One of the primary goals of the Community Development Team is to develop learning curriculums and volunteer training for Wikimedia volunteers, as well as to distribute resources that may guide and inform Wikimedia communities. One of our intentions is to help create a welcoming and sustainable environment on Wikimedia. In 2019, to help creative more effective programming, we conducted research to better understand how Wikimedia volunteers grow and develop.
This research project support a critical objective: to build towards the inclusion and engagement of everyone so that “everyone -- those already within our Movement and anyone who wishes to join – can play a role in capturing, sharing, and enabling access to free knowledge”. The Wikimedia Movement Strategy which voiced this objective also directs us to invest in skills and leadership direction, firm in the belief that “Leadership skills are key to building a Movement that represents global diversity”.
To best inform our own team's goal of guiding the holistic design and implementation of future Community Development programming, the Community Development team led research with 52 volunteers, staff, and analogous organizations over a 4-month period. Volunteers were asked to share their personal experiences of entering the movement so that we could understand both their challenges and successes along their journey and so that they could share any pivotal moments, opportunities and people that supported their long-term engagement. A qualitative inquiry approach was employed to gather insight through individual interviews and build upon movement research such as Movement Organizers and Community Capacity Development. We are using the themes we discovered to develop a holistic learning and leadership development model and related resources to improve our team's ability to support Wikimedia volunteers. We have built a framework for accessible and equitable learning and leadership development in our movement that we will test and improve going forward.
- Recommendations of Wikimedia 2030 Strategy.
- Invest in Skills and Leadership Development recommendation page of Wikimedia 2030 Strategy.
How to use this report
This report of our community-informed research has been designed to serve as a detailed resource that may guide those looking to develop impactful volunteer engagement and leadership programming in the Wikimedia Movement.
We have used the insight collected from this research to develop a Learning and Leadership Development framework to be used by those building a programmatic offering. It is a framework that suggests activities, behaviors, and skills relevant to a volunteer’s engagement level. This framework is intended for the use of individual (on and offline) volunteers, Wikimedia Foundation staff, and movement leaders and groups who seek guidance in how to support learning and leadership development across the different stages of a volunteer’s engagement with the Wikimedia movement.