Jump to content

Grants talk:PEG/Africa Centre/Wiki Loves Africa 2014

Add topic
From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Latest comment: 9 years ago by Anthere in topic Further comment

Evaluation by the GAC


GAC members who support this grant request

  1. --Ilario (talk) 20:19, 13 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  2. Barring my comment below, this seems an excellent submission in my opinion. NLIGuy (talk) 23:58, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
  3. --Manuel Schneider (talk) 17:07, 16 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  4. MADe (talk) 18:07, 16 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  5. Slightly for. I also support the scope of this project, on the other hand I am still not sure about the sum of money for paid staff. --Packa (talk) 22:19, 19 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

GAC members who oppose this grant request


GAC members who abstain from voting/comment


GAC comments


The project seems to be very ambitious. We have actually July 20, and the idea is to organize 11 local WLA contest in 11 countries, starting in September... So there is actually very little time to organize everything including writing a tailored version of Commons mobile app, preparing templates and 11 upload campaigns on Commons, 11 local juries etc... What is the current level of organization? What is prepared actually and what is about to be prepared? Would be good to see a timetable of organization to believe it is possible to organize evrything in 1 month and 10 days.. Polimerek (talk) 21:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

We will respond in more details soon, but I think it is important to quickly correct a misconception. This will not be organized along the same frame than WLM at all. There will not be 11 local contests with 11 juries and 11 campaigns etc.. We propose ONE contest at the continental level. With ONE jury. ONE website. TWO languages though ;) (French and English). This can not be organised as Wiki Loves Monument is because there are two major limitations as of today: in most African countries, there are just a handful participants and our projects are very poorly known anyway. We need to provide "tools" to improve that and the first would be to find ways to get some buzz. Global photo contest with some mention in social media, in traditional press, plus local photo hunt or locally held workshops can help. Thinking of it with strong expectations at the local level would probably lead to disappointment because in most cases local teams would be too small and with little backup locally. We can only take it one step at a time and get the ball rolling.
Incidentally, we are already amazed by the enthusiasm it generates ! 11 local activity points would be fabulous ! Anthere (talk)
Just to agree with Anthere above - but also to point out that the contest starts in October 2014 and will run for 2 months. The preparation time is actually 2 and a half months. It is still tight, but doable. The length of the competition will assist us in building momentum and stories around the contest in each country. I will post the link to the final timeline here and on the grant application page once it is done. Islahaddow (talk) 09:22, 21 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thank you. This changes everything. Polimerek (talk) 09:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

My second question is about the employment. As technical manager and fundraising and partners liaison manager position are clear, what is the reason to have both "Co-project manager" and "Project administrator" ? Polimerek (talk) 09:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

Good question. Having two people working as co-project managers is related to the bilingual aspect of the competition. As you know, English and French pretty much splits Africa linguistically - even in North Africa. We will split the work between us so that we cover both Anglophone and Francophone territories equally. We work together successfully on Kumusha Takes Wiki for precisely this reason.
With regards to your question as to the need for a project administrator, cross-continental competitions, cross-cultural networking and remote operations are very difficult to manage (especially in Africa). As Anthere mentioned above, in this first competition we are not expecting the local teams to have too much local back up. For this reason, the administrator will work with any local teams on their communications, event planning, accountability, evaluation, social media alerts and provide real time support. They will also supply assistance to any queries coming in from individuals that do not have a local country team. This person will also be vital in assisting with any mass uploads and channeling any OTRS/permission issues that may arise. Islahaddow (talk) 10:51, 21 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
Regarding technical issues such as mass upload tools - you are about to hire a technical manager. So I am still puzzled what "Co-project manager" and "Project administrator" are actually about to do and what the difference between them. Having two "co-project managers", one "Project administrator" is this really needed? Maybe try to define clearly the sets of duties for each position. Polimerek (talk) 10:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
Polimerek, I will work on clarifying the duties of each position for better understanding. Islahaddow (talk) 10:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi, this seems to be a very good submission, thank you. I want to provide an idea (which I suggested before to others running Wiki Loves... competitions). I suggest that you give some thought into involving an editing prize, for example hold a competition or give a special prize to a photographer who photographed a kind of food but also wrote / upgraded the article about it. This might help get the number of editors up, and not only content contributors. NLIGuy (talk) 23:57, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

NLIGuy, thanks for this suggestion. I think that is a good idea, and will include it in the prize structure. I think that just including it will start potential entrants thinking about editing. I am just unsure how we track their contributions as an entry, keeping in mind they will be real newbies. But I am sure this can be done. Any ideas how we do it? Islahaddow (talk) 18:27, 31 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

