Wikimedia Ghana User Group Annual Report 2022
This year the Wikimedia Ghana User Group set out to do several activities to further the goals we set out for ourselves at the beginning of our grant year. We planned on recruiting more editors, completing our policy and advocacy initiatives, holding content creation events and continuing to build a robust local Ghanaian Wikimedian community.
This was also the year we had to restructure our user group and take a keen interest in some of the governance issues we hadn't thought about in the past. We had to pause our activities in May in other to deal with a lot of the issues that were rising within that period.
Some key user group activities edit
Editathons & Workshops edit
|January 28, 2022
|Online Wikipedia Workshop
|This was our first online Wikipedia Workshop for members of the Wikimedia Ghana User Group for the year 2022. We had 16 editors who improved 8 articles.
|May 13 - 18, 2022
|Introduction to Wikimedia Commons
|This was a session introducing GIJ students to Wikimedia Commons and adding photos from our 500 notable people's photo projects to Wikipedia articles. We had 16 editors who improved 164 Wikipedia articles with images
|October 6, 2022
|Ghana Institute of Journalism Women's Wikipedia Workshop
|This was a session during the GIJ Women's Week Celebration as we introduced the ladies to Wikipedia editing and were able to recruit a few of them to join our user group. This session was to introduce the students to Wikipedia, so we had 28 editors join us.
500 Notable People Photo Project edit
The 500 Notable People Photo Project aims to collect and upload photos of notable people in Ghana who do not have their images available for use on Wikipedia yet.
The project's first phase, which started in 2021, collected about 275 photos of the Members of Ghana’s Parliament to be used in their Wikipedia articles. This was done in collaboration with the Public Relations Department of the Parliament of Ghana, under the leadership of Mrs Kate Addo, the Head of Public Relations. The second phase saw us work with the 3 Music Awards scheme in Ghana, which saw us take photos of some Ghanaian entertainment personalities who attended the event. In all, 366 photos were taken and uploaded by us to Wikimedia Commons. Find the link to the photos here [Music Awards 2022].
One of the challenges of this project we encountered was that some of the people we photographed, even though they were notable, didn't have enough third-party references in other to create stand-alone articles for them. Due to that, we ended up having images of people who we couldn't find a Wikipedia article to match with.
Policy and Advocacy edit
We had to pause our work on the Policy and Advocacy front, especially on our work on the Wikipedia Language Project and the Freedom of Panorama. This decision became important because our acting program manager was on the Board of our user group, and on having conversations with Dumisane, it became apparent that he couldn't continue in that role as a paid staff. This affected the work we had already started with the Wikipedia Language Project. We were at the stage in which we were working on a survey to be displayed on this banner on the English Wikipedia and other Ghanaian languages Wikipedia in the Ghana region to collect critical data, which would have influenced the white paper we would be publishing.
The work on Freedom of Panorama was also suspended and has been moved to the next fiscal year.
We started Nimble in 2021 to be an interactive website (with an equally effective and responsive mobile version) that will feature a ‘nimble’ step-by-step guide to editing Wikipedia. We were able to build Nimble to a stage where we required testers and then made more improvements to the platform. The plan for Nimble now for the Increasing Participation team is to complete the beta testing of Nimble in a timely fashion to enable us to open the platform to the community and commence the recruitment of new editors.
The first year saw us form various partnerships towards different projects, which have proved to be very useful to our members and the user group in general. We have had partnerships to strengthen the community and then partnerships through which editors can gather and collaborate to edit Wikipedia and its sister projects. During this period, we have partnered with organisations like the Parliament of Ghana, Developers Academy (Dambai), Koforidua Business Incubator, Ho Node Hub (Ho), Ghana Society for Education Technology (GSET), Nubuke Foundation, Poetry Association of Ghana, Ehalakasa, Northern Innovation Hub and Mohammed Sadat (Wiki Saturdays).
Since this grant year was a continuation of the previous year's grant, we continued with the partners we had already started with all these partners. We also qualified for Google For Nonprofits, which means moving on all our Google needs would be free of charge. We talked with the following organisations on several partnerships for various projects we wanted to run with them. They are; Zone Three 6 Media Network, Hacklab Foundation, Duapa Werkspace and Ghana Institute of Journalism. We partnered with 3 Music Awards to work on the 500 Notable People Photo Project.
Our major challenge moving into this grant year was working on the governance structure of our user group, which was very apparent since we have seen some of our members become board members of our organization and then another had moved on to the work for the Wikimedia Foundation. This meant we sought advice from Affcom through Dumisane to streamline our activities moving forward. This meant that throughout the year we had to pause all activities to focus on making sure our governance structures were good.
Another challenge we faced was the persistent IP Blocks of the majority of our members and new editors we were looking forward to training for some of our workshops and editathons. In the year in question, we received 65 requests for support on IP Blocks on either the English Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects.
We would say the last year was a lot of learning on governance structures and also building a formidable user group that can stand the test of time. Being one of the first user groups in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, it's been a lot of learning and iterations to get to where we are now. And we want to continue on that part in making sure the user group makes a lot of progress.