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Grants talk:PEG/Africa Centre/Wiki Loves Africa 2014/Report

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Please add your comments, thoughts and suggestions on the Wiki Loves Africa 2014 Report below. Thank you for your time.

Thank you for submitting your grant report today. Comments will be posted here as your report is reviewed. Be sure to also submit your documentation of expenditures to us at grants(_AT_), if you have not already done so. We will need them to complete our review of your report. For your reference, guidelines on documenting expenses are at Grants:Documenting project expenses. Best wishes, Jtud (WMF) (talk) 20:14, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

WMF commentsEdit

Hi Isla and Florence. Thank you for this detailed grant report and all your efforts in making this project a success. As the first contest organized across the African continent, it's encouraging to see the engagement of so many local communities. The participation numbers are impressive and it's great that so many local events were organized! We have a number of comments/questions on the report below and look forward to your responses.

There was a broad range in the types of events that local organizers held. Do you have any lessons on what types of events were most successful in terms of engaging participants and creating content or did it vary a lot from country to country?

We asked all the organising groups to fill in an online survey about each of the events they held - you can see the detailed responses here: It seems that the most enjoyed events were participatory and action packed (photo hunts) and especially involved cooking and/or eating the food (cooking demos, cook-offs, or press launch with local food involved). The upload sessions are often frustrating from a technical viewpoint and are also a steep learning curve.

What were the main areas of support that the continental organizing team gave to local organizers? The report mentions marketing materials and PR templates. Do the local teams now have the ability and tools to organize these events on their own?

We supplied the following support to the local organisers:

  • Set-up and general management of website (including setting up the website, writing all content pages, translating the content pages, calling for blogs from local teams, managing access, dealing with spam...) - FDE/IHF
  • Set-up of all pages on meta and Commons : (includes creation of landing pages, faq, media report, competition rules, jury presentation etc.) - mostly FDE
  • Set-up and management of social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter (including regular posting and interaction with the SM accounts of the local teams) - Mostly FDE
  • Translation management on Commons (include struggling with these cute <translate> marks, getting support from translation admins, doing translation or calling for help on translation matters) - mostly FDE with help of Jean-Fred
  • Set-up of site-notice (included selection of message, image, landing pages, call for translation and support to translators, negotiation for timeslots) - mostly FDE
  • Discussions and suggestions on the kinds of events local teams could hold and encouragement for alternative ideas beyond photo hunts and meetups. - FDE/IHF
  • Approval and debate around financial requirements for local teams - mostly IHF
  • Financial management including wiring the funds - IHF and Africa Centre admin
  • Templates and final materials for the marketing (in some cases these were adapted by the local teams to include local partners and sponsors, in most cases not) - mostly IHF
  • 3 press releases written in 2 languages that could be adapted to local conditions (but, it seems, were sent to local press as is)
  • Sending the press releases to press contacts across the continent and in Europe. Answering press; running interviews. IHF/FDE
  • Writing blogs for continental exposure beyond the reach of the teams (such as for WMF blog or WM FR blog) - FDE
  • Clean-up of the uploaded images (tagging and deletion of irrelevant. Wish the community would did it… but...) - FDE
  • Identification of the jury (4 wikimedians, 3 external) - FDE/IHF
  • Set-up and management of the jury votes - FDE
  • Set-up and facilitation of the community vote for the 4th winner - Mostly FDE
  • Set-up of the crowdfunding initiative for the gifts to winners - FDE/IHF
  • Communication with winners (identification, announcement) - initially FDE
  • Winning prizes management (purchase of gifts, getting winners images printed, gifts shipping) - IHF
  • Set-up and management of report from local teams (feedback survey, etc.) - IHF
  • Collection of data for stats (website, uploads etc.) - IHF with help of Erik
  • Report to the Wikimedia community (GLAM WIKI IHF, Wikimania FDE)

With regards to organise their own events - yes, we think they could, but we think there is still a level of oversight and encouragement that is needed. Most of these teams are still quite young and “green” with regards to the range of events they could offer, and many have little experience in marketing, social media or publicity.
Also, we found out that we managed alone most of the global context (the website, the SM, the commons pages, the clean-up on Commons, the press releases), probably because of the rather low number of potential participants (compared to other photo contests such as WLM).