I am also not sure about the amount of paid staff and about the sum of money for this item (nearly one third of the total amount requested). Second question: how can I understand the budget table: Continental prizes: 10-15 awards, Rate per item $2.000, Budget total $2.000? Thanks. --Packa (talk) 16:30, 2 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hello. There is actually nothing written in the column "number per item". It is $2000 for all the awards. Anthere (talk)
Thanks, Anthere. --Packa (talk) 22:18, 19 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Comments MADe


Firstly, I greatly support the scope of this project (it will document the diverse types of cuisines across Africa). It is not the easiest goal for Wikipedia: we can easily store texts, images and videos, but probably struggle when recording food/flavours/scents... I recognize that Africa Centre has a lot of experience working with the WMF, and they have a good project team (Anthere/Florence! Isla! Rexford!). They are best equiped to try this kind of project.

After the comments of the colleague GAC members, I checked the labour costs in the grant. Both part 1 (Projet staffing), 2 (Communication) and 6 (Additional elements) relate to paying people for their work. This is about 25k$ in total, not even a full FTE in Europe. Given the geographical and linguistic extent of Africa, this seems ok to me.

I saw the listed job functions contain no members of the local African chapters, so I assume this project will be independent of these chapters. A lof of good stuff is happening in African chapters, I would prefer getting them on board. MADe (talk) 14:14, 3 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Actually... Isla is currently on the board of Wikimedia South Africa ;) Also, several local chapters have expressed their strong interest (here and during WikiIndaba) and will consequently be involved. Anthere (talk)
Hello Maarten! Thanks for the vote of confidence. Just to reassure you, the project is not intended to be independent of the Chapters, in fact we definitely want them to be involved and enthusiastic to host the contest in their country. For this project to get traction we need the chapters to get involved. We already have the endorsement of 11 countries, which is more than the seven that we initially knew we could persuade to take part. If we receive the go ahead on funding, we will be asking members of the African community to join the continental team. Further, in the budget, provision has been made for each participating country to host events and for assistance with communication during the contest. The reason why we want a continental organising team to coordinate the first contest is to ensure that, given the many challenges in Africa, all the systems and processes work. I will provide more detail on this in my response to Alex's comment below. Islahaddow (talk) 16:13, 5 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Comments from the WM community




Hi, it's a large request and not a simple one programmatically. First, I'm confused about the organisation. Just the briefest responses might be enough, please. Interleave with my bullets if it's easier.

