Wikimedia UK partnership to democratise resources for campaigning and advocacy

Translate this post

The changemaker advocacy and campaigning toolkit is now available on Wikipedia

In 2023 we delivered our Wikimedia + Democracy research. The research highlighted that groups organised around a shared interest, value or cause and equipped with digital, information and collaboration skills, were more likely to engage in civic participation in public matters relevant to them. Alongside this understanding, the skills fostered in Wikimedia workshops led to further engagement in public matters, empowering the people who took part to be active citizens in other areas of their lives.

We also recognised that globally we are faced with a trend towards a shrinking civil society space. Almost half the world is going to the polls in 2024, and as the need for action grows we are experiencing fewer spaces where citizens can develop and practise key civic skills such as collaboration, self-representation, and working within a context of diversity and difference of opinion. 

In an effort to redress this imbalance and support the development of skills to engage in civic action, we partnered with the Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK). SMK works tirelessly with changemakers and have decades of practical experience in advocacy and campaigning. Together we seek to address the lack of good quality, freely available knowledge on how to address the challenges of changemaking, and support those at the forefront of making change happen.

Our work with SMK on the Changemakers Toolkit over the last 10 months, brings Wikimedia UK to the forefront of sharing tools to introduce, plan and communicate for change. SMK lead the way in developing training for campaigners and activists; this toolkit condenses and shares that knowledge. Aligned to our strategic themes of knowledge equity and information literacy, embedding the tools across open knowledge platforms ensures they are free to use, for everyone. The Wikimedia platform stands as a testimony to the power of the individual and the impact of collaboration.”

Monisha Shah, Chair of Trustees, Wikimedia UK

We are excited to launch the Changemakers’ Toolkit on Wikipedia, as a free online resource for campaigners and activists, and anyone interested in what these roles involve. The three introductory modules are Introduction to changemaking, Analysing the Problem and Planning for Change, and Communicating for Change. Following these modules will develop an actionable understanding of campaigning and change-making. Our aim is to support everyone to campaign more confidently straight away, and to give anyone interested in changemaking a framework to build more knowledge in the future. 

“Working with Wikimedia UK on these new resources has been a fantastic experience and fascinating to combine our different perspectives on social change and develop this Toolkit. It’s never been more important to find new ways to support those who are working to create change in our communities, and we are thrilled to share our tools and approaches with a wider audience. It’s the first step towards a long-held ambition for SMK.

Shaan Sangha, Knowledge and Insight Manager, SMK

From Wikimedia UK’s perspective, it is not just about supporting broader access to advocacy skills for all, using these tools unlocks the changemaking potential across our global Wikimedia community. Daria Cybulska, Director of Programmes and Evaluation at Wikimedia UK, highlighted that “Within the Wikimedia movement sits a great potential for making change in the world, across a huge range of societal issues: misinformation, shrinking civic space, decolonisation and knowledge equity. Members of the Wikimedia movement are, or have the capacity and aptitude to become changemakers if supported with the right tools and knowledge. This project brings together two communities – Wikimedians and changemakers – so they can benefit from each other’s expertise.” 

The Changemakers Toolkit is based on SMK’s Campaign Carousel which draws on nearly two decades of experience training hundreds of campaigners and activists. 

The ambition is to add to the Toolkit over time, providing changemakers with a comprehensive library of free campaigning resources. We’d love your feedback on how the Toolkit works for you and what else you would like to see added. 

Both Wikimedia UK and Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) are grateful to the Wikimedia Foundation for funding this project, and supporting the democratisation of resources for campaigning and advocacy. 

Responding to how the toolkit can be used across the whole Wikimedia community, Franziska Putz, Senior Movement Advocacy Manager at the Wikimedia Foundation said “The Changemakers Toolkit meets an important need in that it provides practical decision-making guides, prioritisation frameworks, and templates that campaigners of all kinds can adapt to their needs in order to strategically analyse problems and plan for effective change.” adding “The sections on ‘moving from problem statements to solutions’  and identifying core audiences via the ‘spectrum of allies’ concept strike me as particularly relevant for Wikimedians interested in public policy advocacy. I congratulate Wikimedia UK for creating a resource that will help empower others in the movement with a  step-by-step guide on how to navigate complex advocacy landscapes, and thereby advancing our shared mission.” 

The Changemakers Toolkit includes:

Introduction to changemaking – Provides an introduction to how change happens and the many routes through which campaigning and activism can have an impact. Covers foundational tools including the Social Change Grid, 12 habits, and introduces the topic of social power.

Planning for change – Digs further into how to understand the problem you want to address and your solution, using the Problem Tree tool. Introduces approaches to planning campaigns, and identifying your allies and people you need to influence.

Communication for change – How to achieve an impact with your communications by understanding who you’re speaking to, what you need to say to connect with them, and how you can reach them.

We’d love to receive your feedback, so please use the Changemakers Toolkit and let us know how it works for you, and whether there is additional focus or explainers you would like to see added. Over the next few months we will be adding a version of the Toolkit to WikiLearn. We will explore including video content and make the most of WikiLearn’s features such as quizzes, while continuing to contribute to the central learning resources.

To share your feedback on the Toolkit, please email

Can you help us translate this article?

In order for this article to reach as many people as possible we would like your help. Can you translate this article to get the message out?