What is going on?
- June 1–30, 2014: Public question and answer from community members to candidates.
- As part of the 2014 self-nomination process to fill four vacancies on the FDC, community questions can be raised and nominees can them answer at the questions and answers page.
The Funds Dissemination Committee Advisory Group (FDC AG) met recently in Frankfurt to recommend to the Executive Director (ED) of the Wikimedia Foundation whether the FDC – the nine-member volunteer committee reviewing annual plan grants for Wikimedia and allied organisations – should continue or not, after the first two years of its existence. The detailed recommendations of the FDC AG have been shared with the Executive Director and the community, and we are happy to announce that the AG recommends that the FDC continues to exist with some suggested improvements to the process.
The final decision on the FDC will be taken by the ED and the Board of WMF over the nexst few months (the FDC Framework’s timeline suggests August).
Without anticipating the ED and Board’s decision, we would like to move forward with the process of renewing the current FDC with four Board-appointed members of the FDC so that a full FDC is in place by August 2014. As per the Framework, four of the current committee members will be ending their two year terms in July, and four new members will be appointed by the WMF Board to fill these vacancies.
Timeline for new Funds Dissemination Committee member nominations and selection
- May 29 – June 15: Self-nominations to join the FDC. Candidates indicate their interest through a short paragraph about themselves, and respond to an initial set of questions from the FDC staff
- June 1–30: Public question and answer from community members to candidates
- June 24 – July 3: FDC staff in consultation with the FDC Board representatives (Bishakha Datta and Patricio Lorente) interview a sub-set of nominated candidates
- July 3: Shortlist of candidates announced
- July 4–10: Decision on final four FDC candidates by the Board reps in consultation with the full Board
- July 11: Public announcement to community of the four new members
- August: Based on the ED and Board’s decision on the FDC’s existence, orientation of the new FDC at Wikimania
From the FDC Framework, to be eligible for the FDC, members must:
- Be over 21 years old and over the age of majority in their home country;
- Be able to work effectively in English (although full fluency is not required);
- Present to WMF appropriate personal identification, a copy of which will be maintained by WMF for record-keeping;
- Have sufficient time and dedication to commit to this process and availability to attend in-person meetings, as needed;
- Have a track record of constructive engagement in community discussions and an orientation toward collaborative problem solving;
- And be able to set aside any conflicts of interest and work towards the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement without considering individual or organizational interests.
Staff / board members of entities requesting funds from the FDC may serve on the FDC; however, they must recuse themselves from deliberations pertaining to their entity's application.
Through careful selection of candidates through both the Board-appointment and community election processes, the FDC membership (as a whole) should have the following skills and attributes:
- Experience directing or evaluating programs;
- Grant-making expertise (either as a grantee or grantor of funds);
- Exposure to, understanding of, and personal credibility in the Wikimedia movement (that is, experience in programs, chapters, or administrative roles within the Wikimedia movement);
- And gender, geographic and linguistic diversity.
Serving on the FDC will require considerable time, focus, and effort. As noted in the FDC Framework, at a minimum, members should expect to undertake the following:
- Reading and evaluating applications during the two application rounds per year (April/May and October/November);
- In-person attendance at FDC meetings (4–6 day meetings expected per year, generally in mid-May and in mid-November);
- Ongoing monitoring and participation in FDC discussions and activities within the community;
- And sporadically intense phone, email and IRC communication with FDC staff and other FDC members.
In addition, members can expect to:
- present the Board with written recommendations on funds disseminations, based on the outcome of the committee’s assessment
- monitor grants and impact over time, and use these results when considering dissemination recommendations
- participate in committee and movement discussions as well as learning opportunities
- respond to the community’s questions and input about the FDC process and decision
- share experiences and learning with grantees, the larger movement about effective approaches to achieve the goals of the Wikimedia movement
- work constructively and honestly with all parties involved in the FDC process, in the best interests of the Wikimedia movement and to support and advance the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement.
