Grants:APG/Proposals/2019-2020 round 1/Wikimedia UK/Proposal form/Theories of change

Overall organisational theory of changeEdit

Wikimedia UK believes that to achieve our vision of a more tolerant, informed and democratic society we need to improve the representation of diverse people in the knowledge ecosystem, increase civic engagement by building digital literacy, and secure policy changes which increase access to open information for all. To effectively achieve these goals we must also work on strengthening our voice and sector recognition.

Without access to knowledge, we can’t build understanding. Without diversity of content, this understanding is limited.  

Strategic Aim 1: Increase engagement with and representation of marginalised people and subjectsEdit

Long term outcome:

Wikimedia reflects our diverse society and is free from systemic bias

  • There are content gaps on Wikimedia projects which makes it biased and not-representative of our society
Theory of change:

Wikimedia UK is helping to create more complete information online; by supporting marginalised people to become contributors and community leaders, and by uncovering and sharing knowledge created by and about underrepresented people and subjects.

Where is our intervention
  • We facilitate the transfer of underrepresented knowledge from content holders to diverse audiences. This usually takes place through the Wikimedia projects but could be through other accessible platforms where appropriate.
  • We develop targeted projects and programmes to recruit, train, support and develop volunteer contributors and leaders from all backgrounds.
Strategic objectives:
  • Develop partnerships that address inequality and bias on the Wikimedia projects
  • Deliver projects that increase access to underrepresented cultural heritage
  • Support the development of minority and indigenous language Wikipedias
  • Engage with volunteers and partners across the UK, widening the charity’s geographic reach
  • Diversify content producers by recruiting new editors from under-represented communities
  • Support the development of a more inclusive culture across the Wikimedia projects
  • Ensure that Wikimedia UK’s own policies and practices support diversity and inclusion
Why us
  • We have connections to the existing editor community, experience in running programmes and training sessions, and strong links with UK content holders.

Partnerships, projects and campaigns focused on

  • Underrepresented cultural heritage
  • Minority languages (with a focus on the “Celtic Knot”)
  • Gender Gap
  • Diverse contributors
Evidence that it’s working + Who are we reaching (Metrics)
  • Content pages created or improved across all Wikimedia projects
  • Images/media added to Wikimedia Commons
  • Number of articles created
  • Newly registered editors
  • Volunteer hours
  • Total number of participants
  • Number of leading volunteers
  • Reach of content - image/article views
  • Content diversity - % of events where the focus is on underrepresented content
  • Language diversity - how many languages have we worked across (annual)
  • Geographical reach - % of events outside of London (annual)

Strategic Aim 2: Work with partners to develop digital, data and information literacy through WikimediaEdit

Long term outcome:

People in the UK are able to understand and effectively engage with open knowledge, creating high levels of information literacy which underpins civil society and democratic processes.

  • Information literacy is a key prerequisite for democratic participation
  • People aren’t able to successfully engage with open knowledge without support; effort is needed to build the UK society’s digital literacy
  • Data literacy will be key to future successful democratic participation
Theory of change:

Access to high quality, neutral information based on reliable sources helps to create a shared understanding of the world, and is important to the creation of a tolerant and democratic society. However, this is being undermined by increasingly widespread misinformation and disinformation. To counter this, Wikimedia UK works with educators and other partners to develop digital literacy skills, with a focus on information, media and data literacy.

Where is our intervention:
  • Wikipedia is a rich example of how knowledge is captured, and how it should be consumed responsibly. It’s an excellent tool for building a range of digital literacies.
Strategic objectives:
  • Develop and deliver Wikimedia-based activities that develop digital literacy in schools
  • Support the higher education sector’s engagement with Wikimedia as a digital literacy tool
  • Facilitate Wikimedia-based digital, data and information literacy projects with other partners
  • Create content and resources for learners and educators focused on digital literacies
  • Advocate for the inclusion of Wikimedia in curriculum, syllabus and course development
  • Collaborate with the civil society sector and other partners to combat misinformation
Why us
  • We are taking advantage of the education sector’s ‘suspicion’ towards Wikipedia to open a key conversation about information integrity, and digital literacy
  • ‘Wikipedia in the classroom’ model offers a solid, tested model of engagement in this field
  • Data and information literacy projects in collaboration with formal education sector partners such as schools and universities
  • Advocating to government and relevant bodies for the inclusion of Wikimedia in curriculum and syllabus development
  • Case studies with key partners
Evidence that it’s working + Who are we reaching (Metrics)
  • Content pages created or improved across all Wikimedia projects
  • Number of articles created
  • Newly registered editors
  • Volunteer hours
  • Total number of participants
  • Number of leading volunteers
  • Number of courses we work with (annual)
  • Improved skills and confidence (annual)
  • Inclusion in courses and curricula (annual)

Strategic Aim 3: Create changes in policy and practice that enable open knowledge to flourishEdit

Long term outcome:

Our work has significantly increased free, online access to knowledge and information

  • Access to information is being restricted
  • Content holding organisations can have a negative attitude towards opening up their collections under an open licence
  • Policy context in the UK restricts sharing of open knowledge
Theory of change:

Open access to information is a fundamental right and a prerequisite to building understanding, but political and market forces in the UK can strive to keep information closed and inaccessible. Wikimedia UK advocates for change at an institutional, sector and policy level, making the case for open access to knowledge.

Where is our intervention:
  • Access to knowledge is being restricted for a variety of reasons. A key one can be a lack of understanding of the benefits (and risks) of sharing knowledge openly. We have the arguments and successful examples to change minds and practice on this.
Strategic objectives:
  • Support and enable individual organisations to adopt more open policies and practice
  • Promote and facilitate sector-level change towards open knowledge
  • Work with national and international partners to build the case for free knowledge
  • Advocate for open knowledge within the UK’s public policy and legislative arena
  • Contribute to international advocacy activities and programmes as appropriate
Why us
  • We have the network, thought leadership, and experience of working through policy resistance towards open knowledge.
  • In-depth work with selected organisations in the UK to change their policies and practice. Generating case studies and business cases
  • Advocacy within specific sectors (e.g. GLAM), using specific arguments for open knowledge adoption
  • Policy work with UK decision makers
Evidence that it’s working + Who are we reaching (Metrics)
  • Volunteer hours
  • Number of leading volunteers
  • Number of touch points/interactions with policymakers (including consultations)
  • Evidence of cultural/attitudinal shift within partner organisations (through benchmarking and exit interviews)
  • Organisations adopting open licensing practices/policies
  • Recognition of our policy agenda in Government policy
  • The Government policy agenda is visibly enacted through regulation, investment or direct action

Strategic Aim 4: Develop our capacity and profile as a leading organisation for open knowledgeEdit

Long term outcome:

Wikimedia UK is recognised as a leading organisation for open knowledge

  • WMUK is best placed to deliver the three strategic aims above (rather than other open knowledge organisations in the UK)
Theory of change:

To deliver our ambitious strategy as a small organisation we need be able to leverage our reputation within the UK and the wider open knowledge movement, and to be seen as a credible and effective organisation. This must be underpinned by volunteer capacity and financial sustainability to be able to plan impactful long term programmes.

Where is our intervention:
  • We are positioning ourselves as a thought leader and an essential player in the open knowledge movement in the UK
Strategic objectives:
  • Increase awareness and understanding of open knowledge and Wikimedia UK
  • Develop Wikimedia UK’s community of contributors, volunteers and members
  • Actively support technical innovation that helps to deliver on our strategic aims
  • Develop our role as a key player and ally within the UK’s openness movement
  • Make a significant contribution to the global work of the Wikimedia movement
  • Establish a sustainable business model underpinned by diverse and stable funding
Why us:
  • We have the Wikimedia brand in the UK, plus a growing body of high profile, successful open knowledge collaborations with UK institutions.
  • Broad external relations activities
  • Comms strategy. Public awareness campaigns. Collaboration with open knowledge movement
  • Volunteer strategy
  • Programme innovation
  • International Wikimedia movement engagement
  • Fundraising, income generation
  • Organisational development
Evidence that it’s working + Who are we reaching (Metrics):
  • Volunteer hours
  • Number of leading volunteers
  • Total number of participants
  • Digital media engagement
  • Total audience and reach
  • Gender of lead volunteers (quarterly)
  • In-depth diversity stats for lead volunteers (annual)
  • Volunteers would recommend Wikimedia UK (annual)
  • Volunteers feel valued by Wikimedia UK (annual)
  • Volunteers have developed new skills (annual)
  • Press coverage
  • Speaking engagement
  • Global movement participation
  • Staff retention, as a measure of organisational health
  • Financial health metrics (tbc)
  • Net promoter score for key stakeholders and audiences (possibly through a reputational audit - subject to costs)