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Visibility Project/East Africa/Report

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The visibility project

General overview[edit]


The Visibility Project for East Africa is a gender-focus initiative in partnership with the African Women in Media, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to train female journalists in East Africa on the basics of Wikipedia editing and copyrights. It's one of our initiatives to bridge the gender gap on the internet and to recruit female contributors to Wikipedia. More than 200 Journalists from the East-Africa were trained on how to contribute to Wikipedia. The project started on the 5th of June 2020 and ended on 6th July 2020. Series of online training was organized and facilitated by the Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc., Wikimedia Community User Group Tanzania and the Wikimedia Community User Group Uganda. The logistics supports were provided by the African Women in Media, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Participants are professional journalists from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Zanzibar, and South Sudan. They were trained by experienced Wikipedians in English and Swahili followed by mentorship sessions for 7 days. At the completion of the project, participants acquired the necessary skills in editing Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects such as Wikimedia Commons, and about 50 Wikipedia articles were created by the participants.

Organizing team and facilitators[edit]

SN Name(s) Designation Role(s)
1. Olaniyan Olushola Chair, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc. Project manager & volunteers coordinator
2. Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola Chief Executive Officer, African Women in Media Co-project manager (admiistrative)
3. M.s Bamidele Ogunleye Chief Operation Officer, African Women in Media Project strategist (administrative)
4. Isaac Olatunde Secretary, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Project strategist (technical)
5. Kayode Yusuf Communication manager, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc. Training moderator
6. Ms. Olayinka Maja Interim community liaison, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc. Program officer
7. Ayokanmi Oyeyemi Head of photography, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Training facilitator & mentor (English)
8. Sam Oye Outreach coordinator, Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation Inc. Training facilitator (English)
9. Antoni Mtavangu Wikimedia Community User Group Tanzania Training facilitator & mentor (Swahili)
10. Alice Kibombo Member, Wikimedia Usergroup Uganda Training facilitator & mentor (Swahili)
11. Uzoma Ozurumba Co-founder of the Igbo Wikimedians User Group Training facilitator & mentor (English)
12. Medi Ashioma Coordinator, Wikimedia Fan Club, Ekiti Technical support

Project goal and measures of success[edit]

Project goal[edit]

Our specific goals for the project are to:

  1. Improve the feasibility of African women
  2. Bridge the gender gap on the internet and Wikipedia
  3. Enhance female Journalists understanding of copyrights and free licenses
  4. Promote understanding of reporting from a neutral point of view
  5. Capacity building
  6. Recruitment of female professional journalists for Wikipedia

The secondary goals of the project are:

  1. Build long-term networking, relationship and partnering opportunities with aligned organizations in the African
  2. To bridge the gap between encyclopedists and journalists

We believed we achieved our project goals based on our reflections during and after the project, and the feedback from participants (see our evaluation feedback), facilitators, and partners.

General overview of activities[edit]

Area Task (summarized) end outcome
Project management Project design Complied
action plan design, timeline design, management and milestones,
Strategic and Wikimedia movement alignment evaluation
Budget and actual cost overview
Feasibility assessment & contigency plans
Volunteers management Volunteers recruitment Complied
Training mangement Moderation strategy" Complied
Training material developent
Training patform set up (Zoom pro)
logistics and resources
Participants confirmation and email reminder
Communicating with participants
Contents uploading
Training delivery
Tracking and assessing learner performance
Mentorship Outreach dashboard set up Complied
Lesson preparation
Grouping of participants
Assignment of lessons
Timely response to questions
Monitoring and evaluation of mentees performance
Participants support during contents creation
Communication Management Creation and maintenance of meta page Complied
Sending information and updates via mail to participants
Creation and administration of communication platforms
Respond to individual needs and requirements of participants and other stakeholders

Training sessions[edit]

Participants were trained by experienced Wikipedia editors from Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania. At least five (5) training were conducted from 8th of June 2020 - 12th of June 2020 and the following important topics and concept were covered;

  1. Copyright and free licenses: This was facilitated by User:T Cells, an experienced license reviewer at the Wikimedia Commons
  2. Cheat Sheet of Wikipedia Editing: The session was facilitated by User:Jamie Tubers, an experienced Wikipedia editor at the English Wikipedia
  3. Basic Wikipedia Editing and How to Cite a Wikipedia Article: Facilitated by User:Uzoma Ozurumba, an experienced editor from the Igbo Wikimedia Community
  4. Jifunzekuhariri Wikipedia (Learning how to edit Wikipedia): Facilitated by Anthoni Mtavangu & Alice Kibombo, experienced Ugandan & Tanzanian Wikipedia editors from the English and the Swahili Wikipedia community.
  5. Work-Flow of Creating Wikipedia Page: Facilitated by Ayokanmi Oyeyemi, the regional Ambassador, 1L1B1REF Project

The sessions were moderated by Kayode Yusuf, Yinka Maja, and managed by Olaniyan Olushola.