Thanks for the questions Tony, I will try to respond after each line item (but I might have mis-read some of your questions as I have just got off a long flight and am a bit tired. Please excuse any lack of understanding - and the terrible inline formatting). Islahaddow (talk) 10:46, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
Firstly, the Africa Centre is a social change non-profit based in South Africa, but working across continent of Africa. It uses different arts, culture and knowledge based programmes to change how Africans think and feel about themselves, and how others interact with Africa. It currently has six projects - one of which is WikiAfrica.
It is under the WikiAfrica banner that the Wiki Loves Africa initiative is being run. WikiAfrica runs a number of initiatives that supports the strategic plans for the Wikimedia Foundation, and are specifically aimed at facilitating the donation of content that already exists in institutions across Africa to the Wikimedia projects, and encouraging active contribution by communities across Africa. WikiAfrica has historically been driven by two organisations lettera27 in Italy, and the Africa Centre in Cape Town.
  1. It's not primarily for WMF sites, is it. Does it have a previous relationship with the WMF? Would this grant make future WMF-site-related work more probable?
  • While the other 5 Africa Centre projects do not have Wikipedia/Wikimedia projects as their primary focus (although the majority of their content is CC-By-SA licenced), WikiAfrica does. WikiAfrica at the Africa Centre has been active partners with Wikimedia South Africa since 2012 in such projects as Wiki Loves Monuments South Africa (2012 and 2013) and Wiki Indaba 2014. It was also a contributing partner to the Share Your Knowledge project, run mainly by WikiAfrica at lettera27.
  • It currently has two major projects running Kumusha Takes Wiki and Share Your Knowledge using a social entrepreneurship model. These projects are entirely focussed on contributing to Wikipedia/wikimedia projects and are currently funded by such organisations as the Orange Foundation and Prince Claus, with training and toolkits sponsored by Creative Commons under the #OpenAfrica banner.
  • Having already been involved in WLM ZA for two years running, the WikiAfrica project believes that in the African context an annual, theme focussed photographic competition lowers the many barriers of entry for many people contributing to Wikipedia for the first time. It also has the ability to visually display the full range and diversity of what happens in Africa.
  1. With a payroll such as the one you describe (great to see everyone named), where does its funding come from? What is its total annual budget, and has it grown recently?
  • I am not sure what you are asking here. Are you asking for the Africa Centre's accounts or for those of WikiAfrica? With regards to WikiAfrica, we receive small institutional funding from the Africa Centre that enables this (WLA) project's total cost to be reduced. The rest of the funding from Orange, Creative Commons and Prince Claus is specifically for the actions of the projects described above and cannot be assigned to this project. WikiAfrica's scope and reach has grown significantly with the support of these three institutions.
  1. It's nice to see a specific theme (cuisine). Far too often these projects we review have no thematic focus, which worries me. I was surprised to see that audio files rated so prominent a mention for this theme. Sizzling steaks, the farmyard slaughter? Hard for it to be distinctively African. :-)
  • We didn't want to limit the medium of entry, and our intention was for more interview-based entries than atmospheric ones; for example an explanation of a certain tradition, a step-by-step of a method or recipe, or a interview with a local chef). But if people want to submit more atmospheric examples, it could also be interesting - and i guess it would depend on what they are submitting as to where it would be distinctively African or not.
  1. Food photography is a specialised art and technique. I see mention of "Set up documentation of best practices": this will be very important. Do you have expert input for that? Perhaps there are some resources on the internet that you could draw on. Adjacent examples of good and bad would be great. Will you translate into both priority languages (I suppose no participant won't know enough of either colonial language)?
  • Yes we will make sure that there is easy-to-understand documentation on what is considered a good photograph vs a snap. Having said that, the theme is designed to be broad - it should not necessarily be just food photography - but should encompass all aspects of cuisine, including, but not limited to: production, harvesting, making, baking, markets, stalls, restaurants, preparation, presentation, etc. the list is pretty extensive and should not (hopefully) only be plated up food.
  • Please see our announcement at Wiki Indaba below for more examples of the kinds of variety we are expecting.
    Wiki Loves Africa
  1. Measures of success—Lovely to get the numbers for the WLA comp—looks good. Do you have last year's equivalents at hand so we can measure your ambition in context? But ... I find the continental team measures of success most unsatisfactory: all woolly and impossible to quantify, and see my memo to staff below. I suggest removing most items and replacing them with something measurable, for which you'll be able to show evidence that you failed, or partially or fully succeeded in. Just one: "Suggesting improvements for the following year" -> "Suggestions for several improvements for next year that we feel are worth considering or incorporating into our planning." "Indicating that they are satisfied with the continental team." -> "High levels of satisfaction with the continental team (average of ~4 on a five-point Lickert scale)." It's ok to fail, as long as your benchmarks were reasonable: we learn, then, and so do you.
  • This project has not been run previously. This would be the first year. I will look through the continental measures of success and will re-write to include targets that can be measured.
  1. "Documentation is available for all those organising a local Wiki Loves Africa contest." – I guess it's hard to assess that benchmark without a little detail (languages? both online and hard-copy? Sorry if I didn't read the application thoroughly enough).
  • The documentation will be created for the local teams. All documentation will be translated into French, but we are also hoping to get teams to translate into Portuguese, Arabic and Swahili as the project progresses. It should be able to be downloaded and will be available as a pdf for local printing.

Memo to staff: Could there be an instruction that measures of success not contain items like getting the grant, producing the report at the end, and completing the project as described? They should be taken for granted.

Tony (talk) 08:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

I hope the above has answered your questions - please let me know if anything is not clear. Islahaddow (talk) 10:46, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
I'm bowled over with the lucidity of your responses, and I'm inclined to think that your organisation might be an ideal collaborator with the WMF in an area of the world that is both a priority for us and presents huge challenges. There are more things to be discussed, but I must go to bed for now. Thank you indeed. Tony (talk) 15:13, 25 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

Later: OK, a few suggestions.

  • The idea of interviews is lovely, but they take some doing unless you want an indigestible product. If untrained contributors are thinking of interviewing a chef or a farmer, for example, they'd need specific advice about keeping the background levels under control. Remember that Commons only accepts ogg and wav files (free download: en:Audacity), and that WMF sites' support of audio files is crazily bad. Tip: I think original mp3 files can't be directly processed, but mp4 is good; this kind of thing is so hard to learn from Commons—don't expect much online help (ask me if you're really stuck). Audacity is really good for post-recording editing, and I think your guidelines might advise recordists to let subjects know the recording will probably be edited down; that's the way to get much better quality, and you might have someone at the Africa Centre who knows how to edit help with this process. Of course, raw files uploaded to Commons can later be edited by anyone and re-uploaded, but for competition purposes you'd need guidelines. Five minutes is a loooong duration for an audio file, in terms of listeners, so please warn contributors. Questions can be edited out or left in, but a draft of possible questions should be at least loosely prepared. Combining pics or vids with interview would be cool.
Isla: Thanks Tony, I think that all you have suggested will be very useful. The main reason behind offering more than just photography allows for more context, but I agree that the levels of skill are significantly higher. We will be creating a toolkit for guidelines to both acceptable files and uploading, as well as suggested settings for background levels, and how to conduct an interview, etc. We do have a recording studio at the Africa Centre and have several sound engineers that we can consult to get the best advice on some elements, however their knowledge of Commons will be sorely lacking. Perhaps we can contact you once we have draft documentation in order to get your feedback?
  • More comments on "Measures of success"—

    500 files by each CNO could be a lot for the smaller ones, but easy for ZA. Just sayin'. Possibly "average of at least ..."?

