Community Insights/Community Insights 2020 Report/Global Advocacy
Championing and defending the integrity and independence of free knowledge and the Wikimedia community, projects, and values with governments, businesses, civil society, and other stakeholders.
In the interest of strengthening the Foundation’s capacities in Global Advocacy, we asked Wikimedians about their existing interest and involvement in public policy to learn how we might better support community engagement in free knowledge advocacy. Most contributors reported having working knowledge of public policies relevant to Wikimedia projects. When asked about their knowledge of several areas of policy, 67% of contributors said they know enough about at least one area of policy advocacy surrounding Wikimedia, with more contributors indicating knowledge of laws about free expression, copyright, and privacy (see Figure 3). Contributors living in Western Asia (92%), Southern Asia (91%), South America (80%), and who had started contributing to Wikimedia projects in the last two years (77%) were more likely to indicate policy knowledge, as were on-wiki admins (80%) and movement organizers (88%). Contributors in Western Europe (56%) and Northern America (60%) were less likely to do so.1
Even with high reported levels of policy knowledge, involvement in advocacy is far lower. Only 16% of contributors indicate that they are actively involved in public policy advocacy, whether through attending relevant meetings or conferences (9.6%), contacting lawmakers (5.2%), affiliate-led policy actions (5.1%), or participating in the publicpolicy-l mailing list (3.7%).2
By far, contributors think making knowledge accessible is a top public policy priority for the Wikimedia movement. Almost three-quarters (see Figure 4) indicated that this was a top priority, followed by free expression, then copyright and privacy. Contributors living in Africa (100%), South-eastern Asia (90%), and Southern Asia (86%) were more likely to prioritize knowledge access, and those in Eastern Asia were less likely to do so (54%), as were on-wiki administrators (69%). Contributors in Africa (19%) and in South-eastern (24%) and Southern (29%) Asia were less likely to choose free expression as a public policy priority. In contrast, contributors in Southern Europe (54%) and in Eastern Asia (57%) were more likely to choose free expression as a policy priority. Those living in South-eastern Asia were more likely to say privacy was an important priority (39%) than others.3