Wiki In Africa/Focus

Wiki In Africa full colour logo 02.png


Wiki In Africa (www.wikiinafrica.org) is a South African registered NPO whose work across the continent.

Its mission is to:

Facilitate global access for all to open knowledge that reflects and represents the diverse cultures, peoples, biodiversities, and histories of the African continent and other previously marginalized and disenfranchised communities with the same depth and breadth as other knowledges.

To achieve this mission, it combats the digital divide across Africa through layered, strategically-focused programs that progress skills acquisition, leadership development, and community building.

Collectively the programs result in representative visual and textual content under free licenses that reflect previously skewed, misunderstood, or invisible knowledges, realities, cultures, and histories. The organisation’s core activities are geared towards activating sustainable contribution of content that relates to Africa (and similarly disadvantaged communities and populations) whose value and worth are decided by those communities and individuals. This content contributes to decolonizing knowledge and the internet.

Wiki In Africa’s activities supports the strategic goals of the Wikimedia movement. We support free expression, a free and open Internet, and the use of open licenses, and the protection of the public domain.

Thousands of participants across our projects collate, curate, and contribute content that relates to the theme of Africa and ensuring gender equity. This content presents new narratives of what ‘Africa’ and ‘gender’ really represent to African and global audiences. Access to this content by a diverse readership is assured through the contents’ integration into global knowledge platforms, such as Wikipedia.

Wiki In Africa’s activities supports the aims of the Wikimedia movement across Africa. We support free expression, a free and open Internet, and the use of open licenses and the protection of the public domain. Its beneficiaries are Readers, Students and existing and potential Wikipedians. Its target groups or audiences are the individuals and collective knowledge in Civil Society partners (content and network and educational), Wikimedia and Open aligned volunteer groups and education organisations.

Achieving the Wiki In Africa MissionEdit

In light of the Theory of Change developed during 2021, the following overarching goals and objectives have been identified. The table below shows how Wiki In Africa’s goals, objectives and activities relate to its existing programmes, initiatives and actions.

Goal 1:Edit

To provide multiple ways and to reduce the barriers for individuals and groups to contribute their knowledge to the open movement and thereby reduce knowledge gaps and redress biases.

Objective Activity Related program initiatives and actions
To inform, make visible, and advocate to close

knowledge gaps and redress biases

Publish materials and content that supports the issues On-Wiki project pages

Websites
WLA, WLW, and WA Twitter takeovers
Presentations at Wikimedia and aligned events

Informing global WM/open community about

alternative solutions and opportunities.

WA Hour

On-Wiki project pages
Telegram announcements
Wikimedia L announcements

Advocating externally for alternative open solutions to

real-life issues (education, gender, glam, etc.)

WLW Inspiring Open podcast

Presentations at Wikimedia and aligned events

Make visible research that documents the issues and consequences WA Hour

On-Wiki project pages
Websites

Work with researchers to on-going monitor the impact of

initiatives on knowledge gaps (funding dependent)

WLA Mass Messaging research

Participation in

To provide fun, engaging, and multiple ways and

formats for individuals to contribute

Run and promote competitions to the general public Programs:

WLA annual contest
WLW annual SheSaid drive
ISA drives
Promotion:
Websites
Partner networks
Social media campaigns

Host special opportunities for Wiki-related groups WLW Focus Group

WC WM liaisons
WLA professional photographers
WA Heritage
Partners:

  • WPWP
  • AfroCine
Layer activities to ensure individual and group pathways WLW Focus Group training

WLW T3 Gender Gap crushing course
WLW Event toolkit
WLA Wide Angle / Nos Jardins
WA Heritage training
WC WM liaisons mentorship
WA Hour News alerts

Create technical tools to support participation

from individuals and groups

WikiFundi

ISA Tool
Offline OERs

Goal 2:Edit

building the capacity of a network of leaders across Africa, and developing communities, who are committed to boosting the open movement and reducing knowledge gaps, and redressing biases.

