To equitably invest in skills development for both stakeholders and partner organizations, we recommend an approach based on several actions. We must start by reducing the need for skills development programs through more effectively leveraging the knowledge we already have. This will involve assessing and mapping current skills that are present as well as those that are needed to support the overall needs of the Movement. This can be done by creating more fluid user experiences and enabling easier access to existing information thanks to effective internal knowledge management.
We must build solid learning pathways for individuals and organizations, both online and offline. Online, we should create a coherent and fluid learning experience, preferably through a platform or network of material, offering a wide set of contextualized learning resources about both Wikimedia projects and Movement processes. This includes “learning packs” oriented toward newcomers (individuals, affiliates, or partners), including welcome packs, growth plans, toolkits for them to enter and thrive in our Movement, and delivering skills recognition (eg. through open badges certification) to acknowledge the result of the efforts.
Offline, capacity building should be distributed at all levels (individual, local, regional, global), and include multiple formats (train-trainers programs, training, mentoring, coaching, workshops, clubs, camps, conferences, and hackathons), creating a dense network of peer-support for both individuals and organizations to grow. This will require both local empowerment so that people can decide what is best for themselves, and global cooordination and evaluation, so that all stakeholders can learn from each other, continually improve, and be recognized for their expertise through a shared certification system.
For skills development to grow steadily and equitably, it will need solid investment in terms of resources and staff, with a focus on under- and unrepresented communities. We propose support by a dedicated unit, or a coordinated effort from Movement entities’ staff members to work together tightly, keeping subsidiarity in mind as a principle.