For the Spanish version of this blog post, click here

Iberoconf is the annual meeting for Wikimedia chapters and user groups that are members of the Ibero-American cooperative. The event was held between November 21 and 23 and was made possible through a Project and Events Grant. The purpose of this grant was to develop the Wikimedia movement in Iberoamerica with a specific approach: to strengthen the affiliates’ capacity. This was important to do not only as individual organizations, but as vital parts in the connected through the cooperative’s network.

The program offered participants a series of training workshops in strategic planning, and served as an arena to collaboratively design the approach for programmatic work on GLAM and Education. During their time together, participants were able to revise, visualize and evaluate outcomes from each organization during 2014, and discuss them and design an effective evaluation plan. This international gathering was also the place where Iberocoop affiliates established the vision and mission of the entity.

During Iberoconf 2014, 40 participants were involved in the three-day congress, among which were counted volunteers, chapters or user groups’ representatives, Wikimedia Foundation emissaries and external consultants. The qualitative leap of this Iberoamerican Wikimedia Conference, as compared to earlier editions, is closely related to the maturing stage of the different organizations that took part. This was a crucial part in establishing concrete methodological definitions.

The days were divided in training workshops, presentations on good practice, and cooperative spaces. The workshops included strategic planning, design and evaluation of projects, and metrics. The presentations on good practice allowed chapters and user groups to showcase their results from Education and GLAM programs. In the cooperative spaces, different workshops focused on collaborative creation of a joint mission.

Working together on strategic planning

For the first time in an event of this kind, and lead by external consultants, this gathering adopted a very strong focus on training. The specific goal was to enhance participants’ knowledge in strategic planning, SMART goal-setting and how to choose metrics in planning and reporting. These workshops aimed to improve the regional coordination as far as joint efforts are implied. Iberoconf 2014 also hosted a presentation by Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC), that faced one of its first direct encounters with groups and chapters, as stated by its strategy on community liaison.

Ginevra, from Wikimedia Italy, presenting the results from the program Archeowiki 

“Iberoconf 2014 183 FDR0640” by Fedaro, under CC BY-SA 4.0

The presentations on good practice enabled a space within Iberoconf to share good results and to learn from one another, through successful activities that have been taking place across the region. Italy, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile and Argentina were the main actors in this part of the conference program.

Four other workshops were given by education specialists and current partners of Wikimedia Argentina. These were focused on the current work of the chapter on Education. Even though these activities are still on a test mode, they are delivering good results and could become innovative practices in the mid term.

Iberoconf 2014 came to a close with a work day that involved all participants. The discussion was dedicated to a collaborative strategic planning that would help design the programmatic work on education and GLAM for the different chapters and user groups in Iberocoop. It was in this last moment of the conference when the sound success of the event was evident to everyone in the room: participants were able to apply in a very efficient way what they learnt in the previous days about strategic planning. The discussion resulted in a much more fine-tuned compass to lead the Iberocoop Wikimedia organizations’ initiatives. The SMART goals are now available for consultation and further discussion on Iberocop’s portal discussion on Meta. You can also find more pictures and the presentations shared at the event on its category in Commons.

Wikimedia Argentina, as organizing team, is very pleased with the results and want to thank everyone that made Iberoconf 2014 possible!

Valentín Muro is Wikimedia Argentina Communication Coordinator

María Cruz is Learning and Evaluation’s Community Liaison at the Wikimedia Foundation