Grants talk:IEG/Localizing Offline Wikipedia and Deployment in Nigerian High Schools

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Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2014[edit]

IEG review.png

This Individual Engagement Grant proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2014 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2014 begins on 21 October 2014, and grants will be announced in December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

Jtud (WMF) (talk) 22:33, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

1000 new articles[edit]

Hi, I can imagine that your project will have a very positive impact on the Nigerian education landscape and I think you are setting a number of useful goals. However, I am not quite sure whether it is feasible to expect that 1000 new articles will be created. This is mainly due to the description of the situation you gave, which says that there is no or only little internet access for the target group of high school students. So who do you expect to write these articles and how should they do it? Maybe this should better be regarded as a long time goal. A different approach to measure success could be, for example, to expect a certain amount of media coverage of your project in Nigeria etc.? What do you think?--Poupou l'quourouce (talk) 15:54, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

I support this question because the offline wikipedia at the moment is unable to give the ability to save modifications and to update the online version. --Ilario (talk) 14:28, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi Poupou and Ilario,

Thank you for your comments.

The plan for a thousand articles is in the localization of the Offline Wikipedia before deployment and not an aftermath pf the deployment. During Wiki Indaba in June, this was discussed and we thought the orginal version of Wikipedia might not make a lot of impact on local students. For instance, while you might get an article on the Heroes of American Democracy, you might get articles on the Heroes of Nigerian Democracy, you might not get such articles on the Heroes of the Abeokuta Wars. So we're looking at writing localized articles that the targets (students) will easily relate with. This will encourage them to use the offline Wikipedia.

I cannot predict the number of people who will get hooked to Wikipedia after this project but I can only assume that a lot of them will be hooked. This is because the students will see Wikipedia as a reliable source of information and then after high school, they usually will want to further their education in the cities that have internet access and by then, they will be well educated about both the offline and online Wikipedia.

Please feel free to point any grey areas where you need explanations.

Thank you

Thank you for your answers. Having read this, and also the further questions and concerns which were raised by User:Asaf (WMF) and Thepwnco regarding the "enrichment" of English Wikipedia with Nigeria-related content in order to have a more suitable offline version at hand, I would like to point out, that in my view, your project seems to rely heavily on the production of content. To write 1000 articles that have meaningful and thoroughly researched content, is a lot of work and not done within a few days just like that. As far as I am aware, grants should not be used for the creation of content as such. So I do not think that we can pay you to write 1000 Nigeria-related articles. In particular I do not think that we can use articles that you create yourself as a metric for success. Hence I have some difficulties with this part of your proposal, please advise. Best,--Poupou l'quourouce (talk) 10:59, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Questions and comments[edit]

Hi, thanks for your application. I have some questions

  1. About the currency: 700000 what? (I think that isn't dollars USD, true? :)).
  2. How the schools could share the new articles if they are editing an offline wiki?
  3. The hotel accommodation is over 50% of the grant request and it's calculated in one unit, why?
  4. Is there available any schedule or agenda? I feel a bit curious about the timeline of the project: 50 to 500 thousands students is a large objective to be reached in 6 months.

Thanks in advance. Superzerocool (talk) 01:31, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi Superzerocool,

  1. Much as I hope that figure is in dollars, it is not, It is in Naira, the local currency for Nigeria. I had some syntax error while creating the table and I have corrected the error so you can now see the heading of the columns.
  2. The schools are not editing the offline wiki, myself and my team are. We will have these 1000 articles before we start deployment. That means by the time we deploy, the offline wiki will be a thousand articles richer. We will teach them to use the wiki and in situations where we can provide internet access, we will teach them how to edit. The teachers will be involved in all these.
  3. Yes, hotel bills are about 50% of the costs. We're covering a total of 100 schools in five states. All the team members live in Lagos, that means we have to leave our state to other states. This is because internet access in Nigeria is highest in Lagos so those who even do not have internet access via school labs have internet via mobile phones. So, to cut the long story short, we have to travel out of our state to achieve this and that gives rise for the need to stay in hotels.
  4. Yes, seems large but realizable and will explain. There are two set of school owners in Nigeria, the publicly owned schools run by government and the privately owned schools. We target both but will more focus on the public schools. Now an average private high school has at least 500 students while a public high school can have as much as 5000 students. We're focusing on 100 schools. That means if we go to only private schools, we would have reached 50,000 students. If we go to only public schools, we will reach 500,000 students. If we have a mix of both types of schools (which is our plan), then we will have between 50,000 and 500,000 students.

