Jump to content

Grants:APG/Proposals/2019-2020 round 1/Wikimedia UK/Proposal form

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki


1. In order to support community review, please provide a brief description of your organization's work in the upcoming funding period.

Wikimedia UK is applying for an Annual Plan Grant of £335,000 from the Wikimedia Foundation for the period 1st February 2020 to 31st January 2021. In this proposal we share our plans and priorities for next year within the context of Wikimedia UK’s own strategic development and the emerging recommendations from the global movement strategy process.

Wikimedia UK’s work in 2020/21 will fall into four broad programme areas, as follows:

  1. Increasing knowledge equity
  2. Developing digital literacy
  3. Changing policy and practice
  4. Growing capacity and profile

All of our activities are underpinned by a strong focus on community, partnerships and technology, which form the basis of our delivery model. Whilst partnerships continue to be a very strong element of our programme, over the next few years we will continue to explore new ways of supporting our volunteer community and maximising the potential of technological solutions in delivering on our strategy.

This year, Wikimedia UK has been considering how best we can support and contribute to the global Wikimedia movement. Within the annual plan summary below, we have identified a number of areas of our work where we have particular knowledge and expertise that could potentially be shared and distributed more widely to the benefit of the movement as a whole. These include our work with minority and indigenous languages, digital literacy development, Wikimedians in Residence and our ‘Train the Trainers’ programme.

2. Name, fiscal year, and funding period.
  • Legal name of organization: Wikimedia UK
  • Organization's fiscal year: 01/02/-31/01
  • 12-month funding period requested: 01/02/2020-31/01/2021
  • Currency requested: GBP
  • Name of primary contact: Lucy Crompton-Reid

3. Amount requested.

Table 1

Currency requested US$
Total expenses for the upcoming year £811,056 $997,404
APG funding requested for the upcoming year £335,000 $411,969
Amount of funding received from WMF for the current year £335,000 $411,969

4. How does your organization know what community members and contributors to online projects need or want? Does your organization conduct needs assessments or consult the contributors and volunteers most involved with its work?

Volunteers play many vital roles in Wikimedia UK’s work, and we involve our community in developing our overall strategy as well as in project development and delivery. We currently monitor this involvement through the quantitative metrics of volunteer hours and number of lead volunteers, and through our annual online survey for community leaders. We also assess our relationship with and our support of volunteers through informal feedback, at events – such as meetups, consultation meetings and the AGM – and through other communication channels. Within our progress and impact reports as well as our quarterly performance monitoring reports, which are produced primarily for our board, we provide examples of how we are working with volunteers, how we engage new contributors, how we support existing editors, and how the Wikimedia UK community contributes to the delivery of our programme.

This community isn’t static. As in any movement or sector, volunteers and contributors have periods of greater or lesser engagement, and part of the role of staff is to manage this and to ensure that at any one time we have sufficient volunteer capacity to meet the needs of our extensive programme. One of our strategic objectives for 2019–2022 is to engage with volunteers and partners across the UK, widening the charity’s geographic reach, as we know that our coverage across the country can be uneven. We are very pleased to see the growth of our volunteer community in Scotland since the appointment of our Scotland Programme Co-ordinator, and are keen to see the impact of holding our next Train the Trainer programme in Glasgow this November.

We are proud of the fact that half of Wikimedia UK’s leading volunteers over the past two years have been women, and we are committed to involving people from all backgrounds in our work. One of our objectives is to diversify content producers by recruiting new editors from underrepresented communities, and we continue to explore different ways of doing this, and of ensuring that new contributors receive the support and welcome they need. Related to this, we have introduced two new strategic objectives this year, which are to support the development of a more inclusive culture across the Wikimedia projects, and to ensure that our own policies and practices support diversity and inclusion. We are actively considering what forms of financial or practical support might be necessary to encourage the involvement of people from less well represented backgrounds on Wikimedia, including women and other minoritized groups.

Our monthly skillshare events have proven to be a successful model of engaging more established members of our community as well as providing support and training to newer members. Regular Wikidata meetups – some of which have been in partnership with other organisations such as OpenStreetMap – are helping us to develop the Wikidata community in the UK and engage people working with data from other movements and sectors. At a more resource intensive level, we hope to continue offering our Train the Trainer programme in 2020, subject to budget constraints, and will continue to offer places on this programme for international delegates.

5. Please provide a link to your organization's strategic plan, and a link to your separate annual plans for the current and upcoming funding periods if you have them.

Wikimedia UK is currently working to a draft new strategic framework for 2019–2022 which was developed in late 2018/early 2019 through consultation with staff, board and community stakeholders. Our delivery and reporting over the past six months has been based on the new framework, however this hasn’t yet been formally signed off by the board. This has allowed us more scope for flexibility and experimentation during the first half of the year, and enabled us to incorporate new learning and reflections into the draft strategy, whilst still giving an overall sense of purpose to our work. It has also given us time to gather more information about the emerging recommendations from the 2030 global movement strategy working groups, and to consider the strategic and operational implications of these for Wikimedia UK. Following a board away day in late September 2019 the draft strategy has been further refined. This is shared below – and on wiki here – and we are currently consulting on this with our local community. Whilst the strategy builds on our achievements and learning from 2016 to 2019 and represents a new iteration rather than a complete change of direction, there is a greater emphasis on Wikimedia UK’s role as a facilitator and enabler of open knowledge, rather than as an organisation focused on project delivery.

