I agree with antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv that broader translation of WMF BoT
election pages is important.

To reach the goal where "every single person on the planet is given free
access to the sum of all human knowledge" the wikimedia movement needs to
prioritize translation as a regular part of key processes.

We are failing at this today. The wikimedia movement lacks a clear strategy
to shift the cost (funds and human resources) from non-English speaking
volunteers to the broader wikimedia movement.

I welcome a hearty discussion about how the Affiliate-selected Board of
Trustee election can be made more accessible to more non-English speaking
people. And also a larger discussion as part of the WMF Strategic Plan
discussion, and the upcoming WMf Annual Plan.
Warm regards,

Sydney Poore
Wikipedian in Residence
at Cochrane Collaboration

On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 2:36 AM, attolippip <attolip...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> As you are (probably) aware, the 2016 affiliate-selected Board seats
> process has started already. And I do think that the process is broken
> somewhere [1]. The democracy principles even in my country, though it is
> far from being a role model for transparency and governance, state that
> people are equal and they have rights and responsibilities. But the process
> at the moment is not fair and equal footing is not provided for. It is
> great to have dedicated friends across the Movement that can translate your
> statement into German or Chinese, but as long as not all statements are
> translated into the languages used in all affiliates eligible to vote, I
> deem the process broken.
> Thus I formally request that WMF spend enough resources to have all
> nominations pages translated into all languages requested by the affiliates
> eligible to vote [2] [3] and all languages used already by the nominees. I
> am sure that the three facilitators cannot provide it. And there are limits
> to what volunteers can do [4] or how fast. If WMF refuses, I am going to
> use my own money [5], it costs 150 UAH (around 6 USD) to have a page
> translated into Swedish, for example :) I can manage 7 pages translated
> into as many languages as my personal budget will allow, but I shall do it
> fairly at least, so we won’t have Susanna’s statement only in English and
> Spanish, while Osmar’s is also in German, Catalan and French. WMF spends
> considerable resources (mostly in staff time) on supporting the three
> "community-elected" seats, but these two seats are not lesser board seats
> than the three "community" ones.
> The nominees write their statement in English. Nothing wrong with that, of
> course. But for a tiny little (and big) thing: not everybody understands it
> well enough to make an informed choice. But even among seven board members
> of Wikimedia Ukraine, two DO NOT SPEAK English, so they can read the
> statements only if they [the statements] are translated into Ukrainian.
> They have no choice, actually. In discussing whether to endorse my
> candidacy, they either have to believe the rest of the Board members that I
> am the most wonderful candidate and the others are just not as wonderful
> and that’s it, or they are to ignore the Board meeting where this decision
> is to be made. They can spend time editing Wikipedia or reading instead.
> And beyond the language issue, there is the informing and participation
> issue: I am not sure how this process is organised in other affiliates, and
> how you make your decisions to vote for this or that possibility (in terms
> of this, I believe that there are seven possibilities presented at the
> moment, by us, as nominees. So you can accept or decline what we seven
> offer). You (actually) do not know us and if we are going to be great or
> poor as Board members of WMF, and if we are the right-for-the-moment
> choice, but you are going to choose. Are you really going to choose just
> based on your personal contacts? Remember, in most cases administrators are
> chosen more objectively, as it is almost impossible to get to know them
> first personally. They are ‘judged’ by their deeds before, during and
> after… Were you going to ask your communities what they think about the
> candidates? And the members of your affiliate? If not, please consider this
> option. We do have a sad example of an appointed Board member being not
> accepted by us, as the Community.
> I am sorry for the long letter. I do believe I have a right to request (and
> suggest) this. I was a part of a team that made sure that the Ukrainian
> community REALLY knows about the elections so the eligible users on UKWP
> have voted [6] [7] And we really worked to make that happen. As you can
> see, Board elections may be of great importance to the whole community. So
> (at least) informing your own members is important, I believe.
> Best regards,
> antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv
> Wikimedia Ukraine
> [1] There is a question about the ‘turnout in this selection process’
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016/Questions#Turnout_in_this_selection_process
> so you’d think that people care. But do they? Really?
> [2] I think that contacting each affiliate eligible to vote and asking them
> if they need help to translate the statements and if yes, what languages
> are required by memberships/affiliates’ leadership to read the statements.
> By doing this we also make sure that they are aware of the upcoming
> elections and are engaged
> [3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters
> [4] Because they just may be not willing to do it
> [5] well, I was going to translate into Ukrainian all statement anyway,
> translating is the best way to read the statement thoughtfully :)
> [6] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2015-May/077966.html
> [7]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections_2015/Stats
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