Grants:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia Australia/Staff proposal assessment

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Wikimedia Australia received a funds allocation in the amount of 0 in 2012-2013 Round 1. This funds allocation was recommended by the Funds Dissemination Committee on 15 November 2012 and approved by the WMF Board of Trustees on 1 December 2012.

This staff proposal assessment for Wikimedia Australia's proposal to the FDC for 2012-2013 Round 1 may be viewed in tab view or standard view. To discuss this aspect of the proposal to the FDC, please visit the discussion page.

Applicants should read this document to familiarise themselves with the assessment criteria; however, it should be edited only by FDC-related staff. The staff will use the document to set out their objective assessment of each funding request from eligible entities – specifically, to determine the extent to which plans align with the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement, and the extent to which the entity is well-placed to execute those plans effectively. The staff will base this report on proposals from entities and input from the community and other stakeholders (including, where required, deeper due-diligence on the entity's previous track record within the Wikimedia movement). The staff will provide completed reports to the FDC, which will then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on funding allocations.

Proposal overview

Wikimedia Australia [Responses]
Date of submission [mm/dd/yy] 10/6/12
Adherence to proposal process [yes/no] yes
Adherence to legal, regulatory, and policy regulations [yes/no] yes
Adherence to US anti-terrorism laws [yes/no] yes
Currency requested (e.g., EUR, GBP, INR) AUD
Exchange rate used (currency requested to $US) and date accessed (mm/dd/yy) 1.01780
Total amount proposed to the FDC for the upcoming year annual plan [in $US] 291,115
Total amount proposed to the FDC for the upcoming year annual plan [in currency requested] 286,024
Summary staff assessment [substantial concerns: none/some/many] Many

Annual plan

Table I: Financial summary

FDC funds allocated last year ($US) FDC funds proposed this year ($US) Change from what was allocated last year (as a +/− %) Proposed change in staff costs (USD and % increase or decrease)
N/A N/A N/A N/A

Strategic alignment

To what extent does the plan address the strategic goals and priorities of the movement (one to two paragraphs)?

WMAU’s proposal did not directly outline the strategic objectives of the initiatives in its plan, and so it is unclear which movement goals or priorities WMAU is targeting. Therefore, while some program areas may align with strategic priorities, WMAU’s strategic alignment is still an open question. Additional information has been requested from the chapter.

Context of the entity and community

  • To what extent does the context of the entity (e.g., community participation, fundraising context, sociopolitical environment) enable or inhibit the entity's potential for impact?
  • To what extent does the entity's experience or maturity enable or inhibit the entity's potential for impact?
WMAU has strong partnerships with education and GLAM institutions in Australia. The geography of Australia presents serious challenges for a geography-based organization seeking to serve a very large region with a scattered editor base. A group of Wikimedians in Perth (the most geographically isolated city in the world) has been running programs outside the chapter.
WMAU has a mixed to poor history of reporting and compliance, especially regarding its grants through the WMF Grants Program. Several grants awarded in 2009-2010 were never executed and were not reported on for several years, and few details about the projects’ execution or impact were reported once grant reports were received. However, the chapter had experienced a change in leadership during that period.

Feasibility and risks for the annual plan

How feasible is the annual plan (one to four paragraphs)? Specifically:

  • To what extent are the budget, staffing, availability of volunteers, and other resources realistic for achieving the anticipated outcomes?
  • Are the timelines realistic for the proposed initiatives and associated activities?
  • Are there acknowledged and/or unacknowledged risks in the proposal?
WMAU is changing to a fiscal year aligned with the calendar year. In its last fiscal year, WMAU’s budget was AUD 315,800, and a proposed budget of AUD 655,000 more than doubles last year’s budget. Staffing is a relatively small percentage of WMAU’s budget at AUD 90,000, or 14% of the total budget. WMAU has had challenges hiring staff in previous years: this year they are hoping to acquire contract support instead of relying only on volunteer support in order to achieve better results.
WMAU has a significant operating reserve: they expect to have AUD 100,000 in reserve by the start of FY 2013. By 2013, WMAU will have nearly drawn down this reserve. Half of WMAU’s proposed budget will be requested from the FDC, and the remainder will be raised independently or drawn from WMAU’s reserves. While WMAU’s strategy to diversify its funding sources is encouraging, these sources are not yet committed and the success of WMAU’s plan is contingent on matching funds from the FDC.
A key risk identified by WMAU is concerns about the ability of WMAU to identify and leverage the efforts of volunteers within Australia. WMAU plans to hire a staff member to manage volunteers, and this may mitigate this risk.
It is difficult to assess the feasibility of WMAU’s key initiatives without additional information. For example, the largest program area of the budget is research at AUD 204,000 (which initiative is also leveraging significant partner funds), but more information is still required to better understand the objectives and activities for these research projects. The proposal includes a 10K USD request for a RecentChangesCamp (RCC) in Perth, on the Western coast of Australia, and there is a question around whether a RCC (being an “unconference”) is the best use of funding, versus convenings with a pre-determined agenda that may result in greater impact.
WMAU submitted its proposal to the FDC after the deadline, and has been frequently late when responding to or unresponsive to FDC staff and FDC requests.

Summary of expert opinions and/or community commentary

  • Summary of the opinions of subject-matter experts on the plan
  • Summary of community commentary on the plan
See WMAU's proposal talk page.

Table II: Scores, comments and feedback

Scores provide only a preliminary assessment for consideration by the FDC. The rubric for scoring is in table III.

Dimensions Criteria Score (1–5) Comments and feedback
Potential for impact against strategic priorities (A) The plan addresses the Wikimedia movement global targets 3 The initiatives address some of the global targets.
(B) The initiatives in the plan have the potential to lead to the global targets, if executed well 3 The initiatives may be aligned, but more information is needed.
(C) The initiatives in the plan have the potential to lead to significant impact, given context and amount of funds proposed 3 Initiatives seem like large investments relative to impact.
Ability to execute (D) The entity has the resources, skills, and capacity (staff, volunteer, non-staff) for the plan to succeed 2 There is a plan to hire staff, but WMAU has faced challenges with this in previous years.
(E) The entity has a record of success in similar initiatives 2 Have conducted many similar projects in previous years, but there is not a clear indicator of performance on these projects.
(F) The entity's leadership is effective, committed, and relatively stable 2 Leadership has been relatively unstable over past few years; chapter leadership was unresponsive through the beginning of the FDC process.
Efficient use of funds (G) The funding requested is reasonable given the proposed initiatives 3 Generally, the request seems reasonable, although more information is needed.
(H) The entity has a record of using funds efficiently and staying on budget 2 The entity has a large reserve due to underspending and fiscal conservatism; they plan to draw down their reserve this year.
Quality of proposed measures of success (I) Clear indicators of success are outlined in the plan 1 No clear indicators provided for initiatives.
(J) A plan is in place to track the proposed metrics 1 No plan given.
(K) The entity has a feasible plan in place to track the proposed metrics 2 There are questions about WMAU's capacity to put a plan in place.
Potential to add knowledge and/or other benefits to the movement (L) The initiatives in the plan, if successful, could be helpful and/or productively replicated elsewhere in the movement 3 The entity is engaged in interesting initiatives around research and collaboration, which might be useful for the movement. However, more information is required to evaluate this.
(M) The entity is ready to share with the movement the lessons learned from the initiatives 3 The entity is engaged in interesting initiatives around research and collaboration, which might be useful for the movement. However, more information is required to evaluate this.

Table III: Scoring rubric

Dimensions Evaluation criteria 1 = Weak or no alignment with criterion 3 = Moderate alignment with criterion 5 = Strong alignment with criterion
Potential for impact against strategic priorities (A) The plan addresses the Wikimedia movement global targets The plan will not directly address any global targets The plan will partially address global targets or other goals that are closely related to the global targets The plan will directly address several global targets
(B) The initiatives have the potential to lead to the targets, if executed well The initiatives have no clear connection to global targets Some or all of the initiatives have an unclear relationship to global targets The initiatives have been shown (by the entity or the movement) to lead to global targets
(C) The initiatives have the potential to lead to significant impact, given context and amount of funds proposed The initiatives will have marginal impact in the local community and the broader Wikimedia community, given context and amount of funds proposed The initiatives proposed may have a significant impact in the local community, given context and amount of funds proposed The initiatives could have significant impact at scale, both in the entity's local community and in the broader movement, given context and amount of funds proposed
Ability to execute (D) The entity has the resources, skills, and capacity (staff, volunteer, non-staff) for the plan to succeed The entity has neither the number nor the amount of resources, skills, and capacity needed for success. The entity has some relevant staff and volunteer capacity, but may be under-resourced for some initiatives The entity is well-resourced with the relevant skills and capacity for success
(E) The entity has a record of success in similar initiatives The entity has had trouble succeeding in similar initiatives The entity has not engaged in similar initiatives in the past The entity has conducted similar initiatives in the past and has been successful in achieving desired results
(F) The entity's leadership is effective, committed, and relatively stable Leadership has been unstable (e.g., changing on an annual basis) Current leadership is committed to the entity; some concerns exist around stability or effectiveness of leadership Current and past leaders have demonstrated the ability to develop and execute on strategic plans; leadership team has been stable and transitions have been smooth
Efficient use of funds (G) The funding requested is reasonable given the proposed initiatives Based on FDC experience and relative to other proposals, the plan contains significant over- or under-budgeting, and/or has not thoroughly accounted for costs Based on FDC experience and relative to other proposals, the budget is generally consistent with the initiatives; some initiatives are likely to be over- or under-budgeted Based on FDC experience and relative to other proposals, the budget is reasonable, and rigorous cost projections have been presented
(H) The entity has a record of using funds efficiently and staying on budget The entity has a poor record of budgetary management: e.g., consistently and significantly below budget (such as 50% underspending), and drawing on organizational reserves due to overspending The entity has a middling record of budgetary management; e.g., generally on-budget for its biggest initiatives and cost items, properly recording any over- and under-spending, and with plans in place for improvements The entity has consistently strong record of financial management; e.g., consistently staying on or below budget (within ~5% of budget), and putting surplus funds towards the entity's and/or movement's goals
Quality of proposed measures of success (I) Clear indicators of success are outlined in the plan Initiatives have no associated indicators of success, or the proposed indicators are unrealistic and/or unmeasurable Each initiative has indicators of success, but at least some indicators are unrealistic or are not clearly connected to the initiative Each initiative has a realistic and carefully framed set of indicators of success associated with them, which are rigorous and time-bound
(J) A system is in place to track the proposed metrics The plan does not include methodology or timing for tracking and collecting metrics to measure progress against proposed indicators of success A proposal to track progress against indicators exists, but has flawed methodology or unrealistic timelines and initiatives The plan includes timing and tracking of proposed metrics, and additional initiatives (e.g., surveys, research) to track indicators
(K) The entity has a feasible system to track the proposed metrics No systems are in place to track metrics, or staff or volunteer capacity to manage metrics tracking There is some overall capacity (e.g., staff, volunteers) to track and monitor metrics, but the entity does not clearly have the relevant skills to do this High-quality systems, and the necessary skills and capacity to manage these systems, are in place
Potential to add knowledge and/or other benefits to the movement (L) The initiatives, if successful, could be helpful and/or productively replicated elsewhere in the movement The initiatives would not be relevant to other movement groups Some initiatives may be relevant to other movement groups Many initiatives proposed are new or have seldom been tried elsewhere in the movement; if successful, other movement entities would benefit from doing similar initiatives
(M) The entity is ready to share with the movement the lessons learned from the initiatives The entity is isolated from other movement groups and rarely shares information; the entity's leaders and members seldom participate in movement-wide functions The entity is somewhat active within the movement, and is developing more relationships with other movement entities with which it could share lessons learned The entity has regular communication with other movement entities, is a regular participant in Wikimedia events, and has a track record of sharing with others

This form was created by: Meerachary TBG (talk) 04:16, 26 October 2012 (UTC)