Movement Strategy/Events/Movement Charter Regional Conversation, 23 June 2021/Africa Online Meeting discussion in English report

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Online Meeting[edit]

A meeting was organized in English language on 23 June 2021 at 7pm UTC to present the movement charter to the African community, and to collect useful feedback on the best ways to set up the drafting committee. Over 32 participants participated in the call. There were volunteers from the Wikimedia Nigeria, Yoruba Wikimedians, Tunisia Wikimedians, Uganda Wikimedia User Group, Igbo Wikimedians, Tanzania Wikimedia User Group, Kenya Wiki community, Wikimedia South Africa, Wikimedia Ghana User Group, Global Open Initiative Foundation and Open Foundation West Africa.

Below is a summary of the responses gathered from participants:

Question 1: What composition should the committee have in terms of movement roles, gender, regions, affiliations and other diversity factors?[edit]

Ideas
  • A participant suggested there should be 60% women and 40% men on the committee and this suggestion was supported by two people.
  • Another participant suggested a 50% representation of both men and women.
  • A third participant suggested that there should be a male and female representatives from Africa serving on the committee.
  • Two participants suggested having some seats reserved for Africans in the committee to ensure there’s adequate representation.
  • Another participant suggested a special quota system in general for groups that are unlikely to participate in the process.
Opinions
  • Two participants were more concerned about having highly skilled people on the committee rather than ensuring diverse representation.
  • A participant was of the view that all communities including the African communities should be involved more in all Movement Strategy implementation discussions going forward.
Points of agreement
  • There was a general consensus for ensuring adequate representation of women on the committee. Some of respondents supported the 60:40 ratio of women to men, others supported the 50:50 ratio of men to women.
  • Almost all were in agreement that the committee should comprise people with the right expertise. There was also agreement on the need for committee members to be diverse in terms of regional and gender representation.
Points of disagreement
  • A consensus was not reached on a specific proportion of committee seats to be occupied by regional representatives or genders.

Question 2: What is the best process to select the committee members to form a competent and diverse team?[edit]

Ideas
  • A participant proposed a nomination process (including self-nomination), complemented with a point-based appointment. This participant also suggested that WMF staff roles should be aimed more at facilitating the committee and ensuring the implementation of the proposals from the committee.
Opinions
  • A participant is against elections as they believe that it’s more of a popularity contest
Points of agreement
  • Opinions generally leaned towards self-nomination as the best way to start out the formation of the team

Question 3: How much dedication is it reasonable to expect from committee members, in terms of hours per week and months of work?[edit]

Opinions
  • There was a general opinion that the number of hours would depend on the workload and the designation of work.
  • Most participants suggested working hours within the range of 3 - 5 hours per week
  • One person suggested 3 -5 hours within the span of 6 months
Points of agreement
  • Most were in support of committee members working 5 hours per week.
  • Some were in support of the idea that professionals should be relied on for certain tasks, and there should be a process for membership renewals.
Points of disagreement
  • Two people were of the view that while there should be a minimum hours of work, committee members should be allowed to determine the number of hours that works well for them.

Telegram and Facebook Group Chat conversation Summary[edit]

To collect more feedback from volunteers who could not join the online call, a discussion was initiated on the African Wikimedians Telegram group page and Wiki Indaba 2019 Facebook group page. Very few people engaged in the discussion.

Below is a summary of the responses gathered from participants:

Question 1:  What composition should the committee have in terms of movement roles, gender, regions, affiliations and other diversity factors?[edit]

Ideas
  • A participant suggested that majority of the committee members should be selected through an election, then the rest can be appointed to compliment the needed skills and diversity that might not have come from elections. (That is: 70% elected - 30% appointed)
Opinions
  • A participant  was of the view that regional representation was not needed as such for the charter but rather, the knowledge of regions (as a skill). And so he pointed out that it could be solved through appointment in case all the 70% elected seem to miss big skills/knowledge related to a big region of our movement.

Question 2: What is the best process to select the committee members to form a competent and diverse team?[edit]

Ideas
  • A participant suggested that a page be created on meta immediately for people to start nominating themselves.
  • The same participant suggested nomination complimented with an election similar to the current board elections where individuals within the Wikimedia communities vote for candidates.
Opinions
  • A participant was of the view that full nomination all the way will be a mistake since we are a community-driven movement.
  • The same participant was of the view that it was important for the process to be legitimized.