Grants talk:Project/Rapid/Celestinesucess/Wiki Tours North of Ghana

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Application received[edit]

Hello, Celestinesucess! Thank you for your Rapid Grant submission. We have received a high volume of requests, which may delay our review, but please feel free to ping us to follow-up. We appreciate your patience and will respond to your request as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or updates about your request or the grants process, please write us at rapidgrants(_AT_)wikimedia.org. -- All the best, Morgan Jue (WMF) (talk) 21:09, 15 April 2019 (UTC)

Comments from WMF[edit]

Hello, Celestinesucess; thank you for submitting this grant application. We are concerned that doing single workshops in new regions without existing Wiki communities does not lead to sustained clubs or participation. For that reason, we have a few comments and questions we would like you to address as we go through our review process:

  1. Can you please give us more details about the specific locations where you plan to hold the workshops? Who are these people, how have you gotten into contact with them?
  2. Are there any local leaders at any of these regions who have already expressed their interest in fostering Wiki clubs? It's not sustainable to expect that Accra Wikimedians would be the ones sustaining the new communities. Who are these leaders? If possible we would like them to chime in on this discussion page or to endorse the grant application.
  3. What is the plan to sustain engagement and participation after this workshop?

Regards, MMontes (WMF) (talk) 00:41, 11 May 2019 (UTC)


Dear MMontes (WMF), thank you for the feedback. For now, the specific locations we have are Bawku Senior High School and University for Development Studies(UDS), Navrongo Campus. Both institutions are located in the Upper East Region of Ghana, where Mwintirew and I live but are currently based in Accra because of work. UDS is a few distance from where we live (in Navrongo) and Bawku Senior High School(in Bawku), all in Upper East region of Ghana

A friend of mine, Daniel Oduro-Mensah(Danyal O-M) who is a lecturer at the University for Development Studies(UDS), Navrongo Campus expressed interest in an education program and hence the reason for this project.

Secondly, I met Tina at the African Summit on Women and Girls in Technology and after speaking to her about Wikipedia, she also expressed interest in establishing and managing Wiki Clubs. Tina has permit from the Director of Secondary Education in Ghana to establish Code clubs in almost all regions in Ghana. So she wants us to help her turn her code clubs into Wiki clubs as well.

Jaward is an active wikimedian who is mostly based in the Northern region of Ghana. He has a lot of experience organizing training events in the North. He would be in charge of managing clubs established in the Northern region. We intend to train Daniel who will be in charge of managing the UDS Wiki Club.

With the kind of training we are offering, we are hoping they will be able to run subsequent edit-a-thons and other wiki events on their own. From time to time, Harriet and I will be visiting home to check up on how the clubs are doing.

Regards,--Celestinesucess (talk) 07:21, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Comments from the community[edit]

Hi Celestinesucess thanks for this application. As someone from Ghana and a volunteer myself I am always delighted to see the growth of the movement in the country. However, I am always of the view that these should be done organically and in our quest to do so we don't end up doing things which are not sustainable.This is not the time activities have been taken to the Northern part of Ghana. There have be series of Bar Camps that had breakout sessions for Wikimedia. I am fully aware ofFlixtey Kiwix project in Wa which was highly successful. I have also personally had and outreach in Tamale. I was hoping in going to the North you could have at least find out from any of these parties what they did and if they had some networks you could have leverage on them. Also as someone who has successfully contributed in starting an education program and set up a campus club, I have a great idea of what it requires. Setting up a club and starting up and education club require certain ingredients.

  1. What course does Danyal O-M teach? How does he hope to use this for an education program and what contents does he intend generating with the students.
  2. Also since Jaward is an active and experienced Wikimedian is based in the Northern part of Ghana don't you think it would have been suitable if you coordinated with him to lead trainings in and do the follow ups if the need be since he is on the ground? It has been proven time and again within this movement that these helicopter approaches often do not yield required results. I checked the budget for the grant and a whooping 58 percent goes in to flights and accommodation, as a member of the resource allocation working group of the Strategy process , I am concerned as to how our scarce resources are been distributed in the movement.
  3. Again if my suggestions as made above are considered,(using Jaward) this whole budget can be reduced by 58 percent. However, if the you decide to still be present at the event( for any reasons I may not know)there will still be no need to fly an additional person from Accra to the North since the Wikimedian on the ground can effectively handle the logistics.
  4. You mentioned that you live in the North and for work reasons you are now living in Accra,I will then assume that you have a place to reside whenever you go to visits,I will therefore encourage you to resort to that option for the purpose of this project.
  5. I also find no reason why this training should be held at two different times which will require two different travels whereas these trips could be done in just one round of travel. I wish to emphasize that all these other travels connect from Tamale which is the singular airport in that region and hence it does not make economic sense to travel back and forth from Accra when you could easily connect from Tamale after the first event.

It is often advisable for grantees to slightly over budget to make room for contingencies, however a quick glance at some line items shows that the budget is rather on a high side. I wish to encourage the grantee to inquire for actual prices to avoid the budget being on the high side.--Rberchie (talk) 15:51, 16 May 2019 (UTC)


Hi Rberchie Thank you so much for your concerns and sugggestions. We will reach out to Felix and others like you mentioned to learn from them.

Daniel teaches Biochemistry. He is interested in contributing content not only from his field but history and culture of the people from Northern Ghana.He wants to use Wikipedia to train his students on acquiring research and referencing skills.

Harriet and I will be present at the Upper East region events while Jaward and Sadik will be present at the Northern region events. I alone cannot be present at the event because I will need someone to be taking pictures and the person will also have to be going around helping participants with technical problems. Jaward, is currently schooling in Kumasi and hence will not be available to attend the two events. Harriet and I have agreed to resort to our house for accommodation but we will have to provide accommodation for Jaward and Sadik. As to why you think the budget is on the high, I honestly don't know. We did make some inquiries and I believe the cost we put in the budget is reasonable.

The reason why we cannot have both events at the same time, is because the schools propose the date and time we should come in for the training and we do not have all schools agreeing to the same date and time. Celestinesucess (talk) 13:35, 17 May 2019 (UTC)

Hello Celestinesucess thanks for the clarification, I know with WEP, you need to train students and they need to churn out content. From what you are saying and I know, Biochemistry is a limited field for that since undergrads pursuing Biochemistry do not necessarily do any new researches, it is a practical course and they only use what already exists. Daniel doesn't teach history or culture so I do not think he can lead a WEP in those courses.

I am not clear about the Eastern Region you mentioned(Because you didn't mention it in the grant). If it was the Upper East, I still do no see why you need to fly Harriet to the North just to take pictures because Harriet is not an experienced editor.

  1. Jaward stays in the North so if he has to go to the North for training why does he need accommodation? I don't see the rationale in flying Sadik to the North as he is not an experienced editor.If it has to do with only pictures doesn't Jaward have networks in the North and can't he get some to take the pictures? And why couldn't they apply for the grant theselves? As it stands now, you haven't even stated where in the Northern Region you intend carrying this out.You only provided two institutions in the Upper East Region(Navrongo and Bawku).
  2. About the school proposing different dates, I do not see how difficult it is to convince both schools to agree on a same date. We have had projects in the past where we went to one region and visited all partners, sites or did or trainings.
  3. About the budget line, I checked with AWA an unless it is their premium a roundtrip should not cost more than 750 cedis. If it had to be internal transportation unless you tell me you it costs more than 100 Cedis from Tamale to Bawku/Navrongo. I also don't see why you make separate transportation budgets for the two when will both stay at one place and can use ridesharing.

My recommendation:

  1. If you need to do an edit-a-thon in the North liase with people on the ground who can do so at minimal cost without you having to go there.Once they have done it and you have seen some sustain interest you can then think of going there.
  2. If you need to start a WEP, get a lecturer with courses that students can easily churn out content and is ready to use the course for WEP, once you finalize that and they agree add it too their curriculum in a particular semester, it is then that you can move in there to do a training and offer after training support. Once you have an on-going WEP, it will be easier to set up a club because you already have a base.--Rberchie (talk) 15:31, 21 May 2019 (UTC)


Rberchie Thank you for your comments and recommendations once again.Yes, I was referring to the Upper East region. We have decided to focus on one region and have updated the budget as such.
  1. First of all, I don't think it should always be the case where only experienced editors should be the ones to embark on a project of this sort or any. Inexperienced editors need opportunities like this to learn from the experienced. So even if Harriet and Sadik are not experienced, that does not disqualify them from being flown to the north to embark on this project.
  2. In addition, the reason why we are not using only people on the ground, is because we want to be there ourselves to give participants a new experience. We believe our presence as women will inspire and motivate the many ladies who will be present.

