Wikifundi and the former Board chair

Wikimedia fundraising, financial issues (and improprieties), expenditures, contracting, and corporate relations.
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Renée Bagslint
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Wikifundi and the former Board chair

Post by Renée Bagslint » Fri May 11, 2018 6:27 am

A blog posting praises Wikifundi, a project run by Flo Devouard, former WMF Board chair. It's an app for children in Aftica without iternet access to play at editing Wikipedia. I commented
This seems like an odd use of money. It isn't clear what the funding model is here. May we presme that the designers and implementers are being paid out of WMF grants, somehow? But that the children aren't?

It also isn't clear why this is what the children in Africa need. Given that they don't have an internet connection, how is the mission to deliver them all human knowledge advanced by teaching them to play at editing Wikipedia? Wouldn't it be better to use the money to get them access to that knowledge by sending them books? Or getting them that internet connection?

How much is the WMF putting into the development by its former Board Chair? And the roll-out to the children in Africa? Who's getting paid to do that, how much, and by whom?
The comments are courtesy of a thread on some other site. Let's see if they get an answer.

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Auggie
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Re: Wikifundi and the former Board chair

Post by Auggie » Fri May 11, 2018 3:04 pm

keeping to things the WMF should be doing, children in Africa need a lightweight, easy to use version of Wikipedia that works well on small screens. The Foundation, on the other hand, is more interested in handing out money to cronies than it is in improving the wiki technology.

Renée Bagslint
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:43 pm

Re: Wikifundi and the former Board chair

Post by Renée Bagslint » Fri May 11, 2018 4:01 pm

What children in Africa need, depending on circumstances, may well include enough food to live on, access to clean water, a family situation that allows them to go to school, a decent school to go to, with decent teachers and up-to-date texts, fair access to public services such as health care, and a host of other things that most readers of this forum would have taken for granted as children. Access to a reliable encyclopaedia yes: access to an online pretend encyclopaedia no. Access to an app that teaches them valuable twenty-first century skills such as coding, yes: an app that teaches them nothing useful at all but instead indoctrinates them into wasting their school time by working for free for the benefit of wealthy people in California, a thousand times no.

When I was a child, in what was then one of the richest countries in the world, at a time when global inequality was greater than it is now, I had food, water, shelter, clothing, heathcare, freedom of expression and a perfectly decent education -- all these without the internet. Let's make a start by getting every child in the world those things that in the previous millennium were the privilege of a very few very lucky people.

It would be nice to think that these sentiments resonated sufficiently with a number of people that they were moved to post comments to that effect on the WMF blog.

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