Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Community Health/10
Network to continually support community health
- A centralized network to support people and communities in assuring community and individual health in a relatable way.
- Periodical investigation of community health which supports and ignites continuous improvement.
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
The Community Health working group recommends developing a network of resources and people to support and monitor community health across the movement. This network will include proactive, responsive, and reactionary resources. Care for community health must be done on an ongoing basis and firmly integrated into the fabric of the global movement. The network should clearly advocate that the Wikimedia projects and the health of their communities is the responsibility of everyone involved, be it as a volunteer, reader, partner, affiliate and so on.
The network should provide all involved with resources which will enable and empower them to act in a way fitting for their context. This enables community health to change with the needs of the communities regardless of their size or geography. The network will act as a platform for action, exchange and sharing of expertise, and will actively compile data on community health and initiate research when appropriate.
Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
We assume that in the future there will be more and more people using Wikimedia projects all over the world. We also assume that attrition in the movement is an issue resulting from poor community health.
Community health needs to be addressed in an extensive manner. Not only is the lack of established, proactive and ongoing community health support negatively impacting the movement currently, but the needs of the movement will increase as both community and contributors expand. This recommendation is critical to addressing gaps in community health support. We need professional, completed, regularly updated resources for community health. This can assist different Wiki communities to find suitable resources to solve the problems they face, find the training guidance to improve community health in their communities.
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?
The rationale for this recommendation accepts that community health is a problem for our community. There are issues within our community which are well-documented with no actionable tasks to address them, as documented by the CHWG survey and consultations and in other research (see Ford & Wajcman 2017). There will be issues within our community which are not yet issues. This recommendation will ensure community health is supported not only on the strategic level but also by something solid and continuous.
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
Community health will be more of a function in communities, instead of an afterthought. Individual health will be supported in both proactive and responsive manners (eg: a "library" for community health related resources, an easy-to-access reporting channel, staff and volunteers dedicated to proactive and responsive community health). People will be more equipped to discuss, support, and create aspects related to community health.
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
This recommendation will impact the entire community: people involved, people who left due to community health issues, and those not yet involved. This includes, but is not limited to, affiliates, event organizers, contributors, volunteer leadership, WMF staff, communities which are lacking for the resources, the wikipedians who are not familiar with the definition of community health and proper behaviors, etc.
Q 4-1 Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?
People who have difficulty with supporting community health might leave. Community health working group sees this as a short-term negative impact. People disapproving of the community health improvements are likely those who are not engaging in Wikipedia in a positive manner. A risk could be if the materials or resources are not updated and perhaps used inappropriately (like how “civility” is used to silence dissenting voices).
Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?
Developing a plan. This could include a committee and well-trained staff to mentor the system, educating people about the changes in a kind and gentle manner and involving and including external resources to inform this work. This may encourage some people to begin the process of tolerating the changes, and eventually accepting the changes. Perhaps nothing can be done as some in the community resist changes regardless of the benefits, and ultimately these people have no place in our movement.
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality? Does it keep something, change something, stop something, or add something new?
Community health is an afterthought in the current reality of the community. The resources and support available for community health are reactionary and not proactive. The information and resources now are separated, which makes it hard for wikipedians to find the information/resources to solve the problems they face. Most information is only available in English, and not in the wikipedians’ mother tongues. This makes it unfriendly for them to read, and makes the situation even more isolating. Additionally, a centralized and well-organized community health support system can care for the mental health for individuals and communities. This will expand the available resources, educational materials, community health response mechanisms, and on-going investigation into community health.
Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?
This is connected to all other recommendations. There are many key elements to make communities healthy, and the supporting system cannot be done without connection to other concepts in the strategy process.
Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how?
Yes, the answers of scoping questions assist us to know what communities need for improving the community health also the problems in there communities and cultures.
Venezuela Strategy Salon, July 2019: “The most important point of the talk was the absence of volunteers to carry out awareness and training activities in the country…”
Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
This connects to all working groups. The stronger our community, the more potential for we will have. The health of the community impacts the perception of the community by others. This leaks into other groups’ areas completely. Examples could be increase in contributors due to improved community health - this directly relates to advocacy, capacity building and diversity. Many similar comparisons could be made about all other groups.
Q 8 Do you have anything to add that was not covered with previous questions, yet essential for understanding the recommendation?
Yes, here are some resources:
- To the Best of our Knowledge (American public radio program)
- Phillips, W. & Milner, R.M. The Internet doesn’t need Civility, It needs Ethics
- Phillips, W. The Oxygen of Amplification. Data & Society.
- This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture (MIT Press, 2015)
- The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online (Polity, 2017)
- Change the Terms