edit-a-thons.
- Matching images with Wikidata.
- Donation of images of art from Belgium.
- Donation of images about social movements.
- Adding collection of 2 art museums to Wikidata.
- Donation of images of coins and medals.
- Donation of images of historical agricultural vehicles, commercial vehicles and vehicles
- In this collaboration we have multiple meetings planned with Packed together with our volunteers (travel costs: € 450).
- Partnership Vormingplus 1: Noticing our project Wiki Loves Monuments, Vormingplus approached us to set up a new activity around cultural heritage in one of their regions of Belgium. In this activity they want their participants take photos of monuments and upload them to Wikimedia Commons. With Wiki Loves Monuments we notice that it becomes increasingly difficult to get from more photoless monuments a photo for on Wikipedia, as the easy ones are done and the remaining ones require more effort to reach them. Because of this we are looking for activities that focus on the gaps, and try to get the overview lists of monuments complete with photo so anyone has a full picture of the local cultural heritage. This activity does just do that. For that reason we like to support this initiative. The local municipality is interested and enthusiastic and will cover the costs of the meetings and activity (travel costs: € 300). For now 2 sessions are planned for 2017, but later on in the third period this can be repeated.
- Partnership Vormingplus 2: The development of the collaboration with Vormingplus goes step by step, but already there are plans to expand the previous activity this to neighbouring/close municipalities in the same region or to municipalities in other regions. At this moment much is still insecure, but also for these activities we have as starting point that the local municipality will pay for the costs. In the coming months more will become clear.
- Edit-a-thons: During the year we expect to give about 5 to 10 edit-a-thons and workshops Wikipedia/more (open and closed, besides the already mentioned activities) in collaboration with various institutions in Belgium, just as we did too in 2016. We think it is important to reach out to the various organisations that are interested in learning more about Wikipedia, providing knowledge from their libraries and archives for the volunteers or institute members that participate in a workshop. Only those edit-a-thons and workshops are done of what we think they help to support the mission of the Wikimedia movement, as well as what we have the capacity for to do them. At each session we have one or two volunteers available to give the presentation and to provide guidance to the often new users writing articles (travel costs: € 350). One of the edit-a-thons that will be coming up is about Art&Feminism, like organised in previous years. In principle we have the organisation who hosts the particular event pay for the costs for the used space, meals, drinks, guided tours, etc. WMBE will supply cheatsheets and info materials.
- Growing experience: In the past years various volunteers from our community have visited conferences, and brought home experiences that made it possible to grow as Wikimedia Belgium, as well as to better organise projects and activities. We want to make this possible too in 2017, so that based on the gained experiences, trainings, and workshops, we can continuously improve the quality of the organisation of activities. Wikimedia Belgium has not organised any conference, as well as the difficulty of being a multi-lingual country, our community visits mostly conferences in neighbouring countries, like the Wikimedia Conferentie for Dutch speakers (Netherlands), the WikiCon for German speakers, WikiConvention francophone for French speakers (France), and the international conference Wikimania. At all of these conferences workshops are given, experiences obtained, and best practises are learned from. That is why we think we need to support our community by having them visit these conferences (budget for travel, entrance and stay: € 3000). (see talk page)
- Education program Luxembourg: A class of students write in Autumn 2017 a Wikipedia article in the French, English, German, Dutch or Luxembourg language Wikipedia under the guidance/review of a teacher from the University of Luxembourg and some volunteers from the community, communicated with them on wiki and personally. An introduction in Wikipedia/Wikimedia is given in September and they need to finish their assignment in December. When they have finished their article, they are judged on their work on the article and get a mark by the teacher. Up to 3 meetups can take place (travel costs: € 240). Further we provide basic info materials to enable the students to start better prepared.
- Education program Kortrijk: Two classes of students write in a year time a Wikipedia article in the Dutch language Wikipedia under the guidance/review of a teacher from the local college (Vives), supported by volunteers from the community. The education program will be published in our newsletter. The students get a degree for the work they have done, based on the input and dedication they show. Up to 4 meetups can take place (travel costs: € 160). Further we provide basic info materials to enable the students to start better prepared.
- Education program promotion Flanders: Together with an experienced teacher from a college (Vives), we organise a series of study days (seminars) for teachers from various colleges, starting with the first one early in January 2017. There we give an introduction in Wikipedia/Wikimedia and how education professionals can use Wikipedia (by editing) as successful method in the classrooms. Each study day contains at least two presentations, in what the background and practical information around editing Wikipedia is combined with the tips and tricks from an experienced teacher in how to organise, communicate, judge the work, and more. In the past years already an education program has grown, and we think it is now the time to spread its wings to more teachers and colleges and do outreach to those who are interested. The first one will be organised early in January, as in this period study days are structurally organised and teachers have time to follow those. We expect at least 4 sessions at different locations for different groups (travel costs for supporting volunteers: € 160). They are hosted in house, and costs for the location are covered by the school. We think this activity enables a sustainable growth in the teacher base and engages them for a longer term.
How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!
from WMF (EUR)
|Costs borne by
external party (EUR)
|Total costs (EUR)|
|Writing weeks Brussels||€ 160[Note 1]
€ 500[Note 2]
|€ 3600[Note 3]
€ 960[Note 4]
|Writing weeks Brabant||€ 160[Note 1]
€ 500[Note 2]
|€ 3600[Note 3]
€ 960[Note 4]
|GLAM partnership 1||€ 250[Note 5]||€ 1440[Note 4]
€ 2400[Note 3]
|GLAM partnerships 2||€ 750[Note 5]||unknown||€ 750|
|GLAM partnership 3||€ 450[Note 5]||€ 32000[Note 4]||€ 32450|
|Partnership Vormingplus 1||€ 0||€ 300[Note 6]
€ 1200[Note 3]
€ 160[Note 4]
|Partnership Vormingplus 2||€ 0||unknown[Note 7]|
|Edit-a-thons||€ 350[Note 5]||€ 12000[Note 3]||€ 12350|
|Education program Luxembourg||€ 240[Note 5]||€ 240|
|Education program Kortrijk||€ 160[Note 5]||€ 160|
|Education program promotion Flanders||€ 160[Note 5]||€ 4800[Note 3]||€ 4960|
|Website||€ 100||€ 100|
|Support for translating volunteers||€ 1000[Note 9]||€ 1000|
|Wikimeets & general assembly||€ 300[Note 5]||€ 300|
|Maganagement costs||€ 700[Note 10]||€ 700|
- Travel costs Wikipedia workshop for library staff as preparation of writing weeks
- Travel costs for volunteers that provide support during writing weeks
- Donated to the project in nature, costs based on hours x market price for renting a meeting room
- Donated to the project in nature, time our partner organisation spend on the project
- Travel costs for volunteers that do the activity
- Travel of volunteers
- Costs born by partner organisations, number of times organised unknown
Pay someone for translations: € 500 for translations + € 500 for communication support x 12 months, to provide support with all the listed projects and more.(see talk page)
- Costs for a language teacher for a course to train volunteers with languages, including the rent of a space to organise this and the travel costs to participate in this training(s).
- 10% of total budget, to be flexible with unexpected initiatives from community volunteers.
How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve at various points during your project? Community input and participation helps make projects successful.
- Announcements on wiki's
- Mailing lists
- Meetup pages
What do you expect will happen to your project after the grant ends? How might the project be continued or grown in new ways afterwards?
The focus of our grant is to build a network, enable volunteers to do activities and to grow their skills, and to keep (or start) a good relationship with partner organisations to get more materials from Belgium on Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata.
Measures of success
How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include specific, measurable targets here.
Our measurements of success are:
- 2 writing weeks organised, with each more than 300 articles written.
- having processed the 10,000 images from the image donation in a proper way.
- having a follow up activity with each of the participating museums.
- 5 or more content donations
- 10 or more edit-a-thons / workshops / trainings in Wikipedia, Wikidata, Commons
- 10 or more volunteers to conference
- 2 or more courses in education supported
- having set up study days (seminars) to promote Wikipedia in education
- 3x WMBE community newsletter published
Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.
- Dimi z
- Benedict Wydooghe
- Alina data
- Bert lemmens
- Patrick Vanhoucke
- and others...
You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc.--> Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips? Published in our Newsletter of September and wide spread over all our communication channels, including central discussion pages on multiple wikis, talk pages of users, mailing lists, Twitter, and various other places. Also this subject has been communicated seperately on mailing lists, user talk pages, by e-mail, and several other ways.
Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).
- I fully endorse this project which will help Wikimedia Belgium further develop its network, raise awareness on Wiki-related projects amongst local GLAM organizations (focussed goals are always good for small and young organizations), and build a stronger Belgian Wikipedia community! Lfurter (talk) 10:51, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
- I endorse the activities of the Wikimedia Belgium community and their commitement towards giving GLAM institutions and their collections a larger digital footprint. sam.donvil (talk) 13:46, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
- With this proposal Wikimedia Belgium and the new board are demonstrating that as a chapter and as a community we are willing to grow, but at a very sustainable pace. I do believe the plan is both realistic and coherent. I support this proposal and will be working on implementing it. Dimi z (talk) 11:49, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
- I endorse this schoolnetwork! Benedict Wydooghe (talk) 11:55, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
- Last year we had nice media coverage with several of the initiatives, and had no issue to get politicians willing to provide a certificate to outstanding contributors. SvenDK (talk) 15:45, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
- I fully endorse the activities of Wikimedia Belgium and the collaboration with the arts and GLAM sector. Nasty nas (talk) 08:02, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
- Let's work together on a stronger Wikimedia Belgium community. I fully endorse this proposal Beireke1 (talk) 12:02, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
- I fully support the activities and the collaborations of the Wikimedia Belgium community with the GLAM sector Alina data (talk) 13:46, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
- Taketa (talk) 14:02, 13 October 2016 (UTC) - These are good initiatives. The plans are realistic and the organisers trustworthy to enact them. All three Dutch, French and German communities in Belgium are relatively small compared to the participation among the population in neighbouring countries that share these languages. Writing Week Brussels had a large number of new editors participating and I expect these activities will help increase awareness and participation in Belgium. -- Taketa (talk) 14:02, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
- I believe it is extremely important that in 2017 WMBE could extend the participation amongst the volunteers in both the Dutch and French speaking regions of Belgium. We need to increase our communication efforts, and the relationship with both local, regional, and federal institutions. Not to forget the Press, Radio, and Television to broadcast our activities. Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 20:57, 10 November 2016 (UTC)
- As a volunteer for Wikimedia Belgium and Wikimedia Italia I fully endorse the plan proposed by the WMBE board because it shows a coherent and realistic vision of the strong points and challenges for the development of a recently founded chapter, with particular concern to the broadening of the volunteer community and its outreach at various levels of the civil society. In the last two years I could experience the good will and commitment of the active volunteers in WMBE. I have learnt a lot from this and I share the feeling that more active participants and more trainings are necessary to enable the association to play an important role in the promotion of free culture, in all the linguistic areas of Belgium as well as at an international level. As an academic researcher in Digital Classics and Digital Cultural Heritage, I am sure that collaboration with a more mature association will result into a chance to discuss ambitious projects in citizen science in the upgcoming future Ste.caneva(WMBE) 18.41, 11 November (UTC)
- I fully endorse this project. I fully endorse these people! I have just good experience with them over years. --Hubertl (talk) 17:41, 30 November 2016 (UTC)