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Community Capacity Development

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Community Capacity Development is an initiative that aims at identifying needs and ways to build capacity in different Wikimedia communities , and then initiating specific actions to build specific capacities in specific interested communities.

What is community capacity?

"Community capacity" is the ability of a community to achieve their goals. These goals are very diverse, and span issues that affect one or all Wikimedia communities.
What is capacity development?

Capacity building, also known as capacity development, is a development approach that involves identifying the challenges that inhibit a community from achieving their goals, and then building, facilitating, or supporting projects to address these challenges.

What projects were done in 2016?

In this first and pilot year of the project, the Wikimedia Foundation worked with the following three communities. Click each community to learn about the plan and the current status.

Overall pilot year evaluation

What happened after the pilot?

The Foundation did not make a decision about changing the pilot-level funding of the program, so the program remained at that level of funding and continued to deliver trainings, develop curriculum, and mentor communities on that scale.

Trainings were delivered in:

  • WikiConference Bulgaria 2016
  • CEE Meeting 2017
  • Wikimedia Conference 2017
  • Wikimania 2017
  • India Wikidata Month 2017 (month-long series of Wikidata trainings in 8 major cities in India, to English and most Indic communities)
  • Estonia Wikidata training 2017
  • Nigeria (English, Igbo, and Yoruba communities)
  • Ghana (English and Ewe communities)
  • South Africa (English and South African language communities)
  • Wikimedia Conference 2018
  • Wikimania 2018
  • South Korea 2018 (Korean community)
  • Punjab (Punjabi and Tamil communities)
  • Mumbai (Advanced Wikidata training for Indian Wikidatans)
  • WikiConference Ukraine 2018
  • CEE Meeting 2018
  • Australia 2018 (English community)
  • New Zealand 2018 (English and Wikidata community)
  • Tanzania – East Africa regional training (English, Swahili, Luganda, and Portuguese communities)

Materials developed as part of the program, both during the pilot and since then

Are you interested in building capacity within your community?

Please consider discussing with your community or Wikimedia affiliate and submitting some self-assessments to the Community Capacity Map! (CCM)

There are over thirty capacity areas described in the CCM Guidelines page. Take a look and see if you're inspired to think about which capacity would be most useful for your community or organization to work on building.

In the pilot year, there were six areas for development - read each capacity's scope, challenges, and potential solutions to see if you are interested. These areas were chosen after interviews with sixteen communities or countries (predominantly in the Global South), and seem to be the areas that affect a large portion of Wikimedia communities.

In each capacity space, we invite your comments and participation - to discuss and clarify challenges, existing solutions (from other communities), and potential future work (e.g. research, trainings, facilitated meetings, etc.).

What is the Community Capacity Development Project?

The purpose of the Community Capacity Development project is to (finally) make systematic progress toward building capacity within Wikimedia communities.

This project began with a phase of Community Research , where the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) conducted qualitative research into strengths, challenges and needs of different communities, aiming to understand the breadth and scope of capacity needs in emerging communities. These interviews were conducted with sixteen communities or countries[1] through in-depth video interviews with a small group of community members.

Preliminary results from this research phase was presented at the Wikimedia Conference 2015 in Berlin in May 2015. The slides are on Wikimedia Commons.
Keep me updated!

If you want to receive news from this initiative, please sign up on our Global Message Delivery list. [2] The news will be delivered to your Meta talk page, in English.


  1. Interviews were conducted by Sati Houston and Asaf Bartov in February and March 2014, with individuals from the following 16 communities / countries: Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, India (English, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu) and the Arabic community.
  2. If you signed up before August 19, 2015, you are already on the distribution list.