Programa Catalisador do Brasil/Progress Report

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Warning[edit]

This page presents "Part I" of a two parts BCP Progress Report presented to the WMF Global team on December 15th, 2010. Part of this page is in Portuguese to allow the review and analysis by the Brazilian Wikimedia community. The complete version of "Part I" is available in English, under item 4 below. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to post the under the discussion tab o email them to carolrossiniatwiki@gmail.com. Thank you!

Introdução[edit]

Este documento faz parte do relatório de progresso de trabalho do Projeto Brasil Catalisador. O Projeto Brasil Catalisador (Brazil Catalyst Project) visa desenvolver e abrir abordagens de colaboração pelo qual a Fundação Wikimedia pode apoiar o fortalecimento e crescimento da comunidade da Wikimedia no Brasil. A Fundação Wikimedia não tem agenda definida para além de ver o crescimento da comunidade contribuinte e de leitores no Brasil. Em última análise, o projeto vai criar um plano que recomende um conjunto de iniciativas e projetos-piloto com o potencial de ajudar a avançar a nossa missão coletiva no Brasil e para possivelmente gerar exemplos de sistemas, processos e métodos para o avanço dos projetos da Wikimedia em outras áreas geográficas.

Ele foi desenvolvido por Carolina Rossini para a Wikimedia Foundation e apresenta as conclusões preliminares relativas ao estudo da comunidade Brasileira devotada a projetos da WMF. Desta forma, este documento foca-se principalmente na execução dos objetivos 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, e 4.4 listados aqui.

O documento abaixo encontra-se em inglês, mas seu sumário executivo encontra-se em português. A publicação desse documento e sua distribuição a comunidade brasileira visa continuar o debate ao redor dos objetivos do projeto Brasil Catalisador e, principalmente, aprofundar a conversa em relação a possíveis modelos estruturais para atuação da Fundação Wikimedia no Brasil.

Duvidas, sugestões ou críticas podem ser enviadas para Carolina Rossini no email carolrossiniatwiki@gmail.com ou – preferencialmente – postadas na página de discussão do Progress Report. Páginas específicas serão abertas no MetaWiki para discussão dos modelos estruturais aqui apresentados e que possam surgir ao longo do projeto. Sua contribuição é indispensável!

Sumário Executivo[edit]

Um bom progresso foi obtido até o momento. Metade das entrevistas programadas já foi realizada, e outras já estão programadas. Uma reunião foi organizada em São Paulo e estamos no processo de obter uma sólida compreensão das comunidades no Brasil. Neste ponto, ideias de possíveis estruturas e intervenções estão se configurando e o nosso foco futuro será manter o momentum e começar a testar, junto a comunidade, as possíveis futuras ações da WMF.

A situação encontrada no Brasil é complicada e não apresenta respostas óbvias. Três são as conclusões formuladas até o presente momento:

1. O crescimento da comunidade de editores encontra-se estagnado, e constatamos, inclusive, uma leve caída de alguns números, mas ainda não sabemos com exatidão o que isso significa. Esse fato pode ser somente parte do ciclo histórico de tal comunidade – compare, por exemplo, dados de 2007 a 2010 – ou uma questão conjuntural devido ao momento político do país (eleições presidenciais). Precisamos continuar investigando tal fato.

O que é claro é que padrões de comportamento de editores podem ser relacionados a padrões de saída da comunidade de editores. O surgimento de editores ou grupos de editores que concentram “poder” espelha a capacidade da comunidade definir ou mudar regras. Isso teve como conseqüência recente, por exemplo, a dificuldade da comunidade suportar o surgimento de editores que possam ou queiram exercer cargos com mandatos.

Grupos formam-se dentro de grupos e tais grupos discutem entre si, criando tensões na comunidade. Paralelamente constata-se uma falta de eficiência na comunicação formal da comunidade que acaba por optar, em muitos casos, por comunicação paralela não documentada. A percepção de “perda de poder” nesses grupos também pode estar ligada com o “exôdo” de grupos de editores.

1.a. A investigar: Como criar condições para o surgimento e desenvolvimento de um maior equilíbrio na comunidade? Seria recrutar indivíduos alienígenas a atual comunidade ou indivíduos não diretamente ligados as comunidades ou brigas de poder constatadas uma alternativa? Como encorajar o uso de canais formais de comunicação?


2. A resistência à formação de um capítulo brasileiro pode estar relacionada às percepções a tal modelo desenvolvidas pelos “indivíduos e personalidades” que fazem parte da comunidade de editores e da comunidade de Wikimedians, e que, em geral, não estão dispostos a liderar a formação da estrutura de capítulo. Entretanto, foi também constatada resistência a terceiros interessados em desenvolver o capitulo (por exemplo, resistência à iniciativa e liderança de pessoas consideradas “externas” aos grupos centrais).

2.a. A investigar: A possibilidade de encontrar uma parte neutra (na comunidade ou externa à comunidade) e trazê-la para iniciar o “capítulo”? Decidir por um modelo estrutural completamente novo e diferente ao do capítulo, como, por exemplo, a contratação de uma pessoa/time para prover suporte administrativo ou suporte a projetos da comunidade? Operar de forma direta por meio de iniciativas centralizadas da WMF como “Public Policy”, “Embaixadores”, “Mini-financiamentos”?

3. A WMF encontra-se em um momento oportuno para resolver tais questões e decidir quais seus próximos passos em relação ao Brasil. A comunidade sente que não recebe muita orientação e talvez alguma orientação não seja nem mesmo necessária. Entretanto um ponto comum nas entrevistas realizadas foi a abertura a intervenções vindas da WMF. Tais “intervenções” poderiam tomar a forma de atividades e programas que poderiam focar-se em aproximar a comunidade internamente para melhoria de seu funcionamento e para deixar algumas disputas de lado. Adicionalmente, as Tecnologias da Informação e Comunicação (TICs) estão expandindo rapidamente no Brasil, e programas governamentais estão suportando e incentivando tal expansão, e mesmo com tempo resquício, ainda temos oportunidades caso movamo-nos rapidamente e por meio de parcerias com atores e governo locais.

3.a. A investigar: lista de potenciais atividades, parcerias com instituições e atores locais com credibilidade, como governo, universidades, entidades da sociedade civil, etc..

Complete Version - English[edit]

Executive Summary[edit]

We are making good progress. Half of our interviews are complete, with more scheduled. We’ve held a stakeholder meeting in Sao Paulo, and we are developing a solid understanding of community. We are now at the point where some potential interventions are emerging, and the focus going forward should be to maintain momentum and begin testing the waters as to future WMF actions.

The Brazil situation turns out to be complicated with no “obvious” answers. Although it is tempting to draw strong conclusions from the early data, the situation isn’t simple enough to do so yet. There are three core takeaways from the early research:

1.The editor community growth has stagnated, and we see some decrease in growing rate, but we don’t know exactly what that means yet. It may just be cyclical – see 2007 data. We need to keep investigating.

What is clear is that group patterns of behavior in editing can be tied to group patterns of leaving editing. The emergence of groups of editors who gain “power” can set norms and rules that prevent the emergence of mandate-based roles. Groups within groups form and then fight among each other, creating tensions in the community, with lots of communication happening outside regular Wikipedia communications channels. Perceived “losses” in power struggles can lead to exodus of entire groups of editors.

1.a.To investigate: how do we create conditions for more balance to emerge? Recruit more individual editors outside the existing group tensions? Encourage use of the formal channels?

2.“Resistance” to WMF Brasil chapter may just be correlated to the kinds of people doing editing or that are part of the Wikimedians-Br community, who don’t want to do the work of running a chapter. However, there is resistance to letting others do it, even as people don’t want to do it (example of resistance to people “external” to the core groups involved attempting to start a chapter).

2.a. To investigate: find a neutral party (within or outside the community) and come in with them to start chapter? Decide for a complete different model, such as an “administrative/support” type of person that can manage supporting initiatives? Operate directly, in an initiative-based fashion (public policy, ambassadors, mini-grants?) from the WMF?

3.WMF is in an opportune moment to figure this out. The community feels like they do not have much guidance but a common theme of interviews was openness to the intervention of WMF. This could take the form of activities and programs that could help bring the community together for a greater good and leave some internal disputes behind. ICT is exploding in Brazil, and programs are being formatted and implemented by government, and while we do not have a lot of time to put activities in place, there is enough time if we move quickly, mainly through partnerships with local community, and stakeholders (government and private sector).

3.a. To investigate: list out potential activities, national partnerships with organizations with local credibility, potential partnerships with government, public policy initiatives, etc.

Community Profile[edit]

Diversity and Dispersion[edit]

The Brazilian community dedicated to Wikimedia projects is diverse and geographically varied. The cartographic image below does not portray all contributors, but provide an idea of how dispersed is the community (red dots).

See: Wikipedia: Cartografia dos Wikipedistas/Brasil

The community dynamic is impacted by the diversity (and sometimes the conflict) brought by other Portuguese-speaking communities, such as the Portuguese and, to a lesser extent, the Africans. The concentration of contributors mirrors the internet penetration within Brazil, and also its concentration within urban areas. It reflects areas where ICTs have been part of the lives of people for a long time when compared to the rest of the country.

Internal structure and communication[edit]

One observation on the community’s structure is related to the internal organization of the contributors in “sub-communities” which present low inter-sub-community communication or coordination. Rare exceptions are driven by those individuals who are part of two or more of these sub-communities, but even on those occasions it is clear the low engagement of a broader group of contributors.

The decrease, and in some cases, the lack of formalized (e.g. documented within a wiki, a public discussion list, and IRC conversation, etc) communication between contributors, and the use of one-to-one communication (such as email, MSN and skype) is also an emerging trend in Brazil and possibly related to the current state of the Brazilian community (fragmentation, increasing disputes, decreasing ethical behavior, etc). This represents a great challenge for our assessment, due to the “incompleteness” of information in regard to some events and the strong potential for miscommunication of private conversations to third parties.

There are two “macro” sub-community types, the “Wikimedias-Br” and the “project-focused” contributors.

I categorize the Wikimedians-Br as the “advocates” and “activists” of Wikimedia projects in Brazil. Some of its core members are also identified with related “movements” in Brazil, such as free-software, open educational resources, access to governmental information, access to knowledge and free culture.

A review of Wikimedia-Br wiki pages reveals that the same group of 5-10 individuals appears repeatedly over the last 3 years. They are present at the main meet-ups, capacity-building activities developed in Brazil to raise awareness of Wikimedia projects and goals, and the activities to provide general training on how to become a project contributor. This is the group driving the so-called “Mutirões” , which are specific and targeted activities focused on quick training and awareness-raising in regard to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, such as the Commons, and the general “internet collaboration and sharing” culture.

Additionally, other members of the Wikimedians-Br are those that joined the community more for academic reasons, mainly to “study” and “observe” the community and its dynamics. Many of these “stuck around” after achieving their personal academic goals, but maintain low participation and community involvement or initiative.

In parallel, and often quite separate, are the project-focused communities. These are composed of contributors that prefer to dedicate their time to write articles and participate, with a great variation of intensity (from no participation at all to an “almost every day” participation), in the community rule-setting process.

However, it is also interesting to observe that a core and small group of contributors (10 to 15) – who in general are project contributors and also part of the Wikimedia-Br community – are the ones driving the discussions that are under our focus within the BCP, such as how to engage and enlarge the community, to develop or not a chapter and so on.

This group has tried to engage, at different moments and with different communication strategies (announcements within all projects, IRC communication, mailing list, post within an user discussion page, etc), a broader participation of Wikipedians, in strategic community planning or discussions around “Mutirões” of Wikipedia editing, with a low rate of success. This has resulted in disappointment and demotivation. This issue, observed with our reviews of project pages and discussions, also appeared repeatedly within the interviews process.

Community “Crisis”[edit]

Disappointment and demotivation also appear within specific projects, such as Wikipedia – one of our foci during this first phase of the BCP. The result of such an environment can be seen within the Wikipedia-pt statistics, but also in the recent failed elections of “bureaucrats” and “checkusers” .

The general feeling of discontentment and demotivation also emerges from the contributors’ decreasing of the “good behavior”, which can sometime be observed in accusations of a lack of ethics, rudeness and an increasing focus on personal attacks rather than “problem solving”. Recent examples are the recent call for intervention from community member to Stewards in regard to users that were being blocked; the combats over articles quality or articles blockage and related “fairness” or “how strictly” rules for blocking articles are applied in Brazil in comparison to the Wikipedia-Eng. (this last one actually ended-up in the Brazilian media in November 2010 ) or the discussions around the meaning and necessity of respecting the open licenses that regulate Wikipedia content.

These feelings (added to personal issues) also reflect on the fact that the only Portuguese-speaking Steward expressed, in personal email to us, that he will leave his position soon and stop dedicating time to Wikipedia.

However, it is also true that, the review of discussions threads within the Wikipedia-pt pages, show us community attempts to improve the dialogue and also statements that “we should stay calm, since this also happens in many other Wikipedias”, pointing to personal observations that this “crisis” is normal and maybe cyclical, inherent to collaborative communities.

The discussion of chapter formation[edit]

As we know, “Wikimedia Brasil” does not have a membership system. Anyone is entitled to participate, propose and organize “Chapter-like” activities as long as they observe the Statement of Principles. As observed previously the “chapter-like” activities are organized under the name “Mutirões”. These “Mutirões” are organically born initiatives that vary immensely (e.g.: event organization; participation within the strategic planning; Wikipedia editing courses; improvement a certain category of articles within Wikipedia; foster a certain Wikimedia project, such as Wikibooks or the Commons; establishing certain partnerships focused on fostering a certain project – such as with museums to gather multimedia for the Commons).

The “Mutirões” are truly grass-roots initiatives with specific or regional impacts. It is challenging to evaluate the success of the “Mutirões” due to the incompleteness of documentation within the Wikimedia-Br wiki – wiki that hosts the proposed “Mutirões”. However, many times, it is clear that a “mutirão” represents the effort of “just one hero” or of “the same group of heros”.

The justifications for not having the chapter formally constituted focus on a couple of factors that emerged in the interviews. We present these below as “perceptions” since we believe that many of these can be deconstructed, in some extent, over time and with the support of the WMF and local “experts” or “partners”, or even with the establishment of a transitional period where local partners serve has hosts of a certain structural support for community efforts. The “truth” and “intensity” of such perceptions also vary based on the expertise, personality and professional background of the community member.

  • a perception that the “chapter” structure is not culturally adequate, and to force it “down the throat” would exhaust the community;
  • a perception that the country is so diverse and big that is hard to have a person or a group as an official representative of the community;
  • a perception that no one representative would be able to reach out to the whole community and support such community;
  • a perception that the needs of the projects are so different, that no one could be able to know and help all of them or at least that it is hard to set similar activities to foster community engagement within such a diversity of projects;
  • a perception that such representative could become an “oppressor” and take from the community opportunities of direct contact with the WMF or other stakeholders such as the media and possible partners. This seem to translate into a fear of losing independency and freedom of organic and spontaneous action;
  • a perception of an overwhelming complexity of developing a non-profit organization or legal structure that would house the local chapter;
  • a perception that such organization or representation would bring personal legal liability to the chapter or chapter “staff” due to the lack of regulatory clarity within the “Internet” field in Brazil;
  • a perception that it would be hard to raise funding locally due to the lack of a philanthropic culture in Brazil and uncertainty in regard to the role of WMF to raise funding for local events;
  • in contrast, a perception that grass-roots activities are low or zero cost activities, what creates a barrier to justify a chapter based on the necessity of funding for the community;
  • a perception of great dispersion of governmental actors, what contributes to create barriers to high impact activities;
  • a perception of low ICTs capabilities within the society, creating barriers for community engagement;
  • a perception of low acceptance of Wikimedia projects due to its quality and legitimacy (e.g. the low formal acceptance of Wikipedia as a “academic source”), what contributes to create barriers to high impact activities.

Community Interviews summary[edit]

General interview justification and structure[edit]

In order to reach out to a broader community, assessing the national trends beyond those presented by testimonials of the traditional Brazil-WMF interlocutors (a small number of contributors who are English-speakers, which have participated in international meet-ups and who, in general, are part of the “Wikimedians-Br”) and to investigate further issues covered in the previous sections, such as the chapter related “perceptions” and “community crisis” mentioned above, we developed a series of qualitative interviews.

We targeted 30-40 total interviews over the life of the project, of which 14 are complete and 5 more scheduled in the next couple of weeks. This puts us at the halfway point of the most complex part of the outreach after two months. The interviews are done by skype or over the phone, and vary from 1 to 2 hours of duration, with exception of a few that were done by email.

Before performing such interviews, we also reviewed some bibliography and community interviews within Brazil in past years. The bibliography review and the information we could find at the MetaWiki and through WMF staff people were inspirational sources for a fixed set of questions that we developed and submitted to community review. However, the dynamic of the interviews varied and, in many cases, the conversation flowed freely rather than adhering to structure. We adopted this strategy in order to allow the most important issues from the contributor point of view to emerge.

The level of interviewee knowledge about certain topics was varied. For example, there were a couple of interviewees that have never heard about the discussions around chapter formation. These contributors, however, are featured Wikipedia-pt editors, which shows, for instance, not lack of interest in such topics in general, but exclusive project-focus willingness of engagement. However, other cases show clear lack of interest in such “meta” issues.

After these initial interviews we decided to take a step back and evaluate the results obtained so far, plus spend some time doing research on the issues elucidated during the interviews. This also helps to put us back in a neutral stand point of view, so as not to transport “biased” assumptions from one interview to another, and contaminate the answers with our own personal conclusions.

Key emerged topics and trends[edit]

Below, we lay out a summary of the main topics and trends that appeared within the interviews. We also present potential next steps for the WMF or activities based on personal and interviews suggestions. These “next steps” are ideas, placeholders, and sparks for further internal and community based brainstorming rather than polished proposals for action.

