Annual Report 2022/Story: How new partnerships with UN have resulted in more free knowledge on Wikipedia
In this story, we focus on how collaborations with the expert organizations of the UN contribute to more and better knowledge on Wikipedia. We give examples of how the work has started in practice – such as by teaching FAO staff to write articles about women in agriculture.
Over the last several years, Wikimedia Sverige has built up a large contact network within the UN and its organizations. In 2022, we used that as a starting point to establishing concrete collaborative projects and making their expert knowledge available on the Wikimedia platforms. Subsequently, we have taken concrete steps towards signing declarations of intent with UN agencies and other intergovernmental organizations.
Our contacts with UN bodies such as UNESCO, WIPO and FAO throughout the year have led to Wikimedia Sverige getting invited to speak about open access and Creative Commons licenses at international UN conferences, such as the annual PIAM meeting of the publication offices of intergovernmental organizations. It was an opportunity to convey the benefits and the importance of collaborating with the Wikimedia movement and of releasing reports, graphics and information available under open licenses.
Afterwards there's been a great deal of interest and Wikimedia Sverige chose a strategic direction as a starting point to prioritize what kind of support we can offer. In order to adapt our work to the strategic direction of the Wikimedia movement, not least the recommendation to identify topics of particular importance, a special emphasis has been put on climate and the environment, gender equality and health. We have worked with organizations such as UNEP and the FAO – on climate and the environment – including organizing dedicated training sessions for FAO staff to help them improve articles about female farmers and women in agriculture.
As a large number of UN organizations and intergovernmental agencies have expressed an interest in funding Wikimedians in Residence (WiR), Wikimedia Sverige has also started developing a training program for WiR positions within intergovernmental organizations. A particularly important goal here is to increase the diversity of those who take on this role. The UN agencies offer a unique opportunity to increase the breadth and depth of knowledge on the Wikimedia platforms, but in order to take advantage of that opportunity, people who speak different languages, come from different parts of the world and have different experiences are also needed.
In the future, Wikimedia Sverige will focus on establishing declarations of intent with intergovernmental organizations, continuing our work on a training program for WiR as well as supporting more intergovernmental organizations in their work to spread free knowledge, especially via the Wikimedia platforms.