Recommendation # 10: Independently governed Capacity Building ‘Unit’
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
We recommend an independent Capacity Building organization or unit, governed by a supervisory board.
This will ensure that capacity building recommendations are implemented, sustain the momentum of the WG:CB and that those that need readjustments are adapted correctly, and that capacity building programs are sustained and continuously improved until 2030.
The board would be composed of experienced and expert members of the Wikimedia movement that had worked with Capacity Building inside or outside of the movement, as well to those working group members of Capacity Building willing to join the initiative. The board will provide continuous expertise, guidance and engagement around those areas of Capacity Building drafted in the recommendations. As well as advisory and research knowledge to the affiliates looking for techniques for Capacity Building in their local contexts.
The capacity building unit and its leadership needs to be independent from the Wikimedia Foundation or any other affiliates.
Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
We assume that the need for skilled people in providing advisory support for Capacity Building will only increase with the implementation of the recommendations in the coming years. November of 2019 is not the end of the road, is just the beginning.
We assume that a capacity building unit/organization (as well as new structures recommended by other WGs) will fit somewhere into a new, more functionally distributed structure post- adoption of WG recommendations.
Capacity Building will be a function of the ‘new’ more decentralized Wikimedia Movement. This function, its staff, resources, programs and practices will need governance. Therefore, its roles could be:
- Community oversight and liaison with diverse communities across the movement
- Gathering expertise and reviewing evidence-based on capacity building
- Decisions about capacity building programs, staffing and technologies
- Accountability for movement funds used for capacity building
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?
Theory of Change: By creating a new unit/organization for capacity building, with an independent governing body, we will assure that capacity building activities for the movement are developed according to the recommendations, sustained over the long-term, continuously evaluated and improved with impact for the communities and the strategic direction in mind.
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
Capacity Building will be sustainably assured for the movement over the next 10 years.
We don't have a structure for Capacity Building that oversees these activities for the whole movement. Based on this recommendation we will have this new structure not only for supervising the implementation of recommendations, but to lay the ground, and give advice to new tools and techniques for Capacity Building, as well as monitor how capacity building programs contribute to changing the movement towards the strategic direction.
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
All key movement stakeholders providing and receiving capacity building.
Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?
- Creating redundant structures
- mitigation: assure that the unit works with existing capacity builders and programs, and coordinates and aligns activities
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality? Does it keep something, change something, stop something, or add something new?
It obviously adds something new, and shifts decision making and accountability to the new functional unit and its board.
Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?
It connects to all other recommendations as it is designed to ensure their implementation and sustainability, as well as to assure community oversight and accountability.
Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
Roles and Responsibilities: The CB unit and governance of it will have to be fitted into the new movement governance model recommended by R&R
Resource Allocation: Funding will have to be provided for the capacity building work of the movement, as part of a concise annual budget towards the new ‘unit’. Then the capacity building board is accountable for this annual budget.
Q 8 Do you have anything to add that was not covered with previous questions, yet essential for understanding the recommendation?
Not at this moment.
Q 13 What are the concerns, limiting beliefs, and challenges for implementing this Recommendation?
These could then be taken into account when designing the implementation.
One challenge to implementation may be hesitation with the WMF and current staff to change and ultimately retreat from existing capacity building activities.
Q 15a What is the timeframe of this Recommendation in terms of when it should be implemented? 2020, 2021, etc.
2020 and onwards.
Q 15b Does this Recommendation have an urgency or priority? Does the timeframe for implementation depend on other Recommendations being implemented before or after it?
It is long overdue, and it is not dependent on other changes, and therefore it should be implemented ASAP.
Q 16 How should the implementation of this Recommendation be monitored and evaluated? By who?
The community oversight bodies emerging from other recommendations, for the time being the WMF. The methods of evaluation should be developed gradually, by involving feedback and suggestions from seminar leaders.