Annual plan summary[edit]

Strategic context[edit]

As part of the development of our three year strategy for 2019–2022 we have considered the impact of the external environment on our work, as well as the emerging recommendations from the Wikimedia movement strategy. You can read our more detailed assessment of the external context for Wikimedia UK here, but the key points can be summarised as follows:

  • Brexit will have far reaching consequences for the UK’s economy, society and legislative agenda for decades, and may lead to civil unrest as well as a significant economic downturn. It may also lead to the eventual dissolution of the United Kingdom, as there are increasing calls for a second independence referendum in Scotland.
  • There is a culture war in the UK and elsewhere that is being fuelled by the politics of inequality, separation, exclusion and polarisation as well as misinformation and disinformation. Societal fragmentation is increasing, driven by media polarisation.
  • Wikimedia can play an important role in combating these issues, and in developing the information and media literacy skills that are fundamental to a well functioning civil society; but we must ensure our own platform has safeguards in place relating to misinformation and disinformation.
  • Digital exclusion remains an issue within some communities, with elderly and disabled people less likely to have online access and therefore unable to benefit from the Wikimedia projects and other open knowledge and information.  
  • A new regulatory framework – proposed in a joint White Paper from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Home Office, and including Wikipedia in its scope – could potentially impact on the way in which Wikimedia is able to operate in the UK. However, the same White Paper also presents new opportunities for us to engage with the government on our information literacy work, and to build new relationships with organisations fighting online harm.
  • More broadly, rather than seeing a linear progression towards more open knowledge, we are instead seeing increased censorship and the re-enclosure of information from both government and market forces in the UK and world-wide.
  • The ongoing diversification of the UK and our position as one of the most multicultural countries in Europe – as well as the largest Wikimedia chapter for the English Wikipedia – means that there is an ever growing need to include a wider range of narratives and perspectives in our efforts to make knowledge creation more open and inclusive.
  • The drive towards knowledge equity in the global strategic direction resonates with an increasing awareness amongst UK content holders of the need to represent diverse stories and histories. Wikimedia UK has a crucial role to play in opening up and sharing content, and in supporting the decolonisation of cultural collections and education curricula.
  • Funding pressures within our own organisation and the UK’s wider voluntary and cultural sectors are likely to become more acute, given the increasing likelihood of a global economic downturn and the economic fallout from Brexit.

Within this context, our draft Strategic Framework for 2019–2022 sets out how Wikimedia UK will play our role in the global defence of equality, freedom of expression and open knowledge.

Vision, mission and values[edit]

Wikimedia UK believes that open access to knowledge is a fundamental right, and a driver for social, educational and economic development. We work with the Wikimedia Projects such as Wikipedia to enable people and organisations to contribute to a shared understanding of the world through the democratic creation, distribution and consumption of knowledge. We are committed to the ideal of a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge, and believe that here in the UK, we can play a unique and important role in realising that vision.

Wikimedia UK’s strategy is informed by and supports the strategic direction of the global Wikimedia movement. Our work focuses on the knowledge and communities that have been marginalised by structures of power and privilege; breaking down the barriers that prevent people and organisations from accessing and contributing to free knowledge, and supporting the development of technical solutions to help eradicate inequality and bias on the Wikimedia projects.

Our vision is of a more tolerant, informed and democratic society.

Our mission is to be the platform which enables the long-term sustainable development and use of open knowledge in the UK.

Aims, objectives and outcomes[edit]

Wikimedia UK is working towards the following long-term outcomes:

  • Our work has significantly increased free, online access to knowledge and information
  • Wikimedia reflects our diverse society and is free from systemic bias
  • Learners in the UK are able to understand and effectively engage with open knowledge
  • High levels of information literacy have strengthened civil society and democratic processes
  • Wikimedia UK is recognised as a leading organisation for open knowledge

Our strategic aims for 2019–2022 are to:

  1. Increase engagement with and representation of marginalised people and subjects
  2. Work with partners to develop digital, data and information literacy through Wikimedia
  3. Create changes in policy and practice that enable open knowledge to flourish
  4. Develop our capacity and profile as a leading organisation for open knowledge

Our delivery model is based on the cross-cutting strategic priorities of partnerships, community and technology, which are an essential element of all our activities.

