Jump to content

Conselho de Administração da Fundação Wikimedia/Consulta sobre o processo eleitoral do Conselho de Administração/Relatórios

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Outdated translations are marked like this.

Call for feedback: Board of Trustees elections final report

This document is the final report of the Call for Feedback: Board of Trustees elections. This Call ran from January 10 - February 16, 2022. This Call focused on answering three key questions:

  • What is the best way to ensure more diverse representation among elected candidates?
  • What are the expectations for the candidates during the election?
  • How should affiliates participate in the elections?

Feedback was published in weekly reports during this Call for Feedback. This report aims to summarize the feedback in a high-level overview. For more detailed information, please refer to the Weekly Reports on this page.


Pre-selection of candidates
Community voting on a pre-selected group of candidates was suggested by community members and affiliate members. Candidate pre-selection was mentioned in two different scenarios. First, the affiliates would select candidates and this is how the elections for community-selected candidates should go in the future. The second scenario is to address geographical diversity. Some people on Meta-wiki suggested geographic criteria for the Board election. During the meetings with affiliates it was said that Affiliates understand the context of having a regional perspective. Affiliates would select candidates and a maximum of one candidate from each region could be elected.

Clarification around needed skills and diversity
Better define the skills and diversity the Board of Trustees is seeking. Clearly outline skill and diversity information in the Call for Candidates. There is no one understanding of diversity. The types of diversity discussed during the Call included sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic, governmental, geographic, and diversity of opinion. Race was discussed, but might not be reasonable to define globally as race varies upon cultural context.

It is not enough to invite participation.
Considerations about what it means to truly welcome diversity are needed. It is not enough to simply invite participation. The needs vary for community members to participate in elections and run as candidates for the Board of Trustees.

Community members might need more than a generic invitation to participate in the election process. The community members might not understand how the Board impacts their work. Meeting with community members early to talk about the connection between their work and the Board of Trustees is important. Some community members might need more time to become eligible to vote. Some community members might benefit from demonstrating the use of the voting tool.

Some candidates from diverse backgrounds might be at a disadvantage due to socio-economic factors, limited volunteer time, English language proficiency and technological differences (Internet connection, video conferencing equipment quality).

Candidate engagement during the campaign
The community question period is an important part of the Board of Trustees election process. Questions received from the community should only be reviewed for duplicates or unacceptable questions. If question selection is done, it should be done by a volunteer committee.

The number of seats is important, for now.
The number of seats in each selection is important to increase the likelihood of a diverse candidate being selected. With only 2 seats available, some community members said they do not see electing a diverse candidate as likely.

Summary from conversations with affiliates

Em breve esta página hospedará os relatórios elaborados a partir dos resultados da consulta sobre o processo eleitoral do Conselho de Administração da Fundação Wikimedia. Serão publicados relatórios semanais, bem como um relatório final. O primeiro relatório semanal deverá ser publicado por volta de 19 de janeiro de 2022.

During the first week of the Call for Feedback communities discussed two questions asked by the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation:

  1. What is the best way to ensure more diverse representation among elected candidates?
  2. What are the expectations for the candidates during the election?

First question

Majority of the proposals discussed by the community revolved around geographical diversity.

Some people on Meta-wiki argued for geographic quotas based on the number of language speakers or users in projects. One person wrote that it is impossible to determine the location of Wikimedia editors, but quotas could be created based on the location of the registered affiliate organisations.

Several people noted on Meta-wiki that they could learn more about the candidates and what makes them diverse if candidates wrote more openly in their nominations or answered community questions.

One of the people discussing on Meta-wiki also raised the issue of the “emerging community” definition not being fully apparent. They said that a standard definition created by the Board of Trustees (maybe with help from an advisory body assembled with people from communities in question) should be prepared.

One member of the community suggested that diversity (regional, gender, expertise and others) could be ensured if the election process was modified to allow the affiliates to choose a shortlist of 10-15 candidates. This is in a way similar to the Movement Charter Drafting Committee selection process. The community would later vote and select their representatives from that shortlist.

Second question

People on Meta-wiki agreed that candidates should be given enough time to respond to all the questions. Any question selection mechanism should not be as rigorous as the process used in 2021.

People have also mentioned that being a trustee of 500+ staff organization managing a budget of $100mln+ is a serious task requiring a lot of time commitment. Candidates should be made aware of this during “Call for candidates”. It is expected of candidates to spend time during the election campaign. If the problem is the candidates not having enough time to fully engage in this process, maybe the campaign period should be prolonged.

One 2021 election candidate argued against using pictures or videos by the candidate, citing research that they could provide bias during the campaign period.

Week 2 – 17-23 January 2022

A third and final question was added during the second week of the Call. The discussion includes three questions:

  1. What is the best way to ensure more diverse representation among elected candidates?
  2. What are the expectations for the candidates during the election?
  3. How should affiliates participate in the elections?

First question


A community conversation held in the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) region noted emerging candidates are underrepresented in numbers. Those communities are not able to support their candidates the same way as larger communities can. This feeling may keep voters from voting and keep candidates from nominating themselves. People not voting or nominating themselves from emerging communities means diversity on the Board does not change.

Widened outreach from the Wikimedia Foundation

Volunteers from Sub-Saharan Africa said the Wikimedia Foundation should widen outreach during the Call for Candidates so more people submit their candidacies. The same group said the elections should happen in a period of time without other activities to enable people to focus on elections.

Increased translation coverage

Multiple people from different regions said the translation of materials should increase. Short “abstracts” about candidates might be a solution that could be translated into many languages. Longer text would be available in “bridge languages” and languages of the biggest communities.

Second question

Candidates’ Movement experience

Discussion in the SAARC region mentioned candidates should not be new to the community but well-respected members of the Wikimedia Movement. It was also discussed that candidates share the goals they want to achieve while a trustee.

Meeting candidates during the campaign

Conversation with the Sub-Saharan communities praised the 2021 approach of introducing the candidates to communities through debates and meetings.

Community question for candidates

One person from the Western & Northern Europe region said candidates should answer all community asked questions. The Election’s Committee should only remove “duplicate/spam/otherwise unacceptable questions”. The same person proposed that if questions have to be selected, it should be done by the committee composed of openly elected volunteers from the community.

Pictures and videos of the candidates

A discussion with the affiliate members from the ESEAP (East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific) community suggested that candidates’ pictures should be added to the voting interface and election materials.

Third question

Affiliates as election advocates

One person on Meta-wiki stated that affiliates should not have a role in the election process, other than encouraging communities to vote. A call with the Sub-Saharan communities proposed a similar approach.

Affiliates as pre-selectors

A person from the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) region proposed affiliates should create a shortlist of candidates that would later be voted on by the community. This proposal was supported by the attendees of the francophone conversations from the Western & Northern Europe region.


Candidates’ socio-economic status

A conversation in the SAARC region brought up the argument that the socio-economic conditions of emerging communities might deter them from seeking candidacy to the Board. They might be judged unfairly by voters because they might experience barriers other candidates might not. Resources to allow the candidates to overcome financial barriers could ease the burden on them. One community member from the CEE region mentioned that offering a region-based per diem could allow any trustees to offset the cost of engaging in the Board duties without losing their livelihood.

Explain duties of candidates and trustees

Community members agreed that the role of a candidate (and prospective trustee) should be well-explained, to allow them to understand the process and scope of duties they plan to undertake.

Week 3 – 24-30 January 2022

This is the third weekly report for the Call for Feedback: Board of Trustees elections. This report covers feedback from 24 - 30 January 2022.

First question

A Sysop from the Japanese community said to avoid using emails and instead post on Notice boards about elections and online meetings. This will increase participation.

A person from the Wikipedia & Education User Group said we should strive to find people who represent their communities in many ways. We don’t want to just check a diversity box. There should be regional bodies that would be tasked with finding good candidates for the Board within the regional communities.

In a conversation with Igbo Wikimedians, it was suggested to review eligibility for voting. Many people from the community were prevented from voting during the last elections due to the eligibility criteria. This negatively impacted participation. They suggested to organize voter education early, so that people can try to qualify to vote and offer local training to communities on actual steps to vote.

A person from an affiliate meeting in Sub Saharan Africa said the candidates from the community are not that diverse, yet diversity is needed. There has to be an investment in some community members to ensure we get diverse candidates. This will take a decade of investment in some communities.

In a conversation on WhatsApp, with 68 Yoruba community members subscribed, people proposed:

  • Have a quota system for the groups that we would love to be represented.
  • Have calls and encourage people to participate, as some volunteers may shy away from the process if not reached out to individually.

Proposals from the affiliate meeting in Sub Saharan Africa include:

  • Outreach to like minded partners who share in the free knowledge movement. Finding a network of people who are mission aligned.
  • Leverage on the chapters or language wikipedias.
  • Do individual outreach calls. Emails are not enough because people are overwhelmed by the amount of email they receive.
  • Do outreach to candidates based on the topics they edit on (like Accounting)

Second question

A person from the Wikipedia & Education user group said they mainly want to see what encourages candidates. Candidates should explain their views and passions. People should elect candidates representing them.

A person at the WikiLGBTQ+ online meeting said there are concerns about politicking.

A director of an affiliate in the ESEAP region suggested more skill development and language courses for Board candidates and more engagement about what the Board really does.

Third question

A person at the WikiLGBTQ+ online meeting said selections are biased towards the bigger affiliates. Someone who was opposed to WMDE would not be elected, for example. Two people in attendance suggested rotating candidates from a bigger pool would be a good idea.

A person from the affiliate meeting in Sub Saharan Africa proposed affiliates can be asked to help out with getting their volunteers to vote.

A director of an affiliate in the ESEAP region suggested having a United Nations-like staggered system of regional quota for Affiliate Board seats. They also suggested that votes coming from Chapters and User Groups must be weighted differently

Week 4 – 31 January - 6 February 2022

This is the fourth weekly report for the Call for Feedback: Board of Trustees elections. This report covers feedback from 31 January to 6 February 2022.

First question – DIVERSITY

A board member of a Sub-Saharan Africa affiliate mentioned people are indifferent to email. Individual outreach to the communities and people could bring more diversity into the candidate pool.

An executive director of an affiliate from the ESEAP region noted that investing in skill and language development could lead to a more diverse candidate pool. They also mentioned that more focus should be placed on explaining the responsibilities and duties of Board members.

Members of a Russian based affiliate noted that most community members do not know what the Wikimedia Foundation is and what the Board of Trustees is responsible for. A campaign explaining those points would allow for more diverse participation, and users would be more likely to candidate and vote once they understand the topic at hand.

Several users from the MENA region engaged in a discussion about the number of seats up for election each time. They observed that more elections for fewer seats will always benefit the majority. On the other hand, fewer elections for a bigger number of seats would allow the minorities to elect their candidates (as almost happened during the 2021 elections). They have also mentioned that regional quotas could help the smaller communities, although at the expense of the more “active and representative communities”.

Second question – CAMPAIGN

A person from Wikimedia South Africa stated that candidates should present their knowledge about the Wikimedia Movement and its community to prove that they can make the best possible decisions for those groups and the entire organisation.

A staff member from another Sub-Saharan affiliate commended last year's election strategy of providing more insights into candidates during elections. They have suggested that every candidate should be encouraged to record a 2-5 minutes video explaining their proactive actions in the Wikimedia Movement. Members of the Arabic community supported that idea. They have argued that candidates should engage in many methods which will allow communicating with different communities globally. Introducing candidates to the communities should be supported by the Wikimedia Foundation (i.e. translations).

Third question – AFFILIATES

A representative of Wikimedia South Africa supported the idea of the affiliates helping out with the outreach to the volunteers in their respective countries or communities.

A person from the Open Foundation West Africa brought the idea of affiliates endorsing the candidates publically, arguing that it would boost fairness in the election process.

An affiliate from the ESEAP region proposed that affiliate votes should be weighted differently. Users from the CEE concurred by mentioning that all affiliates having one vote gives more voting power to small user groups (sometimes with less than ten members), sometimes being led by the same group of people.

Week 5 – 7-16 February 2022

This is the final weekly report for the Call for Feedback: Board of Trustees elections. This report covers feedback from 7 to 16 February 2022.

First question – DIVERSITY

A person from the East, South Asia, and the Pacific Regional Cooperation (ESEAP) mentioned for better diversity the Board should have more than 16 seats and a bigger portion of community-elected seats. This person argued that underrepresented regions and small-wikis should have reserved seats to assure representation.

Affiliate members from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region argued that (s)electing only two people to the Board of Trustees will not allow for diverse representation. They have shown the example of the 2021 elections, where even 4 seats did not fully allow for the diverse outcomes. They have proposed that up to 6 seats should be elected at once.

A past member of the Elections Committee mentioned that diversity should not be the ultimate goal of the elections, but rather electing highly-qualified candidates. Resources should be offered to community members who would like to raise their qualifications for the future. Another member mentioned that the Board should clearly (better than in 2021) define which skills are desired.

In a Meta-wiki discussion, a former Board candidate suggested that the Board should focus on specific regions when selecting Board-appointed seats. They suggested the Wikimedia Foundation should provide more resources towards building a diverse readership. This includes supporting minority languages and gender diversity and introducing participatory democracy. Another person mentioned that diversity should not only be measured by “race” and “ethnicity”, but also by personal background and living situation.

An executive director from a Sub-Saharan region proposed that specific geographic region, gender and experience should be defined in the Call for Candidates and candidates should be restricted to those guidelines. They suggested an election model similar to the MCDC model, where region-based groups selected their representatives.

Second question – CAMPAIGN

A Taiwanese community member mentioned that no limit should be imposed on the number of questions being asked by the community members to the candidates. They said community members should judge by themselves if the questions are important or not. The same idea was proposed by a person from Polish Wiktionary, but they amended the proposal to allow for the elimination of questions that are duplicated or trolling. One person from the ESEAP community proposed a voting process to determine which questions should be asked of the candidates.

The idea of using an election compass (as with the MCDC elections) was brought up by several people from the ESEAP and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) regions. They have argued that it will allow the community to learn more about the views of candidates.

A group of people from the Arabic region suggested that candidates should engage with the voters using multiple different platforms (i.e. campaign videos). They have also proposed an introduction of a “validator” who would be responsible for validating candidate’s answers if “provided information is correct such as the alleged contributions or actual contributions”.

One member of the Elections Committee suggested that Wikimedia Foundation’s facilitators should help in spreading the word about elections and candidates over multiple platforms.

An Elections Committee member mentioned that candidates should not be solely judged by their on-wiki work or affiliate affiliations, but rather by their actions in the whole Wikimedia Movement.

Third question – AFFILIATES

Member of the board of an ESEAP user group argued that every affiliate member who has been a member for some time should be allowed to vote in the Board elections.

Community members on Spanish Wikipedia discussed the idea of having rotated affiliate seats based on the geographical representation. Geographical seats would assure representation of people from Latin America, Africa and Asia if trustees from those regions are not yet represented on the Board of Trustees.

Staff members of one Asian affiliate said not all affiliate members and staff members realise the role of the Wikimedia Foundation in their affiliate work. Affiliates from the MENA region have also asked for a more transparent explanation.

One person from the MENA region proposed a return to the 2019 ASBS process. More control mechanisms should be established (such as not allowing a vote if multiple user groups are run by the same group of people), but the process should be present for at least 2 Board seats.

A member of the Elections Committee commented that the open-elections process does not work very well and proposed that instead Wikimedia Chapters should nominate candidates that would be later voted by the wider community. An executive director from a Sub-Saharan region supported the idea of affiliate nominations of candidates.