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Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Reports/2021-02-13 Open Foundation West Africa

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2021-02-13 Open Foundation West Africa[edit]

Twelve people joined the meeting which was held on google meet. Of these twelve, four were women. The board and the various ideas proposed by the board and two community members were discussed.

Ranked Voting System

The majority were not convinced that the ranked voting system will help solve the issue of diversity on the board.

Vetting System

Three people were in support of the community selection committee and the election of confirmed candidates. One person was of the view that community members should be involved in the selection process so it doesn’t seem like the board is always imposing its decisions on the community. She was also of the view that including the community in the selection process will avoid possible misunderstandings between the board and the Wikimedia community.

Appointment of Confirmed Candidates

The majority were not in support of the appointment of confirmed candidates. One person pointed out that if this idea was implemented, this could result in a situation where the board might appoint someone whom community members may not be in support of.

Quotas System and Regional Seats

All were in support of regional and gender quotas being implemented. One person who was in support of the quotas system said that the quota system will serve as a deliberate effort to ensure representation and diversity on the board. One person suggested that there should be one male and one female representing each region Another person suggested that much focus shouldn’t be on ensuring gender diversity but rather, qualifications and skills should be the priority.

Call for Skills and Experiences

Four people were in support of this idea. They were of the view that this will ensure that whoever gets elected to serve on the board possessed the right skills and experiences.


One person suggested that Wikimedians of the year should be offered a seat on the board.

Three people expressed gratitude for the closed-door meeting with their affiliate members.

  • One person suggested that more of these meetings should be held with affiliates so that ongoing board discussions or other community discussions can be explained well for volunteers to understand so they can participate.
  • Another person pointed out that sometimes the languages used to convey information about governance discussions or other community discussions use technical languages which is not very comprehensible. So meetings like these will really be of so much help to them.
Unanswered questions
  • Why was the board increased to 16, why not 15?
Action items

What community will do:

  • Inform other community members about the ongoing call for feedback.
  • Share anonymous feedback form on group pages

What the facilitator(s) will do:

  • Share anonymous feedback form link with affiliate leads.