Grants talk:PEG/Africa Centre/Wiki Loves Africa 2015

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GAC members who support this request[edit]

  1. MADe (talk) 19:26, 6 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. --DerekvG (talk) 20:41, 8 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Polimerek (talk) 22:31, 14 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. I was a little bit skeptical with the old grant but the two PM confirmed their professionality doing a good job. I am sure that they will do it again. --Ilario (talk) 07:28, 3 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Violetova (talk) 15:15, 4 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GAC members who support this request with adjustments[edit]

GAC members who oppose this request[edit]

GAC members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

  1. As project lead, I abstain from voting, but will answer any of the GAC's and Community's comments. Islahaddow (talk) 08:25, 7 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GAC comments[edit]


  • MADe

Nice to see that much activity in Africa! I read the grant proposal. I think the scope is well defined, with clear dates (2m period) and a good set of success measures. I think the budget is balanced as well. Special kudos for the high quality grant, submitted on time, and the extensive risk analysis.

I hope I can help you with the ongoing project! MADe (talk) 19:25, 6 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the offer MADe, we might take you up on that! Islahaddow (talk) 08:42, 12 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • DerekvG

I like the project and i see a lot of support growing also from the northern part, however allow me to make one suggestion : please get the Swahili people onboard, and in a broader sense the small regional languages just to produce two articles each one about the contest and one about a submission for their area, make them feel a part of it. --DerekvG (talk) 20:42, 8 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sure. Any pointer to people we could contact ? (user name ?). Last year I tried to have AT LEAST the site notice translated in some local language. It was a challenge :( Any help and contact would be great. Anthere (talk)
  1. Are there any new countries you want to cover, compared with last year WLA?
  2. It is a bit strange, that you have already a budget but not a theme of the contest. I guess that budget and activities strongly depends on the theme of the contest. On the page you suggest there is discussion about it but is seems that it is already decided that it is going to be "Cultural Fashion and Adornment" Could you update your application?

Polimerek (talk) 10:09, 11 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello, Polimerek Thank you for your questions. I hope the following can answer them:
  1. We are hoping to have two more additional 'focus' countries this year (we have budgeted for 10). The selection will be made based on those countries who are the most eager, organised and with a large enough volunteer base to carry it off. This year Cameroon and Nigeria have expressed interest and are both considerably more cohesive as volunteer groups than last year. Algeria and Morocco are also keen. We have already asked last year's volunteer focus groups to consider a plan for the contest amongst themselves so they are prepared.
  2. At the time of writing the grant application, we had not yet closed the voting for the themes. From the 1st July, the theme for 2015 was chosen after 1 month (May) of an open call to nominate themes, and one month (June) of voting on the nominated themes. The chosen theme is Cultural Fashion and Adornment which should not only be visually rich, culturally fascinating, and allow for the extension and creation of many articles, wikibooks and other content, but should also appeal to all genders. You can view the nomination and voting process on this page. The application has now been updated.
Please let me know if there is any additional information you require. Islahaddow (talk) 08:42, 12 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Packa

I think it is a very good prepared project. But I have checked utilization of pictures acquired during Wiki Loves Africa 2014. Your category Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2014 has (after GLAMorous tool) 6270 files, but only 378 of them (6 %) are used in any article. I understand that for the first year of such project is the utilization not the most important criterion, but for the second year I suppose more percent. Do you think you have/will made changes so this criteria would be better? --Packa (talk) 22:52, 27 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

absolutely right. I take it one option is to strongly suggest the organization of local categathons or useageathon (local events to push to better categorization and more usage in articles. The focus of the events would be just this instead of being upload sessions or photo hunt parties) and that could be a nice opportunity to "train" new editors in Commons for a change. Another option might be to organise an online small contest between countries (the country with the highest number of images reused win). Or select a number of articles and make it a challenge that they get better illustrated. Choose and communicate a figure (% of reuse) that could become a target to keep in mind by local teams. Prepare a specific communication leaflet on the matter... There are several possible options. It has been recognized the number of images used in Wikipedia was low and that this was a weakness. Now it is up to us to imagine ways to improve this :) Anthere (talk)

project staffing[edit]

What workload (hours per week) is expected? rubin16 (talk) 10:32, 12 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello. Between 1/4 to 1/3 of my time on average for I on the course of 5-6 months.
Reflecting on last year... it depends greatly on the month. Last year project started mid August and we posted the report 10 months later (it was later than expected first because more time had to be dedicated to the jury than originally planned, second due to delays with the prizes providers). September and October were *very* busy, a good half time for me. November and December were more quiet for I (it was very busy mostly for local teams). It was again quite busy in January and February with the jury, the photo clean-up and selection, contacting the winners, communicating (press, social media, blogs...). Quite a bit of time was also dedicated in Spring on the Wikibooks extension but that was voluntary based (not strictly part of the photo contest). The report was actually done in Spring, so beyond the 5 months strictly speaking. Otherwise... some time has been dedicated since the end of the contest to keep the momentum on the social networks and of course to discuss and vote 2015 theme. Anthere (talk)
Hello rubin16, As Anthere has said above, the workload dips and troughs from full time into the night, to a dull simmer of a few hours a day. It just depends where we are with the competition. We know we will be doing over and above what is put in the budget. The figure above reflects a quarter of my work time, but I know at some times it is all consuming, but on average will take between half to three quarters of my time over those 5 months. Islahaddow (talk) 13:40, 13 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Following Polimerek questions, Isla and I have been thinking of potential countries to cover within the grant and will welcome the committee feedback on those. As a reminder, the grant request mentions support for 10 countries.

(as a reminder, last year grant covered 8 countries, which were South Africa, Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Malawi).

We think the following countries should be supported in all cases (based on last year involvement, already existing strong user base, fair mix north-south, fair mix from a langage pov etc.)

  • South Africa,
  • Tunisia,
  • Egypt,
  • Ghana,
  • Côte d'Ivoire

Then, we would like to suggest 5 additional countries in the following list. Local teams in those countries have all expressed interest in getting involved. Some have stronger user base than others (but some smaller teams seem very motivated than some other bigger). Some have participated with success to WLAf 2014. We propose to make the final choice of 5 in the list of those with the strongest proposition in terms of events. Feedback from committee on the matter very welcome.

  • Botswana,
  • Malawi,
  • Tanzania,
  • Cameroon,
  • Kenya,
  • Uganda,
  • Ethiopia,
  • Morocco,
  • Algeria,
  • Nigeria.

Probably worth reminding as well that the contest covers the entire continent (and beyond). We are more than happy to help ANY team that will join the contest with templates, suggestions and so on. The funding requested is only to bring a financial support to some of those teams so that they can organise local events more easily.

Anthere (talk) 14:01, 27 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Community comments[edit]

WMF comments[edit]

Hi Isla and Florence. Thank you for this detailed grant request. We’re excited to support the second year of Wiki Loves Africa as last year’s competition proved successful in engaging many contributors across Africa in local events and the continental competition. We do understand the value a continental competition can have in creating a sense of a larger community and hope this has long lasting impacts in terms of encourage new contributors and continuing to interest more experienced ones. We have a number of comments/questions on the request and look forward to your responses.

We really appreciated all the learnings detailed in your 2014 report and the report on Results and best practices. A few of the main learnings included (1) that having local active Wikimedians is key to success; (2) there needs to be a plan for increasing image quality and uploading at events; and (3) translation continues to be a challenge.

