RFP/Global Education Program Online Communications Contractor

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Statement of Purpose

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) is looking for a contractor to support and direct online communications around Wikimedia's Global Education Program. This contractor will help ensure effective communication with the Wikipedia community regarding the Program working closely with Online Ambassadors as well as the WMF staff involved in the program. Additionally, the consultant will provide new Wikipedia contributors with support resources that inform them of Wikipedia policies, help solve problems that arise and generally enable contributors to contribute effectively to Wikipedia. The contractor will prepare regular status reports regarding issues that arise regarding contributions to Wikipedia. On Wikipedia language versions that don't have an Online Ambassador group in place, the consultant will help to create such a group and make sure that the Online Ambassadors' support for new contributors is of high quality.

Background Information

In 2010 and 2011, the Wikimedia Foundation successfully executed an experimental pilot project (the Public Policy Initiative) to engage students in Wikipedia-editing as part of the curriculum. Professors at universities in the United States were participating in our initiative by asking their students to improve articles on the English-language Wikipedia. The Foundation is providing professors support in the form of instructional materials such as sample lesson plans, and Wikipedia Ambassadors, who are serving as mentors for the first-time Wikipedians.

Beginning in 2011, we will expand Wikipedia editing in university classrooms to institutions around the world. Our goal is to increase the number of active Wikipedia contributors significantly until June 2012.

Further information:

Scope of Work

Duties include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Guide and facilitate the discussion about the Wikipedia Education Program with the existing Wikipedia community. Ensure that the vision, goals and current direction of the Wikipedia Education Program are clearly understood and that the perspectives, needs, and concerns of the community are well represented in program planning activities.
  • Monitor the current state of the discussion about the Wikipedia Education Program across different Wikipedia language versions. Flag possible issues in regular reports to senior WMF staff.
  • Prepare weekly status reports about how the students participating in the program (across different language versions) are doing. Highlight possible issues as well as students who are making contributions that are above average; support the Global Education Program Communications Manager with storytelling.
  • Work with the WMF staff to tackle problems that arise and deploy solutions quickly and effectively.
  • Support the members of the Global Education Program team with creating how-to documents and videos for new editors.
  • Support Wikipedia community members in the recruitment and orientation of new Online Ambassadors for the Wikipedia Ambassador Program (across different language Wikipedias). Monitor the effectiveness and quality of the support that the Online Ambassadors provide new editors with (both on-wiki and on IRC).
  • Train WMF staff and Ambassadors in Wikipedia's culture, policies and guidelines as requested.

Outcome and Performance Standards

We will consider the project a success if the existing Wikipedia community has a clear understanding of the vision, goals and the current direction of the Wikipedia Education program. Existing community members feel that their voice is heard and taken seriously. Members of the Global Education Program Team are always up-to-date on current discussions that are taking place on-wiki (across Wikipedia language versions). Issues with student participants of the program are flagged early enough to take appropriate actions; above average contributions get noticed and can be used for storytelling. New contributors have the necessary support materials at hand to successfully start contributing to Wikipedia.

Term of Contract

Your initial contract will be for a duration of 6 months, and will commence as soon as possible. At the end of the contract we will consider to transition the consultant to a full-time employee.

Payments, Incentives, and Penalties

Rate will be determined by level of experience and expertise. Please submit bid proposal.

Required qualifications

  • Experienced Wikimedian with established contacts within the global Wikipedia community;
  • Fluent in English and at least one additional language; Portuguese, Hindi or Arabic are plusses, but not mandatory;
  • Strong online communication skills and interpersonal skills are a must; stays calm and confident under pressure;
  • Strong cultural competency: ability to bridge cultures and geographic differences; ability to navigate in a truly global movement;
  • Clear understanding of the vision and goals of the Wikipedia Education Program;
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team, as well as to perform well on individual tasks;
  • Ability to communicate complicated technical aspects to non tech-savvy users;
  • Must be comfortable in a highly collaborative, consensus-oriented environment;
  • Ability to adapt quickly and easily to changing requirements in a fast-paced, tech based non-profit organization;
  • Must have a strong affinity for the Wikimedia mission.

Process Schedule

Please submit the following documents:

  • CV that highlights your understanding of the university teaching and learning environment (please include your Wikipedia user name);
  • A paper (not exceeding 3 pages in length) that explains
  1. How the vision and goals of the Wikipedia Education Program align with the overall mission of the Wikimedia Foundation;
  2. How you envision to work and communicate with the existing editor community.

Evaluation

The submitted documents will be evaluated against the following criteria (in no specific order):

  • Understanding of the mission and values of the Wikimedia Foundation;
  • Understanding of the Foundation's strategic goals for increasing its community of active editors;
  • Understanding of the vision and goals of the Wikipedia Education program;
  • Ability to work with Wikipedia's existing community of volunteers;
  • Overall willingness and eagerness to undertake a highly complex challenge.

Points of contact for future correspondence

Please submit your documents electronically as PDF to Frank Schulenburg, Global Education Program Director, rfp(at)wikimedia.org