Recommendation H (principles): Allocate resources to new types of partners/organisations (essential infrastructure of the free knowledge ecosystem)
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
We will allocate resources to groups outside of Wikimedia contributors and Wikimedia affiliates – so that “anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us. The Strategic direction makes it clear that we must be able to allocate resources in a way that allows us to become the ‘essential infrastructure’ of the ecosystem of free knowledge. This ecosystem includes many parts which may be entities or activities with no immediate connection to Wikimedia projects.
We will allocate resources to support effective partnerships. This includes resourcing the exchange of technical tools, documentation, and capacity building with partners.
Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
- That Wikimedia is one of the most financially stable/secure and flexible organisations in the free knowledge movement and is able to support others.
- That there are many other organisations doing activities that we are not doing (and not planning to do), but that we think are important.
- That not everything in the free knowledge ecosystem can/should ‘live’ on a Wikimedia website or be ‘owned’ by Wikimedia participants/volunteers/staff/affiliates.
- That Wikimedia will benefit and become stronger from partnering with organizations that will teach us, share with us their expertise, knowledge and capacity.
- That the amount of available resources, will continue to grow and that therefore the potential to provide resources to “external” organisations will not come at the expense of “internal” activities - but rather be a complement and addition to them.
From Community Conversations:
- New Voices research: “Collaboration with local content providers will also greatly enhance quality of content in emerging markets”. “The movement should consider partnerships to help a) expand digital access and literacy, and b) to improve the accessibility of its content”
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?
- We are addressing the fact that not all knowledge is held by people and communities who will become deeply engaged with Wikimedia. Because not everyone can "become Wikimedia", or even be "affilaited" with Wikimedia along existing or future lines of affiliation, we want to make sure that we engage in exchanges with communities, entities, institutions - partners that will help us achieve our mission.
- We are meant to be supporting the whole knowledge ecosystem. This means providing a service to support partner organisations whose work, values, visions, complement and enrich our vision.
- We need to support places ‘outside of Wikimedia projects’ that hold knowledge and that people are accessing.
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
- It will be clearer and easier for external partners to get resources.
- The WIkimedia movement will be more attuned to its partners' challenges, questions, values and that will push the movement to change its own approach to the mission.
Partnership tools (e.g. GLAM tools) will be well supported.
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
- External partners
- Wikimedia as a whole
Q 4-1 Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?
- Wikimedia's interaction with partners may affect their existing dynamics, upsetting the nature the partners and their work.
- If not implemented correctly, there might be an impact on internal engagement because people may fear that resources going to external partners are diverted from existing Wikimedia movement players.
Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?
Perhaps that’s simply the risk we are happy to take, given the new strategic direction.
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality?
It builds on the current situation, making it clearer to potential partner organisations why we’d want to work with them/resource them. It calls on more resources for supporting partnerships.
Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?
How we fund partners will depend on our principles, and how the decision making will be done – it cuts across most of our other recommendations.
Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how?
It addresses question 5. Who should be the recipients of resources? How do we determine the boundaries, who or what is included? Would the rules be different for Wikimedia movement vs entities/communities from broader ecosystem of Free Knowledge?
Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
Q 8 Do you have anything to add that was not covered with previous questions, yet essential for understanding the recommendation?
The group is discussing whether this should be folded into other existing recommendations (the discussion below; would like to keep a record of it for now)