If in the past, people on the ground are the ones to lead such projects, once in a while we have to do things in a different way to see the outcomes.

Sometimes just talking to these institutions alone to get them to agree to an education project doesn’t work. We want to show them and give them an experience to Wikipedia before they can decide whether to include Wikipedia in their curriculum or not. These training events is to test the waters and if things go as planned we proceed to a WEP. If not, students can still contribute individually anyway.--Celestinesucess (talk) 05:58, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

Celestinesucess thanks for taking my advice and reviewing the grant.But I didn't say only experienced Wikimedians should embark on projects. What I meant was that it is not prudent spending funds to fly them to projects when they won't really do anything.I believe if they are keen to embark on projects they can apply for individual grants if they want.
  1. Talking about opportunities to learn, these people are based in Accra and there are a litany of Wikimedia interventions going on that they can always learn from. One trip to the North won't turn them into experienced editors overnight.
  2. I don't also see your project as a female themed event that you need females specifically to motivate the participants, you being a female and lead for the project I think is a good enough inspiration and motivation.
Briefly chiming in, Rberchie, to kindly request that you refrain from making comments like this. There is no room for calling into question the importance of having women-led facilitation when the gender gap in Wikimedia projects has been widely documented worldwide. MMontes (WMF) (talk) 16:29, 7 June 2019 (UTC)
  1. Again I still see hotel accommodation, if you need to stay in a hotel at one of the places since it is not close to home why does it need to be two nights? And since you say you're going with Harriet why can't you share a room?(Since this is the norm even at Wikimania) Also why do you have transportation for two when both of you will be staying at the same place and can commute together and use ride-sharing?
  2. Lastly from what you are saying I think you should review your impacts because as it stands now it is not clear that you are going to have the Wiki Clubs you mentioned earlier on. Going to the North is not a bad thing, but I believe you should do more work before you do so to avoid any project below par and also not sustainable. I am saying this from experience and like I always say it won't be advisable to waste funds on porjects with minimal impacts wheras those funds could be put to optimum use in other projects.--Rberchie (talk) 16:20, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

Further comments from WMF[edit]

Hello, Celestinesucess; thank you for addressing our questions, your patience with our delayed review process, and for your good will and transparency in addressing Rberchie's comments too. I have carefully read the discussion and the modifications to the original grant proposal. I have the following points for Celestinesucess to address as part of this discussion:

  1. Since the first time I read the grant request submission, I have had concerns around the lack of sustainability for the formation of clubs and future editing efforts with this 'traveling expert' model. I think Rberchie has further questioned this model. I think, however, that with a few further adjustments we can find something that works to use fresh and new individuals to ignite new collaborations and balances community interests towards sustainability. In this regard, I can think of the following possibilities:
    Possibility 1: If you are invested in covering both locations, WMF can fund for the travel expenses of one external facilitator per location. We agree that two facilitators are needed per location; this means that, if both locations are covered, the second facilitator at each will be a local facilitator.
    Possibility 2: You pick one of the locations and we will fund both facilitators. We would request that you are one of the two facilitators regardless of the location that is chosen.
  2. Regardless of the possibility that is chosen, we need to hear a more detailed plan of how you plan to promote sustainability in the project in the future 6 months after your event is over. WMF will not give recurring travel funding for this project.

To summarize: please choose one of the possibilities above and adjust the grant request accordingly, and inform us of the plan for future sustainability.

Finally, I would like to include a note for Rberchie, on top of the in-line response I left for his May 27th comment. We have noticed your participation in other individuals' grant proposals. We understand we all have strong opinions about how Wiki initiatives should be undertaken, especially in our respective contexts, and that proposals become stronger with the inputs from the broader community. That said, engaging with other Wikimedians' work should come from a place of constructive openness and curiosity to learn from their inputs, rather than policing their work or acting as gatekeepers in the movement. We kindly request that in the future you engage more respectfully with applicants.

Regards, MMontes (WMF) (talk) 16:29, 7 June 2019 (UTC)

Hello MMontes (WMF) I am happy my suggestions were plausible enough to be included in your final decision for the grant, I wish to reiterate on this platform that my reviews are mostly on Ghanaian grants with the sole purpose of yielding the necessary impact and sustainability from the country as this is what we all want as Ghanaians or key stakeholders of the movement from the country.--Rberchie (talk) 18:08, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Response to Further Comments from WMF[edit]

Thank you MMontes (WMF) for the feeback once again. We choose the first possibility; We are interested in covering both locations and hence have updated the budget to reflect it.

Sustainable Plan for the future Six Months

  1. Subsequent two edit-a-thons will be organized with no travel support from WMF
  2. Training will be organized for some teachers and lecturers who will be in charge of managing the clubs
  3. We will ensure that the schools we visit, have computer labs which students can use anytime they want to organize edit-a-thons
  4. The new contributors we recruit will be added to the GOIF (Global Open Initiative Foundation) whatsapp platform where we usually keep track of the progress of each contributor and offer help to them.
  5. We intend to provide each school with internet in a box and install Kiwix for them to ensure with or without internet they can still contribute and use Wikipedia
  6. From time to time, I will be present in person at the edit-a-thons and wiki event organized by the clubs to witness the growth of the clubs and the progress of the contributors

With this plan, we are of the strong opinion that the project will be sustainable.

Regards--Celestinesucess (talk) 06:13, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Hello, Celestinesucess; thank you for your response and adjustments. Can you please help me understand why the budget rose? Thank you, MMontes (WMF) (talk) 08:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
MMontes (WMF) The initial budget only included expenses for only one event in the Upper East Region instead of two which is, UDS event and Bawku event.So the budget now reflects three event in total, two in Upper East and one in Northern Region. And we didn't include expenses for souvenirs( stickers,pins and tshirts). I hope this makes you understand--Celestinesucess (talk) 09:55, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, Celestinesucess; I understand better now. In rereading my message I understand that when I said 'two locations' it was ambiguous, but I will clarify now: I meant UDS and Bawku school, not the two regions. MMontes (WMF) (talk) 10:12, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
MMontes (WMF)Thank you for the clarification. The budget has been updated to that effect. We would like to provide Internet in a Box to each club and one device cost $40 dollars, If the foundation could provide us with funds to purchase two of these devices that will be helpful--Celestinesucess (talk) 10:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Celestinesucess, we would approve these two Internet in a Box device expenses. Feel free to adjust the proposal to reflect that. MMontes (WMF) (talk) 23:43, 11 June 2019 (UTC)


Grant request approved[edit]

Hello, Celestinesucess; thank you for all the work you have put into this initiative, and especially for all the time you have put into this grant request. We are approving it and looking forward to seeing what happens with these developments in Ghana. Regards, MMontes (WMF) (talk) 17:12, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Funds Use Request[edit]

Hello MMontes (WMF) we have been able to successfully organize the training and established the club at University for Development Navrongo Campus. But due to the bureaucracy it is taking very long for us to get approval for the Senior High School. We sent a letter to Notre Dame senior high school, but we were denied the permit with the excuse that students have a tight schedule and so it will be impossible for them to make time for Wikipedia. So we sent another letter to the headmistress of Navrongo Senior High School, she was receptive to the idea but told us to seek for permission from the regional education director. Looking at the situation we are doubt if it will be easy to sustain Wikipedia clubs established in a senior high school. And so, we would like to request to use the remaining funds which was meant for organizing one event in a senior high school to organize subsequent event for the club at University for Development Studies to ensure the sustainability of this club. We would also like to use remaining funds to purchase a router for the club which they can use in subsequent meet ups. Thank you for considering our request --Celestinesucess (talk) 21:41, 9 October 2019 (UTC)