Grants talk:PEG/Ravan/Iraq Wikipedia Project

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GAC members who support this request[edit]

  1. I support this request. --Hasivetalk • 10:25, 7 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  2. I support rubin16 (talk) 14:07, 11 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  3. support this request --DerekvG (talk) 10:06, 13 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  4. Violetova (talk) 23:39, 13 April 2015 (UTC)[]

GAC members who oppose this request[edit]

GAC members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

  1. Too short application in my opinion to have a clearer idea. I cannot give my support. --Ilario (talk) 13:24, 7 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  • Dear Ilario please keep watching the page as I will give more information as per the committee request.Ravan (talk) 13:29, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  • Hi Ravan, I would keep my abstention. The idea behind it is interesting and important but I have understood that these trainings will be done in Erbil, the real problem is to know how it can happen in a zone under military attack. The proposal needs support, the budget is not big and can be accepted but I am a little bit skeptical that it can be realized now. The idea to help people is fascinating but at the moment I don't understand how this project can support these people (also in a psychological point of view), I think that it's up to you to explain how you think to proceed in this difficult environment and in this difficult situation but also to define a plan B in case the town can fall in a more difficult situation that cannot assure the safety of the attendees. --Ilario (talk) 12:39, 14 April 2015 (UTC)[]
    • Dear Ilario, I really appreciate your concern about our safety. First of all the city is not under military attack at all, actually it's the safest city in Iraq now, Big international companies as Chevron, ExxonMobile, Shlumberger, ...etc are working in Erbil and all their expat employees living and working safely. Again the situation here is not like Europe or US, you will not see people here panic because there was a bombe in the capital or ISIS in the next city. The borders of the city are well protected and everyone (including myself) are living and working safely. In the worst case emergency plans are always here and people are so used to it. People here got used to the idea of war and terrorism, we need to get them familiar with the idea of knowledge and participating in their own encyclopedia. They already spend so much time on social media and they have stable and fast internet access, so why don't I introduce them a great movement such as Wikipedia to help them to help themselves.Ravan (talk) 08:57, 15 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  1. Pending replacement of the boilerplate text on the application with substantial analysis. Craig Franklin (talk) 13:36, 14 April 2015 (UTC).[]

GAC comments[edit]


Hi and thanks for the project! You expect to invite 60 people, why do you need 3000 flyers? rubin16 (talk) 16:15, 5 April 2015 (UTC)[]

  • Thank you Rubin, Actually the idea at first was to do a large awareness campaign in the universities and places with people might be interested in Wikipedia, because in my city the reason why no editors but me in a big city like this is that they don't know, So I want to direct them (In Kurdish and Arabic) to know that they can edit Wikipedia and for more information I'm putting my website in the flyer as well as a FB page and email address of me to reach any interested people.

The plan is to distribute 1000 flyers (1 paper) before every session in the places mentioned above so if someone is so excited he/she can join the session.Ravan (talk) 13:35, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]

online mentorship[edit]

what website do you mean? I think that Wikipedia Education Program extension could be helpful in your case rubin16 (talk) 16:15, 5 April 2015 (UTC)[]

  • The website that I mean is which is a website I've started with a partner earlier to do a campaign titled as Add to Humanity Add to Wikipedia, in order to teach people how to edit and to arrange small competitions between the new beginners in order to motivate them more to enrich Wikipedia in their own language with number of posters and needed articles,... etc.Now I can use this website for this campaign as well as mentoring them via Arabic Wikipedia page as the same way in Education Program.Ravan (talk) 13:39, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]
    • Ravan it is great you have background in promoting Wikipedia with this website. I take a look on it and I noticed that there is no clear indication about copyright. There are some information about some book(s), like Hard Choices. I have not studied all the content on your site, but my own opinion is that we should strive to avoid using websites with promotional (or not neutral) content (as the primary source of information) in order to promote Wikipedia, if we have free pages. For me, it is better to use and as a primary source. You can too do the localization of texts you needed in Arabic, or simple create your project's pages on Meta or Outreach Wiki. I think, it is better to put the results of your work on some Meta/Outreach/Wikipedia page(s) and after that on your webpages like is. --MikyM (talk) 17:09, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]


