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Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia South Africa/2020

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Application or grant stage: grant in progress
Applicant or grantee: grantee
Amount requested: R311,120.00 (US$16,973.27)
Amount granted: 380,240 ZAR (~US$20,744.14)
Funding period: 1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021
Application created: 1 May 2020
Recommended application date: 1 April 2020
Midpoint report due: 15 January 2021
Final report due: 30 July 2021

Please link to or provide your annual program plan and annual budget here, and add your targets to the grants metrics worksheet.

Please read the Wikimedia South Africa annual report for 2020/21 here.





These two requests are required of first-time applicants. In future years, you can use reports to substitute for these requirements.

Link to these documents, for the upcoming funding period, only if you have them.

  1. Link to your organization's staffing plan, for the upcoming funding period. Staffing Plan for 2020
  2. Link to your annual plan, for the upcoming funding period. Annual Plan for 2020
  3. Link to your strategic plan, which includes the upcoming funding period. Strategic Plan for 2020

Please add your grants metrics to this sheet. Note that requirements for shared metrics have changed for grants starting 1 January 2020 or later. Grants with start dates before 1 January 2020 should still use the old Global Metrics.

Metrics table for 2020/21

Theory of Change

How WMZA projects (red circles) relate to the chapter's theory of change. Each project produces certain metrics (blue rectangles) that in turn produce certain results (green rectangles). The black dots represent the 5 strategic overall goals that are part of WMZA's 2020-25 strategy. Namely Ac = Access (to free knowledge), C = Capacity (more chapter members in addition to book keeper and administrator increases chapter capacity), D = Diversity (both geographical and demographic), Aw = Awareness (of the chapter and the Wikipedia project). Flexibility is more of an operating tactic or operating procedure to allow us to be agile meaning it wont really appear naturally in this chart.

The Wikimedia ZA theory of change is based on the goals and strategic outcomes identified in Wikimedia ZA's five year strategic plan for 2020-2025. See the minutes from the planning session here. Five main long term objectives have been identified for the next five years. These are:

  • Access: increasing access for all to free knowledge. This was selected due to the need in South Africa for access to free knowledge in the country.
  • Capacity: increasing the capacity of the chapter to effect impact. Both by increasing administrative abilities to support chapter activities and by increasing the number of volunteers to create, manage and help implement projects.
  • Diversity: increasing the diversity (linguistic, demographic, and geographic) of the Wikimedia community in South Africa. Currently the chapter and editing community is not representative of South Africa at large in any of these diversity metrics. Most members are from only a few demographic communities, are active in either English or Afrikaans only, and are based in one of the two major metropolitan areas of South Africa (Cape Town or Johannesburg). We feel this lack of diversity has a negative impact on our community broadly and our ability to promote the free knowledge movement generally to all South Africans.
  • Awareness: increasing awareness to support chapter impact. Both awareness of how Wikipedia works and the need for more members of the public to participate but also the awareness of people's rights to free knowledge how to get involved. Comparatively few South Africans participate in the free knowledge movement and a major reason for this is a lack of awareness a) about the movement and b) how and why to get involved. Increasing awareness should have a positive impact on public participation in free knowledge projects like Wikipedia.
  • Flexibility: increasing and maintaining chapter flexibility to react quickly to project opportunities. This is necessary as often times old previously identified projects fall away over the course of the year whilst new project opportunities present them selves. The chapter wishes to maintain flexibility to benefit from project opportunities as and when they present themselves.

These five main objectives inform the six results that the chapter is seeking for the 2020/21 FY. The chapter's progress on these six result for the year are measured with five identified metrics as outlined in the graph above. All projects have been selected for their impact in these metrics and for the role they play in achieving the five main objectives in the long term.

Moving from left to right in the above graphic the logic is that the projects (red circles) selected will produce results (blue rectangle) that meet our 2020/21 year goals (green rectangle) and thereby contribute to us meeting our 5 year strategic goals (black dots). This is further outlined for 2020/21 in our 2020 annual plan.



Due to the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic projects that will not require any face-to-face interaction have been prioritised. The chapter takes the safety of others and chapter members very seriously and will not re-start face-to-face engagements until both the South African government and Wikimedia Foundation gives notification that it is safe to do so. Where ever possible the chapter has sought to move all events and engagement to digital spaces. This includes all meetups and edit-a-thons. Other events that can not be moved to digital spaces are being canceled or postponed. Events and projects that can be most effectively conducted digitally (such as the survey or writing competitions) are being prioritorised for the upcoming year.


See also: Annual Plan: SMART objectives 2020

In keeping with the 2019 grant Wikimedia ZA is keeping with the policy of classifying all projects into two programs for 2020. Namely Outreach and Chapter Support. Each program is made up of multiple projects. A key objective for the chapter in 2020 is starting the process to meeting the five overall five-year strategic goal (Diversity, Awareness, Access, Flexibility, Capacity) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa.

