Annual Report 2022
The year 2022 was a year when our many and extensive preparations entered the implementation phase. During the year, the association's long-term focus, strategic investments and persistence have really begun to bear fruit and we made a lot of important progress. A selection of major events is listed below for an overview. Below, you can find more detailed reports from our successes (Stories) and the setbacks we experienced and learned from (Fail Fests). The texts can be read separately and you can choose what you're most interested in.
It was an incredibly intense year and we achieved a great deal of results we're very proud of. Five of the year's highlights were:
- We started to implement the new strategy in our work. Some examples include:
- More strategic work with active prioritization of the material that we focus on sharing on the Wikimedia platforms. This was noted in the strategy and during the year our possibilities in the area have increased, as our collaborations continue to grow in both number and scope. For example, we have focused on material linked to global warming and biodiversity with several UN agencies (see also below under point 2.3). We have done targeted work with material related to Ukraine, and we have continued building on our previous work around developing the unique global dataset of built cultural heritage and GLAM institutions on Wikidata (see also point 2.5). However, we are not categorical in the selection of material we work with. We continue to combine long-term strategic work – proactive efforts to fill gaps of significant public interest – with opportunistic, reactive work with organizations that want to disseminate a certain collection of material at a certain point in time (including our work with the Helpdesk, see point 2.1 below).
- A heavier emphasis on projects related to Linked Open Data, where the year's new and exciting opportunities include a number of Wikibase experiments. See also point 2.4.
- An emphasis of contributing with more support to volunteer developers in order to ensure that the necessary software for large-scale uploads is maintained and always working. See also point 2.2 below.
- Our attempts to secure financing for working with Sweden's minority languages with two applications. It was, unfortunately, not successful, but it got us to start planning for work in this area.
- An increased effort to provide support to new communities and strengthen their opportunities to get involved in our work in various ways, including through improved educational materials and local activities (see also points 3.2 and 3.3 below).
- The Thematic Hub for Content Partnerships, which we're working on launching, had a number of concrete large-scale activities. Specifically, we worked on developing the five major areas in the scope of the hub:
- Our so-called Helpdesk was launched, including support functions, and we provided concrete help several times. The Helpdesk is a global help service that offers practical support to other Wikimedia organizations and volunteers so that they can do successful content partnership projects.
- The best ways of offering software maintenance for strategic technical tools were explored, resulting in several published reports, and we contributed directly to the maintenance of three well-used tools. Work on developing the necessary decision-making and financing structures to offer long-term support was in focus.
- International partnerships with UN agencies and other multinational organizations (IGOs) were scaled up and fleshed out. Collaborations with a total of 15 IGOs were initiated during the year. Some collaborations led to both uploads and joint activities.
- Capacity building work started with the launch of a WikiBase installation we call MetaBase, where we envision existing material from the Wikimedia movement to be made more searchable and structured. In parallel with this, we have participated in the Wikimedia Foundation's work to establish a new learning platform, learn.wiki, where learning modules will be created. Through the efforts stated above – the work with the Helpdesk, with software and with international partnerships – we are going to identify both existing materials and any existing gaps in order to build capacity around content partnerships in the Wikimedia movement.
- The strategic work with data uploads focused on taking our work with data about GLAMs and built cultural heritage even further by sharing more data on Wikidata and enriching the photos on Wikimedia Commons with structured data.
- We intensified our work with becoming a people's movement. Since 2020, we have been investing in widening WMSE's focus from being a mostly expert organization to building a people's movement.
- We worked on clarifying WMSE's ideology. Our insights will form the basis of the work with volunteer engagement, member recruitment and training.
- We launched an extensive effort to increase the association's local visibility through the project Wikipedia for all of Sweden, where new communities get engaged and given better conditions for their local work thanks to targeted support and local partnerships.
- A structured work to offer training with the aim of building involvement in the association was launched. The first training modules on the learning platform learn.wiki were published.
- We continued increasing our efforts on the playing field of politics. Our work with, for instance, questions regarding copyright continues to intensify, as we have secured external funds for international work, expanded our networks in several priority areas and established ourselves as an expert organization with a distinct profile within a narrow niche.
- This became clear when WMSE had the honor of nominating a participant to the expert council established by the Ministry of Justice in order to discuss exceptions in copyright, where freedom of panorama is one of the important issues.
