Wikimedia Serbia Strategy 2015-2017
Wikimedia Serbia Board enacts
Wikimedia Serbia is a non-government, non-profit, and non-partisan organization which focuses on spreading free knowledge. The purpose of the organization is finding the answer to the question of how knowledge could become entirely free and available to all human beings.
As such, Wikimedia Serbia is the official national chapter in the Wikimedia movement, and was the fifth chapter to be founded, back in December 2005.
At the time of writing this document, Wikimedia Serbia has approximately 130 members, the Board is comprised of 6 members, and there are 3 employees who work in the Belgrade office.
This Strategy is being enacted for the period from April 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017, and has medium-term goals. Every following Wikimedia Serbia Strategy will reexamine the goals and the strategic priorities of the Organization.
This Strategy was compiled by the Wikimedia Serbia Board after a detailed analysis of the state of the organization, and during the making of this document, members of Wikimedia Serbia, as well as members of the broader community gathered around Serbian Wikipedia, were able to contribute with their comments and suggestions.
Capacity of the organization
The necessary prerequisite for fulfilling all other strategic goals is the overall capacity of Wikimedia Serbia. Strengthening of the capacity is one of the strategic goals defined in the 2012-2015 strategy of the organization. In accordance with the targeted goals, Wikimedia Serbia has opened a new office, hired new staff, and increased the quality and number of its activities. In the period to come, it is necessary to make plans to further increase the capacity of the organization, in order to remove the current weaknesses and secure the planned growth of the organization. The aspects of the capacity that are significant to the Strategy of the organization are:
- Human capacity
- The human capacity of the organization are all the volunteers, employees, and partners that participate in the work of the organization. The priority in the following period is to strengthen the capacity of the Board and the employees. It is necessary to identify and remove the causes of burnout and demotivation among Board members, and strengthen the Board by bringing in new people of quality. It is also necessary to increase the number of employees, make sure that the method of selecting new employees enables hiring staff of the highest quality, and work on a continued development of the existing staff.
- Financial capacity
- Financial capacity encompasses the financial resources necessary for running the organization. The level of financial resources that Wikimedia Serbia disposes with has been adequately coordinated with the needs of the organization and the program plans in the previous period. It is required to continue implementing measures which will enable carrying out program activities and a steady growth of the organization, by having an optimum level of financial resources that Wikimedia Serbia disposes with.
- Organizational capacity
- The organizational capacities of the organization are the policies, practices and activities that enable the use of human and material resources to efficiently fulfill the goals of the organization. The priority in the period to come is improving the information flow within the organization, increasing the level of awareness and participation of all the members in the work of the organization, as well as working on actively including the community gathered around Serbian Wikipedia into other project activities of Wikimedia Serbia.
Educational projects represent cooperation with educational institutions and educating teachers, professors, and students about free knowledge, free licenses, and Wikimedia projects.
The goals of the educational projects are: (1) introducing the academic community to the concept of free knowledge and the functioning of Wikimedia projects; (2) creating quality content on Wikimedia projects; and (3) attracting volunteers who will also be active on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects later on, as well as participate in the work of Wikimedia Serbia.
In the previous period, the level and quality of the activities within educational projects were high. In the following period, the collaboration between the Academic Board and the Education Program Manager will enable further development of the educational projects at an even higher level. Besides continuing the program work, the scalability of the educational projects and teaching the professors to train their pupils and students in working on Wikimedia projects on their own is also a priority. Teacher training at a mass level can be achieved with thematic seminars, as well as inducing topics concerning Wikimedia projects and free knowledge into curricula.
Releasing and Creating Free Content
There is a great amount of quality written material published in Serbian language, as well as photos and documents, whose release and publication would greatly contribute to the size and quality of the projects, and increase the availability of free knowledge in Serbia. Our partners in releasing free content are galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, as well as other institutions and individuals whо possess great amounts of quality material (institutes, ministries, scientific and cultural institutions, etc.). In the process of releasing the content, various legal and technical challenges emerge. The legal challenges are setting an oftentimes unclear copyright status of the content, and informing the copyright holders about the advantages of publishing materials under free licenses. The technical challenges are the digitization of the content that is not digitized, as well as processing and classification of the content. The goal in the following period is freeing as much content as possible, as well as freeing at least one “capital project” (encyclopedia, dictionary, a large photography archive, etc.).
When it comes to creating free content, Wikimedia Serbia’s priority is cooperation, education, and giving support to organizations and individuals, which create large amounts of photographic and other content during their regular activities. In addition to that, Wikimedia Serbia will be working on directly creating free content through its projects, taking into account the priorities and scalability of the projects.
Education of the Public and Promotion
Education of the public and promotion of Wikimedia projects and concepts of free knowledge and free licenses has multiple functions.
By educating target groups, a greater participation of members of those groups in working on Wikimedia projects is achieved. Those can be significant groups that are not equally represented in the population of editors in Wikimedia projects (such as women), groups that are relevant because of their specific characteristics (professionals of certain profiles, elderly people who have more free time), but also groups which, due to their unfavorable socio-economic status, do not have an adequate access to education (such as Roma people and some other minorities).
Education of target groups is achieved through direct activities (workshops, seminars, conferences), which are conceived to be appealing and interesting to the specific target groups.
By educating the general public, the society's level of familiarity with free knowledge increases, which improves the correct use of materials licensed by free licenses, and increases the number of people who publish their materials under free licenses.
The basic method of education of the general public is cooperation with the media. In the previous period, the media have shown a certain level of interest for the Wikimedia projects, and the tone of the reports was mainly positive. However, the cooperation with the media was reactive - Wikimedia Serbia collaborated with the reporters who had expressed interest in Wikimedia-related topics.
The goal in the following period is to increase Wikimedia Serbia’s presence in the media with a proactive approach to the cooperation with the media. The final goal of educating the general public is changing the climate in the society and the country regarding free knowledge and free licenses, and in final instance, indirectly influencing the legislation in this area.
Cooperation With External Partners
External partners include Wikimedia movement organizations (Wikimedia Foundation, chapters and other entities), as well as local organizations with similar goals.
When it comes to Wikimedia movement organizations, the cooperation consists of participation in the functioning of the movement (discussions, making decisions, participation in conferences, organization of conferences, etc.), exchanging experiences, common work on the projects, and giving support to other organizations and communities.
The goal in the following period is for Wikimedia Serbia to continue to actively participate in regional activities, including organization and participation in conferences, with an emphasis on the annual gatherings within the Wikimedia movement (Wikimania, Wikimedia Conference, and the conferences in the CEE region - Central and Eastern Europe). Also, one of the goals for Wikimedia Serbia, as the regional leader, is to encourage and help establish at least one user group in the region.
When it comes to local organizations, Wikimedia Serbia has striven to establish cooperation with scientific, educational, cultural, government, non-government, and commercial organizations and entities, in cases where such collaborations or their effects were in accordance with the Wikimedia mission.
The goal in the following period is to continue the existing, mutually beneficial cooperation with organizations with similar goals, as well as establishing new cooperations with other relevant organizations, through memorandums of agreement, contracts, and other documents. The main reasons for establishing cooperation with such organizations should be exchanging experiences and ideas, organizing common lectures and educating the public, realization of common projects, staff and financial aid, etc.