  • Distinction among “sub-communities”, e.g. Wikimedians x Wikipedias;
    • Summary of interviews: For all the interviewees there are clear distinctions among those contributors that act under the label “Wikimedians” and those who act under the project labels, such as “Wikipedias”. This diversity of communities reflect on how strong certain perceptions occur, in regard, for example, chapter formation (see item “II.c” above) or in regard to the community’s capacity to implement initiatives focused on community growth (some Wikipedians expressed the concern that there might not be “enough” Wikipedians to deal with newcomers originated from initiatives of Wikimedians or initiatives driven by the WMF). It also creates legitimacy problems to have Wikimedians as “representatives” of all sub-communities or having them speaking to the media and partners about Wikimedia projects. However, it does not seem from the interviews that any “real” conflict exists among such communities. Instead, as mentioned above, there is actually little communication among such sub-communities. (It is true, however, that some Wikimedians try to reach out to Wikipedians looking for engagement in “meta” discussions and activities).
    • Potential next steps for WMF: Clarify community roles and communicate those to the community and the public in general. Generate different system of incentives and awards based on such differences. Suggest ways of, or focus in actions of, improving communication channels among sub-communities.
  • Increasing “bureaucratization” of the community and installation of process to review Wikipedia-pt rules;
    • Summary of interviews: Some interviewees noted the increased bureaucratization of the Wikimedia projects over the years, dividing the history of such projects in Brazil in two historical moments. The first from 2000 until 2005 when the community activities were marked by extreme freedom and 2005 up to now, where an increased number and complexity of rules and process were put in place. And, as pointed in item II.b.1 above, many of those rules and processes are, as we write this report, under review.
    • Potential next steps for WMF: Probably just wait and observe the community process of “fixing by themselves”. As a long term initiative, and as asked by some, possibly verify if any previous country or if the WMF performed such intense community rules review and build a directory for future community reference and best practices – if such initiative is part of the Global team “responsibilities”.
  • Community crisis and actions to foster better community internal understanding;
    • Summary of interviews: In relation to this topic, the interviews served as a guide for understanding and assessing the major issues around the current crisis (see II.b.1 above). What many of the interviewees questioned is if the WMF should step-in in any sense. Specifically, an issue discussed and that we will explore with more detail in the next item is the development of specific activities driven by the WMF in Brazil, such as the Public Policy initiative or similar ones. This type of initiative could drive community energy to specific goals and targets and away of a conflicted environment. Finally, another proposal was the creation of some type of mechanism that would develop some type of retention or recycling system for those editors who plan to leave Wikipedia from frustration or lack of patience in regard to the internal conflicts.
    • Potential next steps for WMF: Clarify the role of the WMF in regard to the community; provide direct channels of communication with the WMF; develop or support/value clearly project specific initiatives etc.
  • Actions to foster community growth and types of desirable partners;
    • Summary of interviews: All interviewees welcomed initiatives to foster community growth. However, some Wikipedians expressed concern in regard to the capability of the existing community to absorb newcomers. The main suggestions here were related to the support to partnership with community of experts that could contribute to reach the “high hanging fruits” – Wikipedia articles and categories that ask higher degree of knowledge or expertise – or with local communities to reach “regional relevant hanging fruits” – Wikipedia articles and categories that require a higher degree of knowledge of regional issues in order to value and attract a broader diversity to Wikipedia-pt.
    • Some ideas discussed were: (i) partnerships with Universities through public-policy or ambassador-like initiatives; (ii) “Caravans” to remote areas or areas with low number of contributors to provide local training on how to become an editor; (iii) expansion of the current Wikipedia “Tutors” program through a system of incentives and “training the trainer” methodology. Additionally, interviewees also mentioned the necessity of closing the gap between Wikipedia and the “real world”- in this sense the necessity was raised of a broader institutional participation of WMF within national relevant conferences and partnership with programs of digital inclusion within not just Universities, but also schools (k-12 equivalent), as a way of identifying target areas and which “type of knowledge” is in need within the Brazilian society. In this regard, actions such as distribution of DVDs with a Wikipedia version and edition tools and related offline initiatives are welcomed (two examples of country-based initiatives were mentioned: India and Peru). Finally, an interesting suggestion was the organization of activities focused on the youth who are part of Wikipedia, having the WMF recognizing their contributions and its present and future value.
    • Potential next steps for WMF: Investigate further the potential expansion of such initiatives to countries such as Brazil, involve local people in the current WMF discussions and planning of such initiatives, legitimate in some kind of public fashion Brazilian contributors to initiate and lead local version of such initiatives, and, if possible, provide grants for community elected relevant projects (see more on this last item under the “chapter formation and alternative models” topic below), investigate direct partnerships between the WMF and Brazilian institutions such as public libraries and museums to donate multimedia and articles to be worked by the Brazilian community.
  • The capacity that the WMF, the media, etc has to give value and recognize/applaud other events beyond the increase in number of Wikipedia editors or articles;
    • Summary of interviews: A complaint that appeared, in general, from those interviewees that are part of the Wikimedians-Br sub-community, is the lack of a clear incentive and recognition system for other activities that are not immediately focused on the “Wikipedia-pair” of “increasing editors/increasing articles”. This is also related to the lack of any formal methods for direct affiliation with the WMF which could provide legitimacy to regional initiatives or for volunteers to face the media.
    • Potential next steps for WMF: Develop some type of recognition or incentive system. Clarify to the public in general the role and “capacity” of volunteers. Have some system of “community-based-initiative” review.
  • Chapter formation and alternative models;
    • Summary of interviews: This summary should be read having item II.c above in mind. The focus of this part of the interviewees was to understand, first hand, what are the difficulties and barriers to a chapter formation in Brazil. The different grades of relevance of the “perceptions” mentioned within item II.c was evaluated and there is a clear lack of consensus in regard to what is the “real” problem, if any. However, it is also clear that the current community is not in favor of a formal chapter structure and is not moving in such direction at all. In some cases, mainly within Wikipedians, there is a real lack of knowledge or participation within the chapter discussion process. In parallel to the chapter formation some alternative models were discussed with those who clearly had spent some time thinking of such issue:
      • (i) Keep the “Mutirões” format (the preferred solution by now)
      • (ii) Have the WMF form local partnerships with established institutions and in different regions of the country legitimating those to develop local initiatives, use the trademark, close certain deals, etc. Two partners appeared repeatedly within this category: the House of Digital Culture (Sao Paulo) and the Brazilian Society of Knowledge Management (Brasilia);
      • (iii) Establish a grant-making process to which the community could apply directly or the donation of a certain amount of funding for the Brazilian community (which would be administrated by the WMF) and the establishment of a grant-making process supported by community-based election of priorities.
      • (iv) Have a WMF representative – who does not need to be in Brazil, but should visit Brazil – propose and discuss with the community some type of decision making process to assist the community elect priorities. This type of model would be assisted by a community based and elected “advisory board”;
      • (v) A direct hire by the WMF of an official WMF representative – this proposal have many variations and implications in regard to the grade of involvement and interaction between the community and such representative and the type of person to be hired (internal or external to the community). This representative can vary from an “administrative only”, “secretary” type person to a local “CEO”. The models closer to pure administrative and actually technical support are the most welcomed. In any of its possible formats this person would be assisted and/or guided by a community based and elected “advisor board”
      • (vi) The reproduction of the “Chapter” structure (see II.c)
    • Potential next steps for WMF: Support a country wide discussion in regard to chapter formation; decide if to legitimate and support wide discussion in regard to “alternative” structural models and how much bandwidth the WMF has to dedicate to those. Develop a directory of best practices and experiences in regard to chapter formation and models.
  • The role of WMF, and the necessity of more personal contact and less “structure”
    • Summary of interviews: In addition to issues pointed under the topics above, there is a constant criticism from the interviewees in regard to the difficulties of direct communication between the community with the WMF, due, in great part, to the lack of Portuguese speaking representatives within WMF, specifically within the technical team and the high hierarchy of dispute settlement process (Stewards).
    • Potential next steps for WMF: Internal diversity, offer training for local developers…

Brazil General ICT Landscape[edit]

Brazil ICT penetration Overview[edit]

For a country with large social and economic disparities, Brazil has made significant gains in expanding internet access and mobile-telephone usage in recent years. It is now home to the largest population of internet users in Latin America and the fifth largest in the world. The country first connected to the internet in the late 1980s, and connectivity is now available in most areas through a variety of technologies, though some infrastructural limitations remain.

General Data on Internet Access in Brazil[edit]

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Brazil had 72 million internet users as of December 2009, accounting for 36.2 percent of the population. However, penetration varies greatly among regions due to a lack of infrastructure that affects large segments of the population in rural areas (IBGE Synthesis of 2008 Indicators). For instance, while the household penetration rate is 31.5 percent in the southeast, it is only 10.6 percent in the north. In addition, the cost of broadband access is prohibitively expensive for many Brazilians, amounting to about 5 percent of per capita income (Comunicados do Ipea No. 46). Broadband access is increasing as prices fall, reaching 7 percent of the population in 2009.

Great improvements have been made in recent years as the government has initiated dozens of programs to connect the population to the internet, including investment in WiMax networks (mainly 3,5 GHz), Digital Cities projects, and a series of regional projects focused on media literacy and digital inclusion. Many of these programs employ broadband technology, and in 2010 the government launched the National Broadband Plan, which aims to triple broadband access by 2014 (Br Ministry of Communications, 2010). Internet access has also been boosted by a proliferation of privately owned “LAN (local area network) houses,” in which small entrepreneurs have purchased multiple computers via a government loan program, then offered access at reasonable prices for users. In many regions, these sites have become the primary means of internet access. Research published by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee in 2008 showed that nearly 80 percent of the people from the lowest income brackets who access the internet do so via commercial venues such as LAN houses, a dramatic increase from 48.08 percent in 2006.

Brazil is currently the largest mobile-phone market in Latin America, and penetration is rapidly increasing. Statistics show an average annual increase of 18 percent in the rate of mobile-phone use over the last five years, with approximately 174 million mobile phones in use by December 2009. (Teleco, 2010)

Future Trends[edit]

Studies forecasting broadband in Brazil by 2020 have concluded that there will be large increase of penetration due to the reduction of costs of computers and connections. The two most important benefits coming from increased broadband are the improvement of professional productivity and of quality of life[1] . (Wright, Silva and Spers 2010) Booz and Company (2009) noted that the increase of broadband penetration began as early as 2001, and that by December of 2008 it was already 5.2% per 100 inhabitants.

To cultivate this growth, the Brazilian government adopted a National Broadband Plan (2009). The definition of broadband in the NBP is broad, and is related to the capacity of Internet and Mobile users, at their homes or companies, to access and use services and multimedia applications with quality. Under this expansive concept a group of technologies is accepted as broadband - if the technology provides a "quality" connection. Thus, the plan does not distinguish or prioritize broadband technologies: DSL, cable, optical fiber, WLAN, 3G/UMTS, PCL, FWA, satellite and WiMax.

However, according to Wright, Silva and Spers (2010), cable and WiMAX technologies will be the top two technologies by 2020 and broadband penetration will be on the order of 99% for the Brazilian Economic Class "A", 90% for class "B" and 60% for class "C". Cellphone connections will also rise with the increasing adoption of 3G and 4G technologies, and internet connection through this technology will be mainly seen in representatives of class "C".

Internet Access in Schools[edit]

Specifically regarding the use of ICTs and access to internet in schools, 40,000 schools have computer labs and almost 20,000 have broadband connections. The governmental plan is to connect, by 2010, all urban schools in Brazil (~55,000), while the remaining public schools in rural area (~87,000) are to be connected by 2018. The fulfillment of such a policy is conditioned on the accomplishment of universal access obligations assigned to telecommunications companies in Brazil and provision of computers through programs lead by MEC.

Ritla’s 2007 study Pencil, Eraser and Keyboard (Lapis, Borracha e Teclado) also notes that the availability of Internet access in public spaces, such as school or hot spots of digital inclusion, reinforces the divide that is observed in the rates of access to Internet from private spaces, such as homes. The study calls for plans that prioritize the access for sectors excluded from Internet - democratization of access – rather than the reinforcement of the economic divide via Internet access points. The fear is that the wealthy will be able to use the network ubiquitously but the poor only at school or other public spaces. However, it is important to recognize here that this pattern is probably partially explained by the broadband network reach provided by the telecom companies and also the high costs of other kinds of access, such as satellite for rural areas.

Ritla’s 2007 study, based on the PNAD data, found that in 2005 Brazil had 3,200,000 teachers. More than half (54%) had used the Internet in the 3 months before the census was done. However, the internal divide is enormous when comparing internet use of professors of higher education (93%) with the rest of the sample (29.4%). Also, regional variances are high: while 65% of educators from the south and southeast used the Internet, just 35% used in the north and northeast. 48% of Brazilian educators have computers in their homes, while 37% have Internet connectivity. The three main reasons that educators use Internet are: activities related to education, communication and reading of news.

Governmental Programs to provide Computers and Internet access[edit]

A series of National Initiatives are under developed in parallel to improve the country broadband infrastructure and access. Among those, there are three that caught our immediate attention: the “One laptop per Student” (proUCA - Programa Um computadore por Aluno), the “Computers for All” (Programa Computador para Todos) and the “Laptops for Teachers” (Programa Computador Portatil para Professores).

A more detailed analysis of these programs – which core goal is to provide free or cheap access to computers – will be provided in the next project report. An interesting fact is that many of these initiatives come with digital literacies strategies and programs lead by the government or its partners. Thus the deeper analysis of such initiatives will be focused on identifying the actors (government, foundations and private sector) involved and their roles. This analysis aims to identify opportunities for future partnerships or programs that the WMF could be involved with or could support the Brazilian community to get involved with.

Mobile Landscape in Brazil[edit]

2008* 2009* 2010
Internet
Internet users (million) 50.2* 60 75.9*
Penetration rate 28.7% 30.7% 37.8 %**
Annual change 12% 20%
Broadband
Total subscribers (million) 10.01 11.45
Penetration rate 5.2% 5.9%
Annual change 30% 14%
Fixed-lines in service
Total subscribers (million) 41.02 42.5
Penetration rate 21.2% 21.2%
Annual change 30% 14%
Mobile telephony subscribers
Total subscribers (million) 150.64 173.20
Penetration rate 78% 88.5% 104%
Annual change 25% 15%

(Source: *BuddeComm based on industry data, **[1] and ***[2])

Introduction[edit]

Mobile communication is deeply transforming economic and social activities in Brazil: from the street hot dog vendor who can offer phone delivery services to the freelance professional who has a mobile office. Several roles in the informal economy were born from the advent of mobile, which have become a significant portion of the Brazilian economy.

As of the Q410, there are 203 million of cellphones in Brazil, which represents a density of 104% of cellphone penetration – more mobile phones than there are people. 82.34% of these phones are pre-paid, being GSM the predominant technology (87.76% of cellphones)[3]. The country’s total telecom revenue was U$49.5bn in 2009, down U$6.3bn from 2008. Market experts project revenue grow at a CAGR of 5.9% through 2014, fueled by expansion in mobile data services and broadband Internet access.

Such numbers make Brazil the largest market in Latin America and the region’s leading investment destination for international operators and device and network suppliers. Brazil is home to almost one third of all mobile subscribers in Latin America, and the country’s mobile penetration is about average for the region, but varies considerably from state to state. Number portability is helping to increase competition in an already highly competitive market.

Voice was an essential element in the beginning of mobile communication in Brazil, as it enabled a new means of communication between different areas in a city (and given the traffic in Brazilian cities, this was a huge step, allowing conversations during traffic and away from home). However, text messages, or SMS, have rapidly become the new language of this technology, influencing new generations. With the onset of audio, video and photo sharing services, other means of communication arise from these possibilities. Access to the Internet becomes the next channel promoting the expansion of mobile communication in the coun¬try, as telephony networks expand and costs drop, due to the increasing number of users. (Survey on the use of Information and Communication Technologies in Brazil 2005 – 2009)

Specifically, 3G technology (mobile broadband) was widely launched in Brazil in 2008 and is rapidly expanding. All capitals and main urban centers have access to the technology and, by means of an agreement with the National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL), mobile telephony companies must extend coverage to the whole country by 2014.

There are 18.9 million [4] 3G cellphones in Brazil as of December 2010. In terms of revenue, 3G reached U$4.3bn in 2009 and market analysts foresee revenues tripling to U$12.7bn in 2014. The mobile sector as a whole will continue growing thanks to an 11-point advance in mobile penetration of the population.[5]

To provide some international context, Brazil is projected to one of the fastest growing smartphones markets over the next five years with a CAGR of 43 percent. This places Brazil second, in front of India, Turkey, and Nigeria (with CAGRs of 39 percent, 37 percent, and 34 percent respectively) and behind only China. Latin America will be the fastest growing region at a compound annual growth rate of 48 percent, followed by Africa and the Middle East with a 39 percent CAGR. [6]

With the country’s economic recovery from the global recession well under way, the spending power of Brazilian consumers is on the rise. As in the rest of the world, fixed-mobile substitution is a prominent phenomenon in Brazil, with an increasing proportion of the population using mobile rather than conventional telephones. Thus, demand should remain strong for telecom services, especially broadband and mobile telephony. Brazil’s regulator Anatel has an ambitious agenda to overhaul the country’s regulatory framework to facilitate that process.

Demand for broadband in Brazil is expected to soar. Broadband operators have been struggling to keep up, and there have been problems of system overload. The government has plans to spread broadband across the vast country in one of the world’s largest infrastructure projects. Two major factors have inhibited the growth of broadband in Brazil: shortage of fixed-line infrastructure, and broadband prices. On the other hand, the growth of mobile broadband in Brazil has been nothing short of spectacular, attracting more than four million subscribers. [7]

Specifically in regard to mobile broadband, there are three factors that need to change in order to allow growth: better and cheaper 3G connections, the market entry of smartphone devices, and better content and “killer” applications. However, an interesting “social response” to the lack of 3G infrastructure is the use of open WiFi. A study by AdMo (Google) found that 56% of mobile internet navigation come from WiFi use and not from the operator’s networks. Much of such use is actually not “legal” and is known as “gato digital” – a great example of user-driven innovation, but one that complicates matters in terms of predicting usage on operator networks. The number of mobile page views of the most viewed internet websites is still very low, representing 0.001% of the internet page views of such sites. WAP [8] remains the biggest data technology in use, but this will change with the growth of 3G and the introduction of faster, cheaper smartphones.[9]

Market[edit]

BrMobileMarkshare.gif
Source: Operators market share in Brazil. [10]


BrGrowthMobiles.gif
Source: Number of Cellphones in millions in Brazil. [11]


Carriers and their market share[edit]

VIVO Market Share Cellphones
Region/State Nov 2010 Nov 2010
SP 34,3% 16.942
RJ/ES 39,4% 8.468
MG 33,9% 6.73
PR/SC 22,1% 3.875
RS 43,0% 5.152
Centro Oeste 31,7% 6.602
BA/SE 29,8% 4.229
Nordeste 5,9% 1.671
Norte 37,6% 5.188

Source: Vivo

CLARO Market Share Cellphones
Region/State Nov 2010 Nov 2010
SP 28.8% 14.227
RJ/ES 28.6% 6.146
MG 13.8% 2.736
PR/SC 20.2% 3.535
RS 32.1% 3.845
Centro Oeste 34.1% 7.103
BA/SE 27.9% 3.951
Nordeste 28.1% 8.001
Norte 6.7% 920

Source:Claro

TIM Market Share Cellphones
Region/State Nov 2010 Nov 2010
SP 22.9% 11.313
RJ/ES 15% 3.227
MG 24% 4.768
PR/SC 43.4% 7.601
RS 13.3% 1.594
Centro Oeste 15.8% 3.301
BA/SE 20.5% 2.907
Nordeste 34.5% 9.820
Norte 33.9% 4.676

Source:TIM

OI Market Share Cellphones
Region/State Nov 2010 Nov 2010
SP 13.8% 6.819
RJ/ES 17.1% 3.677
MG 26.6% 6.73
PR/SC 18.8% 2.423
RS 11.6% 1.385
Centro Oeste 18.3% 3.819
BA/SE 21.8% 3.089
Nordeste 31.5% 8.951
Norte 21.9% 3.030

Source: OI,

Brazil is a very competitive market, with 7 major operators. 4 of those control more that 95% of the market: Vivo (controlled by: Telefonica and Portugal Telecom), Claro (Controlled by: America Movil), Tim (controlled by Telecom Italia) and Oi (controlled by Telemar). For an interactive map representing the regions and bands of operators check “Teleco Interactive Map” [12]

As the statistics above show, Vivo is first based on the total of products and services it provides. However, when we observe mobile Internet numbers (see below), Claro appears as an important competitor (although they offer WDCMA technology, while Vivo offers modem technology). Thus they serve very different sectors and niches.

Technologies: Devices and Operating Systems[edit]

The main mobile phone technology in Brazil is GSM. Nokia, Samsung, LG and Motorola are the biggest device providers in Brazil. However, with the improvement of 3G technology and possibly the entry of 4G, we can observe an expansion of sales of iPhones (Apple) and BlackBerrys (RIM) in Brazil. Currently, 1 in every 5 cell phones sold in the world are smartphones. RIM announced in 2010 that it will start producing BlackBerrys in Brazil – the first model which will be nationally produced will be the BlackBerry Curve 8520. For a complete list of approved devices in Brazil see [13]


Top handsets for November 2010

1 Sony Ericsson W800
2 Nokia 5130 XpressMusic
3 Nokia 2220s
4 Nokia 7020
5 Nokia C3
6 LG GT360
7 Nokia 5310 XpressMusic
8 Nokia 2690
9 Apple iPhone
10 Nokia X3

Source: Opera, State of the Mobile Report


BrMobileTecs.gif

Mobile Internet and Mobile Data[edit]

Brazilian mobile subscribers with access to data communication (Internet) in broadband (speeds > 256 kbit/s – one or two ways) uses typically 3G and 3.5G technologies such as WCDMA, HSPA, WIMAX or EV‐DO. Mobile broadband connection is available for 65.2% of the population and in 13.3% of the cities.

Brazilian mobile broadband received 13.9 million accesses in Q2T10; 3.5 million of those were with modems. Data revenue represents around 16% of the operators’ revenue in Brazil and is increasing quickly: 37% in 12 months and 10% in the last quarter. The trend of fall in voice revenue means that data services become an important revenue source and focus for carriers.

Technologies: 3G and 4G[edit]

As of December 2010, 3G cellphones in Brazil represented 9.3% of all existing cellphones. [14] From the WDCMA technology market (14.6 million devices) [15] Claro leads with 46.72% of market share, followed by Vivo with 28.95%. [16]. In the modem technology (data terminals with velocity > 256kbit/s, representing 4 million devices), Vivo leads the market with 46.72% followed by TIM with 29.11% and Claro with 23.85%. [17] Ericsson is the leading 3G mobile core broadband network provider for the Brazilian operators. Nokia-Siemens and Huawei are also in the market.

Brazil’s regulator Anatel has an agenda to overhaul the country’s regulatory framework. Known as the General Plan for Updating Telecom Regulations, or PGR, the plan includes lists of actions to be carried out in the short, medium, and long term. Among others, there are plans to develop Open Networks in the country through local loop unbundling and through structural or functional separation regulations.

The regulator planned several public consultations and new spectrum auctions for 2010, involving, among others, frequencies relinquished by Oi (Band A), spectrum never allocated (Bands D and E), the last remaining 3G license (Band H), spectrum in lower frequencies such as 450MHz-470MHz, and spectrum for mobile operators in the 2.5GHz band. Nextel was the main purchaser of Band H and represents a new competitor in the Brazilian 3G market. [18]

The demand for mobile broadband and the success of 3G in Brazil augurs well for Long-term Evolution (LTE), also known as 4G mobile. The 2.5GHz frequency band to be auctioned in 2010 could be used for LTE. Telefónica is conducting LTE field tests in Brazil, and the country’s four major mobile operators (Vivo, Claro, TIM Brasil, and Oi) may be ready to launch LTE services commercially by end-2012. [19] For instance, Vivo intends to expand the reach of its 3G network to 51% of the brazilian cities by 2011 and Nextel will also enter the 3G market. [20]. The forecast is that the expansion of the carrier’s 3G networks will allow the expansion of the smartphones and tables market.

