Empowerment of advocates
encouragement and recognition of efforts around advocacy -> more Wikimedians view advocacy as a valid part of their work -> additional advocates for the Wikimedia movement
R8: Advocacy is recognized and encouraged as a valid pathway in the Wikimedia Movement.
Often, volunteers will find that there are competing demands for their time -- whether those demands are on-Wiki or off. Volunteers use their free time to run chapters and user groups, to serve as administrators or run bots on the project, and of course, to edit Wikimedia projects. These competing duties can leave little time to think about, discuss, or engage in advocacy for the movement’s values, especially when contributions to Wikimedia projects are viewed by many in the community as social currency for running initiatives or making changes.
The Wikimedia movement needs to reinforce the idea that advocacy activities, are just as valuable as contributing to the Wikimedia projects online. If advocates can feel ownership of their work for the movement, as well as gain the “social currency” currently restricted mostly to online contributors, they can be more effective in their advocacy actions.
This recommendation can take the form of different measures strengthening the role of advocacy in sustainability of our projects. It comprises of creating internal narratives about advocates’ work using concrete examples of the benefits it has brought, involving local leadership in creating these roles, and exchange of experiences related to capacity building for advocates. Indirectly, measures such as the hub and accompanying recommendations (Transparency, Diversity, Global Conversation) contribute to raising the profiles of advocacy and help exemplify what that role implies in our movement.
Of course, providing more exposure for advocacy roles and community paths does not mean it happens at the cost of other types of online and offline work. The messaging should be clear to present it as a way but not the way of volunteering and being active in our movement.