Grants:APG/Proposals/2019-2020 round 1/Wikimedia UK/Staff proposal assessment
Staff assessment summaryEdit
Wikimedia UK is the biggest chapter in an English speaking region, and is developing this year a new strategic plan for the years 2019 to 2022. Through this strategic lense, it has worked on identifying points in its programs and expertise that could support the broader movement, something that we welcome in the light of developing a Movement Strategy for 2030. Wikimedia UK has developed over the past few years various path to request and take in feedback from the communities it servers and has been measuring engagement through its grantee defined metric of volunteer hours. Wikimedia UK has been developing a strong focus on diversity and especially the gender gap, which shows in the fact that 50% of lead volunteers working with the chapter are women. The strategy being developed is building upon past achievements and learning points to develop a strategic framework that takes into account their specific strategic context, influenced by external factors such as Brexit, Digital exclusion or the closing spaces of Civil society.
Strategy and programsEdit
Wikimedia UK has developed 4 strategic aims, around engagement of underrepresented people, work with partners, policy changes and developing their profile and have designed the following 4 programs: Increasing Knowledge Equity, Developing Digital Literacy, Changing policy and practice and Growing capacity and profile.
WMUK presents clear theories of change for its strategic aims, which make clear what they are trying to achieve through these programs. Strategic alignment is something WMUK has been working on and succeeding at for the past few years and we are happy to see that this continues in a changing environment and that it is also put to the service of the wider movement, by trying to identify models of program delivery that can be shared throughout the Wikimedia movement.
WMUK's program "Increasing knowledge equity" builds upon some of their long standing activities and partnerships. It comprises of recurring campaigns, such as work with Art+Feminism or Ada Lovelace days events, partnerships such as with the National Library of Wales through a permanent Wikimedian hired by the Library to work on unrepresented knowledge, or with the Wellcome Foundation around knowledge related to health topics. Work is ongoing on minority languages through support of the Celtic Knot Conference. Plans for 2020 include potential partnerships with the Commonwealth Secretariat for a Wikimedian in Residence or King's College London on a project around photos of heritage sites in Libya.
WMUK's program "Developing Digital Literacy" has been driving a large portion of their work in the past two years. WMUK defines digital literacy as the idea of "enabling learners to understand, navigate and critically evaluate information as well as develop an appreciation for the role and importance of open education. Using Wikimedia in the curriculum can teach students key skills in information literacy, collaboration, writing editing, information synthesis, source evaluation and data science". Their work in that domain involves a large number of partnerships, specifically with education institutions, such as the University of Edinburgh, Coventry University or University College London or University of Sheffield, where programs are developed on both the Wikipedia in the Classroom model or other educational modules including the use of Wikipedia. WMUK is also working on developing new partnerships with CILIP (Library and Information association) around how librarians can support visitors wanting to use Wikimedia projects or London College of Communication to work with students of journalism to take pictures of underrepresented communities and upload them to Wikimedia projects.
Wikimedia UK has been a strong movement partner in working to promote free knowledge, as is illustrated by their program "Changing Policy and Practice". Beside support for Wikimedia efforts at FKAGEU, they are working with local initiatives to change practices around free knowledge. Their partnership with the National Library of Scotland aims at developing open access policies in the Library, which would then in turn serve as an example of what can be done to promote free knowledge and free access to knowledge. in 2020 WMUK is looking at developing new alliances with the Mozilla Foundation around free knowledge campaigns or the National Gallery to support transition towards a more open model of sharing their existing information.
All these programs are supported by the will from WMUK to grow its profile and capacity, in a necessary move to grow its capacity to effectively support all of its work. This program includes training and development for volunteers, with a recognized Train the Trainer Programme which has welcomed people from across the movement. WMUK's work to identify their strengths and specific expertise comes also as a move to grow capacity. Closer to their own organizational development, WMUK has also called upon expertise of community members and external experts to establish a development advisory board, aimed at supporting their efforts to diversify funding sources.
WMUK as usual presents a very balanced and well articulated plan, which shows great strategic alignment with the Movement strategy. We are looking forward to seeing how WMUK's expertise can be shared within the movement and benefit from exchanging with partners and peers alike.
Budget & grant requestEdit
Wikimedia UK is asking for 335 000 GBP, which represent about 50% of their total budget, and has a track record of excellent budget practices and of clear tracking of Gifts in Kind which represent a large part of their revenues. Their budget is well balanced around their programme areas.