(Revised draft) Hub Piloting Guidelines

(If you prefer, you can read this text on Meta-Wiki, and comment there.)

This is a discussion space for hub piloting guidelines. This is a revised version of an initial Hub Piloting Criteria published as a basis for conversations on June 3, 2022. Following the discussions on meta, MS Forum, Telegram, and global conversations, we have consolidated all the feedback and input and have significantly revised proposed guidelines. We look forward to further conversations to move towards finalized guidelines here on the MS Forum, Meta, and comment there.), MS Telegram, and also with affiliate representatives at Wikimedia Summit

Overview of key changes (change log)

  • Change of general setting from criteria to guidelines
  • Substantial changes in the proposal of validation accounting for the subsidiarity principle
  • Extended elaboration of the support set up
  • Note regarding financial support and use of trademark added
  • Categories of “must”, “should”, and “could” added for the guidelines
  • “Success criteria” embedded in the “stated goal” and “off-ramp plan” changed to “alternative plan”

Hub Piloting Guidelines

The document is a draft of the guidelines for implementing Regional and Thematic Hub pilots. It includes general guidance for ensuring high quality, transparent, and connected work on hub pilots across the movement.

Hubs are structures recommended by the Movement Strategy. Their plans need to be transparent, visible, and accountable to the movement. This also helps to create collaboration and coordination between different hub projects and avoid unnecessary duplication or conflicts. The guidelines support aforementioned aspects of work for hub pilots and also provide a common ground for implementing the recommendation.

The draft document includes feedback from prior conversations and is available for further movement-wide review.

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Proposal for a process to advance hub pilots

This is a proposed, decentralized process to advance aspiring hub pilots. In the absence of a Movement Charter defining hubs or any process officially established to approve hub projects, it is important that the hub pilot proposals advance with strong movement support. As a movement, advancing the pilots is useful to experiment and learn about this new type of organization. However, we need to collectively agree upon the common ground and guidance for such projects, to avoid possible future problems.

Set up

Regional and Thematic Hub pilots are set up by the communities they will serve. It is an instance of implementation of the subsidiarity principle.

To qualify as a movement strategy hub pilot project, it must meet the requirements of:

  • A stated goal
  • Public documentation
  • Needs assessment
  • Clear plan
  • Connection to Movement Strategy implementation

Support

The project team of a hub pilot will arrange for needed support independently. They can reach out to the Wikimedia Foundation and other affiliates for the support that will be beneficial in advancing the project.

Existing movement structures and committees are available to provide advisory support in advancing the hub pilots.

  • The Movement Strategy and Governance team of the Wikimedia Foundation is available to allocate its time and resources to:
    • Provide support in formalizing or starting up the hubs
    • Foster exchange between hub pilots
    • Provide information in relation to overall Movement Strategy implementation
  • Other Wikimedia Foundation teams will be available for consultation on specific topics in relation to their area of expertise
  • Movement Committees (Affiliations Committee, Regional Grant Committees) may be available in an advisory role.
  • Support to the hub pilots is not limited to Wikimedia Foundation and committees. Other movement groups and organizations can state their availability to support hub piloting across the movement in their specific expertise areas.

Funding

While not all hub pilots require funding to advance their work, in many cases financial resources are essential in advancing the project. There are some implications related to the aspect of funding:

  • IF the hub pilot is capable of finding its own funding, there are no additional requirements.
  • IF the hub pilot needs funding from the Wikimedia Foundation, its staff and Regional Grant Committee will assess the proposal and may suggest improvements to the proposed project, as per the Community Fund process.

Trademark

While not all hub pilots require the use of Wikimedia trademark, it is beneficial in some cases to meet the goal of the project:

  • If the use of Wikimedia trademarks is needed, the usual process of setting up trademark agreements will apply.
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Guidelines to hub pilots

This section outlines the guidelines proposed on different levels of a hub pilot. These levels are:

  1. must - guidelines that every hub pilot needs to follow to ensure accountability, transparency, and be truly a Movement Strategy project;
  2. should - operational guidelines for improving the projects to make them more sustainable and impactful;
  3. could - guidelines not strictly related to the project itself yet helping to position them better on the overall landscape.

MUST

  • A stated goal - Clear explanation of the goal of the hub with clearly defined success criteria, including why this goal needs a hub structure or cannot be achieved with existing Wikimedia structures.
  • Public documentation - For transparency and accountability, a hub pilot must have a continuously updated project page on Meta. (Creation of a topic about the hub proposal on the Movement Strategy Forum is strongly recommended for multilingual communication.)
  • Needs assessment - Hub pilots would need to be based on 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 invited 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 will the pilot focus on in the first months and years (including which ones, how prioritized, why prioritized)?
  • Connection to the Movement Strategy implementation process - Hub pilot work must align with the Movement Strategy recommendations and the implementation process.

SHOULD

  • Multiple entities - List of entities involved in the set up and oversight of the project. A hub project must not be overseen by only one entity, as we already have an affiliate model and the Wikimedia Foundation for such projects.
  • Diverse & Inclusive leadership - The hub pilot demonstrates a continuous effort made to ensure diversity of leadership (representation of gender, age, languages, regions, and others.)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation - Clear plan on how the progress of a hub will be monitored and evaluated. Including clear definition of objectives and key results for the pilot.
  • Community engagement - Plan for how the communities supported by the hub pilot can inform the work of the pilot, engage in its activities, and participate in the decision-making.
  • 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.

COULD

  • Endorsement - Clear community endorsement., particularly clear endorsement of the pilot from the communities to be supported by the hub.
  • Overlap Mitigation Plan - Clear mapping of hub pilot’s mandate in comparison to existing structures and a plan for mitigating potential overlaps.
  • Alternative Plan - Process for reshaping the pilot if it doesn’t satisfy the success criteria.
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Open Questions

Here is a list of questions that need further conversation to ensure better guidance for the hub pilots:

  • How are potential overlaps and conflicts between hub pilots managed in a “bottom-up” process?
  • What is needed to avoid duplications and redundancies among Hubs?
  • How will the risk assessment and mitigation take place?
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Hi, I would like to complement the release of these Hubs guidelines with a comment about the previous drafting phase in June, on behalf of the Movement Strategy and Governance team. The approach we took to produce the [DRAFT] Minimum Criteria for Hub Pilots unnecessarily stressed some volunteers involved in hub projects and committees mentioned in the draft. We aimed to bring these different stakeholders to a shared conversation, but our approach put several projects and committees suddenly on the spot without a warning. We apologize for the unintended negative impact that the publication of the initial criteria draft caused. We are grateful for people sharing their concerns, so we can improve.

Based on the lessons learned, this time we have taken a different approach:

  • We present a new version of this draft that (we believe) shouldn’t contain any big surprises. It aims to be a direct evolution from the feedback received in June.
  • Important questions that haven’t been addressed in previous discussions are presented as questions. We haven’t tried to propose a potential solution. Instead, we invite the stakeholders involved to discuss and answer these questions.
  • The current draft doesn’t mention any committee or any organization having a new role to be discussed in relation to hubs.
  • The current draft aims to provide objective and standard advice to help hub promoters manage their projects and make them visible to the movement.

We look forward to reading and hearing your feedback, before, during, and after the Wikimedia Summit. The future of hubs is first and foremost in the hands of the promoters of the hub projects. And we are here to support you in the ways that are most useful for your success.

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