Our three year objectives for each of our strategic aims are as follows:

Aim 1. Increase the engagement and representation of marginalised people and subjects[edit]


  • Develop partnerships that increase access to underrepresented cultural heritage
  • Support the development of minority and indigenous language Wikipedias
  • Encourage new and existing partners to help tackle the gender gap on Wikimedia
  • Identify other areas of inequality and bias and create partnerships to help address these
  • Engage with volunteers and partners across the UK, widening the charity’s geographic reach
  • Diversify content producers by recruiting new editors from underrepresented communities
  • Support the development of a more inclusive culture across the Wikimedia projects
  • Ensure that Wikimedia UK’s own policies and practices support diversity and inclusion
Aim 2: Work with partners to develop data, digital, information and media literacy through Wikimedia[edit]


  • Support the education sector’s engagement with Wikimedia as a digital literacy tool
  • Facilitate Wikimedia-based digital, data and information literacy projects with other partners
  • Create content and resources for learners and educators
  • Advocate for the inclusion of Wikimedia in curriculum, syllabus and course development
  • Collaborate with the civil society sector and other partners to combat misinformation
Aim 3: Create changes in policy and practice that enable open knowledge to flourish[edit]


  • Support and enable individual organisations to adopt more open policies and practice
  • Promote and facilitate sector-level change towards open knowledge
  • Work with national and international partners to build the case for free knowledge
  • Advocate for open knowledge within the UK’s public policy and legislative arena
  • Contribute to international advocacy activities and programmes as appropriate
Aim 4. Develop our capacity and profile as a leading organisation for open knowledge[edit]


  • Increase public awareness and understanding of open knowledge
  • Develop Wikimedia UK’s community of contributors, volunteers and members
  • Support technical innovation that helps to deliver on our strategic aims
  • Develop our role as a key player and ally within the UK’s openness movement
  • Make a significant contribution to the global work of the Wikimedia movement
  • Establish a sustainable business model underpinned by diverse and stable funding

Programme Overview[edit]

Wikimedia UK’s work falls into four broad programme areas, as follows, which correspond directly to our strategic aims:

  1. Increasing knowledge equity
  2. Developing digital literacy
  3. Changing policy and practice
  4. Growing capacity and profile

Within these programme strands we will be working on a wide range of projects and partnerships next year, some of which are continuing from the current financial year and others which will launch in 2020. The nature of the Wikimedia UK programme is iterative, informed by the external environment and emerging opportunities as well as by ideas from volunteers, partners, staff and board. It’s possible that some of the initiatives outlined in this proposal won’t go ahead, whilst other opportunities and partnerships will emerge during the year; and flexibility is therefore built into our plans to enable us to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise. We apply the following selection criteria for prioritising new projects and partners:

Strategic alignment – to what extent does it contribute to our strategic aims and objectives?

Evidence of need – is the project designed to meet a specific, identified need?

Potential impact/benefit – to what extent could the project affect long-term change, and/or contribute towards meeting our targets?

Finance and funding – how much will it cost in money and staff time? Is there a potential financial return or opportunity for external funding?

Partners – Are partner organisations involved and if so, who? How strategically significant is/are potential partners?

Volunteers – to what extent is the work volunteer-led, or with the potential to involve volunteers? How will the community be engaged?

Risks – Are there any financial or reputational risks related to the project and if so, can these be mitigated?

Please note that whilst some of our projects and partnerships meet several of our aims, for the purposes of simplicity we have only included these within the most relevant programme strand in this proposal.

Over the next year we will continue to pilot innovative models of delivery that can be shared and potentially replicated by other groups within the wider global Wikimedia movement. Indeed, one of our overarching priorities for 2020 is to continue to explore how our work within the UK can benefit and support the movement strategically, operationally and financially, and to develop plans for sharing our knowledge and expertise in more formal or structured ways than we do currently. We also want to continue learning from our peers across the world and considering how we can apply these insights within our own setting. We have highlighted within each of our four programmes the particular areas of our work that we feel deliver on global priorities as well as our own objectives. These are all areas where we are already sharing resources and materials and – to a varying extent – developing a thought leadership role for the movement.

Programme One: Increasing Knowledge Equity[edit]

This programme strand relates to our long term outcome of ensuring that the Wikimedia projects reflect our diverse society and are free from systemic bias, as well as our strategic aim for the period 2019 to 2022 to increase the engagement and representation of marginalised people and subjects on Wikimedia. This programme feeds directly into the movement priority of knowledge equity.

Wikimedia UK has been focused on areas of underrepresented knowledge for the past four years, with this work coalescing around the key themes of underrepresented cultural heritage, minority languages, the gender gap and diverse contributors. Over the past year, we have also been developing a particular thematic focus on decolonisation, both as this affects cultural institutions (decolonising collections) and the education sector (decolonising curricula). Whilst we will continue to develop and deliver work across all of these areas in 2020, we are currently doing some desk research into the people and subjects that are known to be marginalised within the UK and the wider world – and the extent to which this correlates with a lack of representation on and involvement with the Wikimedia projects – in order to ensure that this area of our work is underpinned by data-led evidence.

We have a number of ongoing partnerships and projects that support our strategic aim of increasing underrepresented content and therefore fall broadly under our first programme strand, including:

  • Art+Feminism is a key annual event for us and provides a focal point for our gender gap activities. The campaign is an excellent opportunity to work with existing and new partners to engage women and their allies in Wikimedia, and to improve the online coverage of cis and transgender women, non-binary people, feminism and the arts on Wikipedia. We will start planning our activities for Art+Feminism 2020 later in the autumn, and hope to work with another exciting range of partner institutions from culture, education and other sectors.
  • Ada Lovelace Day is is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Taking place in October every year, it provides another key moment during the year for gender gap events and outreach, this time with a focus on women in STEM. Whilst our strategy is focused more on long term partnerships than on the sort of one-off events that might happen in connection with Ada Lovelace Day, or indeed Art+Feminism, these activities can be a stepping stone to a much longer, deeper and more sustainable relationship with Wikimedia UK and open knowledge.
  • The Celtic Knot Wikimedia Language Conference aims to bring people together to share their experiences of working on minority language Wikipedias, encouraging the flow of information across language barriers and supporting associated communities. In 2020 - following previous events in Scotland, Wales and Cornwall - we are planning to hold the conference in partnership with Wikimedia Ireland.
  • Khalili Collections is made up of eight of the world’s finest art collections, each on its own merit being the world’s largest and most comprehensive of its kind. One of the most geographically and culturally diverse collections in the world, spanning some two and a half millennia, this privately owned, UK-based collection holds masterpieces from Europe, the Middle East, Scandinavia, East Asia, Russia, South Asia, North Africa and beyond. In 2019 we developed a new partnership with Khalili Collections and launched the Masterpieces of the World project in August, with the release of 1000 high resolution images and summaries of their extensive research. This partnership has already attracted high level media coverage and we hope to develop the work further in 2020, with the possible appointment of a Wikimedian in Residence. We will look to collaborate with Wikimedia communities globally on this project.
  • We are proud of our ongoing partnership with the National Library of Wales (NLW), and the work being delivered by the National Wikimedian, Jason Evans (now in a permanent Wikimedian role after a number of years as a Wikimedian in Residence) to open up access to underrepresented knowledge. One of the projects which is likely to run into 2020 is WiciLlên (WikiLiterature), which will begin with the National Library sharing a huge dataset of all the books (nearly half a million) of Welsh interest ever published in Wales. As part of the project the first 50,000 of those records will be enriched and shared as linked open data on Wikidata. The second strand of the project will focus on improving content on the Welsh Wikipedia, with the aim of creating 500 quality articles through events and outreach including a Hackathon and activities in schools.
  • Other NLW-led projects include work with the Dictionary of Welsh Biography (DWB) and with the library’s volunteer community. The first of these involves the development of a Wikidata powered timeline interface, an early version of which will be showcased at the Wikidata Conference in Autumn 2019 before being refined and embedded onto the DWB website in 2020. The second will involve volunteers tagging the location of things depicted in 10,000 of the library’s openly licensed images. Data will be stored as IIIF coordinates in Wikidata and will allow people to search for and view cropped images of all the things tagged, or depicted in images, from people and places to objects and items of clothing. Both of these projects will increase access to, and the discoverability of, content relating to Welsh history and culture, which is historically underrepresented within the UK
  • We aim to capitalise on the knowledge, resources and tools generated through the innovative practice in Wales for the benefit of the rest of the UK. For example, CILIP (the UK’s library and information association) is hoping to be able to take the Welsh Libraries WikiMap – created through Wikidata and hosted on the NLW homepage – and expand it to include libraries across the whole of the UK.
  • The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art is an educational charity committed to promoting original, world-class research into the history of British art and architecture of all periods. The Centre collaborates closely with the Yale Center for British Art and is part of Yale University. Wikimedia UK’s relationship with the Paul Mellon Centre was inspired by Art+Feminism but with gender gap events taking place in the Summer and Autumn of 2019. There is the potential for more extensive collaboration in 2020 and we are currently scoping what this could look like.  
  • Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health and to create opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, medicine, life and art. The Collection is part of the Wellcome Trust, one of the largest charitable foundations in the world. The Wikimedian at Wellcome Collection, Dr Alice White, is now embedded in the digital engagement team, with a remit to work with researchers, librarians and technologists help make knowledge more widely available on Wikimedia.

Within this programme strand, we are exploring a wide range of new projects and partnerships. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Commonwealth Secretariat supports Commonwealth member countries to achieve development, democracy and peace. Based in the UK but with a global remit, they are a voice for small and vulnerable states and a champion for young people. Following an initial meeting with the Head of Innovation and Partnerships at the Commonwealth Secretariat, we are exploring the possibility of a Wikimedian in Residence within the organisation – which is based at the Royal Palace Marlborough House in London – and have an upcoming meeting with the Assistant Secretary-General, Chief Librarian and Archivist.
  • Following our involvement in the Hacio’r Iaith (Hacking the Language) 2019 conference – a key technology gathering in Wales exploring how technology applies to and through the Welsh language – we are encouraging the organisers to focus fully on Wikimedia projects for 2020.
  • King’s College London (KCL) is a public research university based in London and one of the top ten ranked universities in the world. We are working with the university to explore the potential for using Wikimedia Commons as an image repository for photos of threatened heritage sites in Libya. A Wikidata element is also likely since there is a gazetteer of sites under threat. KCL are strong in digital humanities and are developing their understanding of Wikimedia Commons.
  • We are working with the LGBT+ user group – of which both our Chair and Vice Chair are members – to develop plans for a potential LGBT+ Community Wikimedian. This two year pilot post would be subject to funding, and could be hosted by one of a number of affiliates, including the UK.
  • The Science Museum is one of the UK’s major cultural institutions, founded in 1857 and now attracting over 3 million visitors every year. Its world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical advancement from across the globe. We are exploring a collaboration with the Science Museum revolving around the use of Wikidata to manage their extensive collections data, with a focus on research capabilities and the possibilities offered by linked open data. For Wikimedia UK, there is a particular interest in interrogating their collections data to uncover areas where the Museum has unintentionally underrepresented certain subjects.
  • SOAS University of London is the world's leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. We are working with the Director of the Centre of Innovation in Teaching and Learning and the Director of the SOAS Library to scope the potential for a Wikimedian in Residence project, with a focus on opening up access to the university’s special collections through the lens of decolonisation.
  • We are continuing to develop plans for a Kurdish Wikimedian in Residence, with support and input from Kurdish stakeholders, and are currently contacting potential funders and sponsors within relevant government departments and public bodies.

Programme Two: Developing Digital Literacy[edit]

Wikimedia UK believes that engaging with the Wikimedia projects – particularly through becoming a contributor – enables learners to understand, navigate and critically evaluate information as well as develop an appreciation for the role and importance of open education. Using Wikimedia in the curriculum can teach students key skills in information literacy, collaboration, writing, editing, information synthesis, source evaluation and data science. Within this programme strand Wikimedia UK facilitates digital, data and information literacy projects in partnership with education sector partners such as schools and universities, and advocates to government and relevant bodies for the inclusion of Wikimedia in curriculum and syllabus development. We are also exploring different opportunities to develop digital literacy skills within other stakeholder groups, beyond young people in formal education.

Our existing partnerships include the following:

  • University of Edinburgh, where the Wikimedian in Residence, based within the Learning, Teaching and Web Services directorate, has now been made permanent. This role has proved to be a highly valuable testing ground for how to successfully use the Wikimedia projects as a tool for teaching digital literacy skills, and engaging a very wide range of stakeholders across a university, whilst developing a programme through the lens of addressing inequality and bias.
  • Coventry University, where a new Wikimedian in Residence was launched this summer focused on digital literacy and decolonising the curriculum. The Resident is part of the Disruptive Media Learning Lab and has a cross-university remit to explore opportunities to use Wikimedia in the classroom. The annual Open Education Research conference will take place in London in April 2020 (OER20) and one of the co-chairs is closely involved with the Coventry residency, giving us the opportunity to explore Wikimedia's links to open education resources.
  • Beyond the format of residencies, other universities such as University College London, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Stirling are delivering modules incorporating Wikimedia – including but not limited to the Wikipedia in the Classroom model.
  • Building on the success of Wikimedia UK and Menter Mon’s WiciMon project within Anglesey secondary schools, our partner organisation the National Library of Wales is spearheading a new education project funded by the Education Department of the Welsh Government. This project aims to identify content that is essential for school children of different ages and from this to create lesson plans for primary and secondary school teachers, create simple videos as introduction to Wikipedia articles, and create new articles relevant to the Welsh Curriculum with guidance from teachers and subject specialists.

Some emerging partnerships within this programme strand include:

  • Banner Repeater is an artist led reading room, project space and archive of artists’ publishing based at Hackney Downs railway station in London. We are working in partnership with them to develop a digital archive of artists’ publishing, building an online platform using Wikibase software that will provide an interactive, user-driven, searchable database of artists’ books and publications. With an emphasis on inclusivity, the platform will privilege anecdotal histories and multiple perspectives, alongside factual data, establishing an important new precedent in digital as well as analogue archival practice. The project has so far involved research and technical development with Banner Repeater and Wikimedia UK volunteers, however we are now moving into a wider consultation around data schema and linked-data compatibility, which will have a strong data literacy development element within the cultural sector. We are hoping to develop a model for how to successfully engage institutions with Wikibase, as a valuable resource in its own right and a potential stepping stone to contributing to Wikidata.
  • We are exploring with CILIP the potential to create a pilot national Wikimedia training programme, targeted at public librarians wishing to support users in using and contributing to Wikipedia in their library, and school librarians supporting both teachers and pupils in embedded Wikipedia into teaching and learning. This would draw on the learning from our Scottish Libraries and Information Council Wikimedian in Residence project, which involved training for librarians across Scotland; and could connect with a project being developed with CILIP Wales, which has a focus on Wikidata.
  • Code the City is a volunteer-led civic hacking initiative in Aberdeen. They use tech and data for civic good, helping the local community to develop data literacy and coding skills and to use them to their full advantage. Following a successful partnership event, we are looking at ways to expand this collaboration, since it offers a perfect platform to build our data literacy programme within local communities in Northern Scotland.
  • Following our CEO giving the keynote presentation at the London College of Communication’s Academic Leaders Forum, we are developing a number of collaborative projects with the college, which is a world leader in creative communications education and part of the University of the Arts, London. This includes undertaking some training activities for staff and students, and a possible project for journalism students to take and upload photographs of people and communities who are underrepresented on Wikipedia. The Digital Learning Director has a longer term ambition to host a resident at the college, but that would require external funding as well as widespread institutional buy-in.
  • The University of Leeds is the fifth largest university in the UK, with more than 33,000 students. The university is part of the White Rose Consortium of universities in Yorkshire, and projects with Leeds have the potential to affect the other two universities in the consortium. They operate the White Rose Repository, which hosts open access publications produced by the constituent universities. With library staff at Leeds we have been planning how to share research data and tap into the resources held in the repository. We have also been working with researchers and librarians at Leeds to plan training and support for staff to share research. Along with Wikipedia, there is interest in Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons.
  • Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities (SGSAH) is the world’s first national graduate school in the Arts and Humanities, offering training and support to doctoral researchers across Scotland. In this project, Wikimedia UK will manage a paid placement (funded by SGSAH) for a researcher to work in and with a cultural institution to find media that fills a specific content gap on Wikipedia.

Programme Three: Changing Policy and Practice[edit]

This programme is focused on the changes that we are trying to create at an institutional, sector wide and public policy level to enable open knowledge to flourish. This involves a wide range of activities and local, national and international partnerships across a range of sectors – with a particular focus on culture, education, the open movement and civil society – and with government. Given the current political and cultural climate within the UK it feels particularly important to build allies across the open movement and beyond; connecting both with like-minded organisations and with those that in some circumstances might be in opposition to us but are in a position of influence over opinion-formers and/or legislators. Within this programme strand, there is therefore less of an emphasis on programme delivery and more on building relationships that could benefit the organisation and wider Wikimedia movement in the long term. However in order to promote and facilitate the sustainable development and use of open knowledge, we must be able to deliver concrete examples of how this is achieved, through pilot projects, case studies and business cases. This interplay between direct project delivery and more of a platform role can be seen most clearly within this programme, where we work with partners in very different ways in order to fulfil our vision and mission.

Advocacy is a key component of the role of a Wikimedian in Residence and is vital to create the institutional changes required to foster a more open ethos and embed open knowledge practices. We have seen this in past residencies – as highlighted within our recently published report on the long-term impact of Wikimedians in Residence – in our ongoing residency projects at Coventry University, the National Library of Wales, University of Edinburgh and Wellcome Collection, and in emerging relationships. However where there is a more explicit thematic focus on knowledge equity or digital literacy, we have included these partnerships in the corresponding programme strand above.  

Some of our more established partnerships and other activities within this programme strand include:

  • The Association for Learning Technology (ALT) is a professional association for individual practitioners, researchers and policy makers with an interest in learning technology, and organisations working within this field. Wikimedia UK are organisational members of ALT and our staff and trustees regularly contribute to the ALT Conference and OER conference (Open Educational Resources conference, also organised by ALT). The Chief Executives of the two organisations also offer each other peer support and learning.
  • Wikimedia UK has been supporting the role and programme of the EU Advocacy Director since its inception, and has continued to play as active a role as possible within this work – such as the lobbying around the Copyright Directive – despite the outcome of the EU Referendum in the UK. In 2020/21 Wikimedia UK will remain a member of the EU Free Knowledge Advocacy Group, with the public policy priorities for this group next year being the Digital Services Act, Terrorism Regulation and National Transpositions of the Copyright Directive.
  • There is an informal network of organisations and individuals working within the open movement, of which Wikimedia UK is a part. This group tends to meet once or twice a year to discuss ongoing and upcoming public policy issues, share organisational priorities and explore ways of working together on campaigns, lobbying and other initiatives to support each other’s work and ensure a strong, coherent voice for the sector. Meetings are convened and hosted by Wikimedia UK or Open Rights Group, a UK based charity which protects digital rights including privacy and free speech online.
  • Wikimedia UK has a long established relationship with the National Library of Scotland, who hosted a Wikimedian in Residence from 2013 to 2015, and with whom we worked on a residency project to develop the Scottish Gaelic Wikimedia community in 2017. During the initial residency project we contributed to initial conversations about developing open access policies at the library, which are set to start bearing fruit in 2020. We are also running training activities – such as a ‘Culture to Commons’ event in October 2019 – which will support the National Library of Scotland and the National Museum of Scotland to develop workflows for uploading images to commons, and adding information to Wikidata.

Our emerging relationships within this programme – some of which are focused on specific projects whilst others are more about developing longer term allies – are as follows:

  • Corsham Institute is a not for profit organisation working in the field of digital inclusion. They are being funded by the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport to conduct research into the possibility of a national, unified cultural collections aggregator for England. We are advising the Institute on the important role that Wikimedia could play in a national aggregator, and helping them to identify potential partner institutions.
  • Mozilla Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to keeping the Internet a global public resource that is open and accessible to all. During 2019, we have been developing a closer working relationship with the Foundation, primarily through the London-based Head of European Campaigns. The focus during 2019 has been on misinformation, with Wikimedia UK signing Mozilla’s open letter to Facebook about releasing its advertising API, and participating in several meetings of civil society organisations to discuss tactics around misinformation and disinformation. One of Mozilla’s European Campaigners also gave the keynote speech at our Annual General Meeting in July. We will continue to build this relationship through regular informal meetings, and exchange of ideas, contacts and priorities.
  • The National Gallery in London houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, and has recently undertaken a very significant project to rewrite all the descriptions of its collection. Currently, whilst metadata about their pictures is released under an open licence, photographic reproductions of the works that it houses are not, and neither are their research-led narrative descriptions. We have had a series of meetings with the Head of Digital Services and other staff at the Gallery to explore the potential for a partnership with Wikimedia UK focused on data. This would have a strong advocacy component, both due to the potential internal resistance to creating policies that embed a more open approach, and due to the institution’s national and international status and the likely impact on the wider cultural sector of a partnership of this kind.
  • Wikimedia UK aims to build a relationship with the Open Knowledge Foundation as an important fellow traveller within the open knowledge movement, with a meeting to take place soon between the organisations’ respective Chief Executives.
  • National Museums Scotland consists of four major museums – including the National Museum of Scotland – and a Collections Centre (which houses millions of items not currently on display, and is a research facility). As an emerging new partnership, this offers the potential for significant online content sharing as well as institutional and sectoral policy change.
  • Ofcom is the national regulator for the UK’s communications services including TV and radio. Following meetings with their Head of International Internet Policy and Head of International Content Policy, we have been invited to join their new media literacy network, ‘Making Sense of Media’. We are also discussing with them the issues of online harms and bias within AI. particularly within the context of the government’s proposed new regulatory framework for online platforms with user generated content.
  • It is still not clear whether or not the EU Copyright Directive will become UK law. Whilst this is still possible, Wikimedia UK continues to engage on this issue, and has an upcoming meeting with social impact agency Purpose, who are working with a wide range of platforms and NGOs to create joined-up campaigns around national implementation.

Programme Four: Growing Wikimedia UK’s capacity and profile[edit]

Our fourth strategic aim is focused on developing Wikimedia UK’s capacity and profile, as this underpins the success of all of our other work. Some of the activities that fall under this programme strand are largely externally focused - such as volunteer development and international working - while others are more internally focused, such as fundraising and organisational development. Our priorities under this programme in 2020 include:

  • Training and development opportunities for volunteers, including (but not limited to) our Wikipedia Train the Trainer programme. Train the Trainer is a bespoke, intensive two day course that gives participants - who are generally existing editors - the skills and materials needed to become a better teacher and workshop leader. This is a long standing course delivered by external consultant trainers, so whilst it’s relatively costly it's very valuable for volunteer skill development, and it raises the quality of training workshops that are delivered. Spaces are generally made available for staff or volunteers from other chapters to participate. Less formal development and skill sharing opportunities for volunteers include Wikimedia skillshare events and regular Wikidata meetups - faciliated by Wikimedia UK - and meetups in various places around the country which are organised by the community.
  • Wikimedia UK is committed to playing an active role within the global Wikimedia community. This includes inter-chapter collaboration (such as joint fundraising applications and public policy work); programme development and delivery (with previous examples being the Amnesty International project in 2018 and the BBC partnership #100womenwiki in 2016); sharing our learning in specific areas of the movement’s work; input into the movement strategy process; and involvement in movement-wide campaigns such as Art+Feminism and #1lib1Ref.
  • Technology at Wikimedia UK encompasses a variety of things, including the technical infrastructure that enables the charity to do our ob effectively and has a mainly internal focus; technical infrastructure that we maintains that supports external users, including volunteers and partners; and technical innovation - either on or off Wiki - that contributes to the overall development of Wikimedia as a socio-technological movement. To ensure all of these aspects of our work are being effectively steered and supported, towards the end of 2019 we will be establishing a new Technology Advisory Board made up of staff, trustees and volunteers.
  • This autumn Wikimedia UK is also establishing a Development Advisory Board, made up of staff, trustees and external experts, to support the organisation in our efforts to diversify our funding and increase our income from individual donors and trusts and foundations.
  • During 2019 Wikimedia UK has made a step change in our communications, working with an external design agency to create a new visual identity that is based on but creatively expands our pre-existing house style, and producing highly professional and attractive printed materials. We have also secured positive media coverage in a range of mainstream printed publications and online sites. We aim to build on these achievements in 2020 and further develop our communications activities and offer. We are undergoing a website redesign currently which we hope to launch early next year. We also want to review how we can work with and support partner organisations to achieve their own communications objectives; leveraging the brand equity of Wikipedia as well as Wikimedia UK’s increasing visibility to enable smaller partners in particular to “punch above their weight” in terms of external profile.


