Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Reports/2021-02-10 Wikimedia Uganda User Group

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2021-02-10 Wikimedia Uganda User Group[edit]

Four people joined the meeting which was held on google meet. The board and the various ideas proposed by the board and two community members were discussed.

Ranked Voting System

Two people were not convinced that the ranked voting system will help solve the issue of underrepresentation on the board.

Vetting System

One person was in support of the vetting system but he wanted to know more about how this will be implemented. Another person was also in support of the vetting system being implemented together with the quotas system and the call for skills and experiences ideas.

Quotas System

Three people were in support of the quotas system.

Call for Skills and Experiences

One person was in support of the call for skills and experiences idea but he was of the view that there are a lot of things that need to be clarified. He asked the following questions about this proposed idea.

  • What should be the minimum level of expertise? Which skills are we talking about? Is it leadership skills, financial management, or Wikipedia editing skills? Which skills are going to be prioritized over the others?
  • This same person was of the view that the existing board which lacks diversity could put in place criteria which will be impossible for candidates from underrepresented communities to meet.

Another person was also in support of the call for skills and experiences idea but he was also of the view that this idea will only be effective depending on the criteria used and the kind of skills and expertise defined. He mentioned that for instance, if one of the requirements defined is for candidates to have a certain level of experience or skills in line with the Wikimedia movement, a candidate which does not meet this criterion but wants to bring on board his experience and skills from previous work or projects which may not be related to the Wikimedia movement, will be denied a chance to serve on the board.

This same person also suggested that newly elected board members should be given 6 months or 1 year grace period to develop or improve their skills in specific areas to help them to become more competent.

Regional Seats

One person was concerned that affiliates or regions might nominate candidates for the sake of just wanting a representation on the board.

Unanswered Questions

Are Africans really going to have a positive outcome from these discussions, considering that the number of Wikimedians from Europe and America are more than Wikimedians in underrepresented communities? If more Wikimedians from Europe and America tend to participate more in the regional discussions and it turns out that most of them are in support of particular ideas and the few Wikimedians from Africa who are able to participate in the discussions are also in support of different ideas, what happens then? Will the board implement the ideas supported by the majority? And Does it mean our participation in the discussions has been in vain?

Action items

What community will do:

  • Review the ideas again and share additional feedback.
  • Inform other community members about the ongoing call for feedback.
  • Share anonymous feedback form on group pages

What the facilitator(s) will do:

  • Find and share links to the previous community board seat elections meta page with one participant.
  • Share anonymous form link with affiliate leads.