Recordings from the Webinar sessions[edit]

Mentoring sessions[edit]

This aspect of the project was a very flexible session dedicated to following up with participants after the training, assignment of lessons to participants, tracking of learning, review of contents draft, timely response to questions, and feedback. The mentors were experienced editors of Wikipedia and all the activities took place on the Wikimedia outreach dashboard and WhatsApp was our major channel of communication. There were no mentor-mentees physical contacts in line with the WMF recommendations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each of the participants created a Wikipedia account and they were grouped into 7 (Group A - G) and a mentor was assigned to each of the groups. These mentors meet regularly with the mentees and maintain frequent communication with them. One of the mentees described the lessons as interesting. According to her "The lesson was good and interesting. it helps us to improve our work" The mentorship session lasted for one week and at least 50 articles were created. At the end of the project, Prizes were awarded to the best participants in different categories. The mentorship session is the most interesting aspect of this project.

S/N Mentor Dashboard
1 Olaniyan Olshuola Class A
2 Isaac Olatunde Class B
3 Oyeyemi Ayokanmi Class C
4 Ashioma Medi Class D
5 Uzoma Ozurumba Class E
6 Antoni Mtavangu Class G
7 Alice Kibombo Class H

Measures of success[edit]

40 participants completed the training program. We conducted a survey to evaluate the project and only 34 of the 40 people completed the survey. The metrics are based on the above data.

General assessment 70% excellent, 40% good
Extra-ordinary result
Excellent result
Measure (as proposed in the grant) Results Compliance
73.5% of participants were satisfied with our trainers. 73.5% in total agreement Complied
79.4% of participants were satisfied with our trainers delivery 79.4% in total agreement Complied
70.6% of participants were satisfied with our trainers' communication skills 70.6% in total agreement Complied
70.6% of participants agreed that the learning goals were achieved 94.1% of participants agreed they would recommend the training to a colleague Complied
88.2% of participants agreed that their knowledge or skills have improved by taking the training 88.2% in total agreement Complied
58.8% of participants agreed that new article creation was the most valuable part of the training 58.2% in total agreement Complied
44.1% of participants agreed that copyright & free licenses were the most valuable part of the training 44.1% in total agreement Complied
26.5% of participants agreed that improvement of existing articles was the most valuable part of the training 26.5% in total agreement Complied
200 people from more than 10 different countries in East Africa were trained 40 people completed the training Complied

List of articles created by participants[edit]

43 biographies of notable women were created by the participants. Although, some of them need some improvement

