Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Community Health/11

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Aligning resource allocation with community health goals[edit]

Q 1 What its your Recommendation?[edit]

  • Ensure that all community members can access resources equally.
  • Procedures for applying for, and reporting for, funds should take the local environment into account.
  • Assessment of resource allocation as a form of guidance, in order to not endanger the health of the community - allocating resources so that the community involved develops in a sustainable way.
  • Access to resources should not reinforce existing privileges; the group of recipients of funds should be diverse and care taken that the identical group of recipients does not benefit year after year.
  • Provide adequate legal protection to community members concerning the risks associated with handling funds.

Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?[edit]

We know that applying for the resources the foundation distributes right now requires time and resource investment. This makes it difficult for smaller entities to apply for funding without expanding their bureaucracy, which is not in the interest of a more lean and serviceable infrastructure for 2030. We also know that the current state of affiliates also means that funding is sometimes only distributed among a subset of the community, leading to all kinds of problems in the process. Specific communities described a need for resources without creating ‘dictatorships’ in the community during the [[:m:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Reports/May_Community_Conversations_Monthly_Report|May Community Conversation, and CHWG survey respondents identified a lack of resources as an obstacle to participation. To become more equitable here, affiliates need to be held accountable to jointly agreed standards to ensure that everyone in their community has easy access to resources if they require them.

Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?[edit]

  • Ensuring that resources can be accessed by all members of a community equally (as in: no hogging of resources)
    • Look at who we are supporting and who is left out -> local context
    • Ensure that knowledge and leadership is spread out among the community
  • Risk assessment
    • Who is responsible if something goes wrong? How do we protect community members from legal repercussions
    • Assess risks and balance it out with empowerment and accountability, for example “What’s necessary and what’s not when it comes to volunteers that face persecution if they were to go public”
    • Protect volunteers by setting up official contacts in safe(r) countries to deal with the public and inquiries (especially from authoritarian states)
  • Assessment as a form of guidance in order to not endanger the health of the community
    • Access to resources is not enough, the community needs to be ready to accept and use those resources (which they might not be mature enough to self-assess)
      • Creating a guideline with objective criteria would help move the conversation from personal impressions to a more transparent process of developing a community in a healthy way
  • Privilege (time, language, volunteering bias, status) leads to easier access
    • Every center has a margin, decentralisation can cause more marginalisation (example: Balkans), making it necessary to spend more effort on being inclusive - for example: when allocating resources, ensure that marginalized groups in society are not marginalized within the Wikimedia community
    • Ancient Greece democracy: the ones with the free time and luxury were able to focus on receiving more resources - it might therefore be necessary to support volunteers with resources in order to get them involved properly, e.g. compensation for board members who could not afford the time and money to take part otherwise

Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?[edit]

The way we allocate resources will become more equitable and fair, making sure that communities grow in a sustainable way without being under- or overwhelmed. This will in turn lead to communities being healthier, making money issues less dependent on who is in control of them.

Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?[edit]

Individuals, affiliates, communities and projects.

Q 4-1 Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?[edit]

One risk of these recommendations is that the support structures become too controlling in their aim at supporting and guiding the communities. Reducing privilege could also lead to currently privileged members of the community become demotivated if the change isn’t addressed properly.

Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?[edit]

The implementation period will take some time, especially when trying to take the risks mentioned above into account. The exact structures might need to differ from region to region due to local circumstances and it would be a good idea to include a trial & error period before settling on the exact structure and underlying processes. The aim here should be that everyone involved in the change feels heard and treated equally in order to raise the level of acceptance for these changes.

Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality?[edit]

Adding a community health dimension to the way we allocate resources.

Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?[edit]

Connected to recommendations by the Resource Allocation Working Group and also Capacity Building.

Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?[edit]

Resource Allocation, it’s in the title. Also capacity building, since the development of communities is strongly linked to community health and allocating funds. As mentioned in the 3rd point of Q2-2, there is a need for assessment as a form of guidance in order to not endanger the health of the community, and that community needs to be ready to accept and use the resources, and this links to capacity building.

Q 8 Do you have anything to add that was not covered with previous questions, yet essential for understanding the recommendation?[edit]

We need to do better.