Global Data and Insights Team/Our Reports/2020 Affiliates data survey report

Affiliate Data Survey Report                                                                                2020
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2020- Aff GeoMap.png
2020 Saturation of Affiliates across the world
Legend: 1 = 1 User Group; 2 = 2-4 User Groups; 3 = 1 small chapter; 4 = 1 small chapter + 1-3 User Group(s) OR 1 medium chapter; 5 = 1 large chapter OR multiple small chapters OR 5+ User Groups.

Since 2018, the Affiliations Committee has recognized 55 new affiliates, 36 (66%) of which came from regions of the world where the next billion internet users are expected to come from [1]. This makes it even more urgent for the Wikimedia Foundation to better understand affiliates in order to target the support affiliates need to meet our shared vision.

In early 2020 the Global Data & Insights team collected data from more than 275 individuals from across 96 Affiliates in 89 countries. The data were collected through a two-part Wikimedia Affiliates Data survey process in which primary contacts submitted organizational information and members submitted experiential information. Our 163 (as of January 2020) recognized affiliate communities are key to Wikimedia Movement coordination and success. The Affiliates Data Survey is an annual census conducted with all affiliates to better understand their composition, behaviors, and opinions.

This survey presents the Wikimedia Foundation and the larger movement with a useful means to regularly measure progress towards common goals in the Foundation’s Medium Term Plan and the Movement’s Strategic Direction.

Key Findings

To attract and retain more diverse members, the Wikimedia Foundation must invest in affiliates’ institutional resilience through capacity development focused on communications, contributor development, and community governance
  • Affiliates were least confident in their abilities to evolve better organizational governance and resource policies (44%), to communicate and run press relations (45%), or to host and promote contributor development activities (68%); all of which are essential capacities related to higher-level organizational development.
  • The overwhelming majority of chapters and thematic organizations have elected boards, while user groups tend to adopt less formal governance structures. All governance structures are predominantly made up of more men than women or gender minorities.
  • Interestingly, membership in User Groups is much more representative of the global gender distribution than in chapters and thematic organizations.
  • 61% of affiliates have formal democratic processes for making group decisions, while 34% have no existing processes and policies for intervening with conflict internally.

To support an optimal social climate for affiliate members, the Wikimedia Foundation should focus on support for more inclusive interactions and motivations for participating in collaborative projects. There is also a need to support greater awareness of local/regional events and strategic content programs beyond GLAM and education
  • Survey respondents indicated that they feel they belong to, are engaged in, and can collaborate within their community's social spaces. However, they were less likely to be encouraged to speak freely among members of different backgrounds or to observe awareness of different individual’s motivations.
  • Survey respondents were twice as likely to focus on GLAM and Education programs, and 1.6 times more likely to focus on Indigenous knowledge and STEM programs than they were on gender and health-related programs.
  • Members were more aware of Wikimania and affiliate organized events than they were of regional/thematic events.
  • Affiliates demonstrated high awareness of Wikimedia Foundation grant and programmatic support but were less likely to be aware of other sources of funding. This, coupled with low self-ratings for fundraising, indicates affiliates would likely benefit from capacity development focused on seeking external grants for financial sustainability.

What's next?

The Global Data and Insights team is a resource for Wikimedia foundation teams to make sense of community trends as they relate to our platform, our programs and social environment that our community organizes under. It is also a resouces for Wikimedia Affiliates to reflect on how they organise they communities.

Over the new few weeks, we will be reaching out to different teams to provide more insight on how Affiliates and strategic affiliate engagement can shape and improve current Thriving Movement objectives.