ICANNWiki’s Core Funding in Jeopardy

Update: In response to this announcement, we received a lot of questions from the community. We took this opportunity to answer a few of those questions here.

ICANNWiki was recently informed that ICANN might choose not to renew its contract, which accounts for 60% of our annual revenue. The contract began in 2015, with an initial three-year term, which enabled us to bring on two full-time co-directors to steward the project and improve its services. ICANN has stated, “At this time, while it is highly unlikely that ICANN will be renewing its contract with ICANNWiki, we have not come to a final determination.”

If ICANN chooses to withdraw this funding, we will face an unprecedented challenge in continuing to provide educational, capacity development and community building services.

Over the years, ICANNWiki has become associated with trust, goodwill and a little bit of fun. Our unique, engaging and reliable presence has benefitted ICANN for over a decade and will be extremely difficult to replace if it goes away. Unfortunately, this is a real possibility.

With over a decade of community work in limbo, there is a lot at stake. ICANNWiki owes its success to the tremendous support we have received from our sponsors and community over the years. With all of the time, money and resources you have all contributed to ICANNWiki, we feel it is only right to keep our stakeholders informed.

ICANNWiki benefits the community in many ways, including the following:

Keeping the Community Informed:
The website saves users valuable time, finding and understanding information about ICANN that would be very difficult and time-consuming to find otherwise. This is especially true of articles on the people and organizations. ICANNWiki provides a de facto directory service for the ICANN community that no other resource matches.

Providing Community Support and Recognition:
ICANNWiki also attends every ICANN meeting with informative and engaging giveaways. They contribute to a strong sense of community and provide well-deserved recognition for the volunteers that make ICANN’s work possible.

Helping Newcomers:
Additionally, ICANNWiki provides a track for newcomers, using content development on the website to improve skills, while simultaneously improving the resource for everyone. Beyond the conference, ICANNWiki works with different communities to develop content in their local languages.

How you can Help ICANNWiki:
If you support or have have benefitted from ICANNWiki, we are going to need your support now, more than ever.  You can help by spreading this message and making your voice heard about the value of ICANNWiki.

Enhancing Engagement in ICANN in East Africa

It is our pleasure to present to you a summary of ICANNWiki’s program to enhance local content and engagement in East Africa. This work was accomplished in a few short months and has grown rapidly. It was with Amazon’s support that we were able to identify local needs, provide funding for general event expenses and develop a program that was educational, sustainable and scalable. Stakeholders in East Africa are now able to refine their connections to the Internet governance space and making it theirs. 

After ICANN 55 in Marrakech, a number of stakeholders from ICANN’s Fellow and NextGen programs expressed a desire to replicate the Edit-a-thon in their home countries. Specifically, Bonface Witaba (ICANN Fellow, Kenya), Oyewole Oginni (NextGen, Cameroon) and Matogoro Jabhera (NextGen, Tanzania) approached our team to build home-grown events that would incorporate local ICTs as well as ICANN with an aim to broaden awareness of relevant topics within the Internet governance space.

Internet Governance Youth Community Workshop – University of Dodoma

Much like the ICANNWiki Edit-a-thon itself, the events unfolded in a granular fashion. Two small events were held in Nairobi, Kenya, where Bonface Witaba explained the project and its goals. These two events had relatively small participation, but set the stage for our event at the University of Dodoma which had a fantastic turn-out. Event details are as follows:

Event Statistics:

  • Number of Participants: 40
  • Number of Active Editors: 22
  • Number of New Translated to Swahili: 138
  • Number of Articles Edited in Total: 145

Event Partners:

Nairobi Events

Held June 6 and 17, 2016 at the Paris Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. Full summary here.

The overarching aim was to translate and contribute articles through the one day Edit-a-thon session. The Edit-a-thon managed to attract 16 participants (most of whom had attended the previous ICANNWiki workshop that was held earlier on 6th June).

Participants worked on a minimum of at-least 5 articles each (a total of 100 article stubs for the day were completed).

June 17, 2016 

The aim of this workshop was to translate and contribute to articles through a one day Edit-a-thon session.
 The Edit-a-thon managed to attract 16 participants (most of whom had attended the previous ICANNWiki workshop that was held earlier on 6th June). Participants worked on a minimum of at-least 5 articles each (a total of 100 articles for the day were completed).However, following the technical hitch with the ICANNWiki Swahili server, only a few articles were uploaded. At the end of the Edit-a-thon, ICANNWiki Ambassadors Certificates were issued to the participants for their efforts. A group photo of the Edit-a-thon community was also taken.

June 06, 2016 

The aim of this workshop was to create a pool of ICANNWiki Swahili translators and contributors through capacity building in Kenya. The workshop managed to attract over 20 participants (mostly university students in the field of ICT and media). Participants watched ICANNWiki tutorials/videos as an introduction. The two facilitators showed how to navigate ICANNWiki, responsible ICANNWiki Publishing, Copyright issues, and benefits of getting involved in the ICANNWiki community. The feedback we got from the participants was that the Wiki provides them with a platform to learn about and participate in wider issues of Internet governance. Following an Internet outage at the event venue, the Edit-a-thon did not promptly take place forcing participants to resort to working offline on their articles for later uploading on the portal. Participants were able to request for accounts even from their mobile devices and expressed interest in being part of the Wiki.

12 participants expressed interest to get involved on the Swahili platform with the remaining 8 insisting on working on the English platform.


Strathmore University Event

Held September 16, 2016 Opened by: Mr. Chris Momanyi, ICANN Fellow and Strathmore University Lecturer

The primary objective of the workshop was to build a community of ICANNWiki Swahili translators and contributors. The workshop attracted 25 participants, all Strathmore university students. Students were taught how to navigate ICANNWiki platform; start new articles, edit articles, search for articles.

A total of 35 new articles were created on the platform, with the top two contributors (5 articles each) getting free .ke domains and 1 year hosting from KENIC.

Participants also received ICANNWiki merchandise (T-shirts) (see annex III – Event photos) KENIC presented branded .ke notebooks and pens to the participants. The workshop was officially closed by our host Mr. Chris Momanyi at 16:00.

Participant Feedback & Recommendations

At the end of the workshop, Mr. Chris Momanyi recommended that Strathmore university host ICANNWiki once a month for edit-a-thon sessions with the students (for up to a year) in the quest to help achieve the set 2000 articles target out of the total 10,000 milestone. Mr. Momanyi urged the students to strive to contribute 5 articles on average per edit-a-thon,and 1 article a week.

The students were delighted with the ICANNWiki ambassadors programme, the contributors reward plan, and vowed to meet the various set targets to be eligible for certificates, community manager/administrator status. Additionally, some students requested that ICANNWiki starts an “internship programme” that can contribute towards their academic credit, and or open up job opportunities within ICANN/ICANNWiki space. One student from Zambia (Brian Phiri) requested that ICANNWiki launch a project in Chichewa language for the benefit of the Zambian audience.

Once again, thank you for this opportunity to expand Internet governance in East Africa!