Wikimedia:Översättningar/Impact report 2018

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For the first half of the year Wikimedia Sverige focused on capacity building of the organization. This was needed for three reasons: (1) because of the staff reduction at the end of 2017; (2) the move to a new office space; and (3) the new GDPR legislation coming into effect on the 25 May 2018. All these factors put the existing structures under constraints, but they were also an opportunity to review existing practices, tools and methods.

The four programmatic areas developed in 2016, Access, Use, Community and Enabling, continued to form the base of the project structure. Some of the most important activities and changes to date are the following:

  • We organized WikiGap together with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 54 countries across the world together with Swedish embassies, local Wikimedia communities and local partners. The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs participated in our event in Stockholm and the WikiGap initiative was even announced in the Government’s Statement of Foreign Policy 2018. This work has supported strong and empowered movement leaders and affiliates in many countries in the world.
  • We activated our new membership system and tripled our membership base to 432 members. The tools and policies around privacy were revised as part of the GDPR work (our material around the GDPR preparations is freely available and the extensive work were highlighted by other organizations as an inspiration). Switching systems in an organization that's been operating for more than a decade is a time consuming process and we took it on ourselves to take it as an opportunity to clean up in our documentation and online archives.
  • We have deepened our cooperation with GLAM institutions, including a strategic partnership with the National Library of Sweden. These partnerships have advance our free knowledge policy agenda long term and they have also allowed us to make a large amount of images and data available during the year. At the end of the year we had uploaded over 10,500 photographs, created 500 Wikidata items for books and added external identifiers to 60,000 more items. We also uploaded 187 audio files with recorded pronunciation of geographical place names.
  • We have started to form a network of OER advocates in Sweden.
  • We have, for the first time, lobbied actively in the Swedish parliament (Riksdagen) regarding FoP by talking to the MP’s in charge from three different parties.
  • We were selected to host Wikimania 2019 and put in substantial work in the preparations to get the most from this unique opportunity. We have confirmed the venue and hotels, decided on the theme and started working on distributing the tasks among the volunteers and employees. We have also established several partnerships.
  • We developed a detailed project plan for the next stage of Wikispeech and initiated discussions with the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland about a strategic partnership for technical development of the MediaWiki software.
  • We sent in half a dozen of project grant applications with a success rate of 80 percent. We have so far confirmed around 9,944,000 SEK (around 1,000,000 USD) in grants for our work with free knowledge for 2018–2021. We are working on further applications. Hiring of more staff members was initiated in June 2018. In addition, we have set up a strategic financing plan for the association.

For the first time in the association's history our entire board decided to run again and were elected during the general assembly.


Our Access program focuses on improving the free content on, or available to, the Wikimedia projects both short and long term. This was our largest program, both in number of ongoing projects and initiatives, and in budget. The work within this program increased significantly during the second half of the year with two new large, externally funded, projects starting.

Our earlier work with getting GLAM and other organizations working with us have shown that both individual staff members and the organization as a whole have to go through a number of steps, and that the environment (context) which they work in has to be suitable. As stated in our application we see contributions from new organizations happening mainly in two ways:

  • People contribute to the Wikimedia projects within their institutional frameworks. This could e.g. be GLAM staff, researchers or students.
  • Resources created elsewhere are put under a free license and can later be included in our projects.

Through the projects in the Access program we worked to influence staff, decision makers and the environment (context) they work within.

Access gained short term

I.e. production, adoption of tools and methods.

Different organizations have reached different levels of maturity when it comes to how they view free knowledge and their perception of how they can contribute. Their maturity affects what we can achieve together in a particular timespan, and a large part of our work is focused on moving them forward to a more thought-through strategy. Throughout the process we strive to be considered a professional and generous partner. We focus on partners who have expertise and/or collections that we have identified as relevant for Wikimedia in general or for a particular project. During the year we have worked to deepen and develop long term partnerships. We have utilized Wikimania to reinvigorate interest from old partners and invited them to engage in the conference.

The activities aimed at in the near time is to get access to more free information and including it on three of the Wikimedia platforms: Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia. For ten years we have invested time and efforts in workshops where we train experts about free licenses, to contribute to the platforms, and other things related to the Wikimedia platforms and free knowledge. The output from these activities is in the short term are improved articles and content, but we believe a far more important outcome is the deeper knowledge and expertise which later will help when we organize projects together to release material owned by the institutions. From our experience, the decision for an institution to release larger amounts of material often takes place years after we have given them a first introduction, however every now and then we experience a faster turnover rate.

Through GLAM partnerships during the year we have managed to deliver unique material to the Wikimedia movement, for example with a large amount of bibliographical data and historical photographic collections of African and South American tribes. Through dedicated efforts we have carried out the preparations needed to achieve more partnerships, either working directly with us or with other Wikimedia affiliates, in the future.

We will focus on the documentation of processes and aim to create a number of case studies of how different collections at GLAMs can be accessed and included on the Wikimedia platforms. This will be valuable both for other Wikimedia affiliates that want to upload collections and for GLAM institutions that are new, but interested, in working with the Wikimedia movement.

We also work with the education sector to have educators assign students to contribute to free knowledge as part of their course work. Here the outcome we are looking for is to engage students in the production of large amounts of high quality material.

We see educator retention as a key in sustaining and growing in education, as the quality of the program benefit from the experience and skills they gain over time. We have started with more targeted efforts towards specific programs where we believe the students are likely to work in organizations that we would like to partner with in the future, such as GLAM or university education.

Story: Data collections as a service

During the year we have continued our efforts around batch data uploads. We have focused on three different types of data: about GLAM institutions (e.g. location, type etc.), about bibliographical data (initially on the authors and editions of the books) and we have designed a project focusing on collecting freely licensed speech data as a service for the FOSS community.

Our goal with the GLAM data is to improve the coverage on the Wikimedia platforms, but also create a service for the international GLAM community and for the disaster response community as we know that the lack of knowledge, on a global scale, where GLAM institutions are located is a real problem to make support possible during a crisis. This is especially true for poorer countries, and this work thereby also support equity regarding the protection of cultural heritage. We also believe that this type of data will also make it easier for Wikimedia affiliates to identify new potential partners to reach out to. We will work together with the Structure data on Commons team at the Wikimedia Foundation, whom are partnering with us in the project.

The addition of bibliographical data will make sourcing on Wikipedia faster and easier, but we hope it will also make Wikidata a service for users outside of Wikimedia as well, providing a service for many. As the project was developed in partnership with the National library of Sweden, with the stated intention of sharing lessons with other National libraries, we expect to encourage similar projects in other countries and get more data to be added over the years.

The work done in previous years make us well prepared to work on these type of uploads. We know that time need to be set aside for discussions before, during and after the batch upload itself. Especially as bibliographical data is something that interests a lot of people and affiliates. We are therefore planning the project in such a way that we do not have to rush anything and can listen closely and work with the Wikidata and Wikipedia communities, Wikimedia Deutschland and Wikimedia Foundation and other parties. Identifying what data to focus on, clean and prepare it will all be done in an inclusive manner.

