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Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Election/2024/Candidates/ugwulebo

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Ugwulebo (Questions)

Account Ugwulebo (talk meta edits global user summary CA)
Candidate details
  • Languages: English, Igbo
  • Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Active wikis: English wikipedia, wikidata, and Wikicommons
  • Wikimedian since: 2020-05-11
Selected home wiki
Type of seat (regional; community-at-large; or both) (division of regional seats) Sub-Saharan Africa
Candidate Introduction
Introductory statement / Application summary (maximum 200 words): Why are you running for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee? What would you contribute? I am a librarian and information specialist who is enthusiastic about free knowledge, information transfer, friendly workspaces, and inclusion in communities and organizations. As part of the code of conduct committee, I will bring my wealth of leadership and team leader experience in formal and informal organizations to the committee. As a librarian and information specialist, I have been privileged to head various types of libraries to ensure that the host institutional goals and objectives are closely followed and maintained while meeting user satisfaction. My leadership experience will be used to ensure that the code of conduct committee targets are met and room is given to the diverse issues from the different communities. My experience with diverse categories of users in libraries and information centres will also be brought to the committee to ensure uniformity and that everyone is carried along in coordinating the code of conduct for the organization. My extensive experience in information retrieval and dissemination will be used in handling diverse community needs and information queries. I will be bringing this skill to the community to ensure that the peculiarities of each region is considered to ensure Wikimedia's goals.
Please describe your Wikimedia experience (such as contributions to the Wikimedia projects, memberships in Wikimedia organizations or affiliates, experience working on conduct issues in your community, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation in building Wikimedia policies). I am an experienced Wikimedian and an academic staff member of the University of Port Harcourt. I joined the foundation by contributing to Wikipedia during the COVID-19 lockdown in May 2020 through the 1lib1ref campaign organized by the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions for the first online African Librarians Week. Since then, I have been involved in various Wikimedia projects and campaigns that promote and create visibility for African-related content, enhance articles, create Wikipedia items, and promote visibility for African Scholars on the online encyclopedia. Concerning conducting issues in my community, I have been privileged to assemble a community of more than 100 volunteers with diverse ethnic groups contributing to Wikimedia projects both locally and internationally under the informal Port Harcourt Wikimedia Hub group. The group is made up of individuals who have been trained by my team and I in Rivers State Nigeria.

I am an active contributor to English Wikipedia, wiki data, and Wikimedia Commons. I was part of the team involved in the first Wikimedia User group Nigeria Community Support Fund 2022/2023. As a member of that team, we ensured that proposals from committee members were compared with the Wikimedia organization proposals regulations and ensured that only the ones that met the organization's guidelines were approved while ensuring even distribution of funds for the approved projects.

Professional Experience, Skills and Education
Please briefly describe 3 situations that show how you worked on, or advised others on, a complex conduct or policy issue. How did you work with others to address the situations? The issue of the conduct of users in the medical library was a challenge in my organization. It was observed that the library rules and regulations were not obeyed, the library record of users was very low and also the staff attitude towards work was not encouraging. In a bid to solve this issue, I came up with some policies when I was posted to the medical library. As part of my policy, the library opening and closing times were adjusted to make room for students and staff who want to read off work hours and weekends. We started operating a 13-hour service as against the earlier 8 hours that were operated in the library. This new change in time led to increased patronage of the library. This also gave rise to more users in the library since the time has been adjusted to suit their off lectures and off work period. Also, there was a new roster for staff that ensured they worked in a shift pattern. This shift pattern was backed with some freebies for staff who want to work during the extended period. These new patterns helped to improve the staff's attitude to work and the overall face of the library was changed.

The issue of contribution to Wikimedia projects in my community was a challenge when we began. We noticed that users were not fully interested in contributing because of the lack of monetary benefits attached to it. To solve this issue, we set up a monthly online meet-up pattern for the users of my community in their various institutions. These meetings were met with enthusiasm as it was used to refresh their memory and take various queries from community members. Also, we opted to provide weekly data support for contributors as against giving gift vouchers to only the highest contributors during campaigns. This data support helped to ensure that everyone was carried along on contributing to Wikimedia projects while ensuring that they had data for their other personal activities.

In my role as the head of the medical library at the University of Port Harcourt, we were faced with the challenge of building our collections due to scarcity of funds and poor purchasing power from the medical college. To solve this issue, we had to consult the library collection development policy. We realized that the collection development policy did not cover some special disciplines in the medical library and this was going to be a challenge for the acquisition of these materials. To overcome this challenge, I had to develop an in-house collection development document for the medical library through consultation from other medical colleges and also an internet search on the best practices for collection development. At the end of the day, we came up with an all-inclusive document that captured our peculiarities and ensured that we could build up our collections through services like inter-library loans, bibliographic services, reprographic services, and effective checking-in and checking-out policies.

