WikiAfrica searching for a Wikipedian in Residence in Malawi

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Blog, Wikipedian in Residence | No Comments

Job description and call for applications

WikiAfrica is a cross-continental, collaborative project that aims to activate and encourage more articles onto Wikipedia that feature Africa in all its multiplicity and diversity.

It is looking to hire, for one year, an entrepreneur, social activist or professional person involved in journalism, education, heritage or the arts, who is interested in the Open Movement, and is keen to expand their skills, knowledge and opportunities within their existing sector. This person’s title will be a Wikipedian-in-Residence.

We are looking for the right person to absorb the skills that they require to ultimately convince institutions of the need for their on-going services. This service will be to supply open movement expertise to heritage and content organisations for maximum institutional benefits – and thus ensure, after the year’s training and employment, a sustainable model for these services.

The right candidate will receive 6-8 weeks training in Cape Town (flights and accommodation covered), and on-going support once they have returned to Lilongwe. They will be expected to travel between Blantyre and Lilongwe to facilitate work with partners in both centres.

The application deadline for this position is the 20th September 2013. This deadline has been extended to the 7th October 2013.

1. Characteristics, personality traits and requirements

Ideal candidates will be:

  • Interested in Wikimedia and its project’s;
  • Understand community building;
  • Have experience in project management;
  • Interested in the Open Access/ Open Movement (Creative Commons, Open Education Resources, etc.);
  • Able to demonstrate research and writing skills in English;
  • Able to display online savvy and be proficient in social media (XHTML and HTML coding skill is a nice to have);
  • Knowledge of motivating and managing volunteers;
  • Proactive, and work comfortably within a group or on their own;
  • Experienced in managing multiple tasks and relationships; and
  • Passionate about Africa’s voice in the world.

Candidate’s should present the following personality traits:

  • Have lots of energy
  • Be persuasive and passionate
  • Be resourceful
  • Have a positive, winning attitude
  • Get the best from difficult or challenging situations
  • Be decisive, yet thrive on uncertainty
  • Be opportunistic and flexible
  • Be able to learn from their mistakes
  • Think constantly about solutions and alternative avenues
  • Be able to communicate effectively and with consideration
  • Be resilient and able to recover quickly from setbacks
  • Have a willingness and patience to offer a high level of assistance and advice
  • Monthly stipend: R9,200 (US$930) per month
  • Work schedule: 5 day week; one year contract, starting 1st September 2013
  • Benefits: Annual and sick leave.
  • Location: Cape Town, South Africa (2 Months) 10 Months Current City of Residence
  • This position is ideally suited to a Post Grad student or heritage, media or education professional seeking job enhancement.
  • The Africa Centre will pay the costs of the flights from the employees city of origin to Cape Town and back.
  • Accommodation expenses to be covered by the Africa Centre while in Cape Town.

2. The position:

a. Two months in Cape Town

  • Taking part in the 6-week course;
  • Co-creating and collating the material required to train and activate communities;
  • Creating and preparing the target list and signing on institutional or content partners in Malawi;
  • Moving existing Malawi content partners onto the main frame and establishing clear and achievable targets with the partner; and
  • Develop and agree on a rollout strategy with defined targets to involve activating communities within specific hubs– universities, colleges, media hubs, etc.

b. Ten months in capital (and second/third cities

3. What is a Wikipedian in Residence

A “Wikipedian[1]”-in-Residence is usually a person who facilitates the relationships between Wikipedia and an institution. This model is very successful in the multiply resourced environment of the “first world[2]”, but for a number of reasons has not worked to-date in Africa. As such, the role of any Wikipedian in Residence must be more active in community development, and must liaise and engage with more than one institution.

In order to facilitate maximum engagement and community activation, WikiAfrica ensures that each WiR is trained on multiple levels, in diverse skills. The project identifies, prepares and supports the Wikipedian-in-residence in each country.