To fulfill these duties, it will be critical for FDC members to remain active and responsive throughout their tenure. In extraordinary circumstances, if members anticipate they will need to be inactive from the FDC for a period of time, they should notify the FDC Chair in advance. If FDC members become inactive without warning, the FDC Chair will reach out to the member to better understand the situation and work with the member to rectify it. If the member is unresponsive or their inactivity becomes chronic, the FDC Chair has the authority to request that the Board of Trustees vote to replace the member with a Board-appointed replacement to finish the term of the original member. If the FDC Chair becomes inactive and unresponsive, other FDC members should call this to the attention of the Board of Trustees.
New FDC members will be carefully trained and on-boarded to ensure continuity of process and ongoing operations of the group. Existing FDC members and the FDC staff will be responsible for training and on-boarding new members.
Expenses associated with fulfilling FDC membership (e.g., travel costs) will be reimbursed. Over time, certain benefits that support the role of the FDC member, such as a travel and admission expenses for Wikimania, admission to a professional conference or training sessions, or participation in site visits, may be offered to attract, engage, and assist members. To avoid a potential conflict of interest, FDC members may not accept compensation or payment in any form (including travel and lodging expenses) from persons or entities that have or will likely have activities before the FDC, including requests for grants. Exceptions to this policy include reimbursements and benefits provided by the Wikimedia Foundation to FDC members as outlined in this proposal and any other exceptions permitted by the FDC charter or a Board resolution.
FDC members will be expected to adhere to articulated conflict of interest provisions that will reduce their risk of being unduly influenced.
How to submit your candidacy
If you are eligible, please submit your candidacy by doing the following on this page under "nominations":
1. Write a brief summary (of no more than 1200 characters, excluding spaces) stating what you would do if you were elected to the Funds Dissemination Committee, your relevant opinions and experience, and anything else you think is relevant. Submit your summary by 23:59 UTC 15 June 2014.
2. As part of your submission, kindly answer these questions below (your responses to these questions won't count as characters for your summary).
- A. What experiences of yours do you think will enhance the work and recommendation process of the FDC?
- Around directing and/or evaluating annual plans and programs?
- Around grantmaking?
- B. How does your history with Wikimedia make you suited for the FDC?
- A. What experiences of yours do you think will enhance the work and recommendation process of the FDC?
3. Answer questions from members of the community as part of the public Question & Answer.
4. If you are shortlisted, you will be required to submit proof of your identity to the Wikimedia Foundation. To this end, you will be privately contacted by a member of the FDC support team with further information.
Candidates who fail to comply with the above requirements and deadlines will not be eligible.
Previous committee elections and appointments
Abhijith Jayanthi (abhijithsince1986)
|Aurkezpena||As we envisage to collaborate and share knowledge and information - engaging people around the world; there is a growing need to not only reach out, ensure participation and encourage accountability of entities and groups critical for our global mission – but also to build capacity of these entities/groups to achieve their set objectives. The following are few of the points I seek to work for:
Matanya Moses (matanya)
|Aurkezpena||Hello, I see the FDC as the Committee that has the difficult but important task of routing donors money to places where it really matters. This crucial task for health and prosperity of chapters and affiliate organizations and the movement as a whole can and should get the best ideas funded. In my opinion, the FDC should ensure that "the troops on the local ground" will be able to fulfill there mission by advice, mentoring and funding when needed. Moreover, the FDC should inspire local groups of any type to focus on their unique strength, and enhance the quality of their contribution, be it text or images for wikis, eduction, GLAM or even changing local laws to set knowledge free. Further more, I come from an under-represented part of the world, the middle east. Bringing more diversity to the FDC will improve the coverage of free knowledge to every human-being and not only those who come from the first world.
If I will be elected I plan working on the following items:
Mike Peel (Mike Peel)
|Aurkezpena||At the current stage of the Wikimedia movement's organisational development, I think that the FDC process is really important to make sure that organisations aren't trying to grow more rapidly than they can productively do so, and to ensure that the movement's resources are well distributed across the globe. At the same time, it's important that the most impactful work of the movement is funded, and that movement money isn't spent inefficiently or without having an impact.
I've been involved in the Wikimedia movement for over nine years now. I've been mostly active on the projects on the English Wikipedia and on Wikimedia Commons, although I've also contributed a fair amount to the English Wikisource and, of course, Meta. I've made over 45,000 edits to the Wikimedia wikis so far. Since 2008 I've put a lot of my effort into the organisational side of Wikimedia, primarily through Wikimedia UK. I was one of its founding members in 2008 (after the reboot), and served on its board for nearly 5 years (I was its Membership Secretary from 2008-9, Chair from 2009-10, and Secretary from 2010-2013). I've also been serving on the FDC for the last 2 years, and I've been its Secretary for the last year.
In real life, I work in the field of radio astronomy. I'm currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, which is part of the University of Manchester. I previously did undergraduate and postgraduate degrees there.
I aim to be as transparent as I can be (which is not always easy/possible!). With regards the FDC, you can see my 2013 pledge and COI statement and a record of my compensation for expenses from Wikimedia. I also publicly posted some thoughts on the FDC process earlier this year.
Osmar Valdebenito (B1mbo)
|Aurkezpena||Since its inception, I’ve been involved in one way or another with the FDC. Two years ago, I was part of the Advisory Committee that shaped the beginning of the FDC. Then, I was a staff member of a grantee organization, in charge of its annual plans and grant requests. I’ve been able to see the APG process from different perspectives and I know how important for the development of our movement and the professionalization and empowerment of our affiliate organizations has been. And I would like to continue being part of this process, this time as a member of the FDC.
I’m an Industrial Engineer and Master in Public Management. I was the founding President of Wikimedia Chile between 2011 and 2012, and then the Executive Director of Wikimedia Argentina between August 2012 and March 2014. As a volunteer, I’ve been on the Spanish Wikipedia since September 2004 and I’m currently a sysop there. Also, I’m a sysop on the Spanish Wikisource and the Spanish Wikivoyage, and an active contributor to Wikimedia Commons.
I think that my professional background related to project management and administration, my active participation within the Wikimedia movement and my own experience as a grantee (designing projects, evaluating, reporting, etc.) can help the FDC to continue its work supporting our movement in the next years. As a former grantee, I can help the FDC understand some of the issues the requesting entities face; this way, we can reduce potential problems of communication, making all parts work more aligned. Also, after my participation in a small organization becoming professional, I can help the Committee especially in cases of new entities, where the FDC must be careful to balance the needs for growth and the enthusiasm of the volunteers with the capacity of the entity to sustain that growth and have a smooth transition to a solid and stable organization. Finally, it will also be an opportunity to increase the diversity of the FDC, including someone from Latin America, which is not represented at this moment in the Committee.
Milos Rancic (Millosh)
|Aurkezpena||It's been suggested to me to nominate myself for FDC. To be honest, during more than a decade of my previous work, I wasn't that much interested into financial issues, neither the current process was inside of my focus.
However, during the past half year I've been working on the Microgrants project of WMRS and I've realized that I can actually make substantial contribution to the grantmaking process.
My most relevant experience is related to the Wikimedia movement itself. From late 2003 to the first half of 2013, I was actively working inside of a number of Wikimedia bodies. I was the first president of WMRS, steward, member of LangCom, AffCom and NomCom. I was often working on quite complex issues inside of the Wikimedia movement.
In real life, I am a sysadmin and owner of small company.
Wikimedia is the unique global movement because of its size, independence and democratic structure. That makes us responsible far beyond our primary goals. We are capable to shape the global culture and we should have courage to start doing that actively. From the FDC perspective, that assumes supporting bold ideas created by the Wikimedia movement organizations.
Peter Ekman (Smallbones)
|Aurkezpena||Wikimedia’s ability to raise millions of dollars means nothing to the success of the movement unless we can assure effective use of the funds according to the goals of the WMF board, the donors, and the community - the editors and readers of all Wikimedia projects. To do this the FDC needs to:|
A. Improve on the quality of the FDC's operations. The FDC has already attained "professional quality" in its work, but it needs to continue its improvement.
B. Emphasize funding for all under represented areas, including the Global South
C. Work on the question of long term funding for applicants, while assuring that they continue to address the strategic mission of the movement.
D. Continue to work on getting user groups and thematic organizations involved.
E. Find metrics that will allow the FDC to evaluate applications more consistently.
Lodewijk Gelauff (Effeietsanders)
|Aurkezpena||In the past years I have been active in the Affiliations Committee because I strongly believe in a strong network of affiliates to accomplish our mission as a movement most effectively. Bearing that in mind, I'm now nominating myself to become a member of the FDC. I want to help enable volunteers around the world (through affiliates) to do the best job possible to promote the mission of Wikimedia. At the same time, I do realize that the scope of the FDC is rather limited to the 'larger' affiliates and works on a more abstract level - but the goals remain the same.
My focus will be on stimulating healthy discussions inside and possibly outside the committee. I will foster public justification of decisions made by the committee. I will keep a constant lookout for bureaucracy creep - the stories of how much time and resources some affiliates are spending on FDC-related reporting horrify me. I will attempt to foster the dialogue between applicants and the committee - something often preached, but not always practised successfully. While I do not have ready-made solutions, I will keep an open mind and aim in these directions.
Let me be honest: I expect that quite a bit of FDC related work will be not fun to me - but I find it important that the quality of its decisions is constant. We cannot allow ourselves any mistakes, because they will either result in wasting resources or significant under performance of affiliates.
Ramirez, Emman (Sunkissedguy)
|Aurkezpena||Wikimedia Foundation is morally liable to ensure that the donors' funds are being managed with outmost prudence and for me, the FDC's function is critically important to balance the management of funds and to ensure that Wikimedia Affiliates are funded.
If I am fortunate enough to be part of the FDC, I would like to add a risk based evaluation of funding proposals aside from the current evaluation process . I noticed that most, if not all programs and projects are written as if its not affected by external factors such as political or economic changes in their country or region. I would like to help the grantees identify the risks that may hinder their execution, and set up controls to manage their risks. Adding this to the standard evaluation process will help the FDC allocate the funds more objectively, at the same time help the grantees understand the impact of their proposed programs and projects to the community and to the overall reputation of the foundation.
Outside of Wikimedia, I am a Risk Management professional currently working for a renewable energy company for 3 years, I also worked with a multinational financial firm for 5 years prior to that. I have extensive experience and training in the field of project management, strategic planning, enterprise risk management, financial and non financial analysis of customer credit and vendor accreditation. I am also currently a member of the board of trustees for Wikimedia Philippines. Coming from a developing region of the world where challenges are very different and where being resilient is the key to move forward, I have that unique perspective and experience of managing risks and uncertainties.
Dumisani Ndubane (Thuvack)
|Aurkezpena||Wikimedia chapters and affiliates in third world countries are at a very early stage of development but are developing every so rapidly. Their challenges are very unique and must always be approached with care and insight, each time the movement responds to request for support requested from these parts of the world. I believe my years of active involvement in wikimedia activities within Wikimedia South Africa as will as the Grants Advisory Committee (GAC), gives me the required insight and point of view from the vantage point of young formations in the movement. For the above reason, I nominate myself to become a member of the FDC.
More often than not, all a grantee needs is a nudge on the right direction and the patience to understand their situation in order to offer them the best support. I intend to use my experience of project management (both in Wikimedia movement and in my professional capacity) to support grant applicants. Furthermore engage on an ongoing basis with applicants with regards to evaluating the impact of their projects. That way the FDC will continue to recommend sound ways to disseminate donor funds to the wider wikimedia communities.
Netha Hussain (Netha Hussain)
|Aurkezpena||The FDC should to distribute funds equitably and adequately to the movement entities. The recommendations made by the FDC should reflect the strategic priorities of the Wikimedia movement. My role would be to ensure that these two goals are met smoothly. I will work to ensure that the conversations between the movement entities and the FDC happens effortlessly, so that every entity gets a fair say irrespective of their cultural background or geographical location. I am for increasing the participation of entities by providing them pre-application support and mentorship, enabling them to foresee challenges and facilitating them to introspect on their priorities. My emphasis will be on funding entities that get their activities accomplished with optimum monetary input and have a large volunteer base. I will be able to bring a diverse perspectives based on my experience in working with women and minorities.|
Beat Estermann (Beat Estermann)
|Aurkezpena||I haven’t really considered nominating myself for FDC membership until I was invited to do so by an FDC staff member a few days ago, as I believe there are many other capable people for this role. There is however no doubt that I will serve on the FDC with great pleasure and commitment if the Board comes to the conclusion that I’m the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to forming a well-balanced committee.
Regarding my background: Holding two master degrees, one in translation studies and one in public management, I work as a researcher at the E-Government Institute of Bern University of Applied Sciences, where I am attached to a research group focusing on open data and linked data. Here my personal focus is on open data and crowdsourcing among heritage institutions. Besides, I am coordinating the newly created specialized group for standardization in the area of open government data (within the official Swiss e-government framework), and I am leading the Swiss OpenGLAM working group.
My view of the FDC: I consider the FDC as an important cog wheel within the movement’s systems of organizational learning and good governance. At the same time, I believe in the strengths of distributed systems; that’s why I think that the FDC should work to strengthen and empower also more decentralized learning and governance, keeping the purely bureaucratic workload to a strict minimum.
Kiril Simeonovski (Kiril Simeonovski)
|Aurkezpena||My contribution to our movement has started more than six years ago and it includes more than 65,000 edits on different Wikimiedia projects, being founder of Wikimedia Macedonia (2009), founder of Shared Knowledge (2014), Board member of Wikimedia Macedonia (2009-2013), Board member of Shared Knowledge (2014-present), member of the GAC (2011-present), flow funder (2012-2012), member of the programme committe for Wikimania (2012, 2013, 2014), jury member for Wikimania 2013 (2012), organising several projects and initiatives in Macedonia and contributing to the development of the Central and Eastern European partnership. I have also a lasting experience in working with finances and grants in another NGO. I hold undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the Faculty of Economics in Skopje and work in the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Macedonia.
The creation of the FDC marked a new era in the development of our movement towards a more efficient way of utilising all the disposable funds from our donors. Its role from the very beginning was challenging for all stakeholders, particularly the affiliated organisations, the Wikimedia Foundation and the donors, and demonstrated that it could stir a faster growth of our affiliated organisations. However, the FDC is just an integrated part of the system called "the Wikimedia movement", being associated with only one out of the four grantmaking programmes and also having important things in common with the Aff Com. Failing to properly coordinate all these parts and build firm relationships between them may significantly affect the success of all the processes we're furthering. In other words, it is especially important to integrate the work done by the FDC with the work of the GAC and IEG, the Aff Com and the Wikimedia chapters.
My primary goals as a member of the FDC would be the following:
Srikanth Ramakrishnan (Rsrikanth05)
|Aurkezpena||Having been a community member, and both a person who has given as well as received grants both within the Wikimedia sphere as well as outside, I think I have the necessary thought process that could be utilised in the FDC. I believe that FDC funding has a huge potential in fueling the Wikimedia movement in the right direction and that the funds have to be used properly. One must keep in mind the vast diversity in grantees of the movement and being part of a Chapter that has so many movements within it, I think I will fit the bill. My main aim within the FDC would be to fund localised works, including, but not limited to OCR, local language development, as well as hackathons in local spaces.
Michał Buczyński (Aegis Maelstrom)
|Aurkezpena||Despite FDC and other actions, Wikimedia continue to face a number of challenges, such as:
FDC is in position to deal with these issues and I would like to help. I would love to give more opportunities to the Affiliates, however with some strong reporting and accountability in return. In terms of WMF, I'd advise some cost optimizations, stronger focus on the software development and a more detailed, controllable budget.
My stance remains unchanged. My vision is a global and living Movement. My goal is to empower more people, support activism and promote our free and wiki culture everywhere. My aim is to assist leaders, services and competence centres all over the globe. My task would be: listen to my partners, help them with reporting, seek a just assessment and communicate my feedback. My inner accountant says: "Save the Money! But wisely..." :) And my motto says: Be In Charge and Be Humble.
Mile Kiš (MikyM)
|Aurkezpena||Thanks to continuous development and successful fundraising process, the WMF is capable of supporting annual plans of local chapters through the FDC program. Directing of funds and supporting of projects for development is the right way to accomplish Wikimedia’s missions, and the FDC has crucial role in this matter. Some of the FDC tasks are:
I am willing to contribute in all these tasks, as well as in all the other obligations which the FDC provides.
Ad Huikeshoven (Ad Huikeshoven)
|Aurkezpena||The board seeks to appoint FDC members with a broad range of specific experiences. I am married to a wife and father of two daughters. We have one pet in the family, a female cat. The Wikimedia Movement should become a "No asshole zone". The Wikimedia Movement has been growing rapidly and has become complex. The current situation is best described as a bureaucracy crisis. I love to help move towards the next collaborative phase in the movement. That will require building trust among all entities and people involved, showing sincere appreciation and a whole lot more.|
Anne Clin (Risker)
|Aurkezpena||The FDC is responsible for determining the allocation of a significant portion of the overall WMF budget. As such, it needs to ensure that the resources it dispenses are allocated equitably and wisely in a manner that reflects the needs and strategic goals of the movement overall. I also bear in mind Sue Gardner's concerns that the FDC is increasingly dominated by chapter perspectives. I am not affiliated with any chapter or other group recognized by the WMF; the closest I come is as a former arbitrator on English Wikipedia. |
My objectives on the FDC include:
Update from the Board and shortlist of candidates
As Board representatives to the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC), we would like to thank all the candidates who nominated themselves for the four vacancies on the FDC. Thank you for the thought and effort that you have put into your applications and into the other components of the nominations process, including your thoughtful responses, reflections and insights to the questions from the community.
Twelve of the original seventeen submissions have been shortlisted. Candidates were shortlisted for interviews based on:
- Wikimedia history/experience;
- Non-WM history/experience;
- Alignment with the FDC criteria developed in the framework;
- Overall portfolio mix (languages, region, gender, chapter/wikiproject/community experience etc.)
- Statements and responses to the questions and answers.
The shortlist of nominees is given below.
Eleven shortlisted candidates were interviewed last week by two members of the FDC staff (Katy Love and Winifred Olliff); one could not be reached despite numerous efforts. The transcripts of the interviews were shared with us. The interviews gave us a chance to understand each candidate's background, experiences, and interests in greater depth.
In the coming week, the Board of Trustees will select four members to the FDC from the interviewed shortlist. We will announce these appointments by close of day UTC 11 July 2014. Once again, we thank all those who nominated themselves to the FDC; there are several strong candidates and we recognize that we have a tough job ahead of us.
Bishakha and Patricio
Shortlisted candidates: (in order of submission)
- Matanya Moses (matanya)
- Mike Peel (Mike Peel)
- Osmar Valdebenito (B1mbo)
- Peter Ekman (Smallbones)
- Lodewijk Gelauff (Effeietsanders)
- Dumisani Ndubane (Thuvack)
- Netha Hussain (Netha Hussain)
- Kiril Simeonovski (Kiril Simeonovski)
- Michał Buczyński (Aegis Maelstrom) – Staff were unable to reach Michal after various attempts, and therefore did not conduct an interview
- Mile Kiš (MikyM)
- Ad Huikeshoven (Ad Huikeshoven)
- Anne Clin (Risker)
Board decision on FDC member appointments
We are pleased to inform you that the WMF Board of Trustees has come to a decision about which four candidates to appoint to the FDC. It wasn't easy; as is evident from the nominations, the caliber of the candidates was very high. The resolution is now published in https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Funds_Dissemination_Committee_Membership_2014
We have selected four appointees as follows:
1)Anne Clin (Risker)
2)Matanya Moses (matanya)
3)Dumisani Ndubane (Thuvack)
4)Osmar Valdebenito (B1mbo)
On behalf of the Board, we want to thank Anders, Arjuna, Mike and Yuri for their service to the inaugural FDC. We deeply appreciate the two years they have served the committee and all the work they have done during four rounds of FDC recommendations. They have helped to shape the FDC itself, made critical decisions about how to strategically direct movement funds, and helped to shape the future of the movement. We hope they will continue to remain engaged in the FDC process and the movement in different ways in the years ahead.
We also want to thank all the candidates, and encourage them to consider re-applying for the committee next year, when five new members will be elected to serve on the committee.