Jump to content

Grants:Project/Wiki Loves Monuments international team/2021 coordination

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
2021 coordination
summaryWiki Loves Monuments 2021: coordination at the international level, improving infrastructure and making Wiki Loves Monuments future proof.
targetWikimedia Commons, Wikidata, Wikipedia, and Wikivoyage
amount27,500 EUR
contactUser:KCVelaga• wlm-global-org(_AT_)lists.wmnederland.nl
organization• Wiki Loves Monuments international team
this project needs...
created on14:15, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

This Wikimedia Foundation grant has a fiscal sponsor. Wikimedia Österreich administered the grant on behalf of Wiki Loves Monuments international organizing team.

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.

The international Wiki Loves Monuments team’s mission is to freely document and raise awareness of built cultural heritage, increase contributions to the Wikimedia projects and bolster local Wikimedia communities around the world. We do this by leading and facilitating an annual federated, global, low-barrier photo competition. Based on this mission and experience of the past ten editions of the competition, the international team already identified the following issues to work on in 2021 (Note that the 10th edition is still on-going therefore some specifics may change based on our findings from this year's contest):

  1. Lack of self-sustaining processes for organizing: In its current form, the international team needs to support many local teams on a case by case basis (for example on tools, instructions, promotion etc.) thus limiting the scalability and ease of adoption by local communities.
  2. Limited local resources: A successful national Wiki Loves Monuments competition requires focus and diversity of expertise, often over extended period of time, from local organizers, who in many cases are already involved in many other Wikimedia endeavors. Finding new volunteers with the right expertise is often a big challenge.
  3. Adapting to new forms of engagement: Engagement (acquisition and consumption of content through Wiki Loves Monuments) on mobile devices is an on-going challenge.

These challenges have not changed. We add to that:

  1. Worldwide participation: Participation has always been limited to countries with national organizers. This is a model that works well for most of the world, but the demand for a fallback option for non-participating countries increases each year.

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.

For 2021, we would like to continue strengthening the foundation for a healthy and sustainable Wiki Loves Monuments across the world, as we have done in the past years. To that end, we envision the following approaches:

  1. Collect, curate, and share best practices and building blocks (Challenge 1,2): Two conditions are necessary for a successful Wiki Loves Monuments national competition: access to best practices and consistent tools/building blocks of information or technology that local organizers can use or follow out-of-the-box while keeping the barriers for innovation low. Currently, a lot of the limited time and resources of the national (and international) organizers is spent on tasks that can be done more efficiently, through better and more user-friendly documentation as well as templates that are designed based on the learning of organizing the contest over the past 10 years. Currently, much of the documentation is several years old and somewhat outdated. The international team started the work for documenting some of the best practices in the past years, and we aim to continue this work during this grant period. Our goal is that by mid-2022, we have a step-by-step guide for organizing Wiki Loves Monuments though achieving this in this timeline will rely on further budget discussions. However, after this there will be more documentation and support that can be provided.
  2. Update infrastructure (Challenges 1, 2 and 3): This is ongoing work, that will probably return year after year, with a slightly different emphasis. We will continue this line of work in 2021 by focusing on two other areas with significant impact (Note that both have external dependencies, including dependencies on Wikimedia Foundation). (TO BE DONE)
  3. Maintenance work (Challenge 1): This is the continuation of the work that we have executed in the past years. We expect to continue doing the underlying maintenance work for Wiki Loves Monuments especially considering recent changes to Wikimedia Commons through Structured Data on Commons project. This effort will include both tools and documentation.

In addition to this, we want to place some special emphasis on the strongest tool that we have as an international team to help the national teams: our award structure:

  1. Additional Special Awards: After the success of the past year with the special awards, we want to continue this effort with two regional awards for underrepresented regions. This could for example be Africa, Latin America and/or Pacific Asia. This helps these countries that often don't make it to the international top-10 to also have a shot at an international award. We will also include an innovative prize award. This could for example be for 3D representation of a monument or drone photography. Especially to address challenge 4, we will consider a Special Award for countries without a national organizer, for example only considering UNESCO heritage. Finally, we want to start a symbolic award for national organizers. All these additional awards are still very early in development, and will require significant community consultation before deploying.

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.

For Wiki Loves Monuments, international team has three main goals, as stated in our mission statement. These goals are:

  • to freely document and raise awareness of built cultural heritage
  • to increase contributions to the Wikimedia projects
  • to bolster local Wikimedia communities.

Like previous years, we do this through a federated model, supporting local national organizers to do what they are best at. This year, we want to pay special attention to making Wiki Loves Monuments more future proof.

Apart from the goals for Wiki Loves Monuments as a competition, the International Team would like to focus on the following:

  • Stabilizing the team and get the competition going: Some long-standing members of the team are going to stepback from the core group this year, which will require significant transitions internally. Our goal is to make sure the international team has sufficient human resources to run the competition successfully this year.
  • Exploring future changes:
    • Exploring rest of the world competition: The idea is to explore the possibility of organizing a competition for rest of the world i.e. for countries not having a national competition. This has come up several times in the past, we explored the idea a bit last year, but it didn't materialise. For this year, we would like to explore the possibility and model of such a competition in detail, and hopefully get in running in 2022.
    • Research on landing page design: Landing pages are crucial part of engaging participants. A good landing page can help to turn in more visitors to participants. There is always a scope of improvement in this area. We are planning on closely working with relevant WMF teams to research and improve the design of a generic landing page, which can be used by national competitions. This won't necessarily be ready by the start of 2021's competition, but by the end of the grand period i.e. mid-2022.
    • Developing step-by-step guide for participants: Though there are a lot of pages containing instructions for participants, there is a no single guide to which the participants can refer. We are envisioning to have a graphical 1/2-pager document, with enough information for a complete outsider to Wikimedia, to participate. This can be translated and localised by national competitions.
  • Follow-up with the participants: The idea is to follow-up with participants, especially those who joined Wikimedia through the competition, at regular intervals after the competition is over. This includes a simple message on talk pages of the participants on what they can possibly do after the competition is over. This may improve retention. We will be conducting a data analysis to understand the retention of editors after 3, 6, and 12 months after the competition is over. We will average this for last three years and compare it with 2021's. That will help us to understand the impact of follow-up intervention.

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.

Freely document and raise awareness of built cultural heritage:

  1. In collaboration with our partners inside and outside the Wikimedia movement, we will continue to support the shift towards Wikidata of our monuments infrastructure.
    1. An overview of datasets with their status and obstacles is available.
    2. A workflow is described to include a built heritage dataset.
    3. Existing tools maintained by the international team will be made Wikidata compatible where possible.
    4. New datasets will be supported through Wikidata and participating countries will be encouraged and supported in switching to using Wikidata.
  2. We will create or improve documentation aimed at heritage enthusiasts, explaining how to access the monuments datasets.

Increase contributions to the Wikimedia projects:

  1. Continuing impact in this category lies primarily in the support of national competitions and helping them to operate effectively. We would know our impact through a survey among the organizers. We have executed an organizer survey in 2019 and 2020, and we plan to repeat this.
  2. A great set of international winning pictures is always a good indication for a good process. This is of course highly subjective.
  3. Where possible, our tools and documentation can be re-used by other efforts with similar workflows. We continue making an effort to making re-use of our tools possible in other photo competitions.

Bolster local Wikimedia communities:

  1. By design, Wiki Loves Monuments is a project that will bring national communities together around a common theme: their shared built cultural heritage. Communities are the building block of Wikimedia projects. By encouraging communities to form around one project (Wiki Loves Monuments), we provide an opportunity for people to build relationships and networks that they can use later on to do other projects in their corresponding communities with. We may further support this with the organizers' awards.
  2. Measuring the impact of Wiki Loves Monuments in communities scientifically/accurately, requires research resources that are not available in abundance in the international team. Therefore, we limit our measurements to counting the number of new countries we will help organize Wiki Loves Monuments in 2021. The international team will continue to focus on the longer term, rather than aggressively onboard new countries.

Collect and share best practices aggressively.

  1. A documentation portal is available and up-to-date describing all core information that volunteers would need to organize their national competition. This documentation will suggest a standard (with templates where possible), but may also refer to alternative approaches in less detail.

Rest of the world competition:

  1. To have a model ready to execute the rest of the world competition in 2022.

Step-by-step guide for participants:

  1. To have graphical 1 or 2 pager document for participants to participate in the competition, which can also be translated/localised for national competitions.

Following up with participations:

  1. At least do one follow-up with participants after the competition is over.

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.

Two out of the four goals mentioned earlier are directly related to the increase in participation within the Wikimedia Movement as well as increasing/improving content on Wikimedia projects. We will use the following metrics and numeric targets to measure whether we meet that component of our goals. Note that by design, a substantial amount of work in the international Wiki Loves Monuments team is focused on empowering local organizers to organize Wiki Loves Monuments. As a result, not all metrics suggested in the link above are metrics that the international team can have direct control over. We will only report metrics over which the international team has direct control and/or metrics that the change in their value can be directly associated with the initiatives by the international team.

  • Total participants: For the international team, the participants are the local organizers. We measure each country’s participation as one participant, independent of the number of community members involved in that country for organizing the contest. We set a goal to have at least 40 countries participate in Wiki Loves Monuments in 2021.
  • Number of newly registered users: This is a metric that is expected to be largely driven by the national organizers and the banners. Therefore, we are not setting a target to meet for this metric. However, the international team is interested in this metric as a measure of the health of Wiki Loves Monuments ecosystem and we will monitor this number throughout and after the contest. We do this for one or more reasons mentioned below:
    • The international team is in a good position to monitor the number of newly registered users across participating countries to identify and share best practices across projects as well as notify the countries in case an unexplained signal is observed in our trends.
    • The international team may be responsible for initiatives that can have direct impact on the number of newly registered users and for those initiatives, we will report the number of newly registered users. These initiatives are those for which the international team spends substantial effort to improve the infrastructure to lower the barriers for entry. For example, we have discussed and provided a default landing page design to the countries who choose to use it and we hypothesize that a further improved landing page design can increase the chances of users attempting to register an account and participate (some progress was made here last year). If we offer such a design, and if resources are available to us, we are interested in doing controlled experiments to learn the effect of such a change on the number of newly registered users as a result of this change. Unfortunately this has not been the case so far.
    • The international team has some control over the WLM banners. While there are some specifics that are country dependent, we believe that some more robust approaches could help make these more effective. For example, especially last year the banners seemed less effective than ever before. This requires further analysis and the setting up of an infrastucture to make that possible. We are willing to support this, but that is highly dependent on expertise and external resources.
  • Number of participants in the "other countries" category: We plan to launch a new category for photos of monuments in countries without a national team. These participants are more directly attributable to the international team, although they highly depend on which countries participate. It is expected that this category should be on par with the top-5 participating countries.
  • Number of content pages created or improved, across all Wikimedia projects: Similar to the above metric, the number of uploaded images is a metric that the international team does not have direct control over. We also support the migration of datasets to Wikidata, but due to this being primarily joint efforts, it is impossible to determine which are thanks to WLM international team.
  • Basic goals: As the coordinators of Wiki Loves Monuments international competition, the international team has set the goal to meet the following targets on top of what is described above (this is working from the assumption that the framework is not changed. These goals may have to be redefined if changes are already implemented in 2021):
    • 90% of the participating countries nominate at least 1 image to the international finale.
    • All critical infrastructure necessary for the start will be ready before September 1, 2021
    • The international team will ensure the availability of critical tools developed and/or maintained by the team throughout the contest and will monitor all other critical tools throughout the contest.
    • The international jury process is finalized and a jury report is published before the end of the year
    • A survey for national organizers is executed to learn about where the international team has done well and where the team and its efforts can be improved. At least 50% of the countries have one response or more.
    • Repeat the 2020 survey for participants, with at least 750 responses.

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 international team assumes responsibility for a wide range of activities around Wiki Loves Monuments. In this section, we will describe the activities that are (directly) funded by this grant.

Preliminary work

  • Inform local organizers and affiliates about the new contest, initiatives, and projects the international team is working on;
  • Collect feedback and suggestions from local organizers;
  • Hold regular internal team meetings to review work done and plan for the work that is ahead;
  • Communicate with the WLM community periodically.

General Coordination

  • Update and communicate the international rules;
  • Update and share documentation;
  • Prepare (or coordinate for others to prepare) communication material that can be used and/or built upon by national organizations;
  • Facilitate communication channels;
  • Monitor statistics;
  • Set up clear timeline.

Project Management

  • Write grant request

Maintain communication with relevant staff at Wikimedia Foundation;

  • Collect measures and data to be reported at the end of the program.
  • Report monthly and midterm on activities to WMF
  • Report on the use of budget at the end of the program;
  • Write grant report

Technical contributions

  • Help with the setup and maintenance of the technical infrastructure for uploading;
  • Help with the setup and maintenance of the CentralNotice;
  • Maintain an international website for participants;
  • Improve Montage based on the feedback from last year in order to offer jury tool services to local and international jury members and coordinators;
  • In coordination with partners, provide support for the technical work in specific parts of the pipeline for the migration of data from Monuments Database to Wikidata.

Communication & partnerships

  • Update wikilovesmonuments.org with the necessary/useful information;
  • Update social media channels;
  • Disseminate the results of the international jury;
  • Maintain communication with international partners.
  • The partnership activities are focused on long term relationships with partners.

Follow & help national organizations

  • Give specific suggestions and support to national organizers (mostly online, though additionally we offer onboarding sessions over Hangout to the countries participating for the first time);
  • Collect & answer questions of the national teams;
  • Crisis management for national contests;
  • This year in particular: improve the infrastructure that is used by national competitions. This includes documentation, templates and perhaps some tooling.

Set up & run the international contest

  • Set up jury processes
  • Find suitable jury members for the international jury
  • Collect results of national competitions
  • Support the jury in their process
  • Provide & distribute international prizes, awards and diplomas

Specific additional tasks this year:

  • Organize the Special Awards for countries without a national team
  • Organize the Organizers' awards


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!

  • Prizes and diplomas: 11,500 EUR
  • Support of national competitions: 9,000 EUR
  • Travel: 1,500 EUR
  • Micro-grants: 4,000 EUR
  • Admin and Overhead: 1,500 EUR
    • Total: 27,500 EUR


  • Prizes and diplomas: This permits the purchase of international prizes for the top-10 winners (exact distribution to be determined) and diplomas for the top-15. (7300) After the success of last year, we want to expand the idea of regional awards for underrepresented regions to two regions. (2 x 1050) and to stimulate innovation, we want to set up one innovative award (1050). We finally want to try an award for UNESCO heritage in countries without a national competition (1050).
  • Support of national competitions: This includes design for material to support national competitions (templates and documentation), branding and thank-you gifts (memorabilia, T-shirts, stickers etc). While the international team can prepare a significant amount of material by spending our time and existing expertise, making a truly effective, accessible, and inclusive process will require bringing in some professional design support to illustrate and create select material. All design assets will be freely licensed, so they can be reused for future competitions, and shared with national Wiki Loves Monuments organizers for additional usage and adaptation. We also want to experiment with one new idea to this: a symbolic prize for national organizers. Details need to be worked out, but we would budget EUR 500 for this to produce and ship a few physical awards to national organizers.
  • Travel: Though 2021 still looks bleak for major travels, this grant extends till June 2022, so the latter half might open-up some chances for in-person outreach. So we want to allow some budget for travel in order to either attend regional conferences to support national teams or to present at broader conferences to spread the word about WLM in communities outside Wikimedia.
  • Micro-grants: We would like to offer support to national campaigns with small grants (approx. $300) that don't otherwise have access to funding. These grants are intended, but not limited to, countries running campaigns for the first time and/or have a new organizing team. In the past we have observed new teams who sign-up close to the campaign start date, it isn't feasible to apply for rapid grants, and for new organizers going through the whole rapid grants process and meeting the $500 threshold, doesn't work very well. These micro-grants are intended for such groups, who can avail a modest amount with a simple request. The international team will check for legitimacy of these groups before disbursing the funds, to make sure that they are actually organizing a WLM campaign in their country. This is also inclusive of transaction fee and other relevant charges.
  • Admin and Overhead: This is to cover various administrative costs including costs incurred to Wikimedia Austria (our fiscal sponsor). In 2018 WMAT had a sponsored administrative assistant via an external grant. For 2021 this staff capacity is no longer available, so we need to cover the additional staff resources necessary. The amount is 25% lower as there is no international team meeting.

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.

Wiki Loves Monuments international team uses a variety of platforms and venues to communicate about Wiki Loves Monuments 2021. The top most often pathways of communication used are wikilovesmonuments mailing list and wlm-announce mailing list. We also use Wiki Loves Monuments blog (although less so recently) and Wiki Loves Monuments Social Media outlets (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). We continue to be active on social media throughout the year to engage a wider audience beyond the Wikimedia community. When opportunity provides itself, we take advantage of in-person events such as Wikimedia Conference, Wikimedia Hackathon, and Wikimania to present ourselves and have meetings with national organizers. And of course, there is our Commons FAQ page and its corresponding Discussion page as well as personal communications (via email) with local organizers.

Request to the WMF Grants Team[edit]

We kindly request the WMF to lighten the reporting burden. It gets in the way of our main effort: organizing WLM. This results in underreporting, and a constant battle for reporting. Due to the nature of our work, we believe that there is already a fair amount of documentation and openness available about our work. We propose to reduce the reports to quarterly and drop the midterm report.

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.

Please see the 2020 overview of international team members for an idea who might be in the team next year. We will evaluate team membership later this year. We always welcome applications from interested candidates to join our team! Additionally, we depend in our efforts on the hard work of hundreds of volunteers around the world in national teams.

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?

  • We have organized two office hours last month, to discuss the grant proposal among a few other topics with the community.


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).

  • Support Support This project is good value for the little money, but it is neither sustainable nor well resourced *(core team is over streatched, also communication not ideal, nor accesibility with no international and regional option). To be close to best of its potential I would hope both WMF and organizers encorage project revision for 2022. Good luck boys!Zblace (talk) 08:53, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Proven track record and lots of experiences to draw from makes this quite a low-risk project and the competition offers an important way for another type of volunteers to join the movement. Ainali talkcontributions 19:19, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Support Misaochan (talk) 20:08, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Support This is a modest request to tackle some significant challenges. I strongly support this proposal, but more importantly, good luck in continuing all that you do. Prburley (talk)