The Outreach program is focused on expanding public awareness of, and interaction with, the chapter and other free knowledge projects. By expanding awareness and increasing interactions with people outside of the free knowledge movement it is envisioned that both support for the chapter the movement will grow. This growth is envisioned to come in the form of increased chapter membership and content on free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia. The Chapter Support program is focused on activities that will strengthen the South African chapter in particular and other regional user groups in Africa generally (and as a secondary objective). These include activities that grow chapter membership, make it easier for chapter members to support/contribute to free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia or Commons, the functioning of the chapter and its expanding chapter capacity.

As mentioned in the 2019 grant the chapter has maximised its capacity to implement program projects given its exclusive reliance on volunteers who need to also focus on time consuming but important administration tasks. This has been identified by the chapter in 2018 and again in 2019 as a key limitation. The outsourcing of bookkeeping activities to Copia, a private bookkeeping service, so as to ensure proper financial tracking over all chapter activities has gone a long way to increasing chapter capacity in a financial sense but basic administrative tasks are still a significant limitation as outlined in the administrator procurement proposal.

African Language Outreach - champion


Promoting the editing and reading of South African language Wikipedias by finding local celebreties to publically advocate for them thereby increasing public awareness. Metric: public awareness - 50,000 people reached

African language writing competition


Writing competitions and other similar events designed to incentivise the editing of African language Wikipedias to improve their quality. Metric: edit count - 5000

University and School digital roadshow


Road show to build partnerships and find local champions to promote the editing of Wikipedia in educational institutions. Due to COVID 19 this project will be digitally based until travel restrictions are lifted after which chapter volunteers will travel to meet with people to build these partnerships. This is a continuation of the 2019/20 Univeristy roadshow project. Metric: Participants- 250, New users - 200, Content pages - 170, People reached - 5000



Continued support for the Lib1Ref project in South Africa. The increased number of librarians in Wikimedia South Africa and amoungst the local editing community is a testament to the success of this project over the past couple years. We would like to continue support for this project by continuing to assist in hosting events for local librarians and continue the projects long term success.

Wikipedia banner awareness campaign


A banner add campaign on main space Wikipedia targeted at Wikipedia readers without a login name. The campaign will focus on raising awareness of Wikipedia, how it works, and the need for more people to edit it. Metric: People reached - 100,000

General Outreach


General outreach activities mostly focused on meditation and workshop opportunities as they show up in the short term. This makes metric setting impossible. We have found this to be an important project as it provides the chapter with the flexibility to provide short term project support to chapter partners.

WMZA administrative maturity


See Staffing Plan for 2020 for more information.

Wikipedia bookshelf


A resource for local Wikipedia editors to gain access to reference material when editing Wikipedia. A small budget will be provided to provide access to reference material that can be used on Wikipedia and that can be shared with other Wikipedia editors when that material has been used. The project will be managed by the chapter administrator.

Cape Town TV Hackathon event


Setup of technology to support local Kwix projects. Rolled over from 2019. The metric of success here is the successful implementation of this project.


Our outreach program as gained more traction since hosting Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town. We now have more partners and increased public awareness of the chapter, its purpose, goals, and works. An important objective for the chapter is to leverage the awareness generated from hosting Wikimania 2018 to further expand our outreach capabilities, impact and partners. The increase in chapter partners from 2018 includes The University of Cape Town, Moleskine Foundation, Code4Africa, ReCreate South Africa, and Orms Photographic Warehouse. In 2019 the chapter plans to expand this to include Rhodes University, Cape Town TV, SouthSouthNorth, and the Puku Foundation.

Strength #1 - More experienced chapter and chapter members:

Strength #2 - Highly motivated volunteers:

Strength #3 - Strong network of established local partner organisations:

Challenge #1 - Lack capacity:

The key limiting constraint for the chapter is a lack of chapter capacity due to our exclusive reliance on volunteers. As such we will need to be selective about which projects to implement in 2020, which to reject, and which to move to 2020.

Challenge #2 - COVID-19 lockdown

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa the government has implemented one of the strongest lockdown responses in the world. This will greatly effect the implementation of any outreach projects we seek to do in the country for the whole of 2020 and possibly into 2021. We have tried to mitigate this by focusing on projects that can be implemented digitally however it will have a negative impact on many of our outreach efforts that focus on person-to-person relationship building. An example of this is the African language champion outreach that seeks to find and motivate public figures with a passion for African languages to encourage the public to engage with African language Wikipedias. On the upside it gives the chapter a chance to experiment with digital outreach methods which might help overcome our geography challenge.