For the speech data collection we have developed a detailed project plan for building the tools to collect speech data and will team-up with the developing team at Wikimedia Deutschland to connect the data uploaded onto Wikimedia Commons with the lexemes on Wikidata. Our team will also coordinate with the team at Mozilla working on their project Common Voice to share lessons and combine our data collection efforts. We hope that the resource of freely available speech data will be of great value to improve the text-to-speech solution on Wikipedia, but also for many other initiatives aiming to make the web more accessible, to develop AI and more.

We aim to increase our developer team again to be able to handle the work and have started the work on finding candidates for the position.

These are long term, externally funded, projects. They will last at least 2018-2019, with the bibliographical data project and the speech data collection possibly for 2-3 years more.

Story: Partnerships for better sourcing on Wikipedia

As mentioned in the previous section, our partnership with the National Library of Sweden has focused heavily on bibliographical data. The National Library has a track record for working with open data; large parts of the data it produces, the Swedish National Bibliography and the authority files, were released under a CC0 license in 2011. In 2018, they took the next step to making this data more available and reusable by becoming the first national library in the world to transition their union catalog to a linked data framework, Bibframe 2.0.

This period of modernization proved to be an exciting opportunity for both Wikimedia Sverige and the National Library to take a closer look at Wikidata as a platform for bibliographical data. Volunteers engaged in the WikiCite movement had imported millions of items for scientific articles from openly accessible sources, but a similar effort had not, to the best of our knowledge, been undertaken for books. Indeed, the infrastructure for books was comparatively poor. We thus set a goal of bringing the National Library's catalog closer to Wikimedia project by integrating a subset of the available data with Wikidata.

The sheer size of the data made available by the National Library – the Swedish National Bibliography aims to encompass the entirety of book production in Sweden, and contains over 650,000 entries – meant we had to select a small subset of entries to include in our pilot project. We chose to focus on books that were often cited on Swedish Wikipedia. By highlighting those books and the possibilities Wikidata offered for bibliographical data, we hoped to garner the interest of the Swedish community.

As a result, we converted the data about ca. 500 books from Libris and uploaded it to Wikidata. Additionally, we connected about 60,000 Wikidata items for authors with their authority posts in Libris, making it easier for Wikidata users to discover the resources made available by the National Library of Sweden. The response from the involved staff at the National Library was overwhelmingly positive, and an interest was expressed in including Wikidata links in Libris as well.

A presentation about this project was accepted for the WikiCite conference which was held in the USA in November 2018. Apart from informing the community about our work, the event provided an opportunity to share knowledge and ideas about both the current state of bibliographical data on Wikidata and the possibilities for future development.

Our long-term goal with this partnership is to use the data provided by the National Library to facilitate research and sourcing among the Wikimedia community. As the National Library and the Wikimedia movement have a shared goal – spreading knowledge to as many people as possible – we are looking into developing tools for Wikipedians to easily include references to the Library's material in Wikipedia articles. We are also investigating a possible role for Wikisource in this project. An underutilized project in the Swedish Wikimedia community, it offers a platform for sharing and transcribing out-of-copyright material. A prerequisite for it to be useful, of course, is that the material has been digitized. As the next step in our partnership with the National Library, we would like to take help from the Swedish community to identify interesting works whose copyright has expired but which are not yet available online. This would then serve as a guideline for the National Library as to how to prioritize their digitization efforts.

Staying on the topic of sources, we are planning a project centered around the phenomenon of fake news. Platforms like Youtube and Facebook have recently started enlisting Wikipedia to provide factual information about the content shared by its users, especially controversial material such as conspiracy theories. We would like to examine the possible effects of this and what it could mean for the Wikimedia movement in the long term. We are going to seek financing for this project towards the middle of 2019.

Access gained long term

I.e. changing minds, policies and attitudes, improving our capacity.

Wikimedia Sverige is in this for the long run. We aim to change the way organizations and the society think about knowledge dissemination and production. Creating that kind of change in attitudes will allow for the full impact of free knowledge. To reach this goal partnerships are key. We need to work to change the attitude of organizations in society to engage them in free knowledge production.

The practical work outlined above is therefore only half of the story. It is the end result of an often long period of finding common ground with an organization. We are continuously working to convince more organizations to partner with us and through this themselves become champions for free knowledge in the end.

Top down

By convincing decision makers to adopt different forms of policies around openness in their organizations we are laying the foundations for accessing new material in the future.

In the Swedish context, most organizations are rather non-hierarchical but individual staff members can nonetheless be restricted in their ability to act by limited funds or lack of supportive policy. Removing such barriers is therefore important to allow them to improve the amount of access to free knowledge. While decision makers are of course hard to reach, the strong Wikimedia brand gives us a real advantage compared to other organizations active in the free knowledge movement. It does however take a lot of preparations to develop argumentation, networks and supporting material. This is something we continue to invest resources in.

Due to our court loss in 2017 in the Freedom of Panorama case against Bildupphovsrätt Sverige (BUS) we focused on putting the donations we have received to good use. We contacted representatives from the largest political parties in the Swedish parliament (the Riksdag) to present arguments for why a legislative update was needed (see #Story: Discussing Wikimedia with Sweden's lawmakers). We also sent information to the government in preparation for the Council of the European Union vote about the Copyright Directive. Wikimedia Sverige has also this year supported the important work done through FKAGEU, with both work time and financial resources. This is because we know the importance EU legislation have on our projects.

Story: Discussing Wikimedia with Sweden's lawmakers

Wikimedia Sverige has long been involved in international efforts to inform legislators about new laws that could harm Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia platforms. However, this has mainly been through support of the international work and we have had a limited amount of activities in Sweden. In 2018 this has changed.

In 2018 we could use some of the funds we had received in generous support from members of the public, whom were outraged by the fact that sharing photos of a public space online could create legal risks for the photographer. The parliament had a couple of non-government bills for new legislation that were in line with our goals presented for voting. Before the vote was taking place we contacted the parliamentarians in the responsible committee and requested meetings with them to present our point of view and why the legislation was crucial to be updated. In preparation for the meetings we discussed methods and arguments with Dimi Dimitrov in Brussels. We had positive hour long meetings with representatives from three of the main parties in Sweden.

As the proposed legislative change were put forward by individual parliamentarians, rather than from the parties themselves, it was clear from the start that the bills had no chance of passing. In Sweden, presenting individual bills like this is simply a way to put the issue on the political agenda. As expected the bills did not pass at this point.

The meetings were a good place to form a relationship with the parliamentarians and also to inform them about our interest, as an non-profit organization, to give our unique perspective of e.g. new Internet or copyright legislation.

Story: Strategic high level partnerships

The chapter has had a longstanding relationship with the GLAM institutions in Sweden and provided trainings and batch uploads to them. This has given us a good position to reach even further in our joint efforts.

In 2018 we worked to form strategic high level partnerships with the GLAM institutions that are so large, and that have a coordinating role in the country, so that we should be able to work productively with them for years to come. These are organizations that occupy advisory and best practice roles which give them the ability to influence other organisations within their fields of expertise to promote and adopt open licensing and engage with the Wikimedia movement.

At the end of 2017 we delivered our inputs to the National library of Sweden on how Sweden's libraries can work with Wikimedia and in 2018 we start our first part of our strategic project to connect us with libraries in multiple ways for mutual benefit. This is a project funded by the National library and if this first part is deemed successful continuous funding is possible for 3-4 more years. The discussions with their team continued during 2018.

