Talk:Movement roles project/Chapters

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From consensus summary of 7 March: All in agreement that the names "chapters, partner, affiliates and associations" are often misleading, especially when translated. Proposals to change the names are being discussed and include:

For existing chapters: keep the name Chapter or use National Wikimedia Organisations or National and sub-national Wikimedia Organisations (see notes below)


  • Chapter does not translate in many languages, has a connotation of dependance towards an umbrella organisation, but has been in use for long enough that we may want to keep it.
  • National has a wide recognition in NGO world as following the political boundaries of a nation-state, but may be misleading in some languages/parts of the world as a nation can transcend borders in its primary definition.
  • Questions about the status of sub-national chapters is being raised and where they fit in this nomenclature. Keeping the name chapter and sub-national chapter is foreseen to avoid confusion about the status of such chapters as WMNYC and WMDC.

Bishdatta (talk) 13:41, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]


These rights have been raised by individuals participating in the Movement Roles process and in the New Models of Affiliation working group but are pending discussion:

  1. Coordination of Wikimedia movement work and messaging within a country.
  2. Eligibility to be considered for direct participation in site-banner fundraisers.
  3. Simplified access to grants, eligibility for longer-term infrastructure grants.
  4. Receiving in-kind support to build capacity and develop.
  5. Access to private communication channels with WMF and other chapters.
  6. Participation in annual conference of Wikimedia chapters.
Qs: Broaden this into annual conference of Wikimedia affiliates - which would mean including partners/focused organizations, associations/wiki groups, and affiliates/official partners?

Bishdatta (talk) 13:42, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Change of status[edit]

Comment: theoretically, yes, but do we envisage a chapter asking to become a partner or an association? If so, would this be by request of the chapter - or how? Bishdatta (talk) 13:39, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion pending[edit]

The following parameters still need discussion and fleshing out:

Minimum duties or obligations

Transparency and communication

Minimum requirements for recognition
(get from ChapCom)

Recognition document

Reporting requirements



Mentoring and support
Bishdatta (talk) 13:46, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

For minimum duties or obligations/reporting requirements: as a starting point, I would refer to the current Chapters Agreement: "8.1. The chapter shall supply a written activity and financial report in English at least once a year to the Foundation, within four months of each chapter year end." [1], possibly also Stu's guidelines[2], but I view those more as something to aspire than as something to get right from the get-go.

For recognition, the minimum requirements are actually set out by an old Board resolution: [3], we might take the opportunity to change it, but basically, the main requirements from Chapcom's perspective are:

  • A viable and active group of at least 20 people
  • The members originating from the Wikimedia community (not all of them, but at least the majority), and accepted by the relevant local community
  • The organisation being a membership organisation, a non-profit (where possible), with a mission supporting all WMF projects (possibly as part of a general support for free knowledge or free culture as the stated aim) in all languages. (If there is a very-very good reason, an exception might be made, but I don't know of any among the current chapters).

The recognition document is the WMF Board resolution (interim), supplanted by a chapters agreement with the WMF.

For mentoring and support, I guess we will have over time the Chapters Council, until then it is mostly peers (other chapters, often on an ad hoc basis, based on mutual acquaintances or linguistic ability) and to some degree Asaf at the WMF... --Bence (talk) 14:51, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks, that takes care of most of it. Discussion still pending on 'minimum duties' and 'withdrawal of recognition'. Bishdatta (talk) 15:44, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Relationship with overlapping entities[edit]

I think that from our previous discussion it is clear there is wide consensus that Wikimedia chapters are expected to play a coordinating role within their respective geographies, and this is a distinctive role they play among Wikimedia organizations. Shouldn't we add a line on this under "Relationship with overlapping entities"? --Galio (talk) 22:38, 18 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, checked the previous discussion at Overlaps within a region and have added this in. Bishdatta (talk) 15:53, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Feedback from Ting[edit]

Hello dear all,

at first thank you very much for put this all together. A few thoughts from me:

  1. To the topic Minimum duties or obligations
    • I basically agree with what Bence said here. A minimum of duty would be an annual activity report, it must not be sent to the Foundation. I would more prefer it being published, for example on meta.
    • Aside of the activity report I do also think that also part of the Accountability standard should be fulfilled. The reason for this is because of the right the chapters have: They can use "WM trademark use for most purposes within country of operation, including fundraising and publicity." Without a minimum standard of accountability this can really go wrong and hurt the movement (not only the Foundation, but also other chapters, our projects as a whole). So while not the whole set of the standard should be hold from the very beginning, at least as basic set should be implemented by all chapters, regardless how young they still are.
    • The following is a thought from me personally: I expressed it to the board a few times ago but so far I didn't got any resonance. Nevertheless I would like to express it here: I think the chapters should be obliged to actively work on the setting of our movement strategy and should work actively to help the movement to fulfill the strategy we all agreed upon. I learned this from our current strategic planning. There were big difference between the viewpoint of the chapters and the Foundation on if our strategic planning is only for the Foundation or for the whole movement. As Wikimedia chapters I think it is necessary that we all work together and concentrate our work. Personally I believe, that even those chapters who say that they are independent and have their own strategy, in the actual work they are working on the same goal as the Foundation. This makes it even more tragic because the whole debate was only about words, and not content. From the failure of the past I would like to set a clear wording for the future.
  2. To the point "Board and Membership"
    • I would like to stress the point that the chapters are membership bodies and that their board should be consisted of persons that disclosed their identity. Also that the members should be from the Wikimedia community. I think this point is vital.
  3. To the point "Mentoring and support"
    • Again expressing personal opinion. I think the Foundation should build up capacity to at least do the initial mentoring and support of a new chapter. Partnering with other chapters and peer support can supplement this, but given the right (which is quite big especially for a young and totally volunteer driven organization, which also means a very big responsibility) and the duties (which is also huge and time consuming) I believe support and mentoring from the Foundation is necessary.

--Wing (talk) 08:33, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Added in points 1,2,4,5. Point 2 related to chapters actively working on setting of movement strategy, and help the movement to fulfil the strategy. Does this qualify as a minimum duty? Also, in this context, please note this sentence from the German chapter's Wikimedia's Culture Of Sharing: "Any chapter should focus on developing and executing programs and projects that support our common global goals with local means." Sounds similar to the suggestion on chapters helping the movement to fulfil the strategy. Bishdatta (talk) 16:29, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Minimum Duties[edit]

There seems to be some overlap and confusion between this and Reporting Requirements. So this is what I have done: changed the term to Minimal Duties (removing Obligations). Added all above comments on this generally to Minimum Duties and specifically to Reporting Requirements.

Please see contribution on Minimal Duties from our earlier discussion. I have added in these points. We did not discuss it then, but maybe we can do so now? Bishdatta (talk) 15:59, 19 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Reporting requirements[edit]

Reporting is restricted to the core meaning of reports which is to look back. The activity report als well as the financial report are meant to give an overview about the last year and I don't believe that this requirement needs to be discussed. But what about the planning for the next year? Somehow it is necessary today, for example to get major grants or to play an active role in the fundraiser. It is one of the bullet points in the transparency paragraph of Audit committee/Draft Accountability standards, but if it's something mandatory for chapters, shouldn't it be included here? --lyzzy (talk) 19:58, 21 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Good point - added in. Is this the one you meant though?Bishdatta (talk) 11:27, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, it is. --lyzzy (talk) 12:04, 22 March 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Withdrawal of recognition[edit]

See discussion here