Resource Allocation Working Group members
Resourcing the Movement to move in the strategic direction: an in-person meeting of the Resource Allocation working group
The resource allocation working group met in person from 19-21 July, 2019 in Madrid, Spain to work on draft recommendations for structural changes that reach for our strategic direction, knowledge as a service and knowledge equity. The group had developed a robust and efficient online workflow over the past year, and the in-person get-together was important to have richer conversations that can enable the future aspirations of our movement through shifts in structures of resource allocation, and to progress the development of the draft recommendations. The drafts were shared on- and offline and the working group further consulted with communities and stakeholders from across our movement in-person during their 90-minute session at Wikimania.
A main focus of the three-day event was to ensure that diverse ideas from the working group’s ongoing discussions, research from external experts, and resource allocation models as well as issues surfaced from prior conversations with communities were considered and integrated in developing the draft recommendations. The group also sought to achieve a shared understanding and awareness about different perspectives across its members regarding these matters. The Madrid summer heat (40°C) only encouraged the working group to work harder by taking advantage of the air conditioned facilities to keep a cool head and think straight :)
The group entered the meeting with more than 30 rough recommendation ideas that they had generated during their online calls to prepare for the discussions. Using a 5-step process, they began clustering and refining their ideas:
- Step 1 - explore the pre-generated recommendation ideas to create a shared understanding
- Step 2 - cluster the recommendation ideas into themes
- Step 3 - breakout to dive deeper into the themes
- Step 4 - create 3-4 new overarching themes for clustering the recommendations
- Step 5 - articulate the recommendations to create clarity regarding scope and meaning.
Turning rough ideas into concrete recommendations
After intense discussions and work on the thematic ideas, as can be expected from a diverse group of dedicated Wikimedians, the recommendations were clustered and merged to become overarching and essential topics for the working group. The weekend discussions resulted in 9 recommendation drafts:
- Set common framework of principles for resource allocation
- Design participatory decision making for resource allocation
- Avoid the pitfalls of privilege / design for diversity
- Distribute existing structures - regional hubs
- Build thematic hubs – to provide services to the free knowledge movement long term
- Ensure flexible approaches to resource allocation in a complex, fast moving and changeable space
- Allocate resources for capacity and sustainability
- Allocate resources to new types of partners/organisations
- Include knowledge consumers
These recommendations address the group’s own scoping areas, which are:
- Structures for resource allocation
- Decision-making and power
- Values and principles (purpose)
- Communities that have been left out
- Leveraging resources (sustainability)
- Impact (movement and society)
As many of the discussion topics and recommendations regarding resource allocation touch on other thematic areas, the group actively connected with other Movement Strategy working groups. The biggest overlap or need for connection was considered Roles & Responsibilities, and a member of that group was invited to take part in half of the meeting to share ideas, and generate clarity and shared understanding around the general direction of both groups.
To help harmonize with other groups and collect rich input to develop Resource Allocation recommendations, office hours were also organized at the end of day 2 of the meeting. This was a direct chance to share ideas, integrate them in Resource Allocation work, and facilitate cross-working group learning. Members from Community Health, Diversity, Partnerships and Product and Technology participated. Harmonization with all working groups continued and intensified after the delivery of initial draft recommendations in the lead up to Wikimania.
Draft recommendations produced by the Resource Allocation working group were shared with the wider public online in the beginning of August and presented in the Strategy Space at Wikimania 2019. The group has since reworked and refined a second iteration of those draft recommendations in the lead up to harmonisation sprint, and work will continue across working groups and thematic areas to bring to life a coherent set of recommendations for the future of our movement.
Want to get involved in reshaping the structures of the Wikimedia movement? Follow us on the strategy portal or reach out to Community Strategy Liaisons.