Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt
Connection to other recommendations
This recommendation proposes the idea of underpinning our Movement with continuous processes to analyze our ecosystems, raise awareness on their current state, and plan for our continued growth. It is foundational to all other recommendations, as, without analysis of where we are and how we do things, we cannot adjust and make changes to guarantee our future growth and sustainability.
We must evaluate all the areas, including content coverage, community and governance diversity and inclusivity, skills development, partnership impact, technology efficiency, and platforms’ usability and accessibility. Results must be widely and clearly communicated across the Movement to increase self-awareness and accountability among all stakeholders, allowing us to adapt our strategies accordingly.
As we are planning to create or reorientate new structures and processes to reach our 2030 goals, we must develop comprehensive methods to evaluate whether the path we are taking is leading us in the right direction. Today, the Wikimedia Movement insufficiently evaluates its contents, programs, and processes, making it difficult to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, preventing stakeholders from advancing towards both efficiency and impact.
To date, efforts to map and build capacity for Movement stakeholders have been ad hoc and un-sustained. The strategic direction requires new thinking, skills, and structures to build evidence-based best practices to document, sustain, and evaluate the progress or failures of programs, including for capacity building and skill development programs, over the long term.
To overcome the current barriers to growth, we recommend an approach based on several actions. We must develop methodologies to account for meaningful learning and sharing of experiences across our Movement. These methodologies involve planning, evaluation, dissemination of results, and iterations of processes to improve our Movement direction.
Programmatic and project planning will include systematic evaluation as an integral part of the process, as preconditions to adapting to changing environments, and to the improvement of our overall work. Evaluation needs to be incorporated into decision-making at all institutional levels. Planning for adequate resources, skills development, and capacity needs will be necessary to create meaningful evaluation processes.
The evaluation processes should occur at and across all levels, to verify whether our work is making progress toward achieving our strategic goals. Evaluation processes should also be adapted to the capabilities of the different communities (i.e. not be time-consuming, easy to put in place, supported by resources). This process ends with the dissemination of knowledge. Any evaluation, iteration, and change must be stored in the knowledge management system, accessible and communicated to the entire Movement, in order to raise awareness, amplify its effects, and help others avoid duplication of efforts.
The results from the evaluation must be disseminated and discussed with all involved stakeholders. For example, verifying that an improvement in the registering process / user page creation has increased user retention in a particular language edition must be communicated to the corresponding language community. The results from the evaluation must provide the necessary data to understand the context and elements involved in the system or part of the system examined. Including the people who may benefit from the change that is evaluated, whether it is the current community, new participants, or other groups of users, allows what was learned to be better understood with potentially greater impact within other projects who can learn from and adapt the results. Every evaluation must be adapted to achieve its intended goals.
- Establish clear criteria for evaluation based on our goals: impact, inclusive user experience, people-centeredness, and equity to facilitate planning and decision-making at all levels for our growth and sustainability.
- Establish mechanisms to clarify mutual accountabilities for any stakeholders within the Wikimedia Movement.
- Monitor progress on implementing equity in the Movement by evaluating diversity and newcomer inclusion as fundamentals of participation in the Movement.
- Evaluate strategic changes to make sure that both the current communities and future diversity of profiles are always taken into consideration as we implement strategic recommendations.
- Provide evaluation with resources and experts on any given area.
- Develop a comprehensive evaluation system for capacity building in order to allow stakeholders to understand and value their progress and feel supported in their inclusion.
- Iterate processes that propose changes in technology, policies, and governance systems to promote validation through research and testing.
- Adopt policies and procedures based upon evaluations of the changing world and the changing Movement to meet new and altered situations and challenges.
- Increase the flexibility and adaptability of the structures and approaches we develop.
- Plan, budget, and invest in research to make adjustments as required for improvements, innovations, and impact.