Draft 3 of the Movement Strategy recommendations published
The third iteration of the recommendations - 13 consolidated from 89 - was published in January 2020 alongside 13 underlying principles, a narrative of change weaving the recommendations together, and a glossary of key terms. The publication kicked off a new round of conversations with the Movement, the final one for phase two of Movement Strategy. Wikimedians from across the globe were encouraged to review the recommendations, reflect on what the ideas for change would mean in their context or project, and provide feedback to help refine and finalize the principles and the recommendations.
To facilitate this, translations were provided in 12 languages for various versions of the content. Audio and video narration were also provided. Conversations largely took place on wiki, in person at various events, via email outreach, on calls with affiliates, regions, and thematic structures, on social media channels, and via messaging apps. A number of Wikimedia affiliates and strategy enthusiasts held local and regional events (over 40 of them). Some affiliates also supported others - like smaller and newer affiliates - in hosting strategy discussions. For the first time in phase two, there were no work or processes happening simultaneously, and this allowed the core team, strategy liaisons, and writers to engage with communities, respond to questions, acknowledge input, and be able to collate and synthesize information for the finalization of the recommendations.
Aware of the need to be more present in online discussions, the core team also worked with the strategy community liaisons, writers, reviewers, and staff and board members of affiliates and the Wikimedia Foundation to undertake outreach and support strategy conversations.
Each recommendation on Meta-Wiki was accompanied by summaries and highlights of community input from the previous year, input from different language communities and thematic groups, and needs surfaced in discussions that had shaped the 13 recommendations. Footnotes had been added throughout the recommendations to reference the original source content as well as research, other community input, and materials from phase one of Movement Strategy that had influenced the ideas.
People were generally supportive of improving user experience, better coordination and knowledge management, having more diverse representation in Movement structures, equity in generation and distribution of resources, power-sharing, increasing skills development, and working more closely with volunteers to address their diverse needs and recognize their contributions. A lot of feedback was received to help improve the language in the recommendations and to make the ideas more concise, clear, and explicit.
Overall, concerns were shared around implementation being done in a top-down fashion, interference with project and community self-management, influence over volunteer autonomy, the cost and impact of various initiatives in the recommendations, and other processes taking place simultaneously in the Movement, namely the discussions around the universal code of conduct, the development of API, and rebranding Wikimedia.
Community conversations closed in late February 2020. In early March, the core team published a report summarizing the feedback received and indicated areas where communities had expressed support and those that had led to debate or required further discussion. The summary along with a more detailed table, demonstrated the richness of experience and expertise, and the diversity of interests, opinions, and priorities in the Movement. This great wealth of input would help to refine and finalize the recommendations.
What we learned
- When consulting with the Movement on such a scale and for a significant purpose (i.e. the finalization of the recommendations), it helped to have the full attention and focus of the core team without other major processes or events happening at the same time.
- The language used in the recommendations must be clear, concise, and explicit so that it is understandable and translatable. Furthermore, having the full recommendations document translated, rather than just condensed versions, would have improved user experience and community engagement.
- Multiple translations, varying lengths and summaries of the document, and supporting materials (such as presentation slide decks, PDFs, videos, and audio clips) were essential to help make the content more accessible and to allow for wider engagement.