- Application or grant stage: grant in progress
- Applicant or grantee: grantee
- Amount requested: US$71,985
- Amount granted:
- Funding period: 1 January 2020
- Midpoint report due: 15 July 2020
- Final report due: 30 January 2021
This is Wiki In Africa's application for an annual plan grant of $71,985 over 12 months. This covers a grant period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. The plan is to move Wiki In Africa into an annual cycle of integrated, programmatic development and community support, and to move away from insecure project funding cycles. This grant application doesn't cover the full amount of activities planned by Wiki In Africa over the 2020 year, but it does ensure that main projects continue and a solid foundation is set for towards an appropriate growth model, where new and established interventions and programmes to develop at an appropriate scale.
Wiki In Africa (WiA)
Global access for all to open knowledge that reflects the diverse cultures, biodiversities, peoples, and histories of the African continent with the same depth and breadth as other knowledges.
Wiki In Africa is a non-profit voluntary association that is based in South Africa. It is a financial and legal structure that operates global initiatives in support of the WikiAfrica movement. The WikiAfrica movement is a collective of interventions that supports the aims and development of the Wikimedia movement and community across the geographical space of Africa. Amongst the current WikiAfrica interventions driven by Wiki In Africa are Wiki Loves Africa, Wiki Loves Women, WikiFundi, WikiChallenge Ecoles d'Afrique, etc.
The association's objective is to empower and engage citizens of Africa and its diaspora to collect, develop and contribute educational and relevant content that relates to the theme of Africa under a free license, and to engage in global knowledge systems by encouraging access to, awareness of, and support for open knowledge, the open movement and the Wikimedia projects, by working in collaboration with like-minded organisations.
Wiki In Africa is a legal entity that is focused on meta organising. It has absolutely NO intention of working above, instead of, or replacing any national user group. The purpose of Wiki In Africa is to create resources that support the work of individuals as well as existing and future Wikimedia Volunteer teams and Usergroups, and to create cross-continental projects and opportunities that consistently collaborate with them. It does not, in any way, replace any of the work that individuals, teams and UserGroups do on the ground. Its aims are to inform, encourage, support and embolden people, groups and organisations to get involved.
It also should be outlined that all programmatic activity of Wiki in Africa is being done in collaboration with at least one (but more often, several) Wikimedia organizations, and in most cases also involve external partners. Our activity usually does not include on-the-ground elements such as organizing edit-a-thons or training sessions, but rather consist in leading global initiatives which others can join or implement with activities on the ground in the way they want to and can.
WiA Annual Plan 2020
There are a number of objectives for Wiki In Africa across 2020. These range from the synergistic development and scaling of existing programmes, the research and development of a new educational intervention, consolidating processes to integrate community and expert advice, and establishing organisational consistency and stability.
Wiki In Africa was legally established in 2017, however, the principals of the organisation have been working collaboratively since 2014 with the Activate Africa drive for WikiAfrica, which saw the launch of Wiki Loves Africa and a WIR-model community project, Kumusha Takes Wiki. Wiki In Africa was established to ensure a legal structure in order for the work across Africa to continue, however, its life as an organisation has relied on short-term project funding, which has led to considerable stress and insecurity that have had negative impacts on the natural progression of the programmes it runs.
At the core of the plan up to and throughout 2020 is to stabilise and expand this work by ensuring proactive (and not reactive) programmatic development. Part of this plan involves securing and establishing vital input and collaboration from the Wikimedia community, the development of Advisory Panels for Wiki In Africa projects, and ongoing visibility and advocacy efforts.
WiA programmatic areas of focus for 2020
- Diversity and Content Contribution (including Capacity Building and Community Development)
- Gender Equity (including Diversity, Capacity Building and Community Development)
- WikiChallenge African Schools
- Open Knowledge Curriculum
- Tech and Community Support
Diversity and Content Contribution (including Capacity Building and Community Development)
- stage: advanced - 2020 will be the 6th edition
Wiki Loves Africa 2020
Wiki Loves Africa 5 years poster
m:Wiki Loves Africa (WLAf) is an annual photo contest that takes place annually and is run across the African continent. Wiki Loves Africa encourages the ‘crowd’ contribution of local knowledge of heritage and communal cultures by entering media (photographs, video and audio) about their environment onto Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikimedia projects.
Wiki Loves Africa particularly encourages participants to contribute media that illustrates a specific theme for that year. Each year the theme changes. Themes are chosen from topics that are universal, visually rich and culturally specific, for example, markets, rites of passage, festivals, public art, cuisine, natural history, urbanity, daily life, notable persons, etc.. In 2014 the theme was Cuisine. In 2015 the theme was Cultural Fashion and Adornment. The theme for 2016 was Dance and Music. 2017 was People at Work and 2019 was Play!
An important element of design, which makes Wiki Loves Africa differ from other WLX projects (such as Wiki Loves Monuments or Wiki Loves Earth), is that it is open for participation across the whole continent (and beyond) rather than only in targeted or participating countries.
Practically speaking, WLM or WLE are organised in specific countries by local teams, which mean the contest does not take place in countries where there are no organizing teams. The list of participating countries differ every year, with new countries joining and others leaving, depending on the existence and willingness of local organizing teams on the ground. For example, WLM took place in 55 countries in 2017, and 48 countries in 2019. For WLM, the primary goal is to highlight the heritage sites of the participating countries, with the goal to collect awesome pictures of them. The amount of work to provide by local teams is quite important, and must start with establishing lists of monuments to illustrate. In many cases, the local teams are supported by local chapters, some of whom have dedicated, paid staff (eg, in France, the contest is largely organized by Wikimedia France staff). Generally speaking, the pictures are more often uploaded by already established contributors to the Wikimedia projects.
WLA is designed differently, for slightly different results. When we launched it in 2014, the gap in photographic content about Africa on Wikimedia Commons was huge. But so was participation. We also hardly had any African Usergroups. In most countries, the wikipedians were only a handful, sometimes only one known person, sometimes no one. When there are only 1-2 wikipedians in a country, it is quite difficult to organize activities from scratch. As WMF also demonstrated, the awareness of the Wikimedia brand (and the Wikipedia brand as well for that matter) in Africa was extremely limited. As a consequence, our goal in launching Wiki Loves Africa was just about getting awesome pictures. It was also about:
- providing a general framework that tiny local groups could use to run local activities that would not be too demanding and in the process, get more informed about, and involved in, our ecosystem,
- raising local awareness about Wikipedia, Commons, free licences,
- facilitating recruitment of editors,
- training new participants in different ways of contributing,
- and finally about getting pictures to illustrate articles.
Local groups can address the contest in the way they want, with the level of involvement they desire (and can handle). If it is only organizing one afternoon event, then so be it. Many former participants report they learned new skills from their participation.
But the contest also takes place in countries with no team whatsoever, and since WLA launched in 2014 we have seen the exciting emergence of new wikipedians across Africa. In the past six years, some tiny groups grew up to become strong and solid Usergroups with lots of members and partners, and some isolated individuals are now part of a small team. And some countries with absolutely no one now host known wikipedians. Over the course of 5 years, over 220 events were organized!
Part of the tasks of the central organizing team have been to foster the emergence of new groups and help them walk the path to become informed members of our community. There ia a strong synergy between associations to run Wiki Loves Africa. WLA has been run by Wiki in Africa at the global level, but could not be possible without the involvement and partnership with dozen of others, in particular, the Wikimedia UserGroups in Africa. The project also got some support from Wikimedia France, Wikimedia CH, Wikimedia Foundation, Orange Foundation, Ynternet.org, Unesco, Goethe Institute and several others locally. Other tasks may involve the embodiment of the WLA drive, with practice sharing and coordination with the other WLX (Recent example during Wikimania).
