Talk:Project grants/Botswana Wikipedia 3-phase study and HIV/AIDS article evaluation workshop

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Is the lead of this project a Wikipedia editor? Jmh649 (talk) 20:45, 4 March 2015 (GMT)

User account

I am a bit concerned that page has been created by someone without a user account. It would also seem prudent to have some of the compensation shared with an experienced Wikimedian who could facilitate a smoother induction into both the technical and social aspects of wikipedia rather than simply relying on Autodidacticism.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 09:20, 5 March 2015 (GMT)

Comments by CT Cooper

Hello, my name is Christopher Cooper and I'm a member of the Grants Committee, a small group of volunteers who scrutinise project grant proposals. I welcome bold new proposals and I appreciate that a lot of effort has gone into this one, which does look interesting. To start things off, please register an account on this wiki, as this will make things easier for everyone. I would also recommend joining Wikimedia UK, as this is now a requirement in order to apply for project grants – it doesn't take too long. I note that this request is for £5000 – that's a lot of money and, while granting such a request is not out of the question, it will take some time, and approval will probably have to go via the Board. Please consider scaling down this project or possibly breaking it down into smaller chunks e.g. request only the money you need to start off with for the time being. I'll provide more detailed feedback as we make progress. Thank you again for your request. CT Cooper · talk 17:14, 5 March 2015 (GMT)

I've given this project grant request some hard thought, and it is with regret that I am unable to recommend that it be approved. I appreciate that this request has been broken down into chunks and that the amount being requested right now is for £800, but that's still not a trivial amount of money for a charity. In order to justify giving out that sort of money, I would need to be confident of strong positive outcomes, and for that to happen, those requesting the money would need a strong record of being trusted contributors to Wikimedia projects. I admire the ambitious targets, but I do believe they are unrealistic for a single project with any level of funding.

On an alternative way forward, I have several suggestions to make. While Wikimedia UK is happy to fund non-UK projects on a case-by-case basis, those who receive project grants now have to be members of the chapter and our funds are tighter than they used to be. For those reasons, I would also consider putting a project proposal like this to the Wikimedia Foundation, who have far more resources – see meta:Grants:PEG for more information. A grant from Wikimedia UK shouldn't be ruled out completely though, and I would be happy to consider a revised request with a £100 grant being a good starting point. Remember that a lot can be done with very little money, careful organisation, and dedicated volunteers. For example, venues can be gotten for free in the right circumstances and food can be pre-purchased rather than having formal catering services. I hope this feedback is helpful. CT Cooper · talk 21:47, 13 March 2015 (GMT)

Comments by project leader

Hi, I am the project leader, Afton Chavez. I have created a Wikipedia editor login and am in the process of training myself on editing and contributing to Wikipedia but I am new to it.

I just created my Wikimedia UK login, I apologize for not having done that earlier-I thought that the login for being a Wikipedia editor would also be the same for all Wikimedia interfaces. I will revise the budget proposal into smaller amounts in more discreet timeframes, thanks for the suggestion. The most immediate cost would be the Wikipedia article evaluation workshop, on Saturday March 28. In response to Fabian's comment, we would love to have an experienced Wikimedian to help with the technical and social aspects of Wikipedia. I put up a geonotice in Wikipedia to try to get the word out. I have spent the last few months reading through countless research articles published about Wikipedia as well as Wikipedia's policy's, pillars, etc... to try to become familiarized with the culture and etiquette, but I am still working on the technical aspects of editing. If you have any other ideas on how to bring some experienced Wikimedian's on board who are in the Botswana area, let me know! Thanks. Actually, I'm glad you brought this up- perhaps funding could cover someone experienced to come and help with teaching people out here? Thanks. Abchave1 (talk) 08:20, 6 March 2015 (GMT)

The best way to learn how Wikipedia works is to edit it. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:56, 6 March 2015 (GMT)

General comments

I'm adding general comments on project evaluation here, I'm not yet particularly thinking about this from a wmuk perspective (in part because of the fairly high amount requested, and because I wonder if there might be other sources of funding which we might be able to support accessing). I emailed User:Bjoern, who might add some points himself, but also sent me some quick thoughts so this is partly based on that (he's worked on OER including AIDS resources):

