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Learning and Evaluation/Newsletter/2017/4/12

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L&E Newsletter / Volume 4 / Issue 12 / May 2017
Learning Quarterly
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A program in

Learning Days at WMCON 2017: Fostering Leadership

In this new issue of Learning Days, participants engaged in sessions on two different levels: Leadership track, and Traditional track.

For the 9th issue of Learning Days, held at Wikimedia Conference 2017, we designed two separate tracks: leadership track, for affiliate representatives focused on developing leadership for programs in their communities, and traditional track, with our traditional Learning Day workshops, for people implementing programmatic activities and community engagement initiatives. For this issue of Learning Days we used our comprehensive feedback form which allows participants to share something they liked best about the session, something they would suggest to do different next time, and something they plan on doing in the next 30 days, based on what they learned.

For the Leadership track, the sessions Presentation Skills, Facilitation Skills, and Developing Partnerships were among the most liked workshops, they were also the ones that inspired the most action in the next 30 days. For the Traditional Track, the best liked sessions and the sessions that inspired the most actions in the coming month were Project Support Tools Rotation, Creating a Safe and Welcoming Environment, and Community Listening. Across all sessions, participants shared something they would apply from the session in the next 30 days.

Learning Day workshops focus on useful tools and practices for program leaders. In the traditional track we observe strong and clear feedback that sessions focused on tools and community engagement were most highly valued. Participants really appreciated having concrete tools and practices they could apply to their programs and initiatives, and take back to their communities. In the Leadership track we saw excellent reception to the sessions especially sessions for facilitation and presentation skills, harassment tools and Partnerships sessions. A few examples of what participants said they would do or change in the next 30 days are found below: "I will look into applying more structured process to my own work." "I will use these presentation skills in my talks with the community." "I will think about listening beyond surveys."

Going forward, we hope to continue working with these two tracks, engaging participants as co-presenters in Learning Day workshops, and empowering community leaders to train others in their local community. We are so grateful for the efforts put forth by all those involved to make this session of Learning Days a success! The feedback received from the event will help improve Learning Days in the future and make it even more effective.

Read more:

Community Capacity Development pilot

WMF has been piloting a new approach to community capacity development (CCD), and we have a report with positive outcomes.
by Asaf Bartov

There are certain community capacities all thriving Wikimedia communities need developed. Some Wikimedia communities have under-developed capacities, or have plateaued and aren't developing a particular capacity. Our hypothesis was that the Wikimedia Foundation can usefully assist a particular community to build a specific capacity, and to "level up" or overcome an obstacle, and let it continue developing on its own. In 2016, after a year of research, the Foundation identified and described six core capacities, with proposed approaches to building them. The capacities identified are:

Then, the Foundation piloted three capacity-building projects, with the Brazilian, Ukrainian, and Tamil communities, working on Communications, Conflict management, and On-wiki technical skills, respectively.

The conclusion from the pilot year is that this approach to capacity building is effective, in that the communities in the pilot program have shown measurable progress in at least two of the three pilots (the third is still very hard to evaluate), and are now making progress on their own: Brazilians revamped their site, revived their blog and social media handles, created a press kit; the Tamil community now engages with Wikidata where previous it did not. One Tamil volunteer amassed 200K manual(!) edits to Wikidata in under a year. The fact the project featured in-person, in-language, in-country training was identified in surveys as crucial for the project's engagement and effectiveness. The materials produced for the trainings are significantly re-usable, as needs are often shared across communities. One example is this comprehensive Wikidata training, originally developed as part of the CCD pilot with the Tamil community, but delivered since at international, regional and national conferences (Wikimania 2016, CEE Meeting, Wiki Indaba, WikiConference India, WikiConference Bulgaria, WikiConference Ukraine).
How can we increase the reach of this model?
The Community Capacity Development initiative builds capacities that are then maintained by the active community. In this sense, it sows seeds that keep on giving. After the workshops, participants stated that they were motivated to practice the new skills gained. We hope that once the initial obstacle or lack of awareness/knowledge is overcome, the community will continue organic growth. Capacity-building is inherently a high-investment activity (limited in time and specific in scope). But it is effective. Crucially, it fulfills a need not met by any other process. Technological innovation cannot be the only tool deployed by WMF in support of the communities it serves, as it does not address the variety of needs and obstacles those communities face in their natural growth and activity.
So now what?
1. Scale up (additional communities; additional capacities)
2. Develop "core curriculum" and track individual communities' progress in pursuing capacities toward mastery/comfort in curriculum. Plan training/help according to need and opportunity.
3. Identify already-effective trainers and knowledge diffusers; enhance their opportunities to share knowledge; train prospective trainers and empower successful trainee trainers. The above implies increased resourcing (budget and staff time), as well as participation from additional teams. This coming fiscal year (starting July 2017) will not see increased resourcing, but some other teams have agreed to contribute trainers occasionally.