But there are still areas where we know of very, very few or no wikipedians at all. Accordingly, our desire is to continue Wiki Loves Africa.
So do others: a survey was conducted in September 2019 about the future of Wiki Loves Africa. The community has been overwhelmingly supportive of the contest continuing, with 86% respondents in favour of Wiki Loves Africa 2020.
Last, the Wiki in Africa team does not wish the Wiki Loves Africa contest to be a stand-a-alone project that simply happens over 2 months, and then lies dormant the rest of the year. We want it to be the starting point for various activities throughout the year, to maintain the energy levels from the community and optimize the outcomes of the contest. Examples of side-elements in the past include:
- a real and consistent effort was made to increase the reuse of best images in Wikipedia articles (on African-related articles but also on general articles so as to fight bias). The team also explored new ways to use and improve tools developed by others (Trying to expand the Glamify tool). According to Alex Stinton, WLA reuse percentage is considered high compared to other WLX campaigns;
- a consistent effort has been made to present the contest and its outcome (poster, leaflets, photo exhibition) at various wikimedia and non-wikimedia conferences for increased visibility of our brands (Wiki Loves Africa celebrated 5 years at the CC Summit 2019 in Lisbon);
- a tool, ISA (see below) was developed to increase the structured data associated with the images collected through the contest, as well as organization of small challenges towards the end of 2019;
- a research experiment was designed with the Civil Servant team to increase participation from former participants using mass messages (CivilServant's Wikimedia studies/Wiki Loves Africa Recruitment 2019); and
- Photo essays was an experiment to collect image stories that was successfully run in 2017 (dropped in 2019 due to time constraints) and will be reinstigated in 2020.
APG funding and need for staff rationale
- Wiki Loves Africa has been consistently funded by Wikimedia Foundation in the past. However, since the last edition, we have been confronted by the challenge of fitting into the Project Grant Funding Cycle, due to its changes in structure and its reduction to a now annual occurrence. Last year, we had to patch funding together by piling up several smaller radip grant requests so that the budget would be met. This inefficient process added considerable work not only on Wiki in Africa, but also on the Wikimedia Foundation grant team which had to study and then manage several requests, not counting general confusion for the grant committee.
- The uncertainty around being funded or not funded generates a lot of stress to the team (both the core and country-based teams). For the Wiki In Africa team, there is as additional workload when attempting to find other funding sources to ensure the contest will happen every year (over 15 grant requests were made in 2018 to external parties, unsuccessfully). Ultimately, it also means that Wiki in Africa has to actually pay for expenses in advance, without certainty to be supported. Last year, the funding of prizes for winners was only approved as the contest was already launched (which impacted on the effective draw of the communications). It is unclear what would have happened is funding had not been approved.
- Contrariwise to some other big WLX projects, the contest is not being operationally supported by any staff, neither globally, nor locally at the moment. And in spite of a bigger international team in 2019, the workload AND the mental charge is too heavy to be managed fully by volunteers.
- Last, there is a real benefit for tracking data related to participation (eg, which events organized where) or reuse, and documenting in detail the program years after years (, ). Due to no funding in 2019, the documentation will only be partial. In any program, there are activities that require precision, consistency and completeness, some of which may not be appealing enough for volunteers to take them in charge.
International Organisation Committee and Community Input
In order to develop the skills set of community members at the meta organisation level, the team has decided to formally establish an International Organisation Committee (IOC). This is less an advisory committee and more an operational committee to take charge of various important operations and actions for the project. We intend to expand an existing embryonic group. We will, in addition, continue to get input about the theme and meta-project direction through community feedback throughout the pre- and post-competition process.
General project objectives for WiA
- Increase the amount of visual, contemporary coverage of Africa on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects,
- Increase visibility and understanding of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in Africa,
- Increase figures of participation to Wikimedia projects from Africa, and
- Have fun and do that all with as many Usergroups and external partners as possible!
Key Wiki Loves Africa activities through 2020
- Pre-contest set up
- Communication management (before, during, after)
- Social media driving
- Prize management
- Coaching, mentorship and support for local groups
- Criteria, approach and creation of international organisational committee event (around WikiIndaba)
Goals for success in 2020
- The contest takes place in the first quarter of 2020 on the agreed theme of Transport
- At least 10 local teams get actively involved in the competition (measurable by activities)
- At least 10k images submitted in 2020
- Reuse on Wikimedia projects of at least 10% after a year (12 months)
- An International Committee to direct the actions and activities of Wiki Loves Africa for 2020 and beyond is established.
- A survey is conducted amongst team organizers, showing high levels of satisfaction with the contest
- At least two post-contest events, on-line drive or activities to extend the theme
- Research experiment with Civil Servant held during the year
- Documentation of best practices is done
- A final report is published for the general public
Links to Previous iterations:
Gender Equity (including Diversity, Capacity Building and Community Development)
- stage: established - evolving
Wiki Loves Women (WLW)
Gender inequality is rife across Africa. Although much progress has been made to address these inequalities in the workplace and within society, there remains a systemic bias towards profiling women, especially with regards to information, news and knowledge sources, both online and offline. There are significant numbers of notable women who have shaped the past of African societies, there are innovative African female businesswomen who help to drive Africa’s many economies (formal and informal), and there are everyday realities that women and female children must face due to their gender. These stories need to sit alongside the ones of their male counterparts. Very few of these subjects can be found online, far fewer on the world’s largest knowledge repositories, such as Wikipedia.
To counter this obvious need, WikiAfrica launched Wiki Loves Women in 2016. Wiki Loves Women's focus is on bridging two significant gaps on Wikimedia projects – women and Africa – both in terms of content about these subjects and in terms of participation by people from these groups.
From January 2016-April 2017, the Wiki Loves Women conducted a proof of concept project in four countries (Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria) in Africa, with accompanying interventions online and offline, through the support of the Goethe-Institut. A huge side benefit of the WLW project has been the fostering of tight links between the African wikimedia community and the Goethe Institute. Our partners for this first iteration were Ghana, Nigeria, and Cote d'Ivoire UserGroups, as well as Georges from Cameroun (the Cameroun UG was created during the course of the WLW project).
Based on outcomes and lessons from 2016-2017, we relaunched Wiki Love Women in 2018 in Tanzania and Uganda. Our partners were Wikimedia TZ and Wikimedia UG. This second iteration has now come to an end. It should be noted that the WLW project still continues in some of the initial countries from the first iteration (some with name changes). Wiki Loves Women in Cote d'Ivoire is now WikiMousso and quite active (based on our appreciation of Wikimedia Community User Group Côte d'Ivoire/2020).
The Gender Gap Ecosystem
WLW is not a "campaign". it is a programme and a team of people. It seems important to outline and explain the place of WLW in the Wikimedia ecosystem.
The gender gap is a well-known issue in our community and fostered the creation of several formal or informal groups trying to close that gap. Amongst well-known active groups, we might cite Women in Red, WikiDonne, les sans pagEs, but also Afrocrowd and Noircir Wikipedia. Those groups are not in competition generally, they are complementary, which explains it is quite frequent that a Wikipedian belongs to more than one group. Beside linguistic differences, the outcome focus of those groups is sometimes slightly different (for example Women in Red mostly focuses on biographies whilst les sans pagEs members extend their work to "issues"). Their target participants may also differ (some groups explicitly welcome men and women alike, whilst other groups will tend to restrict participation to women only). The values focus that are common in the collective also differs (some groups focus on women only, whilst others will adopt a strong stance toward LGBTQ issues). In short... it is a vast and complex ecosystem, that reflects different aspects of feminism and provides space for everyone (men, women, non-binary) to join.