S/n Article Project Occupation Citizenship Gender Number of words References
1 Purity Ngina En.Wiki Academician Kenyan Female 1054 14
2 Sheila Kawamara-Mishambi En.Wiki Journalist Uganda Female 2154 26
3 Jacqueline Asiimwe En.Wiki Lawyer Uganda Female 2096 20
4 Anne Nasimiyu Wasike En.Wiki Publisher Uganda Female 1817 21
5 Naome Kibaaju En.Wiki Politician Uganda Female 1393 17
6 NBS Television (Uganda) En.Wiki Media Entity Uganda NA 1197 15
7 Rukh-Shana Namuyimba En.Wiki MCommunication Specialist Uganda Female 1183 10
8 Margaret Masagazi En.Wiki Communication expert Uganda Female 1086 17
9 Achola Rosario] En.Wiki News Anchor, Artist and reporter Uganda Female 1054 16
10 Josephine Nabukenya] En.Wiki NHIV Activitsts+People Living with HIV Uganda Female 1040 20
11 Joyce Bagala] En.Wiki Journaist+News Manager Uganda Female 978 16
12 Emily Maractho] En.Wiki Journaist+Lecturer Uganda Female 880 9
13 Asiimwe Evarlyne Buregyeya] En.Wiki Politician Uganda Female 831 10
14 Penny Tinditina] En.Wiki News Anchor Uganda Female 797 18
15 Aisha Sematiko En.Wiki News Anchor Uganda Female 449 6
16 Gloria Kamba En.Wiki Show Presenter Uganda Female 335 4
17 Rama Jacqueline Aol En.Wiki Rama Jacqueline Aol Uganda Female 809 10
18 carole Mandi En.Wiki vaccinologist and immunization exper Uganda Female 500 17
19 Hanifa Kawooya En.Wiki Administrator and Politician Uganda Female
20 Beatrice Waithera Maina En.Wiki Journalist Kenya Female 407 9
21 Editar Adhiambo Ochieng En.Wiki Women's right Activist Kenya Female 298 3
22 Jerotich Seii En.Wiki Social Justice Campigner Kenya Female 138 3
23 Gladys Atieno Nyasuna Wanga En.Wiki Politician Kenya Female 566 7
24 Kathleen Openda - Mvati En.Wiki Journalist Kenya Female 331 3
25 Asha Mwilu En.Wiki Journalist+Documentary Filmamaker Kenya Female 315 3
26 Solange Ayanone En.Wiki Journalist Rwanda Female 271 3
27 Rose Wangui En.Wiki Journalist Kenya Female 269 2
28 Tabitha Rotich En.Wiki Journalist Kenya Female 245 1
29 Mercy Kandie En.Wiki Journalist Kenya Female 219 1
30 Jane Godia En.Wiki Journalist Kenya Female 198 1
31 Anne Mawathe En.Wiki Journalist Kenya Female 198 1
31 Ummy Ally Mwalimu Sw.Wiki Journalist Kenya Female
32 Gathoni Wa Muchomba En.Wiki Entrepreneur+Policitican Kenya Female 2020 27
33 Elsie S. Kanza En.Wiki Economist Tanzania Female 1026 11
34 Edith Kimani En.Wiki News Anchor Kanya Female 791 8
35 Jane Chemutai Goin En.Wiki News Jouinalist Kanya Female 1755 21
36 Gloria Laker Aciro News reporter Kanya Female 1755 21
37 Sarah Kimani Journalist Kanya Female 1285 15
38 Solange Ayanone Journalist Rwanda Female 271 3
39 Fausta Shakiwa Mosha Journalist|Tansania Female 308
40 Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho Journalist Tanzania Female 290 4
41 Maryan Seylac Journalist Somalia Female 1080 4
42 Pamella Makotsi-Sittani Journalist+Author kenya Female 779
43 Paula Fray Journalsit South Africa Female


  • What worked well

1. Diversity of participants and trainers

Participants were selected by the African Women in Media from more than 10 countries, South-Sudan, Kenya, Burundi, Somalia, Uganda, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Nigeria. This diversity of participants makes the training and mentoring session very interesting and also provide a platform for networking. Kenya recorded the highest number of participation. In a survey completed by 34 participants, 38% of the participants that completed the survey are from Kenya. 14.5% of the participants are from Uganda and Botswana recorded the lowest number of participants with only 2.9%.

2. Diversity of trainers

The trainers were selected from 3 countries, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania. The trainers were experienced members of the Wikimedia community with a track record of leading similar training in their respective communities. Many of the trainees are native speakers of the Swahili language and having a Swahili trainer was very helpful as participants were trained in both English and the Swahili language. This diversity of trainers really worked well during the mentorship session as well.

3. Patnership with journalists

There is a huge gap between encyclopedists and journalists. Journalists and their works are very important to Wikipedia as we rely on contents published by them to write the encyclopedia. This partnership really worked well as it created a platform for us to learn more about their works, and what we share in common as content writers. The pre- and post-meeting really worked well.

4. WhatsApp group for coordination

Identifying the easiest and cost-efficient means of coordination was challenging but the use of WhatsApp really worked well. It is easily accessible, cheap, and popular among the participants and trainers. It was easy for mentors to timely respond to questions from the participants and provide feedback on performance.

5. Post-training mentorship

This was the most interesting aspect of this project. Although, only 40 participants participated in this phase and completed the training. The Wikimedia outreach dashboard was used for this purpose. Each of the participants created a Wikipedia account and they were grouped into 7 (Group A - G) and a mentor was assigned to each of the groups. The mentors meet regularly with the mentees and maintain frequent communication with them.

  • What did not work so well

1. Internet connection

The Internet is a major problem in Africa. But we manage to provide at least two different internet network and that worked a bit fine for us.

2. Participants selection criteria

We didn't know the criteria used by our partner, African Women in Media to select participants as it appears that many of the participants weren't ready to fully participate as many of them didn't continue after the webinar. Only 40 participants completed the program. So, we think there should be a set of predetermined criteria for selecting participants in the future. This is something we will definitely improve on in the next edition.


  • Project Management: USD 2000
  • Logistics( Gift for Mentors,Faciliators,Internet Subsidies): USD 1000