Talk:Chapters Committee/Chapter assessment

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Thanks for taking the initiative to put this together. This is an important gap in the chapter framework. The assessment framework can serve both as a set of shared expectations on the minimum standards for continuity of a chapter and as a relatively simple way to assess whether a chapter remains viable. A few thoughts:

  1. The three basic areas that are currently covered represent an absolute minimum set of requirements and I do wonder if it sets the bar too low or maybe there should be another level of criteria for a "healthy" chapter that would include some measures of their program activities, the existence of a stable membership base in their geography (that meets a minimum per capita threshold that would indicate strength), a measure of the legitimacy of the chapter in the eyes of the local editor community (measurable via annual editor surveys), etc.--Bnewstead 22:45, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    please do edit! It was but a beginning. :) (just saw your comment as I had already added a bunch of stuff). This said I am a bit reluctant to add "legitimacy" through a survey of the local editor community. I think % of members that are also "active on the projects" might be a better criteria than a survey that can really be highjacked by anyone(s) with a tooth against the chapter (and there are people like this :)). In any case, this needs to be refined. notafish }<';> 23:41, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
  2. The point on reporting should really be oriented toward the movement rather than regulatory authorities (though regulatory requirements need to be met). Chapters should have a minimum responsibility to maintain a transparency with the movement (note: chapter agreement already requires reporting). This should include: an annual report, an annual financial report (audited once a chapter reaches a certain size threshold), event reports/blogs on activities, program plans for coming year, board meeting minutes and resolutions.--Bnewstead 22:45, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, and no to it being directed at the movement. While the movement could ask for "more info" from a chapter, the first step should really be towards authorities. If a chapter fails to do that, the chances that it will report to the movement are like... nihil. I guess we could decide on a first year with a somewhat minimum report, and add requirements as the chapter grows. Of course this will also take some assessment of "legal" requirements in reporting (mst are: activities and financial anyway) to see if that is enough to give a good overview of the chapter's development. notafish }<';> 23:41, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    I agree with Barry that reporting requirements should be orientated towards the movement and not tied directly to local laws. One of the more frustrating experiences during the application process was receiving guidance/questions from the movement regarding the legal/regulatory aspect of being a registered non-profit in Canada. I don't believe it is effective for the movement to be attempting to enforce/question the compliance of a chapter with its local laws, but treat the chapter as an entity and define what the movement expects from it. While legal compliance should be encouraged, I don't believe it is the Wikimedia Foundation's role to be involved in this test, but a role for local government and courts. Having said that, I know we are seeking to have our annual financial reporting requirements to the Wikimedia Foundation align with those of our tax authority. 02:46, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
    Alan, I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing here. You're talking of a time "before approval", we're working on a time "after approval". I am not advocating that the Wikimedia movement should be looking into enforcing the compliance of a chapter with its local laws in their bylaws (taht happens "before" the approval, and my experience proves that it is important to question things so that people look into the law and make sure they comply). Here we are talking about reporting once a chapter is approved. The way it works (and unless I am mistaken, this is the case for every single chapter so far) chapters are compelled by their local laws to do some kind of activity and financial reporting for local authorities. This first level of reporting should be one of the criteria to assess the activities and financial health of a chapter. The question here is more, what "other" or "subsequent" requirements can/should the movement ask of a chapter in terms of reporting. notafish }<';> 12:44, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
  3. The idea of a chapter peer assessment body has been raised in the movement roles process. See Movement Roles charter accountabilities section. This would be a good way to create a self-regulatory system within the chapter community. One could also imagine ChapCom's role being adjusted to take on some of this work, though I think it is useful for the assessment body to be seen as a committee of peers. --Bnewstead 22:45, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
    What do you mean by a committee of peers in that context? notafish }<';> 23:41, 17 June 2011 (UTC)