Wikimedia UK Strategy 2016–19

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A new strategic framework for Wikimedia UK was developed in early 2016, updating and replacing the previous 2014–19 strategy. The framework is supported by a more detailed three year strategic plan, which will next be updated in early 2017 as part of the charity's annual planning cycle.

Strategic Framework[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia UK believes that open access to knowledge is a fundamental right, and a driver for social and economic development. We work with the Wikimedia Projects such as Wikipedia to enable people and organisations to contribute to a shared understanding of the world through the democratic creation, distribution and consumption of knowledge. We are committed to the ideal of a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge, and believe that here in the UK, we can play a unique and important role in realising that vision.

Our vision is of a more tolerant, informed and democratic society through the shared creation of, and access to, open knowledge.

Our mission is to support and advocate for the development of open knowledge, working in partnership with volunteers, the cultural and education sectors and other organisations to make knowledge available, usable and reusable online.

Our values are:

  • Freedom
  • Accessibility
  • Quality
  • Community
  • Transparency
  • Diversity
  • Independence


Our operating principles are based on our values, as follows:

  • We promote the values inherent in the concept of open knowledge
  • We promote the use of licences, formats and sources that support open knowledge
  • We promote the provision of high quality open knowledge to all
  • We recognise that the contribution of volunteers is central to our activities
  • We encourage, involve and engage members of our community
  • We learn from and openly share our learning with the global Wikimedia movement
  • We are transparent in our operations
  • We support, encourage and promote diversity within our community
  • We are an independent UK charity that engages actively with the global movement


Wikimedia UK is working towards the following longer-term benefits, or outcomes:

1. Our work has significantly increased access to knowledge about, or held in, the UK

2. The Wikimedia projects reflect our diverse society and are free from systemic bias

3. Learners in the UK are able to understand and engage with open knowledge

4. Wikimedia UK is recognised as a leading organisation for open knowledge

In order to support the achievement of these outcomes, during 2016 - 19 our strategic goals and objectives are as follows.

Strategic Goal 1: Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently underrepresented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects

Our objectives under this aim are to:

  • Develop a range of partnerships with content-holders such as galleries, libraries, archives and museums, working with these organisations to unlock cultural heritage assets and other content, and increase public engagement with these collections
  • Develop projects that specifically address inequality on the Wikimedia projects, with a particular focus on the gender gap and on geographical bias, both within the UK and globally
  • Engage with volunteers regularly and effectively, supporting the development of a thriving volunteer and editor community in order to maximise the reach and impact of our work, and our ability to address content gaps
  • Ensure that we are working to diversify content producers by widening our volunteer and editor community, including actively encouraging women and other underrepresented groups to participate

Strategic Goal 2: Support the development of open knowledge in the UK, by increasing the understanding and recognition of the value of open knowledge and advocating for change at an organisational, sectoral and public policy level

Our objectives under this aim are to:

  • Develop the identity and increase the profile of Wikimedia UK in order to engage with as wide a range of volunteers, editors and participants as possible, connect with potential partners and supporters, and increase public awareness of open knowledge
  • Support and encourage long-term, sustainable change in policy and practice within individual organisations in the GLAM sector and beyond, through a combination of staff training and development, engagement events for volunteers, visitors and online audiences, the release and distribution of content (including text, media and data), policy development, internal and external advocacy and education initiatives
  • Advocate for change across the cultural sector by showcasing the benefits of working with Wikimedia UK and open knowledge at events and conferences; facilitating dialogue amongst key institutions; and leading or participating in joint open knowledge initiatives
  • Engage with other Wikimedia and open knowledge communities by working in an open way to facilitate, and contribute to, shared learning across the global movement
  • Contribute to initiatives that seek to influence public policy and legislation affecting open knowledge - both within the UK and at an EU level - for example by supporting the work of the EU Free Knowledge Advocacy Group (a partnership of Wikimedia chapters), and playing a lead role in the WMUK Advocacy Working Group

Strategic Goal 3: To support the use of the Wikimedia projects as important tools for education and learning in the UK

Our objectives under this aim are to:

  • Engage Wikimedia volunteers and advocates and partners from the education sector in the development and delivery of this programme, to ensure that we are directing our resources appropriately and responding to needs, issues and opportunities
  • Connect with the education and OER sector through speaking at conferences and events about the work of Wikimedia UK, the wikimedia projects more broadly and how open knowledge can support and enrich their work with learners
  • Further develop our work within the higher education sector using the Wikipedia in the Classroom tool, and exploring other models that could lead to online impact
  • Facilitate pilot activities within a range of educational settings that support the use of Wikimedia projects as a tool for teaching and learning, with a focus on digital literacy, and advocate for the inclusion of Wikimedia in curriculum, syllabus and course development
  • Develop appropriate content for learners and educators. This could include video, downloadable materials for teachers such as lesson plans, or online learning tools and platforms; investing in the development of software support or other technological innovation as appropriate.

In line with our mission and our operating principles, Wikimedia UK will ensure that we are engaging with and involving volunteers in the delivery of all of our activities, in addition to those specifically focused on our volunteer and editor community. At an operational level, we will also;

  • Use effective and high quality governance and resource management processes, with a high level of openness and transparency and robust systems to measure and report on impact
  • Make the most effective use of our resources as a charity in which volunteers play a central role alongside paid staff and a non-executive board Work proactively towards the development of a stable, sustainable and diverse funding base
  • Encourage technological innovation that supports the delivery of our vision and mission and benefits others in the Wikimedia movement
  • Ensure our activities all lead directly or indirectly to increased online impact, setting ourselves ambitious targets for the development of our work and the extent of our reach and engagement in the UK and beyond

Wikimedia UK is committed to increasing diversity within our community and our workforce, and ensuring respectful and professional working relationships irrespective of individuals’ personal characteristics such as religion, political belief, sexual identity, nationality or disability.

The plan was updated by the Wikimedia UK Board in January 2017. The organisational delivery plan for 2017/18 and the detailed budget for the year ahead will also be finalised at that point. The updated strategic plan will be uploaded to the UK wiki once it has been formally approved by the board, probably at the March 2017 meeting.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting[edit | edit source]

Monitoring and evaluating our charitable activities is essential in order for us to understand and communicate the reach and impact of our work; reflecting on and learning from our experiences, identifying and sharing learning patterns, modifying future delivery and ensuring accountability to our funders and stakeholders. We report on our work in a number of ways including Quarterly Performance Reports which are shared and discussed at quarterly board meetings, and reports to the Wikimedia Foundation which are currently required halfway through the year (Progress Report) and following the end of our financial year (Impact Report). These are available to view here for the previous and current financial year: