Movement Learning and Leadership Development Project/da

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This page is a translated version of the page Movement Learning and Leadership Development Project and the translation is 14% complete.
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The Community Development team is seeking to learn more about the way volunteers learn and develop into the many different roles that exist in the movement. Our goal is to build a movement informed framework that provides shared clarity and outlines accessible pathways on how to grow and develop skills within the movement. This page describes the details of this project.

Om projektet

The Community Development team is leading a multi year program that will result in a holistic learning and leadership development model and adjacent resources for identifying, training and growing volunteers from different global locations and populations. Using a qualitative inquiry approach, the first year of the project will focus on gathering insight through individual interviews.

By speaking with a diverse sample of Wikimedia volunteers and members of analogous organizations with global movements, we will build upon movement research such as Movement Organizers, Community Capacity Development and the developing work of the Community Growth Framework, to build an iterative framework for accessible and equitable learning and development in our movement. From there we will continuously test and refine this framework at various movement convenings, trainings, and focus groups to ensure its validity and positive impact for individuals.

Why does this matter?

There are a multitude of ways to participate in the Wikimedia movement, but often the opportunities are unknown or the pathways are challenging to navigate for volunteers and contributors. The framework and insight provided by this project will be used to improve training and learning experiences and expand the diversity of leadership and engagement in the movement. By providing clarity on the expanse of roles and opportunities that exist for volunteers in our movement, we will be able to support accessible pathways for volunteers to contribute to the mission while developing skills that aid both their volunteer and professional growth.

Defining "Leadership"

The term “leadership” in the Wikimedia movement has a variety of different meanings and interpretations and we acknowledge that even this concept is not universally defined. Therefore a goal of this research is to construct a conceptual understanding of “leadership” that is globally contextual for our movement.

For the purpose of launching this project, and further for the intent of the Community Development team, we are currently utilizing an informal definition of leadership which we see as a  set of skills that revolve around motivating a group of people to act in support of a common goal. In our movement, this can take many forms and is not limited to defined or in-formal roles, years of involvement, edit/article count, number of events led, or online/offline presence.

Given the scope of our work and experience working with our communities, we believe the act of leadership emerges at different stages and is always evolving. We aim to build a model that brings shared clarity to the multiple pathways of movement engagement and supports the growth of leadership in our movement.

How the information will be used

The Community Development team will use this insight to develop more impactful and relevant programming, to strengthen movement capacity development efforts, and to inform future projects.. We will develop an iterative learning and leadership development model that will allow volunteers/contributors to pursue a development pathway that meets their needs and allows flexible movement between different types of movement engagement. Our goal is to empower more volunteers to develop new skills, expand their networks, and gain knowledge that will strengthen communities and open opportunities of leadership in our movement.


Qualitative inquiry approach can take on many forms, and for this study we will be utilizing a grounded theory approach.  Grounded Theory (GT) is about cycling through complex social phenomena by a constant process of comparison. MAXQDA, a software package, will help us to apply the grounded theory approach. In order to make ensure further cross-checking of the interviews and address any researcher bias, we will use a text analysis software program, Leximancer, that will limit any possible predispositions to prior knowledge gained by the researchers in the data collection phases.  Interviews will be confidential and all information collected will be anonymized.

Volunteer participation

We are looking to speak with YOU, our community. Whether you joined yesterday or have been with us from the beginning, if you have one edit or 10,000 edits, whether you are part of a community, contribute to Wikidata or Commons, run events, or mentor others – we want to hear from the individuals that engage with the movement in various ways, big and small, across the globe. We only ask that interested participants complete this short form (on Google) so that we can do our best to create a representative sample of our diverse movement. Participant details will remain confidential, all information collected during this research will be anonymized.

Participant Selection

Anyone is welcome to complete the interest form but please note that due to capacity restraints, not all interested participants will be interviewed. Participant data will be confidential. In addition to voluntary interview selection, researchers will be utilizing a snowball sampling. Participants will be selected in an effort to create a sample of diverse representation of our communities, considering but not limited to:

  • Newcomers - registered users active for under 1 year
  • Nascent volunteers - active users 2+ years
  • Experienced volunteers - active users 5+ years
  • Volunteers acting in on-wiki technical roles (admins, stewards, bureaucrats, etc)
  • Members of Affiliates or wiki clubs  - chapters, user groups, wiki clubs  
  • Active participants in thematic projects (WLM, Women in Red, Black Lunch table, etc)
  • Wiki projects  (Wikidata, Commons, Wikisource, etc.)
  • Language project representation
  • Unaffiliated active users
  • Members of volunteer committees - FDC, Arbcom, Affcom, etc.
  • Gender, age, region, language, etc.  
  • Open source or global activism volunteers
  • People outside of or who have left the movement

Participant expectations

Participants who are selected for the study and agree to participate will agree to:

  1. Participate in one 60 minute remote interview session (scheduled for your ability).
  2. Limit discussion to focus on the questions asked.
  3. Embrace the Community Development team’s five principles: collaboration, equity, contextual awareness and sensitivity, openness, and knowledge sharing
  4. Abide by the Wikimedia friendly space policy.

Who's involved in this project

  • Lauren Miranda, Wikimedia Foundation - Project Lead
  • Lindsay Reilly (contractor) - Research Assistant
  • Rebecca Maung, Wikimedia Foundation - Project Advisor
  • Kelsi Stein-Rowe, Wikimedia Foundation - Project Advisor


Timeline of events
Tidsramme Summary
Januar 2020 Participant outreach, review and selection; interviews begin
Februar 2020 Interviews and continuous synthesis
Marts 2020 Wrap up of interviews, complete synthesis, draft framework
April 2020 Assess content gaps and adapt as necessary (i.e. more interviews, focus groups, etc.)
Maj - august 2020 Begin testing validity of model through focus groups, regional and international conferences, etc.