The National heritage board is a long term partner. In 2017 they became a coordinating authority for Sweden's museums and this year we had a first development project together with them, aiming to create a tool for easy uploading of 3D models to multiple platforms and events to discuss and promote 3D scans of historical objects. In 2018 we organized a number of events together with them, received funding for work with 3D objects and secured funding for 2019 to work with racist or otherwise problematic content in old GLAM collections and we participated in the planning for a project around bringing back data from Wikimedia Commons about GLAM collections to the GLAM institution. We also continued to work with them to organize the photo contest Wiki Loves Monuments.

The National archive of Sweden has requested that we start discussing how Wikimedia can work closer with the archives in the country and we will host our AGM 2019 at their venue.

Through a contact provided by Wikimedia Foundation staff we had a first meeting with a representative from International IDEA. We will work to engage their staff and management in the coming months to see if this can be developed into a fruitful partnership. If so, this would be our first partnership with an aid organization and if successful could be an interesting new group of organizations to partner with.

Through the WikiGap initiative we started together with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs we have been able to work with Swedish embassies across the world, support local Wikimedia affiliates and volunteers and local organizations and civil society. This partnership has the potential to support our work with Wikimania 2019 (as Visa applications are handled by the embassies), provide funding for the Wikimedia movement (as the embassies are financing projects in the countries) and to reach many new partners and volunteers in countries where the Wikimedia movement’s presences previously has been limited. We have been discussing a continuation in 2019.

In Q3-Q4 we initiated our new project FindingGLAMs were we will continue our partnership with UNESCO. We also intend to engage ICOM, IFLA and Europeana in the project. Wikimedia Foundation's GLAM team are partnering with us in these efforts. Through the project’s structure, with different separated case studies, the FindingGLAMs project has been perfect to develop other project grants connected to GLAM work, and we have had two successful applications.

Story: Forming a national network around OER

In the open knowledge landscape in Sweden, the area of open education and Open Educational Resources (OER) is notably missing in policies and strategies, especially in comparison to Open data and Open Access which have been getting stronger government support and attention in Sweden recently. There is also a lack of OER supportive policy in Sweden compared to what other European countries have achieved.

From several years of working closely with educators and decision makers at universities, schools and libraries, our network has grown and we can see that there is interest in opening up learning resources to enable sharing and reuse beyond the institution. But supportive policy is missing for stakeholders to act.

Based on our in-house expertise in open education and free licenses and also inspired by OER initiatives by WMDE to boost the OER community in Germany, we have capacity to become a central hub for OER advocates in Sweden to meet and engage in OER policy discussions. The opportunity for us is to invite and coordinate discussions and meetings so that OER may align with Open Access and Open Data policies. We can also bring small pilot initiatives known to us together so that they become less isolated events and the overall capacity for advocacy is improved.

We initiated a working group to answer UNESCO’s call for comments on their upcoming OER recommendations, which engaged eight OER advocates from four Swedish universities. The working group generated a lot of ideas and identified core issues for OER in Sweden, beyond what we submitted to UNESCO, which is why we want to keep momentum and coordinate follow ups and more support for an open network of OER advocates in Sweden. Our event organizing experience is one relevant kind of support that we can offer, and we have identified partners who want to sponsor a national OER-focused event with us in 2019.

Bottom up

I.e. finding partners, forming partnerships, working in joint projects and delivering content.

For the association to work efficiently with other organizations we often find that early interaction with staff members of the organization is crucial to form internal support for the needed changes (choice of license, how they can share data etc.) that make a partnership possible later on. We approach potential partners at different events (either organized by us, or when participating at e.g. conferences), when planning externally funded projects and through social media and offline networks.

When meeting with the staff members we need to be clear on what we have to offer, what we need and how we can work with them. The clearer our message is, the faster we can form a new partnership. This often take a bit of preparations to be able to tailor the message to them (such as using their lingo, connecting our message/suggestions to their own strategies and visions). We usually initiate the partnership with a smaller and clearly defined pilot project, or a few workshops, to thereby lower the threshold and identify which investments are needed from both parties.

After we start working together we strive to be accommodating and generous with our time and our resources to ensure a positive experience. We will continue refining the way we offer additional reporting to our partners during the year.

Regarding educational partnerships we have in 2018 had a lot of new partnership activities with a number of new departments at major educational institutions in Sweden. This has enable us to plant the idea of open within the institutions.

Fail fest: Blue screen of death – wiki on Windows

Here we describe problems we struggled with and what we learnt from them.

In partnership with seven Swedish universities, we are part of a new externally funded three-year project which uses a project wiki to collaboratively identify, curate and establish a Swedish nomenclature for how universities collaborate with the wider society (Samverkan) in areas such as outreach, open science and impact. WMSE’s role in the project is to give technical support as well as training for participants in the new wiki environment on how to use a wiki for project collaboration. In the later phases of the project, we will coordinate for participants to contribute to Wikipedia, using their wiki-skills, the curated sources and the wiki as a resource for sharing content.

At the start of the project, our task was to set up the project wiki, set up the MediaWiki, install the necessary extensions and create guides and manuals. We decided to install the wiki on a Windows server as this was what Stockholm University offered full support for, and documentation on indicated that a MediaWiki installation should be fully functional in a Windows environment. As it turned out, at the first hands-on full day wiki training, with 10 participants from the partnering universities, the new wiki could not cope with having all ten users logged in at the same time. This manifested as very long loading times and, on occasions, server error pages. Despite extensive testing and increasing the resources allocated to the server we kept on having severe performance issues and we discovered that the existing documentation for MediaWiki on Windows did not address these.

Eventually, we had to make the decision to migrate the wiki to a Linux server at Stockholm University where it has since been running stably using a fraction of the resources. Since the university only offers operational support for their Windows servers, and as this was beyond our in-house expertise we needed to subcontract the ongoing server maintenance.

Finding this solution delayed the project at a vulnerable stage when partners needed to be onboarded with using the project wiki and getting comfortable with the technical environment. That being said, the migration to a Linux server completely solved the problems and the new and improved wiki has been embraced by the partners and praised by the project management. This has given us valuable insights and experience for future projects of this sort (as supporting a separate project wiki for a large project, is the first of its kind for us).

Fail fest: A low amount of new GLAM partners

Here we describe problems we struggled with and what we learnt from them.

One of the first things that happened when Wikimedia Sverige started to build up the office and staff resources in 2012 was that we signed a letter of intent to cooperate with the Council of Central Museums, a huge accomplishment and a great way to reach out and deliver projects with a number of great partners. The next year we continued by signing a similar agreement with the Council of Working Life Museums, representing some 1,500 small museums. Having such a large number of both big central museums and small volunteer run museums meant that we have had our plate full when it comes to doing batch uploads, data ingestions, run courses and edit-a-thons and answering questions. Having a full plate is not the worst thing, and we could keep working with our regular partners for a long time before all images are freely licensed and available and all articles are improved.

On the other hand there are other GLAMs that we have turned down when they have asked for both free and paid help, as we don’t have the manpower to support them at a level that we would be happy with.

The main issue here is the need to increase staff capacity, both by making things more efficient, but also by scaling by adding new staff. We intend to continue to scale our capacity in 2019, but we will also aim to focus our involvement to a coordinating capacity where we support internal initiatives to a larger extent.

To ensure that we can form new strong partnerships with GLAM institutions in the long run we have initiated a new project called FindingGLAMs. As part of the project we will identify best ways of working with new GLAMs, inform GLAM institutions about our work and start engaging their staff, and create a unique resource in the form of a database of GLAM institutions globally. This database will make it easier to identify suitable new partners for a project being planned. We are also looking for ways to scale up our work and to form new strategic partnerships (for details, see #Story: Strategic high level partnerships).

Detailed project overview

Below all the projects belonging to the program will be briefly explained and the current status presented. Synergies between the projects will be described. A few selected stories has been presented more in depth as case studies above.

For all the projects, we will state whether they are small, medium or large. In this context, a small project is defined as one where the total budget is less than 100,000 SEK (about 12,500 USD); a medium sized project is defined as one where the total budget is between 100,000 SEK and 300,000 SEK (12,500 to about 37,500 USD); finally, a large project is defined as one where the total budget exceeds 300,000 SEK (about 37,500 USD).

FindingGLAMs 2018

What is the project: This is a major global externally funded project aiming to add information about GLAM institutions from around the world, and the collections they hold, to Wikidata, Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. The database will be the first one of its type and will provide a service for both the GLAM sector, for organizations working with crisis situations and for Wikimedia affiliates to find potential partners. Case studies regarding batch uploads and other activities with different type of GLAMs will be developed to summarize the learnings and analyse the effect and future possibilities.

What’s been done: During the first months of the year we worked to develop the project grant application for FindingGLAMs. We received news that it would be funded at the end of June, but no exact sum nor timeline was confirmed until August. The project will last until 15 November 2019 with a budget of 2,950,000 SEK (ca. 300,000 USD).

In 2018 the project was presented on 9 events for ca. 500 people; a first overview of available datasets has been developed with preparations for batch uploads of 2 of them initiated; 5 case studies with corresponding batch uploads of media files have been planned (2 more external grants, totaling 600,000 SEK, have been received for this work); a campaign around adding GLAM institutions are being developed.

Furthermore, a significant part of the preparations for Wikimania conference has been done as part of the project as the conference will form somewhat of a final event for parts of the project.

What's next: The project will continue during most of 2019. During the year at least 3 more datasets will be uploaded and the index with existing datasets will be systematically increased through partnerships with Wikimedia affiliates and UNESCO. We will conduct a total of 5 case studies and produce a white paper. We will organize a number of pre-events in connection to Wikimania and participate in a number of conferences. We will develop the tool Monumental to work for our data collection campaign and first organize a campaign in Sweden in May 2019, and based on the experience scale it to a global campaign in October 2019.

Size of project (small/medium/large): Large

Project impact: Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia

Partners: UNESCO, Wikimedia Foundation, Swedish National Heritage Board, Musikverket, Nordic museum, GLAM institutions in Sweden and abroad (more to come)

Link to the project: FindingGLAMs 2018

Wikipedia in Education 2018

What is the project: This project supports educators to implement Wikipedia based assignments where students improve Wikipedia as part of their curricular activities. It also support the work around Open Educational Resources (OER) in Sweden.

What’s been done: We have worked together with 11 university courses and thereby continued to further develop our partnerships with institutions for higher education as part of the education program.

We have also invested in partnerships which can improve our evaluations of Wikipedia in educational contexts and deployed a student survey with researchers at Stockholm university as a pilot for that. With the same team we are also developing a package for digital competence development for the educators at the university.

We have initiated a network around OER in Sweden, which has been dearly missed. See also #Story: Forming a national network around OER.

At the end of the year we updated material for the National Educational Agency (Skolverket) that will be used by teachers across the country.

What's next: We will work closely with a selected group of partners to highlight and communicate Wikipedia in classroom settings and support for a set of university courses is expected to take place. We have started planning for a national OER meeting to further engage the Swedish OER network.

Size of project (small/medium/large): Medium

Project impact: Wikipedia

Partners: Karlstad University, Linné University, Stockholm University, Södertörn University, Uppsala University, Åbo Akademi, Örebro University

Link to the project: Wikipedia i utbildning 2018

Samsyn 2018

What is the project: We work with six institutions for higher education within a three year long externally funded project called Samsyn. The goal is a shared nomenclature for the university sector's collaboration. The central tool for collaborating is a wiki that we have helped them create. We are also providing training for the staff at the institutions on how a wiki works. At the end of the project suitable parts will be included on the Wikimedia platforms.

What’s been done: We have set up a functioning wiki (see also #Fail fest: Blue screen of death – wiki on Windows), create training material in a way that it can also be reused for our chapter wiki and given a number of workshops to the staff and hence familiarizing them with working on a wiki (with the long term goal of having them contribute to the Wikimedia platforms).

As the institutions have filled the wiki with content during the fall they have also reached the conclusion that it is easier for others to comment on the shared nomenclature if the wiki is open and available to all for reading. Following that the wiki is now open for everyone to read, but you still need to have an account created if you want to contribute. The institutions are still adding more content and are commenting and improving on texts written by others.

What's next: We will give more trainings and further improve the information material. The plan is to open up account creation sometime during the year to make it easier for anyone to improve the content.

Size of project (small/medium/large): Medium

Project impact: Wikipedia

Partners: Chalmers University of Technology, Gävle University, Linköpings University, Malmö University, Stockholm University

Link to the project: Samsyn 2018

GLAM 2018

What is the project: This project maintains continuous interaction with GLAM partners and seeks out new collaborations. It also serves as an umbrella project for smaller projects funded by individual GLAMs.

What’s been done: What’s been done: The focus has been on acting as a meta level project focusing on providing training for partners where we want to deepen our cooperation in the future, making more GLAM institutions aware of our work and on preparing for externally funded activities both with our long term GLAM partners (where they pay us for the work time needed for i.e. a batch upload or training) and with involvement in initial meetings for possible major projects in the future. See also #Fail fest: A low amount of new GLAM partners.

The GLAM 2018 project was also the umbrella under which three externally funded GLAM projects were performed and concluded in the first half of the year. Two were with the same GLAM, one batch upload and one WiR where a staff member worked at the institution one day per week conducting training and organizing both internal and public edit-a-thons. The other focused on 3D files created by GLAMs and consisted of two parts. Firstly we developed a prototype for a tool to simultaneous upload files to both Wikimedia Commons and Sketchfab, secondly we organised a workshop discussing best practices for 3D and the role of Wikimedia Commons. We have also organized a preparatory meeting for librarians as part of the #1lib1ref initiative.

What's next: The GLAM project will continue as an umbrella project offering support and coordination to both keep previous partners up to speed and to find, develop and execute new partnerships. We will provide continued support to existing partners and outreach to new potential partners. Furthermore, there will be a new take on our activities with the Council of Central Museums with potential regular occurring so called WikiLabs, a concept developed by Wikimedia Danmark.

Size of project (small/medium/large): Medium

Project impact: Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata

Partners: National Museums of World Culture, Swedish National Heritage Board, Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology

Link to the project: GLAM 2018

GLAM Educators 2018

What is the project: This outreach project caters to educators in GLAM institutions.

