Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Report
Wikicamp Nepal 2018 was an event held from December 22 to 24, 2018 in Lahan, Nepal. The event gathered experienced and newbies Wikipedians from different cities of Nepal as well as from neighboring countries, India and Bangladesh to discuss about the future of Wikimedia movement in Nepal and bring them under one umbrella to exchange their wiki related knowledge and skill. This event brought together Wikipedians from Nepali, Maithili, Doteli, Newari (Nepal Bhasha), Bhojpuri, Sanskrit and Santali Community as well as 2 emerging Incubator communities - Awadhi and Marwari. It was an experience for most of the participants, who never participated in conference to feel the conference environment, interact with fellow Wikip(m)edians and learn the activities and built up their skill.
As per initial plan for this project was a much larger one, it has been reduced for the effectiveness as it was the first project of its kind being held in Nepal and also considered to become an annual national flagship event for Wikim(p)edia in the country. The built in Program committee has received 31 submissions through Call for Participation and among them the committee has qualified 23 top most program submissions as per the tracks decided for this project i.e. Techincal, Outreach, Community Engagement and others. The accepted programs can be seen at Category:Wikicamp Nepal 2018 submissions/Accepted.
Across the Wikimedia event(s), this is the first time that Yoga session was organized considering the importance of physical, mental, and spiritual health of participants. The session has aimed and helped the participants to get relieved from stress and also keeping their mind calm during the hectic schedule of the event.
One of the core goals of the Wikicamp Nepal was to offer attendees the opportunity to build fellowship, strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body. Yoga is a great way through which we get in tune with our body and inner self to stay focused during the event.
The start of morning with Yoga session definitely brings positive vibes among the attendees which helps in increasing enthusiasm during the event. We have a certified Yoga Trainer and one of the organizing members of WCN PANKAJ DEO for the session, who takes the charge to guide the participants to do Yoga in proper way. Ultimately, this session made Wikicamp Nepal a great experiment and a real success.
- Day 1
It's all about arrival of participants, meet, greet and interactive session. In detail, Participants from entire Nepal, also from neighboring countries, India and Bangladesh had arrived at the venue during the time and registered themselves on the Registration desk where swag items were distributed. Later after freshen up, we all gathered under one roof for introduction session which helped in creating an atmosphere of friendship, mutual cooperation among us. After that, we proceeded to Dinner and finally we all went to our respective rooms for sound sleep, to remain active and energetic for the next day.
- Day 2
We began with opening ceremony which is inaugurated by State Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment, Suresh Mandal, Province No. 2, Nepal. After opening ceremony, The first official session, Featured Contents in Wikipedia was taken by Nirjal stha as decided by Program coordinator Tulsi Bhagat and the program committee of Wikicamp Nepal 2018. There was a combined session of Gender Gap and Outreach by Sushma Sharma and सृजना in which they covered the problems of gender discrimination and their various solutions. There were various major sessions such as Inspiring Young Contributors for Outreach activities by Innocentbunny, Community evolution, organization framework and leadership by Ganesh Paudel and in context of Nepal, We are lagging behind in automation and technology field so that we came up with Installation and configuration of Pywikibot on Windows session by Tulsi Bhagat.
- Day 3
Yoga session, a great initiative and experiment of WCN2018 which was appreciated by all the participants, kicked the final day forward. After short duration of freshen up, we began with Anup Sadi's session Improvement of the depth of Wikipedia. Following the schedule, SGill (WMF) jointly presented his Introducing Wikipedia to New Readers session with Biplab Anand. After this, सरोज कुमार ढकाल proceeded his workshop based session Wikipedia Education Program in Nepal, originally devised by NSaad (WMF). The idea of panel discussion with the representative of Nepali, Maithili and Doteli Wikipedians, brought by सरोज कुमार ढकाल, was implemented successfully by the organizers of WCN. Moreover, we also supported an online session Best Practices of Event Organizing by KCVelaga as he was not able to attend the event due to exams.
Due to cancellation of flights from Rajbiraj Airport, we decided to change the planned location for social events to Janaki Mandir, which is considered as the most important model of Koiri architecture in Nepal. On 25th of November, participants left the hotel early in the morning and reached the location before 12 noon. Participants were divided into small groups, each having one volunteer guide. The motive of the cultural tour is to make participants familiar with the Mithila culture, food and people. We requested all the participants to take photographs and upload their images to Wikimedia Commons.
Venue and Logistics
From the beginning we are looking for a venue where participants can reach safely and enjoy the conference environment. Initially, we conducted a site visit for the event venue and short listed three hotels in Lahan where we can organize the event- Wikicamp Nepal 2018. Finally, the venue for the event was chosen by unanimous support of the WCN team member. We locked Hotel Simrik, which is located in the central part of the Lahan municipality and well connected with Mahendra Highway (also called east-west highway). We tried our best to provide good internet connectivity to the participants, but there were some issues with the connection including poor speed and connectivity issues.
We decided to offer special Mithila cuisine to the participants at Dinner time. We offered them Taruwa- The popular dish prepared for guests usually in Mithila at the Day 1, we offered Paan on second day of Wikicamp Nepal 2018. At the final day we offered Fish curry and Peda to the participants.
- A type of appetizer made by deep frying vegetables which mixed into the batter of rice flour or gram
- A popular sweet type cuisine
- The Peda of Baramajhiya is very popular in Eastern part of Nepal.
To make this event success and risk free, we decided to make an open call for Committee Members for Wikicamp Nepal 2018. We received 15 responses from experienced and few newbies Wikimedians, who committed to give their time for monthly meeting as well as for other work arrangements. We started smoothly by arranging online meetings with the committee members to discuss regarding the agenda's and work plans. We arranged our monthly meeting calls initially on bluejeans but later it was arranged on hangouts after the decision of majority committee members. We have formed Core Organizing Team, Program committee, Scholarship committee, Finance Team and Support & Safety Team. In each committee group, we include more than 5 persons to face the specific challenges and reduce the work load.
Committee Member participation in Monthly call
|Oct||Nov||Meeting at WCN||2018|
|Committee Member Count||14||14||15||15||14||14||14|
|L = On Leave (does not count as absence when officially on leave)|
|P = Present on call|
|R = Reviewed recording/notes|
|A = Absent|
|X = No meeting for this person|
The effort and display by the Volunteer team members throughout the WCN 2018 was magnificent. They make their presence everywhere at event venue to assist the participants. The volunteer team consists of 13 youths from Rajbiraj, Lahan, Janakpur and Biratnagar. They successfully received the participants from arrival location and leave them at departure location. They closely work with the Organizers and Hotel supporting staffs.
Risks and Challenges overcome
To execute the event successfully, the organizers always work hard to mitigate the challenges and risks. We have participants from different parts of the country as well as from outside the country. We formed a team of volunteers to receive the participants from the Airport as well from the Bus Station to the event venue.
- p/Wiki Camp Nepal 2018- August Meeting Note
- p/Wiki Camp Nepal 2018- September
- p/Wiki Camp Nepal 2018- September Special Meeting
- p/Wiki Camp Nepal 2018- October Meeting
- p/Wiki Camp Nepal 2018- October Urgent Meeting
Goals and outcomes
|Target outcome||Achieved outcome||Explanation||++|
|5 female participants||
6 female participants
|Feedback about conference experience||
|Meeting with Community and UG representatives||
|1||Increase the Wikimedia offline activities in Nepal.||Participants are aware of need to offline activities and methodologies to conduct offline activities in Nepal through various session.|
|2||Develop technical and leadership skills of the new Wikipedians.||During the program technical and leadership sessions provide technical skills to
participants like pywikibot and leadership skills to emerging leaders.
|3||Build a positive community by sharing session from established User Group representatives/executive members.||Knowledge sharing from experienced user to aspire new readers and introduce new editors in Wikipedia.|
|4||Bring together experienced and newbie Wikipedians.||Interactive sessions during the program provide enough opportunity to discuss and share know-how of experienced Wikipedians and resolve problems faced by the newbies.|
|5||Discussion on strategies for offline Wikimedia activities.||Discussion is conducted to create integrated effort of Wikipedians for the betterment of the community.|
|6||Discussion on Development of new language projects (Incubator projects) of Nepal.||Participants from new languages (Santali Marwari) discussed on the problem faced by them to expand the Wikipedia or during Wikipedia in incubator.|
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Aasish Shah
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Anisha Maharjan
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Anup Sadi
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Bijay Chaurasia
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Biplab Anand
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Bishaldev100
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/BRPever
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Ganesh Paudel
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Hari Paudyel
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Innocentbunny
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Janak Bhatta
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Kiran Kumar Sah
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Nawaraj Ghimire
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Nilam Karn
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Nirajan pant
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Nirjal stha
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Nirmal Dulal
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/PANKAJ DEO
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Sandeep Raut
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/SGill (WMF)
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Shibu Murmu
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Sushma Sharma
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/पर्वत सुबेदी
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/श्रेष्ठ भूपेन्द्र
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/सरोज कुमार ढकाल
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/सृजना
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/हिमाल सुबेदी
- Wikicamp Nepal 2018/Participation/Tulsi Bhagat
Participants traveling via Flight
We have around 15 participants traveling from Kathamandu via flight. From the very beginning, we plan to entry all the participants to Rajbiraj Airport in order to attend the Wikicamp Nepal 2018. We received 4 participants from Rajbiraj on 21st December, who already shown their interest to help the Organizers. We are expecting rest of the participants to entry at the same airport but unfortunately the scheduled flight was cancelled and we are notified a day ago before the event. Then we adjusted the flight booking to Biratnagar Airport, which is around 125 km from the event venue. The flight was on time but due to roadways strike in Duhabi and Inaruwa made situation worst for the Organizers. Safety is the biggest concern at that time for the organizers. We have 3 local and experienced volunteers at the Biratnagar Airport to receive the delegates from Airport and make them reach the event venue safely. We finally arranged a private Toyota HiAce and contacted the local police station for the safety of delegates to reach the event venue safe and sound. We took long route from Biratnagar to cross the blockage area and reach the event venue. Delegates also appreciated the performance of the volunteers for their kind support and hospitality.
