Wikimedia Eesti/Strategy/Strategy 2015
The main goal of Wikimedia Eesti is to support the collection, preservation and distribution of educational, scientific, cultural and historical data available under a free license, especially in Estonian and Võro languages and make more freely licensed information available about Estonia in other languages.
In order to achieve these goals, Wikimedia Eesti is engaged in following activities according to its bylaws:
- Collecting and using financial and material assets;
- Organising lectures, courses and seminars promoting the activity, goals and projects of the NPO and distribution and production of information in electronic, printed or other forms;
- Organising competitions that promote the goals of the NPO and award the winners;
- Paying out scholarships;
- Employing technical and/or administrative personnel.
Current state of the chapter
Analysis of internal environment
- Human resources - Until October 2013, the activities of Wikimedia Eesti were based on the voluntary work of a limited number of active volunteers with restricted time resources. Wider involvement of volunteers has been a significant problem for the chapter, as achieving this requires significant amount of time (which introduces a vicious circle). The first employees hired in October 2013 have helped us restructure the use of human resources, but further actions related to the human resource structure and the involvement of volunteers are necessary.
- Financial resources - The general state of financial resources is good and no planned project has been cancelled due to a lack of financial resources. Financial resources have mainly been contributed by Wikimedia Foundation, but funding from local governmental sources also plays an important part. Financing has been project-based and involvement of the private sector has been relatively low, which has resulted in a lack of financial reserves for the chapter.
- Communication - Communication takes place on the local as well as the international level. Active communication between the board and the employees is an important strength of the NPO. Although non-board members of the organisation as well as the Wikimedia community have been somewhat engaged, they could be encouraged to speak out more.
- Strategy - The general mission of the NPO is stated in the bylaws. There is also a document listing the development principles of the organisation. Each year, a budget and an agenda are created for the following financial year. These documents are subject to internal discussion inside the organisation. A strategy work group has been created for improved strategic planning.
Analysis of the external environment
- Legal environment - The legal environment entails local and international laws and their effect on the organisation and as well on Wikipedia and free knowledge in general. In general, the legal environment in Estonia is beneficial for the development of free culture, even though there are some problems and uncharted areas.
- State - The interests of the state in developing cultural and educational sectors are an important factor influencing the chapter. At the moment, the state is generally supportive towards the activities of Wikimedia Eesti and there is a developing collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Research.
- Wikimedia Foundation - Activities of the local chapter are deeply influenced by the strategic plan, vision and goals of the international parent organisation. So far, the relationship with Wikimedia Foundation has been good: WIkimedia Eesti has followed the strategic priorities of Wikimedia Foundation and all grant applications of the chapter have been approved. Wikimedia Eesti will continue following the priorities and guidelines of Wikimedia Foundation in its activity and strategic planning.
- Public reputation - Public reputation of both Wikipedia and Wikimedia Eesti influences the activities and possibilities of the organisation. Although no social survey has not yet been conducted in Estonia, it seems that the general attitude towards Wikipedia and Wikimedia Eesti is positive and supportive of the activities of the organisation.
- Partners - Collaboration with different cultural institutions and volunteers makes improving Wikimedia content easier and also helps us to communicate the idea of free knowledge. So far, collaboration has been project-based, but there have been some more extended agreements.
- Individuals - The activities of individuals create the content of Wikimedia projects, which is the main target of the activities of the organisation. We have tried to motivate current contributors and also looked for and supported new editors. These activities should be continued.
- Strenghts - Wikimedia Eesti is an internally well-structured organisation and its activities are nationwide. People engaged in the activities of the organisation are skillful, well-educated and have experience in the non-profit sector. Members of the organisation have good contacts related to the field of activity of the NPO, which supports the creation and sustaining of partnerships.
- Weaknesses - The number of active members in the organisation is low and as they work on a voluntary basis, the coordination of their activities is somewhat complex. The activities of the organisation have a nationwide reach, which results in problems in internal and external communication. The technological competence of the active members of the organisation is rather low.
- Opportunities - In Estonia, information technology has an important role and the whole country is well connected to the Internet, which supports internet-based acquisition of knowledge. This is a solid ground for a good reputation of Wikimedia Eesti, as well as Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. It also provides opportunities for engaging people in our activities. Wikimedia Eesti is part of a strong and large international community, which facilitates the creation of partnerships and import of competence and know-how.
- Threats - One of the main threats for the organisation is the small local population of Estonia, which results in active competition for competent human resources. This may bring about a situation where further inclusion of new active volunteers may be difficult. There is also a possible threat related to partnerships, namely the loss of interest in free culture projects, which may result in termination of partnership projects.
- Controlled growth - In spite of the fact that Wikimedia Eesti has lately grown in terms of financial and human resources, this growth has been controlled and arisen from the demand for stronger programmatic influence. Wikimedia Eesti has gone through a process of professionalisation; next year no new employees will be hired for administrative purposes and there is no further plan of restructuring current positions. Nevertheless, there are some positions to be filled related to our programmes, which will be funded from external sources (i.e. not from the grants of Wikimedia Foundation). The executive director hired in July 2014 will conduct the recruitment of new volunteers and hopefully the creation of a structure of volunteers will help the organisation to continue its growth without a need for further significant financial investments.
- Structuring activities - Through the years of its activity, Wikimedia Eesti has conducted various projects in various fields which have resulted in certain fragmentation and problems in internal communication. The task before the organisation is to work towards the better structuring and integration of its activities, with the goal of an increase in the efficiency of the organisation and a decrease in the need for human and financial resources for performing the activities and for achieving the impact. As Wikimedia Eesti is a small organisation, the structure of its activities has a central role in the development of the organisation.
- Expanding collaboration - For Wikimedia Eesti, collaboration with different local and as well international organisations is highly important. Although local good public reputation and good Internet coverage in Estonia has created a good foundation for establishing partnerships with different organisations, better structuring of activities and addition of possible financial and human resources (i.e. volunteers) will help us increase the number of active partnerships. This results in increased quantity and quality of Wikimedia content created through the activities of the chapter. The task of Wikimedia Eesti is to transform the partnership potential into actually accessible knowledge.
In its activities, Wikimedia Eesti will follow its existing development principles. The main task will be to improve the structure of our activities, which will increase the efficiency of the organisation. During the year 2015, Wikimedia Eesti will concentrate its financial and time resources in three extended fields of activity: 1) Community, 2) Involving organisations and 3) Education programme.
- Community - Good and strong relations with the community are an essential strategic goal for Wikimedia Eesti, providing the organisation with human resources needed for improving Wikimedia content as well as for the development of the organisation itself. Without a strong community and a good contact with the community, the activities of Wikimedia Eesti will not have the expected results and impact. Supporting and extending the community supports the controlled growth of the organisation and wider reach of collaborative activities. Community provides an active presence for the Wikimedia movement.
- Involving organisations - Continuing and extending cooperation with other organisations supports the activity of Wikimedia Eesti in increasing the quantity and quality of available Wikimedia content and helps us involve people outside of the narrow circle of active Wikimedia community. The upcoming 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia creates a good background for the Wikipedisation of materials already available in archives or in the articles of specialists on an institutional level. Involving other organisations will make the history of knowledge collection accessible in the free environment of Wikimedia.
- Education - The education programme is the oldest and broadest field of activity of Wikimedia Eesti and several partnerships have been developed within the framework of that programme. Education will continue to be a central activity of the organisation, as it supports the growth of the next generation in awareness about free culture. The education programme is the future of the Wikimedia movement.
Goals and measures
The strategic goal of community activities is to support and extend the community, as well as increase the number and competence of people contributing to different Wikimedia projects.
In order to achieve the goal of the community program a variety of measures will be taken:
- Meet-ups for community members are organised,
- Informational events targeted towards non-members are held,
- Competitions, bees, collecting activities and workshops are organised to actually involve people in Wiki,
- Wikimedia Eesti has good contact with the international movement and communicates international learnings to local community,
- organising remarkable events and projects helps us to reach out to a wider public,
- A small microgrant system will be implemented to expand off-Wiki activity,
- Support and motivation will be provided also through internet.
The strategic goal of the education programme is an increase in the number and competence of people contributing to Wikimedia projects, as well as an increase of Wikimedia content quality through the involvement of educated specialists in Wikimedia activities who otherwise would not be aware of or competent enough for Wikimedia editing/contributing.
In order to achieve the goals of the education programme, the following measures will be taken:
- Introducing Wikipedia on a wider scale in universities, i.e. introducing Wikimedia related activities in curricula,
- organising training events and workshops as part of a project in a specific field of study (in 2015, environmental awareness),
- Creating a nationwide network of teachers using Wikipedia as a study tool in secondary schools,
- Increasing the involvement of active Wikipedians in order to ensure quality and suitability of education program related editing.
The main goal of the inclusion of partner institutions and specialists is to add to the number of existing materials in free use and to raise their quality. In addition, inter-institutional cooperation facilitates spreading information about free culture and free knowledge.
To achieve this goal, we will take the following measures:
- Realising a cross-institutional project with partner institutions from the cultural heritage field (“Wikipedisation of the contemporary history of cultural heritage”),
- Continuing the library project,
- Involving local memory institutions (in the city of Tartu).
Wikimedia Eesti is a non-profit organisation and its activity is largely based on donations. This means we bear responsibility in front of all people who have supported our activities in one way or another. This responsibility gives Wikimedia Eesti an obligation to constantly monitor and document its activities and provide relevant reports (in Estonian and in English, as a large part of the donors do not speak Estonian).
From the year 2015, Wikimedia Eesti will introduce the quarterly reporting principle in the organisation, which will provide interested parties with up-to-date information on the organisation. This will result in increased general awareness of the daily activities, failures and successes of the organisation.