Grants:Project/MSIG/Wikimedia Poland/Peer support for administrators

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Wikimedia Poland/Peer support for administrators
Supporting safety and inclusion in plwikipedia by creating a peer support group for administrators. And creating a report with good practices based on the learnings from the project.
targetPolish Wikipedia directly and (through sharing results) other projects and communities which might use that learnings.
start date14 July
start year2022
end date31 March
end year2023
budget (USD)16,800 USD
grant typeplease specify whether this grant is for an individual, group, or organization
non-profit statusyes
contact(s)• natalia.szafran(_AT_)•
organization (if applicable)• WMPL
website (if applicable)•
Review your report

Project Goal[edit]

What will be the outputs of your project and how will those outputs contribute to advancing a specific Movement Strategy Initiative

The project aims to test peer support groups as a framework to provide more safety in the movement and prevent volunteer burnout. We will be working with a peer support group of functionaries, who are responsible for providing safety in Polish language Wikipedia. It will contribute to Peer Support Networks within the Wikimedia Movement project.

What specific Movement Strategy Initiative does your project focus on and why? Please select one of the initiatives described here

The project relates to Strategy Recommendation 3: Provide for Safety and Inclusion in particular on actions:

  • Research and develop an adaptable safety assessment and execution plan, as well as rapid response and support infrastructure.
    • procedures for reacting to large scale challenges, such as socio-political unrest and environmental threats
    • training and opportunities to raise awareness and build response capacity for community safety and conflict management.

It will also support the implementation of the Universal Code of Conduct which (according to the Enforcement Guidelines) will be enforced by the designated community functionaries and bodies [such as, but not limited to administrators or Arbitration Committees]. And thus would benefit from well prepared, resilient, kind and supportive functionaries in the projects. Learnings and practices from the project can be adapted in other contexts and support communities in building a safe and friendly environment.

Project Background[edit]

When do you intend to begin this project and when will it be completed?

Start date: June 2022 End date: March 2023

Where will your project activities be happening?
  • regular online meetings (at least 8)
  • one offline AdminCamp in Autumn 2022
Are you collaborating with other communities or affiliates on this project? Please provide details of how partners intend to work together to achieve the project goal.
The project will be consulted with the Volunteer Supporters Network which will allow to transfer good practices and learnings to transfer between the communities. The consultations will take place at one of the VSN regular meetups or at the Annual VSN meeting (Autumn 2022).
If the project is succesful the next step might be building a network of consultations and support between international functionaries groups (for example in the CEE region). The VSN can help with building space for that.
Findings from the project will be a part of the Peer Support Networks within the Wikimedia Movement project, which will help in building support networks within Wikimedia movement.
What specific challenge will your project be aiming to solve? And what opportunities do you plan to take advantage of to solve the problem?
  • Safety in the project relies on a small group of users who need to solve difficult and challenging problems without proper tools or support
As in many other large Wikimedia projects the safety of the community in Polish Wikipedia relies strongly on the work of administrators. Admins need to resolve difficult cases, react to vandalisms, enforce community rules and policies. This is a challenging role yet it comes with no preparation or training in communication, conflict resolution or cyber security. Admins have also not been trained for dealing with their own stress, emotional exhaustion and burnout risk.
There are channels for consulting actions but they are not used to provide emotional support which would be helpful in making difficult decisions and reacting to difficult situations. There is no space for discussing general safety related issues.

In addition admins interventions are carefully watched and their mistakes - easier to make when proper training is lacking - are severely judged by the general community.

All of the above leads to many admins avoiding getting involved in particularly difficult and conflict situations, especially those complicated and happening for a long time. Which leaves many cases unresolved and damages general community health. And overburdens those admins who still engage in working with community health.
Proposed solutions
  • providing admins with important skills which would help them in resolving difficult and conflict situations and give them more motivation to reach out
  • online admin meetings as a way to support knowledge exchange and conversations about safety
  • peer support group as a way to encourage admins to react to incidents of harassment, engage in conflict resolution and work on community wellbeing

Wikipedia administrators are at risk of burning out

Burnout is a common risk in roles related to safety and which success depends on the quality of contact with other people. It is also related to stress and lack of recognition. All those factors are present in the context of Wikipedia administrators. And the more people care and engage - the higher the risk of burnout is, which means that it happens to the most dedicated volunteers.
It is also important to note that administrators often become targets of harassment themselves and that in plwiki they may experience increased stress related to the challenge of working to protect content and project neutrality in a tense political environment.
When burnout occurs it affects more than the person experiencing it. Burnout symptoms include cynicism, lack of empathy and compassion. All of those strongly affect the way administrators can fulfill their roles and whether they are working towards a kind and welcoming environment.
Proposed solutions
As Amelia and Emilia Nagoski wrote in Burnout: the cure for burnout is not “self-care”; it is all of us caring for one another. So proposed solutions include:
  • peer support and regular meetings as a way of reducing stress
  • building (through meeting and admin camp) a feeling of being a part of a community centered around a joint mission and values as a way to prevent burnout
  • equipping admins with skills and knowledge which can help in stress reduction
  • supporting mutual recognition

In conducting this project we will be using our previous work and expierence with plwikipedia admins that have been conducted by WMPL since 2021 (see our Wikimania talk about it) and our general work around burnout prevention (see for example: our mindfulness trainings for Wikimedians.

Does this project aim to apply one of the examples shared in the call for grants and if so which one?

Project Activities[edit]

What specific activities will be carried out during this project? Please describe the specific activities that will be carried out during this project.
  • admin camp (Autumn 2022) - a 3-day long offline admin retreat concentrated on team building and skill gaining activities. We want to invite experts in different fields (mindfulness, burnout prevention for functionaries, communication, resilience etc.) which will teach the admins to better care about their own resources but also to be better at taking care of the community. We are also planning to create space for admins (especially those who don’t work with each other often) to connect over shared values. The camp would be designed for 30-40 admins;
  • monthly admin meetups - regular, facilitated meetups during which admins can discuss challenges related to their work, share skills, have deepened conversations around safety and community health and their role.

The important rule would be that the conversations would not be about specific cases or users but on the general adminship and project challenges

  • report with learnings - at the end of the project we will prepare a report and diff post with practical learnings and good practices for creating and maintaining peer support groups and preventing burnout.

The results will be measured through surveys and individual interviews.

What results do we expect? We want to give admins an opportunity to create a network of mutual support in which they can reach out to each other and receive support in difficult issues. But also provide them with skills that can help them in taking care of safety and inclusion in Wikimedia projects.

  • admins will have a good understanding of safety and skills towards support it
  • admins will have a better sense of support
  • they know how to deal with stressful situations and their own wellbeing
  • they know how to react to harassment
  • findings from the project will provide useful information for other communities on how to work with Wikimedia functionaries towards more brining more safety into the movement

Those changes will be measured through a survey conducted in the admin community at the beginning and at the end of the project. The survey will show whether there has been any change in admins' sense of support, knowledge and understanding around safety and harassement prevention. The project will also include individual interviews with admins at the beginning and at the end of the project.

How do you intend to keep communities updated on the progress and outcomes of the project? Please add the names or usernames of these individuals responsible for updating the community

We will be in contact with the community with our regular community communication channels:

The main person responsible for communication will be Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (Community Support Team Manager)

Who will be responsible for delivering on this project and what are their roles and responsibilities?

The project will be carried out by the Community Support Team in Wikimedia Poland.

Additionally WMPL is recruiting two more people to the Community Support Team who will be integrated in the project later.

Additional information[edit]

If your activities include community discussions, what is your plan for ensuring that the conversations are productive? Provide a link to a Friendly Space Policy or UCoC that will be implemented to support these discussions.
All events organized by Wikimedia Poland are covered by our safe space policy. We have:

Our community support team will be responsible for enforcement of the policy.

If your activities include the use of paid online tools, please describe what tools these are and how you intend to use them.
  • we will be using Asana for project management (provided by WMPL)
  • Zoom for online meetings (provided by WMPL)
Do your activities include the translation of materials, and if so, in what languages will the translation be done? Please include details of those responsible for making the translations.
Are there any other details you would like to share? Consider providing rationale, research or community discussion outputs, and any other similar information, that will give more context on your proposed project.


After your activities are complete, we would like to understand the draft implementation plan for your community. You will be required to prepare a document detailing this plan around a movement strategy initiative. This report can be prepared through Meta-wiki using the Share your results button on this page. The report can be prepared in your language, and is not required to be written in English.

In this report, you will be asked to:

  • Provide a link to the draft implementation plan document or Wikimedia page
  • Describe what activities supported the development of the plan
  • Describe how and where you have communicated your plan to relevant communities.
  • Report on how your funding was spent

Your draft implementation plan document should address the following questions clearly:

  • What movement strategy initiative or goal are you addressing?
  • What activities will you be doing to address that initiative?
  • What do you expect will happen as a result of your activities? How do those outcomes address the movement strategy initiative?
  • How will you measure or evaluate your activities? What tools or methods will you use to evaluate your activities?

To create a draft implementation plan, we recommend the use of a logic model, which will help you and your team think about goals, activities, outcomes, and other factors in an organized way. Please refer the following resources to develop a logic model:

Please confirm below that you will be able to prepare a draft implementation plan document by the end of your grant:

Optionally, you are welcome to include other information you'd like to share around participation and representation in your activities. Please include any additional outcomes you would like to report on below:


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!



  • 16 800 USD

Completing your application[edit]

Once you have completed the application, please do the following:

  • Change the application status from status=draft to status=proposed in the {{Probox}} template.
  • Contact strategy2030(_AT_) to confirm your submission, as well as to request any support around your application.


An endorsement from community members (especially from outside your community) will be part of the considerations when reviewing your application. Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

  • As a long-term WIkipedia admin I do notice and confirm the challenges presented in the grant application. And as a consequence, naturally, I think this grant is worthy of being, well... granted. Wojciech Pędzich Talk 18:43, 24 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Znakomity pomysł, dzięki któremu będzie można wprowadzić pomoc dla zaangażowanej mniejszości Wikipedii. --Teukros (talk) 18:48, 24 May 2022 (UTC)