Re: Question for candidates: transparency and accountability

Hey Fabiana,

Fabiana Simões <fabianapsimoes gmail com> wrote:
I'd like to hear your thoughts on implementing transparency and
accountability on the Board.

How transparent the work of the Board should be to Foundation members? What
should be communicated and when? Do you think we have been transparent
enough in the last term? If not, how can we improve things and how high in
your priorities would be to do so?

In terms of accountability, it's been unclear to me since joining the
Foundation how much different Board members contribute to the Board's goals
and tasks. Do you think the meeting notes provide enough visibility and
context to the work being done? By the end of a term, how can the Foundation
have a fair understanding of one's contributions to the Board?

I agree with the general thrust of the question: Foundation members
should feel that their votes count, and that they have a stake in the
Foundation. More than that: I think we need a Foundation that is more
visible, and more integrated with the rest of the project. This is
something that I would like to help improve, and have ideas about
(although I also expect there to be constraints and pressures that
limit what we can do in this area).

We need to recognise that transparency isn't always simple or
straightforward. It takes work to make things transparent (such as
writing reports or blog posts), and we all know that Board members are
busy and have limited time. Additionally, more transparency wouldn't
necessarily make the Foundation easier to understand or more engaging:
posting the transcript of every meeting, or making all the finances
public, wouldn't make the Foundation more engaging. Likewise, many of
the matters that the Board deals with probably aren't that interesting
to the membership, and more transparency around them might not make
people more active within the Foundation.

So I think we need to be smart: we need to identify opportunities
where information about the Board will be interesting and meaningful;
we need to figure out how to produce that information efficiently, and
we need to present it in a way that is easy to digest. It's not a
question of more transparency, but when and how to be transparent. I
would like us to keep this issue in mind during the day-to-day running
of the Board.

Also, I do have some ideas for increasing transparency:

First, we need to regularly review the Board's communications.
Ensuring that agendas and minutes are sent out in a timely fashion and
are meaningful is an obvious thing to keep an eye on.

Second, I think that there needs to be more information about the
performance of individual board members. Right now, when Board members
run for re-election, there is very little information about how they
have performed in the past year. This risks turning the elections into
a popularity contest, and doesn't help us to ensure that we have an
effective Board. One thing we could do is keep a record of how board
members have voted over the year, as well as the tasks that they have
successfully completed. These records could be published ahead of the

Third, I'm interested in trying to break down the barrier between the
Board and other teams, so that Foundation business is spread out more
widely. It would be great if the Engagement Team could be more
involved in campaigns that are run by the Board, for example.

If I am elected to the Board, I'd be interested in hearing peoples'
ideas for increasing transparency, and would be happy to pursue them
when possible.



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