Wiki Loves Women/Focus Group/Results and best practices 2022

The Wiki Loves Women Focus Coaching programme is a practical, action-oriented, mentored online training programme that provides skills and knowledge transfer. It has been specifically designed to support community leaders as they create gender-equity programmes and drives within the Wikimedia and Open movements. The Focus Coaching programme provides ideas, guidance, skills transfer and mentorship as each Focus Group Member plans a gender-equity programme within their community, and gathers the resources and skills to implement this programme.

The second working session of the Focus Group in 2021.

Launched in June 2021, the Focus Coaching programme comprises 14 women from across Africa (and southern France) who are committed to a monthly working session of training packed with knowledge to build the skills of the focus group to be community leaders with the digital, community and diverse knowledge of the Wikimedia projects. Since the launch, the Focus Group Members have learned how to apply for rapid grants, build their Wikimedia profiles, plan and prepare for events, conduct a successful event series around a specific focus, and collate the documentation to report on and celebrate their community's contributions.



The Focus Group programme is a programme that transpired under the Wiki Loves Women a project led by Isla Haddow-Flood, Florence Devouard and Candy Khohliwe. The Focus Coaching programme is part of a multilayered strategy to ensure that gender-equity is at the heart of open movement community programmes across the continent. The new strategy is aimed at providing volunteers from within the open movement and aligned organisations the skills and knowledge to make these programmes sustainable and successful. Hence to develop these women skills we had them partake in the #SheSaid Campaign annual campaign. The #SheSaid Campaign online drive was established in 2020 to improve the visibility of female leaders by creating new or improving already existing Wikiquote entries.



The Focus Group is a skills transfer and also to raise awareness of and action to counter the lack of representation of women generally, and more specifically on online platforms such as Wikipedia (or Wikiquote). Focused on transferring vital skills towards women and men – digital, technical, researching, writing and leadership – that allow them to access information in order to make up their own minds within their cultural specificity. The group will operate through training, mentoring, online learning, peer-to-peer support.

The first goal of the Focus Group members is to raise awareness by organising local community participation in the #SheSaid drive. When the #SheSaid Campaign took place in October 2021 the Focus Group Members and their communities participated and added Wikiquote entries of influential people women from their countries and beyond.

To develop the Focus Group members skills they had to undergo training consisting of the following aspects;

  • Coached training : Monthly working sessions focused topics ranging from gender equity in the open movement to leadership skills, partnership development and editing on Wikiquote and well as adding images on Commons, etc
  • Peer-to-peer support through discussion, both formally and ad-hoc on a dedicated Telegram channel,
  • Participation in the train-the-trainer programs designed to build gender-equity program within the Wikimedia communities, e.g Wiki Women in Red
  • Informal monthly meetings to discuss issues, share skills and workshop ideas, mostly office hours. Improve their public speaking and be engaged to participate in conferences like Wikimania and Wiki Indaba.

Focus Group Members (in alphabetical order)

The Focus Group members

Wiki Loves Women's Focus Group activities in 2022

  • A monthly thematic working session with the group (private recording for group members).
  • Bi-monthly office hours on Thursdays, we have hosted about 8 informal office hours.
  • More than 5 #SheSaid Office hours in french and english.
  • Ongoing Telegram group for discussion.
  • Application for Rapid Grant to host the #SheSaid drive from Oct-Dec 2022.
  • The Tell Us About Her ISA campaign which resulted 2814 images being described by 29, who posted 7414 descriptions.

Below is a table consisting of the monthly working sessions topics and overview discussions we did;

Date Topic / Guest Explanation / Links Images

January, 13th 2022 Achievements & New year plan

All the members

In 2022 the Focus Group regrouped and reflected and shared lessons learnt of activities and events from 2021. Hence we discussed about what each member would like to take away in the new year and how they envision to develop themselves this year and also share what key areas they may need help from them to reach their vision and personal development as a Focus Group Members. Using a Jamboard, we focused on the following aspects:
  • Goals as a Focus Group member in 2022
  • Skills you'd like to have (Personal development)
  • Things to do get out of your comfort zone (More of like challenging yourself)
  • Reflect on last year what 2 things can you improve about the Focus Group Programme from last year

Link to jam board

The jam boardː Vision Board 2022
February, 24th 2022 How to Translate a Wikipage?

