Cairo Pilot on-campus outreach

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This page is currently a draft.
Material may not yet be complete, information may presently be omitted, and certain parts of the content may be subject to radical, rapid alteration. More information pertaining to this may be available on the talk page.

This page serves for planning and documenting the on-campus outreach part of the Cairo pilot in spring 2012.

Planning room after facing some technical difficulties

Context for the Cairo Pilot on-campus outreach[edit]

In 2011, the Wikimedia Foundation decided to launch a series of initiatives over time to catalyze the growth of Arabic Wikipedia in the Arabic region. the Global Education Team members made several trips to Cairo and were overwhelmed with excitement from students on campus. Team members experienced much more desire to "be a part of Wikipedia" than can be fulfilled with the classroom model (students write Wikipedia articles instead of writing traditional term papers). It therefore seems to be promising to explore additional outreach events on campus that encourage students to contribute to Wikipedia.

The Outreach part is supposed to experiment with different types of outreach events in order to identify the best ways for growing the local community of Wikipedians in an Arabic speaking country like Egypt. recommendations for future outreach events on university campuses in Arabic speaking countries will be developed. Outreach events should be both fun for the participants and increase their knowledge about Wikipedia. They should be trustbuilding and at the same time lead to a measurable growth of content (both in the Arabic Wikipedia article namespace and on Wikimedia Commons). At the same time, the outreach events will serve at identifying and training volunteer leaders to push on-campus outreach work forward beyond the term of this contract.

Questions we would like to answer through the outreach part of the Cairo Pilot[edit]

  • Impact on Wikipedia: Will on-campus outreach events at Cairo universities increase the number of new contributors on the Arabic Wikipedia? Will the events result in the contribution of good quality content to the Arabic Wikipedia by most students?
  • Success factors and efficiency: What conditions need to be in place to enable quality contributions by students who participate in on-campus outreach events? Which events prove to be most successful and efficient?
  • Community impact and reaction: What is the impact on the Arabic Wikipedia community of on-campus outreach events? What is the community response to the program before, during and after?
  • Sustainability: How can we make sure that on-campus outreach events will be mostly volunteer-driven in the future?
  • The road ahead: How should the Arabic Wikipedia community and the Wikimedia Foundation move forward based on the experience of the pilot? Which resources should be dedicated to the program going forward?

What success will look like[edit]

  • We're starting program activity in the MENA region; people on the ground and on the Arabic Wikipedia are supportive of the plans.
    • Measure of success #1: Members of the Arabic Wikipedia community are supportive of the Cairo pilot and volunteer to participate in supporting it.
    • Measure of success #2: We start general outreach activities on campus in the spring 2012 semester.
  • We increase the amount and quality of content on the Arabic Wikipedia.
    • Measure of success #1: On average, more than 10 participants per on-campus event make at least 5 edits.
    • Measure of success #2: At least 50% of the content contributed by students survives.
  • We grow the number of active contributors to the Arabic Wikipedia by 10% during the spring 2012 term
    • Measure of success #1: At least 50 people being recruited throught the general university outreach part of the pilot start editing (see above).
  • Both community, students and professors are happy / satisfied with their involvement in the pilot
    • Measure of success #1: More than 75% of the community volunteers involved in the pilot indicate that it was worth their time (qualitative assessment).
    • Measure of success #2: Members of the Arabic Wikipedia indicate support for continuing to build an education program in the region.
  • After the pilot, both community and staff members have a clear understanding what the road ahead for the MENA outreach activities should look like (e.g. if translations work better than the traditional model; which outreach activities on campus worked/didn't work); learning points are well documented
    • Measure of success #1: An outcome / lessons learnt / the road ahead document will be completed by July 2012.
  • We communicate effectively with the broader community, capture learning and lay the foundation for the next semester
    • Measure of success #1: Weekly updates on the program are shared with the AR:WP community and we publish at least 3 interim reviews with stories of success and lessons learned on the WMF blog.

Core design elements[edit]

Overview of the different event types[edit]

See Cairo Pilot on-campus outreach – event types for more details about the planned events.

By Type[edit]

  • Increasing public awareness about the program
    • Three different tabling events will be made in both Cairo & Ain Shams University to introduce university students to the program, why editing Wikipedia is so important, what they can get out of it and advertise the next outreach events.
  • Photography
    • Introduction Commons to the existing community of photographers in Cairo and how releasing their photos under a free license can actually help them improve in the end.
    • Organizing a photo walk where all interested individual can participate in taking pictures and later uploading all these to Commons and incorporate them into Wikipedia articles.
  • How-To Hands-On Workshops
  • Group Editing
    • Arabic Wikipedia Day.
    • Edit-athon after Campus Outreach Event.
    • After the Photo-Walk.
  • GLAM

How we are going to make sure that the participants are motivated to contribute to Wikipedia[edit]

We have to understand all the possible motives that will drive people to actually consume their time and effort and to contribute to Wikipedia to highlight those points during the Outreach events. We have several assumptions regarding the mindset of students in Cairo. However we are going to measure those and see which of them is true (If any) and try to accommodate future sessions with those new motives.


We are assuming that these are the possible incentives for students in Cairo to participate in outreach events and contribute to Wikipedia.

  • Enhancing the Arabic content on Wikipedia
    • The desire to enhancing and promote Arabic culture.
  • Swag

Giving participants/editors some Wikipedia giveaways shows appreciation for their time editing and improving Wikipedia and builds a sense of belonging and 'affliation' to the movement.

  • Recognition
    • Certificates.
    • Creating a list of articles made on the user page.
    • Using WikiLove and giving some barnstars to new editors as a way of showing appreciation & recognition.
  • Personal Development
    • Writing Skills
    • Research Skills
    • Increasing your network of people
    • Mastery; the desire to master a certain activity, is one of the forces that drives people to do more in their free time. Such as the willingness to master a specific musical instrument or a video game. Although learning this skill might not in fact increase their professional experience and will not provide any kind of income, many people spend hundreds of hours learning that specific musical instrument just because it is 'fun'. We can utilize this desire to encourage participants to contribute to Wikipedia & learning the Wiki environment (Annie should send me a list of companies that use an internal Wiki)

How to measure and assess[edit]

We are going to test these assumptions with conducting surveys during our tabling on campus before the start of any outreach events and after each outreach event we will have a feedback form part of which is what motivates one to participate in these events and eventually contribute to Wikipedia.

Utilizing the results[edit]

We will analyze the data collected from the surveys and feedback forms after every event to come up with what motivates different people and interest groups the most to contribute to Wikipedia. Then, we will utilize these results in future events by:

  • Highlighting that point in advertising the event.
  • Highlighting that point during the Introduction to Wikipedia.
  • Getting a public speaker to talk about the importance of contributing to the Arabic Wikipedia. (A list of public speakers could be approached to compile a video about the importance of editing Wikipedia and sharing knowledge)
  • Using the right cultural-related interesting examples for that specific interest group during the workshop.

How we are going to keep in touch with the existing community[edit]

Understanding how small the current Arabic Wikipedia Community is and understanding that the Arabic Wikipedia went through several experimentations to increase the number of articles but they actually backfired and came at the expense of quality and poor language. That's why keeping in touch with the current community and getting regular feedback and guidance from them is an important part of the Cairo Pilot including the Outreach part. We came out with those suggestions to keep the community engaged throughout the whole period of the pilot.

  • account and the regular updates on the "Latest Developments" page on the Arabic Wikipedia.
  • Participate in WMF blogging. (3 blog posts between March & July)
  • Feedback from the high-profile community members participating in the program.
    • Prior to starting the program. (Beginning of March)
    • Late April
    • Early July before documenting the results of the whole program.
  • Use of Campus Ambassador Facebook Group to get feedback and request help and volunteers.
  • Inviting existing community members to the Arabic Wikipedia Day.

How we are going to measure the success of the on-campus outreach[edit]

Part of the Global Development Team in the Wikimedia Foundation is working on creating a new tool that will be used to measure the success and the impact of individual outreach events held anywhere in the world. This tool should be ready by early March and will be used to measure the success of the outreach events in Cairo.

Once the usernames of the participants of that specific event are added to the database, the tool immediately starts searching for how many edits where made by those users, how much of that content survives (doesn't get reverted) in addition to collecting and analyzing certain demographic details about the new editors.

To measure the satisfaction of volunteers in the program and the Arabic Wikipedia community, a survey would be made after the end of events period and before the documentation period of the program to assess the satisfaction of the community and how they view the project and whether it was successful or not and what parts of the program they would like to improve or capitalize on and what parts should be modified to better fit the existing Arabic Wikipedia community.

How we are planning to achieve sustainability[edit]

The current Outreach part of the Cairo Pilot is not sustainable without volunteers and is not replicable in its current status. That's why we need to make sure we build a community capable of sustaining and continuing those outreach events even after the end of the pilot. We have several ideas in general on how to sustain the project and others may come up during the course of the project itself.

  • Selecting natural leaders to start outreach events during the course of the program.
  • Starting an AIESEC model of having one central entity (volunteer based) with several student clubs in universities that makes outreach events in their respective campuses.

How we are going to document the outcome[edit]

This is a pilot model. The real success of the projects is knowing what actually works and what does not and why. That's why the documentation part is so important to the project. Writing a detailed report of the different types of events and the subsequent results and impact of those events (through measuring the number of participants, new editors, number of edits, etc...) and what's the best possible way to continue Outreach events in Cairo and other parts of Egypt and Arabic Speaking Countries.

  • Document every event immediately after it ends
  • Mobilize a group of people who will help with taking pictures.
  • Create a written documentation at the end of the project July 2012.


Timeline as drawn on a whiteboard during the planning phase in WMF Office

February 2012[edit]

  • Project Planning.
  • Getting Feedback from community about events.

March 2012[edit]

  • First Week: Introductory sessions and How-To sessions for some targeted Photography clubs.
  • Second Week: Continue sessions to photography clubs and organize a photo-walk in the weekend.
  • Third Week: Tabling Event in campus
  • By end of March: ALMUN Event

April 2012[edit]

  • First Week: Arabic Language Courses Session
  • Second Week: El-Sawy Culture Wheel Event
  • Second Week: Tabling Event to advertise for the next Campus Workshop
  • Third Week: Campus Workshop

May 2012[edit]

  • Third Week: Arabic Wikipedia Day

June 2012[edit]

  • A natural leader will be able to organize an event by himself to ensure the sustainability of the project.

July 2012[edit]

  • Documentation Phase.