User:ASedrati (WMF)/Monthly Reports/March-April/EN

Number of people involved in the discussionsEdit

There were approximately 30 people involved in the discussions this month. 8 of them shared extensive feedback in form of individual interviews (more than one interview for some) and meetings. For the other members, their involvement was through Facebook/Whatsapp public discussions (mainly comments and answering each other), and participation to different polls that I have created.

Background of the participantsEdit

Participation was from different regions ranging from Morocco to Jordan, involving also members living in Europe and the Americas. A majority of participants were male (~ 80%). Participants are in their big majority (~95%) all very routinated with Wikimedia and the movement. Many of them are administrators of users with high number of edits.

Discussion ChannelsEdit

Discussions happened on the different platforms described below:

  • Facebook Group: This is the group gathering all the active editors in Arabic Wikipedia. It has 6000+ members.
  • Local Facebook Groups: Groups for specific communities (User Groups, country based Groups)
  • Whatsapp Group: A Whatsapp group gathering people who expressed their interest in discussing strategy at a deeper level, and wanted 1:1 discussions or to discuss more with each other.
  • Individual discussions: 1:1 discussions with members who expressed their interest in having these discussions.
  • Youtube Videos: I filmed videos on YouTube to simplify a number of concepts to the community and also to explain the themes of each week. Comments are open on the videos.
  • Meta/Village pump: I opened discussions on these platforms but did not receive feedback. These platforms will mostly be used to report the status of the discussion and be transparent about all feedback to allow it to be discussed as well.

Key points by themesEdit


1:1 interviews inputEdit

  • Wikimedia should create a strong legal body that can protect community members everywhere.
  • Wikimedia should strive to have as much legal representation in as many countries as possible.
  • Wikimedia should strive to make their communities aware how they can get help in legal and security issues (e.g. capacity building).

Capacity BuildingEdit

1:1 Interviews inputEdit

  • Wikimedia should build/encourage building more programs and softwares for online and offline education for using, editing and creating knowledge across all Wikimedia projects.
  • Wikimedia should try to make these programs available in as many languages as possible, especially underrepresented ones.

Community HealthEdit

1:1 Interviews inputEdit

Wikimedia should periodically perform surveys/controls for checking the progress of the different community projects.


1:1 Interviews inputEdit

  • Wikimedia should support underrepresented languages across all projects with capacity building, financial aid and technical counselling.
  • Wikimedia should publish statistics and guidelines on the diversity of content, user and editors to guide them to unrepresented elements to focus on.


1:1 Interviews inputEdit

Wikimedia should work hand in hand with open cultural organizations, NGOs, governments and Technology enterprises.

Product & TechnologyEdit

1:1 Interviews inputEdit

Wikimedia should have a Research and Development arm checking and developing new technologies that support the work of Wikimedia.

Resource AllocationEdit

1:1 Interviews inputEdit

Wikimedia should find solutions to improve the streams in some countries. WMF should have specific strategies for each country because not all countries have the same situation and challenges.

Revenue StreamsEdit

1:1 Interviews inputEdit

  • WMF should have a more transparent process to check how the revenues are obtained and how they are spent.

  • WMF needs to estimate how much resources are needed for its strategies before asking for them. The scope and a clear goal are important for the strategy.

  • WMF should be accountable and give reports of what is done with the resources. If the reports are already available, then WMF should communicate better about them to raise awareness.

  • WMF and its affiliates worldwide should have a clear and unified policy about from where resources can be accepted and where not (guidelines/manifesto)
  • Avoid receiving money from controversial sources (governments etc.)
  • All resources should go through specific metrics and conditions. We should define these metrics in agreement with community.
  • Clarify to donators and companies the conditions.

  • WMF can think about selling Wikimedia products instead of asking for “raw” donations. Manipulating data is what will be monetized, not the data itself (supposed to be free).
  • Develop apps made by data from Wikidata and make them lucrative.
  • Create daughter lucrative companies that develop apps relying on data from the encyclopedia.
  • Make partnerships with companies that are lucrative, and which use information from Wiki projects. WMF can then share parts with them.
  • Create raspberry pies or services and sell them.
  • WMF can sell consultancy in technological areas – either from employees or community.
  • WMF can sell printed books/ebooks based on the content available in the encyclopedia from selected areas. Content is free but this can be a form of encouragement instead of a donation.