Most of those organizations happily collaborate in actions (campaigns). A rather famous campaign is the WikiGap, another one is Art + Feminism, yet others are HerStory or Wiki4Women. The groups listed above sometimes participate in one or several of those actions. Wiki Loves Women teams have organized Art and Feminism events in the past. Last year, Wiki Loves Women Uganda team held the WikiGap event in Kampala. WLW also got involved in the Afro-Cine month organized by Sam from Nigeria with a Women Occupation WikiData drive. In short, it is important to outline that WLW works in full collaboration with other gender-gap focused Wikimedia entities (Women in Red or Les sans pagEs for example) and participates in international drives (such as WikiGap or 1Lib1Ref in Uganda) As a project, it has also inspired the Wiki Loves Women India project, that is completely independent of Wiki In Africa.
This also reflects during Wikimedia events, where the Wiki Loves Women team frequently organizes round tables related to Gender Gap in Africa for example, inviting other gender-gap groups to join in and present themselves and their actions (Recent example of such panel during Wikimania).
Links to Previous iterations:
Rationale of 2019-2020 evolution
The operating context of WLW has evolved quite a lot since 2016. Several African countries where we launched used to have small, loosely coordinated teams. One of WLW goals was capacity building. We wanted to provide local teams with a focus, a general operating platform, get them to discover and master some skills and tools, but also help with ideas, network, financial support, and best practices, so that local teams could develop their own activities and their organization in the way that made sense to them and was locally suitable. Based on those 6 countries, our experience is that the process to lead to autonomy works. All those countries now feature active and well-developed teams. Some have continued WLW through regular activity as it was done in the pilot project (such as in Cameroun), others have implemented their own independent WLW program (such as Nigeria with their radio interviews), yet others retained the activities but renamed them to better fit their context (such as Wikimousso in Ivory Coast). Most of them regularly participate in global drives such as Art + Feminism or WikiGap. It should be equally noted that this program allowed bonding between community members of several countries, with more opportunities for sharing and collaborating on projects. So overall, we consider the program was useful in particular in term of Wikimedia promotion and brand visibility in those countries, and in terms of capacity building for the teams.
We note that today, there are several other small groups or individuals interested in working on gender gap issues, and who would benefit from joining a global framework where they would get direct support to help them kickstart a Wiki Loves Women programme. Our team is always willing to share tools, best practices, stories, advice, benevolent feedback, and our knowledge of the wiki movement. In such a way that over 2020, we feel it is important to retain that experience and ensure that it feeds back into the project by establishing an advisory committee made up of individuals that have been the core leads in the 6 countries in which WIki Loves Women has already operated; the committee’s function is to support and validate the ongoing direction of the project.
However, we also noticed that doing 8-12 months-long projects with regular monthly activities can be quite a time and energy-consuming process for small teams, as they can not rely on many volunteers to share the workload. We also realised that there are many gender-equality groups and organisations across Africa (outside the Wikimedia ecosystem) who would be interested in hosting a Wiki Loves Women event or programme for their own members - however, due to the small number of Wikimedians across Africa, there are not always Wikimedia volunteers to support this enthusiasm. Lastly, we acknowledged that many of these new potential organizers (Wikimedians and gender-equality activists alike) would not be familiar with the Wikimedia ecosystem and finding their way to getting rapid grants is complicated. We have noticed that recently, some of the Wikimedians, the French-speaking ones, have been reoriented to the micro-funding system run by Wikimedia France. Which may be a solution, but raises a lot of issues as well (regarding documentation, African costs, money transfer, political perception, etc.)
Accordingly, we wanted to propose an alternative: a micro-financing system for (Wikimedia) gender-gap projects in Africa. We acknowledge that the APG funding committee has questions regarding the review process, committee selection, and efforts to combat review bias, all of which are understandable and completely fair. We also acknowledge that the Wikimedia Foundation does not have the capability to fund such a micro-grant programme at this stage, nor to fund any effort to seek external funding for it, and prefers to refrain from engaging in such a perspective until the 2030 strategy process is finalized. In short, we do realize that in spite of our enthusiasm :) we are possibly stepping out of the committee and WMF comfort zone and prefer to drop that proposition (for the time being). We nevertheless maintain our interest in this option and will create opportunities to further explore the topic over 2020.
As a consequence of this change in tactic, our proposition for Wiki Loves Women during 2020 is the following: to run a brand new campaign named “#SheSaid”.
In a nutshell: #SheSaid will focus the community on compiling and uploading quotes from notable women that are then added to Wikiquote. It will primarily be an online campaign, but it has the capacity for local usergroups and volunteers to host local quote-a-thons ;) with local gender-focused partners.
We would like that campaign to be:
- an opportunity to collect relevant content about women, to be made available on our projects;
- highlight the need to ensure that notable women are represented as experts in their fields, in the same way men are;
- ease newcomers into becoming involved in Wikimedia projects through smaller, bite-sized contributions such as verified quotes and WikiData entries;
- put a spotlight on a project (Wikiquote) which is not so frequently considered by our community;
- provide another element through which WikiData information can be added;
- allow the focus to be on African communities, however provide the framework for a global campaign;
- introduce newcomers to a Wikimedia-based space where they can participate that is less aggressive or less complicated (Wikiquote is a more friendly and easy-going than Wikipedia); and
- create the opportunity to work on content gender gap data through a different lense than is currently done now.
The work on Wiki Loves Women as a meta project will continue. The team will concentrate on the following elements:
- Host a campaign on Wikiquote (and all that entails, on-Wiki prep, social media and other campaigns, awareness around the need, etc.)
- Join online global drives around content creation where relevant;
- Approach groups and individuals interested in gender equality and willing to host events, in particular as part of the #SheSaid campaign, for which we will provide mentorship (including support to proceed through the WMF Rapid Grant system);
- Establish a committee that is made up of individuals that were the core leads in the 6 countries in which Wiki Loves Women has already operated; the committee’s function is to provide input and support the ongoing direction of the project;
- Work on the Wiki Loves Women Event Toolkit to support anyone wishing to host a Wiki Loves Women programme regardless of whether they are seeking financing or not;
- Ensuring gender gap is included in the discourse at attended global events;
- Explore tools development in partnership with tech / dev actors to work together to improve the assessment on-wiki tools and make them more relevant and effective (we are currently in discussion with Envel Le Hir and Max Klein for the improvement and maybe the merging of their respective tools, Denelezh and WHGI Index)
General objectives for WLW during 2020
- Creation of a new campaign for Wiki Loves Women to foster creation of content and stimulate gender-gap related activities in Africa and beyond,
- Increase visibility and understanding of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in Africa,
- Better quality/quantify content about the gender-gap in Africa on Wikimedia projects,
- Increase figures of participation to Wikimedia projects from Africa, in particular, female participation, and
- Support the emergence of new active groups in Africa that will join the ecosystem.
Goals for success
- Successfully run a gender-gap oriented campaign on wikiquote
- Establish the advisory committee,
- Resources development through the Event Toolkit; and adapt and develop a WLW Organiser's Guide,
- Explore ways in which to improve and develop, in partnership with tech and dev actors, the on-wiki assessment tools to make them more relevant and effective.