- We have also continued our involvement in issues regarding European copyright legislation. WMSE is one of the founding organizations of Wikimedia Europe.
- Our work became even more international. We have been increasing our international involvement for a number of years. In addition to all the work with developing a thematic hub (see point 2 above), we took several important steps.
- The association started active work with seeking project funds together with Wikimedia organizations in other parts of the world in an arrangement where they receive a large part, or even a majority, of the project funds. In this way, our work aims to channel Swedish project funds to strengthen the global Wikimedia movement. We have done smaller experiments of this kind in the past, but this represents a significant increase in our ambition levels.
- In 2022, we led an initiative where we discussed the possibilities and limitations for European Wikimedia organizations to provide financial support to countries under US (but not European) sanctions. Right now, the movement's ability to support important free knowledge initiatives in several countries is non-existent or very limited. A plan for this work, with risks and opportunities described, will be presented to the board of WMSE in 2023.
- With the growing number of international initiatives and commitments, we further developed our capacity of bringing in international staff.
Major financial developments
The uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding long-term financing of the work with the thematic hub has continued. The large individual grant we secured in June 2021 has been sufficient to support the work on the hub during the year, but as the next steps were unclear, we've had to partially limit it. An application for additional limited project funding was submitted to provide coverage for the work in 2023, as we wait for the future structures for financing thematic hubs to be established.
The financial outcome of 7.2 million SEK was smaller than the budget of 8.5 million SEK that we had presented to the last Annual General Meeting. Our expenses for the year were smaller than we had budgeted for. At the same time, the final expenses were larger than the final expenses for the previous financial year. This increase was caused mostly by the fact that we moved offices, leading to increased spending on office space. In addition, as the pandemic subsided, we have been travelling more, and several of our staff members returned from their parental leave. The reduced spending – as compared to the budget – has several reasons, including the planned Wikispeech project not receiving funding in 2022 and the delayed start of the project Wikipedia for all of Sweden. The uncertainty surrounding the long-term funding for the hub caused us to slow down our work in order to make sure have resources available for this work in 2023, awaiting the next funding round. Finally, we did not start any new fundraising activities, and as a result, the donations to WMSE were smaller than our initial expectations (see Fail fest: Fundraising postponed). On the other hand, a positive development was the returns which are continuously yielded by the testamentary gift in support of our work.
The funding secured in 2022 and in the first months of 2023 will last until March 2025 at our current costs. However, that includes our reserves and we will still need to actively work to raise funds in 2023 to keep the organization stable in the long term. This allows us to be more strategic and long-term with our fundraising and the structure of our operations.
Access is a program that focuses on improving the free content available on, or accessible to, the Wikimedia platforms – in both the short and the long term. Each year we contribute by sharing valuable material on the Wikimedia platforms thanks to content partnerships with, for example, museums, archives and libraries, public agencies, research institutions, UN agencies, etc. We contribute by tying together information that was previously fragmented. However, our work also has a long-term aspect: we aim to change attitudes and contribute to changed practices as well as improved governing documents in organizations and legislation, both nationally and internationally. We strive to change the way organizations and society think about the dissemination and production of knowledge.
Access has for several years been our largest program with regard to both the number of ongoing projects and the amount of work, which is also reflected in the budget. We work with this program both in Sweden and internationally and have taken an international leadership role within the Wikimedia movement.
We do active work supporting the global Wikimedia community with practical help around content partnerships. This is in line with the strategic recommendations for the Wikimedia movement, where the importance of offering more than just financial support within the Wikimedia movement was highlighted. Support in the form of expertise, technical support, working hours, and more, is at least just as important to make the most of the global engagement for free knowledge.
Use is a program that focuses on ensuring a high quality of the information on the Wikimedia platforms through tool development and support for volunteers. The work within the program also contributes to improving the user experience, as well as to creating equal opportunities to contribute on the Wikimedia platforms and actively inviting underrepresented groups.
Within this program, we have spent the year actively worked with public education, informing the public and various prioritized groups about how the Wikimedia platforms work and what opportunities and risks are involved when using its content. This year, the association has also continued the long-standing work with the development of missing functionalities so that more people can use the information on Wikipedia. Among other things, we have continued developing a speech synthesis, which makes it easier for everyone who for some reason has difficulty reading, as they can listen to Wikipedia articles. We've also looked at how we can simplify other parts to improve the user experience when someone wants to get involved. The program also includes projects that aim to improve the coverage of women on Wikipedia.
