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Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia South Africa/2021/strategicplan

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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 2021

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 celebrities to publicly advocate for them thereby increasing public awareness. This project is a continuation from 2020/21 which was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown. 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. This project is a continuation from 2020/21 which was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown. Metric: edit count - 5000

Afrikaans training workshop


Afrikaans language Wikipedia has requested support to host a small number of training sessions to introduce Afrikaans speakers to editing Wikipedia. This event will be driven by volunteers from the Afrikaans language community but they have requested support with supporting costs for the training sessions. In person events on subject to the ever evolving COVID 19 situation in South Africa and WMF policy on this issue. If in-person events are not possible then the training will entirely be conducted remotely.

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 project is a continuation from 2020/21 which was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown. This project is dependent on COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in the 2021/22 year. Metric: Participants- 250, New users - 200, Content pages - 170, People reached - 5000



Continued support for the 1Lib1Ref project in South Africa. The increased number of librarians in Wikimedia South Africa and amongst 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. Currently this is a volunteer support project only and so will not require funding. This project is a continuation from 2020/21 which was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown.

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. This project is a continuation from 2020/21 which was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown. 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. This project is a continuation from 2020/21.

WMZA administrative maturity


See Staffing Plan for 2021 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.

Wiki Loves Fynbos


Wiki Loves Fynbos is a photographic competition to encourage people to upload photographs of South African plants for use on Wikipedia. Wikimedia South Africa has long identified a need for more and better quality images of South African flora for use on Wikipedia. The competition aims to invite people to submit photographs of South African flora as well as encourage institutions to donate or otherwise also upload their collections of photographs of South African plants. The Afrikaans language version Wikipedia has expressed particular enthusiasm for this project.

Wiki Loves Science


Better known as the Wiki Science Competition, Wikimedia South Africa has committed to hosting the 2021 event in South Africa. A small amount of funding is requested for prizes and advertising to implement the event. This event is related to, although separate from, the Wiki Loves Fynbos photographic project.

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. This project is a continuation from 2020/21. The volunteer in charge of this project is now confident that the project partner is well positioned to action this project. In the past the implementation of this project was postponed due to the project partner not being fully prepared to implement it.