Wikimedia Community User Group Côte d'Ivoire/Reports/Semi-Annual report (November 2016 - April 2017)

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Introduction[edit]

Wikimedia Community User Group (WCUG-CI) is entering, in 2017, its third year of existence. A step deemed critical in the sustainability of organizations, as this marks the maturation phase. For the User Group of Côte d'Ivoire, this is indeed the maturation age, implying a voluntary and voluntarist adherence to good practices promoted by the Wikimedia movement. Among these good practices, the publication of periodic reports in accordance with the necessity of transparency and accountability of organizations affiliated to Wikimedia[1]. This report, the first of a semi-annual series for the User Group, is intended to comply with these standards, proof of exemplarity of the movement. It reports on the vitality and growth of the Ivorian User Group between November 2016 and April 2017. During this period, more than twenty actions were carried out by the volunteers of the User Group. These actions range from national initiatives to consolidating the vision of free dissemination of knowledge in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa, and throughout the world.

Local initiatives & international involvement[edit]

During this six-month period, the User Group of Côte d’Ivoire carried out various initiatives at different scales: local, regional and international.

4 local projects/programmes[edit]

At the national level, 4 projects and programmes were carried out. These include, The Wikipedia Classroom (Les Classes Wikipedia) stand out of the crowd by its its originality inherent to the User Group. Wiki Loves Africa 2016, Wiki Loves Women and WikiFundi projects as for them, are initiatives powered by the Wiki in Africa movement[2] to which WCUG-CI adhere.

Wikipedia Classroom[edit]

Initiated in November 2016 as a pilot phase, this is a Wikipedia training and editing programme targeting a young audience (-35 years old) and building both their skill and human capabilities through a volunteering engagement in the service of free and open knowledge.[3]

Front page of the pilot phase report of Wikipedia Classroom.

For the pilot phase, 2 sessions were organized almost simultaneously. One with a class of undergraduate students from the Accounting, Communication and Human Resources faculties at Agitel Formation, a university in Abidjan, and the other at the headquarters of the User Group. Although the session at headquarters was completed in March 2017, the session with the undergraduate students from Agitel Formation continued until June 2017.

This infographics summarizes the Wikipedia Classroom, a local version of the WikiEducation programme run in Abidjan between November 2016 and June 2017.

From November 2016 to April 2017, records show that 18 training sessions of 2 hours length were held. That is more than 100 volunteer hours, including preparation hours, from the 8 volunteer trainers of the User Group involved in this project. Among these results, it should be noted the involvement of the International Volunteer of the Francophonie (VIF) as part of his mission in Côte d'Ivoire since January 2017 as a Wikimedian in community. Regarding the learners, in total 37 attended and were trained.

Of the 37, 16 including 5 women, which means more than a third, were able to create an account, making them new and identifiable contributors. These new Wikipedians made on April 30, 2017 more than 176 contributions and uploaded 31 photos during 2016 Wiki Loves Africa Contest.

As regards to the lessons learned from this experience, it was noted that the absence of Internet connection (and even projector) has often prevented the good performance of the sessions. The WikiPack acquired at WikiIndaba 2017, as part of the WikiFundi program, was an alternative for initiation activities starting from February 2017.

As for the trainers, these first 2 sessions were rewarding. "As trainers, The Wikipedia classroom helped us standardize our way of teaching Wikipedia to new comers, including supervising participants work during edit-a-thons," they testified in their reports. Exploited as the main teaching tool, the English syllabus, published by the WikiEducation program, is considered as "a good guide" which "sometimes has limitations" in the local Ivorian context. It presumes, for example, that a large part of the work will be done by the learners, once back home. Which, in reality, is not the case, most of the contributions only edited during in-person sessions or during edit-a-thons organized by the User Group. The syllabus being in English also was as a barrier for trainers, non-English speakers.

Wiki In Africa projects[edit]

WCUG-CI participated in 3 Wiki in Africa initiatives, namely Wiki Loves Africa for the third time, Wiki Loves Women and Wiki Fundi.