We have 6 months to do this, we will have a team of 10 people who will travel in a pair. That gives a team of 5. That means each of the 5 teams have a target of 20 schools. I think this is very achievable in 6 months

Thanks for your answers :) Superzerocool (talk) 00:21, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Notification suggestions[edit]

Kayusyussuf, thanks for putting forward this proposal. One important part of an IEG grant is making posts to relevant pages on Wikimedia projects, so that interested Wikimedians can give you feedback on your proposal. It also lets editors who may be impacted by your work know what you are doing and the idea behind it. Best of all, you may even find Wikimedians who want to help. I'll leave some links to a few pages that might be a good start (these are to English Wikipedia projects, but it may be a good idea to notify Igbo, Hausa, or Yoruba Wikipedias if they will be involved with the project).

Feel free to contact me or Siko if you need help. Best, PEarley (WMF) (talk)

Hi PEarley (WMF), I must appreciate your efforts,

I am a member of a lot these groups and yes, I should notify them to get their comments. Thank you.

I will do so.


Have you looked at Kiwix? It seems to be close to your project idea rubin16 (talk) 13:39, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi rubin16,

Yes, our project is very similar to Kiwix. Thank you Kayusyussuf (talk) 18:19, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

  • @Kayusyussuf: and what's the difference of your project from Kiwix? What already existing app couldn't be used? Thanks, rubin16 (talk) 16:51, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
  • answering to your email: Kiwix can read articles of any Wikimedia project. If you need any additional articles, you can add them to Wikipedia (and that would be great, as articles will be also available online for everybody) and then update Kiwix database. You can also create local copy of Wikipedia (for example, at your server/computer) and then add articles there; afterwards, you can export MediaWiki articles - link. But we need some more details about why you want to add articles and why don't you want to add them to Wikipedia itself? I will try to help you if you give me more details rubin16 (talk) 19:26, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you rubin16,

The articles will be added to the online Wikipedia. But the focus is the offline Wikipedia because the people to access this resource do not have access to the internet Kayusyussuf (talk) 16:18, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

  • I think that Kiwix is suitable in such case :) what Wikipedia chapter do you want to include in the offline copy? I will have a look rubin16 (talk) 19:26, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

A few tech questions[edit]


This project sounds interesting (I would be happy to help if I can) but I think this request might be improved if the following questions would be answered:

  • What does mean exactly "localize the Offline Wiki"?
  • What are the content which will be provided (which language? how many articles? with pictures? ...)
  • What are the technical requirements for the offline technology?
  • Which solution will be used to provide offline access?
  • Which work needs to be done to have the offline solution working? By who?

Regards Kelson (talk) 15:58, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Kelson,

Yes, We will need all the help we can get so you are welcome to help. I will answer your questions below.

  1. To localize means to add articles which are focused on Nigeria and environs
  2. We're looking at adding a new thousand articles in English and other local Nigerian articles.... However, emphasis will be on English
  3. We're using Kiwix, it requires you have a computer or a local network
  4. Kiwix
  5. What remains to be done is to start writing the new articles we want to focus on after which the Kiwix files are downloaded and installed on the concerned computers/ server. Who does this? Presently we have a team of 10 volunteers willing to work physically on this. I am sure a lot more will join. These volunteers will help write the new articles and the present ten volunteers are available to visit the intended schools to install the offline Wikipedia.

