[DRAFT] Minimum Criteria for Hub Pilots - Research / Planning


This topic is part of [DRAFT] Minimum Criteria for Hub Pilots. Here the discussion focuses on the section about the process to approve hub pilots. You can discuss this section on Meta as well.

The draft section discussed here:

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Research / Planning

  • Needs assessment – Rooted in research to understand the needs of communities related to the region or the theme. All the communities in the region or in the thematic topic area must be reached out to participate in the needs assessment process.
  • Clear plan – Description of how the pilot will begin and continue to address the needs identified in the needs assessment. What actions the pilot will focus on in the first years (including which ones, how prioritized, why prioritized)?
  • Shared governance model – Description of how the pilot will be overseen, including clear description of roles and responsibilities, and process for managing community feedback and input.
  • Endorsement – Clear community endorsement. Including clear endorsement of the pilot from the communities to be supported by the hub pilot.
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كيف يمكن تقدير مدى تفاعل المجتمعات المعنية بالمحور؟ هل المجتمعات المعنية تعني فقط مجموعات المستخدمين أم تشمل مجتمعات مختلف المشاريع؟ إذا تفاعلت مجموعة دون أخرى كيف يمكن تقدير التفاعل العام؟

Is there a quantitative or qualitative measurement for it?

a. Regarding the interaction, it can be mostly estimated based on public or semi-public interaction, i.e. on-wiki, on meta or public / semi-public social media groups. This does not mean that there cannot be interactions in other formats, yet it would be great to ensure that the key outcomes of these interactions would be publicly reported (e.g. meeting summaries).

b. Regarding the extent of what is meant with the communities, it is not intended to be limited to organizational part (i.e. chapters, thematic organizations, user groups) and should include also relevant online project communities.

c. Regarding the overall interaction, it would be great to have a central space for bridging all the different conversation. Hub project page on meta could be useful for that matter.

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There is not yet a quantitative or qualitative measurement for the endorsement. Firstly, it would make sense to discuss whether this is a reasonable step or should be omitted. If there is an agreement that there indeed needs to be some level of endorsement or support, then details would need to be provided. I hope it makes sense.

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About the community endorsement, one way to approach this topic is to ask these questions:

  • Can a hub project move beyond research and planning without any trace of community endorsement? Let’s say that the hub proposal has ben announced and promoted, but there has been total silence from the affected communities.
  • Can a hub project move beyond research and planning even if there are clear signs of community opposition?
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ESEAP has already moved beyond research and planning its an active community has been for 10 years come 14 July

Presumably if ESEAP is recognised as a hub, then it will start to do some things that it doesn’t presently do?

The idea of hubs is that in time they take on additional responsibilities that are either held elsewhere (with the WMF grants committees or AffCom), or they do things that aren’t presently done or aren’t done at all (e.g. better support for capacity building).

If a regional collaboration doesn’t have any interest in doing any of those things in future, it shouldn’t become a hub (in my view). If it does, then the existing governance arrangements aren’t sufficient.

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Replying to Quim

I think it depends what “community endorsement” means.

The idea is that Hubs are rooted in the relevant communities - and this is a necessary criterion for them to succeed.

To my mind this does not necessarily mean that there has to be clear evidence of active support from the relevant online Wikimedia projects, in the form of a poll/RFC/whatever.

As we all know it is very difficult to get online communities to pay any attention to ‘movement governance’ issues. When the WMF wants to get their attention, it employs teams of facilitators to go and start conversations. The results are still often a bit mixed - there is not always lots of participation. If one asked the major European-language Wikipedias to endorse the concept of Wikimedia Europe… there would probably not be much participation still.

So what ‘endorsement’ means will probably vary between Hubs. If the Hub is mainly a collaboration of affiliates, will often be more sensible for the endorsement to come from the affiliates concerned.

Similarly, what does ‘community opposition’ mean?

We certainly need to be alert to community opposition. But this might be expressed in several different ways. Certainly in this process there will be community members saying “I don’t see the point of Hubs, it’s just another pointless layer of bureaucracy”. They are entitled to this view, but it’s not high-value feedback - the decision to trial Hubs is already taken, and the questions are about how to do it. More significant to my mind is opposition which suggests some structural issue - for instance, a minority group (however defined) concerned about being pushed into a Hub against their will.


responding to The Land’s comment

Presumably if ESEAP is recognised as a hub, then it will start to do some things that it doesn’t presently do?

Beside being a legal entity with its own funds ESEAP supports the community, brings WMF discussions to the region, its even hosting Wikimania and local events. The point of this is ESEAP isnt a pilot come 13 July its been active for 10 years building a community, supporting that community, advocating for the region globally, and connecting global activities with the region.

Within the region choosing a place to base a legal entity is unlike Europe or the US, its a lot more complex. It needs professional legal support to investigate the options and impact of being based in any single country so for now a local affiliate is the de facto entity and everything else is online.

A post was split to a new topic: Explore ideas for group editing efforts on history-related topics on Wikipedia

لا أعتقد ذلك. إن مشاركة المجتمع أمر حتمي منذ البداية والا مآله الفشل. ولنا في المجتمع العربي مثال حيث بدأ تصور المشروع جيدا، ولكن بمجرد اعتراض بعض النشطين توقف أو اُهمل، وصارالأمور اكثر صعوبة ونحن فقط في مرحلة البحث.

Thank you @Nehaoua. To be clear, you are saying that it is important to have community feedback from the start even if that might make the project progress more complex. Did I understand you correctly?

نعم نوعا ما، النقطة الأساسية أنه إن لم نُعلم المجتمع ونأخذ رأيه (او بالأحرى، دعم المجتمع للمشروع) قد يصير عقبة للمشروع ويصبح مشروعا نخبويا