Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Invest in Skills and Leadership Development
|Invest in Skills and Leadership Development|
We will invest in individuals and organizations in our Movement and aligned partners to develop the technical and people skills crucial for the Movement’s health and growth. We will do this by combining local skill development with global coordination so that communities can learn from each other, build upon existing expertise, and increase local skills for online and offline activities. These activities include editing and any other form of on-wiki participation, community outreach, volunteer management and recognition, advocacy and public policy, conflict resolution, developing partnerships, fundraising, organizational development, project management, and communication, among others.
We will also invest in individuals to develop the abilities needed to effect change in the Movement towards the strategic direction. We envision a Movement built by committed, well-trained, socially- and technically-skilled individuals from different backgrounds that reflect the diversity of global communities. Investing in skills and leadership development will allow us to intentionally make our Movement more distributed and sustainable.
Changes and Actions
Procedures to evaluate the quality of learning content and to facilitate the transfer of knowledge at global and local levels.
Well-organized and well-established projects and groups have greater access to resources than others in our Movement. Linguistic, technological, cultural, economic, social, and other barriers prevent many stakeholders from accessing equitable opportunities and resources. Training topics in the past were not always selected based on community needs, and many proven methods and good practices for building capacity were not employed in our Movement. Much of the knowledge that exists in the people and organizations in our Movement is not tapped into for the benefit of peers elsewhere, while mentoring, coaching, online learning, and taking advantage of external expertise remain under-utilized.
Developing skills is also a matter of internal knowledge management. The platform MetaWiki has to date not been effective in allowing everyone access to high-quality learning materials and for connecting peers across the Movement for mutual learning and support. Newcomers face a steep learning curve and often get discouraged and leave, while seasoned Wikimedians are neither encouraged nor empowered to scale their contributions or share their expertise. Stakeholders are frequently isolated and forced to recreate work, instead of accessing, leveraging, and building upon existing capacities.
Leadership skills are key to building a Movement that represents global diversity. People who are active participants in various regions and contexts know what works well in their socio-economic, political, and cultural settings and are critical to the development of their communities. However, to date, we have not invested in formal training programs to develop volunteer leadership. This also aggravates the inequity of access to positions of responsibility in the Movement and makes it difficult for individuals from underrepresented groups to develop capacity. New leaders can bring a healthy rejuvenation to our Movement, prevent the concentration of power in a few hands, prevent the problems of burnout and drop out, and better represent our overall diversity.