Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Strategy Salons/Reports/Egypt Wikimedians UG and Wikimedia España
- 1 Date and location
- 2 Participant List
- 3 What happened
- 4 Summary of the discussion points
- 5 Reflections from participants or partners
- 5.1 Diversity
- 5.2 Safe space environment, policies and decision-making processes
- 5.3 Legal and social barriers
- 5.4 Support
- 5.5 Paid contribution
- 5.6 Partnerships
- 6 Photographs or videos
- 7 Statement on your budget
Date and location
Diversity is one of the topics that WMEG decided to discuss together with Partnership. These two topics are essential between the masses of communities and aren't limited to a specific language.
We hosted two Strategy Salons: One in Granada, Spain on June 22, 2019 and another in Cairo, Egypt on July 23, 2019.
Summary of the discussion points
In the Diversity section, We discussed gaps for the minorities and the underrepresented groups within the scope of racism, language and sexism. We tried to discuss solutions to increase awareness and put outcomes for safe space policies, environment and decision making processes. We try to avoid the legal and social barriers that the Arabic communities face normally, the lack of technology is always present in our discussion. Also, paid contributions are an important topic that is privilege nowadays
Diversity, mainly, is based on different cultures, religious backgrounds, customs, traditions and language. It leads to recognition of the legitimacy of all cultures in community and gives the opportunity to achieve equality and freedoms among all cultures within society such as laws.
WMF should be an effective organizer of influential partnerships, coalitions and collective actions based on a shared vision of open knowledge and the “big openness” movement.
- WMF have to enable individuals and organizations working on partnerships to get the support they need to realize potential for diverse, sustainable, effective and effective partnerships.
- WMF should work together with open cultural organizations, NGOs, governments, and technology companies to establish permanent and lasting partnerships and relations with cultural and educational institutions and the work of the wiki club / camp or to follow Armenia's leading experience.
- Provide a lot of resources to move forward.
- Finding an Arab team capable of entering into partnerships, with powers or dimension of the institution's legal aid.
Reflections from participants or partners
- In order for represented groups directly or systematically to participate, these groups can be sensitized by sending their delegates or representatives to be an effective part of the strategy. Give them equal opportunity in community without regard to excellence.They should be presented according to specific rules and conditions, with respecting the public, the readers and their culture. They should also send to volunteers and editors officially to participate and to be part of the community.
- WMF should encourage writing about their famous figures in each field but without being overshadowed.
- Facilitate communication between representatives of groups and those responsible for writing about them at WMF. This can be done through classification of WMF editors and their interests, or making a channel between these and editors.
- Creating groups and platforms that include various and different ideas to spread awareness among all classes of people.
- Provide social networking platforms among all groups.
- Specific platforms for minorities to integrate them in the big community.
- Providing the required legal permissions to provide security for these groups.
- We should study the knowledge that the minority will present, their targets and ideas to give them financial aid to showcase their points. They may participate also virtually via videos.We can write about them neutrality using free, reliable and notable resources.
- WMF should develop the language of communities in large geographical areas; support small languages represented in all projects through capacity building, financial aid and technical advices.
- WMF has to publish regular statistics and guidelines for content diversity to showcase of its development, run initiatives to decrease the gender and language gap and ask editors to make more efforts towards unlisted elements to focus more on them.
- Diversity requires the participation of all parties and it doesn’t matter if they are a minority or have a background different from the common ones such as Shiites or LGBT or minority linguistic and ethnic minority. So, marginalized communities need special attention.
- WMF blog should be available in different languages to publish free knowledge widely
- WMF should respect employment field to be spread equally for different regions, not only be focused on Europe or America in particular. They also should respect language and geography.
- WMF should hire professional translators to help volunteers at any time.
- WMF should know the which volunteers who are really working on the strategic plan, and which work only in front of screens for prestige.
- Every community and every language must have a code of conduct which provides for inclusion of diversity, but, it’s shouldn’t be in contradiction with a universal code of conduct provided by WMF.
- WMF should hire specialists for regions to cohabit and empower them in their context to be able to proceed with their strategic cultural, experience and knowledge.
- WMF/affiliates should send their representatives to support small groups and teams to transfer community experience to them.
- WMF should have regional offices which will help in capacity building in the whole world.
- WMF should allocate different ways to diversify so that volunteers do not fall under the law and exposure to imprisonment a result of voluntary unpaid activities.
- WMF should establish contests and projects organized, developed and directed by some categories which faced racism like women and minorities countries.
Safe space environment, policies and decision-making processes
- WMF has to find a representative or a connection point in the Arabic Region to facilitate creating a friendly space to empower the decision making process.
- North Africa should be represented in order to contribute and provide ways to promote a safe environment, provide an interactive platform.
- Simple and easy policies without any complexities, including society standards and the way to apply them as fast as possible.
- The legal representation of WMF should be exist in Egypt, Arab countries and North Africa to facilitate the partnership between other organizations and WMF and attract the volunteers.
- Keep the volunteers updated with all latest news through sending continuously emails to them.
- WMF should delegate a representative or responsible who assumes all issues related to security and safe environment. In the other hand, WMF itself must contact the security agencies in each country and clarify their targets before they start any activity or initiative to establish and run these projects normally and to be a common realized and known for the foreign authorities.
- Authorized delegation and entity in each country or in each region to make decisions and care about political issues.