- WikiChallenge African Schools
- stage: advanced - 3rd year
- Open Knowledge Curriculum
- stage: nascent - research and development
WikiChallenge African Schools
WikiChallenge poster 2019
The WikiChallenge Ecoles d'Afrique (WikiChallenge African Schools) is a multi-national writing contest that creates a fun way for students (9-13) to learn how knowledge is built by contributing to Vikidia, the little sister of Wikipedia dedicated to children aged 8-15 years. It operated during the school year in 2017-2018, and 2018-2019. It is run in French-speaking Africa and focuses on schools in poorly connected or non-connected areas. This contest utilises WikiFundi and is currently supported by Orange Foundation.
An important design element of the WikiChallenge is its rich partnership approach, which includes organisations within the Wikimedia ecosystem, as well as out of it. Some explanation...
The contest was first run successfully in 2017-2018. It took place in primary schools over two months in late 2017 in the 4 francophone African countries of Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, and Tunisia. It was run by User:Anthere (Florence) from Wiki In Africa, in partnership with Orange Foundation. The schools were equipped with tablets and resources (including WikiFundi) provided by Orange Foundation. The local activity was run by local facilitators supported online by Florence or by wikimedians, such as Afek (member of Wikimedia Tunisia). Some local groups also partially followed the Wikimedia France WikiMooc. The aim of the project was to enhance each school’s ability to learn about Vikidia (and ultimately Wikipedia) and to learn how to contribute content to an online platform using an offline tool. (Vikidia is actually not a Wikimedia project, but is run by the Vikidia Association.) During the contest, the content produced by the kids were integrated into an article that was completed offline (by the schools and writers). Once the article was complete, it was then transfered over to Vikidia. The articles were judged once online. Activities in the schools were documented on the Facebook page when possible.
In 2019, the contest was extended to 7 countries (Senegal, Niger, Cameroun joined). To be more effective, we also organized two face-to-face two-day training sessions that took place during November 2018 in Dakar and Tunis. The goal was to provide more practical and contextual information to local foundations facilitators (with regards to Vikidia, Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, WikiFundi, free licences etc.). The training sessions were organized by Anthere (remotely), with the local support of Afek91 from Wikimedia Tunisia in Tunis, and Geugeor, a member of Wikimedia Cameroun, in Dakar. Both were also seconded by facilitators from previous years, in particular, Bsghaier (Tunisia facilitator in 2017) and Nfana (who was a facilitator in 2017 and has now launched Wikimedia Mali!). Whenever possible, we put the facilitators in touch with Wikipedians who are active locally for multiple mutual benefits.
This writing contest organisation, with multiple layers and partners, is the only way the project can scale. The synergy between the different organizations (Wiki in Africa, Wikimedia UGs, Vikidia Association, Orange Foundation, local foundations, local schools, etc.) is actually what allows it to work and makes it a success.
The WikiChallenge goals are to:
- increase content about Africa,
- help kids have a voice and be digitally educated,
- train and recruit the future generation of Wikipedians ;)
- in 2018, 4 countries involved, 33 schools, 40 articles written, 6 winning schools
- in 2019, 7 countries involved, 65 schools, 99 articles written, 600+ photos submitted, 11 winning schools
What's next is currently under discussion with the Orange Foundation. It is likely to continue scaling, with the addition of a few additional countries, another face-to-face training and sharing meeting of all former and future local facilitators, and hopefully getting more schools involved. We also plan to add more partners to it, in particular, aimed at better connecting the Guinea Orange team with the Wikimedia Guinea UG this year. This program will be funded by Orange Foundation.
Explaining our projects during Wikimania 2019
We are listing this project here for two reasons.
- The first is that it is a significant part of Wiki in Africa activity and one that fully uses other elements of the programatic activity of the association. For example, the WikiChallenge actually uses WikiFundi and usually runs in overlap with Wiki Loves Africa. It also benefits from the relationship we build with other Wikimedia organizations as part of Wiki Loves Women, weaving a real web of trust and interest that sustain our involvement. We also consider that we are helping training and recruiting future Wikipedians and this is why the WikiChallenge initiative is regularly relayed on Wikimedia channels (social media, blogs etc.)
- The second is that we would like to do a spin-off of the WikiChallenge that would allow to include any French-speaking school in the program (well, focusing on French Africa). There are discussions ongoing to do that with Wikimedia Benin, perhaps with the support of Wikimedia CH (tbd). The choice of Benin to run that pilot is that 1) the Benin UG is interested to be involved, 2) WiA (through Anthere) is in discussion with a French agricultural school partnering with a Benin school, both of which want to run an education program based on Wikipedia/Vikidia. Of course, this is still very premature, but might rollout quickly... However, at the moment, the time spent exploring those synergies is voluntary and the costs associated with setting-up such partnerships (such as local travel) are directly paid by Anthere on a private basis.
2020 Objectives for WiA (for information)
- Proceed with the contest in the school year 2019-2020 and beyond,
- Promote the contest and its actions in the Wikimedia and Vikidia ecosystems, and
- Possibly set-up a spin-off in Benin.
Open Knowledge Curriculum
The Open Knowledge Curriculum is an initiative in the very early stages of development. At this stage, OKC is envisaged as a curriculum for educators across Africa (and beyond) to teach learners, through practical application, how global knowledge systems work, how content is created, and how they can contribute themselves and get their stories and cultures online. Although not yet defined, the curriculum is expected to include a teacher training programme, a lesson plan, teaching resources, and teaching guides that provide teachers with the ability and materials to immerse learners in a layered and thorough understanding of how global knowledge is captured, created, disseminated and used.
Not limited to just Wikipedia and Wikimedia contribution, the curriculum is expected to range from theory and global distribution of knowledge, open licences and access, to self contribution. The curriculum will be designed to be locally adaptable and include local or regional examples; including local knowledge sources and favourite or local social media platforms. It will be aimed at developing skills within developing countries (but not limited to them).
With regards to the Wikimedia movement, the Open Knowledge Curriculum is intended to:
- raise understanding about how to read, use and contribute to Wikipedia, Wikimedia movement. It will also show where Wikimedia sits within the open movement and knowledge ecosystems;
- provide a core understanding for students across Africa in how to use Wikipedia effectively,
- ensure teachers and students know how to contribute to Wikipedia with respect for the movement's rules, but also with respect for their own cultures and traditions, and
- work towards the ultimate provision of a considered, supported immersion programme for students to apply learnt 21st Century digital skills to global knowledge systems, through content production, licencing and copyright, etc. that ultimately results in online published material.
Activities currently planned for (but not limited to) the following:
- Confirm the need for such a curriculum;
- Investigate an alliance with a tertiary education programme to:
- investigate curriculum styles, including investigating potential assimilation with national curriculums, and national and international educational organisational requirements (e.g. Cambridge Certificate or IB)
- Map the existing educational ecosystem and curriculums/subjects that are pertinent to this subject matter;
- Research possible members for an advisory panel for the development of the project;
- Consult with experts to consider the impact or adaptation required across a variety of contexts, languages, packages, resources and time requirements;
- Seek external funding and partnership opportunities for the project; and
- Project conceptualisation (develop the concept note, statement of need, project plan, timeline and budget).
2020 Objectives for WiA
- Create a database of a minimum of 20 national, regional and international potential partners and collaborators
- Create a database of a minimum of 8 funding or grant organisations and opportunities, and
- Finalise a project plan ready for submission to partners and funders.