    Nine months later, measure of new users: will we get to know about this? The report will already have been delivered, I'm presuming. Staff opinion?

    Actual figures may be overestimated if no specific mobile application is made available in 2014, do you mean? Unsure what all that means.

    Suggest "intangibles" be removed.

Isla: I have changed the Measures of success to include your suggested caveat about the average amounts.
With regards to measuring new users, the contest is intended to be an annual event. The most up-to-date stats will be included in the funding application for the following year (after around 9 months for 2015), and of course, updated information will be included on the project's Meta page. I have also changed the typo to overestimated instead of underestimated - having a mobile application is expected to make it significantly easier for people to enter their photographs. I have removed the intangibles section.
  • Scope and activities:

    Lots of dialogue needed from Capetown northwards, and yep, would have been better to spell out the language responsibilities of both officers in the application (see query from Polimerek above). This will be by phone, skype audio and IM, email, by arrangement with each CNO? So much will rely on personal trust. :-)

    Links to your guidelines and documentation would be great from your report to us. (Lessons learned.)

    "Connect with press (continental, national and regional)"—you got people in the office who can write press releases? General comment: advice on this for funded projects is something WMF grantmaking is sorely in need of.

    "adapt and re-skin the current WLM application"—seems like a big deal: could you re-assure this is going to happen, is feasible?

    Crowdfunding: does your office have a track-record of this?

    To what extent do you need more people in those countries? I know one or two, and also, WMZA is being funded to hold a sizeable conference soon, bringing people from around the contintent to Capetown: could that be a good source of personnel or networking?

Isla: We are currently in the process of creating an initial information pack for each CNO. Within in each pack will include project expectations of each organising party, marketing, publicity, crowdfunding and other guidelines and deadlines, as well as continental communication checkin times. We have been learning about the challenges of cross-continental communication with Kumusha Takes Wiki and at least have a head start on what works and what doesn't ;-). At the very least, we would like to have meetings with each CNO every 2 weeks so that any challenges, technical problems, or other issues can be sorted out quickly. As part of a more advanced secondary pack, we will provide a template for press releases, marketing materials and other items that will be needed, translated into the major languages. Personally, I have extensive experience writing and distributing press releases, including those for WLM ZA 2012 and 2013. (I would be happy to write a toolkit for the WMF Grantmaking on this if you need?)
With regards to the mobile application, Anthere and I intend to chat to the mobile team at Wikimania to see how difficult this is to do. There is a small amount of money in the budget for the Mobile upload tool which would allow us to approach other tech experts for assistance. We will let you know the outcomes of our discussions.
I have been affiliated with projects that have had some success with crowdfunding. I am more than happy to provide guidelines for the participating CNOs should they feel that crowdfunding is the way to go.
The conference you are suggesting has already taken place. Wiki Indaba happened in Johannesburg in June. WikiAfrica was a partner on this successful conference organised by WMZA and as a result the African network of Wikipedians is stronger than it was when this project was first thought of. Wiki Loves Africa was announced at the end of Wiki Indaba (see the link to the presentation slides above) and has received an enthusiastic support from Africa's chapters and usergroups as a result.
Isla, thanks for your responses and tweaks to the application text. I'll leave it to the staff for the next step. Tony (talk) 04:21, 17 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Interim scores against PEG criteria and strategic priorities

Islahaddow, this is something of an experiment by me. I'd like to know later whether you think it's useful, and soon if you think any of the scores are unfair at this juncture. The general idea is that both scores and certainties should change (hopefully upwards!) as the application and talkpage develop.

Tony, I think that this is a great idea and will work through these score cards to see where we can improve and make sure the weaker score are strengthened. Please give me the next few days to work through it. Islahaddow (talk) 17:10, 5 August 2014 (UTC)Reply


  • 1 = very weak or no alignment
  • 3 = weak alignment
  • 5 = passable alignment; room for significant improvement
  • 7 = reasonably good alignment
  • 10 = excellent alignment
Criterion Running score My certainty level of scoring Notes
(a) High-quality content: Potential for increase at WMF sites (e.g. Spanish Wikipedia, Commons). 7 Medium Could be higher if I were sure of the quality and linguistic accessibility of the guidelines for producing quality files. Slight concern about the utility of files in this theme as adjuncts for articles in WMF sites. But I do love the theme all the same: imaginative.
(b) High-level participation: Potential for increase at WMF sites. 7 Medium It's hard to assess longer-term increases, even for Commons. Prizes for article writing that uses the files would increase my confidence and rating here.
(c) Volunteers: Their availability, readiness, and skill-base for implementing the activities. Are the scale and scope of the activities commensurate with this? 5 Medium–high Early success looks very promising. Capacity of OCNs to engage communities is unclear. If the organisation has a demonstrated track-record of this kind of branching-networking, that would be re-assuring. Hoping this will rise to a 10.
(d) Measures of success: Are they realistic and actually measurable in context? 4 High I'm sure the 4 will rise significantly when applicant edits it.
(e) Budget: Matches scale and scope? Strategic justification for labour and materials? Responsible growth/investment? 5 Medium–high Could we know what the other $25K will be paying for? Alex (staff) will almost certainly ask for more details here.
(f) Sustainability of impact and increase in reach (new partnerships, public awareness of WMF sites). Would the work keep on giving? 10 Low–medium It's an exciting project, but hard to be sure about the longer term at this stage. Track-record of organisation is important here. Examples?
(g) Community engagement/support (could include promotion of diversity in the WM movement). 7 Medium CNOs, continental spread, look great. How embedded are they in their local communities, though? I think I see women's names among the "Endorsement" list: excellent.

Tony (talk) 09:06, 27 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

Tony, thank you for your incredible suggestions. And many apologies for the delay in my response, both Anthere and I have been away from computers recently. I would like to give your suggestions the considered answers they deserve, but cannot do so until Monday the 4th August. I hope you can wait until then. Have a great weekend! Islahaddow (talk) 18:40, 31 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
Yick. Yes. I just came back today from holidays and prepare to flight tomorrow morning for Wikimania. I'll be back on this page asap I am settled properly in London. Thanks for the extensive feedback Tony ! Anthere (talk)
Hello Tony, I am now back in the world of Internet on my way to London and will try to answer your incredibly thorough feedback. I think it might be best if I respond after each point that you have made. Let me know if you require any additional feedback. (I am aware that there is still work to be done on the Measures of Success metrics, the timeline and clarity around personnel duties, Anthere and I will work on these in the next few days.) Islahaddow (talk) 17:10, 5 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Project manager needs


Thank you for engaging on this grant discussion. The additional details have been very useful. Can this competition be organized without so much paid staff? Wikimedia South Africa was able to organize a successful Wiki Loves Monuments with much fewer resources. Obviously, this is a continent-wide contest, but it is not orders of magnitude more complicated. Given the availability of dedicated staff in South Africa, have you considered partnering on this project? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 03:18, 2 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for your question Alex, there are several reasons why we are working with paid staff, which I have tried to explain above and include the continental scope of the project, the language problems, the small sizes of local Wikimedian communities, the potential logistic and technical problems and the need for systems and processes to be created, tested and streamlined at the very beginning of the project. Our reasoning for a continental team is so that the project is not owned by one chapter or another, but is a cross-partnership between chapters and usergroups. This is why we haven't approached one Chapter or another to host the contest, over an above the request to participate.
With regards to your suggestion about WMZA, Theresa is excellent at what she does for Wikimedia ZA, but her focus is on facilitating the existing projects for Wikimedia ZA. Bobby is entirely focussed on the heritage of Johannesburg. Wiki Loves Africa is a big project, and even if Wikimedia ZA would consider such an idea, it would be unfair as it would distract them from what they are employed to do.
Having said all of the above, we will work on look at the budget again and identify areas where we can perhaps reduce personnel costs. Islahaddow (talk) 17:27, 5 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Comment from ProtoplasmaKid


Hi guys. Good luck in the project and you have preliminary my support. I don't find the details about the point 3 in your budget, "Events". Can you add details about how and for what you will use this funds? I clearly understand what kind of activities you will do, but is better describe details about the use of funds. Regards,--ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 22:29, 18 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Additional info


I was not sure where to exactly add that and I wanted it not to get lost in the comments made above, hence the new section. Isla and I drafted two additional documents for your consideration.

  • timeline is a google doc where we outlined a provisional timeline for the Wiki Loves Africa project. We know that the timeline is quite bold but we have several reasons to push the project to happen in fall. One is that it would coincide with the ongoing Kumusha Takes Wiki and Wiki Entrepreneur projects, with the certainty to have a few additional local wikimedians to actually facilitate the contest locally (workshops and such). The second reason is that October is a special month as far as contribution goes in French speaking project (see Mois de la contribution or WikiFranca/Mois de la contribution, promoted by Benoit Rouchon). In countries with so few contributors, every bit helps ;)
  • Personnel expectations is a google doc summarising the personal expectations for each staff member.

