Grants talk:PEG/Wikimedia TN User Group/Wiki-Arabia-2015/Report

Add topic
From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Congratulations on a successful first WikiArabia! We know it is not easy organizing a conference of this scale and we really appreciate all the time and effort the team put into this important regional gathering -- thank you! We have a number of comments/questions below and look forward to your responses.

Thank you Alex :) Kindly find our responses below.

  • It would be great to learn more about the follow-up to the sessions as this is the main indicator of impact for the conference. As we discussed during the grant review, having expected outcomes and action points for each session is very important. For example, for the session about “Arabic Wikipedia policies and suggestions for new solutions”, what solutions were discussed and what is the plan or update on implementing those solutions? Were there notes taken for each of the sessions? From the survey it looks like there was only moderate satisfaction with this issue. What could be done better next time to address the current challenges on Arabic Wikipedia?

Follow-up to the sessions is something that is hard to implement during the conference. We discovered that after we have sent an email requesting from participants to share their thoughts and questions through (link) and found that Wikipediands didn't react sufficiently. Two principal facts explains this behaviour; first, slides are available on meta (here) and then they could be reviewed later. Second, there are videos on youtube of almost all sessions, so discussion could be also consulted. In another hand, we believe that there are some achievements that could be detected after some period of time due to the opportunity that WikiArabia gave to the Arabe community. You have chosen the good example; the most noticeable problem about the Arabic policies was that new joiners don't know about them, and some even don't know there are policies that control their work, and hence they get shocked with admins responses to their participation, we can say the most probable problem is deleting their work, and when they ask, admins guide them to the policies.... The proposed solution is to put a banner that displays in all pages. Each time, it displays a brief summary of an important policy with links (for example, policies of accepted article names). Another problem was some policies were old, and may not stay applicable, in context of evolved content and increased number of users, and hence policies need to be reviewed/renewed periodically. The proposed solution was: establish a committee of users (admins and editors with sufficient experience) to review a policy each specific period of time. After contacting one of the admins, she confirmed that some of the policies were really reviewed after the conference. What could be better is to categorize Wikipedians in the next events; admins or technicians or bot ownsers will got the opportunities to sit in one table and discuss the different issues, challenges, opportunities, etc. If I have an advice for the future, it will be this !

  • In terms of your project goals, please provide an update on how the conference has activated new activities in the region. The report mentions that 5 Arabic-speaking countries participated in this year’s WLE. How many participated last year? Do you have other examples? What were some of the skills shared that participants found most useful? How did you receive this feedback -- via the survey or other means? Can you link to any how-to lists that were shared during the event so we can include them in our Program Resources?

In 2014, only Algeria participated in WLE contest (link). In 2015, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia (link). After WikiArabia, a new user group was created; Wikimedians of the Levant and Wikimedia MA User Group is waiting recognition.

  • Thank you for including some quotes from the post-conference survey. It really helps get a better understanding of what people found most useful.

Yes, the comments of the participants are always useful to evaluate and enhance in the future.

  • From the survey it looks like the main area for improvement for future conferences is around the quality of sessions and session topics. This is a great learning and means having more time for community input on program design, session planning, and reviewing presentations beforehand is critical. It also looks like people are really asking for more hands-on workshops and trainings instead of lecture-type presentations. This is great feedback.

Yes, these feedback could absolutely help in Reimagining WMF grants.

  • For the 38% of people that responded to the survey saying the conference “mostly” fit their level of experience, do you have any idea if the sessions were too advanced or too beginner?

It could be both. However, who said "too beginner" could be more because most of the attendees are very experienced technically and they look for something new from technical perspective since they asked for more hands-on workshops and trainings instead of lecture-type presentations.

  • Global metrics: I added in the Global Metrics table and tried to put in the correct numbers for participation. Please review and adjust if necessary.


  • Please let us know what was included in the “incidental costs & categories” section as this is a large section of the budget.

The main items are: printer, video projector, hard disc, video production. The fill list is under the shared "Finances WikiArabia - final" speadsheed, filter section 1.6

  • Please hold on to the remaining 9,342.22 TND while your open grant request is under review.


  • It would be helpful to know more about why the report was so delayed. Hopefully we can help you improve on this with future grants.

As we all know, WikiArabia is a team work. Every member of the team has one or more responsibilities. This is also applied to the preparation of the financial report. What happens is that the team member who has been entrusted with the task of preparing the financial report got some circumstances preventing him to do the work. When this lasts very long, the task is reassigned and we waited some days until we got all the invoices from CLibre (the fiscal sponsor). This is a management fault from our side. We apologize again for the delays.

Thanks to you too Alex and to all PEG team for your support and contribution to the success of this event. --Vivaystn (talk) 18:25, 2 October 2015 (UTC) Reply

Report accepted[edit]

Hi Vivaystn, thank you for providing such thoughtful responses to our questions - the additional details are very helpful in our understanding of how WikiArabia has impacted your community.

  • We are pleased to hear that some of the proposed solutions have been implemented. Your idea to have sessions for admins, bot owners and developers sounds like a good way to make sessions more engaging. At the conference in 2016, it would be good to document action items at the end of each session and identify volunteers who will be responsible for following up on those action items. This was a strategy that WMDE tried this year in the facilitation of WMCON2015 that they have found was useful for making sure good ideas from the conference led to action.
  • It is very impressive that 4 new countries in the Arabic Wikimedia communities participated in WLE this year and that two new User Groups have begun following the conference - in fact, the Wikimedians of Levant submitted an application for their first grant recently.
  • It would be good to survey potential attendees soon about the kinds of technical workshops they would like to participate in so that we can begin to arrange support if needed.

Thank you again for the time and effort you put into planning the conference and completing this grant report. We are pleased to hear that discussions as the conference led to policy changes and growth in the Arabic Wikimedia community. The please retain the remaining 9340TN while we make a decision on the request for [Plan 2015-2016] Cheers!--KHarold (WMF) (talk) 21:53, 23 October 2015 (UTC)Reply