Kayusyussuf (talk) 16:18, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Kayusyussuf. Thank you for your answers, they really help me do better understand your technical approach. What you want to do is perfectly feasible but like written by Asaf, this still needs a little bit know-how.
Here would be a few recommendations (learnings of our past deployments in Africa):
  • Have one tech. responsible in the project
  • This tech. responsible should have done at least deployments in 3 different schools recently
  • Check with a representative 5%->10% of all your schools that nothing in the field empeach to run the project (power available, computer working, security level is acceptable, school director agree)
  • Decide what you want to install offline (the whole Wikipedia in English with pictures - 60GB OR the whole Wikipedia in English without pictures - 20GB OR local languages Wikipedia....)
  • Gather information about the computers setup (Windows, Linux, ...) if a local network exists and decide what kind of installation you want to have (local and/or network).
  • List all the work the Kiwix project needs regarding this project
  • If you want to deploy a "Nigerian selection of articles", this will need extra work and this needs to be planned carefully.
  • Have a timeline regarding the tech requirements
  • Prepare a document for project people in the field helping them in case of tech problem - make a lesson to teach them how to use the technology
  • Prepare a document explaining to the final user how to use the technology - make lessons to teach them (at least the school teachers)
  • Deploying offline content on what will be hundreds of computer takes time, you should have many portable mass storage devices (USB flash drives?) per team. You should know how many and what kind of device (which cost).
I also want to point that Kiwix would be happy to have a user interface translated in Ingbo and Yoruba. With translatewiki this is easy, have a look here and here. Kind regards Kelson (talk) 11:38, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you again Kelson, your recommendations are on point. There will be a project timeline.

  • I will be tech lead for the project. I have knowledge of system administration and networking. Software installation will be no problem. I will also train the team on the deployment.
  • I totally agree you you on the power availability/ security level and even accessibility of students to the computer centres, some schools have these computers but deny students the access. These will be part of the criteria in selecting the schools we will deploy to. They have to be schools with functional computer centres.
  • English Wikipedia with pictures does it for me, young people love pictures and English is the official education language so a solution in English will appeal than local languages. This will also be an advantage when we want to scale the project nationwide

I will add your suggestions to my action points, they are very helpful, thank you.

Kayusyussuf (talk) 01:58, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Significant concerns about feasibility and timing[edit]

First, the need for offline Wikipedia in Nigeria is clear enough, and it is great to see that you are interested in addressing it. However, I have several significant concerns about the feasibility of this plan. They are, in roughly descending order of important:

  1. The plan calls for the creation of a very high number of articles on the English Wikipedia before any travel and deployment is done. However, the project leader has almost no experience with content creation on the English Wikipedia (5 mainspace edits), and is therefore unlikely to have a realistic estimate of the effort and resources necessary to create hundreds of articles that would meet the high bar set by the English Wikipedia. Even with the aid of the more experienced editors supporting and endorsing this proposal, it would necessarily take months to add this content, and it seems to me there would be no point making a decision about the proposal before this significant content contribution is done. Since article edits are expected to be done by volunteers, and since it is a prerequisite for effective deployment of an offline version, the grant is irrelevant to the accomplishing of this preliminary step. I submit that only if and when this content work is done, the time would be right to propose and decide on the actual deployment project.
  2. The proposal betrays a weak familiarity with the Kiwix tool itself, and I would caution against embarking on a month of travel without evidence of significant understanding of the tool, its usage, its installation procedure, troubleshooting, etc. Also, the creation of a subset of English Wikipedia as a Kiwix content package is a specialized process that requires technical expertise, and this is not taken into account here. It is fortunate that Kelson, the Kiwix main developer, has kindly offered assistance.
  3. There is a good deal of vague and aspirational language, that I am reluctant to take on faith. For example, it is far from obvious that all schools would welcome this initiative and provide space for it and allocate time for installation and demonstrations. As another example, can some evidence of these "discussions with Ministries of Education" be offered? Is there reason to be confident of the cooperation of the ministry at this stage? I will note I would be personally happy to help establish such contact with national and state governments and provide formal endorsements of the initiative, if and when my concerns about the feasibility of the work are addressed.
  4. The proposal mentions a team of "volunteers" to take up the travel, but the proposed remuneration would seem, unless my rough arithmetic is very wrong, to provide a decent living wage in Nigeria for the duration. In other words, the participants would be undertaking paid work, not volunteering their time. (This is acceptable in principle, for time-intensive activities such as those proposed, but it should be straightforwardly acknowledged.)
  5. Finally, the budget itself seems rather hastily put together, and I would have liked to see more careful estimates and price quotes.

