Wikimedia Deutschland/Data Partnerships Model/Partners

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 Main page Executive Summary Background Purpose Partners The Phases of Data Partnerships Data Partnerships Scenarios Decision-Making Conclusion 

Wikimedia Deutschland strives to work with partners from a diversity of knowledge sectors and disciplines, including GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums), science, civil society, government and commercial sectors. We work with partners from all over the world, particularly Europe and the United States of America. Potential partners include institutions, nonprofit organizations, volunteer projects and for-profit corporations. Additionally, we may partner with groups of organizations through the formation of networks or multi-stakeholder consortia. Each partner or group of partners comes with a different set of ideas, needs, assets and capacities. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. While we have a number of formal partnership scenarios we consider any organization we talk to with a shared interest in Wikidata and/or Wikibase a partner.

The most common types of partners we currently work with are:

The bulk of our recent partners have been organizations from the GLAM sector, as well as a number of scientific and research institutions and projects. Thus far, we have not had many partnerships with for-profit corporations and civil society organizations. In particular, the potential offered by Linked Open Data to civil-society organizations working in human rights, environmental protection and peace building has been left largely untapped.

Partnership requests typically come from partners themselves. Only rarely does Wikimedia Deutschland proactively seek out organizations or projects that could benefit from open data tools, or whose data assets could potentially be shared more broadly with the world. Over the longer term we are interested in adopting a more proactive approach in this area. A better understanding of our role, partner culture and our own capacity, as well as the resources required to work with partners, may help us to make more informed choices when researching and choosing partners from a larger diversity of sectors.

We can place the various types of partners on a graph whose axes are “resource input” and “expected impact.” Resource input refers to the amount of effort required from Wikimedia Deutschland, and expected impact expresses the combined expected outcomes of the collaboration. Although this is not a scientific method of mapping partnerships it offers a common reference point from which to begin discussing partnership requests and to revisit the accuracy of our expectations post-project.

Whilst we have not developed a comprehensive “theory of change”, we do hope that as a result of working with us partners undergo organizational and cultural change. Thus our partners can blaze a trail for others and become champions for Linked Open Data and free knowledge in their respective fields.