What’s been done: We have prepared to present about the project at a national event for GLAM educators (called FUISM') and we have been discussing with the Nordic museum, which we worked with last year, about possible external grants to scale the project.

What's next: We significantly scaled down the project and organized the activities as a part of the GLAM 2018 project. We met and discussed with the educators and museums we worked with last year in order to keep the network intact.

Size of project (small/medium/large): Small

Project impact: Wikipedia

Partners: Association of Pedagogy at Swedish Museums, Nordic Museum

Link to the project: GLAM-pedagoger 2018

Presentations 2018

What is the project: This project include different presentations by WMSE staff, that are paid for by an external organization. The project exists to simplify taxation of our work.

What’s been done: Staff members have given two presentations: one for teacher students on how open resources create pedagogical value, and a webinar about Wikidata for a large number of authorities working with water data.

What's next: We will continue to meet and discuss with the educators and museums we worked with last year. We want to keep the network intact and stable and at this point we are not attempting to scale the activities from last year.

Size of project (small/medium/large): Small

Project impact: Wikipedia, Wikidata

Partners: Association of Pedagogy at Swedish Museums, Environmental Protection Agency, Nordic Museum

Link to the project: Föreläsningar 2018

Advocacy 2018

What is the project: Our political activities are compiled in this project to keep them separate from FDC funded projects. The project is funded by donations and membership fees.

What’s been done: Our main focus area for advocacy during 2018 has been Freedom of Panorama. We have mainly worked in Sweden and discussed the issue with members of the parliament (Riksdagen) (see #Story: Discussing Wikimedia with Sweden's lawmakers for more information).

Due to limited financial means available we had to initially scale back on our financial support for FKAGEU, but could support the work again at the later half of the year. We have also supported the work with opinion building against the existing proposal for the Copyright Directive in the European Union by signing the Open letter on the EU copyright reform and by contacting the Swedish government.

In April, one board member participated in the yearly meeting for coordination of EU Policies in Brussels along with participants from a dozen of other affiliates.

What's next: We will focus on improving knowledge amongst decision makers about FoP and how the Copyright Directive can influence Wikipedia. We will aim to create a network of national organizations that have a stake in these issues to work together. To that end we will work on finding and engaging new partners for a changed legislation around Freedom of Panorama in Sweden and we will continue discussing the issue with politicians and preparing information material.

Furthermore we will stay involved in the copyright reform in the European Union and coordinate the work with other affiliates. We also hope to be able to start supporting FKAGEU again, when we have final confirmation of our new external grants.

Size of project (small/medium/large): Medium

Project impact: Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia

Partners: FKAGEU

Link to the project: Påverkansarbete 2018

Sounds of Change 2018

What is the project: Sounds of Changes is a cooperation between several European GLAMs aiming to record and collect soundscapes of various kind.

What’s been done: The project has focused on organizing workshops and activities aimed at enhancing the use of sound recordings in Wikipedia articles. We have also taken part in organizing a sound recording event which also functions as a useful pilot for our planned activities around sound recordings for Wikispeech in 2019-2020.

What's next: We will engage in further communication with the stakeholders and collaboration partners in the project. We expect to organize a few workshops together with them.

Size of project (small/medium/large): Small

Project impact: Wikimedia Commons

Partners: Council of Working Life Museums, Swedish Air Force Museum

Link to the project: Sounds of Change 2018

Wikipedian in Residence 2018

What is the project: The project is focused on laying the foundation for WiR projects in Swedish contexts.

What’s been done: This project has mostly been put on hold until late 2018, mainly due to lack of available resources to co-fund WiR positions. We have supported the continuation of a WiR at the Internet museum.

What's next: The project will not be active in 2019 to allow the team to focus the efforts to Wikimania and the many externally funded projects.

Size of project (small/medium/large): Medium

Project impact: Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons

Partners: UNESCO, SBU, Musikverket, Internetmuseum

Link to the project: Wikipedian in Residence 2018


The focus of the program is to make the platforms and activities known, appreciated and trusted. It also include our work to make the platforms easy to use and both our platforms and activities accessible to everyone.

Making the platforms and activities known and appreciated

We work to spread information about the value and importance of free knowledge and about the Wikimedia platforms as tools to achieve more free knowledge of better quality.

We believe that more communication will, amongst other things, improve our possibilities for increasing participation at our events, help us to find more partners, increase funding opportunities and avoid misunderstandings about our work and the Wikimedia platforms.

We started the work to redesign our website, so that it will become a much more active platform. Our aim is for it to become a site where we can guide new organizations, members, volunteers, journalists, and members of the general public interested in our work or free knowledge in general. The website will be the easy-to-grasp entryway to our organization, with links for the interested to explore our activities more in detail on our wiki (see #Story: Using technical solutions to build a strong membership base).

Story: Showcasing our volunteers on social media

The fundraising and member recruiting campaign highlighting volunteers was started by Gitta Wilén when she worked as our communications coordinator. The work was continued by Gitta but in a volunteer capacity during the Spring. Three more portraits featuring a Wikimedia Commons contributor, a #WikiDivCon volunteer and the board of Wikimedia Sverige were used to show different ways to participate in the movement.

The campaign also worked as inspiration to the Wikimedia Conference and the WikiIndaba Conference which both ran similar image campaigns in their social media accounts leading up to the two events. A difference is the interviews and longer texts put together by Gitta to connect the individual volunteers to Wikimedia Sverige as an organization and to give personal accounts for the reasons of their involvement, something that made the images and stories popular and shared in social media.

The campaign will continue to run during the rest of the year, and we will continue to be part of the process in finding and publishing the stories.

Story: Telling the story of democracy and the wiki

We organized the second edition of the Wikipedia Day in Sweden adjacent to our Annual General Meeting. The Wikipedia Day is a local event focused on inviting Swedish Wikimedians and the public to learn more about what the association is doing regarding issues relevant to free knowledge.

The first event was made possible by external funding that we were free to use as we wanted. We have now established the event as part of our yearly activities and are improving our evaluation methods to meet the needs of the Swedish community. One participant said that the benefit of attending Wikipedia day in 2017 and 2018 was: “I’m getting to know more of the people here, which makes me feel more part of the community”.

We have utilized the event as a way to focus on how Wikimedia is relevant for for different societal issues; this year’s theme was Democracy and the wiki. By highlighting one aspect, we get the chance to reflect on the work we do and its wider impact on society. We believe that this reflection is important for the chapter and that the topics help increase visibility and interest from both participants and partners and it offers a frame to communicate our activities with members.

From the survey we sent out some people said they would like to see more practical sessions such as workshops and others suggested that participants can give lightning talks. Several participants in the event offered to help organize the next Wikipedia Day.

At the end of the year initial planning was done for the Wikipedia Day in 2019 and was decided that the will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, in line with the theme for Wikimania 2019 to engage our community in the preparations.

Story: Inviting new editors together with WMF

Donors are great, and if they can donate more than money it’s even better. Every year people from around the world contribute with many donations of various size, some equal to the cost of a small cup of coffee, others several large cups of coffee. The donors also gets the chance to answer some questions about what is important to them and if they would like to contribute in other ways.

Following up to the once who answered yes to that question the WMF fundraising team and Wikimedia Sverige created an email campaign inviting the donors to create user accounts, do their first edits, contact mentors, visit meetups and eventually become regular wikiholics.

After a lot of discussions about what can be tracked, wordings of emails, what pages to link to and how to contact mentors some test emails were sent out. Then, after evaluating all of the steps and the responses, more emails were sent out and 2,000 donors from Sweden received the emails. At this point 78 new accounts have been created as a result of the campaign, and the group of volunteer mentors have answered questions ranging from how to change an image to how to judge the quality of an article.

This was the first pilot campaign of it's kind and we are happy we could support the effort. As the results were very promising we have decided to continue the work with WMF with the hope to have a good concept that other chapters and affiliates can continue building on.

Story: High visibility events utilizing strong partners

One highlight of the year was our partnership to support Swedish embassies’ engagement with the Wikipedia gender gap in 50 countries, announced in the Statement of Government Policy in the Parliamentary Debate on Foreign Affairs in February 2018.

The WikiGap campaign presented us with opportunities to engage in strategic external communications made possible by resourceful partners during a time when we have had to limit our own resources for communications outreach. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs contracted a professional PR agency to research the Wikipedia gender gap and learn about the key facets of successful edit-a-thons. They ran interviews with us and with other Wikimedians and partners in various locations around the world and attended one edit-a-thon in person to study it. We supported other research they needed to do in order to grasp Wikipedia and the gender gap in general as well as our movement and community efforts specifically. They then drafted the outline for WikiGap, including a rationale for what to call it, a comprehensive narrative of what WikiGap is about, and a graphic profile suitable for social media. With this base, our partnership with the Ministry could take shape. The campaign was visible in social media under the hashtag WikiGap and reached audiences that we could not have reached on our own. The WikiGap Tool kit was released under a free license with the specific audience in mind, namely external organisations who may not know how to engage with the Wikimedia movement but wish to do so to support efforts to close the gender gap on our projects.

The WikiGap communications was also sensitive to possible pushback stating clearly how it complied with community guidelines such as notability, reliability and conflict of interest. We are aware that if this piece of communication had been poorly planned, we would risk conflicts with community members in Sweden and in other parts of the world. The external communications in Sweden reached the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation who we then partnered with to run two more major WikiGap events in Sweden at different universities. One of them was visited by the Swedish Minister for Enterprise and the positive amplification of WikiGap continued. The visibility also continued with the project being judged the Coolest project done by a Wikimedia chapters since Wikimania 2017.

At the end of the year we initiated discussions with the Ministry again for a second edition of WikiGap in March 2019 and how WikiGap could be highlighted at the conference Wikimania 2019 hosted in Stockholm.

Story: Data to stop a pandemic outbreak?

The Epidemic Intelligence team at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) approached us about the possibility of using increased traffic to Wikipedia articles about infectious diseases as an early indication of an outbreak. Their own research showed that there was often a significant increase in the visits to these articles, likely as a result of local news reporting. What interested them was that this increase in visits was often visible several days before their other tools detected the mention of an outbreak.

The ECDC are interested in developing a tool which can trigger some form of notification when there is a surge to an article on a predefined list. While breakdown by language is interesting the true value would come when the visits could be broken down by geographical areas, pinpointing where an outbreak might be happening. This would in turn allow them to respond as fast as possible to an emerging outbreak. Any such tool would be freely accessible also to other agencies in this area, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US.

The strict privacy rules that WMF adheres to around geographical location data means that external access to such data is non-trivial and current solutions are costly and do not scale well. As a result the WMF initiated the work with forming a Panel for recommendations on data sharing to ensure some sensitive data can be made available in a safe (privacy wise) and scalable way. A representative from the ECDC will participate in the Panel.

The ECDC showed a strong interest in the work, but the work done by the Panel was not initiated during 2018. Even though the project is still in its infancy we think that this is worth exploring further, both because such a tool would mean that our statistical data could be used to save lives and because it means that as a movement we can leverage even our metadata as knowledge.

The ECDC initially stated their interest to fund the development of the tool, as long as it is open source (obviously a demand we are happy to meet) but at the end of 2018 hired an in-house developer for the tool. We hope that Wikimedia Sverige will be able to develop a joint plan and lasting partnership with ECDC to make the tool into a reality.

Making usage easy and accessible to everyone

Through our efforts we hope to make the platforms easier to use for our readers. We focus both on our in-house development and on informing other developer teams about issues that we encounter during workshops and other events that we organize.

Fail fest: Finding ways for a small tech team to respond to code and security reviews

Here we describe problems we struggled with and what we learnt from them.

In our last Impact report we detailed the struggles we had with getting our Wikispeech extension code and security reviewed by the WMF and the various times when support had been promised only to not be realised. We are happy to see that our concerns were shared by the Foundation and that they are now investigating how this process can be made more accessible in line with our suggestions.

Wikispeech, our project to develop an open source text-to-speech solution for Wikipedia, was financed since 2016 by an external grant which came to an end at the conclusion of 2017. At about the same time as the project ended we also received our first technical feedback on the project and what it would take for it to be considered for inclusion on Wikipedia. This illustrated two problems with project based funding: how do structure the interaction with third parties, here WMF, that are not bound by the same timeline; and how can you keep supporting the developed product once project financing has ended.

Some of the feedback was quite surprising in that it required significant restructuring of some components or deployment processes – issues that would have been easier to address had they been discovered early on in the project. Complicating things is the fact that some of the development work is done by a project partner on a consultancy basis making it hard to finance after the end of the project whereas funds could more easily have been re-allocated earlier.

As we were actively applying for various grants to continue our work on Wikispeech we kept funding internal work with addressing the feedback, albeit at a slower pace than before. During the second half of the year a smaller pilot project grant was approved and we could scale up the work on Wikispeech. During the pilot project we developed a plan for the next set of tools to build a robust ecosystem for Wikispeech. We will collect speech data to be able to scale the text-to-speech solution to new languages, improve its quality, support volunteers in their work to preserve languages or collect oral citations and improve lexemes on Wiktionary and Wikidata.

The connection to Wikidata led us to partnering with Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) to learn from their team and to get support for code review and preparation for security review. We hope that this two-tier approach with both WMDE and WMF will ensure that the reviews needed take place in a timely manner. We also intend to work closely with the Common Voice team at Mozilla Foundation, who is a partner of the project. This partnership can help us avoid duplication of efforts and to build a solid infrastructure and improve sharing of data between the projects.

The difficulties with how to handle feedback/follow-up requests after a project has been concluded are not unique to Wikispeech nor to tech projects in particular. While technically advanced projects have the increased difficulties that fewer people can address, we see difficulties in executing the needed long term work in everything from Wiki Loves Monuments and maintenance of the underlying data, to clean-up after a batch upload of media files to returning events such as WikiGap. Long term (even ongoingly) funding commitments for especially valuable and interesting activities could be part of the solution as can further investments from the WMF to develop missing information and trainings about the structures and processes to launch a new extension onto the Wikimedia platforms.

The availability of funding through the APG grant or through a long term commitment for funding for specific technical development work which is not tied to a hard timeline (i.e. structured in a similar fashion as the WMF–WMDE partnership around Wikidata) is crucial to addressing this. For smaller projects a dedicated effort to hand it over to a volunteer can be a way of ensuring follow-up over time.


The chapter aims to be a relevant actor for years to come and is actively working towards building the organizational capacity needed for long term activities. We need to be a good employer, a strong partner, and a well functioning, democratic and transparent membership organization with a close cooperation with a strong volunteer community. The chapter is also intending to not be an isolated player but be actively involved in the international movement.

These intentions demand projects that are more long term oriented and strategic. The projects in this program therefore contribute only marginally to content production in a given year, but over time will ensure the success and sustainability of all our activities.

Increasing competence

Board and staff members shall be given the opportunity to develop their skills in relevant fields. To that end we organized in-house training for Wikidata during the year. We also started a bi-weekly sharing of technical news to ensure that the entire team is up-to-date with any important changes. A couple of staff members took external trainings/courses in Q3 or Q4. We have also prepared educational material for new volunteers and members to easier use our tools and join our projects.

We see a great need to ensure that we ongoingly identify and take notice of suitable board members, potential new staff members, and volunteers who have capacity to take leadership roles in different initiatives.

Story: Engaging new volunteers from outside the online community

Volunteer engagement is a key resource for running successful Wikimedia activities nation wide and long term in Sweden. This is volunteering that take place outside of volunteer engagement on the online Wikimedia platforms. We have previously identified the risk of volunteer burnout and cannibalizing on volunteers who already actively contribute to Wikimedia platforms and that there is a lack of support for volunteers outside of the core editing community to engage in our projects and activities. This year, we have taken several steps in centering the needs of this group of volunteers to better offer opportunities for engagement.

One example is the [[c:File:WMSE Exempel evenemangsmanual för volontärer.pdf |event manual]] to coordinate for volunteers as wiki-guides during larger editing events, such as WikiGap in Stockholm with 50 participants editing Wikipedia for the first time. The manual is an off-wiki complement to edit-a-thon pages on wiki, with overall instructions on the event plan, who the participants will be and likely scenarios of the kind of support they will need from guides and when. The manual is not on details how to edit, but on details of how the event is run and where editing instructions are located. Five volunteers with no previous knowledge about Wikipedia successfully supported the Stockholm event. The experienced editors involved were impressed by how the new group of volunteers managed to lead the activities.

We have launched a user manual for our chapter wiki, so that new staff, members and partners other than experienced wiki editors may contribute and take equal part. The manual takes into account the stark differences in scope between Wikipedia and the chapter wiki so that instructions are not focused on how to contribute to an online encyclopedia, and we have identified other significant features of our wiki that we want to better communicate, such as local media uploads and talk pages. The manual also has an advanced section with resources useful to staff and others who use the wiki beyond beginner level editing.

We have also launched a new landing page for new members to illustrate that the Wikimedia identity is not limited to community members with many years of Wikipedia editing experience. We are trying to make this visible in our communications of volunteer efforts on social media.

Until only a few months ago, our wiki did not have a functioning Help page, which we now have in place.

Being transparent

Ensuring that our work is transparent is core to how we plan our projects and day-to-day work. Transparency is inherently valuable as more people can give feedback, point out problems, suggest solutions and in other ways contribute.

However, working in such a transparent manner is something that takes a bit of getting used to for new team members, new volunteers, consultants and external partners. It also comes with an increased cost to ensure that all documentation is understandable, summarized and presented in the different places where our members might expect to find it. We believe that simply making materials available without ensuring that it is understandable is a false transparency.

While acknowledging the issues, our conclusion is that the value of transparency is much higher and we are working to increase our transparency even further. The aim for transparency affect many of the choices regarding what tools we use and it is also something that has to be done while respecting privacy.

Story: Preparing for GDPR – tools, policies and services

Along with the rest of Europe, we had to look over our policies, routines and tech infrastructure in preparation for GDPR becoming applicable on May 25th.

This provided an excellent opportunity to go over what data we store where and why, as well as making some changes to our technical infrastructure which had been long needed but prohibitively expensive time wise. It influenced our choice of membership management system, allowed us to switch from a chronically overfilled Dropbox to a self hosted Nextcloud installation and from personal Google accounts to a Non-Profit G Suite solution.

Our work with rewriting our policies and routines was only made possible by having our dedicated head of board being very knowledgeable about GDPR implementation and investing significant time in this for the chapter. The need for a point person with these qualifications was key to being able to do the work we did. The lack of the same resource is likely the main reason for which there wasn’t large scale collaboration between the European chapters around GDPR, something which a priori was something which we had fully expected. At the same time it was interesting to see how the preparations involved all of the staff and the board, coming together as a team to tackle something which affected almost every single area of our activities.

Our new policies and routines are now essentially in place. The result is freely licensed and we’ve already seen other civil society actors, such as Techsoup, re-use our materials. There are still some uncertainties related to the usage of some of the more niched tools, e.g. Events dashboard and OTRS are still left to resolve. In October we began our first data clean-up under our new end-of-life data routines. With many years to cover this first time the work was time consuming but ultimately successful.

Improve organizational quality

For the chapter to continue to improve its quality and efficiency we worked to keep our broad and sustainable funding, with the aim of no donor exceeding 50%, and to find new financial options, including a long term increase in paid memberships, and also to increase volunteer involvement which can help ensure high quality projects for a limited cost.

Our work to secure funding from external grants has been very successful in 2018 and we have secured a number of large grants with multi-year funding. We currently have funding secured for our current size into 2021, if funding from Wikimedia Foundation stays the same. We are planning to scale up our organization the coming months. We also have a number of possible grants and other revenue streams identified.

The amount received from memberships and donations from individuals allow us to focus more on advocacy work. We are working to remodel our website to be able to highlight sponsorships in a better way. We will also continue to develop our work around consultancy work for some of the batch uploads and trainings (for legal reasons we have to charge market rates when the other organization request a specific task to be done within a certain time period).

Our volunteer community has been supportive and active in 2018. In addition to our volunteer run board of trustees we have had 39 volunteers helping us with our projects in different ways in Sweden, and approximately around 75-100 people involved in the WikiGap events outside of Sweden. We have seen volunteers join our organization in roles other than the typical helper at edit-a-thons or with initiating partnerships with other organizations.

At the very end of 2017 we prepared an application for a so called 90-account to the Swedish Fundraising Control. The 90-account is a confirmation for the donor that the fundraising operation is being managed in an ethical and responsible way and that the money is used for the intended purpose (at least 75% of the total income) without excessive cost (maximum 25% of the total income). Our application was not accepted as the phrasing in our statutories was considered unclear and a rephrasing was demanded. The General Assembly voted in favor to revise and update the statutories in according with the suggestion put forward by the board. However, the new statutories will not be active until confirmed by a vote by the General Assembly in 2019 and at that point we can re-apply for a 90-account.

Story: Changing our financial situation with new grant applications

Wikimedia Sverige has been applying for project grants from external funders since 2012. Previously the grants we applied for were small and merely complemented the Annual Plan Grant from Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). In 2015 the board decided to set a goal of having no individual funder covering more than 50% of the chapter’s costs each year. In 2016 we succeeded with the goal (only 41% came from WMF) and in 2017 we nearly reached it (52% came from WMF as we organized the Wikimedia Diversity Conference and hence had extra funding from WMF). We did not manage to achieve our goal for 2018 as the grants we applied for were prolonged for 2019-2021. For 2019, and most likely 2020, we are nearly certain to have reached this goal.

We have focused more and more on applying for major project grants spanning over many years. In 2018 we have lead the creation of 9 application for non-Wikimedia grants, with a success rate of 78%. In total this has secured a total of 10,361,225 kronor in budget (around 1,1 million USD) for 2018-2021. Many of the projects that has received grants have an international focus. As many of the projects are very large (100,000s of USD) we have spent a lot of resources on identifying strong partners and developing the projects in preparation. This year our partners in the grant application include many large actors (see #Story: Strategic high level partnerships).

Furthermore, we have participated in two EU applications (not lead by us). These applications were not successful. However, we will continue to develop these together with the international group of partners in 2019 as they still received a decent score and the exact same call is expected also for 2019 (allowing us to reuse all of the work done in 2018).

We have also successfully applied for funding from WMF’s Conference & Event Grants program for Wikimedia Northern Europe Meeting (WikiNEM) and for Wikimania 2019.

The multi-year grant we have from WMF is an important reason for our success as we have been able to join long term initiatives and confirm budgets in advance. That said, even more value would be created for grants spanning even longer (4-5 years) as long term investments can be executed. If done right, long term grants also help achieve long term thinking and planning.

Story: Using technical solutions to build a strong membership base

During 2017 we switched membership management systems after our existing one had been malfunctioning for a long time. As described in our Impact report for 2017 we did however not get the public facing part up and running in time to send up membership renewal requests for 2017. This resulted in a membership drop of 80%. We predicted that once the new system went live we would re-acquire most of these members, and this proved true as we at the end of 2018 had 453 members, a slight increase compared to 2016, and an increase of 325% compared to 2017.

The work on the new membership system was closely connected to our work on preparing for the GDPR. We chose a membership management system which integrated with our new accounting system so as to minimize our need for manual processing of new members. That the chosen provider is smaller has meant some additional work for us but has at the same time allowed us to influence how GDPR compatibility was built into the system. This and the ease with which feature requests and suggestions get implemented is something we do not believe could have been achieved had we gone with one of the larger providers.

A focus during the first half of 2018 has been systematic work with preparing membership communications, both for existing members, in the recruitment of new members and in the communication of the changes brought about by the GDPR. Using the new system for sustainable communications with our membership base (transitioning from from a one-sided focus on recruitment to a holistic take on member care) was a focus during the year and will continue in 2019.

We want to learn more about how to offer volunteer engagement with members who come from outside of the core community. As we have managed to lay the foundations for our membership base, we have the opportunity to learn more about how members wish to contribute and engage with Wikimedia. We can then further invest in resources and support customized for this group. Converting members to volunteers was something we identified as missing in our last impact report.

Furthermore, we are excited by the opportunity to scale membership recruitment when we turn to technical solutions such as the new member management system. During the last part of 2018 we investigated the possibility of reaching potential members using online advertising through Google Ad Grants for AdWords. However, we decided to not make use of Google Ad Grants for AdWords, as this required tracking users in a way that is not in line with Wikimedia Sverige’s view of personal integrity online.

During the end of 2018 we worked on an updated website. We have several reasons for updating the website. One is that we want to make it easier to manage the website, by switching the content managing system from Drupal to Wordpress. In accordance with this, we have also signed an agreement with a web bureau who will handle software updates and other behind the scenes maintenance for us. This is important in order for us to ongoingly provide interesting and relevant content to a larger audience (which is currently hard, due to the limitations in our current content managing system).

Another reason is that we want a more approachable website, where it is easy to get an overview of the content. We want to provide visitors who do not know a lot about Wikimedia Sverige with an accessible presentation of the organization. The updated website will have fewer pages with less text, meaning that what we chose to put on the pages will be more impactful. Our wiki and our blog will complement the website and be a source for further reading for those who want more information.

Story: Simplifying the mundane tasks every year

At the start of each year there are a number of things we need to do, that aren’t complicated, but still take time. One of these is creating a number of pages on our Wiki that are year specific or for the yearly projects. Another is to create Phabricator projects for the yearly projects. As both of these platforms have APIs that allows automatic edits, we decided to create a bot that could do the groundwork.

A lot of the information that was required was already stored in a couple spreadsheet, making it easily machine readable. We extended these to include all relevant information that was available at the start of the year. The spreadsheets are then fed to the bot which creates the wiki pages and Phabricator projects, using Pywikibot and the Conduit API respectively. For the wiki, we updated several templates that were used when manually creating pages so that they could be used by the bot. Keeping as much of the structure on the wiki as possible means that you do not need to know how the bot works to change things like page layout.

The resulting bot is able to create the desired wiki pages and Phabricator projects with little manual work; downloading the spreadsheets and starting the bot only takes a few minutes. The actual running of the bot takes a bit longer, but does not require any interaction, unless something goes wrong. It is also configurable so that if we change things for upcoming years, or another chapter wants to use it, it should not take too much work, although that depends on the type of change. This is expected to save us many hours of mundane work each year, during the most intense period of our year.

Fail fest: The risks associated with project grants

Here we describe problems we struggled with and what we learnt from them.

As outlined above in #Story: Changing our financial situation with new grant applications we have applied for a number of large grants this year. Receiving a large grant that you worked on for a long time is a fantastic feeling, however, such a grant is also very disruptive. If the budget from one day to another is increased with 25% all previous planning need to be reworked.

As project grants, even the ones lasting 12-24 months, are per definition not ongoing and one has to plan for the end of them when the project staff and associated costs might drastically have to be reduced. This is something that creates a lot of volatility and insecurity for staff members and the organization as a whole. The long term support from the APG with unrestricted funds, and the possibility and support to build reserves are crucial to mitigate some of these problems. Further flexibility and longevity would increase the value further.

Being aware of this issue makes it possible for us to take precaution and work to divide costs and earnings over time. For this we have created two documents, the Burnchart where costs and earnings are divided per months and the Yearly plan for projects where staff time is divided based on the timelines of the different projects, that we are revisiting regularly (monthly and quarterly, respectively). These documents ensure that we do not have to keep all information in our heads or split up on different pages/documents.

We continue developing our methods and organizational maturity as we keep receiving more large grants. In 2018 the staff and board have also developed a fundraising strategy to diversify our earnings further. Overall, despite the disruptiveness of project grants it is our strong belief that the work with project grants is an important and positive activity for our association and that it should be continued. The grants create opportunities for partnerships, increases the overall funding for the Wikimedia movement and ensure that the organization continues to experiment and develop its practices.

Detailed project overview

Below all the projects belonging to the program will be briefly explained and the current status presented. Synergies between the projects will be described. A few selected stories has been presented more in depth as case studies above.

For all the projects, we will state whether they are small, medium or large. In this context, a small project is defined as one where the total budget is less than 100,000 SEK (about 12,500 USD); a medium sized project is defined as one where the total budget is between 100,000 SEK and 300,000 SEK (12,500 to about 37,500 USD); finally, a large project is defined as one where the total budget exceeds 300,000 SEK (about 37,500 USD).

Organisational Development 2018