Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Alliances Fund/WikiGraphers:Visualizing Open Knowledge

WikiGraphers: Visualizing Open Knowledge
The primary goal of the project is to improve the visual content of Wikipedia which will be done by a diverse group of 20 students who will gain visualization and design skills. As part of their practical learning, they will visualize the 200 most viewed educational articles of the Armenian Wikipedia (September 2020 - October 2021). This project will lay the foundation for the formation of a new community of Wikigraphers who will contribute to the visual development of Wikimedia projects.
start date2022-03-08T00:00:00Z
end date2023-02-28T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)44098732 AMD
budget (USD)91288 USD
amount recommended (USD)60000
grant typeMission-aligned organization
organization typeNon profit organisation
funding regionCEECA
decision fiscal year2021-22
funding program roundRound 1
applicant(s)• Armen Mirzoyan - user:Armenmir, Lilit Tarkhanyan - user:Lilitik22
organization (if applicable)• Investigative Journalists NGO
Midpoint Learning Report 
Final Learning Report

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Applicant information


A. Organization type

Mission-aligned organization

B. Organization name

Investigative Journalists NGO

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.

Armen Mirzoyan - user:Armenmir,

Lilit Tarkhanyan - user:Lilitik22

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

Did not apply previously

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

H1. Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?
You can find the grants list attached to this proposal (for the previous 6 years).
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?
Government, National NGO, International NGO, Bilateral or Multilateral Organizations, Endowment funds
H4. What percentage of your program budget do other funders contribute to?
More than 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?

Investigative Journalists NGO has been spreading and advancing investigative journalism in Armenia for over 20 years. We are a member of international networks such as GIJN and OCCRP.

In 2019 the NGO established its school - Hetq Media Factory, where students learn data analysis, investigative reporting, animation, multimedia storytelling. We highlight the importance of everyone's right to an equal education, which is why studying at Media Factory is free.

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

Investigative Journalists NGO publishes its investigations on Hetq is available on the following social media:
  • Facebook:
  • Instagram:
  • Twitter:

The official website of Hetq Media Factory is The social media pages are:

  • Facebook:
  • Instagram:
  • Twitter:

Grant proposal


6. Please state the title of your proposal.

WikiGraphers: Visualizing Open Knowledge

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.

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?

For years, the Armenian Wikipedia has been one of the dynamically developing online encyclopedias in the region. During these years, a number of events and projects have been initiated to develop the textual content of the Armenian Wikipedia. Despite the increase in the number of articles, which was largely due to the translation of foreign language Wikipedias, the visual representation of these articles remained unimproved. The graphics and visuals of the articles were mainly taken from similar articles in Russian or English, sometimes even without the translation of the textual content of the illustrations.

In this visual era, when people perceive information through images, especially graphical images (for example, the popularity of anime, the culture of communication through gifs, emojis), it is necessary to package the knowledge in line with the needs and requirements of the time. Illustrations, including graphics, infographics, animations, maps, transform a large amount of complex information into easy-to-understand, clear and attractive knowledge. Illustrations make data-driven knowledge more user-friendly, boost subject awareness and increase engagement.

Enriching Wikipedia articles with visually compelling elements will encourage readers to spend more time on Wikipedia, obtain, contribute and share more content.

To develop the skills of Armenian Wikipedia editors, to attract new editors, as well as to develop the visual side of Armenian Wikipedia articles, Hetq Media Factory, whose curriculum is based on the “learning by doing” method, aims to implement the “WikiGraphers: Visualizing Open Knowledge” project. The program will help to educate and equip Wiki editors with visualization and design skills to contribute to the visualisation of Wikipedia articles thus making them more comprehensive and accessible.

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

The primary goal of the project is to improve the visual content of Wikipedia which will be done by a diverse group of 20 students who will gain visualization and design skills. As part of their practical learning, they will visualize the 200 most viewed educational articles of the Armenian Wikipedia (September 2020 - October 2021).

This project will lay the foundation for the formation of a new community of Wikigraphers who will contribute to the visual development of Wikimedia projects.

13. Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective?

The project will start on February 1, 2022. The team will start working on the establishment of WikiFactory, a collaborative space, where students (WikiGraphers) will gather together to learn visualization skills to enrich Wikipedia with illustrations, animations, data based infographics and maps.

WikiFactory will be established by the following stages:

  • The design of the curriculum and the study plan.
  • Call for admission, which will be spread on our social media, Wikimedia platforms, and partner organizations.
  • Selection of students in 2 stages:
    • Shortlist of applications
    • In-person interviews
  • Final selection of 20 students, formation of 4 groups.

The study plan of the WikiFactory will consist of 4 courses:

  • Illustration/animation. During the course, the students will learn to create graphical images and animations, through which they will enrich the free encyclopedia. Emphasis will be placed on illustrative and moving images of objects that cannot be photographed, such as chemical reactions, physical phenomena (gravitational force), and so on.
  • Creation of data-driven infographics. Wikipedia articles are full of numerical data from various sources, based on which the students will create infographics to make it easier for readers to understand the information. Before creating infographics, students will update the data in the articles from reliable sources.
  • GIS mapping. Nowadays, maps and satellite images contain vast amounts of information about water resources, ecological and geographical characteristics of the location. This course will teach the group QGIS open-source software to be able to visualize geographical data and enrich the Wikipedia knowledge with maps and geo information.
  • Wiki ideology and wiki editing. During the course, students will learn about the ideology of the Wikimedia movement, its values, Wiki Markup, wiki editing rules and guidelines. We emphasize the advocacy of open and accessible knowledge for all.

Each group will attend WikiFactory twice a week, learning all the subjects. The duration of each lesson will be 90 minutes. The study process will last 10 months divided into two terms: March - July, September - January. Graphic images created during the project will be translated into Russian, English and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

To design the project, we conducted a preliminary study of the most viewed articles of Armenian Wikipedia. We classified those articles (top 300 articles x 13 months) into 30 categories and found out that the most viewed articles in the Armenian Wikipedia are educational ones. Thus we will focus on visualizing educational articles as our first priority.

Hackathon. After the end of the first term, a two-day hackathon will be organized with the participation of WikiGraphers and other wiki editors of the Armenian Wikipedia, during which the participants will visualize Armenian Wikipedia articles. The hackathon will enable all participants to share knowledge and collaborate.

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?

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

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

Education, Open Technology

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

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Geographic , Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Disabilities, Socioeconomic status, Age, Digital Access

18. Please tell us more about your target participants.

The WikiGraphers will be selected through an open call to involve as diverse people as possible having different gender identities, sexual orientation, age, social status etc. The course will be open to all interested people who want to acquire visual content creation skills within a year, promote the creation and dissemination of free knowledge, and share its values. It has been two years since Hetq Media Factory educates 30 students a year with different educational backgrounds and skills. Having a carefully-designed educational plan based on the “learning by doing” method, all our students are successfully involved in the educational process, regardless of their initial knowledge base. In the scope of this project, visual graphics and data visualization will be taught and created, therefore we call the study process a WikiFactory and students - WikiGraphers.

When selecting participants, their motivation, enthusiasm and willingness to be included in the program will be taken into account. The accessibility of the project for underrepresented groups will be highly emphasized.

All courses at WikiFactory will start from the basic level. The students will get acquainted with the visualization tools and software and the process of editing in Wikimedia projects. Spreading Wiki ideology among WikiFactory students within a year will motivate them to continue to contribute on Wikimedia projects, even after the program is completed. We will continue to design programs for the development of Wikimedia projects, which will also be aimed at developing the skills of Wiki contributors. In addition, the Hetq Media Factory will be open to all graduates upon completion of the project so that they can come and edit, use the laptops and software to produce visuals at any time, and the project organizers will continue to support them.

