Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/AfroCROWD:Championing Communities of African Descent on and in Wikimedia and Improving the relevance of Wikipedia and open technology to communities of Color/Midpoint Report

Midterm Learning Report

Report Status: Accepted

Due date: 2023-01-13T00:00:00Z

Funding program: Wikimedia Community Fund

Report type: Midterm

Application Final Learning Report

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General information edit

This form is for organizations receiving Wikimedia Community Funds (General Support) or Wikimedia Alliances Funds to report on their mid-term learning and results. See the Wikimedia Community Fund application if you want to review the initial proposal.

  • Name of Organization: AfroCROWD
  • Title of Proposal: AfroCROWD: Championing Communities of African Descent on and in Wikimedia and Improving the relevance of Wikipedia and open technology to communities of Color
  • Amount awarded: 133489.33 USD, 133489.33 USD
  • Amount spent: 34172.4 USD

Part 1 Understanding your work edit

1. Briefly describe how your strategies and activities proposed were implemented and if any changes to what was proposed are worth highlighting?

We spent time working on organizing, planning, networking, recruiting and updating our structure for the greater opportunities to work in a hybrid, post pandemic setting and reconnecting the wires. This means being flexible to changes and making the most of unforeseen opportunities. In some cases that meant reconnecting with partners in areas we had during the pandemic. This took time but out of it has developed greater potential output for the second half of the year.

For example, AfroCROWD is currently engaging in ongoing efforts to involve the World Bank as a partner in its initiative. Discussions are happening at the management level on the possibility of hosting Wikipedia introductory workshops with World Bank staff, but these initial discussions might take some time. However, once everything is in place, activities will speed up. This partnership aligns with AfroCROWD's vision and mission of promoting free knowledge, culture, and software movements among people of African descent, and improving the relevance of Wikipedia and open technology to communities of color. By working with the World Bank, AfroCROWD can leverage their expertise and reach to expand the impact of its efforts and bring the benefits of Wikipedia and open technology to even more communities. Additionally, the World Bank staff will benefit from the training and knowledge they will receive through the workshop.

2. Were there any strategies or approaches that you feel are being effective in achieving your goals?

We have been working with local groups and leaders to perfect our project this year. So far, we have connected with new partners and have made in-roads in bringing on our associates that help us work better. Unlike in previous years, we have made efforts to hone in time saving procedures and increase planning with the priority being a focused campaign that streamlines our mission-critical objectives. This decision means saying no to more sporadic endeavors in favor of focusing on a few objectives rather than several that may be disjointed.

The streamlining of work priorities we hope will result in more qualitative results and more effective workflow while simultaneously expanding our brand and creating deeper roots. We hope this will help shore up our foundation as we continue to develop and grow in the coming seasons.

3. What challenges or obstacles have you encountered so far?

One immediate obstacle has been the process of reconnecting with partners and rebuilding in-person efforts especially now that we are returning to holding in-person initiatives, as well as online initiatives. This in-between space can slow down efforts as audiences get used to once again joining us in person, and we organize for those efforts and attempt to make the most of networks created during our period of online only work. This is a shift in culture that requires renewed understanding of our audience, renewed efforts to capture what works best for them and for us, and renewed momentum as the world shifts back into gear. This is exciting, and we look forward to what happens next.

Another obstacle has been multiple illnesses, including our Executive Director, for much of the summer and fall. We have, however, made strides despite setbacks postponing efforts directly associated with that period and we should be able to regain areas lost.

4. Please describe how different communities are participating and being informed about your work.

We have, throughout the pandemic, continued our work online, in social media, in use of YouTube, in communications via Zoom, and in communications via a website. We have a renewed desire to revamp all of our networks and regain our communities via our newsletter and focused campaigns in mixed media. We have also worked with partners, sharing our work via extended networks among our partners which include outreach campaigns and their Listservs. In addition, we have maintained participation in conferences, and even expanded our footprint to the development of other tech, like a video game.

We are also looking at more medium to continue this kind of work.

5. Please share reflections on how your efforts are helping to engage participants and/or build content, particularly for underrepresented groups.

The core of what we do centers on representation. We made efforts to reach out to members of our community from many different backgrounds. We have brought on, we have been working with HBCU professors and students, as well as an LGBTQ QTBIPOC consultant. We have continued to work with partners in several portions of the areas we have connected. For example, in the Pacific Northwest, we held a local event and brought in and introduced the Wiki Culture Festival aimed at the Black community and spoke at the Oregon State University. We also have focused our work on disparate groups, for linguistic diversity, we have worked with a game apps developer, and part of a group that is developing a game to improve understanding of indigenous African language using Wiki Data and gaming. We have also worked with members of the youth community by working with partners like Wiki Vibrance for International Youth Day, and as they develop their work. For example, we provided resources to help Wiki Vibrance create its logo, and are committed to doing more with the organization. We also used our time during Wikimania to help share and bolster the work of young Wikipedians as an expo of their work, and our work with them.

6. In your application, you outlined your learning priorities. What have you learned so far about these areas during this period?

We have learned some best practices as we work in these areas. For example, we have learned the importance of using available resources intentionally toward our purposes beyond current issues and in expectation of potential issues.

During these times–transitional times, delegating more, and increased prioritization of local talent, as well as increased use of better resources and also understanding of the delicacy of transition working to another (e.g. transition between in person and virtual events, as well as hybrid events). Being a part of Wiki Summit is valuable in getting to handle the same issue and problem and turning it into something useful. It was very useful to realize that we are not alone in the space of transition and that we can join our efforts to respect the necessity of slowing down in order to improve our transitional effectiveness.

7. What are the next steps and opportunities you’ll be focusing on for the second half of your work?

In the New Year, we have already begun to birth our efforts and planning for the fall. We are looking forward to implementing our new strategies as well as our newly created materials and procedures that reflect the space we are in now and the needs of these adjustments. For example, our outreach campaign and social media campaign will contain pre-made materials that should allow us to focus on other portions of our efforts while maintaining outreach to a greater community.

Part 2: Metrics edit

8a. Open and additional metrics data.

Open Metrics
Open Metrics Description Target Results Comments Methodology
participants of the events, workshops and trainings As the project aims to be open to people of all backgrounds with a special focus on people of African descent, we expect strong interest from the public and aim to have over 1000 participants throughout the 3 years of the events. 1000 127 This is according to our dashboard and event head count and excludes online viewing of events like our Wikimania event. Dashboard, registration and headcount
number of events We aim to have an educational event at least once a month for the 3 years. 36 17 This includes talks and panels along with campaigns, trainings and meetups. Dashboard, registration and headcount
Survey responses We aim to hold surveys inclusive of self identification and asking questions related to responses to question 19 600 57 This process is still in the works with a short term goal of 100 respondents. Entry survey at registration with an online survey to follow in the later Spring.
Additional Metrics
Additional Metrics Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Number of editors that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of organizers that continue to participate/retained after activities N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Feedback from participants on effective strategies for attracting and retaining contributors N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Diversity of participants brought in by grantees N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of people reached through social media publications N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of activities developed N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of volunteer hours N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

8b. Additional core metrics data.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Number of participants Our events will be open to people of all backgrounds with a special focus on people of African descent. The number of participants in all activities will be 1000+. Out of that number at least 600 people will be new participants. 600 127
Number of editors Our events will be open to people of all backgrounds with a special focus on people of African descent. The number of editors in all activities will be 1000+. Out of that number at least 500 people will be new editors. 500 83 Dashboard programs including Wiki EDU
Number of organizers The number of organizers in the project is 50. Additionally, we will have 4 new organizers that will help to oversee, monitor and plan project activities such as edit-a-thons, online and offline meetings etc.) 50 33 The aim is 50 over three years Count = Sum of number of organizers for each event.
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target Results Comments Methodology
Wikipedia Wikipedia

1000 new articles edited related to topics on cultures and communities of Africa and the African diaspora and associated topics.

1000 1003 N/A Articles edited counted by Dashboard.
Wikimedia Commons We aim to have 350 images uploaded to Wikimedia commons. 350 227 N/A Wikimedia Commons uploads via Dashboard.

9. Are you having any difficulties collecting data to measure your results?

Yes. Since our efforts are online for this first part of the year, we are looking for ways to improve data collection in the virtual setting. As we expect to still need some data in the hybrid setting, we are working on improving data collection in both hybrid environments and online virtual environments, and also interested in speeding data collection in person. We are very interested in any assistance that can be provided here.

10. Are you collaborating and sharing learning with Wikimedia affiliates or community members?


10a. Please describe how you have already shared them and if you would like to do more sharing, and if so how?

Yes. As mentioned, we worked in collaboration with Wiki Vibrance sharing resources there, and with game developers Lulu on their project. We are also working with editors in Benin, Africa as they work on creating new programs in partnership with us. Please also see our learning pattern here on how to facilitate online in a hybrid setting in the post-pandemic age.

11. Documentation of your work process, story, and impact.

  • Below there is a section to upload files, videos, sound files, images (photos and infographics, e.g. communications materials, blog posts, compelling quotes, social media posts, etc.). This can be anything that would be useful to understand and show your learning and results to date (e.g., training material, dashboards, presentations, communications material, training material, etc).
  • Below is an additional field to type in link URLs.

Part 3: Financial reporting and compliance edit

12. Please state the total amount spent in your local currency.


13. Local currency type


14. Please report the funds received and spending in the currency of your fund.

  • Upload Documents, Templates, and Files.
  • Provide links to your financial reporting documents.

15. Based on your implementation and learning to date, do you have any plans to make changes to the budget spending?


15a. Please provide an explanation on how you hope to adjust this.

We would like to send two people to Wikimania. We are also holding more in-person events and would like to use some of the funding for items related to food spending and necessary locale travel.

16. We’d love to hear any thoughts you have on how the experience of being a grantee has been so far.

We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Foundation and participate in the Wikimedia Movement. It is good to see what is being done to assist grantees and involve stakeholders and the wider community. The Summit was an especially positive experience as well as outreach to EDs and seeking input with more community members.