Camera obtained by the User Group in 2016 following a Rapid Grant

With more than 1155 photographs uploaded and 19 events organized, Côte d'Ivoire took the lead in term of community engagement during this third edition of the Wiki Loves Africa photography contest. For future editions, one of the objectives is to significantly improve the quality of photos while preserving Ivorian leadership in terms of participation. Material has been acquired for this purpose via a Rapid Grant.

Regarding Wiki Loves Women, the User Group recorded 352 multimedia files uploaded on Commons related to African women, more than 200 participants in the 30 events (workshops, edit-athons, conferences, meetings, etc.) organized as part of the project, 76 articles, improved, translated or created, 13 media outreach ... Beyond these important figures recorded by the Ivorian User Group[4], the impact of Wiki Loves Women can really be weighed from three main criteria[5] :

  1. Strengthening the Wikimedia community in Côte d’Ivoire, 
  2. Empowering and engaging female Wikimedians from Côte d’Ivoire in the life and development of the User Group 
  3. Activating GLAM partnerships, including the the archives of the Parliament of Côte d'Ivoire.

As an entity of the Wikimedia movement in Africa, the User Group is also involved in the WikiFundi project. The Ivorian delegation to WikiIndaba in January 2017 received, for testing purpose, its WikiPack, like the other active countries attending WikiIndaba in Accra.

The WikiPack is an equipment that allows to "edit Wikipedia without Internet and ... without electricity." It consists of a Rasberry Pi server called WikiFundi,

Wikipack

En dépit de quelques reproches sur l’impossibilité de modifier les articles, sans avoir un compte sur WikiFundi, les utilisateurs ivoiriens apprécient le WikiPack. L’importante base de données de WikiFundi, la durée de vie de la batterie, les facilités de s’y connecter et d’y trouver des articles sont entre autres les points forts du Wikipack, qui fait désormais partie du kit de mission du User Group de Côte d’Ivoire. Avec ce matériel, Wikimedia Côte d’Ivoire optimise davantage sa gestion de la connexion Internet lors de ses activités. 

Upon arrival in Abidjan, the WikiPack was presented to the community during a quick test at the organization's headquarters. The first real release of the WikiPack was then taken to the Wikipedia Classroom at Agitel Formation. Then on March 18, 2017, during the month of the French contribution, where he served as an educational material for the newcomers group formed during the edit-a-thon organized by Wikimedia Côte d'Ivoire.

In spite of some critics regarding the impossibility of editing articles without having an account on WikiFundi, the Ivorian users appreciated the WikiPack. WikiFundi's extensive database, battery life, easy accessibility and articles are among the key strengths of Wikipack, which is now part of the User's Mission Kit. With this material, Wikimedia Côte d'Ivoire can further optimizes its management of the Internet connection during its activities.

Regional and international involvement[edit]

Apart from Wiki in Africa projects, Wikimedia Community User Group of Côte d'Ivoire has been involved in other international activities. For example, by taking part to the Wikivillages contest in Cameroon, through its president Donatien Kangah as a member of the jury. All in all, more than fifty articles and photographs were evaluated during this contest dedicated to Cameroonian villages[6]

At WikiIndaba conference 2017, the User Group was represented by 4 of its members. They actively participated in more than 80% of the scheduled activities, contributing to the taking of collaborative notes on Etherpad, covering activities on their personal social media profiles and those of the User Group.

This African Wikimedia conference was also a great opportunity to socialize in real life with the attendees, some of whom the User Group has interacted online with for a few years or months.

The Wiki Loves Women national team also participated in the regional evaluation meeting held at the Goethe Institute in Accra, attended by members of the Wikimedia Foundation including Executive Director Katherine Maher.

Furthermore, although duly invited by Wikimedia Deutschland, Ivorian delegates were unable, once again, to travel to Berlin for the Wikimedia Conference because of the refusal of the visa. It was planned a joint communication with Paolo from Brazil about the growth of User Groups. That communication finally took place without the physical participation of Ivorians.

The User Group has, however, involved in the process of developing the Wikimedia 2030 strategy, relaying and engaging its members in discussions and other related activities. One of its members has also been recruited as an international facilitator for Francophone communities. What appears as a source of pride and motivation.

Fostering the Wikimedia movement in Côte d’Ivoire[edit]

The Wikimedia movement is fostering increasingly in Côte d'Ivoire through its User Group. A vibrant and active community of committed volunteers who work for the development of new partnerships for free knowledge. 