Challenge #3 - Geography:

South Africa is a relatively large with a chapter that is spread between two urban areas at opposite ends of the country. Currently most chapter members are based in or around the City of Cape Town or the Johannesburg. This means that most events happen in these two urban areas. It also makes coordination between chapter volunteers located in these two cities more difficult. Finding a way to better coordinate and communicate between those located in the two cities is important and also highlights the need for travel between the two points to better bridge this gap. This problem also highlights a bigger problem of over centralising activities in or around only two urban centers to the neglect of the rest of the country. As such efforts and resources need to be made available for travel to projects located outside of the two aforementioned cities.


Implementation of the following projects:

  1. African Language Outreach - champion
  2. African language
  3. University and School digital roadshow
  4. 1Lib1Ref
  5. Wikipedia banner awareness campaign
  6. General Outreach

SMART goals

Please see the matrix on WMZA's annual plan 2020.

Chapter Support

This program exists to support local editors to contribute to Wikimedia projects and participate in broader community. Since hosting Wikimania 2018 the chapter has experienced a significant growth in chapter membership. In order to keep and further grow chapter membership we will need to provide members with support services and further grow our ability to implement administrative tasks. In 2019 we have continued to struggle with providing adequate support to our members due to our lack of administrative capacity. We hope to remedy this in 2020 by securing the services of an administrator. The administrator will supplement the services of our pre-existing bookkeeper and together will provide a full range of non-volunteer reliant chapter functions to allow the chapter to operate more effectively.

Strength #1 - Focused chapter:

Chapter members and board members have a clear understanding and strong unity in vision on where we would like to be in the next five-years. Although more work still needs to be done on working out the details of the five year strategy and its implementation the overall vision has been set and summarised into five clear goals. This is a great asset to the chapter and our chapter partners in providing unity and clarity about how to work together moving forward.

Strength #2 - Strong community:

Wikimania 2018 has greatly strengthened the free knowledge community in South Africa and this still remains the case. Community members have a clear sense of purpose (sum of human knowledge for everyone for free) with a clear understanding of our core goals. The chapter estimates that around 10% of all Wikipedia editors in South Africa are chapter members. Additionally the chapter has a better understanding of the free knowledge community generally and there is healthy cooperative relationship between community members. The chapter intends to further strengthen this culture of friendly community cooperation between members whilst also growing the community generally. And specifically grow the community, the chapter and the chapter board in a way that better reflects the demographics of South Africa. The number of people volunteering to run or participate in chapter activities has greatly increased.

Strength #3 - Good partners:

Over the years the chapter has developed a network of partner organisations to help achieve chapter goals. This includes the chapter relationship with ReCreate South Africa as part of the chapter's effort at Copyright legal reform, the relationship with the University of Cape Town and library networks to help grow free media content on Wikipedia, and with other organisations to improve language outreach. However more work needs to be done in this area to strengthen relationships and grow new ones.

Challenge #1 - Lack of capacity:

The key limiting constraint for the chapter is a lack of chapter capacity due to our exclusive reliance on volunteers. As such we will need to be selective about which community support projects to implement in 2019, which to reject, and which to move to 2020. We are also considering further using a remote secretary service to provide core administrative services to chapter members.

Challenge #2 - Lack of diversity:

Currently chapter membership, board membership, and the overall profile of free knowledge participant volunteers (such as Wikipedia editors) does not reflect the demographics of South Africa. There is a distinct lack of female and non-binary community members as well as black community members. In addition to growing the community generally the chapter needs to grow the number of black and female community members specifically. This was the case in 2019 and remains the case in 2020.

Challenge #3 - Geography:

Providing support to a chapter that is based across the country and coordinating volunteers primarily located in two different cities is a challenge. This is partly offset by the centralisation of chapter members in Cape Town and Johannesburg however the distance between the two cities is quite large which can made logistics difficult and expensive.


Chapter support efforts help with promoting the following goals:

  1. WMZA administrative maturity
  2. Wikipedia bookshelf
  3. Copyright advocacy support*
  4. Cape Town TV Hackathon event
* 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. No Wikimedia Foundation grant funding will go to this activity.

SMART goals

Please see the matrix on WMZA's annual plan 2019.



Wikimedia ZA will continue to have no staff for 2020/21. However we will request that in addition to having a sole proprietor book keeper that we also be granted funding to secure the services of an administrator on a sole proprietor basis so as to increase chapter administrative capacity. More details about this request can be found in the Staffing Plan for 2020.

Budget and resource plan


Wikimedia ZA draft budget and resource plan 2020/21

Midterm Report


Please find the report here.

Final Report


Program story


Please tell or link to one program story that showcases your organization's achievements during the reporting period. This can be another meta page, a blog post or any other source that tells your program story.

Learning story


Please link to one learning story that shows how your organization documents lessons learned and adapts its programs accordingly.

Programs Impact


PROGRAM TITLE Spending update 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:

$16,973.27/R311,120.00 Grant Metrics Reporting