Grants:Project/Wiki In Africa/Wiki Loves Women 2018/Final/WLWUganda
- Team leader - Erina Mukuta
- Training events manager - Erina Mukuta
- Database manager - Alice Kibombo
- Content manager - Mulumba Ivan Matthias & Alice Kibombo
- Marketing manager - Kateregga Geoffrey and Steve Bukulu
- Media communications and liaison - Kateregga Geoffrey and Steve Bukulu
- Partner liaison - Douglas Ssebaggala
Important Project links for Uganda:
- Meeting notes on Google Docs (CURRENT)
- Our shared google drive
- Our shared dropbox
- Team info
- Database of Contacts
- List of women with no articles on Wikipedia (meta)
- Women in Red - Uganda
|Planned measure of success
(include numeric target, if applicable)
|Increased number of articles about Prominent women in Uganda;||128 articles were created and 184 articles edited through the programme|
|Improved usergroup structure and roles||Recognition of Wikimedia Community Usergroup Uganda as one of the Wikimedia affiliates||This was possible due to the clear definition of individual roles and volunteer job descriptions from the WLW project.|
|Increased partnerships||A database for contacts made during the execution of the project was created.||There was strengthened collaboration with previous project partners|
|Plan for the continuation of wiki loves women in Uganda||Wiki Loves Women is one of the planned activities for 2019/2020 for Wikimedia Community Usergroup Uganda||The Usergroup at the annual planning meeting in July decided to have WIki Loves Women as one of the activities to keep engagement of editors and also to grow the partnerships that have been developed.|
- The usergroup was officially recognised in June 2019 to become part of the affiliate structures for the Wikimedia Foundation.
- Project team members were also assigned roles such as Team Lead, Partnerships Liaison, Database and content managers, among others.
- Some of these roles will be re-used on future projects by the Usergroup.
- Other governance roles, membership and formal legal registration status of the Usergroup with the local authorities in Uganda is in progress.
- The usergroup collected contact details of all the individuals and organisations that were involved in the training activities.
- Relationships were strengthened for some of these organisations who had participated in previous Wikimedia editing activities and Wikimedia projects by the Usergroup.
Wiki Loves Women was something we had to plan for - we started by defining group roles and responsibilities, to which we agreed upon long before the project started. We also considered potential risks that we could face throughout the year and considered possible solutions before the year began. This good preparation helped us during the course of the project as we had foreseen risks and in turn, managed then e.g the change of leadership for the project. This also helped us solidify roles in the usergroup and determine group member likes and dislikes. It improved group dynamics without the likelihood of one member feeling overwhelmed and in addition, individuals were assigned tasks basing on their demonstrated strengths.
The question/issue of content is simply that, an issue, a thorny issue - be it about the amount, the quality, validity and everything in between. While our initial goal was to increase the amount of content on notable women in Ugandan, to some extent we may have not fully thought out the matter of notability for proposed individuals. In relation to that, content also presented the issue of quality (of writing and standards)(to be addressed later). But back to the “notability of/for/within the content(read subject)”, there was a lot of not-so-unique debate about who is and who is not notable. If there is not enough content online about an individual X, does that make them not notable? What about notability in the local context, these are individuals who have contributed/achieved and everything in between and we know them in our countries but wait, they are not known, especially in America!! Questions such as these and more. Cue Wikipedia Trolls and Vandals...shall we name names? Wikipedia Trolls and Vandals notwithstanding, we achieved the goal of increasing content but now we are saddled with the issue of not-so-there quality which we propose should be emphasised in the future.
One of the ways we were able to mitigate the issue of notability was by identifying and creating a list of previously un-documented women on meta (Categorised by the fields in which they are notable) using Women in Red from WikiData. This guided the creation of articles and these are still growing resources. But since we cannot and do not know it all, we normally encouraged participants to tell us who was who in their fields, thus encouraging user participation and making known to us, subjects that were hitherto unknown or not considered.
Edit-a-thons were based on partnerships we created and in time, content created was based on the partners' interests. This helped the edit-a-thon become more exciting versus being laborious.
Another of our aims was to increase the number of female editors, our Wikipedia version of lions-telling-their-own-story. It was generally assumed that women/females would be willing to tell, write and generate content on their own - big NO. We expected to be rejected but not to the degree we experienced it or in the ways in which it manifested. This can be attributed to a number of factors for example. Case in point- on reaching out to a famous writer in Uganda (runs a writing school to boot), she curtly informed us that she, speaking on behalf of herself, her students and other literary females, were not in a position to be used to achieve our targets. Never mind that she has an article on Wikipedia - the mind boggles!! Others just did not respond to any email, others just dismissed us as regurgitating ideas. Moral of the story - the harvest is ready but the labourers few (and unwilling). Just because they are in the field (read Womens’ Advocacy, Journalism, Women's’ Lib etc) does not necessarily mean they are interested in actually practising it. Or maybe they think of achieving it another way? Our eventual partners were the most unlikely of prospects and that is because these rejections and dismissals made us change course.
We were able to get a new member on the team during the course of the project who was great in terms of increasing partnerships with organisation dealing with women related issues.
THE FUNNY OF IT...
How we perceive the use of words in a language very different - when Isla proposed the WikiWitch drive for WikiData, there was an objection to the use of the word witch which has all sorts of nefarious connotations for us in Uganda.
THE NOT-SO FUNNY...
Just when we thought we had invited Bloggers, along came a thief! This was something we had just never thought of so it now presented the issue of guaranteeing safety and security at our events. We now ALWAYS advise participants to be extra vigilant regarding their properties; ask them to refer/nominate/recommend other individuals whom they think can benefit from our training (so that it is not a free-for-all); have some invite-only events and always have participant registration sheets.
Methods and activities
In summary, the methods for engagement were focused on:
- Photographic competitions
- Themed events
Communications were through:
- Social media (Facebook
- Mass email
- Mass media (radio talk shows)
- The edit-a-thons did not always work out well due to limited computer literacy skills and limited online reference content about women in Uganda.
- Low turn up of female editors versus male editors for some events.
- Low editing rates post the edit-a-thons.
- Delayed transfer of funds.
- We faced communication challenges as a group but one learning point was how to come to a consensus as a group versus individual-based decision making. I recommend for future groups carrying out said the project that the decision making and leadership criteria should be well defined.
- we had an increased number of partnerships and have future collaboration beyond the project.
- Increased zeal and motivation for user group members due to monthly activities.
What worked well
- One-day events do not ensure an increased number of editor or content
- Meeting people at their points of interest is the best way to create content and find out some unknowns
What didn’t work
- The edit-a-thons did not work out sometimes due to limited computer literacy skills and limited online reference content about women in Uganda.
- Low turn up of female editors versus male editors for some events - it is not women that can necessarily contribute content about women, if better skilled editors are male, then we welcome that since the contribution of content is irrespective of sex.
- Low editing rates post edit-a-thons.
- Delayed funds transfer.
Next steps and opportunities
- Establishing partnerships for GLAM in order to have access to content especially electronic and historical content (text and pictures) that would supplement the content we already have or intend to create.
- Continuing partnerships with select active partners.
- Advocacy and awareness at an academic and national level about the noticeable lack of information on women.
- Advocacy for the documentation of prominent female persons in Uganda.