Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Transition/Discuss/Cluster E
This page contains a summary of discussions from the Movement Strategy 5-6 December Global Conversations regarding the implementation of the initiatives: 2. Funding for underrepresented communities. Feel free to continue the conversation on Meta by adding your thoughts and comments in the talk page.
Join the follow-up event
The Follow up event for discussing the implementation of the Funding for underrepresented communities initiative will take place on Friday, January 29, between 14:00 to 16:00 UTC (the link to join will be posted later). If you would like to join the event, kindly sign your name below:
Round 1 Key actions (full notes on Etherpad):
- Proactively reach out to underrepresented communities. We need to define what we mean by "underrepresented": is it about online or offline activities? One example that has been shared was about the differences between the Korean and Japanese communities. The term "underrepresented" has a broader application, though. It's not always connected to money, as some relatively rich countries are not well represented on Wikimedia - so we need to recognize other barriers as well.
- Address legal/bureaucratic barriers to transferring funding abroad. Funding is important, but it should be provided along with resources, support and information. Underrepresented communities need more of a roadmap and more scaffolding to enable them to access funding. There are also a lot of interdependencies between this initiative and some others, including 32. Leadership development and 34. Facilitate a culture of documentation.
- Create a toolkit for getting started in community building, to support grassroots activities. We need to recognize the intersectionality in underrepresentation. A language community may be underrepresented, but so is the blind community, LGBT+, etc. Implementation needs to acknowledge this.
- A clear definition of underrepresented is needed.
- Money is important, but is not the only factor. Resources, support and information are also important. Underrepresented communities need more of a roadmap and more scaffolding to enable them to access funding.
- Underrepresentation is intersectional: e.g. various languages, the LGBT+, and blind communities across the projects and movement.
Round 2 Key actions (full notes on Etherpad):
- Address legal barriers to transferring funds, by supporting communities where regulations do not allow certain international exchanges.
- Support and capacity building for affiliates to be able to obtain and manage resources.
- A global fundraising policy with the freedom to fundraise. Hubs can be a good way to coordinate fundraising for communities (and/or countries) in regional proximity, and to prevent multiple non-profits from competing with each other.
- Assistance from well-resources affiliates, either to directly apply for funding or to pledge financial resources to underrepresented groups.
- Compensation for individuals for non-editing work.
Round 1 Key actions (full notes on Etherpad):
- The Foundation needs to evaluate the underrepresented communities individually, in order to figure out what the communities need exactly (each community is unique and the needs might be difficult).
- Identify other resources needed and which of them can be provided through hubs. For example: computers, internet, staff time.
- Improve content for, and by, underrepresented communities. This step links to skill development as well.
Round 2 Key actions (full notes on Etherpad):
- Create a simple list of needs that communities can fill up to request support.
- Policy: make sure all the rules to obtain funding are the same for everybody.
- Provide Compensation for time, as well as money, to build Wikimedia communities.
- Dedicate funds for new affiliates (similar to start-up funds).
- Put together a fundraising agreement with a focus to empower underrepresented communities to locally fundraise.
- Proactively reach out to underrepresented communities, making space for them on governance boards.
The rich input from the December Global Conversations, in addition to feedback from other discussions has been further organized by the Support Team into a more coherent template. The objective of this template is to clarify the proposals that have already emerged in the discussions, and to serve as a basis to continue the conversation around the implementation of the Movement Strategy recommendations. The eventual goal is to develop it into a “draft implementation plan” that will be presented to the whole movement and the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in February 2021. The current template is put forward to serve as the baseline for the upcoming follow-up discussions in January.
The information below has been directly taken from the minutes of the Global Conversations and occasionally edited or rephrased for clarity, so it is not necessarily verbatim.
Defining the scope
- We need to define what we mean by “underrepresented”. Some communities can have smaller activities offline than online or vice versa - which one is it about?
- Implementation needs to recognise the intersectionality in underrepresentation. So a language community may be underrepresented but so to is the blind community, LGBT+ etc.
- Freedom to fundraise is closely tied to funding - reference to initiative 4.
Who should be involved
- All of us: WMF (grants), affiliates, communities, partners (e.g. to provide Internet connection, archives, museums for digitalization).
