[WMCEE-l] Fwd: Let's map capacities! (Announcing the CCM)

Asaf Bartov abartov at wikimedia.org
Mon Jan 15 23:01:12 CET 2018

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Asaf Bartov <abartov at wikimedia.org>
Date: Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 1:59 PM
Subject: Let's map capacities! (Announcing the CCM)
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org>

Dear Wikimedians,

*How many Wikimedia communities have embraced advanced Wikidata use? How
many have active social media accounts, and are there geographic or
cultural patterns to which groups have and have not? Which groups have a
written, current strategy? What are the most common gaps in capacity in
Latin America? or in Eastern Europe? What kind of investment in capacity
building would be likely to bring the most value?*

To answer these questions and more, we invite all of you to participate in
the new *Community Capacity Map (CCM)*: a *self-assessment exercise* for
communities, groups (whether formally recognized user groups or not),
thematic organizations, and chapters, to *map capacities* across the
movement, with a view to identifying *existing gaps* as well as *opportunities
for capacity-building*.

The CCM is here on Meta:

The context for this work, as well as "likely-asked questions, with
answers" ("LAQ"?), are explained here, including an answer to "*why should
I take the time to read all this?*" --
(and also pasted at the bottom of this e-mail, for your convenience.)

The self-assessment is to be done based on the detailed *Guidelines* provided

I am looking forward to learning more about your groups' and orgs'
capacities and gaps, and to do my best to play matchmaker between those
needs and our available resources and opportunities.  While I encourage you
to begin contributing straightaway, *there is no deadline *-- this is
envisioned to be a long-term, ongoing, and tracked-over-time tool -- so
contribute if and when your group is able to make the time.

(don't forget to scroll down to the LAQ!)


    Asaf Bartov
    Senior Program Officer, Emerging Wikimedia Communities

Likely-asked questions, with answers
this exists with working links and [modest] formatting here:

Why do this at all?  The Community Resources team is doing this to attempt
a more *comprehensive* view of capacities and gaps across the movement, to
enhance our existing, anecdotal and ad-hoc, impressions of only some of the
communities and affiliates. See the goal statement above. Why now?  The CCM
experiment is an implementation of one of the recommendations made at the
conclusion of the Community Capacity Development pilot year
. Why should I spend the time to read through it or go through the
self-assessment?  There are a couple of reasons you may want to put in the
time: First, by self-assessing your group/organization's capacities and
gaps, you are giving WMF and other potential investors in community
capacity a chance to provide your group/org with resources and
opportunities to *build up* those capacities. Secondly, self-assessing
according to the Guidelines page
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Capacity_Map/Guidelines> may be
in itself a worthwhile exercise and discussion-starter for your group/org,
pointing at potential areas for proactive work by *your org/group itself*,
for example in your next annual plan. Finally, self-assessing (at least
some) capacities today would enable you to review and re-assess in six
months, or two years, and see how your group/org has developed (or not) in
each of these aspects. So does WMF expect all groups and organizations to
do this?  No. This is an opportunity and a tool. Like all other tools, you
are free to use it or not, and we certainly understand that it would take
time and that you may have more pressing priorities in your group/org. We
*hope* as many groups, organizations, and communities eventually take the
time to self-assess, at least on some capacities, but it is not mandatory,
and there would be no penalty for not participating. Would we have to
provide self-assessments for *all* of the capacities?  No. Feel free to
self-assess on as many or as few capacities as you are able to, interested
in, or find relevant. You can also add assessments gradually, as your
group/org finds time to discuss and agree on assessments. Should I assess
capacities in the context of my wiki community, my user-group/chapter, or
what?  It depends. It may make sense to do separate assessments, or just
one. For example, while the English community has plenty of bot builders
and technical experts, you may belong to a small community contributing in
English in a country with little or no bot-building expertise, such as
Wikimedians in Uganda. In this case, it would make sense to describe the
capacities of the Ugandan group you're part of, and not of the whole
English Wikipedia community. On the other hand, it is possible that there
is a very high degree of overlap between the Estonian community's
capacities and the Estonian chapter's capacities, and in that case, it may
be most useful to assess just once, for the Estonian community *or*
Wikimedia Estonia, or possibly once for the community for on-wiki
capacities, and separately for Wikimedia Estonia only for the
organizational and off-wiki capacities. See the Guidelines
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Capacity_Map/Guidelines> page
for more details. Okay, and suppose we did put in the time and provided
some assessments. What can we expect next?  You can expect, at the very
least, one program officer at Community Resources paying attention to your
contribution, and possibly, depending on each specific capacity and
assessment, that officer may have resources or opportunities to suggest to
your community/group/org. *The more groups provide assessments, the
better-informed WMF would be*, and the more likely it would be that *WMF
could allocate resources and create training opportunities* for your group.
Shared needs in a region would increase the likelihood of WMF acting even
further, as it would allow economizing on the investment by
training/supporting several groups/communities at once. Are you saying if X
number of communities demonstrate need Y, WMF is *guaranteed* to allocate
resources to fill that need?  I'm afraid not. But it does make it *more
likely*, in that it demonstrates the need, making it easier to argue for it
in internal budgeting and allocation discussions, and to marshal internal
WMF resources (such as borrowing the time of subject experts at WMF to
conduct training or mentor groups). Okay, so how would WMF decide which
communities to offer resources to?  There's no simple deterministic
algorithm, but WMF would prioritize emerging communities
over other communities, larger groups serving larger populations over
smaller ones, and at least at first, would probably prioritize "low-hanging
fruit" -- lower-cost/lower-risk investments, as we learn and improve this
program's use of resources. Wouldn't the fact these are self-assessments
mean we'd be comparing apples to oranges, given some groups would
overestimate or underestimate their own capacities?   No. We do understand
there are some cultural tendencies (some cultures are more self-critical
than others, or have rosier or more pessimistic views of future prospects
and current capabilities). However, we think the fairly coarse granularity
of the assessments (none/low/medium/high), coupled with *the Guidelines
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_Capacity_Map/Guidelines>* for
self-assessing, would lead most groups to make reasonably comparable
assessments. Ultimately, these would remain subjective and unscientific
assessments; but they would certainly at least indicate a group/org's *own*
perception of their capacity. And before WMF (or others interested in
investing in capacity building) make a decision to tackle a particular
capacity with a particular community/group/org/region, we would be sure to
take into consideration *all the relevant context* we have, i.e. not just
the aggregate of the self-assessments in the CCM, but also all the
accumulated experience, context, and history we are aware of at WMF,
regarding that community/group/org/region. Okay, this may not be *the worst*
idea ever to come from WMF  We're glad you think so. :) What if none of
this turns out the way you hope?  Then we'll archive these pages and look
for other ways to do effective capacity building. The CCM is an experiment,
based on observed needs and an expectation that it would be useful. But we
are ready to learn that it may not, and to change course if necessary.
Let's give it a shot, though! What if I have another question?  Use the
talk page! :)
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