The Editatona for Nicaraguan Women provides an e-participation platform through “editathon” events to increase the number of women editing, translating, and writing about Nicaraguan feminism.
Problems and Purpose
The problem to be addressed by the e-participation platform is that the number of women involved in editing and contributing to online encyclopedias remains low (EnRedadas, 2016). Additionally, a purpose of this project was to increase the number of Wikipedia articles about Nicaraguan women. The Editatona for Nicaraguan Women aims to increase the number of women editing and contributing to Wikipedia-style encyclopedia entries about feminist theory to expand women’s political inclusion and social equality (Pogrebinschi, 2017).
Background History and Context
Historically, women in Managua, Nicaragua have not had a space to participate in political commentary, especially within a feminist context. The Editatona saw a need to increase opportunities for Nicaraguan women to develop strategies to combat inequality and violence and promote an internet platform for articles about Nicaraguan feminism (EnRedadas, 2016). Organizers decided to use a participatory political process because social media can help to draw many participants. Additionally, editathons are a relatively new form of citizen participation. Therefore, this was the first time this process and methods have been used in this place.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The Editatona was organized and funded by EnREDadas. Additionally, The Editatona was made possible with the support of the Central American Women's Fund.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
The main audience for the Editatona are female activists interested in using technology as a tool for social change as well as women involved in developing technology (EnRedadas, 2016). This was an initiative open to all people, but the funding group made a special effort to recruit specifically women with an interest in an e-participation model. The organizers focused specifically on women because of the need for more women editing, translating, and writing about Nicaraguan feminism (EnRedadas, 2016). The organizers used social media and other informal networks to recruit editors and contributors to The Editatona. The types of people who actually participated in the e-participation model included ordinary citizens with an interest and knowledge base in Nicaraguan feminism. Additionally, The Editatona recruited female citizens with an interest and knowledge base for using technology to create social change (EnRedadas, 2016).
Methods and Tools Used
Participants used e- participation to edit, translate, and write content during an “editathon.” An editathon is similar to a “hackathon” originating in hacker culture. Another method used in this project is crowd-sourcing, since this project involves an online platform in which women edited and created articles to be published on Wikipedia, and Wikipedia is a crowdsourced project. Additionally, The Editatona used workshops, social media, panels, video conferences and virtual campaigns to produce social change within the realm of Nicaraguan feminism (EnRedadas, 2016). The Editatona also shared content with people all over the world through social networks, including Facebook. With their main goal to create bridges between feminist networks and technology, The Editatona sought to encourage dialogue online and asked participants to make decisions about policies, politics, and citizen representation.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
For several years there has been a worldwide movement in which feminist organizations organize editathons in order to invite women to create more Wikipedia articles about women. The Editatona is a re-occuring event in which women edit and create articles to be published on Wikipedia. Participation required recruits to use e-participation using tools including technology like social media and Wikipedia-style posts. Since this interaction took place online with the purpose of providing information and raising awareness, most participants did not meet face-to-face (Pogrebinschi, 2017). The Editatona has two editors and ten contributors; however, each participant was responsible for her own contribution of editing, translating, or writing her piece (EnRedadas, 2016). Ultimately, The Editatona provided a democratic innovation; however, the activity did not yield a specific policy decision.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The initiative had its intended results because The Editatona provided a platform for two main editors with ten guest contributors to write, edit, and translate content related to Nicaraguan feminism. Additionally, Pogrebinschi (2017) notes that The Editatona was fully implemented because the initiative was put fully into practice and the initiative fulfilled the democratic innovations aim to generate the outcome of increased women’s participation. .The Editatona brokered an active relationship between technology and Nicargaun feminism that laid the groundwork for thoughtful discourse regarding policies within that realm (Pogrebinschi, 2017).
The policy outcome via e-participation and citizen representation is to create social equality and political inclusion, for which The Editatona had a positive effect. This effect can be seen by examining The Editatona’s website and browsing the articles and content listed and created by female authors, editors, and translators. Additionally, according to Wikimedia (2018), the positive effect on effect on social capital, understood as the quantity of social ties in the participants’ community, can be seen looking at the following statistics:
- “Number of events- Developed 3 editatonas to include and improve content about Nicaraguan women in Wikipedia.
- Number of participants - 45 women participate in the editatonas and learn to create and edit articles for Wikipedia.
- Number of new editors- 25 women successfully create their profile as Wikipedia editors and upload their first contribution.
- Number of articles created or improved- 25 articles related to Nicaraguan women created or improved in Wikipedia.
- Number of repeat participants (for projects that include a series of events)- 10 women participate in more than one editatona during 2018.” Little evidence exists about the subjective effects of participation on the participants in terms of their learning, attitudes about the issues, sense of empowerment, trust in fellow citizens, trust in the government, sense of community identity, willingness to be involved in the community civically or politically. However, the statistics listed above indicate that women feel a sense of empowerment based on their continued participation and support of editathons.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
A formal, yet limited analysis has been conducted by Latinno.net. Latinno.net measured the institutional design, means, ends, and impact of The Editatona. At this point in their assessment, the site notes that The Editatona is in the implementation process (Pogrebinschi, 2017). Ultimately, Latinno.net concluded that this was a successful program that used e-participation and citizen representation to achieve political inclusion and social equality by recruiting ordinary citizens (Pogrebinschi, 2017). The Editatona was not backed by a formal government institution, constitution nor legislation, nor by any governmental policy or program. In terms of policy evaluation, an unofficial assessment yields the conclusion that the content produced provided necessary information regarding Nicarguan feminism and gave women an opportunity to contribute meaningfully on the topic.
Alcázar, C., Martìnez, I. (2015). The Editatona: Helping women edit Wikipedia in Mexico. Retrieved from https://blog.wikimedia.org/2015/03/25/editatona-for-women-in-mexico/
Pogrebinschi, Thamy. (2017). LATINNO Dataset. Berlin: WZB. Wikimedia. (2018). Retrieved from https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project/Rapid/Nymeria_/_Editatonas_Mujeres_Nicas
The original submission of this case entry was written by Corinne Kwapis, a Master of Public Service candidate at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. The views expressed in the current version are those of the authors, editors, or cited sources, and are not necessarily those of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.