While going back home, we arranged flight booking from Janakpur Airport because we changed our social events from Saptari to Janakpur. It was really exciting journey for all the delegates as well as for the organizers.
Participants traveling from India
We have to receive 3 resource persons in different venue who are traveling from India. We have 1 resource person traveling from Train (Jogbani Railway Station) and 2 resource persons traveling from flight (Bagdogra Airport) to the nearest India-Nepal Border. We hired a private car with a volunteer to receive the 2 resource persons who are willing to reach the Kakadvidta border. We also managed a volunteer to receive the resource person at Jogbani and make him comfortably reach to the event venue. We managed their travel schedule according to their travel plan and made their journey comfortable.
Participants traveling from Roadways
The event venue is attached to the Mahendra Highway so participants reach to the event venue with no hassle. We fixed banners and hoardings to reach the venue very comfortably.
What worked well during the event?
- Participation: We were able to manage more than the expected number of participants from all over the Nepal and also from neighboring countries, India and Bangladesh.
- Gender gap: We didn't receive any scholarship applications from female therefore we managed to invite female participants on our own. We managed to organize a session on gender gap jointly presented by female participants from India and Nepal.
- Diversity: There were more than expected participants from diverse and under-represented Wikipedia communities of Nepal at the event.
- Support & Safety: The formation of SuSa team and the Friendly space policy worked well during the event to tackle various contingencies.
- Venue and logistics: Although organizing the event in Lahan was challenging, we managed to make the camp a great success by all means.
- Miscellaneous: Instead of feedback(s), all the participants were requested to submit their reports here on Meta-Wiki, which helped us to understand and evaluate how each participant felt about the whole project. They are listed at a later section on this report.
What did not work so well during the event?
- Wi-Fi connectivity could have been better.
- The Electricity fluctuation could have been eliminated through the use of powerful automatic generators.
- We could have managed session(s) time more effectively.
- Media coverage(s) could have been more effective by inviting local and national level media persons.
- We could have tried to bring in initiator wiki[m/p]edians.
What would we do differently next time?
- We will be encouraging more female participation.
- We will define some other tracks and themes for the programs.
- We will be engaged more in WMF-issue(s) through defining programs.
- We will be focusing more on Sustainability Initiative next time.
Follow-up after WCN2018
Throughout the event, we encourage people to create participation reports about the Wikicamp Nepal, to share what they learned during the event. We received more than 25 reports. We also encouraged people to upload their photographs on Commons. We also follow-up each and every individual through social media(s).
During the application phase, the scholars agreed to our terms and policies in which they have committed to provide a follow-up of the event to share their experience and knowledge they acquired with their local community. After the event, we created a format to make easy for them to describe their plans or what they already did.
The future of WCN2018
From the very beginning of organizing the Wikicamp Nepal 2018, to the actual event happening, we couldn’t miss the huge enthusiasm of the nine different communities for this event that would bring them together and allow them to share knowledge, ideas, affection among them and ofcourse to celebrate. The total number of people who wanted to attend, despite the maximal capacity of our venue and the very positive feedback during and after the event, convinced us to renew the experience, enlarging and improving the concept.
In 2019, we plan to organize the second edition, expecting the great enthusiasm and the exponential growth of the Nepalese communities.