Florence Devouard

A tutorial on how to Translate a Wikipage.

March, 10th 2022 The ISA tool and how to create a campaign?

All the members

Mainly focusing on:
  • The creation of a campaign (determination of objectives, target audience, media strategy and analyzing results).
  • The ISA tool
The ISA Tell Us About Her campaign

April, 20th 2022 IP rights & #SheSaid

Florence Devouard

All the members

A training on IP rights on Wikimedia Commons and

the She Said campaign.

May, 26th 2022 Program Plan

All the members

The Focus Group members voted for the topics and sat the second part of the working sessions plan of 2022. Based on their needs, the members suggested to work more on the following topics:
  • Community building and motivation
  • Ip rights
  • Navigating lack of sources and media representation for underrepresented peoples
  • Balancing Work/ life/ volunteer
  • Community Building
  • WikiData
June, 23th 2022 Community building and motivation (part I)

Isla Haddow

Topic focus:
  • Why people volunteer or join a community
  • Psychologically, volunteerism helps people to feel more connected (which in turn wards off loneliness and depression). Volunteering and being part of a larger community:
  • Connects like-minded people to others,
  • Builds self-confidence and self-esteem,
  • Provides a sense of purpose,
  • Places personal or professional challenges within a wider context,
  • Promotes long term planning (activating a possible future).
  • The reasons movement members have joined Open movements
  • The reasons they stay
  • What they need to keep being involved


July, 6th 2022 Navigating lack of sources and media representation for underrepresented peoples

Sherry Antoine & Betty Kankam-Boadu

Discussing the reality of media gaps, how they affect our work, and what we can do about them. Betty shared about her experiences as a broadcast journalist and media activist in Ghana and the impact that has had on her career. Sherry shared her experiences both as a media professional but as a Wikimedian supporting and partnering with key groups to ensure representation of people of colour is kept top of mind.

Links from the discussion:
From Betty:

From Sherry:

Guest Betty Kankam-Boadu
Guest Sherry Antoine
August, 17th 2022 Balancing work/life/volunteer

Christel Steigenberger

Main focus:
  • How to do a sccuessful balancing acts as Wikimedians?
  • How can we deal with stress?
  • Exercice:
  • identifying wether things that need our attention are balanced with things the give us energy.
  • what can we do to balance them?
  • Who could help balancing them?
Christel Steigenberger presenting at the Balancing Work Live Volunteer working session
September, 21st 2022 IP rights on Wikimedia Commons

Florence Devouard

Discussed points:
  • Licenses
  • Duration of copyrights in different countries
  • Creative Commons licences and protection of copyright
  • Licences accepted on WikiCommons
  • Creative Commons attribution
  • Freedom of panorama & De minimis
  • Use of watermarks, logos and peoples photos

Link to presentation

Florence Devouard presenting the IP rights
October, 19th 2022 Community building – part 2

Isla Haddow

Topic focus:
  • Why do people join your community?
  • What brings hem to your community?
  • Who is your community?
  • What are they expecting you to deliver?
  • What keeps me in CC is the possibility of growing personally, and professionally?
  • What brings them back?
  • How do you communicate with them?

Link to presentation.

The community building orking session by Isla Haddow
November, 26th 2022 Introduction to Wikidata: Creating items

Nassima Chahboun

The Focus Group members had a workshop animated by Nassima Chahboun who presented WikiData and the Mass-Editing. During the second part the members practiced preparing and importing data working on some African Architect Women examples.

Main focus:

  • Editing Wikidata manually
  • Mass-Editing
  • How much time does it take to create 100 items?
  • Preparing data
  • Importing data
Introduction to WikiData Working Session by Nassima Chahboun
December, 18th 2022 End of the year party

All the members

In December the Focus Group members hosted a party where they celebrated another year together and played funny games.

Wiki Loves Women's Focus Group at Conferences in 2022

Isla, Tochi, Clementine and Afek at WikiIndaba 2022

The Focus group members were involved in most of the Wiki conferences this year, to present their communitites as well to share their notable experiences and work. Not only but some of the focus group members were involved in organizing local Wikimania events and conferences like Clementine who helped in organizing the WikiIndaba 2022 in Rwanda with her community.

