Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Alliances Fund/Promoting Open Knowledge practices in African Libraries through WikiData

Promoting Open Knowledge practices in African Libraries through WikiData
Train 200 African librarians from at least 20 African countries on how to effectively open up and link knowledge by making their library collections more visible through Wikidata, and step-down skills learned to their user communities through at least 20 edit-athons across Africa. Wikimedia projects are global platforms that drive sharing and collaboration to create and use knowledge openly for a better world and can help in meaningful inculcation of openness into information provision.
start date2022-07-11T00:00:00Z2022-07-07
end date2023-10-31T00:00:00Z2023-06-12
budget (local currency)463500 GHS
budget (USD)60000 USD
amount recommended (USD)60000
grant typeMission-aligned organization
organization typeNon profit organisation
funding regionSSA
decision fiscal year2021-22
funding program roundRound 2
applicant(s)• (User:AfricanLibrarian) Dr. Nkem Osuigwe

(User:AfLIALibrarian) Dr. Helena Asamoah-Hassan : (User:DoreenAppiah) Doreen Appiah (User:SBAbigstan) - Stanley Boakye-Achampong

Dr. Joel Sam: Director of Projects, AfLIA
organization (if applicable)• African Library and Information Associations and Institutions
Midpoint Learning Report 
Final Learning Report

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Applicant information


A. Organization type

Mission-aligned organization

B. Organization name

African Library and Information Associations and Institutions

E. Do you have an account on a Wikimedia project?


E1. Please provide the main Wikimedia Username (required) and Usernames of people related to this proposal.

(User:AfricanLibrarian) Dr. Nkem Osuigwe

(User:AfLIALibrarian) Dr. Helena Asamoah-Hassan : (User:DoreenAppiah) Doreen Appiah (User:SBAbigstan) - Stanley Boakye-Achampong Dr. Joel Sam: Director of Projects, AfLIA

G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?

H1. Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?
1. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Above $50,000
2. Neil Butcher and Associates - South Africa - Between $5000 -$50,000
H2. Please state the size of these grants from the following options.
Above 50,000 USD
H3. What type of organization (s) did you receive grants from?
International NGO
H4. What percentage of your program budget do other funders contribute to?
Between 30 and 75%

1. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


1a. Fiscal organization name.


2. Are you legally registered?


3. What type of organization are you?

Non profit organisation

4. What is your organization or group's mission and how does it align with the Wikimedia movement?

AfLIA, serves as the rallying point and voice of the African Library sector with a core purpose of building the capacity of librarians and allied professionals within the sector in order to enable them equitably open up and drive access to information and knowledge for all in Africa. The core values of AfLIA include the recognition of access to information as a human right, irrespective of gender, ethnicity or varying persuasions. All these align with the mission of the Wikimedia movement.

5. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

Official Website:

Official Facebook: Official Twitter: Official YouTube: Official Google Forum:

Grant proposal


6. Please state the title of your proposal.

Promoting Open Knowledge practices in African Libraries through WikiData

9. Where will this proposal be implemented?


10. Indicate if it is a local, international, or regional proposal and if it involves several countries?


10a. If you have answered international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

Implementation of this project will involve participants from countries from all 5 sub-regions of Africa - West, East, Central, North and Southern Africa. The 20 countries or more that are being considered will include, but not limited to: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Benin, Cote D'Ivoire, Mali, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

10b. Are there any specific sub-regions or areas where your proposal will be implemented?


11. What is the challenge or problem you are addressing and why is this important?

Innovations are more prone to happen when there is access to knowledge that can be built on to create more knowledge and value without restrictions. Sharing and linking of knowledge is critical for development. A principal reason why Africa is yet to have robust innovative ecosystems could be rightly attributed to lack of collaborative information sharing practices by researchers and the academia of what they are working on or what they have previously worked on and successes/failures encountered. One of the enduring lessons of the COVID-19 crisis is that the entire world is interconnected as what happens in a region or continent may most likely affect other parts of the world. This brings to the fore the need to open up knowledge to tackle common challenges so that no one is left behind.