You expect to invite 60 people, why do you state 25 participants as a measure of success? How are you going to invite participants and where? rubin16 (talk) 16:15, 5 April 2015 (UTC)[]

  • The thing is after I have attended the First WikiArabia this month, I've talked to Siko and agreed that I can leave some empty space for new participants but my main focus will be on the twenty people of the first session to come back in the second and third sessions because Tighe and Siko both told me that bigger chances of success are there if you continued with the same people in order to keep them on the track, that why I put my measure as 25 people.Ravan (talk) 13:47, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]

Questions from Lankiveil[edit]

Hi, let me first say it's lovely to see something coming from Iraq, a region we've not had much organised activity in previously as far as I'm aware. Thanks for taking the opportunity to organise something, and I too hope that free knowledge may contribute some small part towards making Iraq a more peaceful place. I am a little concerned however that this request does not seem to be complete and still contains a number of blank sections. I think that the fit to strategy is obvious here, with 3/5ths of the participants to be women, but that also needs to be spelled out. The cost per article improved (3000 USD / 100 articles = $30 per article) is also relatively high, although I appreciate that costs may be higher in this area for a number of reasons.

  • Thanks a lot for your nice words and support, actually I'm the only editor in Erbil and one of 4 almost in all Iraq, that's why I really want to increase that number to matches the big country and number of educated population.

Regarding to the number of articles it will be more than 100 as the number is for the session time only but the campaign itself and the following up with the participants in one month between 2 sessions would generate almost 500 articles at least, I put the number only for the session itself.I will answer your questions below each under the question.Ravan (talk) 14:04, 10 April 2015 (UTC) Some brief questions then:[]

  • Where will these sessions take place? Online or at a physical location? If at a physical location, in which city (Erbil only?)? Are there any security implications or concerns?
    • The session will take place physically in hall in a hotel in Erbil, Erbil is so safe right now and nothing to worry about regarding the security situation. The plan now is for Erbil, Based on the success of these session and campaign in Erbil we would think of expanding this to Baghdad and Basra in the Future.Ravan (talk) 14:04, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  • Are the three main universities discussed already on board, or will they only be approached later?
    • Officially the universities here are not cooperating with Wikipedia and I've tried earlier twice to start an education program here in Erbil but they rejected completely as it's not "Academic" according to them. So the plan is once I will get the approval here I have friends there (Professors), I will invite them friendly to the session and give a small presentation at the beginning of the session about how important is to edit Wikipedia and help in improving it followed by the training session so at the end when they see how people can participate and understand the benefit they can support me in trying to cooperate academically in the universities via the Education Program. I didn't confirm the sessions to them till now because I want them to take me seriously so once I'll get an approval I'll confirm to them and will know who will attend.Ravan (talk) 14:04, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  • Will any particular topics or articles be prioritised for improvement, or will participants be able to write on anything they like?
    • I would like them to write about anything they like but in order to not making them confused in the beginning I'm preparing a variety of articles in all subjects that's there in many languages but still doesn't exist in Arabic or Kurdish and they can choose from this list or they can write and find out about subjects on their own.Ravan (talk) 14:04, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]

I look forward to supporting this application once a little more detail is provided. Craig Franklin (talk) 03:20, 6 April 2015 (UTC).[]


Hello there! Thank you for your grant submission. I am happy to see interest in Iraq for this projects. It will be greate if you can describe a little bit more your idea and goals. Did you tried negotion with some school in order to get free venue? Also, for tracking, I propose to use the WikiMetrics tool developed by the Wikimedia Analytics team. Looking forward to see progress.--MikyM (talk) 15:12, 8 April 2015 (UTC)[]

  • Thanks Miky for your supportive words, Actually I was frustrated many years for not having contributors in my city and even the whole country then I've decided that to light a candle is better than to curse the darkness, that's why I tried to do this campaign and sessions. I have tried twice with universities, they refused and didn't take me seriously at all, they even were talking about Wikipedia as it is a post on FB! That's why I decided to do this and invite number of Academics to show them what is Wikipedia and how important is it to add to its local versions as well as how easy it is to edit once you know how to edit.

