Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia South Africa/2020/strategicplan
Wikimedia South Africa's strategy for 2020 revolves around the 5 overall goals identified during the course of our first and second strategic workshops and presented to the chapter at the 2019 WMZA AGM.
Five-year strategic goals
The five strategic goals are Access, Capacity, Diversity, Awareness, and Flexibility. They are expanded on in more detail below.
- 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.
The following projects have grown out of these 5 strategic goals are detailed below.
African language champion outreach
This project seeks to 'jump start' African language communities by finding and recruiting volunteer African language ambassadors or champions that can promote both awareness of African language Wikipedias, why they are important, and how people can participate in editing them. Currently South African language Wikipedias, with the notable exception of English and Afrikaans Wikipedia, either have extremely small editing communities or none at all. The object here is to help start or grow these Wikipedia communities. Past experience has proven to us that this is a very difficult task that will likely take years to overcome. It is hoped that this new approach will be an important step in growing these communities. The primary 5 year goal of this project is on enhancing chapter diversity through its focus on African language Wikipedias. Capacity is also a goal as it is hoped it will increase the number of new chapter volunteers.
African language writing competition
This project is really broader than just a writing competition but refers to any activity done to support the content growth of African language Wikipedias. Writing competitions are but one tool that could be used to grow such content. The primary 5 year goal of this project is on enhancing chapter Diversity and through its focus on African language Wikipedias.
University & school roadshow
The objective here is to build networks of people interested in promoting and participating in editing Wikipedia or otherwise participating in the free knowledge project by building social and institutional connections with schools and universities. Thereby creating a foundation to introduce Wikipedia, what it means, why volunteer contributions to it are important, and how to get involved. This is a long term project. For 2020 and the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown this program will be done digitally. It is hoped that the lockdown will be lifted by 2021 thereby allowing chapter volunteers to engage in person-to-person outreach and continue building off of previously established contacts. It assists with the Awareness goal and the diversity goal by our focus on implementing the project in geographical areas of South Africa that do not yet have a local Wikipedia editing presence. Capacity is also a goal as it is hoped it will increase the number of new chapter volunteers.
Wikimedia South Africa has managed to gain some traction with South African librarians. An increasing number of our key chapter volunteers are librarians including one of our most recently elected board members. We would like to continue our outreach to librarians by continuing to support the 1Lib1Ref project in South Africa as we have found it to be a good bridge with that community and it is now a familiar (and popular) project to them. This project is expected to enhance chapter Diversity and Capacity by increasing the number of new chapter volunteers.
The chapter has noted that a problem with promoting volunteer editing in South Africa is a general lack of awareness by members of the public about the fact that anyone can edit Wikipedia and is welcome to do so. Advertising to help rise public awareness about Wikipedia is therefore an important objective. A good tool to achieve this is to focus on people in South Africa already using Wikipedia anonymously. A banner add campaign aimed at Wikipedia readers without a login account has been proposed to help achieve this. It has the added advantage of being low cost and unaffected by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
As part of the chapter's efforts to support local content creation we would like to experiment with hosting a Wikipedia bookshelf to Not to be confused with the Bookshelf Project the Wikipedia bookshelf seeks to provide reference material to local Wikipedia editors. We have been holding off on implementing this due to a lack of administrative capacity in the past. With an administer we could run this service to our members when they submit a request for a reference and a list of articles that the reference will help improve. Afrikaans and other African language Wikipedia could benefit especially from this project. It will assist in meeting our Accessibility goal by helping to increase access to information by our members. It would also be a nice service to offer to chapter members that will help improve local content at the same time.
A long time coming. The community survey was last done in 2015 and now, five years later, would be a good time to re-conduct this survey so as to gain an understanding of how the community has changed since then.
It has been an ongoing long term chapter goal to get fair use and freedom of panorama adopted into South African copyright law since 2014. This project is entirely voluntarily driven and is at no cost to the Wikimedia Foundation. The chapter has come very close to achieving this goal as both these objectives are now in the Copyright Amendment Bill that was passed by both Houses of Parliament in January 2019. It has been sitting on the presidents desk since then waiting to be signed into law.