Wikimedia Kaduna Connect: A campaign for free knowledge and connectivity 2023

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The project was led by Ramatu A. Haliru with micro funding from Wikimedia User Group Nigeria with valuable assistance from experiences facilitators like Ismail Atiba, Luqman Kareem Salati. The main theme of the project is to create awareness among librarians, lecturers, students of higher institutions in Kaduna state on importance of Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia and Wikidata. specifically, The campaign primarily objective is to recruit and train Nigerians in creating and improving content about northern – Nigerians on Wikipedia and Wikidata.

The campaign focused on creating content related to northern Nigeria in specific and Nigeria content in general which as to do with notable people, places, infrastructure, companies among other subjects in Nigeria. by doing so, we documented the connection with Hausa Wikimedia User Group and Tyaps Wikimedia User Group by selected topics that aligned with the mission of the campaign which aimed to foster a comprehension of Nigeria people, infrastructure and heritage.

The Project Goal

  1. To provide new editors and existing editors with necessary tool needed to improve Wikipedia and Wikidata.
  2. To promote the user of Wikipedia and Wikidata among librarians, lecturers and students in higher education in kaduna state
  3. To establish a Wikimedia network for continue knowledge sharing by collaborating with individuals or organization who are ready to share or learn from us.

Step Developed to achieved the project goals

1. Planning begin 1st -7th, May, 2023. by identifying the main approaches needed to developed for achieving success during the project. we adopted to method which are

  • Two Online sessions
  • One Physical session

During the planning stage we draft the proposals, receiving funds, creating e-flyers and sharing them in different social media to call for participants. also creating the Meta-wiki page, outreach dashboard and creating whatup app group for communication with participants among others.

Implementation (10th June – 10th July, 2023)

The implementation started with online training sessions than followed by physical training.

  1. The first online training was held on 10th June, 2023 which introduce participants to concepts of Wikipedia, Wikidata, the five pillars of Wikipedia and the notability policy. Then a general introduction to the campaign showing them how to participate with provisions for data reimbursement and one-on-one support. The participants contribution was monitored on the dashboard with daily updates sent to the group to encourage participants through the communication channels.
  2. The second online session was a weekly follow up on the communication channels sharing videos’ of editing activities and answering questions and data reimbursement to top contributors.
  3. The Physical Training session was held on 20th June, 2023. the session provide participants with an in-person training experience and questions on issues affecting participants were all answered. The training ended with shared refreshments.

The Learning outcomes

1. 60% of the participants were new editors while its was only 40% that were familiar with Wikipedia and Wikidata. However, the new editors could not expend articles by adding citations, creating a detailed Wikidata items. This training was able to expose them to ways of improving Wikipedia with Wikidata by adding citations, making sentence corrections, and editing existing Wikidata items.

2. The Outreach dashboard was the most effective metrics for direct identifying participants contribution towards the success of the campaign.

3. This campaign improved the content gabs in Wikipedia and Wikidata in teams of accuracy and verifiability.

4. monitoring participants and encouraging them enhance their community participation which improve editing efforts in various wikimedia projects.

5. Based on the edits recorded on the dashboard, this campaign met its targets expectations.

Challenges and Recommendation

Most of the participants were not familiar with Wikipedia and its rules such as notability and the five rules of wikipedia article creation. however, this campaign engage them in several session before they become familiar and were able to contribute. the campaign encourage participants to continue editing even after this campaign. Few participants were having issues of IP block which really discourage them for editing. we recommended that the Wikimedia Foundation should find a lasting solution to the problem.

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