The Metrics are awesome, I will use them with the website. Thanks for sharing it, I honestly didn't know about them earlier.Ravan (talk) 14:26, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]

  • It is nice to see your enthusiasm. Your experience can be entered in submission. Also there is section Resources and Risks you should fill out. If you need help with that let us know. Tell as a little bit more about what is your plan, what you will do. (for example you will do: creating promotional and working materials, promotion and inviting participants, workshop shifting the project results, monitoring of participants after a few months or so). Write in more detail the planned activities.--MikyM (talk) 17:25, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]

Yes.. for 400 USD one can hire fully equipped conference room in 4-star hotel for 8-hrs in Poland - so such price for a room at University seems to be very high, but maybe in Iraq prices are different... Also 3000 leaflets - what is the purpose for them? Are you going to spread them at universities corridors? Polimerek (talk) 18:59, 9 April 2015 (UTC)[]

  • Dear Polimerek, that was why I was postponing this for like 2 years because I was thinking of doing all this on my own but Erbil in general is an expensive city, especially with the bad economic status last year, I will do the session in hall in an hotel but not a fancy one (Actually they were the only people who offered me a discount to reach 400 $, others were more). As I've stated above in one of the replies, the universities here is way different than Poland or USA or any European country, even different that any (Knowledge well appreciated country) in Asia such as India or Malaysia or Japan. The paranoia here of any non-governmental activity is so high, that's why it's so hard for them to approve or accept anything unless they are familiar with it, hence I'm inviting some Academics to the session hoping they will understand and help me to start a Wikipedia Education Program in Erbil.

The flyers are for the awareness, I will distribute them in International schools, universities and organizations that I feel they are interested in such initiatives.Ravan (talk) 14:26, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]

Flyers 2[edit]


Could you please elaborate in more detail, what kind of flyers are you about to print? Size, paper type, color/b&w? Concerns about the volume of 3000 pieces have been already addressed, I have also concerns about the price of 33 ¢ / piece.

Thank you.

Danny B. 03:10, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]

  • Thanks a lot Danny for your interest in the project. The Flyers will be size A5, semi gloss paper, two sided, one side in Arabic and one side in Kurdish, colored, the volume is divided on 3 times to make sure of the impact in the places will be distributed in (Universities, International schools, organizations, ... etc), The price is the less I've got as the same thing mentioned above, The prices in general are high in Erbil and for printing while negotiating with them they told me in general because of the continuous situation of war around (Saddam then the invasion then now ISIS and terrorism) printing agencies are almost covering their costs because no book printings, no research papers, not even governmental education books (The government is using the same books to teach children in 12 years now!), that's I guess one of the reasons why in other places is cheaper than here.Ravan (talk) 14:36, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]



I read you tried to get the academical venue with no luck. What exactly was the cause? Can WMF (please note, I'm not speaking on behalf of it, just shooting in ideas) somehow help you with that for instance with sending some letter and printed materials about Wikipedia and the movement or somehow else raise and increase the awareness about it? Did you try to reach any fellow from your country to try to find out other ways of getting in the academical field?

Thank you.

Danny B. 03:10, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]

  • Thanks a lot for your following up. I really appreciate it. Yes, as I have replied to one of the comments: I have tried twice with universities, they refused and didn't take me seriously at all, they even were talking about Wikipedia as it is a post on FB! That's why I decided to do this and invite number of Academics to show them what is Wikipedia and how important is it to add to its local versions as well as how easy it is to edit once you know how to edit.

