Wikimedia Ghana User Group Annual Report 2021
This year the Wikimedia Ghana User Group set out to do several activities to further the goals we set out for ourselves at the beginning of our grant year. We planned on recruiting more editors, completing our policy and advocacy initiatives, holding content creation events and continuing building a robust local Ghanaian Wikimedian community.
We wanted to meet broad goals this year centred around recruiting more editors through a customisable digital resource we call Nimble. There were plans for content creation drives that hinged on growing more communities outside of our known regions that we hadn't explored before starting our grant year.
In the policy and advocacy part of our proposed plan for the year, we intended to do some big-ticket advocacy and policy programs that would benefit the open knowledge movement in general.
By the time our grant year was supposed to end we hadn't finished with some of our work hence we asked the Grants team for an extension of our grant year until June 2022.
Some key user group activities
We set out to provide digital tools to help us in our new editor recruitment activities called Nimble. One of the fantastic things Nimble would be doing is to aid first-time editors to make their first Wikipedia edit with minimum in-person supervision. Thus, Nimble is designed to recruit Wikipedia editors and community members developed by the Wikimedia Ghana User Group community at its core. Nimble would help us recruit 500 new editors who would have used the platform to get their first edits.
We used the first quarter of the year to work on Nimble and what it entails from our community’s perspective. We started by interviewing and surveying community members on what they would want to see with Nimble. So far Nimble has been built and we are currently in the beta phase where we seek to recruit testers and fix bugs. The plan now is to complete the beta testing of Nimble in a timely fashion to enable us to open the platform to the community and commence the recruitment of new editors.
500 Notable People
500 Notable People is a photo drive project for 500 notable people in Ghana without photos on the Wikimedia projects.
In this project, we would be photographing 500 notable Ghanaians who don’t have images on their Wikipedia page and then uploading them to Wikimedia Commons, which editors would later upload on their respective articles. So far, we have been able to work with the Parliament of Ghana to get 279 images of the Members of Parliament and the Speaker of parliament uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.
We currently working on a partnership with Zonethree TV in Ghana in other to get another set of notable Ghanaians in the entertainment and arts sector in Ghana to be photographed and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.
Editathons & Workshops
|January 2021 - February 2021||Wikipedia 101||This was our first online Wikipedia 101 workshop for new recruits of the Wikimedia Ghana User Group. We had 18 editors who improved 28 articles.|
|March 2021||Art And Feminism Editathon||This edit-a-thon was for editors who have an interest in editing articles related to women in politics in Ghana. 19 editors joined and 69 articles improved.|
|March 2021||Koforidua Edits Wikipedia||This was an offline event held in the City of Koforidua. We had 15 editors who improved 70 articles. 13 of the editors were newly registered.|
|March 2021||Wikipedia Poetry in Ghana||This is a four-week workshop that seeks to create articles around Ghanaian Poetry from the poets to the writers. We had 11 editors and 51 articles were improved. A Webinar was organized to launch the event prior to the workshops|
|May 2021||Ho Edits Wikipedia||This was an offline event held in the City of Ho in partnership with Ho Node Hub. 14 editors joined. 7 of them were new members.|
|May 2021||GSET Wikipedia Workshop||This was an offline event held to train members of the Ghana Society for Education Technology(GSET) on how to edit Wikipedia and its sister projects. 6 editors were trained and 13 articles improved. All 6 members were new editors|
|June 2021||Dambai Edits Wikipedia||This was an offline event held in Dambai (Capital of the Oti Region)to teach new editors how to edit. 14 editors joined and they were all new editors.|
|August 2021||Online Workshops||Due to certain COVID 19 restrictions, we started a series of Online workshops. We had four online workshops during the month of August 11, August 18, August 21, and August 28.|
|September 2021||Online Workshops||We continued our Online workshops in the month of September and during that period we hosted 3 workshops September 1, September 11 and September 15|
|September 2021||Takoradi Edits Wikipedia||This was an offline event held in the City of Takoradi in partnership with Duapa Werkspace. We had 9 editors join us for this workshop and 8 editors were new editors.|
|October 2021||Koforidua Edits Wikipedia 2||This was another offline event held in the City of Koforidua. In this workshop, we had 12 editors join us and 19 articles were edited.|
Challenges with our content creation drives
One of the major challenges we encountered during this year with regards to our content creation drive was the new rules around newbies not being able to create new articles unless they have had a few edits and are confirmed users. With this new development, newbies can only edit existing articles before becoming confirmed users.
Another major challenge we also encountered was widespread IP blocks in Ghana and Africa at large. Due to these IP blocks, we had challenges with our Dambai Edits Wikipedia workshop where the wifi we used was affected by the IP block so even though all the editors were newbies they found it hard editing Wikipedia. It was challenging for us during that period because the majority of the newbies we recruited faced that same challenge as well.
Out of the 7 virtual workshops, 2 aimed to connect with and better integrate inactive members, so we invited only experienced or returning editors.
To make the User Group more enjoyable, we started collecting the birth date of our members so that we could wish them on their birthdays. 38 members signed up for this. The membership program re-registered the 300+ Wikimedians, made sure all the registered members who don’t have Wikimedia accounts get their accounts, and received orientation about Wikipedia, WMGH and the Wikimedia movement. The aim was to know our members to see the group and their rights and responsibilities. As a non-profit entity, the relevance of the activities come from the need to know our members and integrate them better as required by our by-laws. We have registered 73 new members so far.
Policy and Advocacy
Wikipedia and languages
The Wikipedia Language project is a research-based work focused on assessing the impact of projects targeted at new language wikis in various Ghana communities. A quick survey conducted before this Project amongst Wikipedia users, editors and new editor recruiters in Ghana indicates that many Wikipedia users in Ghana prefer the English Wikipedia to its version in the local language. Many users are also unaware of the existence of local language options on Wikipedia, to begin with. This project aims to publish a whitepaper that serves as an honest opinion on the Wikimedia foundations investment in translating information on Wikipedia into local languages, suggesting that other uses of that investment impact information dissemination in local communities worldwide, particularly in Ghana. We initially planned six interviews of members in the Ghanaian Wikipedia community engaged in various language projects. We could do three due to various reasons beyond our control, informing our next step in this project
We have had partnerships to strengthen the community and then partnerships through which editors can gather and collaborate to edit Wikipedia and its sister projects. During this period, we have partnered with organisations like the Parliament of Ghana, Developers Academy (Dambai), Koforidua Business Incubator, Ho Node Hub (Ho), Ghana Society for Education Technology (GSET), Nubuke Foundation, Poetry Association of Ghana, Ehalakasa, Northern Innovation Hub and Mohammed Sadat (Wiki Saturdays). We also qualified for Google For Nonprofits which means moving on all our Google needs would be free of charge. We are talking with the following organisations on several partnerships for various projects we want to run in the coming months. They are; Zone Three 6 Media Network, Hacklab Foundation, Duapa Werkspace and Ghana Institute of Journalism.