Community Development/What we do
Movement Strategy Recommendations and Community Development:
Our work is directly informed by the 2030 Movement Strategy recommendations. The Community Development team recognizes the importance of “investing in skill and leadership development” as a critical need to ensure that the Wikimedia movement will become the "essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge".
We currently support the Thriving Movement initiative as part of the Wikimedia Foundation’s annual plan. A medium-term plan that started in 2019 that is one of three priorities to ensure a thriving movement in which the foundation can support and carry out.
What do we mean by capacity building?
"Community capacity" is the ability of a community to achieve its goals. Capacity building is a development approach that involves identifying the challenges that inhibit a community from achieving its goals, and then building, facilitating, or supporting projects to address these challenges. It is, by nature, a time-bound intervention aimed toward a lasting impact on a community's ability to achieve its goals.
For instance, building partnerships involves a set of skills -- communication, negotiation, project planning, evaluation, etc. -- that Wikimedia volunteers don't necessarily already have. If a particular community doesn't have those skills among its volunteers interested in creating partnerships, training can impart the basics of those skills to some volunteers, who can then be a source of local knowledge and further mentor others in their communities.
Current Projects and Programs:
- 2021 Wikimania Speaker Training - In 2021 the team partnered with the Foundation's Events team to host a Speaker Training event series. This series included a Speaker guidebook aimed at helping Wikimania speakers prepare and practice public speaking.
- Board Candidate Toolkit - Our team helped compile a curated list of freely-accessible resources available to candidates for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees during the 2021 Board elections. This resource kit was created in support of the Wikimedia Foundation Board candidates in understanding board roles and expectations. In support of different learning styles, various mediums are, articles, reflection questions, podcasts and video.
- Leadership Development Taskforce/Call for Feedback
- Community Calls
- The Online Learning Pilot
- WikiLearn: online learning platform
Past Projects and Programs:
- Wikimedia Clinics - The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on in-person convenings presented a clear need to create curated space for volunteers to connect with Foundation staff in an informal, virtual way. The Community Development team launched the Wikimedia Clinics program to address this need. Each 90-minute call provides an informal space to connect, ask questions, seek advice, or present and share various projects, processes or tools, by both staff and volunteers.
- Universal Code of Conduct Facilitation: Phase 1 Timeline - The first phase of the development of the Universal Code of Conduct was co-facilitated by our team and the Foundations Trust & Safety team. Together we met with movement volunteers who became the UCoC drafting committee to outline and write the first draft.
- Learning Days @ Wikimedia 2019 - This iteration of Learning Days was the first to be led by our team and the first Learning Days program to separate participants into three cohorts based on movement organizing experience, in order to tailor the experience to the specific needs and capacities of each cohort. We used workshops, lightning panels, and presentations to ensure a collaborative space for emerging/experienced movement organizers and learners to connect, share experience, and enhance skills critical to long-term growth.
- Movement Learning and Leadership Development Framework - This research report supports a strategic objective: to help volunteer communities build towards the inclusion and engagement of everyone so that “everyone -- those already within our Movement and anyone who wishes to join – can play a role in capturing, sharing, and enabling access to free knowledge.