It would be helpful to have the team's reflections on how the contest brought together not just Wikimedians, but other communities aligned with the movement (one of the project goals).

There were a number of partners that aligned with the volunteer groups - and this highlighted the presence of a growing wikimedia community.
Local teams got rather easily in contact with Creative Commons people, OSM groups, or bloggers. Contact and partnership with more “official” organizations was difficult as it was sometimes perceived that local teams lacked authority and were looked upon with suspicion (the continental team will supply letters of association for WLAf 2015 as a result).

A key goal of the project was to galvanize the activities of local communities. The answers to the Learning Question are helpful in understanding how the project brought together communities to participate in Wiki Loves Africa. It would be great to understand better the longer-term impact on these communities. Do you have a sense of how much activity has increased in each country since the contest has ended?

We have only a limited sense of that given that we do not have access to tools allowing to measure the activity of editors in a local country on Wikimedia projects…
What we do know is that some local teams went on organizing events around the food topic even well after the contest was over (case of Ivory Coast for example). We also know that the african mailing list (which is only a year old) is growing fine. We know that the existing community is enthusiastic to the idea of WLAf 2015 and that new volunteers recently showed up (such as George, who is staff at Institut Français in Douala).
The best indicator of the ability of the competition to show how it had activated local communities are the numbers of images that were submitted from outside the focus countries. Nigeria, Algeria and Cameroon all showed great support. Their group of volunteers have since gone on to host local events in their home cities (not associated with Wiki Loves Africa). Although there is no direct evidence that Wiki Loves Africa and their enthuisiasm are linked, we believe that it did help to energise and galvanise these recently gathered communities.

We really appreciate the in-depth report published on Commons regarding the results, lessons learned, and best practices. A couple of key highlights for us include the challenges with translation (something we also come across a lot, most recently with the Inspire Campaign), which we are thinking about how to address, the fact that active Wikimedia volunteers are critical to success and should be a focus of future projects, while not communicating this in a way that alienates others and discourages them from participating, and the need to plan for better image quality and uploading events. All of these are great insights and will help plan for improved contests in the future. We're looking forward to seeing how the new grant request reflect all of the best practices and lessons learned from last year.

It looks like this is not a question… but I (Anthere (talk)) will comment anyway :) I took the opportunity at Wikimania to discuss these issues with several “tech” people or WMF community liaison.
On the translation side, I did not hear of any great solution unfortunately, that could be adapted to the meta environment of Commons. I will consequently only keep the use of those marks on pages unlikely to change much and drop the use of <translate> for others because it was too complex for the rather new participants to join in to help for translation (leading me to painfully manage most of the translations). I will revert to a simpler system that can be joined more easily by other participants. However, if you have new ideas of how to improve this… all my ears are open to suggestions.
On the image quality issue, I discussed with WikiFranca leader (Benoît) as well as with Wikimedia France staff, and some of our photograph experts (such as Pyb who was on our jury and is the leader of the Wikicheese project), and we agreed WikiFranca could be involved and help in the creation and adaptation of a guideline document for quality image. Without going into great technical details, there are recommendations that may be useful and applicable by every participant. It would also be a nice opportunity to outline legal considerations (with regards to licence and to privacy).
On the upload issue… we can see two possible improvements. One could be the WikiAfrica pack with its offline server (images could be uploaded on the local server with its mediawiki instance, then pushed on Commons), but I doubt this will be ready by October. Another might be to push, as early as possible, the identification of local partners with decent connectivity.

A common theme among the survey responses was the need for "more people, more volunteers". What are the team's thoughts for developing a strategy around even more engagement?

