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

Why[edit]

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

What[edit]

  • 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

Who[edit]

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

How[edit]

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?

Meta[edit]

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