Once on the ground, the Wikipedian in Residence is responsible for activating Wikipedians (new and old), and encouraging, supporting and holding events for the organisations that have agreed to partner with the project. They have three key functions:

  1. Working with partnering institutions on the donation of material, by training staff, and setting up sustainable systems to ensure on-going donation of material to Wikipedia by each institution into the future,
  2. Activating, encouraging and supporting a strong Wikimedia Chapter in their home country; and
  3. Hosting training sessions and participatory events (like Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Takes Accra) that breaks down the barriers to contribution for citizens and students and raises awareness and individual involvement.

4. Definitions and explanations

WikiAfrica

WikiAfrica (wikiafrica.net) is an African initiative that seeks to support Wikipedia as a free and open encyclopaedia providing truthful and widespread access to knowledge. The project’s interventions are aimed at both activating and escalating existing content that resides within heritage, cultural, news-gathering and academic institutions across Africa, as well as galvanising, training and supporting a self-sustaining new generation of dedicated and proactive Wikipedian editors from across the continent able to generate new articles and subjects relevant to historic and contemporary Africa.

Africa Centre

The Africa Centre is a not-for-profit social innovator based in Cape Town, whose projects implement programmes across the entire African continent. The Africa Centre provides a platform for contemporary Pan-African cultural practice, and intellectual engagement to effect social change (www.africacentre.net).

The Africa Centre presents several innovative projects across a range of fields: WikiAfrica, the subject of this proposal, is an international collaboration that through a range of interventions redresses the critical imbalance of factual information about Africa on Wikipedia; Infecting the City is a public arts festival that is staged annually in the city of Cape Town; our Artist in Residency programme collaborates with international organisations to place artists from multiple disciplines in residencies around the world; Badilisha Poetry X-Change is a weekly online radio station that celebrates the languages, cultures and styles of Pan-African poetry; and Talking Heads is a knowledge-sharing platform conceived to identify, showcase, network and present Africa’s thought leaders.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a collaboratively editedmultilingualfree Internet encyclopedia supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikipedia’s 30 million articles in 286 languages (including over 4.2 million in the English Wikipedia) are written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone having access to the site and not being blocked. It has become the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, ranking seventh globally among all websites on Alexa as of June 2013, and having an estimated 365 million readers worldwide.

Wikipedian

The Wikipedia community is the community of contributors to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. These contributors are also known as “Wikipedians”. Wikipedians are people who write and edit the pages for Wikipedia, unlike readers who simply read the articles.

Wikipedian in Residence

The First World interpretation of a Wikipedian in Residence, is that it is Wikipedian who accepts a position at an institution (typically a gallerylibraryarchive or museum (GLAM)) to facilitate Wikipedia entries related to that institution, and to assist it to release material under open licences.

Open Movement

The Open Movement incorporates Open Access, Open Data, Open Education, Open Licensing and Open Content.

New media technology, the increasing prevalence of linked cellular phones, and increased access to global information sources, along with social networking and media-sharing websites, has altered the way that individuals learn, interpret, create and ‘publish’ work.

The Open Movement has evolved as individuals and institutions around the world have embraced the benefits of releasing digitised text and multi-media content that is online, free of charge, often collaborative, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Their actions remove most of the barriers – commercial and access – to knowledge and creative content. It harnesses and develops social economy, and allows for innovative education and creative exchange and support.

Notable information sources and approaches that are results of the Open Online Movement include Wikipedia, Creative Commons, Khan Academy, Open Knowledge Foundation, Wikimedia projects, Open Education Resources (OER – including MITx and Coursera) and citizen journalism [3].


[3] The concept of citizen journalism (also known as “public”, “participatory”, “democratic”, “guerrilla” or “street” journalism) is based upon public citizens “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information.” Citizen journalism should not be confused with community journalism or civic journalism, both of which are practiced by professional journalists. Collaborative journalism is also a separate concept and is the practice of professional and non-professional journalists working together. Citizen journalism is a specific form of both citizen media and user generated content.

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