More information:

Stay tuned

blogs, events & more!
Read our blog posts

Every month, we share knowledge with a focus on programs, process or tools on Wikimedia Foundation's blog. Find all our entries on the Wikimedia blog

Featured blog posts:

The 2017 Wikimedia Developer Summit took place on January 9–11 at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco, California. Coordinated with support from the organization team, around 179 participants from 30 countries participated in the summit, out of which 29% were from outside of the Wikimedia Foundation. The summit provides a platform to developers both volunteer contributors and staff members to meet and have conversations around projects and technologies supporting the Wikimedia movement.
Read More

We are just over a week into the second annual #1lib1ref campaign, where we “imagine a world where every librarian adds one more reference to Wikipedia." Wikipedia is based on real facts, backed up by citations—and librarians are expert at finding supporting research. This year’s campaign launched on January 15, to celebrate Wikipedia’s sixteenth birthday. As of Monday, participants have made over 1,543 contributions on 1,065 articles in 15 different languages.
Read More


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May 1-28: Letter of Intent due for Round 2 Conference and Events Grants
May 1-31: Wiki Loves Earth 2017 National Competition
May 1-31: Wikimedia CEE Spring 2017
May 15 - June 30: Met Open Access Challenge
May 19-21: Wikimedia Hackathon

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May 15 - June 30: Met Open Access Challenge
June 1-30: Wiki Loves Earth 2017 National Competition

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July 1: Letter of Intent due for ‘17-’18 Round One Annual Plan Grant
July 31: Deadline for submissions for Wiki Loves Earth 2017

A Program in the Spotlight

Wiki Loves Africa: A photo contest that focuses on the African heritage

By: Isla Haddow-Flood

Professional and amateur photographers from across Africa and beyond contribute images that visually celebrate a universal, but culturally specific theme. In 2016, that theme was Music and Dance.

The annual Wiki Loves Africa photographic and media competition has just completed its third year. It started in 2013 as a long shot idea brainstormed between Florence Devouard (User:Anthere) and myself while putting in a dream application to the Orange Foundation as part of the Kumusha Takes Wiki project.

Since the competition’s launch in 2014, there have been 21,555 photographs contributed to Wikimedia Commons for potential use on Wikipedia. In the first year, under the theme Cuisine, 873 people contributed 6,116 photographs. Cultural fashion and adornment was the theme for the next year, 2015, which saw 722 people contribute over 7,500 photographs. In 2016, under the theme Music and Dance, 7,917 images, audio and video files were contributed by 836 people.

