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  • Lorina MacLeod

Examining Digital Literacy with the Wikimedia Community User Group Rwanda

Updated: Jan 5

This past summer, we had the pleasure of contracting for the Wikimedia Community User Group Rwanda (WCUGR) on the Wikimedia Survey: Community Capacity and Needs Survey in the Great Lakes Region (Rwanda, Burundi, and the DRC). The aim of this project was to improve digital literacy in the Great Lakes region, especially for women, who often face greater barriers than men when it comes to accessing and working with digital content. WCUGR and Kai Analytics implemented a survey to discover what participants’ experience with Wikipedia is like and what factors might help increase their digital literacy. The results will help WCUGR promote digital literacy, leading to greater opportunities for women and other marginalized groups to share knowledge and participate in online communities. Kai Analytics' role in the project was survey design and an analysis of the results, while the WCUGR used their contacts in the community to collect the data and presented on the results at the Wiki Indaba conference.


How We Got Involved

We are always excited to work on projects that benefit communities. Past projects with a social impact include examining youth perspectives on climate change, creating a power BI Dashboard for risk reduction for the UN, and understanding the challenges coffee growers in the Philippines face. These experiences have helped us grow, opening the door for our work for the Wikimedia Community User Group Rwanda.


The Wikimedia Community User Group Rwanda (WCUGR) is a group of volunteers who contribute to Wikipedia and promote local online knowledge-sharing, including in the Kinyarwanda language. They support projects to train community members in using Wikipedia and related free resources with the goal of improving education and accessibility, especially for women and young people.

A survey banner that reads "Wikimedia Survey: Community Capacity and Needs Survey in the African Great Lakes Region. Presented by Wikimedia DR Congo, Wikimedia Rwanda, and Wikimedia Burundi"

Project Purpose and Implementation

This project was part of the broader Wikimedia Movement Strategy, a set of initiatives to increase the accessibility and equity of Wikipedia by 2030. The specific goal of the Community Capacity and Needs Survey was to collect data that would help the WCUGR and others understand what skills and resources need to be developed in the Great Lakes Region (Rwanda, Burundi, and DRC) to improve digital literacy.


The role of Kai Analytics centered around survey design, analysis, dashboard creation, and workshops. The first step was to review and make recommendations on the WCUGR’s survey questionnaire design. This would ensure the questions would collect rich data and would be generally clear and easy to understand. WCUGR was responsible for collecting the data both in-person and online. We analyzed the data and produced a PowerBI dashboard to display the data in a visually appealing way. Finally, we held workshops with WCUGR on PowerBi so they could use its full functionality.


Impact

The WCUGR went on to present on the Wikimedia Survey: Community Capacity and Needs Survey in the Great Lakes Region results at the Wiki Indaba 2022 conference.

Before the start of the project, the WCUGR was aware of some gaps in accessibility that the survey might reveal, including a gender gap (worldwide, there is a gender gap in Wikipedia usage identified by the Wikimedia Movement Strategy).


The survey revealed areas where more resources and skill training are needed to ensure everyone in the Great Lakes region has an equal opportunity to share their knowledge and perspective. In particular, the data showed that those who lived in rural areas and women were not able to contribute to Wikipedia as frequently as those who lived in urban areas and men. By bridging these gaps, Wikipedia will become a more equitable source of information.


We are so grateful that we were able to be a part of this project, and we know the data will help WCUGR as they continue their fantastic work to improve digital education and literacy in the Great Lakes Region.

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