Grants:Project/Wiki In Africa/Exploration of Open Access Policy at the African Union

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statusnot selected
Exploration of Open Access Policy at the African Union
summaryThere are a number of policies goals of the Open Movement (Wikimedia, Creative Commons, OER, Open Data, etc.) that should inform and influence government policies of member states of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa. This grant application proposes a project supported by the largest organisations in the global Open Movement that entrusts a small team with a six-month investigation into the possibility of supporting the adoption of open practices at the African Union and member countries.
targetCommons, All language Wikipedias
contact• isla(_AT_)•
organization• Wiki In Africa
this project needs...
created on16:03, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Free Knowledge and access to free information within Africa can only be done on a meta level. To do this, governments need to be influenced en masse and encouraged to explore open policies in a collective, non-threatening and persuasive way. Open policies are core to strengthening and encouraging the aims of the Wikimedia Movement and Creative Commons. Although there have been some progressive policies implemented by key countries in Africa (e.g. adoption of open licenced Siyavula textbooks in South Africa), the majority of countries across Africa have a limiting approach to copyright.

The project would support the aims and goals of (and in turn be supported by) the Wikimedia Movement and Creative Commons. The aim is to carry out a six-month feasibility study into whether there is the possibility to replicate, adapt or find a new model for the work of the EU policy project, but within the African Union. The project would provide conclusions for an ongoing project (provisionally called Open Up: Free Knowledge Group in the African Union) that would encourage support for key policy hurdles for the Open Movement, such as Public Domain for Publicly Funded Works, Freedom of Panorama, Open Education Policies, Open Data, Open Access to publications, etc..

What is your solution to this problem?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

This project aims to pro-actively support African governments at a continental level to open up their collective practices and content. To present a unified front of major players to encourage a new way of thinking about cultural heritage, collective knowledge, national education and publicly funded information.

The aim of this grant is to carry out a feasibility study into the viability and structure of an ongoing proactive, support person or group that can present an alternative position in ongoing policy debates in the African Union and help create a solid foundation for the free sharing of knowledge across the continent.

The project will gather and present reliably sourced information and proposed legislation that would allow works to be re-used on open knowledge projects including Wikimedia, protect the freedom to take pictures of monuments and buildings, and enable citizens to have easier access to knowledge paid for by government taxes, and access to their governments' documents.

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

The goals for this project are to:

  • assess current research, do additional research and map the current open policies across Africa
  • investigate the AU and member country's willingness to adopt open licenses and reception of the following:
  • Public Domain for Publicly Funded Works
  • Freedom of Panorama
  • Open Government
  • Open Education Policies
  • Open Data
  • Open Access to publications
  • create regional and international case studies to support the adoption of open licences and access
  • create feasibility study, recommendations and project strategy for a further 2-5 year project

Project impact[edit]

How will you know if you have met your goals?[edit]

For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (i.e. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

If the project is successful we will have the achieved the following:

  • Feasibility study into a case for a free knowledge group with the African Union
  • Interactive map of open movement activity and policies across Africa
  • A list of reports and files from with in the AU and aligned organisations that are open licenced for use within Wikimedia projects
  • Long-term plan for a strategic, free knowledge support and information person or group based at the AU

Do you have any goals around participation or content?[edit]

Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable.

The goals are to heighten the awareness of AU policy makers around the many benefits of open licences and access, by doing so, it hopes to encourage the release of reports and adoption of open licences and practices. It is an outreach project that is expected to have a massive long-term impact on the open movement, specifically on the release of open content and data from within the African Union itself, and its member states.

Project plan[edit]


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? The key activities are summed up below:

  • Launch kick-starter meeting with stakeholders at the CC Global Summit - April 2017 (month 0)
  • Research into the open movement activity and policies across Africa (month 1-3)
  • Make contact and begin discussions with AU officials (month 1-4)
  • Liaise with relevant open movement groups across Africa (month 1-4) engaging with Wikimedia Chapters, Usergroups and volunteer groups, CC Affiliates and other aligned Open communities and projects
  • Identify key policies, attitudes and opportunities (month 4-5)
  • Initial findings, conclusions and suggestions released to wider team (month 4)
  • Strategy meeting at Wikimania 2017 to plan for a strategic long-term intervention (month 4)
  • Creation of final feasibility study and interactive map (month 4-5)
  • Launch of feasibility study and interactive open map (and announcement of long-term intervention) (month 6)

The project will be structured with three layers of involvement:

  1. Day-to-day actions conducted by a self-motivated team with differing skill-sets lead by one person.
  2. Coordination (project oversight) - reporting, mentoring, sourcing continuation funding and opportunities, opening doors - accountability
  3. Mentorship into legal and policy and, at an operational level, guidance and practical lessons for say, FOP, and support.


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!

What Description Amount (US$)
Project coordination voluntary -
Team stipend US$3000 per month (6 months) as local travel expenses, etc. 18,000.00
Equipment, data and comms $200 per month 1,200.00
Travel International travel to meetings/events 3,000.00
Report compilation 1,500.00
Contingency 1,300.00
TOTAL 24,000.00

Budget notes:

  • The project has already been provisionally endorsed by Creative Commons HQ to the amount of US$5,000.00 and are interested in part funding the project as a partnering organisation
  • The three coordinators have volunteered for the work they will do on this project.

Community engagement[edit]

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.

The launch will take place at the Creative Commons Global Summit in Toronto at the end of April 2017. All Wikimedia volunteers and CC Affiliates across Africa will be asked to participate in the project. We will engage with Open groups via:

  • African Wikimedians mailing list
  • Creative Commons Slack Africa channel
  • Akwaba Indaba Facebook Group

Get involved[edit]


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.

  1. Day-to-day actions = team still to be decided, but discussion has already begun with Wikimedian Nebiyu Sultan
  2. Coordination (project oversight) = Isla Haddow-Flood, John Cummings and Simeon Oriko, Network Manager, Creative Commons
  3. Mentorship = Dimitar Dimitrov, Timothy Vollmer (Creative Commons, Manager, Public Policy), Legal at Wikimedia Foundation, etc.
  4. Support in policy developments = Timothy Vollmer (Creative Commons, Manager, Public Policy), Legal at Wikimedia Foundation, etc.

Community notification[edit]

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?


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 support this project and will dedicate time and energy to my mentor role. I believe that the future of free & open movements should not only be thought of as global and local, but that instead regional networks are crucial, especially in areas of the world with fewer existing organisations. This could be a pilot project in that sense. Dimi z (talk) 11:41, 12 April 2017 (UTC)