Life of the Community[edit]

A meet-up was held on December 16, 2016. It was above all a moment of socialization between members of the User Group in a festive atmosphere at the end of the year and a prelude to the preparations for the General Assembly scheduled for 2017. About thirty members took part to this event.

From right to left: President Donatien, Treasurer Emmanuelle Guebo & Colette Yao, Vice President Samuel,

On March 4, 2017, the 3rd General Assembly of the User Group was held. The meeting was elective and saw a vote to designate the new Executive Board for the 2017-2019 period. Following applications filed prior to the date of the Meeting, it was proceeded with the election of:

  • Donatien Kangah as president, with 100% of the votes (re-election);
  • Samuel GUEBO as Vice-President, with 93.75% of the votes (ex-auditor);
  • GUEBO Emmanuelle as treasurer, with 100% of the votes;
  • YAO Colette as Deputy Treasurer, with 87.5% of votes.

On April 28, 2017, the new Bureau decided, in ordinary session, to create a Task force dedicated to promote gender in the activities of the User Group. This group is called WikiMousso, "mousso" standing for "woman" in Malinke, a local language of Côte d'Ivoire.

Since January 2017, all this vitality can be seen on the 2.0 version of the Association's website: wikimedia.ci

The User Group has more and more volunteer members assigned to missions depending on the activities to be undertaken. Thus, the Executive Board regularly relies on about fifteen volunteers, members of the Association, to which it delegates certain tasks.

New partnerships[edit]

With regard to partnerships, the User Group still maintains good relations with its traditional partners, the National Francophonie Commission (CNF) and the Goethe Institute in Abidjan. Institutions whose logistical and financial support have contributed the growth of the User Group. Other more technical partnerships are under discussion. These include Code.ci, the national association of Ivorian developers, and APSIDCI, the National Association of professionals in information sciences and documentation. 

Financial report[edit]

INCOMES EXPENSES
Title Amount Title Amount
Balances (checkout and bank account) as at November 30, 2016 1 630 076 Transportation expenses 661 600
Registration and Annual Fees 193 000 Meetings organization (Cocktail expenses) 433 000
Returns and refunds at checkout 82 000 Printing documents 41 575
Returns and refunds at checkout 1 180 723 Air time allocation 39 000
Wiki in Africa Grants for Wiki Loves Africa 2016Y Project 612 664 Printing advertising gadgets 417 500
Interest on Wikimedia CUG Côte d'Ivoir Bank Account 10 063 Executive Staff Allowances 646 000
Internet charges 40 000
    Rent 180 000
    Computer Hardware 640 000
    Expenses related to visa applications 130 000
    Buy ticket for Events 6 000
Money 16 400
Cost of repairs 25 000
Purchase items for CI stand Wikindaba 2017 10 000
TOTAL INCOMES 3 708 526 TOTAL EXPENSES 3 286 075
DEBIT BALANCE 422 451
TOTAL 3 708 526 TOTAL 3 708 526

Conclusion[edit]

This first semi-annual exercise demonstrates the vitality of the organization, the consolidation of its vision at the national level, and reveals its development prospects in promoting free knowledge. This could only be done by integrating the national and international perspectives of sustainable development, which implies a collective intelligence approach.

Notes & references[edit]

  1. "Resolution:Organizational best practices - Wikimedia Foundation". wikimediafoundation.org. Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  2. "WikiAfrica | activating open content". www.wikiafrica.org (in en-US). Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  3. ADO, Aman (2017-03-01), Français : Retour d’expérience lors de la première édition des classes Wiki organisées par Wikimedia Côte d'Ivoire (PDF), retrieved 2017-09-13 
  4. Yasield (2017-01-27), Français : Présentation du bilan partiel du projet WLW à WikiIndaba 2017 à Accra (PDF), retrieved 2017-09-11 
  5. "De l’impact de Wiki Loves Women en Côte d’Ivoire - Wiki Loves Women". Wiki Loves Women (in fr-FR). 2017-02-12. Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  6. "Projet:Wikivillages du Cameroun" (in French). 2017-01-20.