Tech and Community Support
The tech projects have been developed by Wiki In Africa in order to better support community engagement and to ensure that some of the outcomes of each project are easier to achieve. In the case of WikiFundi, it was developed to facilitate outreach and education goals in places where access and data can be challenging. With regards to ISA this was developed to ensure that the images contributed each year to Wiki Loves Africa achieve their best potential placement on the Wikimedia projects through better labelling and descriptions.
- stage: established - 4th year of operation
WikiFundi is a software that provides an off-line editing environment that mimics the Wikipedia environment. WikiFundi allows for training and contribution when technology, access and electricity outages fail or are not available at all. It enables individuals, groups and communities to learn how to edit Wikipedia, and to work on articles collaboratively. Once completed and connected to the internet, these articles can be uploaded to Wikipedia. The first release was in January 2017, with a first edition supported by Orange Foundation. The second release was during November 2018 and was supported by the Wikimedia Foundation.
The key point behind WikiFundi is why we worked on the software back in 2016. It is not the result of fertile brains after a long night drinking at Wikimania ;-). It came from the practical experiences we faced when running Kumusha Takes Wiki that were then reinforced by the first Wiki Loves Women program. Several times we ran into situations where the Internet connection failed whilst people were meeting to be trained to become Wikipedians. Everything would be ready to host a good training and edit-a-thon and at the last minute, it was wasted due to the Internet being missing or being too expensive. Data costs were also prohibitive and even if there was electricity, the institution where the training occurred did not have wifi or internet connectivity. As a result, WikiFundi was created to support and facilitate the success of other programs in the situation of bad connectivity or no internet access.
Since then, WikiFundi has been used in various circumstances and is currently distributed through Kiwix releases. A very practical use of wikiFundi at the moment is the WikiChallenge African Schools contest, as the schools involved in the writing contests are mostly "offline" and the software is made available on the tablets distributed to the schools. Other organisations sometimes ask for it as well.
The software platform is stable and could stay as is ...
However, there are some ongoing discussions to improve it in several possible directions. The most likely evolutions would be:
- an export system to facilitate re-import of the content produced on the WikiFundi platform onto other MediaWiki based platforms (such as Wikipedia...). (Currently, users have to copy and paste from the Offline platform onto the online target platform.) This could be implemented in partnership with Kiwix and possibly be funded by Orange Foundation, but it is only in early discussion mode at the moment.
- make the platform available in other languages (in particular Arabic and/or Portuguese). There is no technical difficulty involved, but this would require to find people willing to be involved to set up the system (it is not only translation...) and would require finding a funder (in particular to pay Kiwix to implement).
Those two evolutions may or may not happen. But the certainty is that they can only happen if someone put a bit of time and energy in it to happen and securing funding ...
Note: Florence is currently one of the two volunteer contacts of the Wikimedians for offline wikis UserGroup, which recently submitted its annual report. The WikiFund platform is well integrated into the offline Wikimedia activities and its dissemination is done in synergy with the Kiwix Association.
Links to Previous iteration:
- Brainstorm new features with the Kiwix team (synchronization ? export system ? translation in Arabic and/or Portuguese ?). Describe.
- Promote the tool and foster new partnerships
Our two winners at the WikiConvention francophone during the ISA competition
ISA is a fun, multilingual, mobile-first 'micro contributions' tool, that makes it easy for (groups of inexperienced) people to add structured data to images on Wikimedia Commons. With ISA, one can choose a pre-defined set of images on Commons and then ask contributors to 'tag' these with multilingual structured metadata. Points are counted for each contribution, and therefore it is possible to organize 'tagging' or micro contributions competitions or challenges with ISA.
ISA was originally built to provide better multilingual and structured descriptions of Wiki Loves Africa images. But it is also developed to be useful to all of the Wiki Loves competitions, and eventually for all media files on Wikimedia Commons. The idea of the tool was again to support other programs. The idea born from a discussion/proposition with Sandra Fauconnier during Wikimania 2018 in Cap Town. We wanted to find a way to foster interest all around the year rather than only during the contest time and we wanted a way to improve the usability and interest of the images collected during the Wiki Loves Africa contest. Sandra, as part of the Structured Data team, approached us for a pilot project to facilitate the adoption and understanding of Structured Data on Commons. Our teams met on common ground and this resulted in a contractual agreement between WiA and WMF. We later contacted Eugene from Cameroon to make sure African developers would be involved in this project. We ultimately added Navino and Sean from Histropediato the team as technical mentor and interface designer (respectively). The result was an awesome team!
The coolest part of ISA is the possibility for project leaders to host small campaigns or competitions meant to improve a category or group of categories of images on Commons. As an example, one such competition was run during the Wikiconvention francophone over the image category Bruxels. During two days, the competition was joined by the convention participants, generating much fun. At the end of the 2 days competition, little gifts (sweets ...) were given to the winners to show recognition of their effort and appreciation. Another competition is currently held as part of WikiArabia: WikiArabia 2019/ISA Challenge. Similar competitions can be run by any wikipedian, anytime, from anywhere.
ISA is an integrated collaboration between Wiki In Africa, Histropedia and the Structured Data team on Commons project. It is a GLAM pilot for Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons. The software is being released in Q3 of 2019.
The only support asked for this tool is a minor budget to spend on leaflets, stickers, and little gifts for winners of the competitions we would manage during the year.
- Organise various small contests to improve structured data descriptions of former Wiki Loves Africa contests,
- Promote the tool for use to improve many media files on Commons,
- Record bugs and new features suggestions.
Goals for success
- encourage use to 50,000 edits by end of 2020
Global Metrics Reporting
Please find our grants metrics worksheet here.
This APG grant (and the contemplative atmosphere of 2020) gave Wiki In Africa the ability to assess, analyse and hone its position and function within the Wikimedia ecosystem in light of Africa’s recent blooming development and the Wikimedia 2030 recommendations.
Wiki In Africa’s strategy has always been to release the knowledge and cultures of Africa onto Wikipedia by activating and supporting African communities. Many of our projects are mature and a re-assessment was due. We have clarified that our key focuses remain creating and sustaining continent-wide projects and interventions that encourage and support new and emerging communities by building skills and providing opportunities for engagement, growth and personal and community development. This is done through providing training, mentoring and coaching, in layered and diverse ways. This has allowed us to strategically focus our efforts across the projects.
2020 also gave us the circumstances in which to reconfigure each project and look at options to ensure the training and support that leads to expansion and growth. We focused on future-proofing Wiki Loves Africa and Wiki Loves Women inlight of the COVID pandemic and removing in-person expectations with plans for strategic online engagement and training. For example, with Wiki Loves Africa, we focused on online coaching and training support mechanisms for the 23 participating communities in more obvious ways and via various means, and developing an on-the-ground pilot project to train and provide exposure for photographers.
Over 2020 Wiki In Africa’s main activity focus has been on:
- the c:Commons:Wiki Loves Africa 2020 contest, jury process, the organisers and participant’s survey, and multiple additional associated activities,
- a MetaData Week drive for Wiki Loves Africa 2020 entries using the ISA Tool,
- a Wiki Loves Women celebration of Women’s Day through an image drive on the ISA Tool,
- a global Wiki Loves Women drive called SheSaid on Wikiquote to ensure that women’s voices are heard,
- establishing and consulting an advisory committee for Wiki Loves Women,
- advancing Education projects and increasing materials to support teacher knowledge and training,
- multiple applications for additional funding of the projects, and
- additional support for, and alliances with, Wikimedia groups and external groups examples include:
- WikiGap Nigeria
- Simon’s Town Museum Descendants of Slavery photo walk,
- creation of teaching modules in French to introduce students to copyright and attribution, and
- a research project focused on Wiki Loves Africa’s mass messaging.
