Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Resource Allocation/Recommendations/C
I think that this is perhaps the most controversial recommendation in the entire package, and deserves very careful discussion. On the one hand, a different working group is recommending maximum decentralization down from the WMF to the affiliates. There is a recommendation for great a greater paid staff role for advising the affiliates on fundraising and facilitating affiliate discussions. The Diversity task force has recommended quota on the decision makers at every level of the movement. All of this adds up to placing a great deal of additional responsibility and burdens on the movement's volunteers. Now this recommendation is suggesting that because economic circumstances, much of the world's population is not in a position to devote extensive time to volunteer roles. In history, many of the curators of knowledge were monks, and the movement has asked its content creators to make similar sacrifices.
The Working Groups were not asked to put a price tag on each recommendation, but it seems to me that the Roles and Responsibilities recommendation will already add to the expenditures at the affiliate levels. This recommendation would potentially be far more expensive. There is not enough money in the current WMF budget to fully compensate everyone for their volunteer time. Perhaps instead of a compensation structure, the WMF could adopt a financial bonus plan: honoraria for all contributors who reach a certain number of edits or a certain number of featured articles.
There are already tensions and friction between volunteers and paid WMF staff, and any organization with both volunteers and paid workers experience similar problems. The rationale for the existing paid staff is that certain roles require full time attention for work that cannot be performed by volunteers. This recommendation would change that key test to creating paid roles for volunteer tasks just because a set of volunteers (or potential volunteers) are in tight economic circumstances. That change would fundamentally alter the nature of the organization. There is no career path for wiki editing.
If there is some knowledge gap, local universities have already created established career paths to full those gaps and the WMF could solicit applicants for short term grants to fill specific needs. Perhaps the Working Group could give further consideration to these suggestions. Hlevy2 (talk) 11:01, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Volunteerism and Privilege
I appreciate this recommendation for calling out the inherent privilege in volunteerism. I would like to point out another perspective, as a member of the working group capacity building: If we want to walk the talk of the strategic direction, we will need to grow the movement, and build the capacity to do so. Working on content is one thing to do in one's limited volunteer time, but organizing events, fundraising, developing a user group or a chapter, political advocacy, etc etc are all functions needed to grow our movement and allowing more people to join. We cannot expect volunteers to do these alone, people who have to chose between activism and putting food on the table. Therefore, our working group has discussed the need to allocate resources towards recognizing/reimbursing volunteers as well. See our recommendation here.--Nicola Zeuner (WMDE) (talk) 10:09, 14 August 2019 (UTC)