I hope it will clarify issues. Thanks

Anthere (talk) 18:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Comments from WMF


Thank you and the GAC for your participation in this discussion. While we appreciate the additional details provided, we have a number of major concerns with the grant request:

Dear Alex and Asaf,
Thank you for your consideration and response. We have relooked at the application and taken your concerns to heart. We have reduced the budget considerably by re-scoping the project and asking the Africa Centre to absorb the costs of those items that cannot be cancelled. For the odd occasion that we cannot accommodate a request, we have added clarity and/or motivated our reasoning. It is best to go through it, point by point. Please find our responses below your points below.

1. We do not consider this project in line with our expectations for Wikimedia projects to be volunteer driven. We do sometimes fund some paid contractor time to support or enable larger volunteer efforts, but this project seems to rely almost solely on WikiAfrica staff and people paid by the Kumusha Takes Wiki project. At most, we would consider funding a total of one position -- a project manager, conversant in both English and French (such as Anthere).

Africa has an acknowledged dearth of editors and volunteers who are willing to support the Wikimedia movement. We all know this. This is due in part to technical and financial socio-political realities, but mostly due to a complete lack of understanding of or even knowledge of, Wikipedia. People in Africa (from Senegal to Malawi, Ethiopia to Namibia) do not use Wikipedia, some have not even heard of it. This contest is aimed primarily at achieving 3 things:
1. Creating a contest that showcase a better understanding of and increased use of Wikipedia
2. Provide an opportunity (the contest) that breaks down the barrier to contribution for people from Africa, and
3. Provide a continent-wide project that will draw together people who are a) Wikipedians (active editors or not), b) members of the aligned movement, and c) people interested in the subject matter and/or the open movement into a collective community. It will also galvanise existing groups of enthusiastic wikip/medians.
Due to the small numbers of volunteers (active editors or not, but willing) and acknowledged groups (chapters, usergroups, wannabee whatevers), this contest cannot be set up and run by volunteers without there being centralised management, especially for its first iteration. However, due to your concerns, the WMF-application budget has been reduced to just the Project Manager and Technical support.
It will, however, be impossible to operate this project without an administrator to assist the volunteer groups in each country, but in light of your inability to consider funding another project member, the Africa Centre will take over the costs of the project administrator, and the fundraising support.
Further, given the short turn around time, it will be difficult to depend on the larger Wikimedia community for assistance with technical matters. For this reason, we ask that you re-consider funding technical assistance. In order to reduce the cost, we have also removed the need to develop a mobile tool. This will take some pressure off the technical management, and ensure focus on the desktop uploads.
We had hoped to set up the communications, fundraising, stakeholder/partner and other systems this time around, in order for subsequent contests to run smoothly with less budget. However, these will now have to be moved further down the list of priorities and done when capacity allows.
We propose to cancel the Exhibition Tour. Whilst the cost of printing the posters was quite low, this project was costly in terms of administration and logistics (personnel costs).
Last, we will focus purely on a continental contest, and will not specifically seek to facilitate local contests (which might still happen if local groups wish so).

2. The grant request and discussion perpetuates a murky -- indeed, a misleading -- presentation of the state of the movement in Africa. Despite repeated mentions of "the chapters", Wikimedia South Africa (WMZA) is the only recognized chapter in Africa, and the Egypt and Tunisia groups are the only recognized user groups. While there is a small active Ghanaian community, it is not yet a recognized WUG (despite what their Meta page has been made to say). Additionally, the project is “endorsed” by people from 11 countries, but what does that mean? Are there 11 local organizing teams? Do each of those teams include at least one self-motivated volunteer familiar with e.g. Commons and free licenses? Our understanding is that there is currently no involvement of active volunteers from Botswana, Uganda, and Kenya, and we believe this is generally recognized by the applicants, so we are perplexed at the repetition of the presentation of those countries as ones where a group stands ready to meaningfully participate in a Wikimedia program beyond sharing promotional material via social media. We recommend focusing only on the communities with active volunteers who are committed to managing the local activities, such as Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire, and to possibly include Cameroon, Malawi, and Ethiopia, where prospects largely depend on whether the Kumusha contractors would take part or not, and on how well they would be trained, considering they are not experienced Wikimedians.