7 years of Wiki Loves Africa
In many ways, Wiki Loves Africa is our flagship project. The project evolves every year, and the results of Wiki Loves Africa and the efforts of its community interactions and the artists who take part are consistently inspiring to us. Below is a summary of the achievements, but the full report of the Wiki Loves Africa 2020 contest can be found on this page.
Since 2014, Wiki Loves Africa has achieved the following:
- Over 64,000 images contributed since 2014
- 8,120 competitors from 59 countries
- Images viewed up to 41 million times a month
- Images viewed over 612 million times in total (Dec 2020)
- Over 250 events held by 24 African Wikimedia Communities
- The ISA Tool (developed for Wiki Loves Africa images) won multimedia tool of the year at WikiData Conference 2019
- A Wiki Loves Africa prize-winning image was included in the Journeys Through Our Fragile Heritage exhibition at the UNESCO headquarters, Paris.
Wiki Loves Africa 2020 prize winners
2nd Prize Winner : توزيع الخبز على دراجته by Abd Elhamid Fawzy Abd Elhamid Tahoun User:Abdo tahoon
Traditional Culture Prize: Salt transport by a camel train in Ethiopia by User:LeFnake
Video Winner: Le Transport Lagunaire à Abidjan STL réalisé by Bouba Kam's
Wiki In Africa is constantly finding opportunities to engage, introduce, support and encourage the introduction of different sectors in the Wikimedia projects in whatever capacity. Over 2020, we developed a relationship through FindingGLAMs with a small, local museum in Simon’s Town, Cape Town, South Africa. We were also invited to showcase exactly what drives Wiki Loves Africa through a Twitter take over of the OpenGLAM account.
In July 2020 Wiki Loves Africa took over the OpenGLAM twitter account. This is the report.
In August 2019, we were approached to do a take over of the OpenGLAM twitter account. This twitter account is currently under the stewardship of Scann (Creative Commons GLAM Platform) and Alex Stinton, WMF). At the time, it was suggested that Wiki Loves Africa would be the best fit due to the GLAM and culture focus of the twitter account.
This learning story shows how to build a twitter takeover campaign, and how much fun can be had doing it.
A ‘takeover’ is when an entity (project or individual) ‘hijacks’ a twitter account and tells their story using the account as a platform. Wiki Loves Africa was assigned 5 days in July in order to share what we do, have done, and hope to accomplish. It was a lot of fun and allowed us to dig deep into the essence of the project in a visually dynamic way.
The entire 33 tweet campaign and immediate results of the twitter take over and all tweets can be found here.
Learning story 2 : Descendants of Slavery photo walk
Descendants of Slavery photo walk with the Simon’s Town Museum ran until March 2020. Wiki In Africa approached the Finding GLAMs project to in this first collaboration with the Simon’s Town Museum. The collaboration took the form of a Photowalk intended to document the sites of slavery in Simon’s Town. The Photowalk encouraged participants to rethink ordinary spaces in Simon’s Town and reflect on the invisible pasts that linger in the area.
The event was attended by 8 high school learners from Ocean View and Masiphumelele whose grandparents had been evicted from Simon's Town during the forced removals of Apartheid. It was also attended by slavery and forced removals expert Maryann Kindo. The Photowalk started by explaining the sites of oppression and repression within the Museum’s building (The Residency from 1777), most notably the holding cells and punishment cells underneath the space. The participants were also introduced to the Museum’s collection and a discussion on the development of communities in and around Simon’s Town with a focus on slavery and indentured people. The tour then moved to Jubilee Square and up into the “Black Town” section above this space and then to the Simon’s Town library for initial and basic instruction in how to connect to Wikipedia, to register and to upload their content.
Diversity and Content Contribution: Wiki Loves Africa
Wiki Loves Africa Program Direct Impacts over 2020
2020 was tumultuous and unpredictable (in the extreme), but it was a relatively good year for Wiki Loves Africa with stable participation (in spite of COVID), increased involvement from Wikimedia groups, with several new teams joining the contest, and a significant increase in quality submissions. There was also improved and engaged onboarding and training process for new teams. A smooth jury process, and more insight gathered about the contest and organisers through conducting research into mass messaging, and two surveys. Overall, we are very happy with how Wiki Loves Africa 2020 was organised and rolled out.
Wiki Loves Africa - the 6th iteration - was held from 15th February until 15th April 2020 under the theme Africa on the Move! (Transport). This year, 23 Wikimedia communities (including Brazil) officially took part in preparing events and creating local noise around the contest. As usual, the media competition accepted entries from across Africa, and from people outside Africa, as long as the images represented African-related material or content.
The contest resulted in 16,982 media files from 1,904 competitors in 53 countries. 76% of the competitors were new to Commons (lower than usual, which means there is a higher number of return competitors). The images have since been viewed 4,569,784 during Dec 2020, with 31,744,815 views since they were collectively submitted. Current usage of the images stands at 19.83% (the highest usage rate of any of the WLA years to-date).
Four photography and one video prize winners were announced, along with 5 highly commended images. The winning images and featured images were chosen by a panel of nine international professional and Commonist photographers from Botswana, Zimbabwe and Uganda to Netherlands and France. You can read the full Jury Report here
- Wiki Loves Africa Surveys
Report compiled from a survey of WLA 2020 organisers.
Two surveys were organized in the second half of 2020 in order to get feedback from the community as to the importance of Wiki Loves Africa in their Wikimedia activities and larger community and to collect feedback and list of improvements for 2021. It was also an opportunity to collect opinions with regards to the Wiki Loves Africa 2021 theme. One survey was sent only to National Leads. The other survey was distributed widely among participants.
The full report of the Wiki Loves Africa 2020 contest can be found on this page.
Side Activities and Indirect Impacts over 2020
ISA Drive : improved structured data description of WLA images
During the second half of 2020, we ran an ISA campaign to improve the structured data description of images collected during Wiki Loves Africa : https://isa.toolforge.org/campaigns/86.
Africa on the Move drive on ISA saw an amazing amount of contributions to the structured data on the files submitted through the 2020 competition. There was fierce competition by those taking part, especially the top two contributors. The challenge saw 68,010 data contributions by 18 participants, with the top 2 winners totalling 52,238 entries.
Full report : c:Commons:ISA Tool/Wiki Loves Africa MetaData Weeks
During Wiki Loves Africa 2020 a full study was run with CAT Lab (previously CivilServant) that tested whether posting a message on the talk page of a former participant made any difference to their participation in the competition. Study found out it did. A scientific article was produced, submitted, and accepted. It should be published in 2021.
WPWP - prize category
In 2020 Wiki Loves Africa offered an additional prize category for the new Wikipedia Wants Pictures (WPWP) drive. The WLA prize category was aimed at encouraging the use of images previously submitted as part of Wiki Loves Africa photo contests into Wikipedia articles for African languages, specifically Igbo (ig), Swahili (sw), Yoruba (yo), Luganda (lg), Hausa (ha), Shona (sn), Amharic (am), Lingala (ln) and Afrikaans (af). Due to difficulties to track edits done to African languages, and limited to WLA images, we have decided to offer the prize unrestricted to WLA images. The winner was User:Anasskoko from the Hausa community !
WPWP participation was the opportunity to do deep-gathering of WLA statistics which you can find on WLA’s WPWP campaign page.
