Akvopedia:Policies and guidelines

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Akvopedia has developed a body of policies and guidelines to further our goal of creating a free source of content for water and sanitation.

Policies and guidelines express standards that have community consensus, though to differing degrees: policies are considered a standard that all users should follow, whereas guidelines are more advisory in nature. Both need to be approached with common sense. A user who acts against the spirit of them may be reprimanded, even if technically no rule has been violated. Those who edit in good faith, are civil, seek consensus, and work towards the goal of creating a great encyclopedia should find a welcoming environment.

Sources of Akvopedia policy

Policy change comes from three sources:

  1. Documenting actual good practices and seeking consensus that the documentation truly reflects them.
  2. Proposing a change in practice and seeking consensus for implementation of that change.
  3. Declarations from the Akvo Foundation Managing DIrector, the Akvo Foundation Board, or the Akvo Developers, particularly for copyright, legal issues, or server load.


Policies have wide acceptance among editors and are considered a standard that all users should follow. The remarks below concerning amendment of guidelines are also applicable to policies, except that more care must be taken to ensure that the policy reflects consensus.

Akvopedia policies:


Guidelines are more advisory than policies. Updates to a guideline are typically discussed on its talk page, but it is acceptable to directly edit a guideline. Disputes over wording are often resolved by discussion and compromise toward developing a consensus.

A general guideline is that the Wikipedia policies serve as guidelines for the Akvopedia unless they have specifically been superseded by guidelines or policies in this document. The reason for doing this is that the Wikipedia policy set is so large and comprehensive that it covers nearly every aspect of a wiki, however, as they are changing outside of our control we can't refer to them as policy. But they are a good guideline where there is no specific Akvopedia policy.

A naming convention or Style guidelines is a specific kind of guideline, related to proper naming, or the way articles should be written

Akvopedia guidelines

How are policies enforced?

You are an Akvopedia editor. Since Akvopedia has no editor-in-chief or top-down article approval mechanism, active participants make copyedits and corrections to the format and content problems they see. So the participants are both writers and editors.

Individual users thus enforce most policies and guidelines by editing pages, and discussing matters with each other. Some policies, such as vandalism, are enforced by administrators by blocking users. In extreme cases the Arbitration Committee has the power to deal with highly disruptive situations, as part of the general dispute resolution procedure.

Some features of the software which could potentially be misused, such as deleting pages and locking pages from editing, are restricted to administrators, who are experienced and trusted members of the community.