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Projekte/WMAT 3-Year Plan (2022-2024)
On the basis of our new strategy "Roadmap 2025", we have developed an implementation plan for the next three years, with a budget and concrete quantitative and qualitative goals for the coming year 2022, as well as milestones and core activities for 2023 and 2024.
The strategic plan builds on our strengths and unique selling propositions – volunteering, governance and (international) project administration – with a view to preserving as well as partly deepening and expanding them in the years to come. In addition, growth and development potential for the coming years were identified: This refers above all to the pro-active strengthening of open knowledge in society on the basis of strategic partnerships (advocacy) as well as the development of expertise relevant to the creation and handling of open knowledge with interested partner organisations, especially media, as well as educational, cultural and memory institutions.
Goals and metrics 2022
|(new definition! previous number without organisers: 3,600)
|Individuals who attend or benefit from the proposal’s activities, either in person (offline) or virtually (online). They can participate in a number of ways, it does not only include people editing Wikimedia projects. It does not include social media followers, donors, or others not participating directly.
|People who edit Wikimedia projects, creating or improving content as a result of grantee activities.
|Newly registered users
|The number of participants that create new accounts on a Wikimedia project as part of the proposal’s activities.
|(new definition! previously only volunteer organisers: 260)
|People that make sure that activities can be implemented by providing the necessary time, support, and knowledge. This definition includes persons involved in implementing activities such as planners, coordinators, trainers, teachers, outreach liaisons, advisors, facilitators, publicity leaders, speakers, etc. Organizers can be volunteers or paid staff.
|Number of organisers who have already been organisers in previous activities.
|Diversity among organisers
|(new metric, replaces old, not comparable diversity metric)
|Minimum share of organisers who are female or non-binary.
|80 % (slightly changed definition, previously online commitment instead of Wikimedia commitment)
|Minimum share of people participating in community surveys who agree that our activities contribute to motivating them in terms of their Wikimedia commitment.
(slightly altered definition, previously did not include Wikipedia namespace)
|New or improved content pages in the main namespace and in the Wikipedia namespace of Wikimedia projects (for Wikimedia Commons: only media files).
|New or improved pages in the article and Wikipedia namespace.
|New or improved Wikidata items.
|Wikimedia Commons contents
|Uploaded media files.
|Contents in other Wikimedia projects
|New or improved contents in the main namespace of other Wikimedia projects.
|Open contents beyond the Wikimedia projects
|New pages with freely licensed content in non-Wikimedia projects (e.g. RegiowikiAT).
|High quality – the number of community decorations for media files (featured, quality, valued) and articles (quality, featured) – and improved quality – the number of improved main namespace pages tagged as having quality issues.
|Media file use
|Number of distinct new media files used in the main namespace of Wikimedia projects.
|Strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability.
Programme planning 2022
Volunteer Support Programme
"We support a diverse volunteer community that commands a wide range of expertise and offers a constructive environment to existing and new contributors."
Central fields of action
|1. Global structures
|a. Structures for fair resource distribution:
b. Structures for international cooperation:
|2. Volunteering in terms of quality
|3. Volunteering in terms of numbers
|4. Representation towards third parties
|Our aim is to further increase the appreciation of the communities and their work in society as well as to enable cooperation with third parties (partner institutions etc.). Special attention is paid to balanced reporting about our communities in the media by virtue of proactive press relations, lectures and directly addressing relevant institutions.
Uncertainty and complexity
Our commitment within the scope of the international 2030 strategy (further development of the Volunteer Supporter Network, regional hubs and reorganisation of international governance structures) is characterised primarily by uncertainty and complexity. As a result, we do not rely on linear and causal planning techniques but use a resource-based approach rooted in effectuation. Specifically this means for us that we apply our strengths and expertise in a targeted manner (above all in the areas of community work and governance), quantify the available time and financial resources, specify affordable losses and finally implement and continue developing our ideas in cooperation with open-minded partners. Additional steering decisions and milestones are discussed and decided together with the partners involved. Effectuation is therefore an iterative methodology of small steps and enables innovation with manageable risks.
Our annual community survey is an important instrument for our work with the volunteers. In 2021, the survey revealed a noticeable drop in motivation among our volunteers for the first time since the survey was launched in 2015 (70% instead of 80%). Together with the feedback on other topic areas (support offers, free space for general feedback etc.), this has supplied a coherent picture of the negative consequences the pandemic has wrought on our communities. Above all, the personal meetings, the direct exchange, also offline, with the WMAT team and other volunteers as well as the absence of motivating events such as international events were given as reasons. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that WMAT is the only organisation in the German-speaking countries still tied to the globally applicable restrictions of the Wikimedia Foundation, even during periods of low incidence rates during which joint activities would be possible. By virtue of their fundraising privileges, WMDE and WMCH are able to self finance and are not bound by grants to which these restrictions are attached. This further aggravates the prevailing marginalisation of the Austrian communities in the German-language countries.