- Take proactive steps to call in people from underrepresented groups, including: LGBT+, women. Africa, newbies, etc.
- Focus on contributor communities rather than readers (too many).
- Regional hubs to have a part to play in this process WMF Community grants strategy needs engagement from regional hubs.
- Larger, well-resourced affiliates to adopt a community, supply both funding support and personnel support wth reporting and budgeting etc.
- Fair equitable system, not grounded in existing connections.
- Introducing emerging communities to funders and give them the opportunity to build capacity around fund management.
Immediate steps for the next 18 months
- Put together a definition of an “underrepresented community”.
- Identify underrepresented communities that need funding.
- The Foundation needs to evaluate the Underrepresented communities individually, in order to figure out what the communities need exactly.
- Support local fundraising activities for the underrepresented communities.
- Identify and understand the barriers to funding particular communities, including:
- Country policies, donor schemes, monetary reporting & requirements, e.g. Russia/US
- Existing legal issues or obstacles to the flow of funds to the underrepresented communities.
- Help local communities from countries where receiving foreign funds isn’t allowed.
- Establish a committee who can work on: educating/assisting underrepresented communities and solving such issues.
- Start meeting to connect people in underrepresented communities worldwide.
- Conduct research by the Foundation or chapters to find out the models of underrepresented people, and how to best include them in the movement.
- Proactive outreach to underrepresented communities:
- Look out for those communities who haven't received fundings and identify active members. Many contributors have been around for years without knowing they could apply for grants.
- Establish a policy that larger affiliates do not compete for funding with affiliates in their own region/country/community.
- Well-resourced affiliates may assist such groups apply for funding, and/or pledge financial support to underrepresented groups.
- Reinstate and enforce resource allocation mechanisms to provide fair, equitable funding at the necessary scale.
- Global Resource Allocation solutions: expanding the FDC / Simple Grants / individual teams.
- - Create a toolkit for getting started in community building, to support grassroots activities
- Identify what the funding is for by creating categories for funding and the different needs of different types of project.
- All of our ideas must be very radical. While we invest in underrepresented communities a high risk of failure should be acknowledged.
- Recognise the need to fund individuals for non-editing work, such as fundraising, outreach.
- Recognise that fixed funding cycles do not always suit emerging community needs where momentum and opportunities must be seized when they arise.
- Also recognise timing varies in different regions/communities/seasons/religious festivals/government election cycles.
Needs for resources and support
- There should be a neutral team to support the new and underrepresented contributors.
- There is a need for a “roadmap” for new affiliates who have applied for APG, sAPGs: through a committee with volunteers and WMF staff.
- Documentation and shared learning: Even though things are documented on MetaWiki, people still need to find them.
- Funding is important but it's about lots more than that resources, support, information.
- We need ways to avoid the discouragement that comes from guessing how to apply for funds, and time/energy/good will be lost.
- There need to be stipends for people who put in non-editing work.
- Need for a "special" grant systems dedicated to certain topics
- Equipment with technological material, kiwix, etc.
- Internet connection and the material needed (computer, wifi, room).
- Provide funding to very new affiliate groups like the start-up funds.
- Support with technical difficulties need for fiscal sponsorship, transferring assets to difficult parts of the world
- It will be important to not assume that people in emerging communities have as much time for volunteering as people in the global north.
- Communities need significant support to start new projects: it is usually very difficult in the starting point because new communities don't know the full roadmap from the incubator stage to a functional Wikiproject.
- We need Checklists and operational structures to make it much much easier for anyone outside of WMF decision makers to start and build a user group, with guidance and support from AffCom.
- Need for a person to help navigate all the barriers to participation, to help write funding proposals correctly and to help communities avoid wasting time or resources.
Interested communities and affiliates
Based on local, regional, and thematic priorities (please see table and map):
WM Morocco, Santali UG, WMDE - community, WM Norway, WM Argentina, WM Algeria, UG Côte d'Ivoire, UG Cameroon, Sudan UG, San Diego, West Bengal, Malaysia, WM Indonesia, WM Tanzania, Celtic Knot, Wikimedians in Residence Exchange Network, Myanmar, Uganda UG, Arabic-speaking community
Interested in implementation
Sign below (in whatever capacity or affiliation you like) if you are interested in contributing to the implementation of this cluster: