Grants:Project/Anelsona/Wiki Loves the Dominican Republic/travel request

travel request
summarymultiple organizations collaborate to present Wiki content to clinics in the Dominican Republic
targetEnglish, Spanish, French, Hatian Creole
contact• anne.nelson(_AT_)• kas2270(_AT_)
this project needs...
created on16:50, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

Project ideaEdit

What is the problem you're trying to solve?Edit

Explain the problem that you are trying to solve with this project or the opportunity you’re taking advantage of. What is the issue you want to address? You can update and add to this later.

Vast expanses of the world exist without access to the Internet, or even the infrastructure and electrical grid to support it. We would like to use offline platforms, such as Wikipedia partner Internet-in-a-Box, to extend the benefit of Wikipedia's medical content to these populations -- starting with rural areas in Latin America. But not all cultures acquire knowledge in the same way. There are issues concerning languages, use of technology and learning styles that need to be addressed to make the best use of available resources.

We have assembled a team of medical personnel, Latin American development experts and technologists to conduct a pilot study in the Dominican Republic, and create a protocol to address these questions that could be scalable to other areas in the future. More details about this effort are posted at en:Wikipedia:Wiki loves the Dominican Republic.

At this point, the smaller problem to address is lack of insight on digital access to health information in the Dominican Republic.

What is your solution?Edit

If you think of your project as an experiment in solving the problem you just described, what is the particular solution you're aiming to test? You will provide details of your plan below, but explain your main idea here.

For this phase of the project, the goal is to arrange for in-person meetings between graduate students and physicians in New York City who already are fluent with Dominican and Caribbean language and culture to clinics in the Dominican Republic. At these meetings, students would discuss editing and reading Wikipedia's medical content. The aim would be to advance conversations between the Dominican community in New York City and the Dominican Republic itself, and to better establish information exchanges between clinics in the Dominican Republic and Wikipedia editors at Columbia University and Mount Sinai Hospital.

Project goalsEdit

Explain what are you trying to accomplish with this project, or what do you expect will change as a result of this grant.

  1. three multilingual graduate students at School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University complete a full term project in the Wikipedia Education Program
    1. Each student edits an article in English and another language (French, Spanish, Creole)
    2. Each student demonstrates Wikipedia proficiency as expected in the wiki education program
  2. These 3 students and 5 additional professors and physicians do site visits to clinics in the Dominican Republic
    1. The site visits will produce all the products typical of academic review of clinical settings, including reports, assessments, and interview notes
    2. These clinics already have established relationships with Mt. Sinai Hospital. The relationship deepens with this visit.
  3. At the clinics, the students deploy off-line access to Wikipedia in multiple languages
    1. The clinics will get a physical Internet-in-a-Box device, which is a storage device and wifi transmitter which provides offline Wikipedia access
    2. The WikiProject Medicine App using Kiwix software will present Wikipedia
    3. Usage data from the devices and user feedback will be collected
  4. Students will publish a report of the overall experience

Project planEdit


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project? The project can be imagined as follows -

  1. An instance of a full term, full time Wikipedia education program for 3 graduate student participants...
  2. which includes conference travel for 8 people...
  3. in coordination with a range of Wikimedia community stakeholders, including Wikimedia NYC, the Wikipedia education program, WikiProject Medicine, and the offline deployment community...
  4. finishing with published student reflections and academic publishing


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

The request is to cover travel expenses for 8, 1-week trips from New York City to the Dominican Republic. Each trip will cost 1500, so 8*1500=$12,000

The first trip, taking place between February 19 and 26, will involve a Mount Sinai faculty member (her costs covered by Mount Sinai), medical two residents, and Anne Nelson as project coordinator. This will be an introductory mission and will establish some relationships in three clinical settings around San Pedro: Hospital Antonio Musa in San Pedro, a rural clinic, and a local health center for Haitian immigrants.

The second trip, to take place over SIPA's spring break (March 13-20), will send three SIPA students and two SIPA faculty (Anne Nelson and Mariela Machado), plus one of the Mount Sinai residents.

To clarify

  • February 19-26, 2017, 7 nights - 4500 requested for 3 people
    • Mount Sinai faculty (paid - no funds requested)
    • two Mt. Sinai medical residents - 3000, 1500 each
    • Anne Nelson as project coordinator, 1500
  • March 13-20, 2017, 7 nights - 9000 requested for 6 people
    • one Mt. Sinai medical resident - 1500
    • Anne Nelson as project coordinator, 1500
    • One other Columbia University faculty, 1500
    • 3 Columbia University graduate students, 4500

This amount of money is not enough to cover all expenses for the project, but will cover flights, hotel, food, and other transportation.

