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Content Partnerships Hub/Needs assessment/Research results

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Content Partnerships Hub

Improving the Wikimedia movement’s work with content partners

We have conducted 35 interviews with a total of about 50 people from different parts of the Wikimedia movement to discuss the current status and what the needs are for successful content partnerships. The purpose has been to provide insights on what proposals should be developed and prioritize between different solutions. We have identified five key themes in the needs identified by participants and the support they requested.

Funding and staff

Needs of interviewees
Support requested
  1. Funding
  2. Office and staff
  3. Infrastructure
  1. Fundraising support
  2. Recruitment

There is a desire to grow in the work with content partnerships. The main request here is how to increase the financial possibilities. Marketing material can be developed from best practices and case studies. A common portfolio that can be shared is desirable.

  • The main need is more resources through funding. There is a desire to grow and expand in the field of content partnership.
  • "Tech resources are needed to be able to do more uploads. More developers and setting a good workflow. Not planning for training institutions to do uploads themselves, but keeping the option in mind."
  • "More funding. Would like to offer resources to small partners who cannot fund that themselves. Both meeting rooms, food and drinks. Would also like to be able to offer (paying for) web space, servers and tech support."
  • "a. Office space b. Staff c. Operational cost."
  • "Need to have long term planning in order to work with government institutions as they have a yearly budget that needs to be set the year before. Hard to plan that long ahead when only volunteers are working for the UG."
  • "We also lack the internet. That’s our largest handicap, internet access. It’s expensive – and of poor quality."


  • "Financial support in the form of rapid grants or annual grants. Both from WMF or from gov organizations. Could also be in-kind support in form of broadband connections or help with transportation or a place to be."
  • "Construction of a whole program which aims to result in a project collaboration. For example, an employment as a Wikimedian in Residence for six or twelve months."




Needs of interviewees
Support requested
  1. Case studies
  2. Stats tools
  3. Templates
  4. Documentation
  1. Case studies
  2. Guides
  3. Templates and proformas

There are different ways and processes for learning things. What is demanded is more of a joint commitment with specific conditions. A learning situation where we simultaneously build knowledge together from real cases. Sharing is essential.

  • Being able to easily find out how others have done a successful project is a good help along the way.
  • "Resources (people) and funding, benefits for volunteers Tools for data and media uploads. Information about licenses to help educate partners and have them release material/data under free licenses."
  • "Lot of work to raise awareness about free knowledge and free licenses."
  • "Lack of map or platform to showcase earlier successful partnerships and shared collections to potential partners. A great portfolio would help to open up conversations. Could be a global shared platform for all chapters/user groups to use. Repository for shared tools and documents to be used by GLAM organizers in the Wikimedia projects. Shared photos to be used in promoting partnerships."
  • "Need experiences from others to show impact. Show stats and what has been done in other parts of the world to have new and potential partners see what works. Build a pool of examples. It’s hard for new contacts to know what will come out of working with the Wikimedia movement, and if that can be compiled it will help. Setting up a bank of common resources to use for presentations."
  • "Good data! The need to explain the benefit for the publishers with stats and examples."
  • "Case studies, best practices and guidelines for the process. A durable and sustainable program."
  • "Standardized workflow and documentation to support partnerships."


  • "Improved documentation would help GLAM cooperations. Finding out how others work and in what ways they are doing projects. Seeing and understanding the links between uploads, pages created, project pages where the results are documented."
  • "Best arguments for releasing material under free licenses and allowing for others to use as they want to. Material to get institutions to understand what the Wikimedia movement is all about. Knowledge about copyright is a problem as some institutions are not really clear in what it is and how to put correct licenses on material."
  • "A. Access to previous work and experience on the same project B. Availability of resources C. A thorough understanding of the need of your partner."



Management and communication

Needs of interviewees
Support requested
  1. Project management
  2. Promotional material
  3. Communication
  1. Methods and planning
  2. Best practise
  3. Courses

Understanding how to manage a project with a partner, knowing what information they need and how it should be presented.

  • "Need for training, technical, legal and project management support. Most volunteers can write articles, but do not have the technical skills to set up or manage the project."
  • Best: "Clear outcome for all involved parts. A list of monuments or an uploaded collection is a clear outcome. Money that does not have a decided use is not a clear outcome. Second best: Indirect outcome can be a dataset and resources to hire someone to build a list to be used for a photo contest. Third: Not really clear what should be done or who should do it, trying to avoid these partnerships."
  • "Showcase material and good examples to show impact. Need to build internal capacity before reaching out further. Diversifying knowledge within the UG to offer more to partners. Resources to build up a strong offer to partners."
  • "Clear expectations and agreements about what should be done and who can do what."


  • "In order for a partnership to be successful, it is necessary to present to them the benefits that they will have from the achieved cooperation. Communication should be open, up-to-date, regularly informing them about the achieved results and progress of the project."
  • "Partnership champion who can run projects and partnerships. Tech support in building templates, data clean up and such."
  • "Project management training in order to run collaborations better. Both how to negotiate and implement projects, but also how to write contracts and how to avoid conflicts and sort out when projects don’t go as planned."



Support for Collaboration

Needs of interviewees
Support requested
  1. Volunteers
  2. Sharing knowledge and skills
  1. Platform for collaboration
  2. Mentorship program
  3. Global projects

A lot of the needs could probably be solved if we worked more together and in a more broad way could share resources and experiences. The proposals are about how we can find knowledge and resources. Some resources can be better structured and others can be better solved with a personal contact.

  • "Being able to recruit people to add content to the projects. Partnering with other chapters to collaborate on Wikidata. Working together to get more out of the collaborations. Get training on working with Wikidata."
  • To be able to practice together in the situations that arise is a good way to solve problems.
  • "Better coordination between chapters/user groups/communities to help each other and plan for future and current partnerships. Better cooperation with the Commons community for discussions in license questions or deletion discussions."
  • "Setting up a network within the movement for partnerships. Both regional and wider areas need to be connected. Building a family for support when problems arise or when questions need to be sorted out. The community is both volunteers and staff, and we should network and build on that."
  • "Having access to a hotline where help and hands could be provided. Getting extra eyes to look at scripts and meta data matching to see if things could be done in a better way or with smarter tools. Formal/informal mentorship to get knowledge transfer going between community members. Both central and distributed points of contacts and list of ongoing projects."



Technical skills and tools

Needs of interviewees
Support requested
  1. Media upload
  2. Data upload
  1. Development and maintenance
  2. Responsibility for tools
  3. WMF involvement

The tools for uploads and other related content partnerships tools must work. It has been clear that this is one of the most important parts of the relationship with the partners.

  • Work close together in situations where the result can be used directly is the best way to succeed the project.
  • "Develop more ways to work with visualizations."
  • "Help with technical uploads and with extracting data from databases to make it available on Wikidata. We do have a lack of tech/developers in the community and it is hard to do training in data uploads as there are not that many volunteers who are interested in working with that."
  • "Where to find the best technical solutions for how to upload images and metadata. Help converting tools to be usable by other countries/communities and institutions. Cross promotion/translation of articles/descriptions of GLAMs and GLAM material."
  • "Improvement of tools to make it easier to use. Tools like pattypan need to be easy enough to use by any volunteer or GLAM employee. As laws are national it’s easier to do it yourself. Info pages and flyers could be created to use to inform partners."
  • "The ability to do mass uploads and to have the possibility to work with programmers. Work with data for example places. “Round-tripping” - for example, an institution provides content or data, and can use the Wikimedia infrastructure to enable their project, analysis or content presentation."
  • "Some technical help to make tools easier to work with. Some way to find help from other chapters when WMF is busy and unable to provide enough support or grants on time. Building relations with chapters through other projects like WikiGap and contacts found during Wikimedia Summit and such events."
  • "An enthusiastic marketing person who will act as an intermediary to unlock photo collections and convince professional photographers to sign over copyright – they will already have a relationship with people in the area being covered."
  • "Case in point: Pattypan. A wonderful tool, and invaluable, but riddled with bugs and not supporting structured data. Need a full-time developer to make it polished but I’ve heard it will no longer be supported."
  • "Some helpful tools exist, but more support is needed to help better on how to use them. Setting up community support packages with recorder and computer to allow for recording languages for Lingua Libre."
  • "Support in training from experienced chapters within the movement in doing uploads and other technical stuff. Learning how to run all parts of projects. Looking at different databases with open APIs. Having the hub help connect data to Wikidata would be great."
  • "Support in training to build up more technical experience and using tools. Easier to find case studies that are more developed in details and the full length of i.e. an upload. Instructional material for external partners and what they should be able to do in a partnership."
  • "Support in maintaining projects is found within the developer community, with some larger and some smaller groups. Everytime a new release is up for deployment there is a need to find users on all platforms to help testing that nothing breaks."


List of interviews with notes from the discussions[edit]

Affiliate Who Date Notes
Wikimedia Norge Jon Harald Søby 2021-09-23 Notes
Wikimedia Eesti Ivo Kruusamägi, Kerdo Kristjan Tamm 2021-09-10 Notes
Wikimedia Czechia Eva Andrejsova, Michal Josef Spacek 2021-09-17 Notes
Wikimedia Serbia Gorana Gomirac, Miroslav Loci 2021-09-20 Notes
Wiki Project Med James Heilman 2021-09-14 Notes
Wikimedia Australia Alex Lum, Caddie Brain, Pru Mitchell 2021-09-23 Notes
Wikimedia Bangladesh Shabab Mustafa, Ankan Ghosh Dastider, Rocky Masum 2021-09-27 Notes
Wikimedia Belgium Geert van Pamel 2021-09-27 Notes
Wikimedia Indonesia Rachmat Wahidi, Hardiansyah 2021-09-30 Notes
Wikimedia Chile Patricia Diaz-Rubio 2021-10-01 Notes
Wikimedia User Group of Aotearoa New Zealand Mike Dickison 2021-09-30 Notes
Wikimedia Taiwan Joyce Chen, Allen Wang 2021-10-12 Notes
Wikimedia South Africa Douglas Ian Scott, Bobby Shabangu 2021-10-01 Notes
Wikimedia User Group Nigeria User Group Nigeria (own notes) 2021-10-15 Notes
Wikimedians of Cameroon User Group Egbe Eugene, René Bile 2021-10-07 Notes
Wikimedia Community User Group Tanzania Antoni Mtavangu 2021-10-14 Notes
Wikimedia User Group Rwanda Boris Bahire Kabeja 2021-10-13 Notes
Women in Red Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, Roger Bamkin 2021-10-15 Notes
Wikimedians in Morocco Representatives for the Wikimedia Morocco User Group 2021-10-18 Notes
The Wikipedia Library Sam Walton 2021-10-25 Notes
Wikimedia Ukraine Anton Protsiuk 2021-10-18 Notes
Individual GLAM Developer Albin Larsson 2021-10-26 Notes
Wikimedia Caribbean User Group Brandon Sullivan 2021-10-22 Notes
Wikimedians of Democratic Republic of Congo User Group Valentin Nasibu, Abel Mbula, Audrey Lebioda, Eric Luth 2021-10-27 Notes
Wikimedia España and Amical Wikimedia Francesc Fort (video recording) 2021-11-24 Notes
WMF/Punjabi Wikimedian Satdeep Gill (video recording) 2021-12-03 Notes
Wikimedia México Pepe Flores (video recording) 2021-12-06 Notes
AvoinGLAM Susanna Ånäs and Tove Ørsted (video recording) 2022-01-18 Notes
Wikimedia Kenya User Group Faith Mwanyolo (video recording) 2022-01-21 Notes
Associate Researcher Lozana Rossenova (video recording) 2022-02-08 Notes
Wikimedian in Residence Marta Malina Moraczewska (video recording) 2022-02-08 Notes
Wikimedian in Residence Sofie Jansson (video recording) 2022-02-11 Notes
Wikimedia Education Jami Mathewson and LiAnna Davis (video recording) 2022-02-15 Notes
Dagbani Wikimedians User Group Sadik Shahadu (video recording) 2022-02-25 Notes
Wikimedia Deutschland Franziska Heine (video recording) 2022-02-28 Notes

Interviews per region[edit]


Region Number of affiliates
Middle East and Africa 9
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) 2
East, Southeast Asia, and Pacific (ESEAP) 5
Latin America (LATAM) and The Caribbean 3
United States and Canada 4
Northern and Western Europe 7
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Central Asia 5

Are you working on content partnerships or have experiences that you would like to share? We appreciate input from all affiliates and everyone else who contributes to the platforms. If you want to add some point of views to the research, please get in touch with tore.danielsson(_AT_)wikimedia.se