Leadership Experience
Can you describe a policy, on wiki or off, that you helped to create or change? What did you learn from this experience? As a member of the pioneer Wikimedia User Group Nigeria Community Support Fund team 2022/2023, I was part of the team that ensured all applications to the community were properly screened, applicants' history checked and proposals closely monitored to ensure effective coordination and report writing on spent funds. This experience exposed me to the diverse types of proposals that can come out of a diverse community such as Nigeria and how to properly handle them. The experience also improved my leadership and evaluation skills as we were able to evaluate a project and its anticipated outcome through the applicant experience, project direction, project scope, and the project team. A proper evaluation will give us the merit or demerits of the anticipated project and that evaluation will determine the chances of funding the project or withdrawing from funding. The experience as a committee member also improved my knowledge of evaluation practise and selection criteria used by committee members to serve a diverse community such as Nigeria.
How have you been able to empower people to make their voices heard? Yes, i have been able to empower people through investing in capacity building, rewarding contributions and commitments from community members, and creationg of communication channels in my community.

Investing in capacity building. I have been able to empower people by investing in Wikimedia capacity-building training for members of my community in Rivers State. Over time I have ensured that Wikimedia projects are visible in my community and participants are drawn from the diverse ethnic groups in Rivers State Nigeria. We have conducted training for students, staff, and youth from the academic and non-academic communities in Rivers State. One such training was the Wiki for Climate and Environmental Literacy in Rivers State sometime in 2022. The training exposed people to climate and environmental issues in Rivers State and how to overcome them. At the end of the training, a representative from the government and the participants shared their experiences and it showed an improved awareness of climate and environmental issues in the state.

Rewarding contributions and commitments from community members. As part of our conduct in my community, we ensure that we reward contributions and commitments by assigning roles to the highest contributors to Wikimedia projects. These contributors in turn assist in training other newbies on how to contribute to Wikimedia projects. During our training, the highest contributors from the last campaigns are invited to speak to newbies about the importance of contributing to Wikimedia projects and the need to document their history and language. This has helped to grow and foster unity in our community.

Creation of communication channels in my community. The voices of people can only be heard when there is an active means of communication through which complaints, suggestions, and feedback can be received. In my community, we ensured that there is a designated WhatsApp app group for community members to share their views on an issue and also an active meta page where project details are announced for everyone.

Sometimes in professional situations, there are personality conflicts. Explain how you remain productive even with personality conflicts. Accepting individual differences is one of the ways of working through conflicts. Once you accept that an organization is made up of individuals from different tribes, languages, ethnic groups, preferences, and views, managing conflicts while remaining productive will be easy. An individual will not allow the conflict to affect him because he already knows that working in the space with people with different views can always lead to occasional conflicts.

Also, working through personality conflict can be possible when you act as a neutral party during conflict. Once you take a stand with any of the parties, productivity will nosedive because concentration will be greatly affected. To ensure productivity in the space of conflict, ensure that everyone is carried along by staying on the neutral side of the conflict.

Remaining productive during personality conflict will be possible once you can hold everyone accountable. Accountable implies ensuring that everyone is accountable for their actions in the face of conflict. once people are aware of their roles and duties, they can solve issues better. Accountability also helps people to grow from mistakes and do better in future endeavors in the work environment.

Strategic Thinking
In your opinion, how can the U4C be a positive influence in the Wikimedia movement? The U4C can be a positive influence in the Wikimedia movement when it is tailored to fit the different communities in the movement. The Wikimedia movement is made up of diverse communities with their peculiarities and diverse groups. The U4C can help influence the communities when the community differences are considered during its implementation and formulation. Once this is considered, community members will want to adopt it and activate it effectively in their community. Effective advocacy about the U4C is another way to influence community members. Advocacy through capacity building and awareness campaigns will lead to proper information about the U4C and how to effectively adopt it in the communities.
How would you help the Universal Code of Conduct develop and improve over time? The introduction of regular updates of code of conduct activities in the various communities under the movement can be an ideal tool for the improvement of the U4C. Regular update forms from various communities will help the committee to understand what is happening in the various communities, challenges faced by community members, and areas that need improvement in the movement. These forms will be shared occasionally and monitored by the coordinating team to ensure that inputs from community members are analyzed and discussed to ensure future improvement to the U4C document.