Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round2/Wikimedia Czech Republic/Proposal form

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Proposal summary for Wikimedia Czech Republic

Funds requested from the FDC: US$ 14,084.50

APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round2/Wikimedia Czech Republic/Proposal form

Impact on the Movements strategic goals[edit]

FDC main concern is to secure WMF money is spend to optimal use for reaching our Strategic goals. I can see no refences on how you plan to run program to reach these goals? Yuor request is small, and professionalism and travel grant are relevant items, so I have no problem with you line of thinking and am sympatetic to yoru aims. But your type of request is mosly covered by Grants, and for handling in FDC I do want to see program related to the stratic goals. Colud you comment on your thought in this amtter?Anders Wennersten (talk) 08:27, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

  • It depends, what grants we are talking about. There are two entities:
    • WMF Grants (WMF)
    • Consolidated Grants (WM CZ, internal).
  • First, I should define our activities. These are of a double nature: We have various projects, that are covered by the Consolidated Grants; media-related activities by Mediagrant and presentation activities by Presentation&Outreach. However, these grants do have a certain scope, that might be changed only with consent of WMF. In recent days there was a brand new idea to cover the three problems we have now (To rent an office, to cover our travel expenses, to do our administrative work) from WMF Grants instead of FDC. However, I must point out, that during the CEE Meeting in Belgrade in October 2012, I had a talk with Fae and Asaf and as far from the discussioin they expressed that FDC is for organizational kind of activities, while WMF Grants for programme related activities. Thus, an employee mustn't be paid from Grants. Other members that were to another international meetings (i. e. Wikimania) heard the same or similar conclusions. Our FDC request tries to reflect this situation.
  • Our request is small indeed; when preparing it I was quite surprised that other chapters - sometimes from countries similar to ours (i. e. WM HU) ask for much more money. Our goals are defined and certain. We tried the most we can to specify them in the FDC request as best as we can; if this is not done the way it should be, please specify more exact questions and I will be happy to answer all of them. When speaking about metrics, this is an issue our chairman (Limojoe) helped me with. And about the WMF Strategic goals - the definitions come from the list from your Annual report. We used several of your definitions according to our 3 blocks we have in our proposal. I can give you more detailed explanation of these links if needed. --Aktron (talk) 07:59, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Utilisation of office[edit]

How much do you expect your office to be used? Your total proposed staff adds up to less than one full-time person, so the office will presumably spend a lot of time empty. Is it really an efficient use of movement resources to be paying for an empty office? Your staff should be able to work from home and you can hire rooms as and when you need them for other chapter activities. (And, without the office in your plan, there is no need for an FDC application - you can just go to the WMF Grants Program.) --Tango (talk) 22:11, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

The office will should in several ways:
  • Firstly, it will a place, where our volunteers will meet for various sessions, events and presentations. This is very tiring problem right now, as we have practically no place that can accomodate our needs.
  • Secondly, the office is a place, where we can meet with our partners, in order to present them our chapters.
  • Third, not the accountant, but the administrative worker/officer (or student) is supposed to work in the office on a daily/temporary basis. The Board is being constantly overwhelmed by administrative work; all our important documents should be stored in the office, so working there is only a logical conclusion. There is quite a lot of administrative work in our chapter, but however our chapter is small-medium sized, so it is not kind of a work that needs someone doing it 8 hours/day. We need to be flexible and to adapt to the situation. I had a very long discussion with Limojoe (our chairman) and he refused an idea having an employee on a regular basis, mostly because of this issues.
  • Our staff can work at home, and this is - as far as I know - not a problem. The problem is, when the people need to meet. This year for example there were significant complications about the date of the GA because of a fact that a member of ours simply has his family at home so he can't offer us the required space in the time all of us basically agreed upon. So we had to postpone it for a week, putting it on a term, that is unconvenient to all of us. And there are other problems, i. e. board meetings in pubs, which are anything but a good place to concentrate for solving issuses.
  • Our official headquarters - the Paluba Boardgames club - is not a bad place, but they also have days, where they use their "workspace". Besides that, it is available mostly in the evenings, which is totally unconvinient when we need to meet for example in 11:00. There were several situations of this kind that only complicate for example preparations for our presence at various fairs or exhibitions.
  • The office will be sometimes empty, yes. On the other hand, the office space that is currently being negotiated is not a commercial one and it is not supposed to be rented for commercial price. Yet, our budget will be in a significant deficit (or we'd have to scrap several our activities) in order to finance it from our resources.
  • The most important element of our FDC request is indeed an office. The travel grants are an other problem to be solved, as travel costs for various international/regular meetings drain our internal resources. Without the FDC request we'd have to decide if we want to travel or to have an office, or scrap some other activities. And it is also important to note that the amount of administrative work in our chapter grows, yet the size of Board does not. A time to delegate this amount of work to someone else - obviously paid, because this job is very tiring and it seems it can really hardly be done on a voluntary basis - sould be now, and if not, most definitely in a near future. Aktron (talk) 07:47, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

The key point in this is that an office will be much cheaper and more efficient than having one place to "keep our stuff" and rent other places to have board meetings, assemblies or informal meetups. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 18:17, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your detailed response, but I'm still not convinced. Your admin person is only going to be working 25-50% of the time, and you say your accountant won't work out of the office, so that means staff will probably be using the office about 2 days a week. I don't know how active your chapter is, but I would be surprised if you use the office for other activities more than one day a week. That leaves the office empty more than half the time. It is very hard to justify having office space with such low utilisation. You say you need somewhere to store important documents - can you not store them online? If you need to have paper copies for legal reasons, they can be stored anywhere with people actually working with the online versions. You don't need an office for that. You also seem to be underestimating the availability of rooms for hire for a few hours or a day at a time - you don't need to meet in a crowded pub, you can hire a meeting room (I'm sure they are just as available in the Czech Republic as they are in the UK). An office can be a very useful tool for a chapter, but it doesn't sound like you have reached the point where you need one. --Tango (talk) 21:03, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Hi Tango, thanks for the feedback. I would very much agree with you if this was a commercially rented office. However, the place was negotiated as an office for NGOs and is currently rented by the city of Prague at a very very reasonable price. You are right that, most of the time, the office will be unoccupied, but the costs of renting a meeting room every time would probably be very similar to the costs of having this place. As for the stuff to storage, we have much much more than just legal papers - we currently need a lot of space for thousands of our WMCZ leaflets, a bookshelf of books we own, a computer, professional scanner and printer we own or are intending to buy, as well as professional equipment for attending confererences (conference tables and "walls"), video projector, camera equipment. Nowadays, these things are distrubuted among the chapter members at their appartments and are very difficult to manage. To sum up, it is becoming clearer and clearer that a common place for 1) storaging things 2) meeting during assemblies and other meetings 3) delivering mail and 4) meeting with our strategic partners is crucial for further development of our chapter. In the current conditions, it sometimes gets unbearable to work for WMCZ if you have to phone five times to get all the things you need to run an otherwise simple project.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 15:04, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Hello, may I say something about an office for a Wikimedia entity. In my experience, the office was a very important step forward in our development in the Netherlands. We had there first a half time freelancer and later the employees; we moved our paper archive from a volunteer's home to the office; the board and the committees started to meet in the office; we established a wikizaterdag twice a month. We have now giveaways and in general more physical stuff than before, such as the roll-ups. So, what Vojtech wrote makes absolute sense to me. This is certainly true in a rather small country where the volunteers can easily ride to a central place, in Australia it may be different. Ziko (talk) 17:04, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Measures of success week and not easurable[edit]

How does your entity define and measure "success"? Representatives of Wikimedia Czech Republic are present in national media (i.e. television, radio, newspapers) Representatives of Wikimedia Czech Republic take lectures/do presentations in galleries, libraries, schools, universities, fairs etc.

These are goals that need numbers attached so achieving success of the goal can be measured, i.e. how many newspaper articles, how many TV shows, how many radio programs; hoe many lectures/presentations in how many school, how many universities, and how many fairs?Tomandzeke (talk) 03:26, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Of course, this can be redefined to a better description. If you need a more detailed plan - or as I can see - a schedule, I hope our board can do it soon. --Aktron (talk) 08:01, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Clarifying questions from FDC Staff[edit]

Thank you very much for the time and effort you have put into this proposal. We appreciate it! We have some initial questions about this proposal, listed below and may follow up with some program-specific questions once these are answered. Thank you for taking the time to respond to our questions. If we have not understood some aspect of your proposal correctly, please do use this as an opportunity to provide more clarity. Please respond inline or create a new section if necessary. Many thanks! Best regards, KLove (WMF) (talk) 06:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. Community involvement: To what extent have members of WM CZ and other community members engaged in the development of the proposal?
  2. The proposed budget and annual plan have not yet been approved by your General Assembly; what is the process for approving these documents, when will this approval take place, and where will it be documented? Provide links if applicable.
  3. Are any funds allocated to pay Wikimedia Chapters Association membership dues?
  4. Volunteers: WM CZ states that there are about 200 to 400 active volunteers, including both Wikipedians and those contributing to WM CZ’s projects. Would WM CZ be able to break out this number to show how many of these volunteers are contributing actively to the chapters activities?
  1. The data in the proposal came from several sources:
    1. The Budget proposal exist from December 2012, was publicly online and our members had an opportunity (and used it) to comment the proposal, so it can be modified. During one of the board meetings, the modifications were done.
    2. The Programme Plan Proposal was written collaboratively on Etherpad (the main structure was posted by the board and then the rest was filled by our members. The final version (and translation to English was done by me).
    3. The 2012 Annual Report is based on similar documents of this kind and adapted to our achiviements from previous year. It was writen by the baord
    4. The 3 programs stated in FDC Proposal were designed originally by the Board, then defined by me, then posted on our internal wiki for any possible comments, then re-defined in a discussion between me and our chairman (originally there were supposed to be 5 programs), and finally approved on 26th February 2013 by the decision of our Board on a meeting opened to our members.
    5. The proposal was reviewed by our members shortly before deadline and no objections were made (there was a long discussion in our mailing list, plus several minor errors were fixed right by our members - se the history page of the proposal).
  2. These proposals must be (according to our Bylaws) presented on the GA. All 3 proposals are to be presented the way as they are right now on the GA and members will vote in order to be approved. This voting can result in approval or disapproval; if they won't be approved, as a next step, there must be an immedial vote to recall the Board. In 2012 the Budget, Programme Plan, 2011 Annual Report and 2011 Financial Report were not approved on the GA or were approved only conditionally. Usualy, when the document is not approved, then it is passed in a mail vote and it has to be changed. The question is of course, how much it has to be changed. In 2012 all the changes were basically of minor ones in nature (i. e. to define some item not as a single item or two items, to add some conclusions), but the main course and data from the document did not change and if so, the changes were up to cca 5-10 €.
  3. I don't remember there was any discussion about the Wikimedia Chapters Association membership dues.
  4. There are about 10-15 very active WM CZ members (perhaps more, this is my guess), 40 members total, but our projects are so active, that we have - in total indeed several hundred people participating on them (these are our Mediagrant and Presentation&Outreach related projects - quite independent from the activities of the Board). That is why this number was stated. One of our goals is to include more low-barrier activities in order to attract more people (by more people I mean active ones) to our chapter. --Aktron (talk) 08:30, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

To the Q.1: We do not have professional staff, so everything we do is developed and conducted by the volunteering members of our community.--Jan Spousta (talk) 20:46, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Incomplete sections[edit]

A few sections in your proposal appear to be incomplete. Kindly provide some of the missing information here, and do let us know if any aspect of the form needs to be clarified! Please respond inline or create a new section if necessary. Thank you, KLove (WMF) (talk) 06:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. Table 3: Please complete provide WM CZ’s year to date actuals for revenues and spending, and the projected final amount for both revenues and spending. Also please include the year-to-date period for which you are reporting (see the request above table 3).
  2. SMART activities / milestones: For each program, please provide an answer to the question, “What SMART key activities and/or milestones are associated with this program?”
  3. Measures of success: For each program WM CZ answers the question, “How will your entity measure and track success of this program?” with, “All or most of the metrics will be met”; however, no metrics are provided here. Please provide some information about what the intended outcomes of this program are, and how you intend to measure them.
  4. Table 6: It would be helpful to understand the rationale for hiring new staff. Can you please explain the chapter’s thinking?
  5. Financial report: We noticed that a financial report for 2012 was not included with WM CZ’s proposal. When will WM CZ able to share one?

Answer 1 (Table 3): both our revenues and spendings in January to March 2013 in this area are insignificant or zero. We have some spendings (in the order of thousands Euros) which are paid from the rest of our 2010 grant money, but these are kept separatedly. We plan to spend all or most FDC money until Spring 2014, so that the final amount will be similar to the requested amount.

Answer 2/3 (SMART/measures of success): We are sorry - we have forgotten to write them down under the right heading.

Program 1 (Office) has simply: "Meeting the objectives - an office set up and used for our activities".

Program 2 (Travel grants): The SMART criteria are there but under a false heading. They are:

  • A minimum of 3 presentations (lectures), visited by 20 or more wiki movement volunteers.
  • A representative of WM CZ will have an invitig lecture on each occasion.
  • To organize at least 3 out of Prague meetings.

Program 3 (Administration and Human Resources): "Meeting the objectives - pay an accountant and a part time administrative worker, who will contribute to the communication and cooperation with at least 5 institutions, will prepare our reports and/or press releases, will participate on a fair or exhibition - related event(s), and will help edit leaflets as well as the internal magazine/magazines"

Answer 4 (Table 6): We are growing bigger but our woluntary staff and board members is not able to do all the rutine / administrative work. This is already something which prevent us to do more activities and hampers our growth and our reputation with members / supporters. Therefore we need somebody who will help us to answer questions, prepare actions, do the paperwork etc.

Answer 5 (Financial report): If everything will go well, we will have it finished and approved in April after the GA.--Jan Spousta (talk) 21:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Clarifying questions about financial data[edit]

There appear to be a few inconsistencies in the financial data reported here. Please provide some explanations below. Note that if you require any changes to the proposal form itself, you should request written approval here on the discussion page and then make the changes using strikethrough after they are approved. Please respond inline or create a new section if necessary. Many thanks! Regards, KLove (WMF) (talk) 06:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. The sum of your staff expenses and program expenses is US$ 18,693.97 and yet your total annual expenses are listed as US$15,620.99. Can you please explain the discrepancy between the two figures?
  2. According to the tables presented here, WM CZ’s projected revenues (US$ 45,809.32) exceed its projected spending (US$ 14,084.50) by US$ 31,724.81. What does WM CZ intend to do with the surplus of revenues that are not currently programmed?
  3. WM CZ is applying for funds during a cycle which is out of synch with its fiscal year and is applying for a relatively small funds allocation (less than US$ 20,000). At the same time, WM CZ currently has funds from several ongoing project grants that it has not yet spent. As other have asked, can you kindly explain why WM CZ does not continue to seek project grants under the Wikimedia Grants Program to fund its activities until the next FDC round?
    If I may comment on this, our project grants - "Mediagrant" and "Presentation And Outreach" have strict rules which forbid using the money for purposes other than stated. Indeed, they are very popular projects with a dynamic development and outreach to wide community and I would not measure their success by considering the money spent for them. You can read our comprehensive reports on these grants in here and here. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 14:49, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Clarifying questions about the staffing plan[edit]

We have a one question about your hiring plan. Please respond inline or create a new section if necessary.Thanks, KLove (WMF) (talk) 06:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Please clarify: does WM CZ intend to hire a part-time administrative staff person at 25% of fulltime or at 50% of fulltime?

It is not decided yet (the hire will be conducted by the next board, if we get the money) but we calculated that CZK 60,000 will be enough for no more than 25% of fulltime. The average yearly income in Prague is currently about CZK 400,000 / year.--Jan Spousta (talk) 21:20, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Part-time worker[edit]

Hi, Aktron. I have been a bit disappointed by the recent „subgrant“ proposal to Mediagrant. You and Jagro are going to be responsible (garants) for reimbursing applicants fulfilling conditions for purchases of a new camera equipment (up to 42 000 CZK – roughly 1600€ – per successful applicant; the equipment will become applicant's personal property). The conditions (Wikimedia account older than 3 years; at least 2500 uploaded files, most with quality equivalent to quality images – subject to evaluation of you and Jagro) can be probably fulfilled only by few (Czech) applicants (most of them probably members of the Czech chapter, which is highly Commons-oriented). You are eligible and the proposal mentions that even you two can apply (in such case, the quality of your 2500+ images will be evaluated by Mediagrant leaders). The concept of reimbursing (chapter) warhorses for shopping of valuable personal property may be questionable by itself, but another problem I see is the possible conflict of interest. Either directly when tailoring the conditions of the subgrant or via logrolling when it comes to the evaluation of the quality of pictures. Therefore I would like to ask about possible conflict of interest in this case:

How will be the part-time worker selected? The process of obtaining office is already underway, what about the process of getting the part-time worker? Are there any candidates? Do you expect the worker to have some other relation to the chapter, like being an (former?) active Wikimedian, (former?) member of WM CZ (or even of the board of WM CZ or relative of …)?

I understand that avoiding COI in the tiny community of active members of WM CZ may be a big burden (and although I do not want to suggest it is your plan, I note that sometimes the best solution might be to employ someone connected to the leadership of the chapter despite the obvious conflict of interest). Nevertheless I find it important to behave transparently and make things clear as soon as possible. That's why I ask. Thanks. --Tchoř (talk) 13:45, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

I know this question is obviously directed to Aktron, but I will dare to comment on this a bit. As far as I can see, there is no relationship among this FDC proposal and the Mediagrant activities. However, I can assure you, Tchor, that the Mediagrant's proposal will be properly considered by the responsible committee and reviewed. We will certainly take into account the lessons learnt in the Swiss Wikimedia chapter, who reportedly ran a similar project aimed at providing cameras and equipment for photographers.
Concerning the part-time worker, something which is a part of this grant application, I personally do not see any problem with employing someone from the chapter. Indeed, the part-time worker will work on some of the most tedious office work which noone has pleasure doing for free - and it will only come in handy if this employee is properly experienced and knows how the things work in the chapter. Maybe it is an open question for the FDC reviewers, whether they see employing a WMCZ member as a conflict of interest, and if yes, why. Greetings, --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 14:38, 8 March 2013 (UTC) - WM CZ.
Thanks for your comment, Vojtěch. My intention was not to question the whole Mediagrant, I only wanted to explain my motivation. If I find one proposal involving Aktron not meeting the high standards of transparency I would expect in case of Wikimedia activities, it's natural to ask for details in his other proposal.--Tchoř (talk) 16:44, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
I have to respond to this thread. Please apologize the delay, I've been quite busy in recent days.
As far as I understand the concern pointed out here, yes, there is a possible conflict of interest in this subgrant/topic/theme.
The project is generally designed indeed for a limited group of Czech wikipedians/Commons users, who are tourist-orientated, take a lot of pictures, but unfortunetally - these pictures are of low quality. We've been irritated by this for years, there were long discussions on this topic - none of them came to any conclusion - and we hoped to find some solution. This project can provide some. Considering a fact, that both me and Jagro are Commons contributors for some time and we already have most of the equipment needed, it is wrong to think that this grant's sole puprose is to provide a photographic e-shop for two wikipedians. On the other hand, both of us consider using it for some accesories.
The requirements are strict indeed. We understand there is quite some money to transferred to the volunteers, so we need to be 100 % sure, that the people who are to be sponsored are those, who want to contribute to the WMF projects "en large".
I also have to point out, that there is already well working project called Foto českých obcí (Photos of Czech Villages). This project is supervised by a committee of 3 wikipedians (currently me, Jagro and Packa). However, when a member of the committee makes a trip, that has to be approved by the committe, he is excluded from the process and a special member for the committee is appointed for the very only case. This system works well for several years. It is only logical, that a similar scheme is to be applied in the case of buying photographic equipment. There is no sane Wikipedian, who may think, that is is ok, when Aktron wants to buy a camera, Aktron approves Aktron's request for the camera and Aktron buys a camera for Aktron, thus making everyone happy. No, this is just a wrong assumption. This is however an internal issue of the subgrant/theme/topic's rules, and these are going to be examined by the Mediagrant Comittee (and, as it seems to me right now, by WMF as well).
As far as I know, there is supposed to be a clear distinction between the organizational and programmatic activities of the Chapter. This FDC proposal is related to the organizational activities, while the grants reflect the programmatic ones. Mediagrant and the Camera subgrant/topic/theme respectively are part of the programmatic activities. The general discussion about organizational activities in this verry proposal should not be about this. I know there might be different views and conclusions, but at least, this one is mine. --Aktron (talk) 21:53, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Hello, Aktron and others following this thread. I want to make an important clarification here: FDC funding supports annual plans by offering general funding, which includes both project-related expenses and operating expenses like administration and office space. General funding is defined in the FDC Framework: General funding supports an organization’s overall annual plan to achieve mission objectives. This includes both ongoing expenses (e.g. salaries, office expenses) and any programmatic costs that organizations incur in pursuit of their goals. I hope this is clear, and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. KLove (WMF) (talk) 23:40, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. It is good to have all these issues here as clear as possible. I wanted to point out the ideas and conditions that formed the creation of our proposal, so I had to state this here. --Aktron (talk) 15:23, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Aktron: I do not want to discuss the „camera subgrant“ here. Feel free to respond to the issues raised by others on the appropriate talk page. But please avoid straw man argumentation you presented here. The assumption of Aktron approving Aktron's request was presented only by you – I had actually mentioned that your request would be evaluated by others (“in such case, the quality of your 2500+ images will be evaluated by Mediagrant leaders”).

Here I would like to get answers to my questions regarding this proposal. Once more (and emphasized):

How will be the part-time worker selected? The process of obtaining office is already underway, what about the process of getting the part-time worker? Are there any candidates? Do you expect the worker to have some other relation to the chapter, like being an (former?) active Wikimedian, (former?) member of WM CZ (or even of the board of WM CZ or relative of …)?

Thanks. --Tchoř (talk) 12:56, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

As far as I know, to have an employee is an issue we are facing in WM CZ for quite some time. There have been some tensions because of this in the past, and also a pressure from some people inside of our community, who wanted to became our employees. Plus, one member of ours worked de facto, but not de iure as an employee. Having this experience, it is not easy to determine, who might became our part-time worker. The general idea in our board - and this idea is stated in the FDC proposal itself - is to employ (that would be the best I guess) an university student, studying a course, that is related to non-profit or administrative sector. The amount of the work, that is to be done by this person is of administrative nature - current board feels to be terribly overwhelmed by administrative work and the situation will be even worse, as more activities will spring along those that are already ongoing. If we won't be able to work with a student, then we'd look for a different person and initiate the cooperation on a different basis.
Despite a fact, that it would be extremely helpful for the Chapter to work with someone, who is "inside" of the movement, ie. member of the chapter or member of the community, The people, who are new, or have only minimal/basic knowledge of the wiki world should be preferred. They can simply stand aside of the ongoing issues (including the one mentioned in the paragraph above), plus they can provide a view on the agenda different, than our volunteers have. It is also important to have people that are able to work under non-egalitarian conditions (if one wikipedian tries to hire another wikipedian, at least in Czech community this ends with failiures quite often...).
In essence: The main idea is to hire a student or another person, but generally to exclude "core" Czech Wikipedians/Wikimedians due to risk of potential failiure or renewing of previous issues, that caused instability in our chapter. There are no potential candidates and there are no names on the table. Aktron (talk) 15:21, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. --Tchoř (talk) 18:48, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Ex vice-chair comment[edit]

I am sorry, as the material is quite long, I am not able to read it full.

I was a deputy chairman of the Wikimedia Czech Republic for three years since its foundation in 2008. During that time we did some activities everyone can read about in the annual reports. I believe some of them are worth of attention. I learnt one experience then: Even during the crisis, the WM CZ is able to find potential donors and sponsors that can help our chapter with specific pro-Wikipedia activities and programs. However, they are far less willing to fund basic running costs. According to Czech laws, the WM CZ has a possibility to run an official and registered fundraising campaign, but again, it is practically impossible to use it for funding the basic organization costs. And the same or very similar applies to the government or other public grants. However, without the proper infrastructure, including office and at least some basic staff, the potential of the chapter is very limited if the volunteer capacities get lower for some reason.

It is the same with me: After my job duties have changed in the past two years and forced me to re-assess my priorities, I am no longer an important agent of the chapter activities. Anyway, with my experience behind me, I can only recommend the FDC helping the chapter with funding its infrastructure, as I hardly can see anything else what can promote the chapter's "Wikimedia scope programs" more. Okino (talk) 23:53, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Comments on Czech proposal[edit]

I would recommend no on program 1, office space. As Wikimedia is edited from anywhere with an Internet connection, I see no purpose on having an office, and no on program 3, hiring staff. I believe that Wikimedia world wide needs no more than half a dozen paid staff, and they should be consolidated in one location, currently in San Francisco. As to program 3, a big yes, as well as if they want to purchase cameras. There is a lot of information that can only be obtained by visiting in person, and travel has become very expensive. Europe has many new solar plants, and we have no photographs for many of them, which can only be obtained by someone going there, or at least renting a plane and flying over the solar plant. Apteva (talk) 00:33, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Chapters are not directly involved with editing Wikimedia projects, so I don't see the relevance of your first point. --Tango (talk) 19:42, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Cheap office[edit]

Do I have this right, that the office will be $362 a month? By American standards that's not expensive. If you can fill it with volunteers and do all the stuff you say you can, I think it sounds like a very reasonable expense. The travel grants are actually more, and if there's any scrutinizing to be done I'd think it should be there. You might fill in some details of who gets to travel and what they're expected to accomplish to set people's minds at ease, but I don't think it should be that hard. Wnt (talk) 15:46, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, it is quite cheap even by Czech (Prague) standards.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 16:05, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Compared to the French proposal, which sounds like most of $700,000 will go to hire five people - compared to any of the other proposals, for that matter - this one is the only one that actually sounds like the kind of down-to-earth, organic, volunteer movement that Wikipedia represents, rather than some people cashing in somehow. Wnt (talk) 16:46, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Hi, please comment on the Wikimedia France proposal talk page. I will be happy to answer any questions you might have there and show you Wikimedia France track record of actions and proving that some people are not just cashing. By the way such comments are hurtful when they come from a fellow wikimedians, especially with the amount of time board member like me (all volunteers and not cashing in a single penny) spent so much time on this proposal. Best, Schiste (talk) 20:15, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Schiste, I very much appreciate the time that you and other volunteers put in writing up the proposals and answering questions. I know that it is loads of work that you are doing for the benefit of the WMF movement. Sydney Poore FloNight (talk) 20:37, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Wnt, you should remember that different organizations are at different stages of development and have different needs - there is no need to imply that anybody's cashing in, I believe it sounds like assuming bad faith. Also, I don't think that any single item of Wikimedia France budget would suggest that a Wikimedia activist will suddenly strike rich (although specific comments about the budget are definitely welcome and belong to the discussion on Wikimedia France project page). Pundit (talk) 20:54, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Yep. There is a limit of what can one do on purely volunteer basis, and once you get past that, you have to choose between closing projects down and allowing people to work on it for a living. If someone is able to make a sensible request for salaries it usually means they do high quality projects which would not succeed if done by three people two evenings a week in a basement. --che 13:52, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Questions from FDC Staff about programs for all entities[edit]

Thank you for your responses to the questions on your proposal. We all appreciate the time and effort you have put into the discussion on this page and elsewhere. We have a few more questions for your entity as part of the proposal process. We are asking all Round 2 entities to respond to these questions about programs. Please answer them as they apply to your proposal. Thank you in advance for your response. KLove (WMF) (talk) 21:56, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. Microgrants programs:
    • What types of activities will the entity fund through its microgrants program
    our principal microgrant programs are Mediagrant and Presentation & Outreach. The first offers financial support to better document Czech culture, nature, history, (...) while the second is basically designed to cope with Wikimedia movement presentation and outreach towards various institutions. No microgrant scheme sensu stricto is part of the current proposal and detailed information to the two aforementioned successful grants can be obtained at their respective Meta pages. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 23:14, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
    • How will the entity make sure the funds are spent on those activities?
    • How are these activities related to the goal of the microgrants program?
    • How will information about this program be visible to the community?
    • How does the entity plan to track the results of this program?
    • Does the entity plan to make any international microgrants or grants (outside of its country)?
    No plans of this kind have been presented in our chapter yet. We planned to offer our Mediagrant scheme to colleagues from WM Slovakia, but they decided to go for their own grant system.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 23:14, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  2. Partnerships: This proposal highlights building partnerships as an important part of the entity’s plan, and as a key task for proposed staff. Is there additional information you can share about why partnerships are prioritized in your entity’s strategy and about your strategy for pursuing partnerships? What will make a strong partnership?
    Generally, our chapter is one of the smaller ones. We constantly need to outreach to various communities and institutions to cooperate with them; the advantage is that they can do a large part of the work for us. We maintain strong bonds with important Czech institutions - major Czech universities, National Technical Library, National Heritage Institute, various museums, etc. Offering well-prepared, high-impact and public-interest projects is a key to a strong partnership; both sides can profit from them. We can ensure training to our workers because the people who set up these collaborations are still working in the chapter and can pass on their experience. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 23:14, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  3. Setting targets In general, how does the entity set and monitor target numbers (e.g. workshops held, participants trained, articles downloaded, etc) and how does the entity share those targets with its community? When these targets are not achieved, how do you learn from the experience? If applicable, please share an example here.
    This applies mostly to our regional outreach plans as part of the Travel Grants and to the work of the student employee. The numbers are, in my opinion, realistic enough to be accomplished with respect to the number of people currently engaged + willing to engage in future. Our plans are regularly shared on Czech Wikipedia (we inform about Education Program milestones, Mediagrant activities and possibilities, workshops and meetings) and during an annual Wiki-conference in Prague (more than 100 participants last year). Most of our activities proved to be a success, but we - as every organisation - do have cases of failure; we have, for example, failed to accomplish a certain project with National Technical Library because our main coordinator of the project decided to step back; we learnt that promises of cooperation must be given carefully to keep our reputation clear - and we intend to continue being careful in future - we go step-by-step.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 23:14, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  4. Diversity: How does the entity define diversity?
    We pursue very diverse projects, including cooperation with scientists, authorities, teachers, students, Wikipedians, photographers, journalists children and general public. All projects are coordinated by a person whom the chapter trusts. We also make significant progress in the outreach toward regions; the community in Brno seemed to activize in the last year.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 23:14, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  5. Continuity: With continual changes in board composition, how does your entity ensure goals are met and organizational focus is steady?
    All the three key programs of this grant were repeatedly discussed, literally for years, in our chapter. It is possible that the next boards may give more stress on topics more neglected by the current board, but the general mission is probably going to stay the same; the goals are almost undisputable to my eyes (and I am not the one who actually wrote the proposal).--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 23:14, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
  6. Growth: How is your entity planning for financial sustainability and budget growth over the next several years?
  7. GLAM: How does your entity determine which GLAM projects are of interest to volunteers and the community? Is there a system or process in place for this?
    We work more on an free-will basis, letting the coordinators to choose the projects that they favor and/or find promising. The GLAM projects are generally organized in a way so that they produce new high-quality or even unique content for Wikimedia Foundation projects such as Commons or Wikipedia. --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 23:14, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Further questions from FDC staff on WMCZ Proposal[edit]

We have some additional questions that have emerged as we review your proposal. Please kindly reply to them, and do let me know if you have any questions or need clarifications. Best, KLove (WMF) (talk) 21:57, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. Cash reserves: Table 9 notes a total cash balance of 8,012 CZK. However, in your budget proposal, you note that you have consolidated grants worth 476,408 CZK and 'own resources' of 125,019 CZK. Can you explain why the cash balance does not include the grants balance and the ‘own resources’ totals?
    The Cash states only real cash we currently have and it does not state anything about our accounts. Since WMCZ now has more dat about this (as well as there is a 2012 Financial Report proposal prepared for the GA), this can be fixed. Aktron (talk) 12:44, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
    Done. Now it includes the sum of all of our accounts as of Jan 1st 2013, excluding the grant-related finances. Replacing the data was rather easy; the 2012 Financial Report proposal is already finished, so I just used the data from this document. --Aktron (talk) 22:52, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
  2. Revenues: On your 2013 budget proposal document, we note that you have included ‘consolidated grants’ and ‘own resources’ in the revenues section. Can you explain why have you documented them as revenues rather than as cash reserves?
    The grants-related finances must be listed separately. They can't be considered as a cash reserve, as their usage is strictly limited to various projects. Cash reserves can be "unbounded" money only. --Aktron (talk) 12:44, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  3. Budget split across calendar years: We notice in the 2013 budget document that WMCZ plans to spend 100% of the requested FDC budget allocation, that is, by December 2013. However we note your FDC request is for 2013-2014. Can you clarify what your spend will be in 2013 and first half of 2014, and ideally separate it out into 6 month intervals?
    We intend to finance our office and accountant both in 2013 and 2014. The travel expenses section is also intended to cover both years (but with only one global, Wikimania-like event). The administrative worker/officer is planed for 6 months only and possibly in 2014. There was no clear conclusion about this in the board, but the administrative worker was considered to be - although important - an issue, that we would like to manage rather in 2014, than in 2013. --Aktron (talk) 12:44, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  4. Table 8: Can you expand table 8 to include all expense areas for the 2013-2014 entity plan? Note that the total expense line in Table 8 should equal the total annual expense line in WMCZ budget proposal? See: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Czech_Republic/2013_Budget_proposal
    This arises several questions:
    • Should our own grants be reintegrated into the FDC proposal as Project 4 (MG) and Project 5 (P&O) with external (funding)?
    • Should all the remaining issues in our budget be reintegrated in the FDC proposal as separate projects (ie. Project 6 - current headquarters etc)?
    I must point out that our intention was to keep our granting system away from FDC, since it is used for certain, already defined purposes. This is (unfortunetaly) - again a remnant of the previous (and as you've expressed abandoned) perception: FDC - operational costs, Grants - programmatic work. --Aktron (talk) 12:51, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
    Hello Aktron, At this time please do not edit the proposal form. Instead, can you provide an updated version of Table 8 here on the Proposal Discussion page to include all of WMCZ's expenses so that the total expenses in this table match 705500 CZK listed in your 2013 budget proposal? To answer your questions, you do not need to alter your proposal and add additional projects in the narrative.
    Can you also kindly clarify what you include in "own resources" listed in Table 4? Many thanks for your continued efforts on behalf of WMCZ! Best regards, KLove (WMF) (talk) 17:34, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
    These "own resources" are finances from previous years, not bounded to any particular reason. The FDC proposal state 125 019 CZK (That is the sum a) the main account b) cash), while according to the 2012 Financial Report (approved by the General Assembly yesterday we have more exact data. As of now, the sum of a) cash, b) free money account (main+savings) is 118 375 CZK --Aktron (talk) 15:25, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  5. Defining success: WMCZ defines and measures success in how representatives of WMCZ are present in national media. Would WMCZ please clarify how this will measure the success of the entity’s work?
    WMCZ is a non profit organization and as a non-profit organization it clearly needs to advertise it's activities. If the activities of our chapter are seen as good ones and worthy, then Czech regional/national media want to invite representatives of our chapter and talk with them, because they see, that WMCZ's projects might be interesting to the general public. --Aktron (talk) 12:44, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  6. Lessons learned from successful programs: WMCZ lists several programs that were considered successful (eg Wiki Loves Monuments, Wikiconference, etc). What made those programs successful?
    Large number of participants, good coverage in media, great results (in Wiki Loves Monuments we were 7th in the number of pictures, despite a fact we participated for the first year). Any event, that overcomes the original plan with number of participants and results - and even attracts new volunteers to our project is considered successful. --Aktron (talk) 12:44, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Accessibility of Wikimedia Czech Republic projects[edit]

It's unclear to me, reading the financial documents, how much time and effort Wikimedia Czech Republic expended on educating its editors and project members on accessibility requirements and guidelines in the past years, and how much of the requested grant would be used for that purpose. (I don't speak Czech at all, so it's very likely I missed it, but I couldn't find an accessibility subpage of Wikipedia:cs:Wikipedie:Typografické_rady, or a link to the Czech wiki from the English Wikipedia Web Accessibility page. Google Translate suggested přístupnost as a translation, but there seems to be no Typografické_rady subpage with that name.)

Any information you have on this is welcome. PauAmma (talk) 17:00, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Hello PauAmma, this grant proposal currently does not deal with accessibility requirements and guidelines and I have no recollection of any lecture or event devoted to this topic and financially supported by WM CZ at the same time. It is, however, a good idea for the meetings that we regularly have.--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 17:53, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Facts that should be known[edit]

This is list of the most important fact that should be known. However, it is just the top of the iceberg.

Questionable status of the entire proposal[edit]

  1. The proposal has not been discussed with the membership base. It is actually pretty much the work of a single person, just with the blessing of the rest of the board.
  2. On top of that, at least the part of the board will change after upcoming general assembly, and it is not known how much the new board (as well as even the general assembly actually) will support this proposal and the path taken.
  3. The proposal has been created in hurry, in the very last moment. It is rather a pudding-stone of what just came to the mind of the creator(s) at the time of writing, lacking any rational analysis behind.
  4. The proposal does not match the activity plan for 2012 in some points.
  5. There is no complex activity plan for 2013, so again: no rational analysis nor membership approval behind the proposal.
  6. The proposal contains incorrect or even untruth statements.
  7. One of the prerequisites for submitting the proposal was to also have all reports from previous years submitted. However, both financial and annual reports for 2011 are disputable (see below).
  8. Some points in the proposal are in rather extortion status (see below).

Disputability of the 2011 reports[edit]

  1. Both 2011 financial and annual report were originally not approved by the membership base during the general assembly. According to the Organizational order, article 4.10, that means that the next step is vote on the appeal of the board. However because of extortion that there will be no further board, enough members under this pressure did not vote for the retraction; on the other hand the board has been given the task to submit new, corrected (there was a - not exhaustive - list of requested corrections done) reports for correspond voting, which is sort of "remote general assembly". However neither this "corrected" (in fact some changes were done, but some other new mistakes appeared) reports were approved again. Despite this fact there was no further vote on the appeal of the board although it should have, so in fact the board since then no longer legally existed. However, after several months the board submitted the new reports (again with mistakes) for the correspond voting again. Even the procedure of its initiation was not done correctly according to the internal rules and was questioned at least by three members. One of them turned to the audit committee which partially agreed with some objection, however the procedure of the voting continued. The membership base has been extorted in various places in the sense of that if it won't be approved, there won't be any money from the FDC. (That is technically true, however not logically, because the original reason would be having the unsupported and unapproved reports again because of them being incorrect again.) Finally the reports have been approved by the bare majority of the members (22 of 41). It should be mentioned that some of those who voted were not even members of the chapter in 2011, so they hardly could even evaluate those reports (which was also one of the objections raised, but not accepted though).
  2. The reports which have been in corresponding vote, were in Czech only, the English version was never approved. However the English version has been submitted to Meta as obligatory for the Wikimedia Foundation and the FDC. Which is in fact deception. Not because of the fact mentioned before, but because of the fact that the English versions of the financial and annual reports and Czech versions of the financial and annual reports do not match. So in fact the board submitted the documents which have never been approved.

Disputability of the 2011 financial report[edit]

  1. The English and Czech versions do not match.
  2. The report contains various more or less serious factual errors, for example:
    1. It mentions payments done in different year (discovered by Mr. Bartov from the Wikimedia Foundation).
    2. Some numbers do not match - some totals do not match the real sums.
    3. Some payments (at least according to the report and its known breakdown) were not done correctly (they have been taken from incorrect accounts/sources for example).
    4. It mentions different amounts and purposes of donations.
  3. There was no independent audit, neither from the Audit committee nor from the members nor from any third party, so absolutely no verification of the correctness of the amounts in the report and the report itself exists.

Disputability of the 2011 annual report[edit]

  1. The report is unbalanced, only single side POV.
  2. It does not mention some previous greatly successful projects but on the other hand it mentions tiny, almost not notable activities.
  3. It contains items which were not part of the 2011.
  4. Although it barely mentions that the treasurer was Mr. Reiter (known as User:Limojoe), it does not mention the important fact that it was against the chapter's Organizational order, article 5.3, thus de facto illegally.

Comparison of further and recent past[edit]

Further past means before 2012, in certain cases even before 2011. Recent past means since then until now.

Chapter funding and spending[edit]

  1. Unlike in the further past, there is no complex nor long term, mid term nor even short term funding plan. The thoughts about funding are mostly based on the premise "when we will need, the Wikimedia Foundation will give us, they won't let us drown". In past, there were some ideas and plans existing, not exactly in perfect form and needing reasonable tweaking, but they were existing and usable as the core/basis for further development.
  2. Unlike in the further past, when at least two members (one of them very extensively) were searching for sponsors (and actually successfully got them), currently, there is no active search for sponsors, no targeted research, no addressing. The responsible people just passively count with expected donations coming from random small donors during the year and especially by the end of the year during the Wikimedia Foundation's global fundraising campaign.
  3. There is unclear distribution of funds and unbalanced approach to candidates/applicants. Own rules are applied strictly to some and weakly or even not at all to others. Small amounts of reasonable requested funds are being rejected to some but big questionable amounts of requested funds are being fulfilled to others. Both heavily depending on relationships with the responsible people or their interest in such project.
  4. Events and activities which cost nearly nothing in past (respectively their major parts were for free or symbolical amount due to negotiated sponsorships) now cost many many times more, although they could be much more cheaper.
  5. Although the chapter authorities continuously claim that it is not possible to run the own fundraiser, it does not match the reality. There are ways to do so.
  6. Although the chapter often claims that it supports not only its members, but also relevant entities (typically Wikimedians) from outside the chapter, there is no such support for new projects if they are suggested or even submitted. In fact there is lack of promotion of such possibility.
  7. Heavy push to urgently spend the current funds (a.k.a. "we won't get any new funds if we still will have lot of them") leads to questionable wasteful project proposals and spendings or even to the proposals for paying of the work on the Wikimedia projects content or purchase of property for private ownership (even of significant value).

Activities[edit]

  1. Sister projects are being completely ignored, no interest in their active support. The rest of focus on activities which used to be quite wide and colorful has narrowed mostly on traveling for taking pictures and relative activities. Some call it Commonscentrism/Wikipediacentrism.
  2. Results of some parts of current projects have questionable value either themselves or in comparison to their cost.
  3. No own original activities recently, only those copied from others.

The need for funds[edit]

The need for funds in general[edit]

  1. There is undoubtedly always some need. But the question is, if it is reasonable and efficient need and how much it will help in general goals or just to limited number of selected people.
  2. There are other areas which would deserve the funding more than the currently proposed items.

The need for the office[edit]

  1. From its very beginning, the chapter uses the space of the befriended club of the board games in the downtown of Prague. The most of the chapter's property (except for extremely valuable or often used items) has been stored there for all the time. It is also possible to use it almost anytime to any meeting including the general assembly, the space is quite big. It serves good enough for the current necessities and amount of activities.
  2. In further past, when there was much more activities, there was a need for own office, therefore the grant proposal has been submitted for that, however not funded. In comparison to the situation then, the need for the own office now is not urgent at all, the current limited and small needs are being covered by the club space mentioned above.
  3. The proposal counts with paying of the rent, but does not take into account also periodical payments for services.
  4. In general, having own office is undoubtedly good and necessary step, but as long as it will be utilized enough to make it worth which is not the case at the moment.
  5. Renting an office was not in the approved plan of the activities for 2012, nor has been approved for 2013.
  6. Although the office rental was not a part of the approved plan of activities and although the eventual funding of the rent is not clearly covered, the board went into the tender for office renting (in questionable place away from downtown) which creates the extortion push to the membership base to possibly approve the spending as well as indirectly to FDC to approve the funding from its sources as requested in the proposal.

The need for travel support[edit]

  1. There have been no clear rules of the distribution of funds for this purposes set. Currently the travel scholarships are awarded in very questionable manner not necessarily matching the usefulness of the representative or the travel itself.
  2. Existing requirements for being reimbursed are not being fulfilled by some recipients (mostly those in charge), but they are still being reimbursed though. On the other hand, the same requirements are being strictly claimed from other recipients.
  3. Most of the traveling is already covered by existing grants granted by the Wikimedia Foundation in December 2010.
  4. Some of the traveling can be easily covered by the Participation grants.
  5. International and regional meetings often have their own scholarships, often covered from the Wikimedia Foundation grants program.
  6. In general, having some funds to be used for support of traveling is undoubtedly handy, but it is not needed (especially not crucially) for the function of the chapter at all (unlike funds for other things which have not been mentioned in the entire proposal at all).

The need for the employee[edit]

  1. Hiring of an employee has not been discussed with the membership base, no research for opinions and suggestions has been done.
  2. Current board of five members claims being overwhelmed and tired, which is paradoxical in comparison to previous boards which have been smaller but have had more activities and work, therefore the hiring plan seems like the help rather for themselves than for the entire chapter. One of the board members is pretty much not active at all, just passively nods when being addressed. Replacing inactive or low active members with active ones would obviously solve the urgent feeling of being overwhelmed.
  3. The hiring proposal seems to be constructed in very specific way which implies and supports speculations on the process being tailored to specific person(s).
  4. In further past, when there was much more activities, there was an indisputable need for own employee, therefore the much better analyzed and written grant proposal with overall acceptance has been submitted for that, however not funded. In comparison to the situation then, the need for the own employee now is not urgent at all, the current amount of work can be clearly covered by the current authorities and volunteers on the volunteer basis (not even mentioning, that some organizational work is actually already being paid, although rather symbolically).
  5. In general, having an employee(s) is undoubtedly good and necessary step, but as long as the employee will be self-reliant and active creative person which will be actively moving the chapter forward and not the trained monkey which needs to be guided and given tasks. That actually matches what has been suggested in several occasions (either in general, for instance by Mr. Richter from Wikimedia Deutschland, or by Mr. Moleski also from Wikimedia Deutschland within his professionalization training of the Czech chapter), that from the wider and long-term perspective it is better to lean towards the hiring of general manager type person rather than single task clerk. There were some experienced people in own cadre of the chapter who were doing de facto such work and they have been doing it for free (however they have been replaced by inexperienced ones) and have been originally considered for becoming employees, but from unknown reasons these have been left out from the current consideration.
  6. Hiring an employee was not in the approved plan of the activities for 2012, nor has been approved for 2013.
  7. The cooperation with the current accountant (beside it is actually not well known who it is and why exactly this one was hired) is rather hard. Tasks are repeatedly being done with mistakes and late.

Summary[edit]

  1. This is not supposed to be a criticism, but the balance of the heavily unbalanced POV publicly presented by the officials. Although there are undoubtedly positive things, they are not mentioned, because the officials and the allied people already praised themselves enough.
  2. What the Czech chapter needs now at first is not funds (however any further revenue is of course helpful in general), but people who understand their effective handling and equitable distribution, people who know how and where to save or where it is worth to spend, people who understand the worth of particular activities, people with visions of funding and spending. And this is obviously what neither FDC nor the Wikimedia Foundation can provide.

--Apate (talk) 18:13, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Discussion to Apate's post[edit]

Thank you for such a complex analysis about our chapter. I've read all of it and I must say that it bear incredible similarity to Danny B's criticism, expressed in previous General Assemblys. This whole analysis of yours convinced me, that it's author is Danny B. - a Wikimedian responsible for much bigger deal of problems in WMCZ, than a sum of these facts can ever be. I must say that a complex analysis like this can hardly be posted by a WMCZ's or Meta's newbie; and it seems to me it's sole purpose is to harm WMCZ only few days before the General Assembly. Many of your facts are entirely untrue, some of them are supposed to raise fear, uncertainity or doubt in the international Wikimedia Community. You've presented statements that are supposed to be facts; yet in most of the cases no examples are shown - and these that are presented, are rather disputable, unclear and logical fallacies in some degree. A fact must be always verified. In your statements no verification is done or these are presented in a way that no verification can be ever made. Some of your statements should be forwarded directly to the Auditing Committee or the Committees of our subgrants, respectively. They are posted here only in order to discredit Wikimedia Czech Republic. I can see no intention for having a constructive discussion from your analysis, and the fact, that it was posted "5 minutes to midnight" is one of these. Your conclusions are way of the scale; they are far from the what is known to most of the people participating in this discussion. I am sorry, but I can't provide you exact answers to unclear questions, untrue statements and defamations above. --Aktron (talk) 19:59, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

It is no secret that Czech chapter has mess in basic matters, is strongly pragocentric and defames sister projects (e.g. Wiktionary). When someone criticizes it, members start to cry they are only volunteers and have no obligations. Hatred of some members to Danny B. and behavior of the board drow away one of the donors. --Lenka64 (talk) 21:12, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Although I'm busy in personal and professional life and thus not very active member of WM CZ in the last two years, as one of the founding members of the Chapter I'm monitoring its activities, events and disputes. Therefore I can say: where I have enough information, Apate's description of the situation is very faithful.
Aktron's response, full of ad hominem arguments, is typical for him (unfortunately, he's IMO even worst member of the WM CZ Board) and illustrates his long-time hatred for Danny B., who was in the early years of our Chapter the most active and useful member organizing exhibitions and other events largely paid by sponsors obtained by him. Hatred IMO probably resulted to publication of Danny B.'s private data (which the Aktron, as Board member, knew them) on Wikipedia before the year.
I don't know if Danny B. or someone else (very familiar with the situation within the chapter) is the author of Apate's post, but disclosures are more important than identity of the author, therefore let's discuss the facts rather than personal relationships. --Milda (talk) 23:20, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

