WikiFranca is a collaboration initiative between Wikimedia movement affiliates that can communicate in French. Our goal is to share resources and skills among us to make communities stronger and promote Wikimedia projects across the globe, especially among the Francophonie. WikiFranca is applying to become a Wikimedia user group in the Wikimedia movement as an auxiliary affiliate.
Project and Objectives
WikiFranca not only allows to build a bridge between affiliates participating in the collaboration, but also to share skills and resources with budding communities that aren't officially affiliated to the Wikimedia movement yet. Our goal is to create a healthy ecosystem for French speaking wikimedians so that they may further Wikimedia projects' outreach. In so far as a large part of its members are able to communicate in French if need be, any wikimedian community can apply to become part of WikiFranca. Our organization will support their projects, whatever language they choose to contribute in. While French is our lingua franca, linguistic diversity is a key value in our collaboration, including supporting minority languages in the areas of operation of our communities.
A major part of our collaboration will focus on structuring a capacity building network where each participant can share their skills and gain new ones. We plan to create a capacity building center in Côte d'Ivoire, which will take on the responsibility to assess where needs are, coordinate international task forces on different aspects of capacity building, and collect metrics. This is the crystallization of years of peer to peer exchanges on best practices within WikiFranca.
WikiFranca aims to formalize a shared governance system for its network. Until now, financial help was offered by Wikimedia Switzerland and Wikimedia France to chapters and usergroups who made their demands through these organizations' micro-finance programs. We believe that our collaboration has a lot to gain from depolarizing these relationships and setting up an international comity in charge of micro-finances within WikiFranca. As a result, a part of the two chapters' micro-finance budget will go to WikiFranca as of January 2021.
WikiFranca will also focus on collecting and sharing both documentation and experience. You can check the central page.
RFI is a French based radio station broadcasting in 16 languages on 5 continents. Their main feature is that, contrary to other radio stations, they started building a volunteer network across the world - especially in Africa - in the 1990s to accompany their correspondents. The station started these radio clubs where anyone could become a member, not just journalists, and where topics range from sport and cultural events to educational activities or human rights and health awareness programs, always to serve the common good.
WikiClubRFI is a training program for usergroups to find new potential wikimedians in these clubs. It was implemented in early 2019 and occasioned training sessions and editathons in 4 clubs in 4 countries (Port au Prince, Lomé, Cotonou, N'djamena). 4 other clubs should have benefited from the program in Spring 2020 (Ouagadougou, Yaoundé, Kinshasa, Bamako) but were cancelled following rising pandemic risks.
International Francophone Contribution Month
This campaign is a series of in-person events that takes place each year in March across the world. The International Francophone Contribution Month (on French Wikipedia) aims to motivate WikiFranca wikimedians around the world to organize workshops and outreach programs, but also to entertain a sense of sharing projects across countries. 2020's events were mostly cancelled due to the pandemic situation, but we hope to set it up online next year. You can look at the public dashboard.
WikiConvention francophone [International French speaking WikiCon]
The WikiConvention francophone is a WikiCon event dedicated to the francophone communities. Its purpose is to enable French-speaking contributors from different Wikimedia projects to meet and exchange about free sharing of knowledge, education, GLAM, etc. The event is organized by WikiFranca and the local host of the year. The first one took place in 2016 in Paris and the most recent was in Brussels in 2019. For this last edition of the WikiConvention, 2 learning days in French were added to the usual two days of conferences and activities. The next one will be hosted by Wikimedia Tunisia.
Tapis rouges [Red Carpet]
- Tapis Rouge wikimédia Guinée
WikiFranca allowed Wikimedia Guinea to set up a dynamic photo-taking program called Red Carpet to document articles of Guinean personalities of all types and professional activities during the consecration evenings in Guinea. You can see examples of the work done.
- Tapis Rouges Project by Wikimédia Canada
Supporting the 2030 Strategy Process
In early 2020, the WikiFranca network helped distributing funds for 12 countries (Senegal, Benin, Mali, Haïti, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Guinea, DRC, Togo, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) to organize Strategy Salons to discuss the pre-final recommendations of the Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy. This was permitted by the strong bonds inside the network, and the flexibility of Wikimedia France's micro-grant program.
Participatory resource allocation
WikiFranca is currently writing its bylaws to become a non profit organization based in Switzerland. One of its major projects will be to constitute resource allocation comities so that our budget can be shared between WikiFranca members. In this respect, WikiFranca is striving to become a francophone hub with shared governance.
In the wake of the Wikimedia Foundation's partnership with the United Nations (OHCHR) to improve contribution on human rights on the projects, wikimedians across WikiFranca and chapters are putting their efforts together to create partnerships with non profit organizations defending human rights. These partnerships lead to contributing events centered on human rights so that wikimedians can train these organizations' volunteers to edit, and these volunteers can bring their expertise and perspectives to wikimedians. This aims to help the evolution of our practices.
WikiFranca will be engaging in a number of capacity building and experience dissemination activities over the next couple of years.
In person initiatives such as WikiClubRFI and the Mois international de la contribution francophone will be furthered, with renewed training sessions, contribution workshops and photographic outings as soon as pandemic risks come down. We also wish to develop as many online activities as possible, as it is both safer for our health and more practical to share knowledge and skills across at least three continents. Hands-on online activities will include organizing training sessions and developing programs on topics as diverse as wikidata editing, fundraising or administrative tasks within a wikimedia affiliate. Editing contests, editing campaigns and sprints will also take place on different themes. Across these contributions, gender related editing, linguistic diversity projects and human rights campaigns will figure among the chief focuses of WikiFranca.
As WikiFranca's purpose is to enable and offer a structure to international collaboration of any form between french speaking wikimedians around the world, we will also work to strengthen the bonds between members by providing tools and occasions to communicate as much as possible among us. The WikiConvention Francophone was a good starting point, and was designed to go around the French speaking world, changing country every year from 2019 on. Whether that will be possible for 2020 and 2021 is still in debate, but a reflection process is already taking place within WikiFranca to imagine inventive ways of congregating for festive occasions and allowing everyone (not just the trainers) to share their experiences as wikimedians.
Most importantly, two chapters assumed until now supporting roles for other members of WikiFranca, which created an undesirable unbalanced relationship between collaborators, where some were providing support and others receiving it (esp. financial and human resources). In a spirit of shared governance, we now wish to pull our resources together and elect international comities in charge of distributing resources where suited. Indeed we believe that such responsibilities should be shared by the whole french speaking community and not only the chapters who have the means to support their peers. To prepare everyone for such a change, Wikimedia Franca already nominated in February two members from WikiFranca to sit on its micro-finance comity (cofounders of Wikimedians of Cameroon and Wikimedia Côte d'Ivoire). They have been adding great value to the discussions of the comity.
Becoming a member
Who can become a member of WikiFranca ?
Wikimedia chapters, usergroups and groups of wikimedians that are looking to be affiliated as usergroups can become members of WikiFranca, as long as an important part of their own members speak French. To do so, a process to request has to be followed and in particular, information need to be provided to WikiFranca committee. A template for the application « form » may be found here Please get in touch with us for more details.