Grants talk:Project/Kiwix Rollout in Schools in Ghana

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Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2016[edit]

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2016 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2016 begins on 2 November 2016, and grants will be announced in December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:13, 14 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments of Ruslik0[edit]

I have some questions:

  • Can you provide more information about "Offline Wikipedia Roll-out Pilot Project (OWRPP I)". Was it a Wikimedia funded rpoject.

The OWRPP was not funded by Wikimedia. The concept was discussed with Wikimedia and the understanding was that, we run a pilot using our own resources before it can be considered for funding. We piloted the project in the Wa Senior Technical High School which has a population of about 800 students. The highlights of the project included a Wikipedia Durbar, Installation, Training of Teachers on Wiktionary and editing, Introduction to Wikipedia Zero, Monitoring and a Survey regarding the impact of the project at the end of third month.

  • "The trust of this project" you probably meant "The thrust of this project".

Well noted

  • Why were the school computers infested with virus taking into account the lack of internet connection?

The computers were infested because students and teachers used USB drives on the school's computers without scanning them for viruses.The computers also ad no anti-viruses.

  • You grant request is only for 2,300 UDS and your project appears to be narrowly focused. Have you considered rapid grants?

Discussions with Flixtey (Project Adviser) suggested that this was probably the right platform Ruslik (talk) 12:38, 5 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Kiwix Rollout in Schools in Ghana[edit]

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • Project fits with the strategic priority to increase reach. It also fits with WMF’s interest in measuring the impact of Kiwix on offline readers. While this is important for guiding further support/development of offline Wikipedia, it’s unclear to me what the online impact of this work would be, though perhaps findings from the project could feed into the Kiwix strategy. At this time, the greatest potential for impact seems to be in broadening our understanding of training needs for both teachers and students and creating supportive tools/documentation for those needs.
  • The project can potentially have significant and sustainable online impact (especially taking into account relatively small money requested). It can increase participation of young people from Africa in the Wikimedia projects.
  • I was positively impressed by the seriousness of the pilot report, which was able to provide a good assessment of potentials and pitfalls. It is clear this project is well coordinated. However, besides providing ephemeral access to the projects, I am not sure what we are trying to accomplish here. An education strategy appears to be necessary, for instance, identifying gaps these students could work on, even before equipment is available and training is triggered. I am familiar with a project to improve content on politics in Ghana on Wikipedia, so could there be a connection here? Content could be created offline, and then published online. I agree with proponent that anyway the initiative should provide access to Wikipedia if the decision is to have this project funded.

The project has engaged with the Community in Ghana and there are plans to collaborate with other related projects in Ghana.

  • It has considerable impact potential, especially in this region and given the initial circumstances.
  • 2/3rd of global population is yet to arrive online. There is a dire need to spread Wikipedia offline. Kiwix is a major tool to achieve this goal. Learnings from this project will be highly useful.
  • There aren't measurable metrics and sustainability of the project is a concern.

One key outcome of the project is to engage with participating school heads to incorporate the use and access of Wikipedia into schools' timetable. The entry point for this exercise will be the Information Communication lesson periods of which all schools in Ghana have.

  • The project team is looking to build on work, and lessons learned, from their pilot project. It’s nice to see that they have identified challenges with implementing Kiwix in schools and that they are wanting to refine their initial approach to address these challenges. That being said, I do not fully understand how they intend to meet the training needs of teachers and students. Vague measures of success are provided - in my opinion, the measures should offer specific improvements upon the survey data first gathered in the pilot.

Throughout the 6 months, Teachers will be adequately trained from introductory, intermediate and advance levels in the use of Kiwix. The teachers will intend train the students on the best approaches to use the platform.

  • I admire the commitment of the volunteer who is leading this project. Risks are extremely high, since we are unable to assess how impactful these Kiwix initiatives really are. Sustainability is very hard to be accomplished. This initiative will make more sense to me if we are able to work on learning potentials and have higher visibility.

One key outcome of the project is to engage with participating school heads to incorporate the use and access of Wikipedia into schools' timetable. The entry point for this exercise will be the Information Communication lesson periods of which all schools in Ghana have.