For the official letter I don't know if it would help or no because the problem is the professors themselves here don't have a good knowledge about the internet itself! Most of them are old, didn't use internet in communicate with the world and think that anything is suspicious! There are some exceptions of course and these are the ones in my mind to invite them to the session so they can spread the word and support me once I want to start a Wikipedia Education Program here in Erbil.Ravan (talk) 14:43, 10 April 2015 (UTC)[]

Comments by MADe[edit]

Hey, looks like a nice project.

Firstly, I copy the questions by Danny B (on the cost of the venue) and MikyM (on the exact goal).

Secondly, can you clarify who will do the activity? Is it you, a broader team, ... Where are the people from, what languages do you speak? MADe (talk) 09:15, 11 April 2015 (UTC)[]

  • Thanks MADe, For Danny B & MikyM questions I have replied them above. For your question: I will do the activity alone, no team because no other editors but me in the city! Sad right?! I know, that's why I'm so excited to increase the number of contributors here.

People will be from all around Iraq, mainly the ones who live, study or work in Erbil. Languages: I speak English, Arabic and Kurdish Fluently. Most of people here understand both Arabic and Kurdish so I will explain in both languages.Ravan (talk) 08:47, 13 April 2015 (UTC)[]

comments by DerekvG[edit]

First of all Ravan, congratulations. GO 4 IT. especially the women side of things.

  • -this might be a controversial statement beacuse itś not addressing the organiser but the reviewers - regarding the comments about the venue, i note very little empathy on the side of the commentators for the situation in which Ravan is. IRAQ is definitely NOT Europe or the US, so please stop thinking that what you do in your comfortzone can happen in the same way in other countries. Organising this kind of activity borders on clandestine, and could be easily turned in a excuse by the authorities to round up ravan and her party of volunteers. A venue not any venue would be convenient. There is no protection of any kind by the university for such bottom-up actvitities and they would be considered or perceived as at least controversial if not provocative and subversive, this would influence the cost of the venue.
  • I would like other revieuwers to note that local prices converted to USD might seem excessive, also note that in a region in turmoil prices are not set acccording to market rules as they apply is peacetime situations like europe and the rest of the western world. and maek allowance for this
  • university professors would support such an initiative when it seemed to come from them and when they have a team to rely on , so if Ravan could get a group of volunteers together, and organsie a number of sessions a professor might front future organsitions and help Ravan getting access to uni-venues

Next I think Siko is right, Ravan, my advise would also be to use this money to connect with volunteers, do as many repeats as you can and do then regularly once or twice a month, don't organise 3 but 10 in the next months, and build a team of volunteers that can carry your initiative. 20 volunteers need more them 3 sessions to create(significatnly improve) 100 articles but you can recruit others and invite others form other cities to learn about your work and repat/copy it in their homecities. Even with a lesser result in the metrics I think we should support this and we shoudl support Ravan to make her efforts last and run repeatedly for many yeasr to come. The metrics will improve by themselves later. and yes the price is high for the reuslts; but we already had our freebee : Ravan, she came, she saw and now lets help her do het uphill battle , Good luck, Ravan --DerekvG (talk) 10:46, 13 April 2015 (UTC)[]

Community comments[edit]

WMF comments[edit]

Hi Ravan. Thanks so much for this request and your active engagement with the Grant Advisory Committee on the discussion! We are really excited to support you and your activities creating more awareness and training editors in Iraq. While I'm sure we don't fully understand the context in which you're working, we appreciate your efforts as one of the only active volunteers in your country and commitment to free knowledge. We have a few remaining questions/comments on the request:

  1. The "Goal" in the opening paragraph says "To get 60 people taught how to edit Wikipedia in 3 sessions (Each session 20 people)", but in the measures of success it is 25. Since you are targeting repeat participation in your editing sessions (which is a great thing!), please update the goal at the top of the submission.
  • Updated.Ravan (talk) 20:21, 16 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  1. Measures of success: "50% increase in contribution rate per participating user as compared to user's contribution rate outside the competition timeframe". What competition are you referring to? Do you mean the time period of the three editing workshops? I'm assuming most participants will be new users so I'm not sure if this metric is applicable.
  • By competition I mean the period between the sessions which will be a month almost, I'm planning to follow up with them and keep a reasonable and active contribution rate for them during these three months.Ravan (talk) 20:31, 16 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  1. Measures of success: "100 of articles created or improved (during the sessions) plus another 100 in the time of following up". What is the time period for the follow-up?
  • The time of following up will be the period between the 3 sessions which is 2 months in total.Ravan (talk) 20:34, 16 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  1. Measures of success: "20 of participants who are active editors (5 edits/month) X months after an event". Please specify how many months. 20 participants is quite high if you have 25 overall!
  • I have changed it to 15 to make sure I can achieve the goal, and I put the months as 6 months also to make sure I can control it.Ravan (talk) 20:53, 16 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  1. As mentioned above, 3,000 flyers seems like a large amount, especially if they are advertising a time-specific event (and not just general awareness flyers). I would guess that 500 total is enough. Please let me know.
  • The flyers are not advertising the event, the flyers are questioning about where is Arabic Wikipedia and Kurdish Wikipedia among other wikipedias regarding to number of edits and articles mentioning the huge number of speakers by Arabic/ Kurdish. I will use the flyers as a general awareness and will put the website and the FB page which will be mentioning the event. It's in my mind as well to use the flyers as an introduction for upcoming Wikipedia Education Program so the people in Universities will have an idea about Wikipedia. If everyone agrees on reducing the number, I would suggest 2000 instead of 500 and will be waiting for your feedback.Ravan (talk) 20:53, 16 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  • Please update the budget with the 2,000 number. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 00:03, 18 April 2015 (UTC)[]
    • Updated.Ravan (talk) 10:56, 18 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  1. Please let us know what the small prizes for the new editors will be. $50/prize seems quite high, but we'd like to understand better how this item was calculated.
  • Actually I didn't make the final decision of the prize but my initial thinking was about a small ipod, something that stays with the winner all the time reminding him/her of Wikipedia, I even asked the agent here in Erbil if they could engrave the word Wikipedia on the ipod back, the guys said it's possible but I want the engraving for free so he asked for time to check and didn't get back to me yet.Ravan (talk) 21:01, 16 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  • We would encourage you to think of some other prizes that are most cost effective. Normally, for a editing workshop, t-shirts, certificates, or other small gifts are appropriate. We don't have time to send you Wikipedia t-shirts (this can be done in the future), but if they can be made at a reasonable cost, this is possible. $10-20/prize is a good budget. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 00:03, 18 April 2015 (UTC)[]
    • Agreed and changed in the grant page as well.Ravan (talk) 10:56, 18 April 2015 (UTC)[]
  1. As MikyM suggested above, it is best to track project activities, including participants, article lists, articles created, editing resources etc. on the education extension, outreach wiki, or meta. Other websites can be useful for promotion, but we encourage volunteers to track activity on one of the Wikimedia-supported sites for better transparency and knowledge sharing. Here is an example of an editathon page: Feist fest in Westchester.
  2. Here are some good resources for editing workshops: Editathon/Editing Workshop Program Resources, Art & Feminism editathon how-to guide, Art & Feminism Training Lesson Plan, Learning Wikipedia Editing Resources, Editathon Lesson Plan, Gathering Wikipedia Event metrics checklist. If you end up translating any of these resources in to Arabic or creating new ones, please link to them in your final report so we can share them
  • Thanks a lot for sharing all these useful tools, I agree and will use them definitely.Ravan (talk) 21:04, 16 April 2015 (UTC)[]

Please let me know if you have any questions about the above comments. Cheers, Alex