Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Strategy Salons/Reports/Côte d'Ivoire UG/EN

This report is available in French here.

Ce rapport est disponible en français ici.

Date and locationEdit

  • Saturday 3rd of August 2019
  • MédiaLab Internews in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Participants' listEdit

  1. Kod_b
  2. Mognissan
  3. Modjou
  4. Olivier Yao
  5. Papischou
  6. Kctzch
  7. Kanga Jean-Claude
  8. BOKO Yolande
  9. Koffi.noel
  10. DASSI Estelle
  11. N’DJA Aya Blassony
  12. CAMARA Aminata
  13. Ericoul
  14. affoue.yoboue
  15. akissikouakou
  16. IPOU Gilles
  17. Wakori15
  18. TRAORE Ahmed J.
  19. traorejci
  20. Aman ADO
  21. Kahoutoure
  22. Mouahé
  23. SEYAHI Emma Bénédicte
  24. Abiba Pauline
  25. ATTÉMÉNÉ Jean-Jacques

What happened?Edit

This salon was about discussing and collecting thoughts from members of our User Group about three thematic area of the new strategic direction of the Wikimedia Movement : "Roles & Responsibilities", "Revenue Streams" and "Resource allocation". The salon gathered 25 participants, 15 men and 10 women.

Discussions pointsEdit

Roles & ResponsibilitiesEdit

Q 1 : How are roles and responsibilities distributed in our movement?        Edit

In our movement, Roles & Responsibilities are distributed according to statutes and bylaws.

Q 2 : Who makes decisions?Edit

Decisions are taken according to statutes and bylaws.

Q 3 : What are the advantages and problems of a centralized Wikimedia organization at the global level?Edit

  • coherence of decisions and their impact
  • unity of the movement
  • slow decision-making ;
  • people on the field react slowly to decisions because of slow formalities ;
  • decision-makers are unaware of real problems people are facing (misreading / ignorance)

Q 4 : Should the Wikimedia Foundation merge with other free knowledge organizations like Creative Commons ? Why ?Edit

  • Yes, they should merge to ensure easy access to information. Merging would also allow new partnerships with other organizations.
  • One of the major downsides of a potential merging would be the absorption of Wikimedia by a stronger entity.
Q 5 : Should we divide into separate Foundations : Media Wiki Foundation, Wikidata Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation ? Why or why not?Edit

No. The Foundation should not be split because it would prevent access to information.

Q 6 : Do we want a governance body for the whole movement? Who would be part of this body and what would they do? Why? Edit

Yes, we want a governance body that would gather representatives from regional hubs. According to statutes, they would be the spokesperson for their regional community. Their task would be to bring information and expectations from their community to the international level.

Q 7 : What structures should be built in order to deal with conflict inside our movement? Who would be the stakeholders of such a structure?Edit

Create a structure responsible for conflict management in the movement. To do so, there should be a call for applications inside affiliates to look for the best profiles.

Revenue StreamsEdit

Q 1 : How do we get money for our work as Wikimedian/Wikipedian?Edit
  • Donation request
  • Spontaneous donations from people
  • One-time or regular grants from public of private entities
  • Membership fees
  • Legacy
Q 2 : What do you know in general about resource allocation?Edit

Resource allocation is important when talking about:

  • Investments
  • Commerce
  • Exchange
  • Fund-raising
  • Lucrative activities
  • Work / employment
Q 3 : Do you know how the current system of revenue streams work in our movement? Is it good? If not, why?Edit
  • The current system of revenue streams currently relies mostly on an annual donation request.
  • Yes, this system is good. Nevertheless, Wikimedia should be recognized as a public-interest organization to be able to receive related subsidies. For example, thanks to this status, the Red Cross receives subsidies in every country in which it is represented.
Q 4 : Most of Wikimedia's existing funds come from small donors in the entire world. How could we increase our donor base outside the western world? Should we look for more funds from companies, governments or big organizations? Why?Edit

Organize local donation requests, engaging more with companies, governments and other big organizations. This could ensure the effectiveness of Wikimedia's activities and its dynamism.

Q 5 : Do we want to invest more time and money to help local groups collecting more funds for their own needs, like events for sponsors or activities for members? Why?Edit

Yes, so the communities are more dynamic. Communities' dynamism can be measured thanks to annual activity reports and also comparing the amount of funds received and the amount of activities organized.