  • The measures of success are well set but the target is not well defined. Long term impact is not taken into account.
  • No major risks observed. Surveys can be conducted to assess usefulness of Kiwix/Wikipedia for everyday educational use. It takes an iterative approach and the learnings from this initiative will be very useful.
  • Looks feasible, assuming teachers can attend weekend training and schools are willing to participate. There's not much information available about the applicants so I would look to WMF staff for their opinions based on communicating/working with the team during their pilot project.
  • I am not sure about the ability of the project team to execute it. I can find only one past project application (Offline_Wikipedia_Rollout_in_Ghana) that was withdrawn.
  • This is a very challenging project. I have the impression that the program leader is skilled and committed. The main, big question is how to overcome the large challenges identified in the pilot? Structural constraints --i.e., lack of internet access-- are so enormous, that I am not sure how this limited activity could actually execute some of the stated goals, such as improving academic performance and stimulating the use of technology in educational settings.
  • Ability to execute is not clear. Depends on involvement of advisors and local community/institutions.
  • Supports diversity. Need more details on the schools and their interest in participating. There are only a handful of endorsements (which is perhaps to be expected, given digital access issues and the relative size of the wiki community in Ghana)
  • Community engagement appears to be limited.

The Community Manager for Ghana is the Adviser for this project and he will come in handy to drawing support from the community.

  • Low level of community engagement, perhaps because no community notification was made. Project states increasing female participation as a goal, but there is little information on how to achieve this.

65% of the teachers to be trained will be females and the 70% of the leadership of the Wiki Clubs will be female students

  • The project seems good for the community in Ghana, but I don't see how the project will be developed after gifting the USB sticks to schools. The grantee does not have an account on the Wikimedia projects, so I remain neutral (to support) because this may or may not be an impediment to the success of the project.
  • Need to focus more on training needs of teachers and students. It might be best to limit the project to 1 school instead of expanding to 3 while focusing on this need.
  • I am disappointed to hear that alongside Kiwix they will install Security Essentials by Microsoft. We should promote free software as a way of getting rid of those viruses, moreover this program is not a magical solution and may slow down even more the already slow machines.
  • I admire the commitment of the project proposers towards improving education in Ghana, given the structural constraints that she/he faces. I am not convinced this project will be a success, but there is potential. In any case, a communications strategy to report to our wider community and to give global visibility to what is being attempted here should be included as a strategic goal.

This proposal has been recommended for due diligence review.

The Project Grants Committee has conducted a preliminary assessment of your proposal and recommended it for due diligence review. This means that a majority of the committee reviewers favorably assessed this proposal and have requested further investigation by Wikimedia Foundation staff.

Next steps:

  1. Aggregated committee comments from the committee are posted above. We recommend that you review the feedback and post any responses, clarifications or questions on this talk page.
  2. Following due diligence review, a final funding decision will be announced on December 16.
Questions? Contact us.

Additional comments from WMF[edit]

Hi Frank Akowuge Dugasseh. Thank you for addressing some of the committee feedback above. We're sorry that the connection was so bad yesterday and we were not able to successfully conduct the interview. We have a number of remaining questions about the project and hope you can respond before Sunday.

  1. We would like to better understand what were the main successes of the pilot. The report noted there was a lot of enthusiasm from the students and that Kiwix has the potential to provide them with access to knowledge that is otherwise inaccessible. However, there were a number of challenges that made reaching your goals difficult.

The pilot was the first of it kind in northern Ghana where students and teachers were trained and offered the opportunity to use Wiktionary. It was also the first time a Wikipedia platform was used.The pilot made it possible for the Team to build a relationship with the school administration of which we intend to leverage on in this follow up project.The Team also supported the students to write and edit their school's profile (Wa Senior High Technical School)and uploaded online

  1. "The pilot revealed that half of the students were not adequately trained on the use of platform due to limited contact hours and funding challenges.” Were the other half adequately trained, and if so, what made the difference?

The limited number of functional laptops in the school resulted in the Wiktionary not being installed on all computers and so during practical sessions students who had Wiktionary installed on their machines benefited fully. Some of the students have poor knowledge in the use of laptops. To many of them, the first contact they ever had with a laptop was when they entered Senior High School and thus have challenges in navigating around. They therefore needed more time. It was also acknowledged that some students have limited opportunities visiting the schools computer laboratory to due to the school's population and conflicting schedules.

  1. “Even though the survey revealed that there has been appreciable improvement of students’ knowledge and performance, this could not be independently verified thus leaves a gap in the pilot’s literature.” What were the most important learnings from the survey? What pointed to project effectiveness?

1.You need other levelers (like the Students Academic Reports, West African Examination Council Results,contribution of articles from students) to validate assertions made by teachers and students.

  1. Since the pilot in early 2016, how has the project developed? Have you continued to be involved with the teachers/students and been able to understand if and how they are using Kiwix?

The Team continues to engage with the school but not as effectively as we did during the pilot. Our recent visit showed that most of the Wiktionary files had being corrupted.

