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Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Track D/Process/RFP

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Request for Proposal: Researching Existing and New Readers For Wikipedia[edit]

We are: The Wikimedia Foundation - the nonprofit that supports Wikimedia projects around the world, including Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wiktionary, and more.

Overall research goal: Learn how do people in emerging markets seek and gain information, what kind of technology do they use (if any) in this process, and what is their access to information sources.

Overall strategic question: How can Wikipedia better serve and empower new readers in emerging markets?

Related questions[edit]

  • How are people accessing and using information for information seeking online?
  • What kind of technology (hardware and software) are people using to learn with?
  • What kind of access do people have to the internet? (frequency / speed)
  • What information is most valued?
  • What information is most difficult to access?
  • What do people search for but can not find or have difficulty finding?
  • Do people use Wikipedia for learning? If so, in what context, and for what reasons?
  • Wikipedia brand; how aware are people of the brand and what sits behind it?
  • If people are aware of Wikipedia, what do they turn to it for? or why don’t they turn to it?

Markets to Research[edit]

  1. Brazil
  2. Indonesia
  3. Egypt


All fieldwork must be complete by May 1st,  2017

In-market fieldwork should be sprints of 2-3 weeks

Preferred approach[edit]


Contextual inquiry / deep dive. Semi-structured ethnographic interviews in people’s homes.  Should be iteratively consistent with Nigeria and India Research (July 2016) undertaken by Wikimedia Foundation staff in partnership with Reboot.

Partner agency leads:[edit]

  • Preparation for research, consultation of Foundation stakeholders, project design
  • In-market research logistics, participant recruiting, scheduling, reporting, and fieldwork
  • Development of User Personas, User Journeys, and Briefing Notes on user insights
  • Development of relevant research materials in local languages
  • Pre-training of local field team conducting research
  • Pre-approval of interview locations and participants (if needed)

Wikimedia Foundation leads:[edit]

  • Overall research priorities, methodological consistency, research participants approval
  • Assemble Wikimedia team that will participate in fieldwork and designing research
  • Communication across organization and movement

Other considerations[edit]

  • Four previous research projects have been done to date:
    • South Africa - Summer 2015
    • Mexico - Winter 2016
    • Nigeria -  Spring 2016
    • India - Summer 2016
  • Consistency of research project will be managed by our Design Research Lead who led our Mexico, Nigeria and India research projects.
  • Collaboration with partner agency to iterate our contextual inquiry method toward a repeatable process for foundation staff to implement in future.
  • Team has built a set of questions to understand the following themes: 1) General information seeking and learning; 2) Internet usage, web and mobile; 3) Online information behaviours; 4) Awareness of Wikipedia; 5) Use of Wikipedia. These themes were used in the Nigeria and India research projects and should be integrated in this research effort to reflect common insight architecture.

Request for Proposal (by 5 PM PST on February/28)[edit]

  • 2 pages proposal for estimated budget for full project (XX weeks research in [country] plus setup and reporting outputs) and project summary (staffing plan, timeline for research)
  • Availability for a 30 min screening call
  • Examples of prior work
  • References
  • Email for proposals: globalreach@wikimedia.org