Building Capacity for Capacity Building
We recommend to build the expertise, toolbox of methods and processes for core capacities to be built across the movement.
We will have a taxonomy of core capacities that are needed across the movement, and
a toolbox of methods to build them people trained and empowered to provide capacity building to their peers avenues for translation/interpretation/adaptation
We will establish a shared language on fundamental capacities and capacity building, which will enable communication and evaluation for us to demonstrate how we are advancing movement growth, knowledge equity and knowledge as a service.
All stakeholders of the Wikimedia Movement involved in providing or receiving capacity building knowledge and services.
Matching human assets and online knowledge resources with capacity building needs
We recommend establishing a system and process that matches Wikimedians
- with their peers and
- with knowledge resources in and out of the movement to meet their Capacity Building needs.
In the old world, the WMF and some of the larger affiliates provided trainings, while volunteers were able to provide show and tells at conferences. This approach did not prove to contribute to building capacity.
With this recommendation, we expect to change to a more distributed peer network facilitating communities of practice and high quality resources tested by many people in varying environments.
The new element will be collecting ‘assets’ in the movement (that is people or organizations with specific skills, experience or tools) based on shared taxonomy so they can be matched with requests. This work could further be built on the capacity map started by Asaf.
This allows peers to support each other in thematic or geographic contexts, allows to find the resources tailored to their needs and start a searchable resource base that can grow over time.
Thanks to the knowledge base and the information specialists, stakeholders will save time, and have access to more appropriate knowledge resources, when before they had to research through a lot of unorganized organically assembled resources of questionable quality. Stakeholders across the movement will know where they can find the capacity building resources they need to meet the needs of their affiliates and other stakeholders and use them in practice, adapting as needed.
Capacity Building Should Occur in Context
We recommend accessible and sustained, transparently funded capacity building activities such as in-person regional conferences, thematic gatherings, immersion experiences, mentoring, cohort learning and other Capacity Building collaborations that are situated within the context of participants.
How will this recommendation change the structures to enable programmatic work towards becoming the support system for the free knowledge movement to be more effective?
Trainings will move from a one-size fits all approach to a localized, tailored approach
Exchange and communication may be easier in common language spaces
New community connections may be forged
Beyond-training formats/methods such as mentoring/coaching, on-site technical assistance and circuit riders are easier to implement in a local/regional context
The current foundation and WMDE centered model to host capacity building events may shift to the more resourceful affiliates in certain region as the key supporters for capacity building.
Key direct target groups are the recipients and providers of capacity building, first and foremost community leaders and organizers, and affiliates, who are able to connect in contexts. Indirect beneficiaries will be editors and other community members, who will benefit from improved skills and resources in and for their communities.
Affected also may be WMF staff, who would no longer be the main provider of training.
Provide Capacity Building for Organizational Development/Supporting communities in achieving their organizational development goals
Capacity building in our movement must take into account different contexts and ways of working, and effective formal organizations will continue to be essential for some communities in their working contexts. Developing effective organizations that serve communities and the movement will require targeted support that is different from what we offer individuals and informal collectives. We must have a way to address this targeted need, in order to build a strong network of organizations globally to serve as the backbone in our movement.
If we provide resources and support to formal organizations, and if this approach to resources and support is rooted in the organization’s needs, goals, and contexts, we will have (1) robust organizations on the ground that drive growth locally and nationally and; (2) a robust network of organizations to drive growth at a global scale.
Organizations may be a vehicle for creating equity among communities in different parts of the world. They will be well-placed to advocate for their communities, or as a group of emerging communities in the Wikimedia movement. Providing support for organizations to develop and sustain themselves in emerging communities may be critical to ensuring that the global governance of Wikimedia is equitable in the future.
- Volunteer organizers
- Formal organizations (including current chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups)
- Wikimedia Foundation Board + Affiliations Committee
- Movement structures developed to support capacity building globally
Resources for Capacity Building
We recommend that Capacity Building be an institutionalized function of the movement sustained until 2030 with a substantial comprehensive annual budget which funds both the centralized and decentralized elements found in the Capacity Building recommendations. An independent unit/organization of the movement, with its own governing body will assure oversight and accountability of funds.
Within 1-5 years, significant resources will be allocated specifically to the capacity building Unit according to a long term plan, and stakeholders in this space will finally feel supported and trusted to organize and engage in capacity building work. In some cases, we will start to see immediate results (within 5 years), especially in regions where organizations did not previously exist or struggled to generate engagement or resources.
A coherent system for capacity building must be accompanied by a long term plan for resourcing these efforts. If it is, we believe we will be able to see and measure an increase in individual and organizational effectiveness across the movement on a horizon of 5-10 years.
Within 10-20 years this will have a ripple effect throughout the movement, as people and organizations share what they have gained with others. This can be the engine that powers our collective impact in complex and challenging areas like knowledge equity and knowledge as a service.
Currently the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation makes the most significant decisions about resource allocation in the Wikimedia Movement since they control most of the funding that is generated from fundraising campaigns on Wikipedia around the world, and through major gifts and international partnerships.
If our recommendations are implemented, we hope and believe that capacity building will finally have an impact on individual contributors on the Wikimedia projects, who should also be able to benefit from this system.
Evaluating Capacity Building
Based on our concurrent recommendation that capacity building structures be sustained and resourced over the long term, we recommend a comprehensive evaluation system allowing for learning, sharing, and improvement. This will enable us to understand the impact of capacity building efforts in support of the movement strategy.
To date efforts to map and build capacity for movement stakeholders have been ad hoc and un-sustained. With a capacity building structure and programs sustained, documented and evaluated over the long term, we will be able to build an evidence-base of promising and good practices.
Evaluation to date has been focusing largely on programs of grantees - evaluating efforts at strengthening people and organizations and assessing their impact for the Strategic Direction will be a new task, requiring new thinking and skills.
All stakeholder addressed in the definition of CB: Volunteers, staff, organizations, partners, by having access to a growing body of knowledge of practices and tools.
We recommend a movement-wide online training platform (connected to the knowledge base from recommendation #2) to support both just-in-time recorded training videos along with real-time blended opportunities for human-focused learning that allow live questions, discussion, network building, and sharing. An online learning system or our Movement must engage the human-focused learning needs first, so this is not a technology-focused recommendation, but rather one that uses technology as a platform for culturally and diversity-focused learning needs. Both recorded and blended online training opportunities can help focus the sharing and capacity building of core capacities needed by stakeholders across the Movement, ensuring both knowledge development and maintaining / strengthening the human connections that are the focus of our how our Movement will expand.
This recommendation will be oriented both toward Affiliates along with independent editors and participants across WikiProjects who are not members of affiliates. In this way, we see this solution potentially impacting all learning needs of all our stakeholders. All who wish to be associated with the Movement will have access to this tool, process, and resources.
Mentoring and leadership development
To ensure equitable and diverse movement growth, we recommend the development and implementation of a multi-stage, systematic global leadership development strategy and mentorship programme that enriches individuals and communities through meaningful engagement both on and off Wiki.
Our recommendation for leadership development is to combine retaining talent (reducing the loss of people who gained experience), training talent (preparing those who are prospective future movement leaders) and identifying talent (as systematic participation in a multi-stage training program not only increases the skills of participants, but also naturally select those, who are really committed).
A leadership and mentoring program will have a significant influence on all the Wikimedia Movement. This will be expressed in the following ways:
- Stronger leadership to the movement (WMF, affiliates and partners)
- New volunteers role (mentors)
- Professionalization of officials in the movement
- The leadership and mentoring program creates new contacts and collaborations.
Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation:
User groups, chapters, and WMF will be most influenced, as their current governance procedures, as well as leadership selection, training and retention are not systematic, and not connected.
Note: This recommendation is not based on full consensus among the members of the working group yet. We are looking forward to discussing the nuances of this topic at Wikimania.
Wikimedia Movement needs a system for recognizing and supporting organizers and leaders who are contributing to Capacity Building in their own communities or for other communities in the movement. This is critical for increasing diversity and avoiding a situation where only the most privileged people can volunteer their time for such efforts. The recognition can come in many ways, such as online and offline barnstars, unique symbol and monetary support - honoraria and other forms of support such as scholarships, equipment, internet access and more.
There is a need for a good system to select who is participating in paid trainings, and having a more selective system may have benefits.
Recognizing individuals will enable more people to take part and lead more online and offline activities. The monetary support will enable new volunteers from less privileged and underprivileged communities to be more active in our movement and will increase diversification. The new organizers will enjoy professional training, coaching, among other tools, and this will benefit them not only in their Wikimedian’s role but in their professional lives.
All key movement stakeholders providing and receiving capacity building.
Independently governed Capacity Building ‘Unit’
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 of 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.
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.
All key movement stakeholders providing and receiving capacity building.