Wikimania 2022


Clementine and Tochi hosted Wikimania 2022 events with their local communities:

WikiArabia 2022, Dubai


Afek and Ola attended the WikiArabia 2022.
Afek did the social media communications of the conference.

WikiIndaba 2022, Rwanda


7 members of the Focus Group participated in WikiIndaba this year, online and in person. Here are the presentations made by the FG members:

WikiConvention 2022, Paris


Link to presentation.

Wiki Loves Women's Focus Group Coverage


The following are the newsletters that have been published on the Wiki Loves Women website about the Focus Group activities:

Wiki Loves Women Drives


She Said


#SheSaid social media campaign


A social media campaign was made by the WLW team and the FG members to promote the #SheSaid campaign. Some of the visuals shared:

#SheSaid campaign bookmarks to encourage participation


To celebrate influential women, the Focus Group members designed the below bookmarks to print and share with their communities.

SheSaid 2022 impact from the Focus Group activities


Wiki Loves Women's SheSaid is an annual drive that takes place on WikiQuote. At the onset of the programme, the Focus Group members committed to apply to the new Rapid Grant system for funding to plan and host a series of community based events around the programme.

SheSaid Grant Applications


SheSaid event activities




Collectively, the Wiki Loves Women Focus Group local activities contributed the following:

Dashboard links Focus Group member (alphabetical) Event page Commons Category Events held Pages Created Pages Edited Total Edits Editors Words Added Article Views Commons Uploads
TOTALS 7 909 1216 4,488 141 2,243,200 199,758 733
Wiki Loves Women 2022 in Rwanda Cnyirahabihirwe123 SheSaid Kigali-Rwanda Wiki Loves Women - Events in Rwanda 1 289 303 1,960 52 127,000 19,200 20

SheSaid 2022 in Cape Town

Islahaddow & Nonny SheSaid Cape Town SheSaid in South Africa 1 26 34 404 9 15,800 738 24

SheSaid 2022 in Botswana

Kolobetsoo SheSaid Botswana SheSaid Campaign Botswana 2 68 95 575 17 33,400 5,020 89
SheSaid 2022 in Cameroon Serieminou SheSaid Cameroon Wikimedia Events in Cameroon 1 42 53 269 4 107,000 164,000 12
SheSaid 2022 in Nigeria Tochiprecious SheSaid Nigeria SheSaid Nigeria 2 484 731 1,280 59 1,960,000 10,800 588

Lessons learnt


Feedback survey


In December 2022, the members answered to the annual feedback survey in purpose to improve the activities of the Focus Group.

  • 100% of the members want to continue the experience.
  • 77.8% of the members want to expand the group.
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, 77.8% of the members rated 5 to the value and interest of the working sessions.
  • Looking forward 2023, the members would like to cover the following topics:
  • Governance issues - developing from volunteer group to an entity.
  • Grants & reports
  • Community engagement issues
  • Community organising and keeping meta pages updated
  • Use the translation system to get organizing pages in several languages
  • How to start a user group?
  • Gender equality and steps to ensure that our programs at community level are gender sensitive

What Worked Well

  • Through the working sessions and office hours, the members learnt how to effectively connect to people and feeling more productive working with their commmunities.
  • Representation of the FG members in all the conferences which allows them to make more connections, be more visible and notable and practice public speaking.
  • More engagement of the FG members with their local user groups by taking roles and leading activities, projects and events. Which means a better presentation of women in the African Wiki community.

What did not work well

  • Some Focus Group Members could not apply for a #SheSaid grant because of the complicated process and reports which lead to less events and contributions on the campaign.
  • The members need to work more on notability and how to communicate better about their activities.
  • Internet issues prevent sometimes the members to attend the working sessions.

2023 expectations

  • Up to 10 new members will join the group
  • All the FG members will host an AKI - Wangari Maathai/Environment Day activity
  • All the FG members will host a #SheSaid 2023 event
  • The FG members will manage the working sessions by themselves (planning, organization, logistics, communications)
  • More working sessions focusing on the topics suggested
  • More presentation of the FG in conferences