Movement Strategy/Recommendations/Feedback from Wikimedia Ukraine

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Wikimedia Ukraine strategy session
Wikimedia Ukraine strategy session
Wikimedia Ukraine strategy session
Wikimedia Ukraine strategy session

On February 22nd, Wikimedia Ukraine held a strategy session for its members and other Ukrainian volunteers. Movement Strategy Recommendations were among the questions discussed, and, after diving into the text of recommendations, participants were asked to provide feedback to each recommendation.

The feedback provided is outlined here in a synthesized form: several points of feedback for each of the 13 recommendations.

Please note that these points of feedback are opinions of several Wikimedia Ukraine volunteers, not an official position of the organization. Every point should be understood with a preface “Some Wikimedia Ukraine volunteers noted that...” when a similar one is not present.

General Feedback

  • Overall, some participants of the strategy session reiterated the general concern that strategy recommendations are written in a broad & sometimes hardly understandable language, and there are no full translations of the recommendations’ full text.

Promote Sustainability and Resilience

  • Hiring dedicated local staff will sufficiently increase the quality of Wikimedia projects’ promotion and support.

Create Cultural Change for Inclusive Communities

  • Improving the atmospheres within the community will help attract more volunteers
  • There will be fewer quarrels as conflict resolution algorithms will be created
  • Even though some Wikimedia Ukraine members are worried about double standards, others agree that the community lacks friendliness now

Improve User Experience

  • Improving user experience will help increase the community of volunteers
  • There is a risk of lower entry threshold for vandals

Provide for Safety and Security

  • There is a need for designing the ways of protecting volunteers from the people they write about
  • There is a necessity for the support groups for volunteers to avoid burnouts, as well as for psychological discharge training among volunteers
  • Some participants are wondering how situations will be resolved if the community is against blocking users for bullying

Ensure Equity in Decision-Making

A general view of the participants was that the mechanism of transferring power to regional structures is good in theory but insufficiently defined, which causes some confusions at this stage (e.g. some neighboring countries are at war with one another, and it is unclear how the regional structure will operate & whether it will not cause a risk of reducing the autonomy of some communities). So, the participants were hoping that the design of this proposal would be defined more clearly in the future.

Foster and Develop Distributed Leadership

  • Many Ukrainian Wikimedians agree that fostering local leadership will result in expanding the community
  • Local hard-to-reach communities could abuse their authority
  • A few participants stressed on the importance of the consolidated plan of implementing this recommendation

Invest in Skills Development

  • Mentorship should be flexible enough to implement it in different regions and should not be overly bureaucratized
  • Many participants spoke in favor of holding more offline training for volunteers

Manage Internal Knowledge

  • It is important to avoid excessive bureaucratization & regulation when developing a knowledge-base system.
  • There is a risk that the knowledge-base system will not be multi-lingual (e.g. the Ukrainian language will be left out).

Coordinate Across Stakeholders

  • This initiative will be helpful in preserving community resources.
  • The concept of stakeholders, particularly when related to third parties, is not sufficiently defined.
  • This initiative can potentially create complications (unnecessary centralization/bureaucratization) if it is not though through properly.

Prioritize Topics for Impact

  • Implementing this recommendation might help increase the number of visitors and potential contributors.
  • There is a question about compatibility with notability criteria.
  • There is a need for creating a clear mechanism of prioritizing topics.
  • Information about priorities by itself does not lead to increasing motivation of volunteers to work on these topics.

Innovate in Free Knowledge

  • We need to pay attention to engaging people with disabilities in Wikimedia projects & providing for their socializing.
  • It is important not to overuse the “tricks” of commercial platforms (e.g. excessive gamification).

Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt

  • It would be great to have a database of all “best” projects implemented by affiliates.
  • There is a risk that national peculiarities will not be taken into account sufficiently.

Plan Infrastructure Scalability

  • Increasing developers' awareness of community needs & users' awareness of the existing tools is a positive development.
  • If not designed properly, engaging third-party developers poses a potential threat.