  • What organisations might be involved in the areas targeted, obviously WMUK is rather distant(!), are there individuals and organisations with relevant expertise (wikimedia, open education, health education, etc.) already involved, or who could be readily targeted? I can see your work so far is based in a library context - which is great - and perhaps there are local Wikimedians (or scope for remote support) but this needs fleshing out. I think you're based in the US, so understanding contact in Botswana is important.
  • On that point, you might find other local organisations (local to Boston probably) are better placed to support you both financially and in other ways - wmuk does consider funding projects outside the UK, but it's useful to understand your context and if you've considered other options (we may be able to support or advise on applications to some funders, for example)
  • I don't know how active Setswana Wikipedia is, have you considered how you could reach out to that community for support (I see there was a Google Wikipedia competition a few years ago, interesting project I hadn't come across before!)
  • It looks like a lot of work is already planned, or even going ahead. It's not entirely clear what of this proposal is (a) won't go ahead without funds (b) will partially go ahead without funds (c) will happen regardless, and perhaps what's (a) necessary, (b) like to have, (c) entirely optional.
  • It is worth considering sustainable outcomes, e.g. will efforts in translation and leading events end when the money is used up?
  • What is the current state of the target 6 articles, and could the target articles be wider? You may find that Wikiproject Medicine (see also their translation task force), etc. have already done a good job. What kind of evaluation are you aiming for? Usefulness to lay-people (see next point), 'accuracy', etc. (have you contacted Wikiproject Medicine?)
  • This is very much an off-wiki point, but it's worth considering how people currently access information, and whether or not the issue is lack of information, or belief-behaviour gap, factors not discussed/addressed by information (e.g. access to contraceptives), etc. Wikipedia articles are great, and very important in getting high quality information out, but they serve a very particular educational purpose, thinking about other resources (some of which could, for example, go onto Wikiversity) might be worthwhile.
  • Could things like Kiwix or other offline solutions be considered (particularly if connectivity is an issue).

Thanks Sjgknight (talk) 09:10, 6 March 2015 (GMT)

Project lead response

Thank you so much for the wonderfully thoughtful comments Sjgknight! I have reached out to the South Africa Wikimedia chapter and have not yet heard a response. There is not currently a Botswana Wikimedia chapter. I have also posted on the meetups pages and geonotices to try to see if there is anyone in the region who would like to be involved. In terms of other possible sources of funding, we were hoping to get funding from Orange, one of the major telecommunications companies in Botswana, since they are involved with Wikipedia Zero. The local contact within Orange told us that they were interested in funding us, so we were counting on that, however, the last meeting we had was in December and they keep pushing back meetings/being elusive and now we are in a last minute scramble to try to find funding to go through with the already planned Wikipedia Article Evaluation Workshop. If we do not get funding, we will have to cancel it.

The reason why we are studying 6 HIV/AIDS articles is because in Phase 1 of our study, we identified those topics as an area of information needs based on focus groups in 33 rural health clinics. Although some of these articles are rated fairly high in quality by the WikiProject Medicine, our research shows that local Batswana have high distrust in Wikipedia, and find that online information is not relevant to their situation in Botswana/low resource settings (as you referenced above). This is why we want to do an evaluation here in Botswana using Botswana medical students, residents, and HIV expert, to increase credibility and trust within the Botswana audience. We also have done an extensive literature review of other studies investigating the quality of Wikipedia articles, and our evaluation packet represents a comprehensive method of evaluation that encompasses the best of the other studies.

Regarding sustainability and scope. We are just using the HIV/AIDS articles as a starting point for the teaching and the research, and the goal is that once Batswana people are aware and excited about Wikipedia, the Wikipedia Wednesdays will continue so that people can choose their own interests and find the other gaps in the encyclopedia to work on. Regarding what will happen when funding is discontinued, the workshop is a one-time entity at this point, so no other funding would be needed after that, unless down the road someone wants to host another one. Regarding Wikipedia Wednesdays and translations, the idea is that this funding is just needed for the initial training and organizational leadership to put everything in place, and then the librarians will take on the role in heading the Wiki Wednesdays as a part of their job duties. So after the initial work is put into getting everything in place, it should be fairly self-sufficient. The money will help to draw people in and create community that will hopefully blossom from there. In addition, perhaps by the time this funding runs out, Orange may be able to come through in the future.

Regarding the translations, we are working with Thapelo Otlogetswe, who created the first Setswana dictionary and who was actually involved with the Google Setswana competition.

Love the idea of Kiwix-will look into that today thanks for the lead!

Looking forward to further comments CT Cooper Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) Jmh649 Abchave1 (talk) 10:50, 6 March 2015 (GMT)

With respect to "our research shows that local Batswana have high distrust in Wikipedia". That is excellent. We support people using Wikipedia with skepticism (we also encourage skepticism regarding other sources). Even though skepticism of Wikipedia is high globally people still extensively use the site. 6.5 billion pageviews in 2013 for our medical content across all languages (half of pageviews in En and half in other languages).
We within the translation taskforce have already translated one article into this language Language is called Tswanan yes? We have a second article being translated now
Would love to see more efforts around translating content into this language. No funding is typically required for this sort of work. Currently our project operates on a budget of $0 :-) The google effort had issues. They did not involve the Wikipedia community from the outset and thus it fizzled. If you are interested in working with the Translation Task Force please content me. Do you speak Tswanan by the way? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 20:42, 6 March 2015 (GMT)
Hi Doc James. Thanks for your comments and sorry for the delayed response, things are picking up! Nice work on the Ebola article. We would love to join your efforts in translating the content, certainly it would be better to join forces than do it alone and it is very clear to me that the Wikipedia community must be involved if we want a shot at sustainability. When referring to the language you may say, "Setswana," which also has a connotation of culture, or "Tswana" which is specific to the language. When referring to speakers of the language, you do not put an "n" at the end. I do not speak Tswana, I am working with the head of linguistics at University of Botswana Thapelo Otlogetswe who created the first Setswana dictionary and who helped us to create DuoCharts, a medical Setswana terminology translations application. The project is still in its infancy, I am currently working on getting librarian involvement and training on Wikipedia, so that we may hold bi-monthly sessions with students to teach them how to use Wikipedia as well. I am trying to find Wikipedians in South Africa and Botswana to get on board to help. Hopefully if we can build the community from the base up, then the translations can continue long-term. Please email me at to coordinate how we may best fit within the translation task forces needs, perhaps we could even set up a skype phone call is well if you are available. Thanks. Abchave1 (talk) 16:22, 10 March 2015 (GMT)


Geographical distribution of Setswana in South Africa: proportion of the population that speaks Setswana at home.(Transcluded from Tswana)

Tswana has over 6M speakers. However the Tswana Wikipedia has 516 pages and 4K+ user accounts (however from looking at the first 500 in the list only 63 had made any contributions, so it is unlikely that there are more than 500 actual editors) (See here for more details). I feel that an active engagement with Tswana, translation of articles into that language and sound recordings of such articles when they have reached a suitable quality and the distribution of those sound recordings via Wikimedia Zero could be useful in this context. Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 13:23, 6 March 2015 (GMT)

"unlikely there are more than 500 actual editors"? There is no Tswana community. As you can see there is not even one consistently active editor, and most activity is by members of the Small Wiki Monitoring Team fighting off spam.
I encourage WMUK to be critical, and to get full context before funding any part of this proposal. I have a good deal of context myself, and I was the Wikimedia contact point for the Setswana Wikipedia Challenge of 2012 (which failed to retain even 1 editor).
As it stands, I don't see that it is a reasonable investment of Wikimedia donor funds. Ijon (talk) 17:12, 9 March 2015 (GMT)
Thanks for taking things a bit deeper. I am afraid I was unable to work out which was the "Recent changes" link. Your greater contextual knowledge is really helpful here, and rest assured WMUK will not be funding any project which it has not properly assessed.Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) (talk) 09:21, 10 March 2015 (GMT)
Indeed, we will not. I'm currently reviewing what further feedback I will give. CT Cooper · talk 14:06, 10 March 2015 (GMT)
Thanks for the comments everyone, really this is great this is what we need to make this project work. I would like to reiterate that the translating component of this project is only a small part of this project. Ijon I would love to talk more with you about your experiences with the Setswana Wikipedia Challenge in 2012, perhaps we can discuss what worked well and what didn't. I think both Fabian Tompsett (WMUK) and you make good points about the lack of Batswana involvement in Wikipedia. But that's the point--no one knows how it works, why it's important to contribute, or how to do it. There needs to be more awareness about Wikipedia and more guidance to helping them to contribute. That's why part of this project is aimed at teaching librarians, and then students/other faculty about how to edit and upload to Wikipedia through our "Wikipedia Wednesdays." People are excited about it--we are having an initial Wikipedia training and sensitization tomorrow with the Faculty of Health Sciences librarians from towns throughout Botswana. I have been in contact with the Wikimedia Education Foundation to gain their support and suggestions and am using their materials for the presentation. I have also contacted people throughout SA and Botswana Wikipedia networks to see about them coming here to help with training and project planning. If we received funding through WMUK to provide Wikimedians/Wikipedians travel funding to come here to help support these initiatives, I think we could foster a Wikipedia community, which is ultimately what we need to have a sustainable, lasting contribution both for article content and translations. Abchave1 (talk) 16:03, 10 March 2015 (GMT)

Comments by John Cummings

I strongly support this application, it is a high impact project run by people with a great deal of subject knowledge as well as an understanding of Wikimedia within the wider context of healthcare education. This project show the unique ability of Wikipedia Zero to reach undeserved communities incuding the 1/4 of adults in Botswana who have HIV/AIDS. As a Wikimedia UK accredited trainer I would be very happy to work with the applicant to help them improve their skills to fulfil the project aims. The project clearly furthers many of the strategic goals of the charity:

  • G1 Develop open knowledge

This project will improve open knowledge on an important subject and provide the information to people who need it most.

  • G2.1 Develop, involve and engage WMUK volunteers

This project could easiy involve Wikimedia UK volunteers, we have a strong resource of medical article contributors and have links with many medical organisations inluding the Wellcome Trust

  • G3 Reduce barriers to accessing open knowledge

Wikipedia Zero is an amazing example of reducing barriers to open knowedge, supporting this project will build evidence of impact to suppport other projects to also use Wikipedia.

  • G4 Encourage and support technological innovation

This is the best example I know of targetted improvement of Wikimedia projects to benefit specific community, using Wikipedia Zero to deliver it as innovative appproach that I hope others will follow it's example.

  • G5 Develop, support, and engage with other Wikimedia and open knowledge communities

This project will engage and grow the Wikimedia community in Botswana. In my experience it is projects like these that provide a central focus for the formation of Wikimedia organisations.

I very much hope that Wikimedia UK is able to provide funding for this project, if it is not possible to provide the full amount I would suggest funding at least amount needed for the immediate costs and assist them in identifying further funding. If I can be of assistance in any way to get this project funded please let me know.

Mrjohncummings (talk) 15:38, 31 March 2015 (BST)

Updates from project lead

In response to all of the comments and feedback I have been receiving, I have been in contact with members of the South Africa Wikimedia chapter, as well as 3 local Batswana Wikipedia editors. We had several meetings today and we are working on a plan of collaboration to enhance the number of editors in Botswana so that we can start a chapter. We hope to get some of the more experienced Wikipedia editors from South Africa to help our training efforts. I believe the reason why there is not higher usership and editing of Wikipedia out here is a lack of awareness about it and hopefully we can boost this by involving librarians, faculty, students, and also healthcare providers. In other news, my colleague Maipelo and I held our first librarian Wikipedia training session today with 6 librarians from the University of Botswana Faculty of Health and Sciences department. It lasted 3 hours and I self-funded snacks to buy for everyone. It was a huge success and in our feedback evaluations we had very positive responses from the librarians and will be continuing the trainings every other week. Thanks Abchave1 (talk) 18:21, 11 March 2015 (GMT)