Movement roles project/Accountability basics

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Accountabilities of each Wikimedia movement group or entity[edit]

Wikimedia groups and entities are accountable TO:

  • the part of the movement that they are trying to support (e.g. Wikimedians in Ruritania, even if they are not explicitly members)
  • the rest of the Wikimedia movement (e.g. to the Wikimedia Foundation board)
  • their broader community (e.g. the people and government of Ruritania)
  • their members (e.g. the members of Wikimedia Ruritania)

Wikimedia groups and entities are accountable FOR:

  • adhering to the shared principles of the movement outlined above
  • helping the movement towards its goals
  • fulfilling roles and responsibilities agreed with the worldwide movement
  • managing the resources (e.g., trademarks, money, goodwill of the movement) that the movement grants them
  • governing themselves in a manner that maximizes accountability to those the group or entity is accountable to
  • accounting publicly for funds received and used
  • stating publicly the planned actions in an annual plan and budget
  • stating publicly what they did, documenting their activities
  • ensuring activities are ethical and legal

Mechanisms for enabling accountability:

  • Public reporting: local and global
  • Annual plans and budgets
  • Reports on activities
  • Reports on changes in governance
  • Timely annual reports of financial accounts (audited for organizations of a certain size)
  • Pro-active reporting on problems/issues encountered

Review body(ies) that address problems with organizations??

  • Role of WMF Board and staff (as counterparty for agreements between Wikimedia and affiliated organizations)??
  • Need for a movement committee to address problems

Points from Berlin Discussion[edit]

NB: There are related ideas in the draft charter


  • Trust
  • Stewardship of Resources
  • Sense of Ownership by the communities
  • Co-operation
  • Legal Requirement(s)


  • Behaving according to Movement principles
    • Knowledge should be free
    • Share with all human beings
    • No undue influence
    • Openness and Diversity
    • Volunteer Driven
  • Correlating work to roles that have been agreed upon with the movement (e.g.,WMF's role to protect the projects, acting in accordance with trademark agreements)
  • Usage of Resources
  • Sharing plans, activities and results publicly with the community (different standards depending on the group)
  • Relevant legal requirements that apply to the group and the group's jurisdiction


Foundation, Chapters, local groups. editing communities. (Project leads, individuals involved in the above?)


Principles for enabling internal accountability to the movement:

  • proactive management of accountability: Group has responsibility to self-report and regulate on its own accountability requirements
  • self-regulation: Group sets own standards for accountability subject to broader "to be considered" standards (that are group appropriate)
  • public action and reporting as default: Groups should act and report in public as a default, private should be an exception with justification
  • reasonable review of a group's status within the movement (where and when required - frequently, never, active, passive) :
  • <keep in mind> Minimizing bureaucracy

Principles for enabling external accountability to the movement:

  • public action and reporting as default: Groups should act and report in public as a default, private should be an exception with justification
  • clear description of the group's purpose, activities and contact information

Process for review

  • This can be tricky, but is important. How are the different movement roles reviewed, measured, summarized?


  • How do we measure oragnizational effectiveness?
  • How do we measure mission alignment?