The project implementation process, the open call of admission will be promoted on our social media pages, newsletter and through the communication channels of our partners. To increase the visibility of the program, we plan to use online ads, which will allow us to reach a more targeted audience. With the help of the Hetq Media Factory professional video team, we plan to shoot a promotional video, which will more vividly present the mission, activities and results of the project. Also, we plan to write about the program in the Wikimedia Foundation Educational Newsletter and in the Wikimedia blog.

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.

With more than ten years of editing experience in Wikimedia projects, the project manager, the education team coordinator and the Wiki instructor have a clear idea of the capabilities of Armenian Wikipedia editors, what kind of projects are carried out on Wikipedia, the problems and challenges that the community faces. Formerly a member of the Wikimedia Armenia staff, over the years we have designed and implemented numerous projects that have gained widespread recognition not only in the local but also in the international Wiki community (WikiCamps, WikiClubs, CEE Meeting 2016, Wikipedia Education Collaborative Meeting in Yerevan 2017, etc.).

As soon as the funding for the project is approved and the preparatory works begin, we will inform the Wiki community and the general public about the project.

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.

The Investigative Journalists NGO is the founding organization of two separate structures operating in parallel: Hetq Newsroom and Hetq Media Factory. Hetq is a well-known and well-respected investigative newsroom, Media Factory is a multimedia school that gained a high reputation in a short period of time.

Both Hetq and Media Factory are governed by joint decisions of their boards. The board members are the Investigative Journalists NGO president, executive director of Hetq, manager of Media Factory, financial director of Investigative Journalists NGO and an at-large member depending on the topics of discussion.

Attached is the structure of the decision-making procedure at Investigative Journalists NGO.

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

The project staff includes:
  • Project Manager - Armen Mirzoyan (User:Armenmir, editor since 2011). Has 4 years of program management experience. Worked as WikiClubs’ Coordinator at Wikimedia Armenia. Since 2019, is the coordinator of Media Factory, a journalist at Hetq.
  • Education Team Coordinator - Lilit Tarkhanyan (user:Lilitik22, editor since 2011). Has 8 years of experience in managing educational programs. Co-founder and Education Program Coordinator of Wikimedia Armenia, co-founder of Wikipedia Education Collaborative. Since 2020, is the Education Team Lead of Hetq Media Factory.
  • Visual Production Coordinator - Ani Hovhannisyan, investigative and data journalist at Hetq since 2009. Has more than 5 years of program management experience. In 2019, she co-founded and is managing Hetq Media Factory as well as oversees the quality of media products created by students.
  • Accountant - Shushan Margaryan. Has 10 years of professional experience as an accountant.

Instructors include:

  • Wiki instructor - Yurik Mkrtchyan (user:GeoO, editor since 2012). Has worked as SMM at Wikimedia Armenia, and has conducted a number of Wiki workshops organized by WMAM. Since 2020, has been the Social Media and Communications Specialist of Hetq and Hetq Media Factory.
  • Illustration/animation instructor - Aret Boztaş Tovmasian. He is a video editor and animator at the TCF Armenia which is a top crowdfunding agency on Kickstarter & Indiegogo. He worked as an illustrator and animator at Skyline Animation Studio and Bison Animation Studio.
  • Data visualization instructor - Katya Mamyan, data journalist, analyst. Since 2020 a "Data Journalism" and "Technology in Journalism" instructor at Hetq Media Factory. She has skills in Python (matplotlib), R, Tableau, Google Data Studio, Infogram.
  • GIS mapping instructor - Stepan Khachatryan. Has been a GIS analyst at RA Ministry of Education and Science, a GIS expert at WWF-Armenia. Since January 2021 a GIS instructor at Hetq Media Factory.

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?

By implementing our project, we hope to improve and learn the following:
  • Methods of effective teaching skills vs knowledge: to teach skills, instructors need to coach students, encourage them to practice and do the tasks with them repeatedly until they do it automatically. Teaching knowledge, in other words, shaping knowledge requires a different approach. Instructors need to explain the theoretical concepts of visualization trying to form a knowledge-based taste in the long-term memory of a student.
  • Project implementation in any situation: in the last 2 years, the pandemic affected almost every sphere and organizations regardless of its size, capabilities and location. At the same time, since September 2020 Armenia was in a 44-day war because of the escalation of the Karabakh conflict. Over 6000 people died last year in Armenia because of the war and the pandemic. In the hardest situations, the Hetq Media Factory team and students decided to work harder. We overcame the challenge of online teaching, the loss of our students’ family members and relatives. We have achieved our project goals precisely regardless of the situation and were considered one of the best projects of the year by the donor organization - the U.S. Embassy in Armenia.
  • Creation of sustainable networks: creating a network of reliable partners that share the same values and are ready to collaborate requires long-term efforts, and every new project is an opportunity to expand the network.

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 Students. 20 students will study at WikiFactory during one year.

Instructors and team. In the metrics, we count as participants not only the students but the instructors and the organizing team as well. We will have 4 instructors and 4 team members.

Hackathon. It is planned to involve ten active editors of the Armenian Wikipedia in the hackathon to be organized after the first term of the classes.

Number of editors Students. WikiFactory admission call will be open for all the interested participants. 20 students will be selected to study at WikiFactory.

Instructors and team. Two of the four team members and one of the instructors are experienced wiki editors.

Hackathon. The hackathon will be attended by 20 students from WikiFactory, 10 Wiki community members, 4 instructors and 4 team members.

Number of organizers “WikiGraphers: Visualizing open knowledge” project team will consist of program staff and instructors. The staff will include the Project Manager, Education Team Coordinator, Visual Production Coordinator and Accountant. Instructors will include Wiki instructor, Illustration/animation instructor, Data visualization instructor and GIS mapping instructor. More details about each team member and instructors can be found in section 22 (“Do you have the team needed to support this proposal?”). 8
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikipedia Within the framework of the “WikiGraphers: Visualizing open knowledge” project, it is planned to visualize 200 of the most viewed educational articles on the Armenian Wikipedia. 200
Wikimedia Commons As already mentioned above, the 200 most viewed educational articles of the Armenian Wikipedia will be visualized within the framework of the project. Depending on the topic, articles can have a variety of visuals. Therefore, we give an approximate number of 500 visuals for all the 200 articles. 500

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)

During the implementation of the program we plan to carry out three evaluations։ educational program twice and the hackathon. Each term students will anonymously assess the education they receive at WikiFactory, the quality of the education they receive in each subject, how well the instructors share their knowledge with students, the lecturer engagement with the audience, whether the students will continue to edit Wikimedia projects. etc.

At the end of the hackathon, we will ask the participants to evaluate the quality of the event, the selected format, the feasibility of the set tasks, the integration into the wiki community, the exchange of knowledge, experience, etc.

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

1. For the number of participants, editors, organizers, content contributions per Wikimedia project, edit retentions we will use Event Metrics.
2. To receive feedback from WikiFactory students and Hackathon participants we will conduct anonymous evaluation surveys.
3. We will use Facebook and Google Analytics to see the reach of our admission announcement. Via Facebook Analytics we can also count how many people our posts have reached, how many reactions or comments about visuals we have got.

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

Create a video of our experience, Make a short presentation of the experience, Share results on social media, Share results with our communities

Financial Proposal


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

44098732 AMD

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

91288 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?

Investigative Journalists NGO has been working under grant programs received from various organizations for about twenty years, submitting programmatic and financial reports according to the established schedule. The organization undergoes an internal audit every year, and an independent external audit every few years.

The organisation maintains a computerised accounting system and received and managed grants from the European Union, U.S. Embassy in Armenia, the Embassy of the United Kingdom, Embassy of Norway, National Endowment for Democracy, Open Society Foundation, USAID, Eurasia Partnership Foundation, OCCRP etc.

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

Hetq Media Factory greatly enhances the supportive educational environment, which is why the organization has developed its own Rules and Regulations, including Code of Conduct that excludes all forms of violence at the Media Factory and guarantees a friendly, respectful environment where everyone is welcomed and receives the professional and personal support he needs.

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.