Q 6 : What revenue streams options would be acceptable or not (e.g. merchandising with the Wikimedia brand, consulting, traingin, renting, etc.)? Why?Edit
Acceptable optionsEdit
  • Organize games (eg raffles, with the help of partners);
  • Establish partnerships with the Ministry of National Education and Higher Education to receive annual grants;
  • Organize paid trainings for companies that would like to have articles on Wikipedia or on sister projects.
  • Rent Wikimedia premises, if available, for events.
  • Open stores selling clothing and accessories (t-shirts, caps, keychains, bags) with the Wikimedia brand
  • Allow all companies and institutions using Wiki resources for profit to pay a share (5% for example) of their earnings to Wikimedia.
Non-acceptable optionsEdit
  • Write articles for money
'Q 7: What other organizations should the Wikimedia movement learn from or be more similar to when it comes to generating revenue? Why?'Edit

We could follow the example of the Junior Chamber International (JCI), which in addition to membership fees, receives grants from United Nations agencies (UNICEF, UNESCO) to which it is affiliated. It then invests these funds in profitable activities in order to self-finance their own activities.

'Q 8: Do you have a local revenue generation perspective or experience for your community or organizations?'Edit

Yes. In our organizations, we collect membership fees, request funds / subsidies from local governments, rent movable and immovable property.

'Q 9: What principles should we follow to generate income? What are the red lines we should not cross? Why? 'Edit
  • transparency and honesty in the use of funds received,
  • Accountability.
Red linesEdit
  • not to make Wikimedia a for-profit organization;
  • do not prioritize revenue generation to the detriment of Wikimedia's original purpose.

Resource AllocationEdit

'Q 1: In the Wikimedia movement, who decides where the money goes?' Edit

The Wikimedia Foundation, the volunteers of the organization.

'Q 2: Should we create regional grant bodies to better allocate funds according to local contexts? Even if it meant that a larger part of our overall budget was spent for administrative purposes? Why?'Edit

Yes. Because these new regional organizations would have a better visibility of situations that should be taken into account for funds allocation. And this would address the issue of fairness, transparency and also allow better tracking of allocated funds.

'Q 3: Should we devote more of our resources to communities and knowledge systems that have traditionally been "left out" within the movement? Is it worth it even if it means less money for our existing programs and activities? Why? 'Edit

No. It is preferable that resources are allocated to existing programs and activities. More income-generating activities should be created, more B2B partnerships (win-win) at the global level (UNESCO, French Institute, OIF, Goethe Institute, etc.), but also at regional and local level (libraries , museums, galleries ...)

'Q 4: Do we want to focus mainly on the entities of the Wikimedia movement or do we want to make our resources available to a larger number of stakeholders of the free knowledge movement outside of Wikimedia? ? 'Edit

We must focus primarily on Wikimedia movement entities, but Wikimedia entities should work in synergy with structures such as libraries, museums, laboratories, schools, etc.

'Q 5: As an emerging Wikimedia community, what would empower you? What do you need from the movement? What needs to change for you to succeed? 'Edit
  • To be financially independent.
  • To be unavoidable in the field of knowledge.
  • Being able to change mentalities: instilling a culture of volunteering and patriotism.
  • Annual funding for our strategic action plans.
  • Have the means to employ at least four (4) staff members who will take care of the operational tasks. This could ease the workload of volunteers.

Essential messages, points of agreement / disagreementEdit

Roles & ResponsibilitiesEdit

  • The Foundation should be brought closer to its affiliates through the creation of regional structures / hubs. These regional structures would be responsible for supervising local organizations in terms of funding, actions and prospects. Currently, the foundation is not sufficiently imbued with the realities of affiliates.
  • Create a Board of Directors or a Management Committee that would gather representatives from regional structures.

Partnership with government bodiesEdit

One participant does not want Wikimedia to partner with state bodies. For him, States will always demand compensation, which could undermine Wikimedia's neutrality principle.

JCI income generation modelEdit

One participant reported that JCI uses support from its "alumni" to access funding opportunities for its projects or activities. He thus thinks that Wikimedia could use a similar model, benefiting from the network and connections of members and volunteers who occupy important positions in various entities.

Another participant thinks that the "alumni" model will be difficult to apply because Wikimedia is not an organization that primarily targets young people.

Need for paid staffEdit

The participants all supported the recommendation on the need for paid staff of 4 people minimum. Our User Group's challenges have evolved a lot and if we want to face them, we now need increased and permanent implication from people who would be entirely dedicated to the task.

Financial reportEdit