Nos Jardins : A train the photographer program launched
Nos Jardins is a training program for photographers organised in Switzerland and Cameroun over 2021.The program is a partnership between Ynternet.org, Wiki in Africa and the Cameroun Wikimedia UserGroup and is funded by Movetia.
Learning story 3: Wiki Loves Africa Ecosystem Challenges
The consequences of the COVID pandemic hit mid contest. The very real threat made a considerable impact on the contest that although driven online, relies specifically on in-person events for WM usergroups to use the contest to build their community and transfer skills.
The playback of the English Webinar held on 28th March
This new reality allowed us to consolidate and validate Wiki In Africa’s position as an organisation that develops, supports and trains participants in the Wikimedia projects from Africa. The pandemic allowed us to specifically concentrate on finding better ways to support and provide training for organisers and contributors.
We were very clear to encourage communities to abide by the WMF no-event ruling, even if they did not feel that pressure within their own countries. In order to support the organisers and ensure a smooth the transition to this new reality of an entirely online event tighten and focused our support of, and materials available to assist organisers.
To further support the participants, we create a series of webinars (in English, French and Arabic) that explained the contest and encouraged photographers to be part of it, regardless if they were stuck at home or not.
We also ran a clear communications campaign encouraging participants to #stayathome and only submit images from their #usearchives.
Gender Equity: Wiki Loves Women
Program Direct Impact over 2020
Wiki Loves Women activity was mainly focused on 2 online drives and consolidating the project, and its community (globally and across Africa), and building its future beyond 2020.
Working within the gender-equity space it has become clear that we should be loud and proud and claim our overt activism. With this in mind we have altered the messaging to reflect a harder and more focused stance:
Wiki Loves Women activates, trains and encourages women across Africa to seize their own agency to address the persistent systemic bias that exists about African women online and in the media.
Wiki Loves Women uses a series of layered and complex initiatives to bridge certain aspects of the digital gender divide: participation and content creation. It encourages the contribution of meaningful content to the Wikimedia projects as a tool to transfer skills, build confidence and self-worth, and show the impact they can make. Wiki Loves Women has been operating for five years across Africa, working with over 76 gender-focused organisations in 8 countries.
The future of Wiki Loves Women activity is based on releasing it from geographically concentrated activities and ensuring that communities sustainably develop the project within their communities from the start. This requires developing key and layered training materials through programmes that are accessible, and are aimed at, developing and appropriately growing the digital skills of future gender-focused content creators across the African continent. These future plans involve focussing on the following key elements:
- Visibility and Awareness:
- SheSaid - getting notable women’s voices heard via Wikiquote;
- TellusaboutHer: ensuring that images on Wikimedia Commons that represent women are correctly labelled;
- InspiringWomen: developing skills and awareness through social media, campaign, podcasts, drives, etc.)
- a proposed MOOC to train the trainers in community building, communications and the Wikimedia movement,
- Event toolkits
- Opportunities, mentorship and support:
- Microfunding: supporting and mentoring gender-focused events held by associated groups across Africa, first of which was the WikiGap Nigeria Online Challenge in May 2020.
- Community building:
- Strengthen local groups through knowledge sharing opportunities
WLW Program Activities in 2020
Tell Us About Her: an ISA drive run in March 2020
Our ‘’’Tell Us About Her campaign’’’ was run as a WikiGap associated drive to celebrate the 2020 International Women’s Day. Held throughout March 2020, the drive focused on images of Africa’s women leaders with a drive on the The ISA Tool. The drive was aimed at improving the visibility of political leaders and activists across Africa on Wikimedia projects. Participants headed to the campaign on the ISA tool to add better descriptions for the photographs that have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, so that they are more useful on Wikipedia and Wikidata. The categories chosen for this campaign were related to politicians, activists and, in particular feminists, from Africa.
Campaign link: https://tools.wmflabs.org/isa/campaigns/53
Results:1519 contributions from 14 contributors on 1782 images.
SheSaid: a wikiquote drive in October-December 2020
Our initiative is aimed at celebrating women leaders throughout late 2020 with the SheSaid drive. The drive was intended to improve the visibility of women in improving Wikiquote entries related to them.
Although we have released the results as they were on the 5th January. The Wiki Loves Women team have decided to keep this as an ongoing campaign throughout 2021, with spikes of focus planned throughout the year.
Campaign link: Wiki Loves Women/SheSaid
Launched at the CC Summit 2020 on the 20th October 2020, the #SheSaid campaign has been an amazing success! Across 7 languages, it has resulted in 867 new or improved articles (the majority new). Italian Wikiquote was the clear language winner (at 405 articles) with Ukraine (187 articles) and French (106) coming not so close behind. The final results can be seen here.
Gender Gap Portal Update
Anthere spent considerable time and effort reconfiguring and updating the Gender Gap portal on Meta to ensure that up-to-date statistics and information was available and that all projects working within the Gender Gap (and their activities) were listed and featured. Anthere also set up the Telegram group ‘’Wiki GenderGap’’ (join : https://t.me/joinchat/DS2I3BY-f3dxvUNzNd72kg) to ensure that there was cross-communication on Gender Gap issues across language and geographical barriers.
Launch of Wiki Loves Women Advisory Committee
In May 2020, the team approached key members within the Wikimedian and African Community requesting that they consider joining as members of an advisory committee to assist in the future decisions for the project. Our primary expectations for this WLW advisory board are for:
- input and feedback on strategic directions for WLW
- review major grant applications made by WLW to external funders or APG
- suggest people or organisations to contact/work with
Current expectations of the committee are:
- be part of a quarterly meeting on zoom, where we would discuss how WLW should best proceed to be the most useful to the community and beyond, to identify general directions
- provide feedback on how WLW is presented to the public (as in WLW website or 1 pager document or Facebook accounts etc.)
- review and provide feedback on wiki pages (such as our APG request in fall 2020, or WLW presentation page)
- review and provide feedback on some google docs (such as grant requests), etc.
The invitation was extended to 12 members of the Wikimedia Community. Eight of the people who were approached have agreed to take part. The criteria for this initial selection was to ask those who had led the WLW project in either of its iterations, a secondary target was to leaders of similar or aligned groups within the international Wikimedia Community.
The Advisory Committee is now active with a telegram group to discuss issues with in the project and the members can be found on this page.
Support for WikiGap Nigeria
In May 2020, the Wiki Loves Women team supported the WikiGap Nigeria Online Challenge that was spearheaded by Wikimedia Nigeria UserGroup and took place between 27 April – 27 May 2020. This Nigerian public writing competition was aimed at creating and improving articles that will strengthen Wikipedia coverage of Nigerian women. The Challenge was organized as part of the global WikiGap campaign by Wikimedia Nigeria in collaboration with African Women in the Media ( AWIM) and the Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria, Wiki Loves Women from Wiki in Africa, and Women in Red.
The WLW team acted as advisors on creating the drive and was one of the presenters during the training webinar. Wiki Loves Women also donated 10 branded powerpacks to act as gifts to the winners of the challenge.
Working towards 2021
We have explored ways of supporting the communities that are interested in the Gender Gap and it societal issues. These ways include creating a specialized MOOC that would be hosted on the future Wikimedia France Mooc Platform..
In the last half of 2020, we approached six fledgling communities in order to test their interest in being trained to run Wiki Loves Women in the second half of 2021. The training programme will concentrate on training the trainers to host Wiki Loves Women with the support of their communities.
French-language teaching resources to introduce learners to Copyright
In general, the education sector was very challenged throughout 2020. This chaos impacted our most established programme (a lot of energy was expended trying to find ways to keep it going in 2020).
