Annual Report 2022/Fail fest: Too much to handle – UN agencies are keen to share knowledge
In this fail fest, we focus on how the considerable interest from UN agencies in working with the Wikimedia platforms has created a bottleneck, where the Wikimedia movement has had difficulties capitalizing on all the engagement.
Over many years, Wikimedia Sverige has developed a large contact network within the UN, as well as plenty of experience working with the UN and intergovernmental organization. We've had our people in central positions in places like UNESCO, and we've been pursuing long-term efforts to get more organizations to embrace Open Access policies and develop an interest in working with the Wikimedia movement.
Our efforts yielded results in 2022; many UN agencies and intergovernmental organizations have contacted us with concrete ideas for collaborations and projects. However, due to limited resources and staffing changes, it's been difficult for us to take advantage of this interest. We've had to postpone or deprioritize many projects, as our resources are not sufficient and there's too few people who have the necessary knowledge and experience.
One particularly frequent request has been for so-called Wikimedian in Residence (WiR) positions, i.e. Wikimedians who are hired by UN agencies or intergovernmental organizations to integrate work with Wikimedia into the organization. Very few people in the global movement have held such positions and have the necessary skills, a problem that we haven't yet been able to solve due to insufficient time. Our long-term goal is developing a training program to diversify the positions, involve more parts of the movement and thereby reduce inequalities in the movement. We didn't have enough resources to do all of this in 2022.
Fortunately, Rome wasn't built in a day. We do want to do more projects, larger projects, with more organizations participating, and these possibilities are probably not going anywhere. The great interest we're seeing show that there's a need to dedicate or find more resources for this work in the future. We hope that we can develop a training program for Wikimedians in Residence and get more organizations involved as well as more resources, so that we can eventually remove this bottleneck and take our work to a new level. All with the purpose of taking advantage of the interest that all the intergovernmental organizations have in working with the Wikimedia platforms.
Going forward, it is also an exciting opportunity as a source of funding for the movement, which has not yet been used in a coordinated way on a global level.