Representatives of the organizations gathered at the VI Iberoamerican Wikimedia Meeting Iberoconf 2019 in Santiago from February 8th to 10th, 2019, wish to communicate to the Group of Roles and Responsibilities of the Wikimedia Strategy, the Wikimedia Foundation, its Board of Trustees and our global movement in general the following reflections:
Iberocoop was founded in 2011 with the goal of strengthening the Wikimedia community in Ibero America, through the creation and development of local organizations. Ten years later, we have 9 chapters in the region; in addition to that, the creation of a new affiliation model, the user groups, with simpler requirements and processes, removed some of the barriers that prevented many local groups from organizing into a Wikimedia organization, enabling 5 more groups to form.
This is a result that must be celebrated, but we must not be complacent. If we want to reach every person in the world, we need to go further in strengthening local groups, enabling them to get the resources they need and grow, working together and expanding our reach to the areas that we are not covering yet.
At the same time, the growth of the last few years has highlighted some challenges of the current model, including an unbalance between rights and requirements, and the creation of new groups being sometimes originated as result of personal conflicts rather than the willingness to contribute to the global movement. The 2030 Strategy Process gives us the chance to finally discuss and tackle these issues, something that has been delayed for years.
Therefore we recommend:
- To balance rights and responsibilities, allowing small groups to form with light requirement but at the same time requiring them to comply with adequate transparency and accountability.
- To highlight the relevance of chapters as official representatives of our movement in territorial units (such as countries and/or sub-national entities) and define a clear path for user groups with territorial focus to become chapters if they want to do it, setting defined and measurable steps, allowing for a healthy progress in line with the collaborative spirit of the movement.
- To the Affiliations Committee: current weak rules in the verification of the authenticity of the potential affiliates can affect at the mid and long-term the spirit of the Wikimedia movement. Establishing more rigorous mechanisms in checking the organicity of new members can ensure the authenticity and permanence of the new affiliates.
- To the Affiliations Committee: the creation of a framework of understanding and negotiation that can force to potential warring parties of the Wikimedia movement to hold dialogues in good faith to work together, share common objectives and define lines of work before seeking the establishment of new affiliated organizations.
- To the 2030 Strategy: we ask to the leaders of this effort to share this document among the different working groups.
- To the Iberocoop members: make a following activity of this document six months and one year after being published.