Global Majority Wikimedia Technology Priorities

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In May 2023, Wiki Movimento Brasil, in collaboration with CIS-A2K, started to conduct a research, called Global South Technology Survey, with the objective of consolidate, synthesize and present the technology priorities of the Global Majority Wikimedia communities and start to build and sustain a multistakeholder action process to support the realization of those priorities. We believe that by incorporating the perspectives of those communities into tech development fosters inclusivity and ensures that Wikimedia initiatives reflect the diverse experiences and knowledge systems of the world.

The assessment that motivated this research was that our current methods of prioritizing technology often do not align with our strategic directions. Wishlist of different kinds, hack-a-thons, hiring staff/consultants, tech plans are usually driven by the urgency to resolve outstanding and upcoming issues. This approach has systematically skewed the development of technology against underrepresented communities and their long-term needs.

The questions of this research asked for the people interviewed to envision an ideal, inclusive and effective socio-technical infrastructure for our Movement and to identify the barriers preventing us from fully contributing and accessing the free knowledge ecosystem.

The priorities

From a round of interviews, we gathered and compiled the perspectives of nine affiliates, represented by fourteen individuals and built a document, in the form of a manifesto, relaying ten technological priorities for the Global Majority communities.

The ten priorities ultimately orbit two high priority main concepts: the promotion of epistemic diversity, prioritizing representation and inclusion of the Global Majority communities and knowledge in decision-making spaces and protocols, and the decentering of tech development, prioritizing Global Majority communities’ needs and fostering a federated network of stakeholders to develop in the Wikimedia projects and tools.

What is next?

Moving forward, we want to take concrete steps to realize the priorities declared in the manifesto. One aspect is to decenter the Wikimedia Hackathon from the Global North, aiming to enhance inclusivity and engagement from the Global Majority. Moreover, we want to initiate discussions with the Wikimedia Foundation, affiliates and other Wikimedia Movement bodies to advocate for the incorporation of these priorities into their strategic plans and to have an opportunity to jointly discuss performance indicators for each one of them.

If you want to support our manifesto, please sign on the Meta page. We incentivize the signature by both organizations and individuals.

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