Wikimedia Foundation Strategy 2019

From Wikimedia Belgium
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page was written by Geertivp, as a result of his attendance at the 2019 Wikimedia Summit in Berlin.

It sketches the overall plan of the Strategy development till 2019, together with feedback from the local WMBE chapter.


Every organisation must have a strategy.

Since 2017 the Wikimedia Foundation prepares a global strategy until 2030 together with Affiliates, the Wikimedia Movement, and its volunteers.

The goal is that Wikipedia and other related projects will still survive and keep a leading role in delivering and promoting global unconstrained access to open knowledge.

The major Wikipedia's got their biggest growth in the period 2005-2010.

Since then it was noticed that the major Wikipedia's got mature, with a continuous reduction in the number of contributors. There are quite a lot of demographic, cultural, and technological changes.Volunteers and the Foundation became aware that young western white high-educated males are not the single creatures in the community. A larger participation of women, non-college educated, elderly people, other languages, cultures, developing countries, and other continents are indeed needed.There exist other organisations working on open knowledge with whome we should collaborate.There is a continuous shift in user platforms, networks, and technologies (mobile devices; multimedia).


The current strategy process started during the Wikimedia Conference 2017 in Berlin.

In 2018 nine themes were further identified. Working groups performed an initial analysis:

The working groups
Domain Working group Description
Organisation Roles & Responsibilities The structure of the organisation
Revenue Streams How the Foundation is financed
Resource Allocation How the projects and Affiliates are financed
Community Capacity Building How we can enlarge our coverage, training, recruting
Partnerships How we can collaborate with other organisations and institutions
Diversity How we can guarantee an relative presence of all kinds of
Platforms Product & Technology The implementation of the platforms (software)
Community Health How collaboration can be facilitated
Advocacy How the organisation fits within the international regulatory framework

An interim report (difficult to read and understand) was published before the Wikimedia Summit 2019: Scoping documents of the Movement Strategy working groups (22 March 2019).

In 2019 the Affiliates and Working groups further reflect upon the content or the strategy.

Every Affiliate has one or more liaisons to act as a bidirectional communication path.

Feedback should be given to the Core team. Downward communication is performed as well.

Feedback from WMBE[edit]

Roles & Responsibilities[edit]

Informal organisation responsibilities[edit]

I agree that a lot of Chapter/WMF interactions and responsibilities are not clear or not formally specified. Therefore during the previous months on my own initiative, as a Chapter Chairperson, I have attempted to make an inventory of the mutual responsibilities between Chapters and the WMF: see WMF Chapter Roles and responsibilities. Could this possibly be used as an input to the R&R working group process?

Revenue Streams[edit]

Current weakness of International fund raising[edit]

I think fund raising could be organised in a better way

  • Lack of non-US tax exempt (e.g. in Belgium the government would pay 45% of the gift)
  • Lack of easy IBAN/BIC free payments within EU union due to not providing EU bank account tranfer possibility
  • No specific directions for what purpose the gift is done (Wikipedia is flag ship but 15 other applications/projects are not known)

Resource Allocation[edit]

Too few Collaboratively building and evaluation by Affiliates[brontekst bewerken][edit]

sAPG grants are created (requested) by each single Affiliate independently, and subsequently evaluated by a small team of WMF appointed evaluators (mostly staff members) with too few knowledge and understanding of the local culture. There is a risk that Affiliates are not being objectively evaluated and pro rata gifted with the right grant depending on their potential and requirements. It is also difficult to objectively evaluate and compare/balance the results amongst Affiliates.

Capacity Building[edit]

Collaboration wanted[edit]

Chapters should learn from each other. The yearly training session for Chapter boards members should be continued. Also local board member training should be possible.


Uneven professional level[edit]

Organisational partners are mostly professionals. Wikimedians are mostly volunteers with only partial time to spend on a project. There are few possibilities to build and keep a long-term collaboration between a Wikimedia Chapter or User group and a cultural institution. Wikimedians do not sufficiently understand the requirements of an institution. Institutions insufficiently understand the possibilities of the Wikimedia applications, tools, systems, and projects.


Unaligned language levels[edit]

English is much more used for technical, scientific, and universal subjects. Articles in English are (much) longer, contain more details, and have more decent references. There are much more writers available to add more text. Local languages have shorter articles about local and country or language specific subjects.

When languages are shared amongst countries, there is a huge risk of competition amongst regional variants of the language that tend to dominate the smaller part of the regional language.

I believe we should have more attention to local languages, regions, and cultures.

Product & Technology[edit]

Software developers are hard to integrate[edit]

It is not so easy to become an open-source developer (in MediaWiki). Software development on Linux seems more easy to do? MediaWiki seems a closed user environment? And there seems to be few progress on new projects/bug fixing is taking too much elapsed time? e.g. the QR codes interface has been broken for almost a full year now without being solved. Should be an easy one to fix?

Mobile editing high cost benefit ratio[edit]

Editing software for mobile devices has a too hight cost/benefit ratio. Mobile editing us much more difficult relative to the laptop platform. Also the screen of smartphones is too small and the Android platform is not so handy to edit with. So I would propose to have more energy available for standard platform software development.

Community Health[edit]

Conflict of languages and countries/regions[edit]

Wikipedia instances are shared by language. But often there is an overlap amongst countries and regions. Some regions for the same language are minorities: e.g. Vlaanderen and Suriname. Therefore those minorities suffer from being overruled by the major region. (local) Articles get deleted -- not known/important (?), updates get rolled back (viewpoint not understood/supported), free speech (writing) is blocked. We should have more mutual understanding, collaboration, tolerance, and patience amongst regions and variation within the same language.

Wikidata is not accepted in Wikipedia (automated Infoboxes)[edit]

Infoboxes like "Wikidata Infobox" is technically well-working, but are distrusted by a lot of Wikipedians. Instead of correcting wrong data, Wikipedians are looking for excuses not to use Wikidata, and keep on repeatingly editing the same content over 100s of languages instead of fixing it only one single time in Wikidata, and then reusing the same data content in all of the Wikipedias. To my opinion infoboxes should be automatically filled from Wikidata items, with a possible local overrule in Wikipedia, only if necessary.


International organisations[edit]

We should more collaborate with international organisations linked to free knowledge.

External links[edit]