The expansion of 3G mobile broadband access represents an important step toward the inclusion of the population in digital communication, as it also provides coverage to areas where broadband access is not otherwise viable. The demand for modems to connect laptops to the 3G network was so high in 2008-2009 that supplies were exhausted, which vividly demonstrates the need for mobile broadband.

Price[edit]

Brazil has one of the most competitive mobile markets in Latin America, but it is constantly criticized by international studies in terms of high prices of its services. However, the opinion of national experts is that, actually, those prices are not that high if you take into consideration the prices are for a series of bundle services (“service packages”). [21]

The average monthly spent with cellphone services in Brazil (ARPU plus taxes) is R$ 34.70 (approximately, U$ 16). The current trend is the decrease of price per minute, which has allowed the increase of minutes from an average of 88 to 113 (3QT9 > 3QT10).

In Brazil, the prices of mobile broadband are higher than the prices charged in Latin America and Europe. Prices are affected by tax and network scale, especially because of the capacity of transmission networks. Mobile operators are abandoning service plans by speed, and the price of 3G devices is still a barrier. The prices are stable, but the minimum price for modem reached R$ 170.00 in Q210. [22]

Smartphones are rapidly gaining popularity in Brazil as recent price reductions have made these devices more accessible to people of all economic levels. Sales of smartphones were up 128% in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, and up 17% versus the first half of 2008, the period prior to the global recession. The volume of handsets sold increased by 31%. Overall, smartphones make up about 10% of mobile phones owned in Brazil. The average price of smartphones dropped 2% in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2009 and by 5% versus 2008.

Users Profile and Behavior[edit]

The example set by Brazil is unique because it has similar characteristics to those perceived in Africa, where the lack of fixed telephony also forced countries to go straight into mobile technology, but, at the same time, technologies are used in ways comparable to the most advanced urban centers of developed countries. The millions of Brazilian users are rapidly migrating from voice services to a diversity of data services and these are in turn transforming the way business and entertainment are done.

Here are just a few examples of how mobile telephony is rewiring the way Brazilians live:

  • Farmers from the state of Paraná receive frost forecasts on their mobile phones, which enable them to prepare in advance to protect their crops.
  • During carnival, tourists in Salvador use their mobile phones to track the activities taking place in the parade circuits.
  • Parents of students in Rio de Janeiro receive messages on their mobile phones when their children are having attendance problems.
  • Policemen from the state of Pará check details of suspicious vehicles by typing their license plate number into mobile phones.
  • Native Brazilians from the state of Bahia use their mobile phones to determine seawater conditions for oyster farming (Eduardo Diniz, 2009) Survey on the use of Information and Communication Technologies in Brazil

MobileUseBr.gif

The dissemination of mobile phones was particularly surprising among the lower-income population in the country. A large part of its success is due to the use of pre-paid plans, which enable devices to receive calls at no cost and account for 80% of all devices. Charging only the caller was a good strategic decision towards extending mobile phone access to lower income populations. This enabled classes C and D to receive calls even when they could not afford credits. (Eduardo Diniz, 2009) Survey on the use of Information and Communication Technologies in Brazil

The Survey on the Use of ICTs in Brazil, by the Center of Studies on Information and Communication Technologies, collected data between September and November 2009 on the penetration and use of the Internet, and includes a special section in the penetration and use of Cellphones. It also has the advantage of separating data by region, sex, education, age and social class. For the complete survey see [23]

In Brazil, 75% of the population used a cellphone during the 3 months sampled, the clear majority (78%) from urban areas. 90% of those cellphones were pre-paid, and 35% allowed Internet access. These numbers represent the country average, but it is interesting to notice that they may vary a lot by region, age or social class, for example.

For instance, 41% of the cellphones from the southeast region allow internet access, while just 23% in the northeast do the same. 54% are in the hands of people with college or post-college education. 50% of cellphones in the hands of people between age 16 and 24 allow Internet, compared to 43% of those in the hands of people between 25 and 34. Finally, 60% of phones in the hands of the richest (class A) have Internet access.

Those users with mobile internet use the cellphone for a variety of activities, like making or receiving calls – 99%, sending or receiving SMS – 58%, accessing music (which does not include ringtones) – 25%, sending or receiving files and images – 24%, and accessing the Internet – 5%. Thus, it is clear that communication, and not mobile internet, is the main activity characterizing the profile of the mobile owner in Brazil.

A survey done by Nielsen Mobile of 5000 people in 2008 notes that the sites that received more access were those providing emails, followed by sites that provide music (27%), entertainment (25%), games (18%), films (12%) and political news (12%). The 2010 version of this survey reaffirm that cellphones are still mostly used as communication medium in Brazil, and this is also true for the youth. 60% of Brazilians between 15 and 24 years-old just use the cellphone for calls and messaging (sms), a very different situation in comparison to countries like USA, where 83% from this young population use the cellphone to access internet, email, download games, music and ringtones. Such difference is probably correlated to the fact that the majority of Brazilian phones, even those in the hands of the richest, are still prepaid (around 90%), while in the USA this number is approximately 24%.[24]


Snapshot: Brazil

  • Page-view growth since November 2009: 1535.9 %
  • Unique-user growth since November 2009: 575.6 %
  • Data transfer growth since November 2009: 1181.5 %
  • Page views per user: 363
  • Data transferred per user (MB): 7
  • Data transferred per page view (KB): 19

Top 10 Mobile Sites in Brazil (Nov 2010)

1 Google
2 Orkut
3 Live.com
4 youtube.com
5 Globo.com
6 Twitter.com
7 Msn.com
8 Facebook
9 Uol.com(-)
10 4shared.com

Source: Opera, State of the Mobile Report


Almost all of this data change with the expected growth of smartphones in the Brazilian market which offer a wider variety of functions than existing phone stock. Nielsen Mobile 2010 survey respondents said that cameras, FM tuners and MP3 players were the most sought after features. Sales of phones featuring cameras increased 33% in the first half of the year, while those featuring FM tuners jumped 76%. Sales of phones featuring MP3 players grew 74%, while those with GPS products went up 52%. Looking to the future, smartphones featuring digital TV – which currently account for 2% of the category’s sales – will be the goal for many Brazilian consumers. More than 50% said that they intend to have such a feature on their next mobile handset. [25]