Our experience and our metrics of the last 1.5 years show that our latitude and therefore the achievement of our goals will depend crucially on the further development of the pandemic and the manner in which the Wikimedia Foundation manages the issue. We call for the decisions on what measures are necessary to protect employees and volunteers to be returned back into the hands of the organisations concerned. Unlike at the beginning of the pandemic, there are no more one-size fits all solutions because the development of infection rates is quite different regionally and locally.
For the coming years, we expect to see changes primarily in international cooperation in the area of volunteer support. While we are likely to continue notching up our commitment and networking efforts in North-West, Central and Eastern Europe, as a result of which our joint latitude will grow, we believe our direct involvement in other regions (MENA region) is likely to decline, as regional support structures will hopefully emerge there in the medium term.
In addition, we would also like to deepen our cooperation with the international team of Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) and also experiment with new options in this context. In concrete terms, joint plans are in place to integrate a part-time employee for WLM International into the WMAT organisation so as to be in a better position to provide the international team with administrative assistance without the need to create separate administrative structures there. To this end, it will be necessary to introduce new structures and processes jointly that will make such shared responsibility possible.
A further growth area is in the work with young adults and the further development of existing approaches like Wikipedia For Peace. There are close links here to growth fields in Programme 3 (university and school projects) as well as to the fundraising strategy (grant options) that should also be explored.
Free Content Programme
"We support the generation, production and distribution of free content that reliably represents the knowledge established in society, in its diversity. In addition, we want to ensure easy access to and easy reuse of these contents for all."
Central fields of action
|1. Quantity of content
b. Wikimedia Commons:
|2. Quality of content
|a. Technical standards:
b. Reliability and clarity:
c. Content gaps:
|3. Reuse and partnerships
Since content is largely the result of our volunteer support, there is a close link to the Covid-19-related challenges outlined above and the extent of the restrictions to be expected in this respect in the future.
To date, the greatest obstacles to successful large-scale GLAM projects in Austria have been a general lack of interest in digitalisation among top-level management members and scepticism towards open knowledge in particular. Positive developments (that are hopefully sustainable) can be expected in this context against the backdrop of the pandemic, because many institutions are having to become more creative in order to fulfil their mission and to allow access to their contents even under difficult conditions.
Based on pilot projects in 2022 (Wikimedians in Residence of the City of Linz, virtual cultural event series), we plan to further boost future content partnerships in Austria, also with the goal of closing primarily content-related gaps in the projects. There are many suitable cultural and memory institutions. In our view, previous obstacles have been primarily the lag in terms of digitalisation in many Austrian organisations as well as a lack of time and skill resources (technical expertise, data literacy) on both sides. The goal here is to expand the scope of action with the help of grants and partnerships.
Another of our key priorities is to promote the continued medium-term use of free contents on a broad basis in Austria and Europe, by generating and distributing clear low-threshold offers and guides in this regard.
Open knowledge: awareness and change
"In cooperation with partners, we want to help shape political changes in favour of open knowledge at various levels and support people when it comes to using the internet as an open and public resource."
Central fields of action
|1. Political and social representation of interests
a. National legislation:
b. European legislation:
c. Public administration:
Thanks to stable partnerships, legal expertise in the Board and other bodies as well as the reliable support of colleagues in the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group in Brussels, WMAT is capable of performing effective advocacy work despite lean structures and without a separate paid position. However, this will succeed only for as long as the framework continues to focus on legislative processes with direct repercussions on our projects in a more or less reactive way. In 2021, we launched ORF.Wie Wiki, our first proactive campaign related to the election of the new head of the Austrian Broadcasting Company (ORF) in order to campaign for more free contents in public service broadcasting. This was possible only by virtue of a Corona-related financial cushion (money that could not be spent elsewhere due to the restrictions). Therefore, future initiatives will require appropriate financial and personal resources (see fundraising strategy).
We seek to radically review the basic premises of our university projects within the scope of the new strategy, and particularly to discontinue pursuing hardly scalable, staff-intensive approaches.