I encourage serious consideration of these issues before funding work along these lines. Asaf (WMF) (talk) 03:20, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi talk,and thank you for your concerns.

  1. My being project lead is simply because I rallied other guys together so we can achieve this. Other members of the team are also co-owners of the project and we will all work together for its successful completion. These other members are Jamie Tubers with 3500+ edits, Olaniyan Olushola , Emadapoet. These are guys who we planned this project together. We will sit down with other volunteers to create those articles
  2. I have the assurance of Rubin16 and Masssly to assist in this regard.
  3. The installations are to be made in schools that have computer centres and agree that they need the resource and this applies only to privately owned schools. For government owned school, all one needs to do is to get approval from the ministry of education. In Ogun State for instance, Olaniyan Olushola is in advanced talks with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education. I'd ask him to get us a letter to that effect. What this means is that once the government approval is given the schools do not need any other clearance. The private schools on their part need props that will give their schools an edge and I assure you, a resource as this will be a good selling point for such schools. I would not be surprised if we begin to get requests for installation from private schools. And lastly, Nigeria is a large country, as a matter of fact there are 360 public schools in Lagos alone [[1]]. Private schools will amount to at least 1500. This gives an estimated total of about 2,200 schools in Lagos State alone and we are targeting five states. Getting a hundred schools from these numbers will not be a problem.
  4. Non of the volunteers who have agreed to work with us are expecting any remuneration. The budget listed will be for operational expenses. Hotel takes a chunk of the expected grant because we'd all leave our state and travel to other states. In the process of travel, we'd have to transport ourselves. We will have some logistical expenses, like buying internet access for the period we plan writing and uploading these articles. Since we're dealing with students, things like hand bands, customized pens, branded notebooks strike a chord with them, that is why we need swags. Like I said earlier on, non of the volunteers signed up for this project is expecting any remuneration.
  5. Yes, the budget is a reasonable estimate. I can break it down further if this looks hastily put up.

Once again, thank you for your questions, I will be glad to answer further question. Kayusyussuf (talk) 00:42, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Sky shooting[edit]

100 schools mentioned as a goal, but no hint of how you plan to get there. The only concrete thing you mention is not needed at all, as Kiwix is already way beyond the manual selection of articles or whatever you meant by "localising" the [existing?] offline Wikipedia. If the Wikipedia language edition you have in mind has no ZIM available, I'm sure Kelson will quickly produce one when you tell him you have plans for distribution. As is: unfundable. --Nemo 08:45, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Nemo,

Thank you for your comment.

  1. Yes, 100 schools is a goal. And the process to achieve it was explained. We want to get government approval to deploy the offline Wikipedia in government owned schools. We also have plans for privately owned schools too. The government schools need just one point of application and approval, when this approval is given, we will have access to government owned schools. Though we have to reach the private schools individually, they will usually want this.
  2. Our idea of localization is not as regards language, we plan to write our new articles in English. Our idea of localization is to write articles that concern Nigeria, Nigerian culture and the people.

Kayusyussuf (talk) 21:58, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Localizing (1,000 articles)[edit]

Hello, and thank you for your proposal. Like others who have already commented, I too recognize the value of your proposed project, and the potential impact of both deploying Offline Wikipedia in Nigerian high schools without Internet access, and providing a framework for other states or countries to take on and continue this important work.

That being siad, I am inclined to agree with much of what User:Asaf (WMF) has said, particularly regarding the goal to create 1,000 articles (with content relevant to Nigeria) before anything else. I think this is a very large undertaking on its own, without taking into consideration any of the other work proposed. Perhaps 1,000 is not a feasible goal, and there does not need to be as extensive localization as outlined here before the deployment? In any case, I would like to see more evidence that some planning and thought has been put towards this idea, such as suggested articles about Nigerian history/culture/people of note/et.c to be created or a list of resources/references that can be used to verify the new content.

-Thepwnco (talk) 22:46, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Thepwnco,

Thank you for your comment and thank you for recognizing the value of the proposal.

I disagree with your first point and totally agree with your second point. We have 10 people set to work on this project. If shared evenly, that is about 100 articles per volunteer. We will use a month to focus on creating these articles.

Your second point which I totally agree with is to list the 'so called'articles as this will give a sense of direction. Yes, We will do so.

Thank you once again for your comments. Kayusyussuf (talk) 22:05, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Localizing Offline Wikipedia and Deployment in Nigerian High Schools[edit]

Scoring criteria (see the rubric for background) Score
1=weak alignment 10=strong alignment
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it fit with Wikimedia's strategic priorities?
  • Does it have potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Innovation and learning
  • Does it take an Innovative approach to solving a key problem?
  • Is the potential impact greater than the risks?
  • Can we measure success?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in 6 months?
  • How realistic/efficient is the budget?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
  • Does it support diversity?
Comments from the committee:
  • This proposed project fits with Wikimedia's strategic priorities, namely to increase reach, particularly in the Global South, and improve quality by contributing content and expanding Wikipedia coverage about Nigeria and Nigerian culture.
  • Proposal supports diversity by expanding access to Wikipedia in the developing world.
  • This project is more trying to build a community rather than leverage an existing community.
  • It has some endorsers.
  • It seems too early to fund: 1000 articles is a significant amount of work that is underestimated in this plan. Proposer needs more experience, and articles should be generated before funding a project like this.
  • Participants may be unprepared for the demands of the work they are to take on, plans are vague and quite ambitious.
  • Concerns about the extent of outreach/engagement conducted by participants and whether there is actual interest and capacity on the part of the schools.
  • The main idea is already realized in Kiwix, which should be adapted. Lessons learned from sponsoring Kiwix installations could be useful.
  • A low risk project, but not very innovative.
  • Measures of success are vague and in some cases unrealistic, with no indication of how they will be assessed.
  • "Localization" portion of the proposal and comments regarding editing the offline Wikipedia (which by definition is read-only) make little sense to us.

Thank you for submitting this proposal. The committee is now deliberating based on these scoring results, and WMF is proceeding with its due-diligence. You are welcome to continue making updates to your proposal pages during this period. Funding decisions will be announced by early December. — ΛΧΣ21 17:02, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Round 2 2014 Decision[edit]

IEG IdeaLab review.png

This project has not been selected for an Individual Engagement Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding, but we hope you'll continue to engage in the program. Please drop by the IdeaLab to share and refine future ideas!

Comments regarding this decision:
Growing diversity in global south communities is one of our highest priorities; however, our experience shows that outreach efforts in the past have failed to generate impact when they first had to build a local editing community rather than engage and build on an existing one. In terms of leveraging existing tools, a future proposal with deepened local reach and integration around the already well-established Kiwix project would be of interest to the committee.

Next steps:

  1. Review the feedback provided on your proposal and to ask for any clarifications you need using this talk page.
  2. Visit the IdeaLab to continue developing this idea and share any new ideas you may have.
  3. To reapply with this project in the future, please make updates based on the feedback provided in this round before resubmitting it for review in a new round.
  4. Check the schedule for the next open call to submit proposals - we look forward to helping you apply for a grant in a future round.

Questions? Contact us.