That having been said, a lot was also achieved in spite of this unusual year. The most exciting element was the development of the French teaching materials developed through a grant from the Creative Commons Education Platform.
Open Knowledge Curriculum
Overall, throughout 2020, not a lot happened with regards to the Open Knowledge Curriculum, and not just because there was no budget for it in the 2020 APG grant. The education system across Africa was in disarray with teachers, educators and curriculum specialists being caught off guard, stretched by new technologies, new ways of practice, and the general uncertainty of the year. Although the movement forward on OKC is dependent on funding, project development required input from specialists who were just not approachable in this new environment.
In 2020 we applied for a grant for this project, but were not successful. We will continue to look for funding for the research and development phase of this project.
WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique and WikiChallenge Bénin
A kid using WikiFundi on a tablet in Cameroon
The APG grant does not provide funds for the WikiChallenge programmes, however those projects are run as Wiki in Africa projects, so an update is nice ?
Our 2020 Objectives were:
- Proceed with the WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique contest in the school year 2019-2020 and beyond,
- Promote the contest and its actions in the Wikimedia and Vikidia ecosystems, and
- Possibly set-up a spin-off in Benin (WikiChallenge Bénin).
The three objectives were by and large fulfilled.
The WikiChallenge Ecoles d’Afrique was only partially implemented at its initial time frame due to Covid-19 but it was extended to 2021 and not cancelled. In 2020, 7 countries were involved, 151 schools were registered (pre-covid...), 69 articles were written, 400+ photos submitted. Only the final selection of winners and announcement has not been done yet. The winning schools will be announced in May or June 2021.
The contest was promoted on social media networks, presented during #OpenPublish Fest, within the session "Wikipedia Campaigns: How to rally volunteers to improve wiki content", and presented during OE Global Conference ).
In the third quarter of 2020, one of our former winners received an honour from the President of Tunisia (. This made us immensely proud.
Anthere approached Wikimedia CH in 2019 to fund a pilot extension of the WikiChallenge to Bénin, to be run in partnership with Wikimedia of Benin UG. in 2020, Wikimedia CH agreed. Project was launched early 2020, but was suspended due to Covid-19. This program being essentially an Offline program and requiring school visits, it could not be replaced with online activities.
Note: January 2021, the program is tentatively relaunching.
Additional Activities:Introduction to Copyright (French Teaching Materials)
In the final weeks of 2020, Wiki in Africa published a French Wikibook Ressources pédagogiques relatives au droit d’auteur.
The Wikibook contains teaching materials and assignment models to support teachers in the introduction to authors’ rights, Creative Commons licenses, and licensing attribution. The target audience is aimed at students (10-15-years-old) in French-speaking Africa. The project was selected as one of the 6 projects supported by the Creative Commons Open Education Platform Activities Fund read announcement.
The training materials include:
- information resources on copyright for teachers,
- materials to use in class with the students, and
- suggestions and instructions for activities to be carried out with the students.
More explanations on Education Newsletter : Training Resources about Authors' Rights published by Wiki in Africa.
Tech and Community Support
Programs impact over 2020 : WikiFundi
- Several Raspberry+SD cards have been given to Wikimedians from Benin as part of the WikiChallenge in Benin project.
- There was a flurry of interest in WikiFundi from local government departments who were looking into WikiFundi as a solution to lockdown homeschooling, leads were followed, connections made, but this did not result in anything tangible.
- A grant request was submitted to Wikimedia CH to do an extension of WikiFundi in 2021 (Spanish version). Partners were identified and secured.
Programs impact over 2020 : The ISA Tool
- We ran the #TellUsAboutHer campaign in March 2020 and got good results. This campaign is detailed in the Wiki Loves Women program section.
- We ran the MetaWeeks Wiki Loves Africa’s Africa on the Move! Campaign in the last quarter of 2020. Excellent contributions by relatively few participants (18). This campaign is detailed in the Wiki Loves Africa program section.
- We promoted the ISA and structured data on Commons and on social media from time to time. Several communities seem to have successfully adopted it and use it to run their own campaigns. See for example Wiki Loves Earth Indonesia campaign : https://isa.toolforge.org/campaigns/68
- The ISA Tool has been used widely by members of the global community. By January 2021, 93 campaigns had been created on the ISA platform, with 43 started in 2020 alone, ranging from categories on Pandas, WIki Women Design to Various illustrations and clip art. So far, the ISA Tool has seen 197,044 contributions by 697 participants.
Florence has been following up and supporting Max and Envel in their new project Grants:Project/Maximilianklein/humaniki (Make the next generation of Wikidata diversity statistic).
Obviously with COVID restrictions, most events were cancelled or postponed. The two global events that Florence and Isla did manage to attend were:
- CC Global Summit - 19-23rd October
- OE Global Summit - 16-20 November, 2020
Wiki In Africa Operations and Administration
During 2020 Wiki In Africa as an organisation struggled with not enough funding to keep both principals and projects at optimal levels. Operations have continued as planned, however, the added pressure of COVID meant that additional consultancy work was not as easy to access as in previous years.
From an operational space, we have held weekly meetings, as and when possible.
Financial management and accounts
The early part of this year has been focused on sorting out the financials of the organisation. Our financial reports for 2018,2019 and 2020 are now complete. Public release of these documents will happen with the Annual Reports for these years, but can be provided on request.
It was also decided, as an added safety measure and for good financial practice, to move a portion of the funds from a checking account to a 7-day notice investment account.
The most notable issues we faced was the reaction of world economies to the pandemic and their own internal stability. The grant landed in the WIA bank in very late December. The South African Rand / US Dollar exchange rate plummeted from January onwards. The incoming funds were exchanged at 1:13.9425. The highest rate was 1:19.26367 reached in April. With the majority of payments being due in Euros or USD, this meant that the amount budgeted was being reduced each time a payment had to be made. With no idea of where relief could happen, and anticipating that things were only going to get worse as the health crisis did, we decided that, where we could, payments that were due later in the year, should be paid in February and March. We relayed this issue to the WMF and they responded with unanticipated generosity and trust.
We are grateful for the support and trust that has been shown to Wiki In Africa through this simple APG grant. However, the budget is not even close to the amount required to keep the operational costs and organisation’s programmes running and we wish to expand further.
Additional funding is an on-going need and as such applications have been sent in answer to a variety of calls. The current situation is as follows:
- Wiki Loves Women: 5 applications / 5 rejected
- Wiki Loves Africa: 1 application / 1 approval
- Education: 3 applications / 3 approvals
- Tools/WikiFundi: 1 application / 1 approved
Please link to a detailed financial report for your spending during the grant period. This should be in the same format as your detailed budget from your Simple APG application.
Please include the total amount of Simple APG funds you spent during the grant period:
- 865000 rands - 60500 USD (as of Jan 31th 2021)
The total amount of Simple APG funds spent during the grant period:
- USD60,0000 = R838,555.00 (original grant amount at USD1:ZAR13.9425)
- USD16,000 = R269,600.00 (additional WMF payment at USD1:ZAR16.8500 in July 2020)
- TOTAL received = USD76,000.00 / R1,108,155.00
Total spend (31 January 2021)
- ZAR 865,000
- ZAR 243 155 retained as a financial buffer in an interest bearing call account with approval from WMF (16 000 USD)
Note: great volatility USD versus Rand over the past year makes it a bit difficult to give equivalent figures (see Forex exchange section above for more context).
Grant Metrics Reporting Final
Metrics, targets and results: grants metrics worksheet here.