Wikipedia for NGOs?
a seminar that took place at the UNESCO Institute for the Use of IT in
Lvova, a member of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Communications Committee and
volunteer with the not-for-profit partnership, Wikimedia Ru, spoke about how
NGOs might use ‘Wiki’ tools for the purpose of operating more effectively. The
foundation has provided the means whereby a number of organisations may utilise
the Web. The most well known of these is the free encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.
by no means all NGOs make use of IT in their work. Research carried out by
the market research centre, Grand Prix, commissioned by the ASI in 2011
showed that only 24% of respondents used ‘Wiki’ tools. In
all 71 NGOs took part in the survey.
of the third sector are interested in using the technology but do not have the
expertise, resources or time to do so. That said, the ‘Wiki’ tools do enable
NGOs to work more effectively. For example, programming expertise is not
required to create a page in Wikipedia. Moreover, the article becomes available
for open access without prior moderation. However, at present the Russian
language section of Wikipedia does not contain many articles on the third
sector. There are 31 texts in the ‘charitable organisations’ category and 51 in
the section on NGOs.
to Wikipedia, NGOs can inform a huge number of users about their work
especially in cases where their websites are currently not so well known. In
addition Wikipedia articles tend to be very prominent in the list of results of
Web searches. The information provided for them must be of a neutral character
meaning that it must be well considered and unbiased. Furthermore, by using the
‘MediaWiki’ programming facility, NGOS
can create a version of Wikipedia on their own sites. Any NGO may use the
articles in the electronic encyclopaedia for free e.g. for creating a book. The
income from its sale may be used to finance the work of the NGO.
content can be seen on the website te-st.ru. The UNESCO branch in Moscow, the
Teplitsa Sotsialnykh Technology (Social Technologies Greenhouse) Project and
the not-for-profit partnership, ‘Wikimedia ru‘ organised the seminar