  1. One of the main challenges of the pilot was lack of engagement by teachers and insufficient time for training. What do you believe is the main motivation for teachers to engage in this project and how have you been able to assess their future level of engagement?

Our approach in dealing with teachers was not engaging enough. We focused our attention on the Administrative Head and students than the teachers who were to supposed to impact the knowledge to the children.The training for the teachers was adhoc and time constrained. Also if training sessions are are done outside their campuses, it will create some excitement as well as ownership. We intend to use a bottom-up approach where teachers will be fully engaged in the project implementation. We have already started discussions with them in this regard.

  1. What training is needed for the teachers/students and have you thought through what the training plan would look like (beyond just more time for training). In the discussion above you mention that "Teachers will be adequately trained from introductory, intermediate and advance levels in the use of Kiwix." It is our understanding that Kiwix should be relatively easy to adopt. What are the main training elements needed?

The introductory level will basically be on Kiwix and will generally also talk about other Wikipedia platforms. The intermediate and advance level will include editing and writing of articles for online platforms.

  1. One main goal is to integrate use of Wikipedia into the curriculum. What discussions have you had with school administrators or teachers to see the feasibility? We would want to see commitment from at least a few teachers to really integrate utilizing Wikipedia as part of their lesson plans.

During one of the Information Communication Technology lessons on Online and offline resources, Wiktionary (online) was used as such resources. The engagement with teachers is ongoing and with the kind of collaboration we have developed with teachers and school administrators, it is a commitment that can be achieved.

  1. One of the main challenge is a lack of functional computers. Are there other issues beyond the viruses that need to be addressed?

Some of the computers are ridiculously very slow due to the speed of processors and size of memory.

  1. We understand you've proposed to set-up wikiclubs in order to sustain activities and momentum. We have seen wikiclubs be successful at keeping students interested and engaged on a regular basis. However, they take a lot of ongoing support through mentorship and coordination by local, experienced Wikimedians (when the focus is on editing). Would the wikiclubs be focused on accessing offline wikipedia? Or do some schools have access to internet and would learn how to edit? Does the team have capacity to support this type of activity?

Through partnership with Skywisp, we shall be able to provide limited bundled data for online activities.Since Flixtey is the Adviser to the Project and Community Manager in Ghana, we are confident to get support from the Ghana Community to sustain wikiclub activities.

  1. Can you provide more detail on what you mean by, “Employ gender mainstreaming strategies to encourage female students to actively participate”?

Majority of teachers to be trained on Kiwix will be females and also many leaders of the wikiclubs will be females.My team is also made up two females who can mentor many of the female students.It is expected that the installations of Kiwix on computers will be done by female students after they have been trained. The pilot suggested that females were hugely disadvantaged in the technological space.

  1. What is the plan for acquiring Kiwix and updating it every three months?

We intend to download it from and if within three months, there are updates, we replace them. The Team will be supported by Skywisp, an internet Service Provider within the project area. Thank for taking the time to answer all our questions! Best, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:40, 2 December 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Round 2 2016 decision[edit]

This project has not been selected for a Project Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding. This was a very competitive round with many good ideas, not all of which could be funded in spite of many merits. We appreciate your participation, and we hope you'll continue to stay engaged in the Wikimedia context.

Comments regarding this decision:
The committee was favorable toward the idea of supporting Kiwix editing by students in northern Ghana, and appreciate your efforts to improve accessibility and outreach in the region. However, there were enough concerns about the specifics of the project plan that the committee did not feel confident of the project’s success at this time. They have advised staff to follow up with the applicants to support further refinement of the project plan. Since your request is also close to the threshold for a Rapid Grant (grants under $2,000), which has a rolling application deadline, this would also allow you to re-apply as soon as you have more fully developed plan. Staff will be in touch shortly to provide more detailed feedback about potential future opportunities.

Next steps: Applicants whose proposals are declined are welcome to consider resubmitting your application again in the future. You are welcome to request a consultation with staff to review any concerns with your proposal that contributed to a decline decision, and help you determine whether resubmission makes sense for your proposal.

Over the last year, the Wikimedia Foundation has been undergoing a community consultation process to launch a new grants strategy. Our proposed programs are posted on Meta here: Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021. If you have suggestions about how we can improve our programs in the future, you can find information about how to give feedback here: Get involved. We are also currently seeking candidates to serve on regional grants committees and we'd appreciate it if you could help us spread the word to strong candidates--you can find out more here. We will launch our new programs in July 2021. If you are interested in submitting future proposals for funding, stay tuned to learn more about our future programs.