Movement Strategy initiative #28: Guidelines for board functions and governance

Guidelines for board functions and governance

Wikimedia 2018-20 Recommendation 04 final.svg

In order to Ensure Equity in Decision-making, we need governance guidelines for all Wikimedia governance bodies. This includes the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Affiliate boards, and committees (like the FDC). These guidelines would help distribute power and invite new leaders into the movement, for example: by empowering more women to join boards or by increasing geographic representation. Guidelines would also encourage transparency and consistency in leadership practices across the movement. The Global Council will be responsible for making sure that the governing bodies of the movement follow these guidelines, and are supported in doing so.

  • Establish good practice guidelines for how boards function, such as term limits, election and selection processes, and approaches to other governance questions where applicable and relevant for a community. These guidelines will need to be adapted and contextualized by each stakeholder. Boards would be held accountable for following good practices by the Global Council. For those that do not, the Global Council will create mechanisms to review and provide support.
  • Collectively define good practice guidelines for how to both empower/inspire and enable/support new volunteers to run for different types of elected roles. These efforts will be particularly focused on underrepresented groups.
  • Ensure leadership positions and ways of accessing them are documented, transparent, and accessible.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Sharing Meta page drafts of Movement Strategy initiatives for review

Just to be clear, I disagree with this proposal specifically, and that is the rationale and the basis for my comment above on this thread. I just want to be absolutely clear that my comment above pertains to this proposal specifically; in other words I not making the comment above in a general sense that would lack relevance to this topic.

If the guidelines proposed above do not already exist , then there is little basis right now for creating them, and we need to achieve a credible community consensus to create these documents at all, I.e. before we actually embark upon creating these documents, and discussing the specifics of each document to be created.

In other words, the proposal above does not have my support, unless and until the proposal is presented in a clear and credible way to the community in a real sense, namely at the Village Pump at English Wikipedia, and at other highly active Wikipedias, such as the Wikipedias for French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese,in other words various Wikipedias which have significant levels of activity.

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Thank you, Steven. I’m sure there are many guidelines in place, and there have been attempts to regulate them in more than one instance (e.g. organizational best practices). During the Movement Strategy process, however, a number of gaps were identified, such as “term limits”. Also, the initiative aims at general consistency

This is not to defend the initiative, but simply to explain. The community surely needs to be consulted, especially if there’ll be by-effects for them, e.g. on the ArbCom.