The photographs are a direct benefit to Wikimedia Commons and, when integrated into Wikipedia and other project articles, do much to dispel the “single story” that people often have of Africa. Reuse is still in process, but three years after the first competition was held, we have the following statistics: From Glamarous: Wiki Loves Africa 2016 - 2 months after the close of the competition, the usage of images used within the Wikimedia projects at 185 total images placed from 149 distinct images. Wiki Loves Africa 2015 - a year after the close of the competition, the usage of images is 775 total images placed from 527 distinct images. (7.17% of all images contributed.) Wiki Loves Africa 2014 - 2 years after the close of the competition, the usage of images is 1331 total image placed from 784 distinct images. (13.36% of all images contributed.) From Baglama2: Total monthly page views for images from Wiki Loves Africa 2014 during May 2017 were 7,275,113 Total monthly page views for images from Wiki Loves Africa 2015 during May 2017 were 4,857,200 Total monthly page views for images from Wiki Loves Africa 2016 during May 2017 were 975,063 (this was the month after the competition closed.)

The other great benefit has been the annual chance to build the capacity and skills of the local teams to have a short spike where teams apportion roles, launch visibility and marketing programs, host events, liaise with the media, and generally discuss Wikipedia and the importance of seeing images of their local cultures being represented on a global platform. Each year the teams are chosen based on proposals submitted to the management team. The impact on the outreach aspect has been dramatic.

In 2014, the Cuisine theme saw 27 events in 8 countries (Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Tunisia, and Uganda) in 2014. In 2015, another 8 countries (Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Tunisia, Tanzania and Uganda) hosted 42 events around the theme Cultural Fashion and Adornment. In 2016, around the theme Music and Dance, the range of countries taking part was extended to 10, who hosted 43 confirmed events (this report is still to be finalized).

Each year, the project has been funded by the Wikimedia Foundation with the first competition in 2014 having additional support from the Orange Foundation. In addition, the project has been hosted by the Africa Centre in South Africa for 2014 and 2015, and in 2016 by Ynternet.org. Finally, the Goethe-Institut has provided, where possible, invaluable venue support for some of the outreach events.

The organizers of the Wiki Loves Africa competition consult the teams and the larger Wikipedian community across Africa every year to ensure that the project goes in the direction that everyone is excited to take. You can find the results of the latest consultation that took place at WikiIndaba in the Results and best practices document that we do every year. In it, you can also see our considerable plans for the future.

Now that the judging is over for 2016, we are looking forward to asking the wider community which theme they would like to tackle in 2017. We’ll keep you posted!!

Read more:

Wiki Loves Africa is a project that was conceptualised by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood in support of the WikiAfrica movement.

Share your idea

IdeaLab is a space where wikimedians all over the world share their inspiration with others.

IdeaLab is an incubator for people to share ideas to improve Wikimedia projects and to collaboratively develop them into plans and grant proposals. These are two selected ideas this quarter:

While experts are already present on Wikipedia and external ones are open to participation, no sufficiently efficient mechanisms for optimal engagement and integration exist. Examples of such improvements are listed under the bottom section of Wikipedia:Expert help and more relevant ideas could get brainstormed. Learn more.

This idea address the issue of how to renew the knowledge in human and social sciences, from the methodology view point (research, corpus building, analysis) as well as the way results are presented (master's thesis or doctoral thesis type), when using Wikimedia projects. It includes various solution suggestions such as developing the "research" space on en.Wikiversity and more. Learn More

Join the IdeaLab community. You can help develop ideas in many ways: with technical skills, translating, networking and more. Share your own!

Learn from your programs

The Program Evaluation & Design portal has tools to learn about your activities and measure their success.

The Learning Pattern Library is a hub to share learning around certain challenges that are common across Wikimedia programs and projects. Featured Learning Patterns in this issue:

Although it can be a struggle to convince anyone to write text explaining what they do and why they do it, people do love to have human to human conversations and to talk about themselves. Earlier in Wikipedia's history, getting access to videography equipment and setups was difficult to arrange. Because of technological advances in video equipment and software, it is becoming much easier for anyone to produce and publish video. Learn more.

It is very important to design the course taking into account the opinions of the staff and the rules of the institution. It's fundamental to take into account the bureaucracy of the institution. If you don't, you can have many surprises later. Consulting the staff during the design phase is an important way of overcoming the obstacles. Learn more.