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Movement Strategy/Recommendations/Iteration 1/Partnerships/Nutshell

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*Note: some of the recommendations are not based on full consensus of all the members of the working group yet. We are looking forward to discussing the nuances of these at Wikimania.

Q1 Recommendations (Scoping question 1)


Q1R1: A Framework that Supports Partnerships


We need to design a Partnerships Framework for the Free Knowledge Ecosystem. This framework will support collective, coordinated and distributed work on building and sustaining this ecosystem, fueled by partnerships between different organisations and entities.

This partnership framework should be co-designed in a process that is open and engages partners in the free knowledge ecosystem.

This framework will define shared values, collectively defined goals, as well as roles and mutual obligations. The partnerships enabled by the framework should be driven by mission alignment and cultural fit.

The added value of the framework is that it will provide the basis for a systematic approach to partnerships for the movement.

Q1R2: Partnerships as a shared and equitable resource and enterprise


Partnerships need to be seen as a resource the movement is collectively responsible for, and collectively benefits from. Equity needs to be established as a fundamental principle of all partnerships.

In order to enable this, we recommend a basic statement of principles that all partnerships should try to follow to promote equity within partnerships.

Without imposing unrealistic demands on all partnerships, or expecting the capacity to fulfill all of these ideas, these should be a set of ideas that encourage the widest possible impact and access.

As a result, partnerships will be as open to movement participation as possible. This will also enable planning partnerships with others, ensuring language groups, regional and other identities have representation where possible.

Q1R3: Partnerships as part of a Distributed Vision


The partnership model employed by the Wikimedia Movement should be based on a vision of distributed and decentralized work, in which organisations functioning as strong, sustainable nodes of the network are responsible for leading and stewarding partnerships (of a given type, in a given thematic area, etc.).

This partnership model, agreed upon by different movement entities, should define roles for such key organisations, which then should be supported in becoming sufficiently sustainable. At the same time, the model should be based on a vision of collective impact and support of weaker entities in the movement by these core organisations.

Q1R4: Partnerships need practices that foster institutional memory


Management of partnerships work within the movement needs to be improved. We recommend developing a set of practices that supports the creation of a shared knowledge base for partnerships. So those that are starting partnerships can refer back to earlier examples and lessons. This also requires a stronger culture of knowledge sharing and peer support.

Q1R5: Define priorities for partnerships


Define priorities for partnerships  so that all key aspects of building the free knowledge ecosystem are covered.

The Wikimedia Partnership Model should define priority areas for partnerships, based on a strategic vision of key work that is needed to be done, in order to attain the Strategic Vision and build a sustainable free knowledge ecosystem.

Partnerships that strengthen knowledge equity should be a priority in the initial phase.

Q1R6: A single point of entry for partners to engage with Wikimedia


That an "easy to use and to navigate" access-point for potential partners who are interested in reaching out to us is considered.  

Q2 Recommendations (Scoping question 2)


Q2R1: A central infrastructure for content partnerships requiring technical solutions


A central infrastructure and support system for large-scale content partnerships, where proper stewardship, governance, support and funding is provided.

We recommend that a more thorough product management system to manage new and existing tools is established, with distributed responsibility among movement volunteers and institutions.

A technical Meta-database is ascertained (i.e. WikiData, etc) which archives a structured partnership database for the work done by different volunteers and affiliates.

Q2R2: Technical Partnership For Developments under a shared vision and resource collaboration


Development, Research, Investment and Improvement of existing tools to help organize content creation by the professional network partners (Thematically driven partnerships, like GLAM Institutions, Educational initiative, Medical collaborations, Wiki Loves..  etc).

This includes developing a Partnership framework that addresses the present day gaps in advocating and promoting open code distribution culture and the free software movement and helps in integrating and bringing new Partners to the ecosystem.

Q2R3: Partnership framework for harnessing modern technological developments.


Harnessing the full potential from future technology streams to support mutual learning with partners and develop the essential knowledge infrastructure for the public good.

Technological developments such as  Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to derive full value from partnerships.

Q2R4: Data partnerships approach to fulfill the vision of knowledge as a service for our partners


The movement should continue to pursue data partnerships with large knowledge holding organisations such as libraries, archives and research institutes. We recommend prioritising working to bring them into the use of linked data and our software, with a longer term goal of them integrating more into our projects.

This will require more data infrastructure and support for users of our linked data models and software.

Q2R5: Create an internal knowledge-base to curate details of partnerships across the movement


Create an internal knowledge-base to curate details of partnerships across the movement. This knowledge base will help the movement retain its “partnerships memory”, and could be queried to assist existing partnerships or developing ones.

Q2R6: Develop Capacity Building Modules for running partnership.


Develop Capacity Building Modules for running partnerships that will assist individual volunteers, affiliates and partners grow their capacity and learn from existing experience. These modules and trainings should be centrally owned, so they are researched, developed, supported and executed professionally for the benefit of everyone. They should be in a variety of formats (videos, written documentations, online courses, etc) and should be built to support multilingual users and a variety of contexts.

Q3 Recommendations (Scoping questions 3+4)


Q3R1: Community heroes


Create a systematic way to recognize, empower and celebrate our community heroes, User Groups and less resourced / emerging communities so they have the tools and capacity they need to develop successful partnerships in their local and regional context

There is an intrinsic value attached with volunteer’s effort in undergoing partnerships. The merit of that intrinsic value needs to be foresighted and celebrated.

Q3R2: Proper attribution


Encourage proper attribution for partnerships, especially for content donation, so institutions working with us are proud of their contribution and are acknowledged for their efforts.

In order to fulfill our potential and carry out diverse, sustainable, effective and impactful partnerships, we must support and celebrate our partners. We recommend to develop a systematic way that recognizes the contribution of our partners, especially (but not only) in cases of content donations. Thanking our partners, recognizing their efforts and celebrating their contributions to free knowledge by naming the institutions that made a donation (not only as a source in Wikipedia), would increase their involvement and establish stronger ties with our partners.  

Q3R3: Encourage partnerships focusing on Knowledge gaps and knowledge equity.


In order to create an inclusive ecosystem that everyone feels safe and encouraged to participate in, we recommend that an effort is made to prioritize partnerships focusing on knowledge gaps and that promote knowledge equity. Such focus will foster more inclusivity, tolerance and diversity in the movement, which in turn will encourage a culture of sharing knowledge, skills and practices across the world.  

Q3R4: Documentation


Documentation as a priority, not an afterthought, ending a barrier to participation and capturing our methodology and instructions in formats accessible for our global audiences.

To capture our institutional memory so it usable for all at all levels of engagement including sharing stories, successes and failures we must invest in recording it. Knowledge capture is a professional skill, not an innate talent, research how other organisations do effectively and allow for the possibility of this being a funded priority.

Documentation needs to be seen as a project in itself, not part of a project that can be easily forgotten.

A lack of documentation actively excludes new community members; the individuals within partnership bodies, and prevents effective collaboration.