- Give more attention to the content itself as well as translation and create a platform for documented resources as references for the created content.
- Put serious safeguards to protect Wikipedia editors as long as their projects and contributions don’t violate Wikipedia rules and laws of State.
- WMF should spread leaflets to increase Awareness about this Non-profit organization to remove any obstacle and spread knowledge.
- Variety in resources and appreciate the value of participants regardless their ideology as long as they are neutral and trustful.
- A representative should be existing for all legal permissions.
- Legal barriers and lack of volunteering concept decrease from volunteers capacities to attract new editors. So, WMF should find new method to spread volunteering culture. So they should accredit this concept widely.
- Accreditation of volunteering culture and spread volunteering awareness among youth. We can help in decreasing the gap and removing obstacles within publish the idea of volunteering in the communities.
- Allow the intervention of Politics and Religion to give freely their opinions in case of not harming the interests of people or State. So, we should go through changing the laws.
- Existing an official and authorized representative for each country to facilitate the legal issues and help on financing the projects.
- Contiunos and regular meeting for official representatives of contries to get partnerships with official institutions in each country to provide financial aid for service and research projects within universities or ministries of High Education to get a legal entity and high representation.
- Using social networking platforms to exchange the ideas in light of restrictions on gatherings or conferences.
- This is the cradle of volunteering job, it needs more support and advantage to attract the people to participate in.
- Provide poor countries with internet connection and raise the awareness of individiuales and communities to believe on spread free knowledge.
- Giving sufficient financial aid for poor countries to celebrate conferences and projects to publish free knowledge and to serve the Wikipedian Community.
- Financial aid through supportive scholarships to increase people’s skills and partnership, technical support through investing in connecting internet to more people
- Providing a representative in each local area
- Providing continuous meetings to gather the volunteers
- Going through feedbacks.
- We can use the offline version of Wikipedia (Kiwix). WMF can offer the knowledge via electronic form without internet connection. They should develop the offline application between whiles.
- Make easy using Wikipedia Mobile Application.
- Existing official entities from WMF which provide updated posts and books.
- Provide Wikiclubs with free internet connection.
Establish new initiatives to encourage them to join Wikimedia projects and facilitate their login without internet.
- Motivation is a helping factor that attracts people who are interested. Also, this point will attract many experts in different fields.
- Financial aid is a helping factor in developing countries
- Symbolic motivation is recommended “certificates , pins , giveaways” but I don’t recommend financial aid for volunteering job, because it will not be volunteering anymore.
- If the job will be funded, We recommend to classify and make KPIs for those who will be funded.
- We encourage having paid contributions but, We should announce this contribution and avoid doing it secretly. We agree in making paid contributions, but we have to put rules for whom We should paid for. We suggest that WMF puts specifics tasks for specific period and who completes them successfully should be recompensed in a fair way.
- Some people saw that giving money or financial aid to volunteers isn't a good idea. They argue that loses volunteering works will lose its essential. They added volunteering tasks in Arab World isn't well defined and doesn't reflect the complete framework and may not respect the rights and time of volunteers.
Important partnerships in the strategic direction
- Partnership with companies/ agencies interested on translation for learning and spread languages.
- Partnership with schools, public and foreign universities, embassies and Institutions of civil society to get a legal entity and representation.
- Companies and institutions of free knowledge.
- Partnership with local institutions which provides legal and financial aid.
Whom and why
- WMF should establish partnership with scientific institutions, non-profit organization and digital libraries.
- WMF can establish partnership with authorized international institutions to facilitate any obstacles. In addition, with universities to teach students and educators how to edit Wikipedia and go through its basics to attract many volunteers.
- Translation offices to review articles on Wikipedia.
- Websites and Centers which offer regular courses for volunteers to develop their languages and capacities as a personal motivation.
- Publishing House for translation and writing on Wikipedia; the idea is dealing with them to enrich the editing content on Wikipedia, not focusing on Translation offices, because they are specialized in specific fields but, Publishing House has multiples and wide fields.
- Universities to get training for students and volunteers.
- Establish partnership with whom State’s laws allow them to make it without any security restrictions.
- WMF may make outsourcing to many institutions, Publishing House or Translation offices to benefit from the volunteers and increase the digital content. In this context, partnership with Translation offices will increase interpreter skills contributing to initiative.
- WMF should understand the challenges that other institutions have faced to establish new partnerships like social or legal points.
Lessons & challenges from organizations or movements
- Getting legal licenses for WMF and some verified volunteers.
- How to get financial recourses and approved entity.
- How to overcome difficulties they faced and methods they took to facilitate the task. We have to learn from embassies, organizations and international institutions.
- WMF should talk to other institutions to learn from them to share experiences within dealing with institutions, know their rules, attract more volunteers and overcome any obstacles.
- Wikipedia Education Program
- WikiGap with Swedish Embassies and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- United Nations
- WMF should go through the same organization with the same target.
- Ease of volunteering.
- Good planning and management.
- Weakness of volunteer’s continuity with the lack of support.
- No available channels to send financial aid.
- Lack of fund or grants.
Other thing with Partnership working group
- Provide translation courses or scholarship for volunteers as a reward.
- WMF should provide instant certificates which affirm user’s contributions on Wikimedia projects to be a proof of his volunteering digital role.
Photographs or videos
- Full photos are here on Commons.
Statement on your budget