Accra, we have a problem

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Accra We have a problem


Peter Gallert


At WikiIndaba 2014 I presented preliminary research results into a possible value conflict between the existing Wikimedia editor community and a sample indigenous community in Namibia. 30 months later I can show a bouquet of results in one-line phrases, summarising several experiments, a persuasive study, a design study, further theoretical observations, meta-problems, a workshop, some outreach, and what it all means for the participation of indigenous Africans in the Wikimedia movement.

Not all results are encouraging. A value clash, in 2014 still a tender hypothesis, has firmly been established. Methods to encourage participation in the first world and for English speakers fail with a certainty that's nothing less than scary. However, Wikimedia projects are the products of their users. A very popular alternative systems design method, 'value-sensitive co-creation', is actively at work within all Wikimedia projects. It is the hope and the expectation of our research team that co-creation far beyond a copying of the social mechanics of English Wikipedia can turn the tide of non-participation and apathy.