“We are at a turning point”: Donatien Kangah Koffi tells us about the Wikimedia community in Côte d’Ivoire

Wikimedia in Côte d’Ivoire is a long story and one that we don’t hear enough about! After a first part dedicated to the three Strategy Salons held in Abidjan, the second part of this interview leads you to discover more about the history of the Ivorian User Group, and about Donatien Kangah Koffi’s participation to one of the Strategy Process Working Groups, Capacity Building. His insights are a great way to understand how local and international stakes come together, through the lens of a singular experience.

Continue reading ““We are at a turning point”: Donatien Kangah Koffi tells us about the Wikimedia community in Côte d’Ivoire”

Wikimedia Portugal participation on Strategy process in 2019

Post written by Gonçalo Themudo and Lucas Teles

Leia este post em português

Last September, Wikimedia Portugal had the opportunity to host a Strategy Salon with its members and guests. This blog post will tell us how their experience went and bring some of the chapter’s history.

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Côte d’Ivoire imagines Wikimedia in 2030 : Interview with Donatien Kangah Koffi

Focus on Côte d’Ivoire – copyleft Rei-artur.

Founded in 2014, Wikimedia Côte d’Ivoire is one of the most dynamic User Groups in French-speaking Africa. Workshops, trainings: volunteers on site are deeply engaged for free knowledge in a country where the digital transition is a huge challenge. No wonder then that this motivated group was eager to participate in the ongoing international reflections about the Wikimedia 2030 strategy. Their goal: share specific issues and concerns from the perspective of a country of the Global South, and thus contribute to shape a more inclusive Wikimedia movement for the future.

In this interview with Donatien Kangah Koffi, president of Wikimedia Côte d’Ivoire, we talked about the strategy salons organised in Abidjan, and more generally about the challenges and hopes of the Ivorian community.

Continue reading “Côte d’Ivoire imagines Wikimedia in 2030 : Interview with Donatien Kangah Koffi”

Building community toward a shared future: the East Africa Strategy Summit

by Douglas Ssebaggala (WMF), CC 4.0

On September 7-8 in Kampala, Uganda, the Wikimedia Community User Group Uganda and Wikimedia 2030 Core Team teamed up to host the 2019 East Africa Strategy Summit, the first regional movement event held in the East African region. 

Continue reading “Building community toward a shared future: the East Africa Strategy Summit”

Membership now open for Movement communications group (MoveCom)

File:Wikimedia_Conference_2017_by_René_Zieger_–_535.jpg
English: Wikimedia Conference 2017 in Berlin, Germany
File:Wikimedia Conference 2017 by René Zieger – 535.jpg () by René Zieger for Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., CC-BY-SA-4.0.

The Wikimedia Foundation Communications department has completed the transition of the old Communications committee to the Movement communications group. The members of the original group were invited to rejoin, and more than half have done so. We are now ready to open membership up to new members from across the movement.

The Wikimedia movement communications group is an opportunity for members of the Wikimedia community to discuss topics related to movement communications. Topics of discussion can be raised by any member of the group, including those from the Wikimedia Foundation Communications department. Conversations in the group may range from brainstorming opportunities to advance the movement to chatting about a problem faced by a specific community to coordinating communications efforts on major events.

The Movement communications group is open to anyone in the Wikimedia community working on communications for Wikimedia activities or communities.

For more information or to join, visit the group’s Meta-Wiki page:  https://w.wiki/7×7

The signup form is available on Meta-Wiki:  https://w.wiki/7×6


Wikisource as a tool for Community Growth

Partnerships between Wikimedia affiliates and cultural heritage institutions like a national library can result in positively boosting youth engagement. This case study demonstrates how Wikimedia Armenia worked with the National Library of Armenia to digitize important cultural texts, and engaged youth in adding them to the free knowledge commons.

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Wikimedians in Residence – navigating the impact of working with open knowledge

Daria Cybulska, Director of Programmes and Evaluation, Wikimedia UK

The Wikimedian in Residence (WIR) projects in the UK have been run with varying degrees of involvement from Wikimedia UK since the first ever WIR position at the British Museum in 2010. The placements often last about a year, and we now have plenty of case studies of past partnerships, sometimes with organisations we haven’t spoken to much since! So in 2017 we decided to look back and reflect on whether the Wikimedians in Residence projects have achieved what we were expecting.

Continue reading “Wikimedians in Residence – navigating the impact of working with open knowledge”

Ombuds Commission now accepting nominations for 2020

It’s coming close to time for annual appointments of community members to
serve on the Ombudsman Commission (OC). This commission works on all
Wikimedia projects to investigate complaints about violations of the
privacy policy, especially in the use of CheckUser and Oversight tools, and to
mediate between the complaining party and the individual whose work is
being investigated. They may also assist the General Counsel, the Executive
Director or the Board of Trustees in investigations of these issues. For
more on their duties and roles, see
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman_commission

This is a call for community members interested in volunteering for
appointment to this commission. Volunteers serving in this role should be
experienced Wikimedians, active on any project, who have previously used
the CheckUser tool OR who have the technical ability to understand the
CheckUser tool and the willingness to learn it. They are expected to be
able to engage neutrally in investigating these concerns and to know when
to recuse when other roles and relationships may cause conflict.

Commissioners are required to identify to the Wikimedia Foundation and must
be willing to comply with the appropriate Wikimedia Foundation board
policies (such as the access to non-public data policy[1] and the privacy
policy[2]). This is a position that requires a high degree of discretion
and trust.

If you are interested in serving on this commission, please write me (
kbrown@wikimedia.org) an email off-list to detail your experience on the
projects, your thoughts on the commission and what you hope to bring to the
role. The commission typically consists of ten members; all applications
are appreciated and will be carefully considered. The deadline for
applications is the end of day on 31 December, 2019.

Please feel free to pass this invitation along to any users who you think
may be qualified and  interested.

Originally published by Karen Brown to wikimedia-l on 30 September 2019.


Break from the seasonal activities in Cameroon

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Editathon_at_Goethe_Institut_Cameroon_031.jpg
Français : During editathon of our User Group at Goethe Institut Cameroon
Editathon at Goethe Institut Cameroon 031.jpg () by Geugeor, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

August is period reserved for holidays at the Goethe Institut of Yaounde. It is the place where the monthly meeting (2nd Saturday of the month) of the members of the User Group residing in Yaoundé have been held for more than 2 years, we unanimously chose to take a break; break that allows us to evaluate the last season and throw the prospects for the future one.

WMCMUG_Strategy_Youth_Salon_12.jpg
Français : Wikimedia Cameroon User Group strategy Youth salon organized in Yaounde with TechWomen
WMCMUG Strategy Youth Salon 12.jpg () by Geugeor, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

The season ended with the holding of five strategic shows in the cities of Yaounde, Douala and Buea where most of the community members are settled. Two Youth Shows were held in Yaounde in partnership with the TechWomen Association.

During these different exhibitions, several topics were discussed: Roles and responsibilities, advocacy, capacity building, community health, products and technologies, income generation. These saw the participation of more than 70 people (with percentage 60% of women.

The quote below summarized the multiple contributions which were made : “With the strategy2030, Wikimedia projects are immersed in the lives of Africans and Cameroonians in particular and traditions.”

The User Group remains engaged since beginning of this past season on several projects like WikiKwatt which aims to create articles with photo illustrations of the districts of the city of Yaounde in Wikipedia.

Neighborhoods_in_Yaounde_Events46.jpg
Français : Séance de travail sur les quartiers de Yaoundé au Goethe Institut
Neighborhoods in Yaounde Events46.jpg () by Gtankam, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

Primary objectives of Wikikwatt were the training of members of the User Group based in Yaounde to contribute to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, the loyalty of community members and the work of structuring the community. Several of these objectives have been achieved, although much is still to be done in creation of the articles and their translations into English and German.

Neighborhoods_in_Yaounde_Events36.jpg
Français : Séance de prise de photos dans les quartiers de Yaoundé
Neighborhoods in Yaounde Events36.jpg () by Gtankam, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

During the previous monthly meetings in Goethe, several sub-groups were created which are already working against resumption in October 2019; We can cite :

  • The group which will coordinate the activities of the project WikiCiné Cameroun, il will work to list all the actors of the cinema in Cameroon, to gather the various existing sources before the production of contents according to each category.
  • The Wikikwatt group will continue its activities with photo releases in the neighborhoods of Yaoundé, the collection of sources (books, press releases, archives, …) and the creation of articles.

Editathon_at_Goethe_Institut_Cameroon_025.jpg
Français : During editathon of our User Group at Goethe Institut Cameroon
Editathon at Goethe Institut Cameroon 025.jpg () by Geugeor, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

  • A Wikidata group has been set up and especially made up of developers and computer scientists from the community; the objectives of this group are: to support the activities of the other two groups by creating Wikidata entries and training members to discover and contribute to Wikidata.

Other training courses were organized as part of the Wiki Loves Women project in Yaounde and Buea, giving several participants the opportunity to join the Yaounde group and set up a nucleus to form the basis for the meetings in Buea from beginning of the new season.

The impact of our community grew across our country last July at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications where we took part in the International Day of the Girl and World Telecommunication and Information Society Day; this has given us the opportunity to present our community as well as the various current and future projects.

User_group_at_the_fair_at_the_Ministry_of_Posts_02.jpg
English: Exhibition of User Group activities at the fair at the Ministry of Posts
User group at the fair at the Ministry of Posts 02.jpg () by User:Danielgwd, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

Although we can congratulate ourselves on the commitment and dynamism observed, our community nevertheless encounters problems that weaken its functioning and its visibility through social networks and other media.

Strongly, we welcome a new season because new challenges are open to us with activities and projects that will be born in the Northern part of Cameroon.


Sharing and Connecting at the ESEAP Strategy Summit

Since returning from my first Wikimedia event, the ESEAP Region Strategy Summit in Bangkok a few weeks ago, I have been asked many times by family, friends and workmates “so, what was it like?”. And every time I (figuratively) scratch my head, wondering how to describe the unique experience of two days spent with 30 Wikimedians representing a remarkable 14 countries – that is, one or two Wikimedians from each of the ESEAP member communities (ESEAP stands for East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific).

I could tell people about the goal of the weekend: for participants to exchange stories from their Wikimedia communities and provide the movement strategy Working Groups with a response on movement strategy discussions. I could also describe the activities we engaged in: sharing stories and mapping them to thematic areas such as capacity building or roles and responsibilities on Saturday, and generating recommendations for working groups on Sunday. These discussions led us to explore a wide range of innovative ideas related to all aspects of the 2030 strategy.

ESEAP_Strategy_Summit_Day_1_-_Discussion_11.jpg
ESEAP Strategy Summit Day 1 – Discussion 11 — ESEAP Strategy Summit Day 1 – Discussion 11.jpg () by Vanjpadilla, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

At times I must admit I began a session thinking “I have no idea what I could contribute here” but after listening to others and through the facilitators’ encouragement, I was generally able to find a meaningful experience to share or a suggestion to make. I was also impressed with the way people from such diverse backgrounds were able to respond to each other’s problems and experiences with meaningful suggestions. It wasn’t unusual, for example, for someone from one country to describe a need in their editing community which a Wikimedian from somewhere else had already experienced and could provide a possible solution to. For example, while discussing ways of recognising the efforts of Wikipedia editors, participants from Indonesia shared their method of providing a letter of acknowledgement from their chapter President detailing the impact of an editor’s work.

But these answers are not the whole picture. In addition to the organized activities and planned outcomes, there was much more to the event. There were new friendships, for example – I found I had much in common with the women from Taiwan, who have created a strong network of editors writing about women (their meet-ups are called “A Room of WikiWomen’s Own”), and also with the members from Australia, who wonder how to engage offline with editors in rural and remote parts of the country.

In addition, there was a generous sharing of expertise for people working on development projects. This was a particularly exciting aspect of the event for me, as in New Zealand the editing community is small, and largely unconnected, which means that there are great opportunities for community growth. I was able to spend time with Wikimedians from communities such as Indonesia and Thailand which had already been through similar growth patterns, and hear their thoughts and suggestions, and hear their responses to New Zealand’s plans. I also learned a great deal about the workings of these more developed communities and I was able to reflect on whether our New Zealand community would follow a similar development path or something slightly different.

ESEAP_Strategy_Summit_Day_1_-_Product_and_Tech_Flipchart,_Partnerships_flipchart.jpg
ESEAP Strategy Summit Day 1 – Product and Tech Flipchart, Partnerships flipchart — ESEAP Strategy Summit Day 1 – Product and Tech Flipchart, Partnerships flipchart.jpg () by Vanjpadilla, CC-BY-SA-4.0.

All in all, it was a very worthwhile event which provided much inspiration and insight into the movement as a whole. I definitely feel much more aware of the “big picture” of Wikimedia’s goals and strategies and more connected to communities in the region. This event was so inspiring, that since my return home from the event, the New Zealand editing community has now finalized our plans for a User Group and made an application to the Affiliations Committee for recognition. We look forward to becoming a strong group making solid contributions to the 2030 strategy.

And in terms of answering that omnipresent question of what a Wikimedia event is like, I’ve now settled on a concise New Zealand response – “awesome”!

Text by MurielMary