On the French speaking side, we will involve WikiFranca members (most WikiFranca members are European/Canadians… time to change that). WikiFranca main event (Mois de la contribution) was until last year in October, but decided to move to February so we can hope for more availability of its members (for activities such as “quality image guide”, or adapting some of Wikimedia France booklets, or set-up of a press contact list for francophone countries);
From an awareness campaign, as mentioned earlier the local teams are not always skilled in marketing or publicity. This year we intend to publish guidelines on what can be done locally and how to approach local networks, student bodies, etc. to spread the news about the contest. Last year we did a global social media campaign, and this year we will drive more local news and local connections to the local volunteer group so that they get the local queries from interested contestants. This will drive more awareness around local Wikimedia groups in general;
We will be approaching Orange Fondation in countries where Orange has a local foundation, so as to get a launching event co-organized by local teams and local Orange Foundations. Hopefully, this will help local teams get in touch with the network of local Orange Foundations and foster more participants;
Wikimedia community did not know of WLAf when we started (since it was first year…). After one year of operation, we are now included in the Wiki Loves X movement and hopefully will get more online support (in particular help with tagging and clean-up would be great);
Some countries were very disappointed not to get seed money to organize local events (for example, Algeria was not included in the focus countries list in 2014). We hope that increasing the number of focus countries from 8 to 10 will motivate two more teams to actively get involved and drive participation. In addition to last year’s teams, Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria, and Tanzania have all expressed interest over the last month to be involved.
Last… even though some local communities might not get funding to organize local events, it would probably be best to be more inclusive and give them as much attention and visibility than to the other countries.

The new editor retention numbers are impressive. Has the continental team or local teams taken specific steps to keep engaging new editors from the project?

When the editors are known from local communities, they are likely to get contacted by the local teams with the new contest (WLAf 2015). Local teams particularly appreciated that the contest gave them the opportunity to organize events around it that permitted to engage participants.
All WLAf 2014 participants might be contacted as well online… in particular when we set up WLAf 2015, but the line is thin with regards to spam...

The number of distinct images used on Wikimedia projects is now 6%, which is fairly low compared to other photo competitions. We realize that this was not an emphasis for the first year of the contest. However, we would like to see more effort by local communities to integrate high quality images into the projects. Hopefully they can organize editathons focused on actually using the great photos collected.

We could not agree more. It is something we need to push. We did manage to do two extension activities of the project by creating WikiBooks on Cuisine in Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda, in this way the images from these two countries were integrated into the projects and in an informative and fun way. In future, we will definitely be encouraging the local groups to host a session after the competition, where editors create or expand articles and further integrate the images. A Categ-a-thons might be useful as well (goodness… I have no idea if that word does exist, but if it does not… it should be created…) as the tagging of the images is also a bit low.

Please be sure to fill out the "Achieved outcome" column of the Global Metrics table.

How strange. I have checked the table in edit mode and the information is there - where it was originally transferred. But it obviously doesn’t show up in the table. I am not sure how to fix this? Is there some technical problem with the tables? See : [1]

Love how the prizes included cooking books or books about the theme : )

yeah ! As a side note… (room for improvement), these books were donated (great) but they were only in English (less great). Turned out that all winners were English speaking so it was not an issue at all in the end. Next year topic could also lead to books as gifts but we need to reflect on that linguistic issue.

Many thanks to Romaine and Erik for their support with this project!

yeah !

It's great to see that so many local partners supported events!

yeah !

Please provide more details on the reallocation request. Which affiliates would participate, who would lead the organizing, what part of the books would they work on, and what is the budget breakdown?

We sent out the request to the organising committees and it seems that three countries were interested. I (Isla) will follow up with them next week, and provide a detailed answer to this question once they have confirmed.

Thanks again for this report. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 03:43, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Please retain the remaining funds until a decision has been made on your open grant request. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:07, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Confirming that the remaining funds of US$1,649.26 was deducted from Wiki Loves Africa 2015 grant payment. -- Jtud (WMF) (talk) 17:50, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
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