Movement Strategy initiative #2: Funding for Underrepresented Communities

Invitation to review

This is a review of a Meta page draft (for context, please check out this post). You are invited to check it out and answer the following questions

  1. What’s your first impression? Is the page appealing or interesting for you to read?
  2. Can you find the information you expect to find? Is there something missing?
  3. Imagine yourself as a complete newcomer (if you’re not a newcomer yourself :)). Is the information clear? Are some parts difficult to read or understand?

Funding for Underrepresented Communities (read the full version on Meta wiki)

Wikimedia 2018-20 Recommendation 01.svg

In order to increase the Sustainability of Our Movement, funding should be specifically allocated to underrepresented communities. This includes things like hiring staff and covering other activities that are not directly related to editing wikis. This funding should not follow guidelines that are based on the needs of developed countries: instead, it should respond to a needs assessment that targets underrepresented communities.

Dedicate a significantly larger amount of Movement funding to support emerging and marginalized communities and groups based on their needs, including reimbursement for staffing, operational costs, and other activities not directly related to adding, curating or editing content.

Movement Strategy recommendation #1: Increase the Sustainability of Our Movement


Thanks, Abbad. Any guidance or reflections on how to iterate on ideas at different scales, or to balance proposals of different sizes? We’ve historically had a hard time supporting smaller grants, which affects the sorts of networks, individuals, and projects that are encouraged and supported.

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Hi @Sj you tickle me a little here, so let me jump in for @Abbad_WMF

This question forces one to draw on learnings from Movement Strategy Implementation Grants process so far and some deep dive into understanding and responding to community needs. I am wondering though what “small grants” means for you? (small in our case would be less than 500)

While your question is two fold, perhaps the underlying (and foundational) piece is around how you are approaching your grants support generally. What are your approaches/plans/policies regarding diversity and collaboration? Ask this because one thing we are learning, is that support begins at the ideation or conceptual phases of a plan. It is at that stage that the support really begins, and the opportunities for scale can be quickly identified and leveraged.

At the conceptual phase you are able to harness ideas, encourage adaptation, build collaborations (between big and small ideas). This would in time result in having more practical examples of the “how” and “what” others might take on (thus more concepts/plans) that could be contextualized or functionalized (if there’s such a word). This means proactively encouraging collaboration between the big and small and/or collaborations amongst a cluster of smaller support needs with similar ideas or concepts.

This is largely how movement strategy grants are approached, but of course we view everything through an equity and diversity lens which means there are hardly any small projects, as all the work contributes to the big picture (MS, recommendation, initiative). This also means the motivations for encouraging collaboration go beyond ease of support into skills strengthening and such.

Really interested to learn more about the support you are providing!

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Awesome response, would love to know more as well

Hello Yop! I meant ‘we’ as in Wikimedia generally has had a hard time making grants under $500, even though many of the most impactful programs, projects, and events have budgets of that small scale.

I am most interested in finding ways to support people with books, cameras, microphones, other simple tools; and to support small prizes and events that can be replicated anywhere by anyone, fun and self-propagating rather than part of a large complex event.

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AH yes @Sj , I read that as you being personally involved with grant-making and support within your community.

Agree that indeed we should consider designing potential structures and processes that enable for funding smaller scalable projects. Unfortunately I do not have a smart answer for that :slight_smile: .

Perhaps we could begin by first running some research, evaluation and needs assessment on these small-but-mighty projects and the kinds of support that would enable them most - and how to deliver those efficiently (think administration)… but perhaps that in itself is a project to consider working on, as it would fit squarely within this initiative. It would probably require some consultations and such, but that’s why @HEl-Youssef_WMF and I are here to enable for these important discussions to happen.

Are you up for this call to action @Sj ? :slight_smile:

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Thanks for raising this important concern:

  1. What’s your first impression? Is the page appealing or interesting for you to read?
    No , it’s not interesting at all , there have been a few improvements done but considering the fact , it’s only admin (not sure if they are still active our small wiki) makes it more harder even when our community members have suggestions for improvement reasons . All this applies to kinyarwanda Wikipedia (

  2. Can you find the information you expect to find?
    Some information can be found , others not , another thing once can’t find the information curated on this Kinyarwanda Wikipedia on any search engines like it happens on other wikis,
    Is there something missing?
    We have lots of stubs , English articles on kinyarwanda Wikipedia and poor google translations.

  3. Imagine yourself as a complete newcomer (if you’re not a newcomer yourself :)).
    Is the information clear? Not all information is clear .
    Are some parts difficult to read or understand? Yes very difficult :disappointed:

@Ndahiro_derrick thank you for sharing your impressions. Just to be clear, are you responding to the questions in relation to the initiative Funding for Underrepresented Communities (the page copied in the first post above) or to something else?

Your comment are important and I want to be sure we understand them correctly.

@Abbad_WMF you are asking for a review of appearance and not the content itself - correct?

Mainly, yes. Because this appreance will apply to ~50 initiative pages. If you have specific content feedback, though, I’d also be happy to hear it.

For UI/UX reviews I feel there should be competence in WMF for these pages to be better,
as well as methodology how to review them with community (IMHO focused groups)…

…as for content of page I already gave lengthy (radical?) inputs to @Qgil-WMF and @YPam_WMF so I would not repeat myself unless there is focused deliberation process happening in front of me (maybe at Wikimedia Summit?).

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these are good ideas. now that we have had a number of new people join since the last message, I’d like to see if anyone else might wish to comment here. thanks!

In general I think funder-fundee relations should be avoided, as WMF needs to build trust and mutual support relations with communities and individuals, especially with those with least resources. Adding a layer of bureaucracy, administration and competitiveness, does not help us becoming a unified movement although the resources are not as scarce and vision is shared.

I understand this would be radical development for WMF but it is much needed. Right now good administration and communication skills are awarded more then effective work on hard and pressing issues.