PCF5:Commonwealth values in a digital world: The road to community governance for WikiEducator

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The road to community governance for WikiEducator

Proposed Workshop Activity by Dr Wayne Mackintosh (COL)


WikiEducator is an international community project sponsored by the Commonwealth of Learning. WikiEducators from all regions in the world are working collaboratively to develop free educational resources in support of all national curricula for all sectors and levels in our respective education systems. Our target is to provide a free alternative for all educational content by 2015. The fundamental political values underpinning the Commonwealth include democracy and good governance, respect for human rights and gender equality, the rule of law, and sustainable economic and social development. As a Commonwealth sponsored initiative, WikiEducator is required to implement these values in our operations. This session will reflect on the challenges and achievements associated with the establishment of an international, community-based governance structure for WikiEducator. The session will encourage active engagement from participants in providing advise and considerations for future directions in the governance of the project and how best to foster the values underpinning the Commonwealth in a digital world. Key questions would include:

1) How do we promote and sustain democratic processes in an international project sponsored by the Commonwealth where participants reside in both Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries?

2) How do we ensure and promote gender equality through an open election system taking into account gender biases in ICT participation around the world?

3) How do we balance the requirements of economic development in a project which requires a commitment to free educational resources?

Using a dynamic case study approach, the facilitators will engage participants in an active exchange for providing democratic advice on future directions for the governance of the project.

Online Distance Governance Model

Since our mission & path is ODL, the democratic process for its governance may also be an Open/Online Distance Governance (ODG). Let us think seriously about developing a suitable ODG Model for WikiEducator and in each move let us stick to the term OD (Open/Online Distance).

Organization Outline

Online Advisory Board


  • Membership including COL representation may be limited to 16
  • WE team leader from COL may be a permanent member (ie 15 + 1)
  • Term of each elected member will be 3 year
  • 15 member vacancies may be filled in three years ie 5 in each year. Therefore from 4th year onwards there will be 5 vacancies of the elected members each year.
  • This system will ensure continuity as well as bringing in fresh ideas.
  • A minimum of 40% representation may be reserved for women.
  • For effective implementation of reservation, women representation may be assigned to countries on rotation basis and declared well in advance of nomination. This shall not in any way restrict women from being elected to unreserved seats.


A nomination and election system that can complement the up keeping of a sustainable active online community of educators may be framed.

  • Self-nomination may not be acceptable.
  • Known members form at least three participating countries should nominate a person for an approved candidature. (Definition of Known members can be Wiki Neighbors and Ambassadors with whom some other known WE members/ COL staff members have direct contact and hence identity is traceable). For this purpose henceforth there should be an appropriate mechanism to ensure that those who register as Wiki Neighbours and Ambassadors are known Members.

Qualification for Nomination

  • Candidate should be a Wiki Neighbour or Ambassador
  • It may be insisted that minimum one year active participation in collaborative content development on WE is mandatory among other qualifications based on Subjects, Technology, ODL expertise etc.

Road Works.svg Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page. Road Works.svg