Recommendation A: Common Framework of Principles for Resource Allocation
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
Summary: the movement will agree on a set of principles that will form a framework that steers the resource allocation based on the identified needs. The goals need to be flexible enough to work in a global and diverse movement and the impact will be evaluated through the lens of the strategic direction.
Recommended set of principles
These principles apply to actors who intend to have access to the resources. All of them. All the time.
- All resources will be allocated through the lens of equity - they will aim to restore equity. We understand equity to be about Opportunities (e.g. access to systems and resources), Power (e.g. ability to make decisions about resources, ability to change culture) and Outcomes.
- Anyone who joins the movement agrees to participate in the generation and allocation of resources.
- Resource allocation will be allocated to continue to generate movement resources and sustain our movement.
- All resources acquired, raised or accessed in the course of working for the movement are movement resources and can be allocated.
- Resources will be allocated in alignment with collectively decided global priorities and the Strategic direction.
- Resource allocation will allow for regional and local autonomy to implement global priorities.
- Our model will take into account the specific contexts of recipients and actors when allocating resources.
- All resources recipients will be held accountable against a set of criteria, these will include:
- Alignment with the Wikimedia vision and strategic direction
- Compliance and good standing with local laws and regulations
- Any explicit accountability criteria set by the relevant allocation resource body, including sanctions and penalties for non compliance.
- Any explicit goals around diversity/inclusion developed by other working groups, including:
- Striving demonstrably towards diversity and inclusion in their groups and leadership within a reasonable period of time
- The movement will have to develop an evaluation framework that will allow to measure all actors' impact. This evaluation framework will be developed to be transparent and agreed upon and will be adaptive and flexible to be contextually relevant.
- Resource allocation will be spread across and within projects, programs, geographies and other dimensions in order to cultivate a diverse set of opportunities for impact, to support innovative ideas, and to sustain diverse communities. Priority will always be given to those focused on underrepresented groups/knowledge, minorities and/or the Global South.
- Resources will be allocated to support not just the creation of free knowledge, but also the consumption and distribution of free knowledge, including by proactively engaging and empowering communities that have been left out of our projects.
- Resources will be allocated to preserve the conditions for free knowledge, improve them if we can, and control damages when we can’t, including advocating for policies and defending against actors that imperil open knowledge sharing and creation and preserving endangered knowledge.
this includes looking for new voices and incorporating them in deciding the global priorities.
comments from WK
- when there isn’t an abundance of resources, should the principles be explicit in prioritising global south
- decentralisation missing from this?
- what will be different to now in terms of reporting and evaluation?
- careful about mandatory accountability criteria, this could be weaponised against groups out of power
Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
- The movement is able (and willing) to reallocate resources as needed between movement actors
- There is a global analysis of where the gaps and inequities are
- There is a structure and process for generating collective movement global priorities
- There is a common understanding of what resources are
- There is clarity on who is assigning the resources, and who is in charge of holding entities accountable for the use of resources
- We will be in a context of abundance of resources (this might need further focus and different principles in a world of scarcity)
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?
In our global movement, resource allocation decisions will be made across many people, levels, places, and domains. In order for us to leverage these resources to move toward our strategic direction, mission, and vision, the movement needs a common direction and shared understanding of how resources should be allocated, to whom, and for what purpose. A framework of principles will help guide decision making at all levels to help us as a movement work toward a common direction.
While the specific principles are up for discussion, our goal is to build an equitable resource allocation system that is designed to generate the largest possible impact on our mission, balance local autonomy with alignment of movement priorities, design to include and serve communities who have been left out of our projects, and create conditions where free knowledge will thrive in the world.
We recognize that our vision can be achieved in many different ways, and at very different levels. However, historically, we have approached the vision in a very unbalanced way, using the easiest paths, the most readily available resources. While all that has been done today actually brings us closer to attaining our vision, it does not do so in a balanced way. We could tackle each knowledge, each language at a time, but at no point would we then represent the world we are trying to serve. We need to fix this imbalance and resource allocation needs to work to fix this unbalance by redistributing our attention to integrate the broadest possible array of available knowledge.
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
- It will support more equitable decision making for resource allocation.
- It will make priorities as it relates to resource allocation clearer for everyone
- It will be clearer why resource allocation decisions are made.
- This will promote mutual accountability by all who receive resources within the movement
- This will increase the resource pool of the movement.
- There will be equitable distribution of resources within the movement, killing the promotion of inequities.
What will change or shift:
- Understanding of different contexts need to take place.
- Reduce inequity
- Increase and focus global impact
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
User groups, chapters, WMF, external partners, people getting into the movement or interacting with the movement.
Q 4-1 Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?
- If the principles framework is too limited it can stifle innovation.
- Attempts to game the system - reinterpret the principles
- Poorly phrased goals can lead to people not organizing for impact but for goal fulfillment.
- Resource allocation would never happen along those lines if we don't have exact and clear priorities
- People disagreeing with the global goals and leaving the movement (bye!)
Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?
- Possibility to appeal through an Ombudsman.
- Seek wide approval by allocating resources to educate what it is about.
- Allocate resources to be able to frequently revisit goals and evaluate the effect they have had.
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality? Does it keep something, change something, stop something, or add something new?
There isn’t currently a common framework of principles for resource allocation across the movement. This framework would be the first time, as well as we’d have to agree to this framework.
Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation depend on another of your Recommendations?
No, this does not depend on another one of our recommendations. Our recommendations could be implemented separately or together.
Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions?
It relates to scoping question 2, 3, 4.
Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
- Roles and Responsibilities: included as one of the potential principles, is a collectively defined set of global priorities. Roles and Responsibilities would need to design for a structure that can set these global priorities.