However, from cursory observations, opening up knowledge for the common good is yet to take root deeply among the academia and researchers in Africa. This could be attributed to a lack of knowledge about digital platforms that promote and drive open practices, understanding about the advantages as well as lack of knowledge and skills on how to successfully share what they know for the benefit of others on such platforms.

The default setting for libraries is open. Libraries in Africa are positioned to take the lead in driving open knowledge practices which encompass Open Access, Open Data, and Open Science. These concepts are all encapsulated in Wikimedia projects, for example Wikipedia and Wikidata, which can all be used to foster openness, sharing and linking of knowledge. The proposed project will train librarians on how to open up and link knowledge on Wikidata using their library collections. This will also create more visibility for the library collections as well as promote the usability by all of more information resources stored up in libraries. The user communities of different library types - the academia and research institutes among others will then stand to better understand and put into practice how to open up knowledge on the Wikimedia platforms for easy sharing and collaborations that can drive up the innovation quotient of the continent.

12. What is the main objective of your proposal? Please state why you think partnering with Wikimedia Movement helps to achieve this objective?

Train 200 African librarians from at least 20 African countries on how to effectively open up and link knowledge by making their library collections more visible through Wikidata, and step-down skills learned to their user communities through at least 20 edit-athons across Africa.

Wikimedia projects are global platforms that drive sharing and collaboration to create and use knowledge openly for a better world and can help in meaningful inculcation of openness into information provision.

13. Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective?

To achieve the objectives, the project will implement a series of strategic activities broadly categorized into four aimed at producing a pool of knowledgeable and well-skilled librarians who can use Wikidata for opening up knowledge.
1. Development of content on open knowledge practices and how Wikidata provides the right platform for the exploration of these concepts: The project will recruit a course manager/English facilitator, curriculum development consultant and French facilitator to collaboratively produce a practically-oriented online course for training course participants CC BY license. The content, which will be specifically targeted at librarians in different library types, will break down how Wikidata works, how it is undergirded by open knowledge practices which can be used to create more visibility for library collections. Some aspects (or sections) of the curriculum developed under the WikiAfLibs project will be imported into this new curriculum as they will still be relevant for participants to properly understand the Wikimedia movement. The course content and learning materials will go through reviews and iterations to ensure that every aspect is fit-for-purpose, addresses the digital adequacies of potential participants and adequately relates to the African context.
2. Awareness creation on the importance and place of Open knowledge practices and making library collections more visible through training librarians with the content created: The Wikidata course to be developed will be used to train about 200 library and information professionals in about 20 African countries. In order to ensure effective course delivery and achievement of project goals, the training will be conducted in two main cohorts. For the purposes of content testing, there shall be a pilot cohort as well.
3. Editathons within tertiary institutions and other user communities of different library types to step down the training given to librarians: The curriculum will be deliberately set up to be interactive and practical. A project-based pathway will be used to encourage participants to lead self-initiated outreach events on Wikidata. AfLIA and selected Wikimedia user communities will provide the needed logistical, human resource and financial support through this grant, but ultimately, participants will be expected to organize at least 20 hybrid edit-athons to firm-up the knowledge and skills learned. Supervisory assistance to the participants will be provided.
4. Pre-conference workshop on Wikidata, open knowledge practices and how they undergird Wikimedia projects during the 2023 AfLIA conference in May,Accra, Ghana: AfLIA’s biennial conference attracts hundreds of library and information professionals will serve as an important networking and awareness creation platform for the Wikimedia movement.. The free hybrid pre-conference / workshop will share updates on the course, talk about and promote Wikidata to African Librarians.

14. Are you running any in-person events or activities?


15. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified content knowledge gaps?

Geography, Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial, Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context)

16. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or thematic focus.

Education, Advocacy, Culture, heritage or GLAM

17. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select all categories that apply.

Geographic , Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Disabilities, Linguistic / Language, Digital Access

18. Please tell us more about your target participants.

The project will focus on Librarians and other information practitioners within the Africa library sector working in different Library types - public, school, national, academic, research, special, parliamentary libraries etc. At least 200 librarians will be admitted as participants from at least 20 African countries. The participants can be new editors to Wikimedia projects or those who had participated in Wikipedia in African Libraries course and have been asking, what next? The opportunity to participate will be made known through all the AfLIA channels and through social media. No restrictions will be placed for participation.

As done for the Wikipedia in African libraries, the participants will be introduced to the Wikimedia communities in their countries and encouraged to join them if they do not already belong there. Also, AfLIA is building a strong network of African librarians who work on wikimedia projects through Telegram and WhatsApp messaging apps. This group is made up mainly of participants of the Wikipedia in African Libraries course (Pilot, Cohort 1 & 2) and others who have been trained by the participants. Participants in this proposed project will also join these groups.

19. Do you have plans to work with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


19a. If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

Collaborations with user communities relative to the project are characterized in 3 phases – pre, during and beyond. AfLIA has reached out and had preliminary interactions with Wikimedia Nigeria Foundation (through the President, Olaniyan Olushola), The WIkimedia Uganda User Group (through AfLIA’s former WiR for the Wikipedia in African Libraries project, Alice Kibombo), and Stephen Dakyi of Accra Wiki Hub and the project lead of Ghana HistoCita-Thon project.

The project was discussed with these contacts. These contacts have provided relevant insight into possible activities to help achieve project objectives. The communities have offered to provide resource persons for the edit-athons, pre-conference, and other virtual training sessions within the course. The project has room for more collaboration with user communities during project implementation. Also, participants will be integrated into existing user communities to allow for continuous mentorship and practice of skills.

19b. If no, please tell us the reasons why it has not been possible to make these connections.


20. Will you be working with other external non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


20a. If yes, please describe these partnerships.


20a. If yes, indicate sharing of resources from these partners (in kind support, grants, donations, payments).


21. Please tell us how your organization is structured.

AfLIA is a continental association, governed by a 17-member Governing Council headed by the President. The Council has the power to act on behalf of the Association, in all matters except those reserved in the constitution for members at an Annual or Special General Meeting. The day-to-day management of the Secretariat is superintended over by an Executive Director with staff Human Capacity Development and Training, Projects, Research and Communications, Programs, Membership, IT/Webmaster, Finance, Accountant Units and a network of volunteers from member countries.

These are the staff members that will be directly involved with project implementation activities and they possess the relevant competencies for managing projects within time and budget. They are well-versed in capacity building interventions, project management and administration with a cumulative experience of over fifty years. They all have post graduate degrees in Librarianship, Information Studies, Project Management and additional qualification attained through training programmes within and outside Africa.

22. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

● Dr. Helena Asamoah-Hassan – Will provide financial oversight of the project as Executive Director, AfLIA. She had handled projects from PLA-ALA and Global Libraries.(User:AfLIALibrarian)

● Dr. Nkem Osuigwe – Training Director, AfLIA who has worked on different online training programmes of AfLIA as a mentor, content developer. Will be the focal person and work closely with the curriculum development consultant to develop the course content; liaise with the facilitators and or resource persons to deliver the course; deployment of the course materials online and enrolment of the participants and the day-to-day management?administration of the project (User:AfricanLibrarian) ● Stanley Boakye-Achampong – Research coordinator, AfLIA has expertise in monitoring and evaluation. Stanley will be in charge of the project’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning and communication activities. He will also work closely with the course facilitator to manage course participants and virtual training sessions, including recording and uploading of recorded training sessions for participants. (User:SBAbigstan). ● Doreen Appiah – Program Officer, AfLIA. She will work with the Training Director and facilitators and resource persons to keep track of activities and participants in the course (User:DoreenAppiah). ● Dr. Joel Sam: Director of Projects, AfLIA. Joel will play a general supervisory role to ensure timely and effective implementation of project and reporting activities. ● Content development consultant – to develop the curriculum and Wikidata course content for African librarians and information professionals. Will be a person with graduate qualification and extensive experience in curriculum development ● Course Manager and French Facilitator – to be the lead persons to run the course, manage course participants and or lead the pre-conference workshop in 2023 during the AfLIA conference in Accra, Ghana. Persons experienced in delivering online as well as face-to-face courses

23. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  


Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation


24. What do you hope to learn from this proposal?

Effective monitoring, evaluation and learning is the key to successful projects. AfLIA will draw on its MEL culture acquired through years of experience with managing large, medium and small grants to ensure that project objectives are achieved. The project implementation committee will be directly responsible for ensuring that project milestones and targets are met and consequent reporting duly performed.

Unless otherwise required by the Wikimedia Foundation, AfLIA will produce bi-annual progress reporting in the course of the project (mid-term and end-term report). The mid-term evaluation and report will show how well project objectives are being achieved while informing on possible aspects that require further attention or adjustments for overall project success. To properly capture, document and disseminate our learnings, the project will conduct a baseline and end-line survey for participants. This will enable us to adequately measure the (intended and unintended) impact of the project on participants, including issues that will be of benefit to Wikimedia and AfLIA. Besides survey, the project will deploy other monitoring tools like internal activity reporting templates, activity logs, the Wikimedia Programs and Outreach tool to report progress and outcome of key activities under the project. AfLIA will ensure the dissemination of learnings on the project at relevant stages of implementation and sharing these insights through different strategies.

Core Metrics


25. Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants The project will train at least 200 African library and information professionals. The participants will be from at least 20 African countries. We project that a number of these participants will be returning participants who primarily participated in the Wikipedia in African Libraries project (WikiAfLibs) project. These cohorts have demonstrated significant interest in expanding knowledge and deepening understanding of Wikimedia projects for the purposes of career development and effective library service delivery to their user communities (patrons). The returning participants may not be necessarily new to participating in Wikimedia events however, for most of them, this will be the first time they will be taken through a coordinated in-depth training on Wikidata, as a resource, its applicability and relevance to librarians or libraries in Africa. The project will encourage and ensure significant participation by females. By estimation, we are targeting a 40-60% male-female gender distribution of the participants.

Returning participants: 70-100 participants New participants: 70-100 participants Female participants - About 120 Male participants - About 80

Number of editors The project expects to produce at least 200 editors who will create and improve contents on Wikidata. The editors will be from about 20 African countries. Following the findings and learnings from the Wikipedia in African Libraries (WikiAfLIbs) project, we project that a good number of people who participated will constitute the bulk of returning editors. It is however important to highlight that even though the returning editors may not be necessarily new to contributing on Wikimedia projects, for most of them, this will be the first time they will be taken through a coordinated in-depth training on Wikidata, as a resource, its applicability and relevance to librarians or libraries in Africa. Further, the majority of participants will, for the first time, gain the knowledge and skills to specifically contribute to Wikidata through this project. The project is also targeting a 40-60% male-female gender distribution of the number of editors to be developed.

Returning editors on Wikidata: 50-100 editors New editors on Wikidata: 100 - 150 editors Female editors - About 120 Male editors - About 80

Number of organizers The project will involve development of education content, training and organization of outreach activities and workshops. As part of the course, participants will be assigned to at least 20 project groups (made up of 10 members each) and tasked to organize at least 20 Wikidata edit-athons, as mini-projects. The project groups will be expected to champion the planning and mobilization of new contributors for participation during the edit-athons.

For each edit-athon, the project envisages 1 project team for planning, publicity and recruitment of trainers, 2 coordinators (Course Managers), 2 resource persons who will provide training. The coordinator will provide the needed advisory and supervisory role for the edit-athon, including an oversight responsibility for all the campaigns that will be set up on the Wikimedia Outreach Dashboard. The project implementation committee will also offer the needed support, as and when needed. The edit-athons will be hybrid events involving virtual and in-person training sessions. AfLIA, through the grant will facilitate the logistical, human and financial resource support for organizing these outreaches. Concerning training, the project also hopes to involve not less than 5 Wikimedians, besides the course manager, to serve as guest speakers/trainers to handle selected topics within the course to be developed. The project implementation committee together with the Course Manager will organize the proposed pre-conference workshop. Speaking sessions will include at least 2 renowned African Wikimedians well versed in Wikidata.

Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikidata The project ultimately seeks to build a pool of African library and information professionals who will contribute to and improve content on Wikidata, especially contents related to Africa. By the end of the project, we estimate that approximately 1000 new items would have been created whereas 1300 existing items would have been improved (measured as total edits). Statistics on the number of new content contributions will be obtained via the overall dashboard that will be created to track contributions of course participants as well as other contributors during the proposed edit-athons. 2300

25a. If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation. (optional)


26. What other information will you be collecting to learn about the impact of your work? (optional)

Besides the core metrics provided above, the project will be interested in other key performance indicators that can help measure the impact of the project activities and overall success. Examples of such metrics include; number of participants who become members of existing Wikimedia user communities by the end of the project, completion and drop-out rates of participants for the course, total number of live sessions organized (both English and French participants), total number of contact hours used for online sessions, as well as an assessment of the shift in understanding and perception of Wikidata. These metrics will be collected using qualitative and quantitative approaches. More importantly, these additional metrics can help us properly capture and estimate the chances of participant retention by the participants for continued participation and sustainability of the project.

27. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

-Programs & Events Dashboard,
  • Attendee logs for virtual training sessions, registration form for participants.
  • Internal M&E
  • Baseline and end-line surveys
  • Learner assessment report by Course Manager,
  • Moodle Learner activity logs
  • Zoom logs for training sessions
  • Assessment of the shift in understanding and perception on Wikidata

28. How do you hope to share these results so that others can learn from them?

Make a short presentation of the experience, Share results on social media, Share results with our communities, Develop learning material for other users, Share it on Meta-Wiki

Financial Proposal


29. What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency.

463500 GHS

30. What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

60000 USD

31. & 32. Please provide a budget for the amount of funding requested.

33. What do you do to make sure there is a good management of funds?

AfLIA has a management structure that oversees the human and financial administration of the organization made up of the Executive Director, Accountant and Internal Audit. Receipts and disbursement of funds from donors or funders go through strict financial regulations that meet donors/funders as well as international standards.

As with the grant for Wikipedia in African Libraries program, in this project, the Executive Director will have oversight responsibility for financial transactions and authorize disbursement of the funds in line with agreed grant conditions and procedures. Under AfLIA Audit regulations, the Internal Audit Unit will vet all transactions and certify payments. Interim financial audit will be undertaken after 6 months of project implementation and a final audit at the end of the project by external auditors to ensure that funds are properly applied in accordance with the grant conditions.

34. How will you contribute towards creating a supportive environment for participants using the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy?

AfLIA will enact Rules of Engagement or participation for all applicants to accept before selection of participants. The rules will be posted on their WhatsApp and Telegram groups which would be created and managed by AfLIA. AfLIA's Contact information will be made available to participants on all social media to report any act they deem improper.

In addition, the AfLIA Team will educate participants on Wikimedia Friendly space policy and the sanctions associated with such behaviours as well as the Universal Code of Conduct for all wikimedians. The talk will focus on the two main areas i.e. Expected and unacceptable behaviours of wikimedians at events. The team will adhere strictly to the sanctions in order to deter participants from misconducting themselves during and after the project.

35. Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s):

Final message


By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

36. We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.