  • Clarify the vulnerability and do risk assessment engaging the community before starting any partnership. The community does not know for example what is the current dependency of Wikimedia towards Google and the risks that are in this agreement. (is also part of Partnerships WG)

Community inputEdit

  • There is no legal status for most of the User Groups (UG), so they cannot have their own bank accounts. The absence of these accounts and legal status makes the process not transparent and not traceable. (shared and agreed by all)
  • A solution would be to empower UGs and other parts of the community to have a local legal status, and receive guidance about how to do so (trainings from local experts hired by WMF, consultants etc.). (suggestion by a member).
  • Local groups can create their own pages to receive donations, in accordance with WMF rules and guidelines. This requires also that the groups have a legal status already, and that WMF supports them with expertise.

Roles & ResponsibilitiesEdit

1:1 Interviews inputEdit

  • Decentralize decision-making (and decentralize WMF). Some countries and areas have difficulty to work with USA. For example, some government start suspecting people if they have relations with USA. It can be better to have many branches of the foundation in the world. Now, there can never be a Wikimedia conference in Iran or Cuba, as community members there cannot receive grants.

  • WMF should engage and give more responsibilities to small and growing communities.
  • Suggestion: Any WMF employee living in an emerging community, should also have part of his paid hours to help the affiliate in the country.

  • Relation between chapters/user groups and movement are usually affected by relations between countries – For example GLAM event that was hosted in Israel meant that no Arab could participate. WMF (or deciding organisations) should make sure that events and conferences are hosted in neutral countries/places. The same applies for places where obtaining visa is difficult. Before giving the OK for organization, WMF should think about this to make sure community members (in their diversity) can attend.
  • Active volunteers should receive more responsibilities and get compensations if they are expected to continue at that pace. WMF should also employ people from everywhere and give them responsibilities (joins diversity WP).

  • Create “community liaison” department at WMF to onboard groups, users, explain governance and link between decision makers and community. It should be simpler for any member of the community to contact board of trustees to give feedback, complain, or share suggestions. This is not happening now, and the gap is huge between community members and decision makers.
  • Most Wikimedians are not aware about the current governance.
  • They should be educated and that this governance is communicated to them.
  • Introduce to people to what is affcom, what are the different teams in the WMF etc. The WMF is supposed to work for the community, so they should be more communicate about their governance.

  • Responsibility should be diversified within the WMF. Most of the key roles in the foundation are held by Americans. If the director is from one country/region, then other leaders should be from another one. This should not only be a gender question, but also geography. WMF is not working for USA, but for the whole world.
  • Have more WMF employees in other countries, as points of contact with the community.
  • This will help decentralize without needing to move the whole structure outside of the USA.

  • Board of trustees processes are unclear. Moreover this process is not neutral because it is only based on voting. This operation does usually involve personal relations and friendships within the movement. The process should be more transparent.

  • Local Governance for User Groups. Status reports that are sent yearly by UGs are not answered by WMF. UGs do not know how their work is seen and never receive feedback. There are risks of dictatorships in local organizations (UGs or even chapters). It is difficult to spot unless reported by someone from inside. WMF should control this more and be ready to intervene if noticing that.

  • Affiliations committee should be independent from WMF. Decisions about affiliates should be only coming from Affcom without WMF interfering.

  • There should be a new organism only for the community, filled by members each one of them representing a linguistic community.

  • WMF should clarify its position on how new chapters are chosen and why.
  • There should not be any discrimination between the countries.
  • Why do some countries have chapters while others have User Groups?
  • Chapters are more powerful and give more advantages (salaries, vote in Board of trustees). User Groups are splitting the community while chapters gather it.
  • Who decides about which country has chapter or user group? WMF should clarify the process and be transparent about it. Example of Nigeria: The community is very big, but they never had the opportunity to have a chapter.
  • What is the strategy/process to follow to have a chapter? Why can’t we have chapter for the Arab word? While a country as small as Israel (smaller community, smaller Wiki) has one?

Community InputEdit

  • Create an organism that has one representative from each Arab country. Arabic is specific by being cross-country language and decision-making is difficult. Such an organism will be very helpful in this regard.
  • Have at least one representative of Arabic countries in different parts of the foundation/decision-making (can either be chosen by the community or by the organisms)
  • Have regional representatives in Board of trustees. Places can be assigned to specific community members in this board (large languages such as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic).
  • Wikimedia should have one or more paid role to work in relation with/empower underrepresented content, languages and groups. (touches also Diversity WG).