On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 11:51 PM, Gautam John <gau...@akshara.org.in> wrote:

> In general, are Chapters expected to focus on what the goals of the
> WMF and FDC are? Or are they free to chart their own course about
> things that they believe are important to the geographies they serve?
> And if they don't toe the WMF/FDC policy/strategy line then they don't
> get money? How does this foster any sort of independence?

To put it simply:

1. Chapters are free to set their own course and come up with their own
strategy, goals, and annual plans.  They are thus independent.

2. Chapters that want to avail themselves of _movement funds_ -- a
relatively plentiful and relatively accessible source of funding -- do need
to propose compelling plans with at least a considerable emphasis on the
goals identified as strategic goals for Wikimedia.  They are still free to
pursue specific programs and interests that are a good match for their
context -- regional, organizational, and motivational (i.e. what their own
volunteers are most motivated to work on).  The balance between
definitely-strategic and perhaps-less-strategic-but-making-sense-in-context
initiatives needs to be a reasonable one, and to be reasonably argued for,
but it can certainly be done.

3. In my earlier comments, I was suggesting that WMIN _not_ forego movement
funding, because, in my opinion, its actual goals and its volunteer base
_are not_ in fact too divergent from movement goals and WMF's
expectations.  I asserted that the abiding disagreement between WMF and
WMIN is much more around the _how_ than the _what_, and that that
disagreement can be surmounted.   (I acknowledge, however, that it has so
far seen little positive development: despite much investment of time and
effort from both sides, and multiple channels (including face to face
conversations) attempted, neither side has accepted the other's
expectations so far.)

I remain interested, as mentioned earlier on this thread, to engage with
WMIN on a more constructive note, on a path toward greater credibility and
confidence in WMIN from WMF; such a path would need to go through realistic
growth planning, demonstrable community engagement and support, and some
sustained record of success.  In a way, the latest round of discussions
with WMIN has resulted in something along those lines, at least in terms of
WMIN's current plans and three short-term focuses (I wonder if they were
shared with this list -- if not, perhaps the EC would consider doing so).
I remain frankly skeptical of WMIN's ability to execute those plans in
terms of volunteer engagement (and even EC/board engagement), but I would
be _delighted_ to be proven too pessimistic.  I am happy to discuss more
strategic planning (as distinct from the three short-term focuses) any
time, if WMIN's current leadership would show interest.



    Asaf Bartov
    Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>

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