During the year, the program had a smaller scope than expected, as we did not manage to secure the external project funds we had hoped for.
The aim of the Community program is to both actively support the existing communities in Sweden in order to make the most of their involvement and increase their capacity, and to engage more people in new communities. Communities that were previously missing or underrepresented are identified and targeted efforts are made to include them and change the status quo.
What we mean by communities groups on the various Wikimedia platforms that contribute to them, for example by editing Wikipedia, taking photos for Wikimedia Commons or adding data to Wikidata. In addition, communities that in other ways contribute to free knowledge, such as by organizing events, giving presentations, recruiting new members or forming new partnerships, are also a focus of the program.
We work to support the volunteer community in a number of ways, which is possible thanks to staff members with a wide variety of skills and thanks to the infrastructure we have built up in the last few years. We have worked with several types of activities over the year. We have carried out activities aimed at local participation and creating meeting places; we have also offered support through a number of national programs. Additionally, we have worked on strengthening our capacity to offer support to the international community of volunteer developers who contribute important tools, and much more, to the Wikimedia movement. We have taken several important steps to be able to develop the work in the coming year with the long-term goal that the association will have activities and presence throughout the country.
The program increased significantly in size compared to the previous year, as we secured a larger multi-year project grant for our work on building communities in four of Sweden's counties in collaboration with local partner organisations.
Enabling is a program where we build up the organizational and financial capacity of our organization. The work is long-term and ensures our continued relevance in the future. To achieve this, we need to be a good employer, a strong partner and a well-functioning, democratic and transparent membership organization that works closely with a strong volunteer community. One of our association's goals is that rather than being a lone actor, we should be actively involved in the international movement, both learning from and contributing to capacity-building measures.
These intentions demand projects that are more long term oriented and strategic. The projects in this program therefore contribute only marginally to content production in a given year, but over time will ensure the success and sustainability of all our activities. During the year, we focused our targeted activities on identified bottlenecks in finances and technical systems, efforts to reduce bureaucracy and increase transparency, as well as development of our HR work. A major focus during the year has been ensuring that our volunteers, elected representatives and staff improve their competence, both through efforts during the year as well as through building the infrastructure needed in the long term.
A major focus for the year was to continue preparing the work to be able to widen our sources of income and create sustainable financing for our work. A long-term increase in membership numbers and donations is a central part here, and the association's work is still in its infancy. Little by little, however, it all came into place during the year, even if it took longer than we first hoped for.
As part of a global movement filled with innovative organizations and volunteers, we believe we have a lot to learn from each other. Our staff, board and volunteers have therefore been offered opportunities to meet, listen and discuss with representatives from the Wikimedia movement around the world.
The program increased in scope compared to our initial planning, as we chose to increase our fundraising efforts when we realized that the work would be much more extensive than we first thought.
The year's goals
Our work had a number of goals for 2022 which were established on different occasions. In our application for a support grant from the Wikimedia Foundation, eight target metrics based on our strategy and six so-called Core Metrics were determined; these metrics make it possible to compare our work with that of other Wikimedia organizations. These 13 metrics were general for the entirety of our work.
Our plan was to flesh those out into more complete goal formulations, supplemented with additional goals, but special circumstances – our operative management was on parental leave from shortly after the adoption of the strategy until just before the 2022 Annual General Meeting – made it more difficult.
The grant from from the Wikimedia Foundation made up only about 40% of the project budgets, while the remaining projects were financed through project grants or consulting fees; they had their own specific project goals, which were stated in the relevant application or project description.
Måluppfyllnaden för 2022 anges i tabellerna nedan med följande färgnyckel:
- Green if the goal was met.
- Yellow if the goal was met partially.
- Red if the goal was not met.