Thank you for your considered questions Alex Wang (WMF), for ease of reading, Florence and I have put our answers beneath the relevant questions. Islahaddow (talk) 09:04, 18 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. In terms of supporting communities with active local Wikimedians and those that showed the most promise from last year (in terms of number of contributors, number of photos submitted, and events organized), we are happy to support the following focus countries: South Africa, Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco, and Algeria.
Response: We are glad that you are keen to support the established groups on the continent, but strongly ask you to consider supporting the groups that, over the last year, have shown proactive and exciting community building potential. Just so you know, here are just some of the exciting things that have happened on the continent among those “unofficial” groups:
  • Nigeria: without any support, and using their own resources, organised the Wikipedia Schools Series. In addition, without an official focus last year, Nigeria had the second highest number of contributors for the entire competition, after Morocco.
  • Cameroon: Held a Wikithon Cameroon on the 25th July 2015 - you can see the work being done on Twitter via the handle #wikithoncameroon.
  • Uganda: The group in Uganda (a combination of volunteers from WikiAfrica’s Kumusha Takes Wiki and the Luganda Wikipedia project) have just held the Luganda Wikipedia Convention on the 30 July 2015. You can access some of the photos here: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (In 2014, Uganda ranked 5th for numbers of contributors and 4th for numbers of uploads)
  • Tanzania: a very new group, is very keen to be involved and have proactively sent through their proposal for participation in this year’s competition. You can view their detailed proposal here.
  • Ethiopia and Malawi: still working beyond their two WikiAfrica projects to keep the momentum of last year’s project going, despite challenging environments. Ethiopia, last year, was ranked 6th for number of contributors.
This project is aimed at drawing attention about the ability to contribute to the Wikimedia projects, but it is also aimed at supporting fledgeling groups across the continent. If we only stick to supporting “established” groups, then the movement will never grow on the continent and we will miss the chance to grow those volunteer groups that have started something wonderful, against the odds, but now need more support. Also, by supporting only these 7, the competition will be dominated by North Africa, which is not really the point of the competition at all. The other smaller groups who have already worked so hard will lose heart at not being recognised, and will be lost.
Alternatively … would you consider adding a small lump sum to the total (such as 2000 dollars), for use at our discretion, based on specific smaller requests from those countries ? It might cover simply printing some leaflets for Ethiopia, or one meeting in Uganda. They may not be sufficiently numerous and organised than the approved focus countries to have a solid program, but still be able to gather some energy and goodwill to join the contest provided that we can give them help.
Thank you for the extra rationale provided above. We are comfortable funding 8 countries. Looking at the proposals from countries that wish to participate, it looks like of the 8, there are ~5-6 that have fairly fleshed out plans at the moment. Given your knowledge of the communities, please decide which ones you think would benefit the most from the extra support. We will be very interested to see in the grant report how much activation results from the additional funds. We also would like to have receipts for these expenses. If it will not work to reimburse the country organizers based on receipt of funds, please have them submit receipts after the contest is over and return any unused funds. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for your response and for agreeing to support 8 countries. We will change the budget to meet this request. Yes, we will also make sure that all receipts are sent through to us during and after the contest. This will be a strict requirement of focus countries taking part. Islahaddow (talk) 13:03, 24 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. It would be helpful to understand how the team is thinking about building capacity for the local communities to be able to organize and run competitions on their own in the future. What progress has been made on this front during and since last year’s contest?
Response: We think this is still far too early in the development of communities on the African continent for this to be possible for the entire competition to be localised for quite a while yet. Some groups could definitely apply separately to the WMF for funding to run their own version of the competition (such as WLM in South Africa and Wiki Loves Earth in Ghana). From next year, this is something to be considered. Because of the need to support and bring on newer, or smaller communities, some continental work will always need to be done. The idea of Wiki Loves Africa is not just to draw content, but to galvanise communities around a central focused event. Once communities want to go it alone, they should, but we should always support those that are just starting to develop.
This being said … we are tightening requirements to make sure capacity builds over time in the following ways:
  • Last year, focus countries had to supply hardly more than a statement of interest. This year, we are requesting a program plan and a budget, first steps or a rehearsal for making their own grant requests.
  • We also noticed last year that most teams used the wiki (meta and talk pages) very little (mostly relying on emails, pdf, google docs, facebook), which adds to the poor visibility of Africans volunteers in the Wikimedia community. It also feels like several team members are actually still green with regards to using wikis beyond building an encyclopedia, which restricted potential interactions. We also have to struggle to go beyond the predominant oral culture :). So this year, we will push for an increased use of the wiki at the organisational level so that more cross-collaborations can occur.
  • We also hope to increase the visibility of the contest within the Wikimedia community as well, so that increased collaboration takes place between African wikipedians and the rest of the community, in a hope that they better understand where the resources are, for more autonomy. I am thinking that an online challenge after the contest might help that (such as a run to increase image usage on Wikipedia projects).
