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Grants:Project/Whose Knowledge/VisibleWikiWomen2019/Midpoint

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Report accepted
This midpoint report for a Project Grant approved in FY 2018-19 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/Whose Knowledge/VisibleWikiWomen2019.
  • You may still review or add to the discussion about this report on its talk page.
  • You are welcome to email projectgrants(_AT_)wikimedia.org at any time if you have questions or concerns about this report.

Welcome to this project's midpoint report! This report shares progress and learning from the grantee's first 3 months.


In a few short sentences or bullet points, give the main highlights of what happened with your project so far.

The VisibleWikiWomen campaign ran from March 8 to May 8.

Highlights from this year’s campaign include:

Methods and activities[edit]

How have you setup your project, and what work has been completed so far?

Describe how you've setup your experiment or pilot, sharing your key focuses so far and including links to any background research or past learning that has guided your decisions. List and describe the activities you've undertaken as part of your project to this point.

1) Partnerships: We re-established connections with last year’s campaign partners and also sought them partners for the second edition of our campaign. We have partnered with Wikimedia movement organizations, feminist and activist groups and cultural/GLAM institutions from around the world with special focus in the Global South. In order to connect with potential partners, we created a database of 50 people and institutions around the world. We sent invitations to collaborate and scheduled meetings with those who decided to join the campaign - 26 partners in total. To establish collaboration agreements, we share an online document with each partner, including general information and notes, ideas for work together and next steps, with precise tasks assigned to each part. In addition to that, we created a mailing list to communicate with partners.

2) Communications: To communicate the campaign in a simple and effective way, we created new campaign logo and a landing page for the campaign on WhoseKnowledge? website with all the relevant details. In addition, we updated the Meta page information, the Upload Wizard and the Campaign Page on Wikimedia Commons. During the campaign, we published a series of blogposts, newsletters and podcasts, and shared content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. All content was shared on Spanish, English and Portuguese. We created a social media grid to organize the communication flow for different networks and languages. Beyond disseminating the project on a daily basis, we did some special actions in social media, such as a countdown to the launch of the campaign, and the mini-campaign "Celebrating the colours of #VisibleWikiWomen".

3) Resources: During our pilot edition in 2018, we developed a resource’s kit to support VisibleWikiWomen partners and individual contributors. We updated the kit, including changing the visual design and rewriting several parts of it to make sure organizations and people outside of the Wikimedia movement would be able to participate in the campaign. Spanish and English resources were updated and Portuguese was added as a new language of our kit.

Midpoint outcomes[edit]

What are the results of your project or any experiments you’ve worked on so far?

Please discuss anything you have created or changed (organized, built, grown, etc) as a result of your project to date.

The campaign is now over! Here are the first set of results:

Here is a first snapshot of our outcomes and outputs as-of May 2019 (we’ll do an updated assessment after the full 6 months has passed and share updated numbers in our final report):


  • Project goal: at least 5 partners from outside Wikimedia, located in at least 4 different countries, donate images during the campaign.
    • We have established collaboration agreements with 14 partners from outside Wikimedia movement, located in 8 different countries. Some of them with global or regional reach.
  • Project goal: At least 5 edit-a-thons organizers incorporate VisibleWikiWomen into their existing International Women’s Month plans. Images and/or editing about images already updated in the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, should happen in at least 5 events in 4 different countries.
    • 8 edit-a-thons including VisibleWikiWomen in their events.


  • Project goal: At least 1600 images of women are added to Wikimedia Commons during the campaign.
    • 3700 new image files have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons until May 8 on the #VisibleWikiWomen_2019 category. More files continue to be uploaded, counting 4435 so far (check PetScan stats to get updated data).
  • Project goal: At least ⅓ of the images get used on Wikipedia, in at least 3 different languages, within 6 months of the campaign.
    • 1787 total image usages, 861 and (23.27%) distinct images used until May 8.
    • 71 different Wikipedia languages. Most of the uses were in Wikidata (645) and English Wikipedia (439).


Please take some time to update the table in your project finances page. Check that you’ve listed all approved and actual expenditures as instructed. If there are differences between the planned and actual use of funds, please use the column provided there to explain them.

Then, answer the following question here: Have you spent your funds according to plan so far? Please briefly describe any major changes to budget or expenditures that you anticipate for the second half of your project.

Funds have been generally spent according to plan. We have a significant underspend from edit-a-thon events, because it turned out that most edit-a-thon organizers this year already had their own funds set aside for their March events. We haven't yet spent all travel funds but expect that we will have a second event to travel to before the full grant period ends. We are considering requesting a re-allocation of the edit-a-thon support funds into our travel line-item, so that there will be enough travel funds to fully support a second international trip (with the rising costs of jet fuel etc, travel often costs a bit more than hoped!).


The best thing about trying something new is that you learn from it. We want to follow in your footsteps and learn along with you, and we want to know that you are taking enough risks to learn something really interesting! Please use the below sections to describe what is working and what you plan to change for the second half of your project.

What are the challenges[edit]

What challenges or obstacles have you encountered? What will you do differently going forward? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • To effectively communicate to individuals and partners outside of the Wikimedia movement what are freely licensed or public domain images and how to navigate Wikimedia Commons’ policies and image requirements. It may seem easy to share the call to action “upload images of important women to Wikimedia Commons” to join the campaign. However, to explain the complexity and intricacies of the process to non-Wikimedians is a challenge in itself.
  • Standard edit-a-thons focused on the creation of Wikipedia articles are usually not the best strategy to add images for the campaign. We have seen that only a few images have been uploaded to Commons during these events. We believe that this happens because these edit-a-thons are not focused on adding images to biographies but creating or improving biographies. To see better results - more images being added to Commons during at a physical event - Wikimedia and activists groups and organizations can experiment with events that focus on adding visual content to Commons and Wikipedia as their main purpose (see learning pattern below for more details).

What is working well[edit]

What have you found works best so far? To help spread successful strategies so that they can be of use to others in the movement, rather than writing lots of text here, we'd like you to share your finding in the form of a link to a learning pattern.

Next steps and opportunities[edit]

What are the next steps and opportunities you’ll be focusing on for the second half of your project? Please list these as short bullet points.

  • Wrap-up with partners
  • Gather feedback from selected campaign partners for the Cultural and Memory Institutions to make women more visible on Wikipedia guide. This is a new how-to guide we are currently working on to be used during next year’s campaign
  • Give interview to Mobilisation Lab about what we learned about this campaign
  • Attend an event in the Global South to share VisibleWikiWomen with a next set of prospective partners before this grant period ends

Grantee reflection[edit]

We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being an grantee has been so far. What is one thing that surprised you, or that you particularly enjoyed from the past 3 months?

Thanks to the Wikimedia Foundation and Project Grant committee for supporting this campaign - it’s been a great experience!