Application for operational support from the Wikimedia Foundation
|Establish or deepen at least 25 partnership (including with IGOs).||102 partnerships.||We define a partnership as a collaboration with an organization, rather than an individual, where there is an active choice to work together and an idea of a long-term relationship.|
|Establish or deepen at least 3 partnerships with IGOs.||We collaborated with 10 IGOs during the year.||The collaborations with the various IGOs varied in scope, but they are all included, as all the organisations expressed an interest in continuing to deepen the collaborations in the coming years. Most of the IGOs were UN agencies. All collaborations were based on the three focus areas: biological diversity, gender and crises.|
|40 countries participate in WikiGap.||36 countries participated with at least 45 events.||We did not reach the country number goal, despite the extensive participation. However, the number of participating countries was comparable to the years before the Covid 19-pandemic.|
|1 million new statements on Wikidata and Commons.||1,4 million new statements on Wikimedia Commons. In addition, 90 000+ Wikidata items were enriched with new statements.||The work was very successful: the already ambitious goals were achieved to almost 150%. The Wikidata items that were enriched were primarily linked to people relevant to WikiGap or authority records linked to GLAMs, both strategically important datasets for future work. Going forward, we will continue to work with more countries, but also revisit the countries we worked with during the year to build engagement around the opportunities these new Wikidata items and statements on Wikimedia Commons create.|
|Turning Wikispeech on in 2 more languages.||0 new languages activated.||The externally funded project that was supposed to cover this was not launched during the year. Instead, the launch is planned for 2023.|
|Twice as much donated funds as the previous year.||The donations decreased from 171 000 kr to 122 000 kr (-29%).||A number of smaller experiments with fundraising were done by the available staff. The planned Face2Face campaign was postponed until 2023 due to staff changes. No new CRM was acquired, which led to the planned work with donations being paused until further notice.|
|Twice as many members as the previous year.||The number of members decreased from 450 to 429 (-5%).||The planned Face2Face campaign was postponed until 2023 due to staff changes. No new CRM was acquired, which led to the planned work on member recruitment being paused until further notice.|
|The gender distribution among the organizers of the association's events should be such that no group is larger than 50%.||The largest group (men) made up 47%.||The gender distribution only takes into account the organizers who self-declared their gender. Women made up 47% and non-binary people 6%. All per cents here are rounded.|
|5 000 participants.||3 217 out of 5 000||A delayed launch of the project of Wikipedia for all of Sweden meant that fewer events than planned occurred before the turn of the year, resulting in fewer participants. This loss was partially offset by the large participation in the global WikiGap campaign.
The project Content partnerships support also ran fewer events focused on broadly informing about our activities.
As the new Wikispeech project was not launched during the year, the project did not engage any participants.
|900 contributors.||1 542 out of 900||The initial events that were held within Wikipedia for all of Sweden did not focus on editing; this type of events will start in 2023. This loss was compensated by the large involvement in WikiGap which, despite difficulties in acquiring metrics, exceeded our expectations regarding for example the number of contributors.
In the project Content partnerships support, none of the activities we carried out focused on engaging with the material we had helped to make available. Instead, we saw an increased engagement among the contributors we reached through Wikipedia in education.
|300 organizers.||376 out of 300||A delayed launch of the project of Wikipedia for all of Sweden meant local organizers could not be engaged during 2022. This loss was compensated by the large number of activities arranged by other organizations within the framework of the global WikiGap campaign.|
|15 000 Wikipedia content pages.||15 251 out of 15 000||We achieved this metric on schedule, with the majority of contributions originating from the WikiGap campaign. GLAM and Wikipedia in education contributed to the fulfillment of the goal as well.|
|500 000 Wikimedia Commons content pages.||804 134 out of 500 000||This metric exceeded our expectations. Content partnerships support was the dominant source of contributions, but Wikidata for authority control also resulted in an unexpectedly large number of contributions. GLAM, WikiGap, Community support and Wiki Loves also contributed to the fulfillment of the goal.|
|30 000 Wikidata content pages.||91 152 out of 30 000||This number exceeded our expectations as well with a final result that was three times larger than planned. Wikidata for authority control, the expected source of most of the contributions, delivered more than expected, but the big surprise was WikiGap where some of the organized activities had Wikidata as a focus and turned out to be very productive.|
|Wikimedia Europe is established (with our support).||Wikimedia Europe was established with WMSE as one of its Founding Members.|
|Targeted activities linked to the war in Ukraine are organized.||Structured data was added to photos of Ukraine's cultural heritage on Wikimedia Commons.||Over 300 000 photos of Ukraine's cultural heritage were enriched with structured data. We also extended an offer of support to Wikimedia Ukraine in organizing Wiki Loves Earth, which in the end turned out not be needed, as they managed to run the competition successfully despite the ongoing conflict.|