  1. The proposal details some proposed steps for addressing the quality and upload issues. It would be helpful to understand better which of these proposed activities are the priorities. Have you explored any of these yet? For example, do you have a sense of if the local teams have the capacity organize a photography workshop or partner with professional photography organizations? Who would be able to conduct the Commons uploading sessions? All of the ideas listed seem reasonable, it is just a matter of understanding if the capacity and resources are there to make sure we make progress in this area.
Response: Last year, some of the groups did work with local photography groups. One example was Ethiopia that worked with the Addis Photographic Group. This resulted in the 6th number of contributors and a general higher quality of image from that country. This year we have asked the groups to consider involving local photographic organisations. On our side, we need to have a clearer indication of what a quality image is and how it can be taken. Whatever we do there will always be those people who just don’t read the rules or just want their face on Wikipedia. But if we can get the percentage down, then we have won.
On the quality issue:
  • I (Florence) discussed with Benoit (WikiFranca) during Wikimania, as well as with Pyb (WikiCheese) and some WM FR members and we agreed we could work (WLAf, WikiFrance, Wikimedia France) on a little book of photographic guidelines. Without going into great technical details, we probably can design a little document to give some basics. This is on my plate to kick start this week. We probably have everything needed to make it happen at least in French. I am not sure we can get something translated in English quickly enough though, so we need to look around for relevant resources on the matter.
  • Also, we need to organize at least 2 (English and French) online training sessions in September for the use of mass upload tools so that local teams feel more comfortable using this solution. I thought last year that giving links would be sufficient, but apparently not. I have not looked for “helpers” yet on the matter, but I suspect it should be ok. If you have any suggestion of someone willing to give 1-2 hours to do an irc support session to get people through the process from step 1 to last step, it will be welcome.
  • Ideally identifying a “tech” oriented person in each local team so that we can evaluate in advance the extent of the need
  • Identifying local partners (=pushing the local teams to identify those as early as possible to have good upload space)
  1. We understand Florence met with a few people at Wikimania to talk about the translation issue. While it is a long way from being solved, it sounds like you have identified a few work-around solutions for the coming year. If we can support, please let us know.
Response: Nay. I (Florence) found no magic solution nor magician at Wikimania :( Benoit (Evellin) showed me the new translation system for article (great stuff). But that is no option for our current need for project pages.
  1. As discussed in the 2014 report, we would like to see a metric for photo usage and more local events that focus on using the photos submitted.
Response: That is fine. We have asked participating groups to submit their proposals for the activities and to include a content dissemination event among their ideas.
Great, events around content integration will be very supportive! Please add this metric to the request page. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Done. Islahaddow (talk) 10:58, 24 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a side note... we will make sure to display this % per country in the result pages so that it gives an incentive/comparison for each country participating. Anthere (talk)
  1. Last year the budget funded one co-project manager while the Africa Centre covered the costs of the other. Can you let us know why this has changed?
Response: The situation at the Africa Centre has changed. They have a policy of financially supporting projects for a limited time until the project is strong enough to be supported by external funding. Mid-2014 saw the ending of institutional funding from the Africa Centre, although the WIkiAfrica project continues to sit within the Africa Centre and benefit from the many institutional support structures they have (financial management, fundraising, design and communications, etc.). Most of my (Isla) time last year was covered by the grant for Wiki Loves Africa and the Kumusha Takes Wiki project from the Orange Foundation. This year, I do not have the financial luxury of being able to give my time away, however the amount requested is still less than the amount of time I anticipate working on the project.
  1. Half of last year’s budget for tech/admin support went to website creation. We assume the website only needs updating this year and there will be significantly less work. Please let us know how the costs for this person were calculated this year.
Response: We are confused. There is no cost associated with tech/admin support this year. Please clarify.
Apologies. This was a mistake. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Similarly, if much of the design (logo and general visibility) is done, what will be the main tasks included in the Design, Identity, and Communication line item?
Response: Yes, the logo will not change, but we need to update all the leaflets and marketing material from a visual point of view! A poster with pictures of fish, barbecue grill and other dishes can hardly be suitable for a contest about clothes and adornment.
To confirm, this budget is to update the existing materials/templates with new photos? $1,200 seems quite high for this. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This does not just include the design element, but printing and posting generic t-shirts, posters, stickers, etc. Islahaddow (talk) 10:58, 24 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Please provide more details on how you calculated $700/country for local events.
Response: Last year, we had three lines in the budget to reflect that global figure. Almost all of the teams requested more money, but were limited to the amount we had available to share.
  • Wiki Takes and photo hunt events. 100 per country. Total 800 (for 8 countries)
  • Meetup, editathon, activations, workshop, upload: average 3 per country. 100 each. Total 2400
  • Communication costs (leaflets etc.) : 300 per country. Total 2400
Big total : 700 per country. 5600 total for countries
This year, we simplified (two lines only) and readjusted figures based on last year experience and costs
  • In country communication and material: 120 dollars per country. Total 1200 (for 10 countries)
  • Events: 700 dollars per country. 7000 total.
Big total: 820 per country. 8200 total for countries.
Thank you for this detail. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 20 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you again for all your work on this request and organizing the contest. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:27, 13 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]