We have been involved in compiling significant and prolonged research into Wikipedia in Africa. We are pretty aware of the African landscape and would never knowingly seek to misrepresent it. Therefore we are surprised by the terms “murky” and “misleading”, especially as the term “chapter” is used only once in the application itself. But, not to nit-pick, we understand that you are upset with how terms have been applied in the replies to the questions from the Advisory Committee. We will provide clarity and precise use of the terms from now on to ensure lack of murk.
First, as discussed above, communities have to start somewhere. We have to build on something. If we keep on applying the rules that work in the first world (working with no-one other than active editors), then nothing will EVER be done in Africa, or indeed in other parts of the world. The Wikimedia movement will never then be able to fulfill its strategic goals. That having been said, in each of the countries we will work with (see below), there is one active editor (> 5 edits a month). In each of those countries, an experienced person has already volunteered to be part of the group.
For clarity on the project’s “endorsement”: We put a call out (via the Wiki Indaba group and other channels) for support from local groups that are keen to be involved in the contest. What you see on the application under Endorsements is a willingness, by individuals (who placed themselves in groups) to be involved in the contest. This list was created by the volunteers themselves. You can see that we budgeted for seven local contests. After the call, volunteers from 11 countries had endorsed the project. We did not “curate” this list.
That having been said, we have worked through your suggestion. Here is a breakdown of the local groups that we will consider working with.
WMF-endorsed official entities:
1. Wikimedia ZA (Chapter); Lead volunteer - Wikipedian in Residence, WMZA
2. Wikimedia Usergroup Tunisia:
Active Planning Wikimedia groups:
3. Egypt: Mohamed’s credential are in order
4. Ghana: a strong, energetic group of enthusiasts that have proven outreach experience (Sandister, Rexford, Enock, et al)
5. Côte d’Ivoire: a smallish group of enthusiasts, but one that seems to have a strong core. See this article: http://visavis.mondoblog.org/en-panne-de-contenus-un-wikimedia-ivoirien-sort-la-tete-de-leau/. Samuel (African_Hope) is very active, at least since December last year, and has been contributing since 2008)
Enthusiastic groups (that include one active contributor of 5 edits per month) that would like to be involved:
6. Uganda: Erina (Kumusha Takes Wiki) is an active editor (309 edits in 6 months) and does several training session and outreach sessions monthly; the Uganda group will also involve Paul Kiguba, who was part of the Mbazzi Village Writes Wikipedia project.
7. Ethiopia: this group will be the first project resulting from Project Luwi. It will provide this new group with cohesion and spur them forward. Abel Asrat heads up WikiAfrica Ethiopia, he is happy to act as liaison for this group.
8. Malawi: This is a very small, relatively inexperienced group, but it will be lead by Michael Phoya who is working on WikiAfrica Malawi.
Additional groups who are eager:
Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya
We propose to actively work with the first 8 countries.

3. The costs do not seem as frugally planned as we would have hoped. For example, $9,000 for communications, including $1,500 for website design and identity, seems very high. 4. This all adds up to the return on investment in terms of dollars/photo (admittedly a crude measurement, but one we have been using elsewhere) being very low -- $67,295/5,000 photos = $13.46 USD per photo. For comparison:

  • Wiki Love Monuments 2012, the cost per photo used (not just photos uploaded, but photos actually used on wiki projects) ranged from $0.51 USD to $26.51 USD, averaging $2.43 USD.
  • In our recent PEG grant impact analysis we found that across all 2013 Project and Event grants the cost per photo uploaded ranged from $0.88 USD- $1.44 USD.
  • WLM South Africa 2013 was one of the most expensive WLM projects we have funded due to project management, event, and travel costs, but the cost per photo uploaded was still only $0.92 USD and we believe it was a sound investment in the African context. We understand it is difficult to compare across geographies, cultural contexts, and differences in scope, but the costs are still much too high.

We appreciate the idea of a themed contest with a low barrier of entry for new contributors in Africa. However, we hope you can reconsider the scope and resourcing of the project. If it should prove infeasible in your estimate to reconceive the project to alleviate our concerns above, we would be declining to fund this proposal.

We have cut the costs where we can. Where costs cannot be cut, the Africa Centre has agreed to absorb some of the costs in order to make sure that the project happens. Before we explain the changes, we would like to reinforce two aspects to this contest that makes your calculations above misleading.
First, as mentioned before, the focus of this project is not just to add photo/media that illustrate one aspect of the African continent. The contest is aimed at creating awareness of Wikipedia as a useful resource on a continent that does not presently have high usage, and it shows that “anyone” can contribute. Focusing the return on investment purely on how many photos will be contributed or used obfuscates the true value to the movement of a project of this nature and magnitude.
Further, our initial calculations as to how many contributions could be expected were extremely conservative, and were made prior to the endorsement from 11 countries. Having selected 8 countries that will be actively supported, we are more than happy to set a minimum contribution of 8,000 pieces. We still, personally, expect the contributions to far surpass this figure.
We have managed to reduce the amount requested from the WMF to US$20,000.
These are the items that have been cut or amended from the requested amount to arrive at this figure:
  1. Project administrator - cost has been absorbed by the Africa Centre. Need has been reduced per downsizing the project (for example by dropping the exhibition project)
  2. Technical support - this has been downgraded to support, and with less technical requirements due to the cancellation of mobile tool. This cannot be cancelled altogether as, due to short time frames, we cannot entirely depend on timeous support from the Wikipedia community.
  3. Fundraising and partners-liaison manager - cost has been absorbed by the Africa Centre
  4. Website development - a simple wordpress/media wiki site will be used
  5. Publicity and Marketing - taking out this item will significantly impact on the visibility of the project, but parts of this will be worked on by the project managers and administrator.
  6. Continental prizes (photo-related vouchers, photo safari) - this item has been removed, it will be supported by looking for sponsors and through a crowd-sourcing campaign.
  7. Subsection 5. Continental travelling exhibition - this whole section has been taken out.
The grant request page has been updated to reflect those changes (in description of the project as well as in budget). Additional link: Personnel expectations.

Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to discuss in more detail. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 13:44, 22 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for taking the time to read our revisions, we look forward to your response. Anthere (talk) and Islahaddow (talk) 13:33, 26 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for your thoughtful responses and considerable revisions to the proposal. We are excited to know that the project is still a possibility despite the significant reductions in staff management. We have the remaining couple of questions:
  1. What was the mobile app supposed to do and how is it different from the Wikimedia Commons app?
  2. We expect measurement and evaluation to be included in the project manager's responsibilities. Please delete this line item from the budget.
We look forward to moving forward with this request. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 00:28, 27 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hello Alex, we will make the revision to the measurement and evaluation section of the budget.
To answer your other question, as you know, Mobile is pretty much the only method of online interaction on the continent. In the rest of the world, it isn't as important. In Africa it is absolutely key to getting people to use, interact and ultimately contribute to Wikipedia. This is why the African collective of Wikipedians are so supportive of Adele and the Wikipedia Zero team, and feel that a more edit-friendly mobile app is not a nice-to-have, but a necessity.
In the case of Wiki Loves Africa, the mobile app was intended to be a re-skinned version of the Commons app that has additional information about what media we are looking for, what it means to contribute under the CC-BY-SA licence, perhaps some simple tutorials on framing, lighting and conducting audio and video interviews. It was also going to be primed with the requisite contest categories (in drop down menus), allow for sharing of the results across Social Media (thereby spreading the news of the contest) and would ensure that each entry was automatically categorised with #WikiLovesAfrica and the country of submission.
This would make it easier for people contributing for the first time to commons to register, grasp the kinds of quality we expect and submit their contributions (they are used to a facebook kind of interface). It will also require less effort in tidying up the categories and submissions on commons from the team's side. But we are running out of time, and the technical side of the budget was reduced to accommodate your request for a streamlined project/budget. We do still need technical assistance as the categories and other issues will have to be streamlined on Commons for desktop anyway, and a desktop wizard created - this core focus on desktop (as opposed to looking at mobile and desktop) will require more upload events in each country as people will need more hands-on assistance. It will also require more backend assistance with categories as it will be easier to bypass the wizard and dump photos without the curated path we were hoping for. As stated above, we cannot expect the volunteer community to prioritise this with such short turn around times. Islahaddow (talk) 10:24, 27 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for your support WMF ! Anthere (talk)

Further comment


Anthere and colleagues: I do hope you'll take up the offer to reframe this program with the staff. Africa is a key priority for the WMF, and if we can get the scope, the staffing costs, and verification of volunteer engagement right, a more focused version of this project could be viable. My congratulations on getting it this far! Tony (talk) 05:24, 24 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for your vote of support Tony, it means a lot to us both. We have reduced and revised the project to (hopefully) allay the WMF's concerns. Islahaddow (talk) 13:53, 26 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Roma was not built in one year ;) Anthere (talk) 16:02, 26 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
You're welcome: I was actually wondering whether it was too big a task to reshape the project; but perhaps it's now happening. Could I say at this point that if the WMF approves a revamped proposal, we'd appreciate in the future any tips, hints, leads you might be able to convey to staff about communities in Africa that by themselves could have potential for programmatic activities in the future. As you point out above, it's not easy to build volunteer communities on that continent. Tony (talk) 01:24, 27 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Yup. To be fair... that is sometimes a Dr Watson work. For example, I did not immediately identify the group active in Côte d'Ivoire. Beside being very reluctant to actually write about what they are doing, they were coordinating in a closed Facebook group... Tough call... Anthere (talk) 12:59, 27 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Report date



Isla told me that it was agreed, during the GLAM meeting, to have the report deadline extended till end of this month or early next. I am not quite sure if there is a template to reflect this. So wanted to note that report will occur in the next 3 weeks roughly. Thanks Anthere (talk)