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Wikimedia Foundation Board appoints world expert in women's issues, global south

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By Tony1, Emily Temple-Wood, and The ed17
New WMF Board member ... Ana Toni is set to bring a wealth of experience in global policy research and development.

In apparent acknowledgment of the urgency of two issues facing the Wikimedia movement—the need to engage both women and the global south—the WMF Board has appointed Ana Toni as one of its four expert members. Ana Toni, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, will bring rare expertise to the movement, acquired during two decades of involvement in the politics of the world economy, sustainable development, and community development projects. The Signpost understands that her skills in advocacy and her key roles in international NGOs are likely to be a natural match with the WMF as the hub of disseminating free knowledge around the world.

Since 2011, Ana Toni has been the chair of the Board of Greenpeace. From 2003 to 2011 she was the representative for the Ford Foundation in Brazil, coordinating work in human rights, racial and ethnic discrimination, and reproductive health; in 2011 the Ford Foundation approved nearly half a billion dollars in grants worldwide to reduce poverty and injustice, promote democratic values, and—of particular resonance with the WMF—to advance human knowledge and creativity. Her presentation on behalf of the Ford Foundation to the conference Innovations for Successful Societies: Building Institutions, Escaping Development Traps, displayed expertise in creating linkages between the public and private sectors, civil society, the media, and academic researchers. The address focused on innovations in reducing criminality in the favelas (shanty towns) of Brazilian cities, and how success hinges on "community integration and leadership, a multidisciplinary approach, academic engagement in public security studies, and replacing political positioning with professional expertise" (a full audio interview from the conference is available). She has also been involved in the World Economic Forum, the non-profit that is committed to improving the state of the world by bringing together business, political, and academic leaders to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Ana Toni's career, however, has encompassed not just policy development, but its local application. After five years as policy advisor to ActionAid UK, she held the role of executive director of ActionAid Brazil from 1998 to 2002. From this time, it has been clear that "macro–micro linkages"—of big-picture policy and on-the-ground work—have been an important part of her approach. In the 2005 ActionAid publication Stories of change, Andrea Cornwall, director of a research program on women's empowerment at the Institute of Development Studies, recounted the search for likely partners after ActionAid opened its Brazil office in 1999. Ana Toni told her: “I saw [Silvia Cordiero, director of the Women's Centre do Cabo] first at a meeting in Brazilia. She impressed me. She was strong and articulate. And she was there from an organisation that worked with women at the grassroots, articulating with national policy debates. It was what their experience of linking macro–micro might offer us that excited me most.”

Ana Toni brings to the Board a strong track-record in research and writing. She serves on the editorial board of the Portuguese-language monthly, Le Monde diplomatique Brazil, which provides analysis and opinion on politics, culture, and current affairs. It is not hard to find a string of scholarly publications that acknowledge her advice. The 2010 book Intellectual property and human development: current trends and future scenarios, to take one of many examples, expressed appreciation for her "wonderful support and insights" towards broadening the scope of the research "to cover important areas of human development". In the light of increasing knowledge of how environmental and market-based policies interact with economic development and the role of women in developing countries, her advice has played an important role in the preparation of papers such as "Trade and environment: conflict or compatibility" for the Proceedings of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

In announcing the appointment, Kat Walsh, chair of the WMF Board, said: "As we aspire to nearly double the number of people who use Wikipedia over the next few years, and build a larger and more diverse movement of active volunteers, Ana’s leadership experience and insight on the management and growth of non-profit organizations will be invaluable in guiding us." In the WMF's press release, director of communications Jay Walsh pointed out that Toni has coordinated "a regional Latin America Initiative on Economics and Globalization, an IBSA initiative (joint work between Brazil, South Africa and India) and the International Initiative on Intellectual Property Rights."

The challenge for the Board and the movement as a whole may be how to pose the right questions to gain the greatest benefit from this new Board member.

Featured article discussions, requests for comment

Editor's note: The ed17 and Tony1, the other two authors of this "News and notes" and participants in these discussions, had no part in authoring this article.

This week saw a lively discussion on Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates and in several other forums about the role of director Raul654 and several other issues facing the featured article (FA) process at large. Prolific FA writer Brianboulton began a discussion about the future of the JSTOR account donation process, that quickly devolved into questioning Raul's role in the featured content processes.

Several users expressed views that Raul's title should be changed to "Director Emeritus", while others believed that he should retain his title as Director in honor of his contributions to the process over the years, and another subset of users thought he should be removed from the process entirely due to his inactivity over the past few months. The discussion intensified after David Fuchs removed Raul's name and role from Template:FAC-instructions; he was reverted by SandyGeorgia, a former FAC delegate. An edit war began as several users became involved and reverted one another. After several reverts from both sides, Crisco 1492 fully protected the template to end the conflict.

The 2012 FA RfC, where there was consensus for keeping the status quo of the FA process as it stood, was cited by participants on all sides of the discussion.

Two requests for comment have been started as a result of the discussions: Tony1's proposal to make Raul a director emeritus and rename the delegates "coordinators", and PumpkinSky's proposal to eliminate the directorship and move for direct elections of the delegates.

In brief

One year ago, the Russian Wikipedia blacked itself out ... they face similar circumstances now.
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The "The Hoya" article was already covered in a previous article of the Signpost (it's more than two years old). Regards, HaeB (talk) 08:16, 12 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks HaeB, not sure how that got in there. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 08:26, 12 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I've just removed the story about the NZ Justice minister as it was totally wrong. It claimed the story was about the "Justice Minister’s editing of Wikipedia" which is not true - there's no suggestion that Ms Collins was editing Wikipedia. The statement that someone in her office "was found to edit her article along with several others related to her political activities" is also not in the story, and is actually not true. The story rightly says that someone in her office edited her article while also identifying themselves. The claims of Mr Brooking that the removal of material from various articles was conducted by Ms Collins staff are not correct - what has happened is that various editors (including myself) have removed the blatant BLP violations and POV-pushing Mr Brooking was posting in articles concerning the NZ justice system, and he's complaining about this after his sockpuppet accounts were also blocked. It's a shame that this was published without following up on the article's edit history, or even accurately reporting what the news story said. Please see the posts on Mr Brooking's main account's talk page at User talk:Offender9000‎ for background what's been going on here. Nick-D (talk) 08:41, 12 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I support Nick-D's removal of this entry. A staffer of Judith Collins edited the Collins article, but only to add a better photo as was requested on the talk page. They also removed a paragraph from the David Bain article that they considered defamatory, but after the material was restored they did not edit war but conducted a civil discussion on a talk page. See also Critic claims censorship on Collins Wiki which contains quotes from me.-gadfium 09:25, 12 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
For on-wiki context, there is also WP:AN#On-wiki badness moves to major newspaper. I apologize for not catching these pre-publication, but perhaps we'll be able to do a more accurate and more intriguing investigation in a full piece next week. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 16:10, 12 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • WRT Ana Toni, yes but has she edited Wikipedia before? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 08:58, 12 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    A nice piece on our newest Trustee. She was not an editor before joining the Foundation; but a reader and user. She has edited wikis before - she did so to vote on the recognition of Wikimedia Uruguay :) – SJ + 20:25, 16 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]


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