Community Resources/Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021/Proposed programs

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Proposed programs

Slides for the Grants Strategy Proposal - Community Engagement

Thank you for all of the collaboration to arrive at this proposal. After listening, discussing and brainstorming together the Community Resources Team identified four main themes that community members hoped for in the new strategy, and which shaped this proposal:

  • Clarity about the rationale for the new grants program design.
  • Decentralization - power sharing by using participatory committees with regional and thematic focuses.
  • Centering equity in all aspects of the relaunch process and the grants program itself. Including a substantial increase of funding to emerging communities.
  • Focus on capacity building and learning across affiliates and community members.

Focus Areas[edit]

CRGrantsRelaunchPrograms.svg
Proposed Focus Areas
Short- and Medium-Term Objective Long-Term Impact Overall Benefit
Welcome and support new and diverse movement OOjs UI icon caret-rtl-progressive.svg More sustainable, healthy and diverse global movement OOjs UI icon caret-rtl-progressive.svg Equitable representation of and participation in the world’s knowledge
Increase local collaboration & awareness with aligned organizations in emerging communities OOjs UI icon caret-rtl-progressive.svg Key priorities for a stronger free knowledge ecosystem (editor, content and readership growth) are furthered by strategic partnerships OOjs UI icon caret-rtl-progressive.svg Increased access to and awareness for Wikimedia projects in emerging markets
Create a more responsive and accessible environment for contribution OOjs UI icon caret-rtl-progressive.svg Improved technology, tools, and research to respond to Wikimedia needs OOjs UI icon caret-rtl-progressive.svg More impactful opportunities to create and contribute to projects and platforms

By focusing on these three areas with programs and implementing a new model for the team, we believe we can directly address the following movement strategy recommendations:

  • Increase the Sustainability of our Movement
  • Invest in Skills and Leadership Development
  • Identify Topics for Impact
  • Ensure Equity in Decision-making
  • Innovate in Free Knowledge
  • Evaluate Iterate and Adapt
  • Provide for Safety & Inclusion

Principles[edit]

The principles that are foundational and underline the grants strategy are based directly on the Movement Strategy Principles:

  • Subsidiarity & Self Management
  • Equity & Empowerment
  • Collaboration & Cooperation
  • People Centeredness - listening and reflection
  • Efficient Data & Iterative Practices - promoting innovation and learning

Community Resources proposed role[edit]

The role of the Community Resources team will also shift and to provide a more holistic support to communities who are requesting funds to support their valuable work. We propose making changes in five areas:

How We Will Do It
Equitable Funding Knowledge Sharing & Development Proactive Outreach Inclusive Environment - Local Focus Foundation Initiative
Alignment
  • Regional and thematic committees
  • Participatory decision making throughout grants cycle
  • Trust-based partnership
  • Acceptance of the inherent knowledge and value grantees have about their communities
  • Peer learning network for sharing knowledge and practices
  • Dedicated Program Officer for Learning & Evaluation
  • Structured strategy for grantee prioritized areas of learning
  • Coordination with Community Development
  • Outreach to communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege
  • Communication plan to amplify community stories to inspire
  • Expand reach of grants to aligned organizations
  • More visibility on wikimediafoundation.org
  • Regional & Thematic Program Officers, better context and cultural sensitivity
  • Embrace diversity and equitable processes
  • Applications/reporting in any language
  • Flexibility to adapt by region
  • Support Foundation teams to broaden access and maintain a supportive relationships with emerging communities
  • Tech, Research, Community Development, Partnerships and Programs have stated interest

Program officers will orient around geographic regions or specific programs such as Learning and Evaluation and Technical Grants. Each regional program officer will also be the central point of contact for a priority thematic area (such as gender equity) in order to keep a strong connection with the global movement and to facilitate interactions with the communities and Foundation teams. Orienting program officers and committees around regions and thematic areas serves as an ideal pilot in preparation for the broader discussions of regional and thematic hubs.

We will prioritize proactive outreach to communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. Toward this end, we will have specific strategies to welcome and support new community members.

Proposed programs for funding[edit]

To support the focus areas, we propose three specific grant programs:

More Sustainable, Healthy and Diverse Global Movement Stronger Free Knowledge Ecosystem Improved technology, tools, and research to respond to Wikimedia needs
Greater and more coherent support for Wikimedians Stronger Ecosystem in Emerging Communities Focus, Clarity, Foundation Technical Team Collaboration
  • Single program with different levels of support and funding for people working on wiki projects
  • Clear pathways to growth focus on scale of impact, Strategic Direction alignment not structure
  • Focus on capacity building
  • Commitment to long term multi-year investment
  • Grants for mission aligned organizations and groups that support editor, content, readership growth that are linked to local emerging communities.
  • Focus on amplifying our work and benefiting from work already being done by aligned groups
  • Specific technical grant program with clear goals
  • Criteria adapted to technical space
  • Strong support with technical Program Officer and specific committees, agreed Foundation technical engagement
  • Further thinking is needed to support sustainability for software projects

Specific names for these programs have not yet been formally determined. While the current names will change, these ideas reflect a descriptive and strategic purpose of the funds (e.g. Stronger Free Knowledge Ecosystem).

The details to implement this new structure will be developed as part of the implementation plan. We will include office hours and periods of feedback during the implementation phase. We embrace the recommendation to evaluate, iterate and adapt and know that we will be learning more as we move from proposal to implementation and our first rounds. To learn more about initial thoughts about the programs and impact on the current programs please look at program impact.