Annual Report 2022/Story: Working with international bodies outside the UN

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2022

In this story, we focus on the collaborations we have initiated with intergovernmental organizations outside the UN, in particular how these intergovernmental organizations have proven to be good partners for quickly making new expert knowledge available on the Wikimedia platforms.

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This graphics was uploaded by the IEA in 2022, and contains advice on how to reduce your energy use.

For many years, Wikimedia Sverige has been building up a contact network with UN bodies. However, in 2022 we also started working with intergovernmental organizations outside the UN system to a much greater extent. Many of these organizations have structures that are less bureaucratic or more agile structures, making it possible to work in different ways.

As Russian invaded Ukraine, we started a conversation with the International Energy Council about spreading information on issues such energy, renewable energy, green energy and the impact of the invasion on the energy sector via the Wikimedia platforms. We had initial talks and trained their staff, and within a few weeks we had a functioning collaboration up and running. Energy is a topic that has been neglected on Wikipedia, even in English, so our collaboration filled an obvious gap. At the same time it meant that experts could contribute to Wikipedia in a very turbulent time. Our work also resulted in almost a hundreds of graphics uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, which can be used in Wikipedia articles.

Already at an early stage we explained the importance of transparency, clarity and neutrality to the IEA. Using the suggested structures for our work, the Wikimedia community developed a high degree of trust in their activities. This in turn meant that we encountered very few problems in our work. Quite the opposite: both active Wikipedians and the general public appreciated it.

Once the initial support for working with the Wikimedia platforms had been built up within the IEA, they also completed work on an Open Access policy for their reports, and in the fall they put a CC BY 4.0 license on on their texts and reports. This means completely new opportunities for volunteers to work with material from the IEA.

The IEA example shows the value of including fast-moving organizations that focus on specific areas in our work. Continuing this theme, we have started discussions with organizations such as the OECD, the European Investment Bank and the European External Action Service. Historically, the Wikimedia movement has done some work with UN organizations, but intergovernmental organizations are almost a wholly new arena. It will be very exciting to keep an eye on how this new opportunity and the doors it opens develop in the future.