Our planned income and expenditure for the year is as follows, however please bear in mind the following key points:

  • Our internal planning cycle means that our more detailed budget for 2020/21 will be considered by our Audit and Risk Committee and the full board in December, and so the draft included with this proposal is likely to change.
  • We are currently talking to a UK-based Foundation about a large-scale programme delivering Wikimedians in Residence in a number of institutions. If this proposal is successful, it would have a significant impact on our budgeted figures. We are hoping to have a better sense of how likely this is by the time we are presenting our draft budget to the Wikimedia UK board later this year.
  • We are making an additional request for funding from the Foundation in 2020/21 towards the costs of employing a fundraiser, however this has not been included in these figures.
  • We are budgeting for a deficit in 2020/21 following a strategic review earlier in the year and the agreement of the board that we could draw on some of our organisational reserves to invest in our staffing capacity; with a view to creating a breakeven budget in 2021/22.
Annual Plan Grant 335,000
Small donations 190,000
Gift Aid 17,000
Gifts in Kind 151,000
Major gifts/grants (core funding) 30,000
Major gifts/grants (project funding) 50,000
Other income 200
Volunteer and Community Support 14,250
Partnership programmes 14,000
Gifts in Kind 151,000
Projects (subject to additional external funding) 50,000
External Relations and Advocacy 10,750
International 2000
Fundraising costs (processing fees) 16,500
Premises 51,740
IT & Telephony 26,410
Other Office Costs 10,000
Governance 10525
Membership 1000
Audit & Accountancy 10,100
Staff salaries, National Insurance and Pensions 436,580
Staff other costs (including travel) 6200
Surplus/Deficit (37,856)

Monitoring and evaluation[edit]

Wikimedia UK puts a strong emphasis on evaluation and uses both qualitative and qualitative data to monitor and evaluate our work and to inform and improve our programmes going forward. We are open and transparent about our learning and our quarterly performance monitoring reports always include a section on our implementation challenges, as well as stories about successful projects and partnerships.

As indicated by our Progress Report for the current year’s activity, Wikimedia UK is on track to achieve or exceed our targets for 2019/20. In this proposal we include targets for 2020/21 in our three universally-applied grant metrics and our two grantee-defined metrics, based on our expected year end results for the current year and our plans for the upcoming year. Our numeric targets across all our interconnected programmes are as follows:

  • Participants 7,000
  • Newly registered 1,500
  • Content pages 250,000
  • Volunteer hours 25,000
  • Total direct engagement 75,000

As part of our strategic development process during the year we have been reviewing and reflecting on the ways in which we measure our progress and achievements, and exploring potential new qualitative and quantitative indicators. The following list therefore includes existing Wikimedia UK metrics that we feel are still relevant, and some additional indicators that we will be taking into account when evaluating the success of our programmes. Please note that some of these will be quarterly measures, and so will be reported on in our Progress Report, whereas others will be captured on an annual basis only:

  • Images/media added to Wikimedia Commons
  • Reach of content – image/article views
  • In-depth diversity statistics for lead volunteers (through annual community survey)
  • Language diversity – how many languages have we worked across
  • Content diversity – % of events where the focus is on underrepresented content
  • Geographical reach – % of events outside of London
  • Images/media added to Wikimedia Commons
  • Number of educational courses we work with
  • Improved skills and confidence (through student survey)
  • Diversity of educational course participants (through student survey)
  • Inclusion of Wikimedia embedded in courses and curricula  
  • Number of touch points/interactions with policymakers (including consultations)
  • Evidence of cultural/attitudinal shift within partner organisations (through benchmarking and exit interviews)
  • Organisations adopting open licensing practices/policies
  • Recognition of our policy agenda in Government policy
  • Press coverage
  • Speaking engagements
  • Staff retention, as a measure of organisational health

We have also created new logic models for our four aims and programmes, including the new theories of change (which are included in this proposal under each strategic aim):

We have drafted a new organisational theory of change which draws together our vision and our strategic aims; making the link between the different areas of our work:

To achieve our vision of a more tolerant, informed and democratic society we need to improve the representation of diverse people in the knowledge ecosystem, increase civic engagement by building digital literacy, and secure policy changes which increase access to open information for all. To effectively achieve these goals we must also work on strengthening our voice and sector recognition.

Without access to knowledge, we can’t build understanding. Without diversity of content, this understanding is limited.

Verification and signature[edit]

Please enter "yes" or "no" for the verification below.

The term “political or legislative activities” includes any activities relating to political campaigns or candidates (including the contribution of funds and the publication of position statements relating to political campaigns or candidates); voter registration activities; meetings with or submissions and petitions to government executives, ministers, officers or agencies on political or policy issues; and any other activities seeking government intervention or policy implementation (like “lobbying”), whether directed toward the government or the community or public at large. General operating support through the FDC may not be used to cover political and legislative activities, although you may make a separate grant agreement with the WMF for these purposes.
I verify that no funds from the Wikimedia Foundation will be used
for political or legislative activities except as permitted by a grant agreement

Please sign below to complete this proposal form.

IMPORTANT. Please do not make any changes to this proposal form after the proposal submission deadline for this round. If a change that is essential to an understanding of your organization's proposal is needed, please request the change on the discussion page of this form so it may be reviewed by FDC staff. Once submitted, complete and valid proposal forms submitted on time by eligible organizations will be considered unless an organization withdraws its application in writing or fails to remain eligible for the duration of the FDC process.
Please sign here once this proposal form is complete, using four tildes. LucyCrompton-Reid (WMUK) (talk) 21:24, 15 October 2019 (UTC)