Wikimedia Conference/Program and Engagement Coordination/Wikimania 2016 report/Impact

Wikimedia movement's impact



  • Wikimedians are enthusiastic about why and how they achieve impact
    • Don’t make it too theoretical!
    • Conversations were so intense!
  • Impact exists in many different ways, on many different levels
=> paths of impact emerge
  • Two levels of need and interest: strategic and methodical
    • Larger organizations think more about the strategic aspects of impact
    • Smaller organizations is much more practical: good tools and methods are important to analyze their own activities
    • Where is there overlap, where are the differences?
      • Things that are not easily measured are difficult to make visible
  • Large organizations (lots of experience, older) vs. lots of user groups (young, inexperienced) – resources are needed to develop capacities over time in order to build up experience, you have to start small to increase your impact over time
    • All online resources do not build capacities
    • How can we build capacity in the movement by creating synergies among affiliates, not putting everything on the organizations?
    • How to build capacity in countries with political repression by the government?
    • Challenges: government repression
    • How can we evaluate our impact?

Ideas about how to continue working on impact: * Continue to build a map of impact

    • Useful tools
      • What do we have: pictures of logic models on Commons, program reports - lots of pieces, but not on a map
      • Map could be a useful tool for strategic planning for individual affiliates
        • Comparing the success of different programs within one organizations
        • Tool-Example: Jaime
        • Looks very different for big vs. small organization
        • Different goas for different actors with different resources
        • Necessary for this: Shared metrics & Outcome mapping
    • Quality?
    • What do we not know?
      • For some programs, we can see an impact but don’t know what’s causing
      • Others, we can’t see an impact
    • Building an evidence base!
      • Conference provide opportunities to share experiences
      • It’s difficult to convince board members of importance of impact
      • It’s hard to map outputs and impact in a single organization over time by staff and boards – lots of enthusiasm, but very little analysis
        • Solution: outside impact evaluation?!
        • Methodological training
      • Identify drivers of change
        • Unique models: what have other people done successfully?
          • What can people contribute to that?
          • Starting point: I want to have impact in this particular area
        • Utilize existing reports, studies and analysis
        • Utilize experts within the movement to propose new models
        • Highlight and collect things that work in an accessible way
          • Existing: reports on Meta, Learning Patterns
          • It should be searchable like a database (what can we do in the field of GLAM for this budget?)
          • More concise than Learning Patterns: How many resources do we need? What area of interest do we want to engage?
          • Accessible from both sides: best practices published to people in the movement
          • Developing a shared framework to measure impact, so that we can have a shared conversation about it

How can we distribute this work? What could be the benefit for groups in the movement by investing in this resource?

  • Lots of information in the grant reports, but not shared enough
  • Not enough metrics available to track outcomes internationally over time
    • Data collection is growing in the movement
    • WMF is building the system to be able to streamline and monitor your programs
  • Data is collected by WMF for reports, but then after publication, nothing happens
  • Data collection should be easy for people to do
  • It must be useful and used by people in the movement
  • We can’t all be experts
    • Solution: mentorship programs – finding the needs, connect people to peer leaders, peer leaders to be supported by the foundation, share the knowledge
    • Difficulty: Identifying peer leaders, Not all editors want to collaborate and share their knowledge, but just want to edit online on their own (Only becomes a concern when these editors are having a negative impact on our projects)

Now what?

  • WMF question: How can we better enable our chapters to support impact-based programs?


  • Peer consultation
    • How is WMDE dealing with measuring impact?
    • Has WMDE considered undergoing an outside evaluation?
    • How do you advise people on impact?
      • Talk to them, provide tools
      • Advise on an individual basis
      • Peer-group conversations can be helpful