Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia South Africa/2019/strategicplan

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Wikimedia ZA over the past 4 years Wikimedia ZA has embarked on the following strategy. Following the successful conclusion of Wikimania 2018 this strategy will change somewhat in both goals and appoach.  

Previous strategy and goals[edit]

For the past four years (2015-2018) WMZA has had the following goals and following strategy to achieve those goals.

Previous goals:

  • Establish strong culture of active involvement in chapter activities by chapter members
  • Increase chapter membership
  • Raise profile of the chapter publicly; this is important for outreach building and partnership development.
  • Increase the number of Wikipedia editors in South Africa
  • Increase institutional capacity
  • Promote copyright reform

WMZA approach to meeting these goals were to:

  • Run big events (Wiki Loves Monuments, Jobergpedia, host WikiIndaba & Wikimania 2018) to rally the chapters members and encourage active involvement. The events were also the primary means of raising the profile of of the chapter amongst the South African public with over 45 interviews, articles and public appearances given. This approach culminated in the hosting of Wikimania 2018, the largest event in the Wikimedia calendar and proved to be the final catalyst for both raising the profile of the chapter whilst also establishing a culture of volunteer involvement in day-to-day chapter activities. The hosting of Wikimania had the added benefit of being the ideal vehicle for the chapter to expand chapter membership by 200%. Thereby achieving the active involvement, membership, and raised profile goals of WMZA during this period. Now that Wikimania 2018 is over we now need to move into a new strategic stage whereby the chapter can capitalise on the connections and opportunities made during that event.
  • Partnership development, WMZA is good at hosting events such as editathons and explaining how the Wikimedia community works but we are not good at filling up spaces with interested people. Organisational partners are much better at filling up spaces with relevant people. This four year program was also important for supporting the successful implementation of Wikimania 2018 and was the reason why we were able to effectively leverage Wikimania 2018 to create local interest in the event. Thereby more effectively opening up opportunities for future partnerships and chapter membership expansion. Thereby achieving the membership, and raised profile goals of WMZA during this period and having a limited impact on the number of new Wikipedia editors goal. It also sets up WMZA to be in a better position to effectively support and grow South African language Wikipedias, a goal for the next stage of Wikimedia ZA's strategy. This approach was also instrumental in our public advocacy goals around changing South African Copyright Law thereby supporting our copyright reform goal.
  • Systematisation of key chapter functions was identified as key to increasing institutional capacity and active involvement. Particularly of the financial activities of the chapter. Chapter volunteers were both uninterested and bad at this highly important task which they found demotivating and a chore. As such the hiring of a book keeping service to make and keep track of payments was implemented as was the hiring of an accountant. This has been in effect since the beginning of 2018 and has had a strongly positive impact on the chapter.
  • Research of the Wikimedia community in South Africa is very important to both being able to measure the impact of the chapter moving forward, increasing chapter membership, and understanding how better to increase the number of new Wikipedia editors. As such a survey was conducted of South African editors over a four month period in early 2015. A followup survey should be done to understand how things might have changed since then to get a better idea of the impact of the South African chapter.

Updated strategy and goals[edit]

The goals of Wikimedia ZA for the foreseeable future are:

  • Increase chapter membership
  • Increase the public awareness of Wikipedia
  • Increase the range and quality of content on Wikipedia on South African subjects
  • Grow South African language Wikipedias
  • Entrench chapter capacity
  • Promote copyright reform

In order to achieve these goals WMZA has adopted the following strategies.

  • Outreach with possible partner organisations to effectively implement goal meeting projects such as South African language editathons or upload marathons that expand local content on Wikimedia projects.
  • Chapter support for local editors to contribute to Wikimedia projects and participate in broader community.


WMZA has identified the development of partnerships with mission aligned organisations.

Outreach efforts help with promoting the following goals:

  • Increase the range and quality of content on Wikipedia on South African subjects
  • Grow South African language Wikipedias
  • Promote copyright reform

Outreach with mission aligned partners organisations. The approach here has been to approach multiple possible mission aligned partner organisations and star off organising small outreach events. Such as organising an editathon or getting non-vital support for a larger Wikimedia ZA led initiative.  This is done so as to both build a working relationship with the partner organisation and to ascertain the level of capacity of that organisation to deliver on promises. This is necessary as we have found that many possible partners with expressions of interest but are unable to deliver on their promises.

Working with partner organisations such as the Puku Foundation or University of Cape Town is key to our approach of supporting SA language Wikipedias as these Wikipedias currently suffer from a lack of editors. As such language support is as much an exercise in encouraging new Wikipedia editors as it is in community support as the communities for those Wikipedias need to be created. Working with like minded language organisations will provide us access to enthusiastic speakers of those languages who are more likely and better suited to become members of those Wikipedia language communities.  

Chapter support[edit]

Chapter support efforts help with promoting the following goals:

  • Increase chapter membership
  • Increase the range and quality of content on Wikipedia on South African subjects
  • Grow South African language Wikipedias
  • Promote copyright reform

These actions include public copyright reform advocacy and knowledge sharing about the movement broadly. Copyright reform will create a friendlier local atmosphere for local editors making it easier for them to contribute to Wikipedia.  Initiating activities such as writing competitions and de-stubathons will increase South African related content and/or support local language Wikipedias.