Other expenses and in-kind donations are estimated at USD 8000 and will be funded by other sources including Columbia University and Mt Sinai Hospital. None of the participants in the project are funded for their time.

Community engagementEdit

How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve at various points during your project? Community input and participation helps make projects successful.

The project coordinator user:Anelsona has been presenting regularly at Wikimedia community events since 2011. She continues to join Wikimedia NYC events, and is the community's primary liaison for the project.

The en:WP:Wiki Loves the Dominican Republic project page lists other community stakeholders.

The most challenging part of the project will be getting feedback from health care providers in the Dominican Republic. There is no established Wikimedia community there. The hope is that the established relationship which clinics there have with Columbia University, Mr. Sinai Hospital, and Dominican Americans in NYC will encourage staff at those clinics to consider Wikipedia to its fullest extent and give the most direct feedback on the extent to which Wikipedia works for them.


What do you expect will happen to your project after the grant ends? How might the project be continued or grown in new ways afterwards?

Project Coordinator Anne Nelson has used Wikipedia in the classroom since 2011 and continues to collaborate with Wikimedia NYC and other Wikimedia projects. She is committed to increasing access to Wikipedia in the Caribbean islands and will continue to promote this after the project.

Columbia and Mt. Sinai hospital already have established relationship with clinics in the Dominican Republic and have an ongoing challenge of supporting those clinics with medical information. If Wikipedia can become part of their information sharing plan, then great, but otherwise, those relationships will go on.

The students in this program joined specifically to spend a term considering Wikipedia's usefulness for sharing information in Caribbean islands. These are graduate students in international affairs and likely this project will color their professional careers going forward because they chose it and they are pushing for success.

Various other wiki stakeholders - including Wikimedia NYC, Internet-in-a-Box, Kiwix, and WikiProject Medicine outreach - all will include this project as part of their organizational history. There is limited communication between Wikipedians in the United States and Central and South America, but there is hope that developing the Spanish-speaking base of Wikipedians in NYC could develop conversations between US wiki groups and all Spanish language wiki groups.

Measures of successEdit

How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include specific, measurable targets here.

  1. 3 students complete terms in the Wikipedia Education Program
  2. At least 2 physicians publish some review of the students' Wikipedia edits
  3. An Internet-in-a-box device is deployed presenting the WikiProject Medicine App through Kiwix in at least 2 clinics in the Dominican Republic
  4. Each student publishes a reflection on the experience
  5. Collectively program participants publish a summary of results

Get involvedEdit


Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

  • Anne Nelson - professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Has participated in Wikipedia:Education program regularly from 2011-2016.
  • Kendall Stewart - program administrator at School of International and Public Affairs
  • Mariela Machado Fantacchiotti - Technical advisor for ICT projects at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University - Program Manager at Engineering for Change
  • Ramona Sunderwirth - physician and professor of emergency medicine at Mt. Sinai
  • Lane Rasberry - Consumer Reports and Wikipedia, bluerasberry
  • the offline Wikipedia team, including Internet-in-a-box which presents Kiwix
  • opportunities for general community involvement from Wikimedia NYC, WikiProject Medicine, Wikimedia Mexico, and anyone interested in offline wiki access

Community notificationEdit

You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc.--> Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?

  • There have been a series of community notifications. Anne Nelson presented the project at WikiConference North America October 2016 and Wikipedia Day NYC January 2017


Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • I support this project. I drafted this grant request for and with Anne Nelson and this team. I have known Anne for a few years and with Wikimedia NYC have done outreach to various instructors, librarians, and students at both Mount Sinai Hospital and Columbia University. I am not so closely involved with this project, except that I facilitate all sorts of wiki-collaborations related to health in partnership with Wikimedia NYC. I also am providing some wiki-training to student participants in this. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:50, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Endorse. This looks like a really valuable event in terms of outreach and education. I really like the engagement I have seen from the editors who are part of Lane's work at Mount Sinai. I think the more we can encourage and support these natural science and medicine based Wikipedians, the better the encyclopedia as well as the editing community will be. I also really like the fact that this is outreach to an area that is Spanish speaking and represents a diverse community -- the Dominican Republic -- for the North American chapters. Fully support -- and look forward to seeing how this project develops! -- Erika aka BrillLyle (talk) 05:47, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Endorse. This worthwhile project addresses multiple important directions that the Wikipedia community is working towards: global outreach, education, open access, health information, and online and offline community building. What I find particularly exciting is that by employing an open platform (not a closed or commercial one), that this has the potential of increasing the impact of scholarly work greatly. Other educators will also learn from this how to construct similar projects in different fields as well. Mozucat (talk) 16:53, 20 January 2017 (UTC)