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Grants talk:Project/MSIG/Free Knowledge Africa Movement Strategy (Need Assessment)

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Latest comment: 1 year ago by YPam (WMF) in topic Feedback For Improvement

Overall Positive Feedback[edit]

Overall Positive Feedback

The project team’s efforts are good as are all efforts that aim towards identifying new communities, finding ways to encourage the existing communities, and that lead towards scaled development. Within this application, there are some ideas which aim to work towards these. YPam (WMF) (talk) 15:15, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply

Feedback For Improvement[edit]

Project and Impact plan:

The project team has detailed a broad attempt to engage with the target communities, but it is unclear how much knowledge the team does have of the entire Africa region or of similar initiatives that already exist. This knowledge gap might lead to more difficulties that solutions that the team aims to achieve. Has the team considered reaching out to the leaders of other such projects funded by WMF and also other international development organizations? The existing data an information would mitigate the need to conduct ground research all over again when there are established communities, affiliates, leaders to gather the information needed and to build a strong plan.

The project team should consider embarking on a good faith exercise to engage with existing leadership (both community leaders and WMF staff) to gather insights into the region. Based on the information gathered through this process, the team can then strengthen this proposal for success. Currently the application proposes data collection is the most important output, however project success will need to be in the form of a plan or the actualisation of the plan as well. YPam (WMF) (talk) 15:16, 9 January 2023 (UTC)Reply

Response from the Project team[edit]

Hello @YPam (WMF):,

Thank you for the feedback.

Based on the initial conversation we had in September. There was a suggestion that we divide the implementation into two phases, the first phase would be the research and validation process, and then the second phase would be the knowledge phase for transferring the skills.

However, this feedback seems disjointed with the initial conversations we had. The current feedback is suggesting we go through to the implementation phase immediately.

However, I would like to disagree with some points from the feedback.

1. The feedback suggests we don't have knowledge of the Wikimedia movement in the African continent and other similar initiatives (other Wikimedia campus clubs). And that we might not be qualified because of this knowledge gap.

We have been active in the Wikimedia movement for over five years now, and we joined the movement through the Wikimedia Fan Club at our University, we were part of the founders. Since then, we have graduated from university and remained active in the Wikimedia movement and proceeded to execute different wiki projects, received grants, participated in the movement strategy conversations, and presented at Wiki Indaba and Wikimania.

We can say we are well informed of Wikimedia movement initiatives and activities in Africa. We also discovered that many people stopped contributing to the movement after graduating from the University and leaving the fan clubs. The fan club we established and led at our university has been able to produce active Wikimedians over the past five years who are still active in the movement and contributing after leaving the University, compared to other fan clubs in Nigeria and other African countries that haven't achieved the same level of results.

We have carried out an enumeration of the current Wikimedia clubs at different Universities across Africa and initiated conversations with them.

2. We should reach out to the leaders of Wikimedia affiliates and other international development organizations.

We are not targeting the affiliates, that's not the goal of our project, except the affiliates are interested in running the Wikimedia clubs which we don't recommend, and our goal is to come up with a model that will ensure that the clubs are self-sustaining and members continue to be active contributors to the Wikimedia movement after graduation from the University.

3. We should focus more on building a stronger plan and focus less on data collection by gathering information from community and affiliate leaders. We should engage community leaders and WMF staff in Africa to find out more information. Then we would have a solid plan to implement because we would have gotten all the necessary information needed.

Well, we believe the affiliates don't run the clubs, and might not be best informed about what challenges the clubs are facing. The University ecosystem has some peculiarities that differ from the real world, which might make the affiliates have a different experience. The clubs are also a certain demographic while the Affiliates are a more diverse demographic. We want to speak directly with the Clubs and we are not taking over their structure in any way.

Please note that at the end of the project, we would produce a plan that would enable the Wikimedia campus-based communities and fan clubs to create a system and organizational structure that enhances the transfer of skills, knowledge and understanding to their members. This will help address the problem of the high dropout rates of members when they graduate from the University. This implementation plan should be quickly adopted by affiliates or other emerging student communities to promote local skills development.

Looking forward to your response. Haylad (talk) 12:54, 10 January 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hello @Haylad
Apologies if the phrasing of the feedback caused some confusion or was not clear enough, because it seems much of the feedback provided has been misconstrued. Please note, the feedback provided is meant to enable this project team to strengthen this proposal to succeed and to achieve the desired impact - within the target communities and on the initiative being targeted as well.
The project team’s knowledge of the Movement or the continent is not questioned and more than not, what is asked about, is this project team’s knowledge of initiatives similar to this project. The feedback also DOES NOT mention Affiliates but rather community leaders and Staff of the The Foundation.
Has the team been privy to similar initiatives? If as you say, you are engaged and fully aware, is the team open to delivering this project with a solutions mindset? This would mean leveraging the data and information that already exists, gaining deeper insights and value add through strategic pre-engagements (with community leaders and Foundation staff), and working towards developing a concrete and adaptable plan.  
As mentioned in the email sent, we will be happy to meet with this project team to discuss the feedback in detail and provide more clarity if needed. Thank you. YPam (WMF) (talk) 18:33, 11 January 2023 (UTC)Reply