Recommendation # 1: Building Capacity for Capacity Building edit

Q 1 What is your Recommendation? edit

We recommend to build the expertise, toolbox of methods and processes for core capacities to be built across the movement.

Concrete Asks:

a plan for core capacities to be built across the movement that includes the following elements:

  • a joint, growing understanding of ‘core’ capacities needed by most movement stakeholders
  • a growing toolbox of methods will serve to support multiple learning and knowledge exchange--Capacity Building methods including but not limited to Sharing information, Assessment, Training, online learning, on-site Technical Assistance, Consultation, Mentoring/coaching, physical immersive exchange, Community of Practice, Partnerships, etc.--to meet the various capacity building needs.
  • training of trainers, of mentors, circuit riders, and coaches from the communities that will create teams of human capacity builders within the movement (who then help adapt capacities within local and cultural contexts and ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion of content and capacity building strategies are represented).
  • guided self-assessment and capacity building plans as crucial first steps in any larger capacity building intervention (assessment tools for different stakeholder types usable through a guided process such as appreciative inquiry, covering assets and gaps)
  • easily available guidance in accessing financial resources for capacity building projects (see reco on resources)
  • dedicated staff to support developing the points above.
  • dedicated staff to serve as capacity guides: supporting wikimedians  from first contact through assessment, planning, funding, to capacity building activities and evaluation (see related also reco on matching assets with needs)

Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation? edit

The capacity for Capacity Building will ensure that we are able to build an equitable movement with shared goals and opportunities regardless of location or size of community being served.

Building on the assumption that we can build much of the needed capacity for growth through mutual support within the movement, capacity builders will need a shared language, a joint understanding of core capacities, and to be skilled in applying the mix of methods that are most likely to be impactful in a given situation.

Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation? edit

Theory of Change: Determining commonly needed capacities, and providing access to opportunities to build these with help from movement peers and resources, adapting them to each  local context will result in a stronger movement that is able to grow will taking new members along on the ride and meeting their needs.


Wikimedia communities all get to the point that they need to invest in their people and their  organizations. The majority of people in the movement currently are volunteers, globally dispersed with varying levels of access, language, and connection with the international Wiki community.

Mapping commonly needed capacities (such as governance, fundraising, community organizing, event organizing, leadership) collecting knowledge on further emerging ‘core’ capacities,  and creating a shared language around them will help the staff of the Unit/organization (see also reco on matching assets with needs) to do their work based on a joint taxonomy.

Training movement stakeholders in capacity building methods (such as providing one-on-one mentoring, running effective workshops, creating high quality open educational resources) will serve to grow our movement through newly emerging leaders, experts, and create social capital for growth.

As Capacity Building involves people, organizations, and groups across the Movement, language translation and accessibility resources will need to be assigned for this ongoing effort. This may include, as a concrete item, contracted language liaisons for communities.

Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation? edit

We will have

  • a taxonomy of core capacities that are needed across the movement, and
  • a toolbox of methods to build them
  • people trained and empowered to provide capacity building to their peers
  • avenues for translation/interpretation/adaptation

We will establish a shared language on fundamental capacities and capacity building, which will enable communication and evaluation for us to demonstrate how we are advancing movement growth, knowledge equity and knowledge as a service.

Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation? edit

All stakeholders of the Wikimedia Movement involved in providing or receiving capacity building knowledge and services.

Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk? edit

Implementation risks

  • As there is much pent-up need that has been expressed (how do we organize volunteers, how do we schedule and run editathons, how do we deal with applying for or managing funds, how can we navigate local legal issues related to editing Wikipedia, etc.), there may be a perception that this recommendation for Core Capacities will be implemented too slowly.
  • There are 304 Wikipedias (List of Wikipedias) and it will not be possible to have all  materials, training and resources available in all languages.  Decisions will need to be made about where to invest for which ones will be used and how translation/interpretation (costs and logistics) will be handled.


  • A transparent roll-out plan, which in all phases includes responding to community requests. In other words, as resources and response to  capacity building needs are built, priority is given to requests (or clusters of requests from community) rather than following a pe-coneceved  notion of what capacities should be built. All resources, developments and training opportunities are actively communicated, always celebrating the contributions of community members.
  • There will be a budget for translation, funds available upon request, which can also be directly allocated to local communities to engage their own translation/interpretation/ adaptation assets.
  • Dedicated staff of the new unit is available and responsive to community requests.

Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality? Does it keep something, change something, stop something, or add something new? edit

This recommendation will create entirely new structures, resources and capacities for capacity building.

Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how? edit

All capacity building recommendations are interconnected and interdependent. Combined they form a capacity building system that is based on central structures and resources,  while capacity building activities take place largely in a decentralized, contextual and tailored fashion.

Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how? edit

All capacity building recommendations have been developed in response to the scoping questions and community input through Meta, local and regional gatherings, and collaboration across the Movement working groups.

Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs? edit

Resource Allocation: as some of our other recommendations, associated costs would be part of the budget of the capacity building unit. The idea here, therefore, is not to create numerous line items in the WMF budget, as well as numerous grant programs, but add the cost of developing capacity for capacity building to an annual CB Unit budget.

Diversity: providing access to tools, methods and materials in English  and a few other languages will not create knowledge equity within the movement, let alone the world. Therefore, the recommendations of the WG: Diversity around access to resources for multiple language communities will have to take into account capacity building.

Q 8 Do you have anything to add that was not covered with previous questions, yet essential for understanding the recommendation? edit

For Context: Topical areas of shared capacities for POGs (people, organizations, and groups) that could emerge as core capacities if deemed important by communities  may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Governance and Management of affiliates, groups, or organizations:
    1. Fundraising
    2. Legal
    3. Financial management
    4. Reporting / evaluation
    5. Event management
    6. Human resources (volunteer management, staff)
    7. Community outreach
    8. Communication ( PR, media, community relations)
  2. Organizational capacities:
    1. Collaborative capacity (partnerships)
    2. Adaptive capacity (resiliency)
    3. Innovative capacity (ability to create out of the box)
    4. Technical capacity (IT, facilities, operations)
    5. Advocacy capacity (lobbying, speaking for the cause of free knowledge)
  3. Human interaction/Interpersonal capacities:
    1. Leadership development
    2. Community Organizing
    3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
    4. Volunteer recruitment and engagement
    5. Public speaking and self-presentation
  4. Dealing with Adversity (some of these need to be addressed at movement level)
    1. Being a Wikimedian in dangerous political environments
    2. International travel/visa
    3. IT safety