Objective Activity Related program initiatives and actions
Identify and train leaders to activate open movement

projects (individual)

Select appropriate leaders WLW Focus Group

WC WM liaisons

WLA professional photographers

WA Heritage

Provide training and opportunities

that develop skill and capacity

WLW: Focus Group

WLW T3 Gender Gap crushing course

WC WM liaisons

WLA Wide Angle / Nos Jardins

WA Heritage

Create opportunities for information transfer WA Hour

WikiFundi resources (offline)

WLW Inspiring Open Podcast

Social Media Campaigns

Monthly Newsletters

Mentor and support individual development WLW Focus Group

WC WM liaisons

WA Heritage

Provide networking opportunities WA Hour

WLW Focus Group

WC WM liaisons

WA Heritage

To grow networks of communities that boost the open movement

and reduce knowledge gaps and facilitate cross-pollination

between these communities

Create programs that engage communities

around content contribution

WLA annual contest

WLW annual SheSaid drive

ISA drives

WIkiChallenge annual drives

Partner with content, network and facilitation organisations WPWP

AfroCine

Offline Projects

Kiwix

Wikipedia Weekly ?

WLA, WLW and WA twitter take over

Create platforms for network growth and communication WA Hour

WLW Focus Group

WLA organisers support programs

WLA jury process

Promote activities of the groups On-Wiki project pages

Websites

Social media campaigns

Monthly newsletter

Communications platforms: Telegram, Messenger, Whatsapp

Wiki In Africa's strategic objectivesEdit

Since 2016, the programs Wiki In Africa has created are designed for individuals to seize their own agency by developing the skills, creating the roles, and building the communities required to bridge the content and contribution gaps that accelerate the digital divide that plagues Africa.

To achieve the goals of the organization, the programs focus on our four key strategic objectives. These are:

  1. Informing, making visible, and advocating to close knowledge gaps and redress biases
  2. Providing multiple fun, engaging and accessible ways and formats for individuals to contribute.
  3. Identifying and training leaders to activate open movement projects (individual)
  4. Growing networks of communities that boost the open movement and reduce knowledge gaps and facilitate cross-pollination between these communities (group)

We are resolved to provide, through our programs, pathways for the silenced and ignored voices, experiences, and cultures of globally marginalized peoples to be available and accessed on global platforms. With a specific geographical focus on Africa to redress multiple imbalances and decolonise content and minds, we believe that understanding of, access to, and training in Open knowledge platforms will move the dial on the Digital Divide, for both geography and gender.

Through strategic layering that answers specific needs, Wiki In Africa has created programmes that bridge the gaping content gaps and digital skills divides. It initiates fun engaging programmes to create multiple pathways for people of varied ages, genders, backgrounds, cultures and access to resources. It has helped to build the Wikipedia communities in 23 countries across Africa by drawing people together around common goals and focusing on consistent regional in-person and online events.

Wiki In Africa exists as part of an international movement of organizations and volunteers that aims to increase the world's knowledge. This work takes place in four parts:

  1. Establishing, through research, the gaps in knowledge that exists on Wikipedia about each country and community in Africa and find innovative and unexpected ways of drawing this information onto Wikipedia;
  2. Activate, train and support a self-sustaining new generation of dedicated and proactive Wikipedian editors from across the continent that are able to generate new articles and subjects relevant to contemporary Africa by changing online behaviour and offline attitudes to knowledge,
  3. Activate, train and support the growth of new User Groups and Wikimedia Chapters across Africa to effectively organise, deploy and reward these new editors through national and continental activities, and
  4. Assist and support the upload and expansion of content that already resides in heritage, culture, news-gathering and academic institutions across Africa.

Wiki In Africa programmes address the following key areas:

  • Gender-equity (contribution and content gap) in leadership training and content focuses
  • Representation Gaps (Multimedia) through the activation of visual content reflecting contemporary society and cultural heritage
  • Youth activation as part of a long term strategy to empower youth and ensure that open practices become normative, not the unusual or alternative practices
  • Access to skills acquisition through technological solutions to Africa’s challenges.
  • Community development and cohesion to ensure sustainable growth

Strategic subject focus’Edit

Focus Programmes/Projects Means Tactics used Strategic alignment

Gender-equityEdit

UN’s SDG 5: Gender Equity: achieving gender equality

and empowering all women and girls

Innovation, Training and education, Community activation and building, Partnerships Wiki Loves Women answers the following priorities for Wiki In Africa:
  • Increasing visibility
  • Addressing knowledge gaps and biases
  • Active focus on diversity, inclusion, and empowerment
  • Developing emerging communities through capacity and skills transfer
  • Leveraging the mutual benefit of partnerships

Our Gender Equity focused projects and campaigns pose Wikimedia-based solutions that address the following gaps as identified in the Knowledge Gap Index Taxonomy:

  • Contributors: Interaction: Tech Skill + Roles
  • Contributors: Representation: Gender + Geography
  • Content: Representation Gaps: Gender + Cultural Background + Important Topics

With in the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, the Wiki Loves Women project works towards resolving the following recommendations:

Youth Activation (Education)Edit

UN’s SDGs 4 : Quality Education by providing educational solutions that foster better digital skills transfer, a greater understanding of the open movement, and knowledge creation and dissemination through fun practical applications.