|At least 1 tool for speech data collection is developed.||0 new tools were developed.||The externally funded project that was supposed to cover this was not launched during the year. Instead, the launch is planned for 2023.|
|At least 2 new functions are added to Wikispeech.||1 function was added.||Lexicon editing was enabled.|
|At least 1 speech data collection event takes place.||0 collection events took place.||The externally funded project that was supposed to cover this was not launched during the year. Instead, the launch is planned for 2023.|
|Local volunteer groups are established.||Local groups started meeting.||Smaller groups have met and discussed local activities in several parts of the country. However, it remains to be seen whether they will develop into independent groups. It is worth remarking that this is a multi-year project and the work continues until at least March 2024.|
|Increased visibility in the four pilot counties.||A number of mentions in local media outlets and by local partners.||There was no established baseline for this goal, but we can see that our visibility in the four counties on our focus list has increased.|
|Interview 50 Wikimedians and include them in WMSE's network.||We did 35 interviews with 50 individuals. We had discussions at events and did surveys about tools for partnerships.||The conversations allowed our network to grow. We also attended GLAMwiki-related events where further discussions with Wikimedians about the needs of the movement took place. Our discussions about the needs of the movement in the interviews were summarized in a report.|
|Launch a new structure for the Wikimedia movement where people can request practical support; give such support at least once.||The Helpdesk was launched and provided support more than once.||We launched an international expert committee that can decide what should be prioritized and provide guidance. Our staff provided concrete help several times, and the backlog was filled with request, as the initiative turned out to be very appreciated.|
|Launch at least 1 tool for effective sharing of materials and/or identification of materials necessary for capacity building.||1 new tool was launched. 1 more tool is currently under development.||We launched our 2 first modules on WikiLearn, the learning platform operated by the Wikimedia Foundations. There are plans for additional modules and our work in this area is coordinated with actors such as OpenRefine and the WMF.
We built the foundations for MetaBase, a Wikibase instance where the knowledge of Wikimedia Sverige, and eventually the rest of the movement, can be collected and structured.
|At least 2 strategically important technical tools receive technical development support during the year.||3 different strategically important technical tools received development support.||In addition to the technical work, joint funding structures for long-term maintenance have been proposed but not yet formalized. Internal processes and structures for maintenance have been developed.|
|More volunteers have received more support in the form of grants or help from office staff than the previous year.||The number of individuals who received support increased from 81 to 89, while the number of support cases increased from 327 to 352. International support was established through the Helpdesk and software maintenance.||The overview of those who have been given support does not distinguish between whether they are an active part of the volunteer community or not. For privacy reasons, we do not follow up on this. However, our assessment is that the majority of those who received support are active within the community.|
|More volunteers are involved in our work than the previous year.||The number of active volunteers decreased from 51 to 22. At the same time, their involvement hours decreased from 222 hours to 104 hours.||As we focus on working with new volunteers in the four counties that were selected exactly because they right now do not have existing communities, it has been difficult to engage existing communities in the events.|
|Develop communication material on the different ways of financially supporting WMSE's work.||Our speech script for Face2Face fundraising was improved during the year.
We further developed and published information about bequeathing funds.
|Our regular staff improved the communication materials needed for F2F fundraising and tested them on several occasions. A pitch to quickly and efficiently present the association's work to funders was developed and implemented during the year.
The information on wikimedia.se about different types of donations was developed. Information material about bequeathing funds to us was published.
|Prepare fundraising on our websites.||We started working on re-structuring wikipedia.se. Also the information on wikimedia.se was updated and expanded.||The foundation has been laid and our capacity has been improved. Still, a lot of work remains to be done if we want to improve both our fundraising capacity and the information on our website in order to effectively fundraise in Sweden.|
|Obtain a new system for managing our members and fundraising activities (CRM).||No new CRM system was obtained.||We have done extensive preparatory work. However, the options we looked at will all require both investments and as significant running costs. For this reason, we have postponed getting a new CRM until 2023 or 2024, so as not to precede the other work with fundraising and member recruitment too much.|
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