Brazil Program/National Program Consultant Announcement FAQ
What is the main purpose of Oona’s role?
Oona will work in partnership with the Brazilian community to design and execute programmatic activities that strengthen the community of editors in Brazil and expand readership of Wikimedia projects. We expect she will develop programs to expand awareness of how Wikimedia projects work across Brazil, pilots to encourage students to contribute, and efforts to expand readership on mobile devices, all while working with the editing community to effectively integrate new editors into the community.
How much is Oona expected to interact with the Wikimedia community?
We expect that Oona will work very closely with the Wikimedia community in Brazil and on Portuguese projects. We see this initiative as an opportunity to provide a new form of capacity to the community to enact high impact programs. Our aspiration is for the Brazil program team to be a part of the community and expect that it will ultimately be governed directly by the community. We have already been working to achieve this alignment through the relationship building that Jessie, Kul and Barry have been focused on for over a year. We integrated community voices into the recruiting process to further solidify this close partnership.
How is Oona expected to interact with the planned Brazilian chapter?
We expect that Oona will have a strong, productive relationship with the planned Brazil chapter and she will collaborate closely with them in continuation of the working relationship Jessie and Barry have with that group. We aspire to see the Brazil chapter launched and to have it grow into an effective community body that can ultimately govern the work of the Brazil program team once it is ready to do so.
When media inquiries come in, who will handle them?
Media inquiries will continue to be handled as they currently are. Media inquiries specific to Brazil will be handled the same way as all our media inquiries are: they will be routed, by a mix of volunteers and paid staff, towards the person best placed to handle them. Depending on the nature of the questions, that might include Wikimedia Brazil representatives, Oona, Barry, individual editors inside Brazil, or others. Oona will not be aiming to get a lot of media attention until and unless there’s a reason to do that. For Wikimedia Foundation-specific inquires, you may contact Matthew Roth, the Foundation’s Global Communications Manager, and he will coordinate our responses for now.
Who else will Oona interact with in her work?
Oona will be working closely with the Brazilian community and Wikimedia Brasil on initiatives that focus on building the editor base. She will spend a lot of time with groups where there is a high potential for recruiting new editors (for example, with students). She will draw actively on the resources available among the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation, including a planned collaboration with the Community team on editor retention. This is important because the Wikimedia Foundation is continually experimenting with projects designed to increase editing, and it is knowledgeable about community experimentation as well: Oona needs to be linked in with the growing body of knowledge about what’s working and what isn’t. She will also likely form connections with the free culture movement in Brazil (where she has a strong network already), the F/LOSS community, institutions interested in contributing to Wikimedia's projects and other volunteer organizations, particularly those with campus activity as a core part of their work.
What will Barry, Jessie and Kul’s involvement with Brazil be after this appointment?
Barry will continue to oversee the Foundation's work in Brazil. He will be responsible for ensuring our success in Brazil and will provide Oona with the support she needs to succeed. Jessie will remain actively engaged with Brazil in partnership with Oona, though we would expect that she will reduce her level of involvement, as Oona and her team become fully integrated. Kul will continue to focus on Mobile and will support Brazil as needed (because he loves Caipirinhas!). Jessie and Barry will continue to be available to the community and will play active role. We expect to maintain and grow the great relationships we have with all of you in the coming months and years, and we will continue to visit Brazil on a regular basis.
When will the community meet Oona?
Oona will be traveling with Steven, Maryana, Megan and Victor from our Community team when they visit Brazil in March. This will be an opportunity for her to get to know the community. She will also participate actively in meetups over the coming months and will be traveling regularly to cities around Brazil to build relationships and conduct outreach. She'll be active on the wikis and on the mailing lists, so don't hesitate to reach out to her.
Will Oona be at Wikimania in Washington and at the Chapters conference in Berlin?
Oona will be at Wikimania in July. She will not be at the chapters conference, as we'd like her to focus on launching her activities in Brazil in her first few months.
Why didn’t you select an experienced Wikimedia community member?
We did actively seek out experienced Wikipedians, however only a few applied. We did not find a candidate from within the community who had the broader set of experiences that we felt were needed in the position. That said, Oona does come from the broader free culture movement and has worked in collaborative communities in her most recent position. We also hope to add Wikimedians to the team. We already have one, Everton, onboard as a consultant.
What was the process by which Oona was selected?
It was a four month process in which we made an open call for proposals from candidates. Michael Page Brasil provided search support to screen through the applicants and worked with Jessie and Barry to generate a good shortlist of candidates for in-person interviews. In parallel, we asked the Brazilian community to select two representatives to participate directly in the recruitment process - Everton and Castelo were nominated. On 5-6 January, Everton, Castelo and Barry interviewed ten candidates in person and narrowed the field down to four candidates, who we moved to the following stage with the community assignment. The four remaining candidates engaged publicly on br.wikimedia.org with the local community and each other in an exercise designed to test their ability to interact. We received feedback on the candidates from some community members and added that to our interview results and our own observations of the process. Jessie then interviewed each candidate via Skype. Following all this, Everton, Castelo, Jessie and Barry were unanimously in support of having Oona as our top candidate. Oona came for final interviews in San Francisco, where our decision was confirmed in formal interviews with Sue Gardner (Executive Director) and Gayle Karen Young (Chief Talent and Culture Officer).
Why is Oona being brought in as a consultant rather than an employee?
We do not yet have an entity in place to employ Oona as an employee. For the time being, she will serve as a consultant to WMF, and we will review this status when we have a representative office formed.
How many people are you planning for WMF in Brazil - and how will these be split across functions?
We expect that Oona will need 3-4 additional people to support the engagement she has taken on in Brazil. We have not yet had time to specify the roles, but they will likely focus on outreach activities and communications. We have also discussed creating part-time roles or fixed-term contracts for people who might be able to fulfill specific activities. These positions could be distributed in various locations across the country.
What is the budget for WMF Brazil programs?
Oona will be working with Barry and Jessie to prepare a budget for our activities over the next few months, and we will agree on the budget in time for WMF’s 2012/13 fiscal year, which begins in July. There are already funds available in our current year's budget to support work in Brazil over the coming months.
Where in Brazil does Oona live? Will that be the location of the Wikimedia Foundation office?
Oona currently lives in Rio de Janeiro. Our plan is to situate the office in São Paulo, though this is not yet completely decided. Oona will remain in Rio for now and will commute to São Paulo, once the office is established.
Does Oona have a Wikimedia e-mail address yet? How can we reach her?
Oona's Wikimedia email address is ocastro at wikimedia dot org.
When will the Brazil office open?
We are just beginning the process to seek permission to establish a representative office. We expect this to take approximately six months.
What city will the office be located in?
Our current thinking is that the representative office will be located in São Paulo.
When will Oona start work?
Oona will officially start on 1 March 2012. She will be wrapping up work at her current employer until then and will begin engaging in only a limited way.
What is Oona's username in wikimedia projects?
Her username is User:Oona (WMF)
Can we reach her by discussion pages in a specific project like wikipedia or just by mail?
She will be accessible via discussion pages in addition to mail. We have established a home for the Brazil Program on meta and she'll have a discussion page on PT:WP and probably on br.wikimedia.org. Give it a week and she'll be on those channels.