Direct interventions and training with schools, Foundation Orange and educational organisations.

Creation and curation of Open Education Resources

Research project into usefulness and usability of Wikipedia in Africa's schools.

Innovation, Training and education, Individual empowerment, Partnerships

Research, individual empowerment, partnerships

The youth-focused projects answer the Wiki In Africa’s priorities:
  • Lowering barriers to contribution
  • Addressing knowledge gaps and biases
  • Active focus on diversity, inclusion and empowerment
  • Developing emerging communities through capacity and skills transfer
  • Leveraging the mutual benefit of partnerships

Our Education focused projects and campaigns pose Wikimedia-based solutions that address the following gaps as identified in the Knowledge Gap Index Taxonomy:

  • Readers: Interaction: Tech skills + information depth + familiarity
  • Readers: Representation: Cultural background + age
  • Contributors: Interaction: Tech skills  + Role + Motivation
  • Contributors: Representation: Socioeconomic status + Language + Age

Within the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, the Educations project works towards resolving the following recommendations:

Representation GapsEdit

Contemporary culture and heritage / GLAM

UN’s SDG 10 : Reducing Inequalities: Reduce inequality within and among countries. The SDG focus also depends on each year’s theme, for example in 2020, the Transport theme answered SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

International annual photography contest

WIRs

GLAM partnerships

Training and education, Individual empowerment, Partnerships

Cultural partnerships, Community activation and building

Wiki Loves Africa answers the Wiki In Africa’s priorities:
  • Increasing visibility
  • Lowering barriers to contribution
  • Addressing knowledge gaps and biases
  • Active focus on diversity, inclusion and empowerment
  • Developing emerging communities through capacity and skills transfer

Wiki Loves Africa contributes towards the UN’s SDG 10

Multimedia : African visual narrative focused focused projects and campaigns pose Wikimedia-based solutions that address the following gaps as identified in the Knowledge Gap Index Taxonomy:

  • Content: Interaction Gaps + Multimedia
  • Contributors: Representation Gaps: Cultural background + Socioeconomic status

Within the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, the Wiki Loves Africa project works towards resolving the following recommendations:

With regards to organising the contest, there has been a concerted effort from its onset to Ensure Equity in Decision-making and a consistent effort with regards to Managing Internal Knowledge so that the process is transparent, and that all participating communities are fully supported in their actions.

Community Cohesion Information exchange and sharing

Technical: development of tools

Resource support

Movement specific training and skill transfer

Movement specific outreach

Participation and support to other group initiatives, such as #AfricaDestubathon, WPWP campaign, AfroCine or WikiGap

Provide monthly platform for information sharing

Community activation and building, Facilitate training and education of volunteer groups beyond initial activation

Skills transfer for groups to activate

WikiAfrica Hour answers the Wiki In Africa’s priorities:
  • Active focus on diversity, inclusion and empowerment
  • Developing emerging communities through capacity and skills transfer
  • Leveraging the mutual benefit of partnerships

Our Community Development focused projects and broadcasts pose Wikimedia-based solutions to address the following gaps as identified in the Knowledge Gap Index Taxonomy:

  • Contributors: Representation: Cultural  + Geography
  • Contributors: Interaction: Tech skills  + Role + Motivation

Within the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, the WikiAfrica Hour project works towards resolving the following recommendations:

Access via technological solutionsEdit

WikiFundi contributes towards combining

UN’s SDGs 4 and 10 Quality Education and Reducing Inequalities

by providing an offline educational platform that

facilitates training and digital skills lessons continue

when data access is limited or not possible.

  • facilitate outreach and education goals in places where access and data can be challenging
  • providing easy to access micro contribution drives to raise awareness and build confidence.
Innovation, Training and education,

Individual empowerment, Partnerships

Community activation and building

Wiki Fundi and ISA both answer to Wiki In Africa’s strategic priorities:
  • Increasing visibility
  • Facilitating access through tech solutions
  • Lowering barriers to contribution
  • Active focus on diversity, inclusion, and empowerment
  • Developing emerging communities through capacity and skills transfer
  • Addressing knowledge gaps and biases
  • Leveraging the mutual benefit of partnerships


Our Access focused technology solutions pose Wikimedia-based solutions that address the following gaps as identified in the Knowledge Gap Index Taxonomy:

  • Readers: Interaction: Tech skills + familiarity
  • Contributors: Interaction: Tech Skill + Motivation
  • Content: Interaction: Structured Data
  • Content: Representation: Socioeconomic status + Language + age

Within the 2030 Wikimedia Strategy, our projects work towards resolving the following recommendations:

Strategic organisational policiesEdit

Developing and supporting the growth of emerging communitiesEdit
Wiki in Africa envisions that fledgling and emerging communities are given as much encouragement, mentorship, support, and access to resources that are needed to become fully-fledged, contributing, and involved communities that support the Wikimedia vision within their own environment. It is determined to obliterate the term Emerging Communities by 2030 ;)
Approach used: research, community activation, and building, education, empowerment
Actively addressing knowledge gaps and biasesEdit
Through the work of Wiki In Africa, the Wikimedia movement will have identified, collected, and its projects will reflect the knowledge and perspectives that encapsulate the full range of human and biological experience across the geographic and theoretical idea of Africa by embodying an open culture that celebrates, values, and actively incorporates diversity.
Approach used: research, partnerships, education, access
Active focus on diversity, inclusion, and empowermentEdit
Within the theoretical and geographical framework of Africa, Wiki in Africa will assist the Wikimedia movement to become a proactive agent of change towards the subversion of systems of knowledge inequality, by embracing the values of diversity and inclusivity that empowers individuals and groups to contribute to global knowledge systems.
Approach used: innovation, individual empowerment, education, access
Increasing visibilityEdit
Drawing attention to the challenge, repercussions, and danger of the Single Story of Africa. To partner with organisations across Africa, and within the Diaspora to ensure that contributors seize their own agency to decolonize knowledge and the information that is accessible online.
Approach used: encouraging micro and macro contributions through exciting, fun and engagement-driven participatory events, drives and contests
Lowering barriers to contributionEdit
Providing solutions and actions that are easy, fun, and engaging to participate in and contribute content through.
Approach used: encouraging micro contributions through creating exciting and fun events, drives and contests, with level-appropriate pathways, learning materials, and tools.
Leveraging the mutual benefit of partnershipsEdit
Encouraging, via various pathways, the contribution, and transfer of existing content from established knowledge custodians, cultural and memory organisations, creators, activists, individuals, and networks. In a similar way, within the Wikimedia movement, work synergistically with Wikimedia-focused projects, usergroups and chapters to collaborate, leverage and assist each other to further the mission of the movement across Africa and it's diaspora.
Approach used: inviting partners to be active collaborators and co-leads on participatory events, drives and contests

Strategic priorities specific to 2022Edit

The 2022 annual plan retains the focuses of the 2021 Annual Plan and expects to extend and scale these impacts into the near future. In 2022 we will become more focused on nurturing engagement, through our programs (and other Wikimedia initiatives) at every stage of the participant’s journey. Always complex and multilayered, the overarching focuses across the projects for 2022 include:

  1. inter-project community building,
  2. leadership training, and mentorship,
  3. training key skill groups, i.e. photographers to change the visual narrative of Africa
  4. fostering contribution and digital skills in the next generation,
  5. open movement advocacy through externally focused campaigns, and
  6. expanding the circle of friends and allies within the open knowledge movement.

Over 2022 the activities are centered around

Access to projects and contribution

  • Ensuring projects are easy to access and engage with
  • Ensuring that pathways are tiered for skills development
  • Ensuring communications support the projects

Skills development:

  • Training-the-trainer/teacher programs
  • Leadership and organisational skills development
  • Photography skills and benefits of Open
  • Community development, cohesion, and networking
  • Releasing Inspiring Open podcast to increase understanding and motivate engagement
  • Consistent WM networking and sharing
  • Collaboration and Network scaling
  • Increased collaboration with WM Usergroups and Thematic groups
  • Collaboration and partnership with external cultural, education and gender-equity organisations to increase impact and expand its network

Additional elements to assist with the main strategic focus’ of the programmes as described below are:

  • Consultation with advisory groups
  • Research and development of proposed education programmes
  • Develop external funding and in-kind partnerships to expand and scale projects appropriately
  • Support the WM development across Africa through regularly hosting monthly catchup meetings of the African community around curated subjects of topics chosen from within the community.
  • Consistent programme assessment and reassessment for fit and impact
  • Ongoing visibility, communication and advocacy campaigns.
  • Organisational stability by supporting and mentoring one remote intern to support the organisation through additional tasks that include networking, communications, programme management, etc.