In the medium to long term, we pursue a more proactive strategy in terms of advocacy efforts both in Austria and at EU level. So far, we have been primarily reacting to occurrences and legislative processes that (often) detrimentally affect us. In the future, the aim will be to actively contribute to forging the agenda so as to help build the internet freely and openly in a positive sense. We seek to position ourselves as the voice of "good tech" and self-managed online communities. This requires an increased focus on content work as well as sustainable presence in and around negotiations. To this end, we must continue to focus on relying more strongly on synergies through partnerships and establish additional resources, which is particularly appropriate in the European context.
Our education programmes must be set on a new, self-supporting and scalable foundation. To this end, we will actively cooperate with existing and new partners in 2022 and derive steps from this for the years to come. It has also become clear in the course of our strategy process that coherently promoting free knowledge in society should begin as early as at school. Aside from a few individual initiatives in the past, a scalable approach for schools would be a completely new field of action for us that can only be achieved with the appropriate partners. Therefore, the introduction of a new expert group is under consideration for strategic partnerships with a focus on education to develop and evaluate possibilities and sustainable procedures in line with a resource-based effectuation approach.
"The full achievement of our strategic goals requires additional financial and human resources. We aim to generate these resources on a broad scale, relying on permanent and individual donations, public funding, sponsorship and in-kind contributions from partner organisations in addition to core funding through international fundraising." The short-term goal of our fundraising strategy for 2022 is to maintain the present income structure based on Wikimedia funds, individual donations, in-kind contributions as well as third-party funding from public subsidies (Erasmus+, City of Vienna, etc.). Closely related to this is the goal of political independence. It results on the one hand from the character of the projects and communities that we support, which strive for the greatest possible neutrality. On the other hand, recent years in Austria have been characterised by a hardly stable political situation that has also been leveraged by some parties to create major restrictions in civil society (substantially shrinking civil society spaces), a phenomenon that has been presenting many Western democracies with major challenges. Another criterion for the acquisition of third-party funds from the public sector is the associated administrative burden for the respective grants, which must be in healthy proportion to the amount and our administrative resources.
Since the foundation landscape in Austria is comparatively less developed than in neighbouring countries like Germany and Switzerland, the direct fundraising of small donations remains a key independent source of funding. However, the lack of deductibility of donations also results in disadvantages here, making good and sustainable donor communication all the more important (the donations volume in Austria is significantly lower than in the rest of the DACH region, cf Donation Report 2020). However, WMAT is the only German-language chapter that does not benefit from the privilege of being able to use Wikipedia banners for this purpose, resulting in significant disadvantages and marginalisation.
Our long-term goal is therefore to reduce disparities in this area: by access to Austrian donor data so as to establish communication tailored to local needs and activities and to build donor relationships based thereupon. In addition, we seek to address potential new donors in Austria directly via the banners in the projects. In this context, we rely strongly on decentralisation processes within the international strategy and the possibility of solving these activities using shared structures in Europe (i.e. fundraising services as part of future hubs). The advantage would be that broader use would be made of already existing expertise (in WMCH and WMDE) instead of requiring additional parallel structures.
Likewise at the European level, we see medium- to long-term potential for additional jointly acquired public funding within the scope of European programmes (with other Wikimedia organisations, other partner organisations or like-minded communities) – above all, in the area of proactive advocacy work such as Erasmus+ for projects with young adults. For example, approaches like “Wikipedia for Peace” that have already been successfully promoted, could be expanded to this end.
We also see potential for third-party funding (federal and provincial) in the area of content partnerships, which cannot be expanded to the extent needed in terms of the opportunities offered by the local cultural landscape without additional staff capacities.
Strategy for ecological sustainability
Another topic of cross-cutting importance featured in our strategic planning for the coming years is ecological sustainability: Wikimedia Austria seeks to do its part in combating the climate crisis, and we have identified the following areas for action in debates with our various reference groups:
- Electricity supply: Wikimedia Österreich will convert to Ökostrom (green electricity) in 2022.
- Travel: Our travel expenses policy will be revised in 2022 with a view to further promoting climate-friendly travel.
- Events: Wikimedia Österreich developed the framework and infrastructure for online events early and professionally during the pandemic. We would like to retain this expertise in the future, when restrictions because of the pandemic are fewer, seeking to use it purposefully for sustainable event approaches. However, we see the clear added value of face-to-face meetings for our communities as well and understand that there is a need to find and promote the appropriate formats for the respective occasions and goals.
- Working group: We consider sustainability an ongoing process and holistic task, which is why our expert group on organisation development has been entrusted with the development of measures that promote sustainable processes and behaviour in everyday life.