I have to say I am impressed with the idea that having a proposal written by a person and supported by chapter's board makes it questionable, and I also find the fact that the GA might change chapter's board a revelation. I dare to suggest that FDC personnel read the above material and ask specific questions, if they have any. Discussing this body of work as a whole will probably not be particularly enlightening. --che 23:46, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Che is right. The matter en bloc is so massive, so overwhelming, that trying to discuss it point by point would overload the discussion.
What I want to stress is that as a regular member of the chapter, I have registered the activity of the board discussing and preparing the FDC proposal and even their call for participation or feedback from the members, and I have registered the internal announcement that the very specific final preparation of the FDC proposal started at least a couple of weeks before it was submitted here. On the contrary, I have not registered any objections during this public process inside the chapter. It makes me feel very bad that this material occurs some 1.5 month after the final call for discussion, that the material occurs here and not inside the chapter first, that it is submitted anonymously and one week before the chapter's General Assembly.
Yes, some of the objections were raised even before in history, months or years ago. Usually the longer time has passed since than, the bigger part of them was rejected by the board, the audit committee or even the general assembly vote.
I see it all as a very big text reflecting the opinions of the very small portion of the chapter members, submitted in a strange and foul manner. Of course, even just one and even unfair person can be right fully or in important aspects in front of the errors of the majority, so I know the FDC will probably read the text carefully and ask direct questions, and I hope our board will be able to give satisfactory answers. This kind of discussion will be more about the formal things, about the reports, accounts, funds, responsibilities etc. These are especially the board's affairs and I do not interfere with them.
But besides that: Once again as a member with past board experiences, reading this material, I do not hesitate repeating my believe the office (chapter's common space) will be extremely helpful. I haven't written about the employee, but if a good person is found, it will help as much or even more. And having enough funds for the travel costs can help break the Prague-centrism (or even the Czech-centrism - in regards to the current affairs of the regional, continental or world Wikimedia movement), that was criticized here elsewhere. Okino (talk) 01:10, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
I deeply agree with Okino as next regular member of the chapter. Also, I was quite surprised when I read that we do not have "No own original activities recently, only those copied from others." Very interesting :) --Chmee2 (talk) 11:14, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Obviously the disadvantage of the open FDC grant process is the attractivity for trolling and defamation. Lack of "in my opinion" phrases does remind of some of our most unconstructive critics...--Vojtech.dostal (talk) 12:12, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Staff assesment regarding internal situation of chapter[edit]

With a few weeks of delay, I come back and read the result of the discussions and I have to express my surprise reading the evaluation of the situation in the WM ČR chapter in the Staff proposal assessment. It seems to me, that the FDC staff allowed itself to get influenced by just a handful of people too easily and overrated their importance.

The FDC staff member wrote April 8: "The chapter appears significantly affected by internal conflicts and there is strong evidence of tensions between the community and Wikimedia Czech Republic’s Board on this proposal form’s discussion page."

The FDC staff found that - if I read the talk page properly - based on some four critical voices, only one of them provably a current member of the chapter, and based on some angered reactions to an anonymous claims, at least partially false or even slanderous; eg. on a very extraordinary input. The chapter can provide more reliable data, anyway:

The WM CZ general assembly took place April 6. Of 38 members, more then 30 took part (there was some movement during the GA as members came in and went away through the time). The Council's annual activities report was approved by 28 of 32 present votes (3 against, 1 abstention). The Council's annual financial report was approved by 21 of 32 votes (6 against, 5 abstentions) with a demand to present more detailed report to the audit committee. The Council members were re-elected (chair with 27 of 31 votes, other members with 27 to 31 of 31 votes). The GA thus demonstrated a strong unity inside a chapter and a strong support towards the chapter's board, although there are some critics within the members - which I believe is normal and sound in open communities.

I cannot add any strong data about the approach of the WM projects' community to the chapter, but I doubt the FDC staff is able to do so as well and such a strong claims (especially the one that the chapter is "significantly affected by internal conflicts") sows a doubt in my mind even about the trustworthiness of the other parts of the assessment.

I don't know, how important this argument was during the FDC hearing. Nevertheless, as the argument is present, I strongly recommend a principal change to the procedure: If the FDC and FDC staff really need to know about an attitude of the chapter members community and Wikimedia projects' community to any question, the FDC, FDC staff and/or FDC ombudsperson shall create a far better way to find the real answer than just to read a talk page (more if it is only here on Meta, far away from the chapter members and project community members), where - as is usual in internet discussions - the critical con-voices (as well as the official pro-voices, on the other hand) are by far more visible and resounding than the voices of the general community. Okino (talk) 11:11, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Hi Okino, thank you for this feedback. Just presence of conflicts in a chapter is not disqualifying - after all, our community often seems conflict-driven, if you just peruse the mailing lists :) It is one of the side effects of openness and a-hierarchical approach. I still would like to strongly encourage everyone to express their objections and valid concerns about the staff assessment in due time, regardless of its magnitude. Best Pundit (talk) 11:09, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Hi Okino, I'd like to echo Pundit's thanks for your feedback. I understand your concerns and want to you know that we are looking at how refine and improve the entire FDC process, including the community review portion. Any ideas about how the FDC can better understand the perspectives of the many community members would be most welcome.
I’m happy to elaborate a bit more on the process and to clarify a few points, as well. The Staff proposal assessment is one of many inputs into the FDC’s deliberations when making recommendations to the Board. You'll note that the FDC’s recommendation does not cite internal conflict, but focuses on the invalidity of WMCZ’s FDC proposal and concerns about confusion around the proposal process.
The comments in the Staff proposal assessment around WMCZ’s history of internal conflict are not related to the discussions on the Proposal form discussion page, but based on information about these conflicts (including emails from several parties involved) in the context of WMCZ’s WMF grants. In the last section the Staff proposal assessment summarizes the community discussions on the Proposal form discussion page (that is, this page) and, as stated in that section of the assessment, is not an endorsement of the views expressed.
Again, many thanks for your feedback and your ideas for improvements to the next FDC round are most welcome. Warm regards, KLove (WMF) (talk) 18:54, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your explanation. As you ask for proposals, I would propose something, but that would be to the Board of WMF. I see as the biggest complication that WMF money distribution is changes so often (even more times in one year). As far as WMF staff is payed for such work, most Chapters are not payed. So if we start to work on some cooperation with WMF on how to get money, we invest a lot of time, stamina and even our own money. If WMF is not able to keep agreements and system even for one round, most of the people become annoyed with Wikimedia and WMF. This happened in 2011, when I was a chair of WMCZ. We were happy, that we were not hit by that, but I was sorry for the Chapters, wich had to start from scratch. Now it happens again, by the means that conditions in every FDC round are different. This time it probably hit WMCZ. Iam sorry for our volunteers, who invested their time, knowledge and energy to work on proposal. I admire them, that they are not disgusted from conditions changes and that they are still within Wikimedia. But dont recon on that!--Juandev (talk) 20:47, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for making this point, Juandev. It is well taken. We know members of chapters contribute significant efforts n applying for grants. I understand and note your concerns about changes and the challenges some may have in keeping up to date in the WMF funding programs. We made minimal improvements between Round 1 and Round 2, and at this stage we are doing a bit more iteration to improve user-experience and not make any fundamental changes to the overall process. The changes made to-date have been tweaks and improvements to the applicant experience, we have not changed the criteria or the mandate. In regard to the review process above, we won't eliminate the staff assessment or the community review, rather, we are looking to improve these elements. The FDC framework guides the process, and that won't change. I am also here to answer any questions about the FDC process. Cheers, KLove (WMF) (talk) 20:30, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Okay! That sound we are on the right way than. Thank you for that.Smiley green alien satisfied.svg--Juandev (talk) 20:56, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Glad to hear that, Juandev. Thank you for your smiley green alien! What a great icon! KLove (WMF) (talk) 22:47, 22 May 2013 (UTC)