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Grants:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia Deutschland e.V./Impact report form

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Purpose of the report


FDC funds are allocated to improve the alignment between the Wikimedia movement's strategy and spending; support greater impact and progress towards achieving shared goals; and enable all parts of the movement to learn how to achieve shared goals better and faster.

Funding should lead to increased access to and quality of content on Wikimedia project sites – the two ultimate goals of the Wikimedia movement strategic priorities, individually and as a whole. Funded activities must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."

Each entity that receives FDC funding will need to complete this report, which seeks to determine how the funding received by the entity is leading towards these goals. The information you provide will help us to:

  • Identify lessons learned, in terms of both what the entity learned that could benefit the broader movement, and how the entity used movement-wide best practices to accomplish its stated objectives.
  • Assess the performance of the entity over the course of the funded period against the stated objectives in the entity's annual plan.
  • Ensure accountability over how the money was spent. The FDC distributes "general funds", for both ongoing and programmatic expenses; these funds can be spent as the entity best sees fit to accomplish its stated goals. Therefore, although line-item expenses are not expected to be exactly as outlined in the entity's proposal, the FDC wants to ensure that money was spent in a way that led to movement goals.

For more information, please review FDC portal/Reporting requirements or reference your entity's grant agreement.

Basic entity information


Note you can copy this from your recent progress report if the information is the same.

Table 1

Entity information Legal name of entity Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Entity's fiscal year (mm/dd–mm/dd) 01/01 - 01-12/31
12 month timeframe of funds awarded (mm/dd/yy-mm/dd/yy) 01/01/13-12/31/13
Contact information (primary) Primary contact name Pavel Richter
Primary contact position in entity Executive Director
Primary contact username User:Pavel Richter (WMDE)
Primary contact email pavel.richter@wikimedia.de
Contact information (secondary) Secondary contact name Kasia Odrozek
Secondary contact position in entity Assistant to the Executive Director
Secondary contact username User: Kasia Odrozek (WMDE)
Secondary contact email kasia.odrozek@wikimedia.de

Overview of the past year


The purpose of this section is to provide a brief overview of this report. Please use no more than 2–3 paragraphs to address the questions outlined below. You will have an opportunity to address these questions in detail elsewhere in this report. Also, we encourage you to share photographs, videos, and sound files in this report to make it more interactive, and include links to reports, blog posts, plans, etc as these will add context for the readers.

  • HIGHLIGHTS: What were 2–3 important highlights of the past year? (These may include successes, challenges, lessons learned. Please note which you are describing)

2013 was a year of consolidation for Wikimedia Deutschland, despite continued growth.

As we had already put our fundamental structures in place in 2012, defined our main themes, and formulated our processes and models, 2013 was very much about establishing these models and findings.

By setting up the Evaluation Unit in 2013, we further consolidated our goal- and outcome-oriented approach within the organization – an approach we have been pursuing since 2012. Important basic principles for the evaluation process were also laid down, from performance models for our work to building up the relevant expertise for outcome-oriented planning. These principles are already included in the 2014 Annual Plan.

For the first time, the International Affairs Unit was in a position to draw up a review of the movement’s current situation thanks to the Chapters Dialogue. This project provides a methodical approach to bringing together the different points of view of various stakeholders (i.e. chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Affiliations Committee, and the Funds Dissemination Committee) in an impressive body of knowledge that can be used by all entities within the Wikimedia movement.

In the area of education, findings from the previous year also played a significant role in determining the focus of our work for 2013. As it had become apparent that individual workshops and isolated measures are not sufficient for promoting diversity in Wikimedia projects, in 2013 we began as planned to lay down the scientific foundations for more effective measures. The result is a diversity concept that will not only function as a guiding principle for 2014, but that can also be adopted and used by other actors in the Wikimedia world.

2013 highlights included the close collaboration with our project partners, which was particularly apparent in the successful implementation of various events. For example, our open educational resources (OER) conference attracted far more academics, activists, journalists and politicians in the field of education than we had expected (more details later in the report). And thanks to the combination of our experience in working with volunteers and our expertise in event management, we were able to quickly and successfully provide the organizational help that the community asked for in setting up this year’s WikiConvention – the largest community event in German-speaking countries. Additionally, our GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) conference Zugang gestalten! (Shaping Access) took place for the third time last year and has become an integral part of the cultural policy discourse, even attracting the participation of the designated State Secretary for Culture at the Federal Chancellery.

These and other milestones were certainly important, however it is the structural progress that was made in 2013 that is particularly crucial for an organization like WMDE. Thus, Wikidata was only possible because we made the conscious decision to create and maintain long-term developer capacity, and because as an organization we are able to fully implement such a decision (25% of our employees are already software developers!).

In November we moved into our new facilities on Tempelhofer Ufer in the center of Berlin. These rooms mean that now, for the very first time, we are able to offer interested individuals, groups and organizations the physical space in which to develop their ideas on free knowledge. As well as one room that is specifically earmarked for use by the community, our spaces are always available for events such as workshops, seminars or panel discussions. Here, in direct face-to-face discussions, people can develop new ideas, review existing lines of thought and develop creative projects. We regard our open spaces as places for turning theory into practice by connecting people and facilitating action.

  • SWOT: Reflecting on the context outlined for your entity in the FDC proposal, what were some of the contextual elements that either enabled or inhibited the plan? Feel free to include factors unanticipated in the proposal.
    • Strengths: Organizational strengths that enabled the plan
  • Strong leadership

For the past five years, Wikimedia Deutschland has been led by an experienced manager. In 2013 WMDE completed the expansion of its management team by appointing heads of department and heads of units and integrating them into the organizational structure.

  • Established departments

In 2013 work continued on differentiating the work of our various departments. Despite the huge variety of topics relating to free knowledge that we deal with in our everyday work, our teams, such as Politics & Society and Education & Knowledge, have succeeded in achieving greater focus and expertise in their specific areas. This establishing of clearly defined departments has without a doubt been and still remains one of WMDE’s strengths.

  • Evaluation as an integral part of the organization

The new Evaluation Unit, which Manuel Merz built up almost from scratch, has already revealed itself as a major strength and we will continue to develop this over the coming months and years. The unit has laid the foundations for the methodical evaluation of our work, and has worked with the departments to develop effective strategies for achieving our goals. Wikimedia Deutschland therefore now has the specialist expertise it needs to consciously begin implementing more effective work processes.

  • Stable and reliable financial processes

We have an established, tried-and-tested system that enables us to regulate and secure our financial procedures. Our financial procedures have been audited and positively evaluated by auditing firm KPMG and as part of the chapter review.

  • Campaigns and organizational capacity/structure

Over the years, we have developed a reliable model for fundraising campaigns and this has been permanently integrated into our organizational structure.

  • Broad membership

Our membership grew steadily in 2013. With around 11,000 members, WMDE has a strong basis that lends it considerable weight – particularly for so young a membership organization.

    • Weaknesses: Organizational weaknesses that inhibited the plan
  • Wikimedia Deutschland’s governance structure does not correspond to its size and status

Our governance structure was created at a time when WMDE was much smaller, and still run and administered by volunteers. The organization now has three decision-making bodies whose competences and roles are not always clearly defined and in tune with one another. Other important aspects of governance also need to be evaluated and updated. Many need to be extended or newly established to reflect WMDE’s current development and to prevent potential crises. We want to address this topic in 2014.

  • Lack of strategy

The Kompass 2020 strategy document created in 2010 is out of date and no longer appropriate, given WMDE’s current size and development. WMDE is therefore currently operating without a firm and formal strategy. This weakness has already been acknowledged, and in 2013 the WMDE Supervisory Board launched a new strategic process.

  • Difficulty in achieving consensus between departments

The roles of the various departments were defined in late 2012 and throughout 2013. However, their operations are still not optimally aligned, making it difficult for departments to come to a consensus or to take advantage of synergies. We are working internally to address this weakness and have made considerable progress in consolidating our organizational structure.

  • Reliance on partners for achieving our program goals

The success of many of our collaborative projects is not dependent solely on us, but also on the activities and agenda of our partners (who may also be donors). As many aspects of our work are aimed at cooperation and partnership, we cannot always make the final decision with regard to the planning and performance of a project.

  • Weak support services and policies (e.g. in IT and HR)

The structural problems that have developed as a result of growth and the lack of established processes have been particularly evident in HR and IT. We therefore identified the need for a manager to organize and structure these areas. In 2014 we appointed a head of administration and HR.

  • Tension between volunteers and paid staff

Last year we saw time and again how important it is to inform the communities about projects as they are developing and to involve them at an early stage. Poor communication by Wikimedia Deutschland (for example, with regard to the ZDF “Fact Check” project, the Community Project Budget and the community experts’ network) can quickly lead to a tension between staff at the WMDE Berlin office and volunteers. This can have a negative effect on project work and on mutual trust between the parties involved. The result of these communication failures was a time-consuming conflict resolution process. In future we should act sooner to ensure that this is not necessary. As involving the community via opinion polls and discussion pages takes a lot of time and effort, more time will be planned in for this process in future.

  • Members are not involved enough

Although Wikimedia Deutschland has a broad membership base, members still play too small a role in its work and community life. In 2014, we are aiming to increase members’ involvement in the association’s work, for example by conducting online elections and planning more activities that encourage members to engage and participate.

    • Opportunities: External opportunities that enabled the plan
  • Partners: Access to relevant project partners

WMDE’s huge popularity and positive image makes it easier for us to approach important project partners and relevant stakeholders for our work. Even though we are a young organization, we are considered an expert partner in the context of free knowledge. Our successful collaborative projects clearly show the advantages this reputation brings in terms of the projects we are able to run.

  • Internal partners: Good cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation

Regular contact and cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) has contributed to the intensive and informed support of various technological and social innovations (Article Feedback Tool, Visual Editor, Echo, policies) in Wikimedia projects. With members of the Team Communities acting as the interface between WMF employees and local project activities, the respective positions could communicate and include the local communities in such processes early on. As reflected in our plan for the coming year, these experiences will be further professionalized and stabilized through investment of the relevant resources. In addition, our partnership with the WMF has and will continue to be of benefit to us in the coordination and cooperation of Wikidata projects.

  • Funding: A willingness to spend

People in Germany continue to happily donate large amounts to German Wikipedia and Wikimedia Deutschland. This willingness to donate is actually growing, allowing us to implement and continually develop professional fundraising campaigns as well as to try out new approaches.

  • Staff procurement: Berlin as an attractive location for the tech community

Thanks to its lively tech community and dynamic start-up scene, as well as its cheap living costs and metropolis status, Berlin is a very attractive location for workers in general – and especially for software developers. The city’s many favorable aspects make it easier for us to recruit highly skilled developers for our software development team.

    • Threats: Risks or threats that inhibited the plan

These are risks that haven't actually occured and inhibited the plan but which we have considered possible during 2013. We therefore took action, where possible, to minimize them in 2014:

  • Partners: Planned project partners are not available

Pursued partnerships and collaborations that may be of vital importance to planned projects may not ultimately come about because of a last-minute cancellation, or because partners back out for various reasons (financial or content-related).

  • Funding: The procurement of third-party funds does not happen on time

Procuring third-party funds is usually a long and complicated process, and therefore represents a risk in itself. The funds may either not be granted or the process may be delayed to such an extent that it jeopardizes the project. We want to minimize these risks by expanding our knowledge in the field of fund acquisition (both in departments as well as in the fundraising team).

  • Staff procurement: Berlin as an attractive location with a large demand for developers

In the start-up capital of Berlin, we face constant competition in attracting the best software developers – developers that are either already in Berlin or that want to come here. Additionally, for a non-profit association like WMDE, there is a risk that the strong tech scene with its often very attractive and lucrative job offers may tempt our own employees away.

  • Funding: The willingness to donate declines

The continuous willingness of people in Germany to donate to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Deutschland is wonderful, but we must bear in mind that this willingness could decrease, be it due to a change in the economic situation or because the donors become interested in other organizations. In such a case, the diversified funding base that we are pursuing should offer us (at least partial) security.

  • Legal context: The jurisdiction concerning the liability of Wikimedia Deutschland changes

Under the current jurisdiction, WMDE is not held liable for the content of Wikimedia projects and the possible rights violations that may occur within them. If this jurisdiction changes, we would face a very problematic and complex situation. In order to monitor and minimize these risks, we have been working for years with one of the best specialist law firms in intellectual property and media law, who have a very good knowledge of our organization and projects. We are in regular contact with this firm.

  • Different priorities in technology: WMF sets different priorities in software development and Toolserver than WMDE

If WMDE’s and the WMF’s priorities begin to move apart with regards to software development – as well as with regards to Toolserver and Wikimedia Labs – this would represent a relevant risk for us both in terms of our strategic direction and in terms of communication among the community.

  • German-language Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia projects involving the German and European legal areas
  • GROWTH: How did your entity grow over the past year (e.g., Number of active editors reached/involved/added, number of articles created, number of events held, number of partipants reached through workshops)? And what were the long term affects of this growth (e.g. relationships with new editors, more returned editors, higher quality articles, etc)?


  • The very successful 2013 online fundraising campaign contributed to a substantial growth of membership in 2013. The membership total grew from 5,292 (1,507 active members and 3,785 sustaining members; as of March 31, 2013) to 10,170 (1,750 active members and 8,420 sustaining members; as of March 31, 2014).

Financial summary


The FDC requires information about how your entity received and spent money over the past year. The FDC distributes general funds, so your entity is not required to use funds exactly as outlined in the proposal. While line-item expenses will not be examined, the FDC and movement wants to understand why the entity spent money in the way it did. If variance in budgeted vs. actual is greater than 20%, please provide explanation in more detail. This helps the FDC understand the rationale behind any significant changes. Note that any changes from the Grant proposal, among other things, must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."

If you'd prefer to share a budget created in Google or another tool and import it to wiki, you can do so in the tables below instead of using wiki tables. You can link to an external document, but we ask that you do include a table in this form. We are testing this approach in this form.



Provide exchange rate used: 1,3$= 1 EUR

Table 2 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

  • Please also include any in-kind contributions or resources that you have received in this revenues table. This might include donated office space, services, prizes, food, etc. If you are to provide a monetary equivalent (e.g. $500 for food from Organization X for service Y), please include it in this table. Otherwise, please highlight the contribution, as well as the name of the partner, in the notes section.
Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan
Transfers from the Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft (direct donations to WMDE) EUR 1,522,222 1,417,975 0 104,247 0 1,522,222 1,978,888.6 1,978,888.6
Funds from the FDC EUR 1,376,923 1,376,923 0 0 0 1,376,923 1,789,999.9 1,789,999.9
Corporate Social Responsibility EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 The attempts to generate revenues in this area were not successful. We will not pursue it in the future, concentrating rather on grant-making foundation and third-party-funds.
Licensing income EUR 15,703.71 0 11,145.84 4,557.87 0 15,703.71 20,414.823 20,414.823
Membership dues EUR 309,134 5,105 276,018.75 28,011.25 16,734 325,869 401,874.2 423,629.7 A slight difference to adjusted budget.
Interest WMDE EUR 0 12.77 271.05 78.97 67.81 430.6 0 559.78
Interest WMFG EUR 25,400 12,147.24 5,065.68 3,821.82 4,121.76 25,156.5 33,020 32,703.45
Third-party funding EUR 161,000 0 0 161,000 3,580 164,580 209,300 213,954 Small grants for the OER Conference and for the Wikipedia Confrence from WMAT in Q4.
Wikidata EUR 38,216 38,216 0 0 0 38,216 49,680.8 49,680.8
House of Free Knowledge EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 The concept was dismissed.
EU Funds for TAO EUR 28,019.07 0 0 28,019.07 4,620.76 32,639.83 36,424.791 42,431.779
EU funds for RENDER EUR 26,374.8 0 0 26,374.8 0 26,374.8 34,287.24 34,287.24
Toolserver grants EUR 10,000 10,000 0 0 0 10,000 13,000 13,000
Other EUR 11,025 2,999 802.25 3,224.28 6,606.31 13,631.84 14,332.5 17,721.392 Additional revenues e.g.: Wikipedian in Residence contract, WikiCon fees and various reimbursements.
Sum 3,524,017.58 3,551,747.28 4,581,222.85 4,617,271.46
Carry over 2012 950,000 950,000 1,235,000 1,235,000
WMFG Fixed-rate 2013 248,361.22 350,000 322,869.58 455,000 This is the fixed-rate of WMFG fundraising costs (fixed-rate for 2013) that has been substracted from the donation amount tranferred to WMF in and for 2013 (partly balancing the spending items of WMFG in 2013).
Sum2 4,722,378.8 4,851,747.28 6,139,092.44 6,307,271.46

* Provide estimates in US Dollars



Table 3 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.

(The "budgeted" amount is the total planned for the year as submitted in your proposal form or your revised plan, and the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year. The "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative amount spent over the budgeted amount.)
Expense Currency Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan
Administration EUR 427,444.17 93,776.93 120,491.55 93,175.69 118,305.71 425,749.88 555,677.42 553,474.84 99.60%
Change of role of the association EUR 7,213.8 0 3,538.52 1,275.28 1,392.11 6,205.91 9,377.94 8,067.68 86.03%
Improved motivation in the communities EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00% This objective was dismissed due to a parallel community initiative (for more explanation see earlier reports).
Improved support for communities EUR 387,170.99 67,883.74 42,480.63 64,807.62 257,957.07 433,129.06 503,322.28 563,067.77 111.87%
Support structures for new active contributors EUR 10,305.04 0 0 305.04 7,797.5 8,102.54 13,396.55 10,533.30 78.63% The underspending results from a project that suffered in continous delays. The idea of a transfer of the "Teahouse" to the German and international communities, believed in the beginning to be done pretty fast, showed up to be a more and more complicated and growing work. A technical implentation could not be realized in 2013, but is still pursued in 2014.
Taking reader interests into account EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00% This objective was dismissed (for more explanation see earlier reports).
Diversity concept EUR 57,535 10,140.3 2,262.71 9,761.88 49,618.85 71,783.74 74,795.5 93,318.86 124.77% The slight overspending happened mainly due to the increased costs of the Diversity Conference. The very good reception within the movement led to the format enhancement (we made it bigger than planned). Moreover we enabled many Wikimedians to take part in the Diversity Conference by granting international scholarships.
Encouraging participation EUR 89,381.66 16,176.89 9,781.14 25,057.63 37,276.6 88,292.26 116,196.15 14,779.93 98.78%
Linking up OER actors EUR 65,148 802.78 5,703.28 34,876.02 18,986.83 60,368.91 84,692.4 78,479.58 92.66%
Free access to state-owned works EUR 30,409 827.28 3,940.3 11,641.89 19,237.95 35,647.42 39,531.7 46,341.64 117.23%
Representing our interests at EU level EUR 19,402.63 1,819.19 6,491.03 7,092.41 17,419.41 32,822.04 25,223.41 42,668.65 169.16% After the initial phase of the project it became obvious that professional monitoring & representation in Brussels could not be done by volunteers only. Therefore, we drafted a contact person from the Wikimedia context and provided him with a freelance contract.
Continuing partnerships and identifying new ones EUR 62,986.63 11,070.29 12,638.04 10,778.3 29,332.2 63,818.83 81,882.61 82,964.47 101.32%
Wikidata /Software Development (since Q4) EUR 80,179.47 11,581.28 25,892 3,956.19 20,594.69 62,024.16 104,233.31 80,631.40 77.36% The underspending results mainly from lower travel costs than estimated and costs saving because of not purchased hardware and assets for new employees (no new employees have been hired in 2013 although originally planned).
RENDER EUR 22,480.55 3,670.45 4,026.54 4,783.53 5,998.26 18,478.78 29,224.71 24,022.41 82.20%
Public relations EUR 109,389.09 5,375.33 25,028.43 18,985.33 17,105.23 66,494.32 142,205.81 86,442.61 60.79% Budgeted plans for educational material and material for fundraising as well as member communication were not met. The respective projects/measures were not initiated due to shortage of personnel and restructuring processes both within Communications and the departments.
Fundraising WMDE EUR 40,690.05 2,835.83 17,064.03 5,790.19 20,856.03 46,546.08 52,897.06 60,509.90 114.39%
Fundraising WMFG EUR 146,663.26 27,979.41 88,415.28 30,268.57 163,508.44 310,171.7 190,662.23 403,223.21 211.49% These costs were higher than expected due to the costs of an unexpected but necessary IT audit, as well as transaction costs during the campaign which were much bigger due to the fact that the campaign was more succesfull than expected.
International affairs EUR 89,534.41 2,530.15 44,248.66 22,755.6 (-)3,836.46 65,697.95 116,394.73 85,407.33 73.38% Since the grant of EUR30.000 given to WMIT was not used in its entirety, a main part of it (approx.. EUR23.000) will be paid back to WMDE which results in negative expenses in Q4 and leads to an overall slight underspending.
Evaluation EUR 37,426.03 288.34 4,734.44 2,403.25 4,972.29 12,398.32 48,653.83 16,117.81 33.13% Cost savings due to negotiated discounts for software licenses After initial analysis it became clear that a planned software consulting and development project had to be adjourned.
Monitoring & controlling EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00%
Eventmanagement EUR 28,074.27 0 1,616.92 1,457.35 10,837 13,911.27 36,496.55 18,084.65 49.55% Due to the fact that the event spaces in the new office were not completely ready yet in 2013, the planned event team didn't have as many expenses as previously planned.
House of Free Knowledge EUR 177,914.84 512 1,047.13 1,355.68 52,650.89 55,565.7 231,289.29 72,235.41 31.23% Not all planned spending could be realized in 2013 and a part of the expenses were moved to the beginning of 2014 and some expenses aren't included here as they are depreciation assets.
Supervisory Board EUR 95,680 17,189.68 25,396.81 19,800.71 29,987.54 92,374.74 124,384 120,087.162 96.55%
Personnel costs WMDE EUR 2,133,915 520,416.86 485,489.09 551,714.86 603,246.19 2,160,867 2,774,089.5 2,809,127.1 101.26%
Personnel costs WMFG EUR 101,697.96 34,911.39 33,397.1 33,389.47 40,058.07 141,756.03 132,207.34 184,282.83 139.39% This year we had higher than expected IT-costs for testing and website programming before and during the fundraiser 2013.
Sum 4,220,641.85 4,272,206.64 5,486,834.40 5,553,868.63 101.22%

* Provide estimates in US Dollars

Comments on the financial section:

  • The budgeted figures have been adjusted in Q3. For original budgeted figures see the proposal, for explantions of the adjustement see Q3 report.
  • Please note that the Annual Financial Statement's distribution between the administration and project costs will differ from the financial overview in this impact report. In accordance with the German tax standards we are entitled by law to apportion parts of the administration costs to the project costs in the Annual Financial Statements which we do every year. In order to ensure the comparability between the Annual Statements and between the FDC reports we decided to sustain both of the reporting models which will result in a discrepancy in the way we present adminstration and project costs between these two.

Progress against past year's goals/objectives


The FDC needs to understand the impact of the initiatives your entity has implemented over the past year. Because the FDC distributes general funds, entities are not required to implement the exact initiatives proposed in the FDC proposal; the FDC expects each entity to spend money in the way it best sees fit to achieve its goals and those of the movement. However, please point out any significant changes from the original proposal, and the reasons for the changes. Note that any changes from the Grant proposal, among other things, must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."

Program 1: Wikimedia Deutschland will simplify and improve cooperation with and within the communities on a permanent basis to increase participation and motivation within the projects.


Change of role (Communities Team)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Take a new and more active role in debates and support decision-making processes (we help define themes, disseminate facts, and objectively and regularly reassess our own position.)
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)
  • The purpose of redefining our role was to improve the flow of communication from and to other parts of the communities involved in Wikimedia projects, and achieve constructive participation in discussion processes. This involved consolidating the important aspects of topics and positions in a meaningful manner – including both the experience and expertise of community members and WMDE and, where applicable, external input such as studies and material from other online projects.

Active participation in discussions, in particular with regard to technical innovations and extensions, enabled us to provide specific answers to questions from the community, take on board criticism and clear up misunderstandings. This in turn led to coordinated activity within the community and promotion and advancement of innovations and technical developments. In concrete terms, we took part in discussions about projects and topics such as e.g. Wikidata, the Visual Editor, the Article Feedback Tool, paid editing and the MediaWiki extension Echo, released in German-language Wikipedia on 20 November 2013, and incorporated the resulting proposals into the ongoing process. The issue of paid editing sparked an intense discussion involving hundreds of participants, which reached a volume of almost 1,000,000 bytes in the fourth quarter.

While the Wikimedia Foundation reviewed its privacy policy, the community was asked to draft a statement. The resulting position, formulated by around 120 contributors involved in Wikimedia projects, represented a corresponding variety of worries and concerns in the German-speaking community.

In addition, increased participation in Kurier discussions enabled us to react effectively to criticism leveled at WMDE’s efforts by the community, and address concerns over the introduction of technical innovations. The exchange of ideas resulting from WMDE’s participation in local community events in the form of a “Tacheles Tour” are another component of the new understanding of our role. Furthermore, in order to engage in dialogue with those interested in the 2014 Annual Plan and obtain feedback from the community, we also visited six cities in Germany. In all, 35 people took part in the discussion groups.


  • Volunteers: The issue of paid editing sparked an intense discussion which reached a volume of 103,800 bytes in the fourth quarter (unfortunately the number of participants in the discussion cannot be determined automatically due to the archiving of pages).

22 people registered for the events comprising the annual plan tour.

  • Paid staff: 0,9
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Consultation with the community and active participation in discussions, in particular with regard to technical innovations and extensions, made it possible to answer questions from the community, take on board criticism and clear up misunderstandings, thereby promoting and advancing innovations and technical developments. In order to enable coordinated activity within the community and promote participation in Wikimedia projects, specific information and advice are necessary.
What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • Information and debate surrounding innovations were ensured by means of 89 Kurier and Kurier special edition articles.
  • Information and debate surrounding innovations were ensured by means of 89 Kurier and Kurier special edition articles.
  • Tour to discuss the 2014 Annual Plan with interested parties in 6 cities, with a total of 35 participants
  • 97 events supported by WMDE in the form of travel costs, technology and/or entrance fees - a 53% increase on the previous year
  • 4 instances of support provided to communities for the introduction of technical extensions (Wikidata, Visual Editor, Article Feedback Tool, Echo)
If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?
  • Direct dialogue led to renewed confidence between the community and WMDE, resulting in more constructive cooperation with volunteers. As a result, WMDE gained a better understanding of social processes within the communities and how to take them into account.

Unfortunately, the goal of bringing together and capitalizing on experience and expertise from various different groups (community members, WMDE, readers, researchers and other online projects) was not achieved in 2013.

In future, we plan to give WMDE projects and their position within Wikimedia projects an even more collaborative format, and offer greater freedom of organization for community activities. Projects need to be announced even further in advance, and developed in collaboration with the community.

In future, the communities team will also provide internal support and advice to other departments with regard to communication and cooperation with the communities.

In order to better focus on the increased exchange of ideas with the community pursuant to the new understanding of our role, we have divided the communities team into two sections: “grantmaking” and “community liaisons”. In 2014, a new position will be created to support the community liaisons subdepartment with communication specifically related to technical innovations.

Any additional details:

Exchange with Wikidata:

Paid editing:

Annual plan tour:

Article Feedback Tool project website:

Questions about the Visual Editor:

Changing the working climate (Communities Teams)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Increase motivation within communities (the motivation of participants increases significantly)
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)
  • The way people communicate with each other, the working atmosphere and motivation in the communities are important topics which can sometimes cause problems. However, there are approaches and models, some of them highly successful, which can be used to address these problems. Accordingly, we set ourselves the goal of consolidating and raising the profile of the relevant competencies in the communities, such as best practices and the numerous constructive ideas and suggestions for improvement that already exist for each topic. The idea was to set up a centralized platform to pool these ideas and experiences and highlight the know-how of the communities. Such a platform could be used to increase the visibility of suggestions, initiate debates and where appropriate select ideas for implementation.

The goal was not pursued as initially laid out in the project plan, so as to leave room for any activities initiated by the community in this field. Subsequent activities on the part of WMDE failed to materialize for personal and structural reasons. However, specific support was given to volunteer projects which contributed to improving motivation and working atmosphere, including for example regional and editorial gatherings of Wikipedians or sister projects. In addition, WMDE made use of its status as a nonprofit association to award volunteers the new volunteer cards introduced by the Berlin Senate as a form of recognition for the efforts of volunteers.

Another, particularly significant acknowledgment of the work done by volunteers this year was the Zedler Prize, awarded in recognition of author and community projects which make an outstanding contribution in the field of free knowledge. 82 volunteers were involved in selecting the jury. Almost 30 volunteers took part in the nomination.

WikiCon was held once again in 2013, organized by WMDE. The community event contributed palpably to increased motivation and involvement among volunteers. In the run-up to the event, around 100 votes were cast to determine its location.

During and after WikiCon, use of the personal acquaintance tool reached record levels. Many volunteers met face to face here for the first time. The tool, a kind of social network, maps the real-life acquaintances between active Wikipedians.

As part of the Motivation Project, prizes were awarded to volunteers behind projects which contribute to motivation, before an audience of 150 to 200 people at WikiCon.

  • Paid Staff: 0,7
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Greater motivation leads both to higher levels of participation, and to a resulting increase in quality. Furthermore, supporting community events – which have proven to have a positive effect on motivation and working atmosphere – also broadens the movement’s sphere of influence.
What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • Support for the WikiConvention, with 211 participants, including 9 volunteer organizers, 43 speakers, 21 helpers and around 80 program items. One of the outcomes of the convention was that the tool for personal acquaintances was used to confirm 2809 acquaintances, the highest monthly figure since the tool was launched in 2008 and around a third of the entire number of yearly confirmations (total 2013: 8637).
  • Gifts and motivational prizes for active volunteers: 1 Portuguese language course, 14 copies of “Working with Mediawiki”, 18 book prizes for the motivation project, 21 WikiCon T-shirts and 100 prizes for Wiki Loves Monuments
If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?
  • Initiatives to improve motivation and working atmosphere should originate from within the community, rather than being imposed by the association. However, WMDE can provide specific support for such initiatives. Boosting motivation requires patience, dedication, repeated efforts, contact with and close involvement of individual community members, and will remain a component of our activities in the coming year.

Any additional details: Motivation project:

Personal acquaintances:

Changing support mechanisms (Communities Team)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Provide even better support for volunteers (greater number of volunteers use our support structures and have received positive feedback for their contributions.)
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)
  • The third-person liability insurance for event organizers and volunteer group accident insurance for community events held since mid-July 2013 were so popular that it has since become necessary to supplement the policies.

Our improved positioning was above all the result of restructuring and streamlined processing of existing programs and overview pages. A newly created, easily searchable central funding portal in Wikipedia provides an overview of all funding programs and opportunities. The portal was complemented by a new concept for submission of funding applications, which even in the test stage was successfully used to increase transparency and user-friendliness in the planning of 21 projects.

Traditionally, support for volunteers is financed by the community budget (CB). The purpose of this budget is to provide financial and organizational support for community projects in order to assist volunteers with the creation of free content, in particular under the roughly 15 funding programs currently in place. A significant overall increase in funding from the community project budget was recorded in 2013 in relation to the previous year, with event projects playing a prominent role.

A working group made up of members of the association and the community was created to discuss the future of the community project budget (CPB), which received vigorous criticism in the previous year, and a comprehensive evaluation was carried out by a service provider and published under a free license. The working group drafted a proposal to replace the CPB with the new “Förderprogramm Freies Wissen” (Funding Program for Free Knowledge), which was discussed and approved by the general assembly in November. Initial feedback from the community and the association is positive.

The internal procedures of the communities team were significantly improved in 2013 by means of standardized workflows, introduction of department-specific budget controlling and centralized process documentation.


  • Volunteers: Around 35 proposals on the new funding guidelines were collected in advance. 40 volunteers took part in the subsequent survey.
  • Paid Staff: 1,8 FTE
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Improved support for volunteers led to increased participation and higher quality. This was achieved above all by means of financial and organizational support for community projects.
What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • 34 large-scale projects (funding of over €500.00) approved and implemented
  • 63 literature scholarships worth around €4,100.00 awarded. These and previous scholarships led to the publication and/or improvement of around 1,500 articles in 2013 (total approx. 6,300)
  • 77 e-literature scholarships awarded, leading to the publication and/or improvement of around 100 articles in 2013 (total approx. 470)
  • 6 image processing software scholarships
  • Printing of 46 sets of business cards and creation of 61 email addresses for use by volunteers to establish external contacts in the pursuit of their voluntary efforts in Wikimedia projects, such as interviews or reader surveys.
  • Around 140 equipment rentals
  • 236 travel cost reimbursements, amounting to around €82,600.00
  • 20 travel grants for Wikimania, awarded to 10 participants residing in Germany and 10 international participants.
  • 49 insured events with a total of around 950 participants since insurance coverage began in July 2013
  • 56,859 photos and videos created with the support of WMDE
If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?

Structural and staff issues prevented the creation of extensive programs for Wikipedia sister projects and external projects. Only individual support in specific areas was possible, e.g. for initial meetings for the German-language Wiktionary and Wikisource.

On the basis of the increase in volunteer funding and initial findings with regard to social processes (Paid Editing, Visual Editor, Article Feedback Tool, Data Protection and Echo) it soon became clear that funding should not be restricted to funding applications pertaining to the well-known, material-oriented programs, and that monitoring of social processes, support for individual project ideas and enhancement of working conditions must also be taken into consideration by the new funding strategy.

The reorganization of the communities team into two sub-departments (“grantmaking” and “community liaisons”), begun in Q4, paved the way for corresponding structures with which to support volunteers in the coming year.

In spite of the achievements already made in simplifying internal processes, there is still a great deal of potential for further optimization and streamlining in order to be able to devote more time to advising volunteers and monitoring projects. Furthermore, we plan to increase the number of incoming funding applications once again in the coming year. To this end, we need to establish a presence in as many areas of the active communities as possible besides the core Wikipedia community, in other Wikimedia projects and beyond.

The funding programs developed to date can be adapted by other chapters so as to pass on the experience accumulated. The German-speaking chapters are particularly relevant candidates for an in-depth exchange of ideas and closer collaboration with regard to volunteer funding.

In the first quarter of 2014, the project was followed by another major expansion of the funding portal and reworking/simplification of the funding guidelines by and in conjunction with the communities. These processes should be maintained in order to continue removing barriers to the use of funding opportunities and simplify existing programs and opportunities. The reworking of the funding guidelines will result in a framework within which project ideas can be developed in as free and productive a manner as possible. Around 35 proposals on the new funding guidelines were collected in advance. 40 volunteers took part in the subsequent survey.

Any additional details: Support under the community project budget:

New funding access portal:

Reworking of the funding guidelines:

Program 2: Wikimedia Deutschland will increase the diversity of knowledge in Wikimedia projects to enable adequate representation of different perspectives in the projects.


Changes for new Wikimedians (Communities Team)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Provide attractive support mechanisms to encourage new Wikimedians to stay on board (support structures encourage more Wikipedians to remain involved in the projects).
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)

A variety of people are interested in getting involved in Wikipedia or its sister projects and support structures are needed to help them find a stable footing in the communities. To achieve this, it is necessary to identify and test various forms of support and expand existing strategies, such as the mentoring program. Experience gained in Wikimedia projects (such as the Teahouse) or other online communities can be used as points of reference. Strong and visible local communities, which should function as contact points for new community members, will play a particularly important role here.

WMDE supported the idea proposed by the community to adapt the English-language Wikipedia’s Teahouse project by organizing consultations and reimbursing travel expenses. As a result of technical problems connected to the template, the project proved to be extremely complex. Enquiries have been made about compiling an expert report to identify the various technical options to develop the Teahouse.

A national workshop on 6 October in Cologne involving 30 participants brought together interested parties from across Germany (e.g. from Bremen, Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin) to discuss setting up local community offices as locations for meetings and events.

Working groups in Cologne and Hamburg set to work investigating the matter. By the end of the year they had made enough progress to start looking for suitable premises. The group in Cologne is particularly far along in the process. Thirty volunteers met in Cologne to discuss “local activities”. This core team of volunteers will be responsible for setting up and supervising the future office in Cologne.

Both the WikiConvention, attended by 211 people, and Wikimania examined the topic of support structures for new contributors in great depth. The event included sessions on the Teahouse and Women Edit, providing a forum to examine and discuss new approaches.


  • Volunteers: The WikiCon, attended by 211 people, took a detailed look at the topic of support structures for new contributors. Around fifteen people participated in a special workshop on the Teahouse. At Wikimania, a volunteer also presented the concept to an audience of around 30 people.

In Cologne 30 volunteers came together to discuss setting up of local offices and community facilities.

  • Paid staff: 0,5
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Measures to expand support structures for new contributors aim to increase participation and thus improve quality. This should be achieved above all through low-threshold services such as the Teahouse, which serves as an online point of contact geared towards the needs of new contributors. Volunteers are also helping set up permanent local community offices which will be open to other volunteers and interested parties and thereby having a positive impact on participation and quality.
What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • Workshop in Cologne focusing on local activities involving approx. 30 participants with support from three local city teams (Hamburg, Cologne, Munich)
If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?

The process of developing support structures for new contributors once again showed that it is essential for volunteers to take the initiative and have a personal interest if we are to cooperate and jointly implement projects supported by the community.

In order to create long-term support structures for new authors, it is essential to make sure that the communities play a key role in the process and that existing authors are made aware of how to communicate with newcomers. In 2013 there were insufficient skills and structures to support such an ambitious, long-term and complex process. Nevertheless, integrating new authors will continue to be on the agenda of the Communities Team.

Any additional details: Teahouse:

Cologne workshop:

Changes for diversity (Education and Knowledge)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Wikimedia Deutschland will develop a concept to bring more diversity into Wikipedia
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)

The working paper Gender – Diversity – Wikipedia, which was drafted and published in two phases, outlines our concept to foster diversity. The first section of the working paper (cf. Additional information) gives an overview of what is currently known on the topic and pinpoints five potential fields of action in Wikipedia. The second section presents a specific catalogue of measures to foster diversity in Wikipedia (scheduled for publication in the second quarter of 2014). This was accompanied by the Wikimedia Diversity Conference (in cooperation with Wikimedia Nederland, Wikimedia UK, WMF), where we presented the diversity concept and joined forces with international members of the community to develop new ideas. The aim of the conference was to share best practices from the Wikimedia movement on gender diversity and geographical diversity, to hold workshops and initiate new ideas and projects and to establish a network in the international community on this topic. The conference and the work on the diversity concept raised awareness of the complex topic of diversity and initiated an ongoing dialogue with international partners that will be continued in 2014.


  • Volunteers: 90 conference participants, 15 people involved in organizing the conference, 15 volunteers helped put together the diversity concept
  • Paid staff: : 2,5 FTE
  • External: 0,4 FTE
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Boost participation: Developing the diversity concept and organizing, realizing and following up on the Wikimedia Diversity Conference has helped encourage participation in Wikimedia projects and boosted their diversity.
What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • We developed the diversity concept in cooperation with Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin and the German community. Publication in two phases: The first publication comprised a literature review and an appraisal of the current situation concerning the low level of female participation in the German-language Wikipedia. The working paper was published in September 2013. The diversity concept will be published at the beginning of 2014 (entitled The Compass of Diversity) and will include the second phase of the project, which outlines a range of possible measures.
  • We organized a session during the Open Space event on 26 May 2013 in the WMDE office to present the project and hold initial discussions. Our partners conducted explorative interviews with male and female Wikipedians to examine the causes of the low level of female participation.
  • We held a diversity workshop on 12 October 2013 with the German community to present the working paper and develop measures to boost gender diversity in Wikipedia. Among other topics, the workshop discussed the potential of cMOOCs (connectivist Massive Open Online Courses).
  • Ilona Buchem from Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin presented the diversity concept at Wikimania in Hong Kong.
  • Our partner Ilona Buchem presented the project at the Social Media Week in September 2013 in a talk entitled Gender Diversity in Wikipedia - a Balancing Act, followed by the workshop Women Edit Goes Social Media Week, held by our partner, Silvia Stieneker.
  • We planned and held the Wikimedia Diversity Conference on 9 and 10 November 2013 in Berlin and carried out subsequent follow-up work (a total of some 90 Wikipedians, Wikimedians and experts took part in the event). It examined gender diversity and geographical diversity, focusing on how to disseminate existing best practice projects and generate ideas for new projects.
  • We used the knowledge gained from the Diversity Conference to add a second section to the working paper Gender Diversity Wikipedia, specifying action points which will help promote inclusion and outlining concepts for specific measures (the publication of the final working paper entitled The Compass of Diversity is scheduled for the second quarter of 2014).
If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?

While preparing, realizing and following up on the Wikimedia Diversity Conference, we were able to gain valuable insight concerning organizational matters, advance planning, difficulties cooperating with other chapters and personnel costs. The conference format is an ideal platform for experts, various actors and interested parties to network and share knowledge. However, in future we must decide on the concept of international symposiums at an earlier stage and grant scholarships. We must also allocate roles in cross-chapter activities at an early stage in order to use the staff resources available and account for individual working conditions in a responsible manner.

Expanding the scope of the Wikimedia Diversity Conference to involve another group of actors was a productive move from a networking perspective. As a result, for example, the initiators of the Ada Initiative 2014 now plan to hold their first AdaCamp (on the topic of women and open technology) in the offices of WMDE. Attempts to use open innovation approaches to deal with the wide-ranging topic of diversity proved particularly difficult in workshops and discussions with the community. It became clear that the public or individual volunteers had a more positive attitude to the issue than the community itself. This will continue to be a challenge and demonstrates a greater need for advance planning when communicating a topic as complex and controversial as diversity within Wikipedia. Steps to integrate the findings from the conference into a specific catalogue of measures completed the concept on diversity in Wikipedia. In addition to the positive impact of scientific support provided by partners at Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin – whose expertise helped map out an overview of the current situation and develop specific measures to foster diversity – cooperation on The Compass of Diversity showed that it was necessary to allocate far more time to the editing process when jointly producing large text documents.

Our work in 2014 will focus on carrying out selected measures from the concept. For a start, this will involve continuing the multiplier network Women Edit. Setting up a multiplier network (WikiWomen) is intended to provide greater support to activities aimed at creating a more open Wikipedia (for more detailed information on Women Edit, see 2.3 Encouraging Participation). WMDE has taken this step in response to the volunteers’ request to develop a network on this topic.

In addition, in 2014 WMDE plans to launch cMOOCs (in cooperation with Wikimedia Österreich and Wikimedia Schweiz). The possibility of promoting inclusion in Wikipedia through the online learning format cMOOC was met with a positive response from community members attending the diversity workshop in October 2013. cMOOCs are open online meetings which will enable the community to continue its work on the action points identified in the diversity concept. They create a new learning environment, allowing community members to transfer knowledge independently or acquire new knowledge and enable them to get involved in the Wikipedia project regardless of their location.

Any additional details: Page on the Wikimedia Diversity Conference:

Working paper Gender – Diversity – Wikipedia:

Changing participation (Education and Knowledge)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Develop a range of offers that will encourage a wider variety of groups to participate (many new formats have been tried out and the successful ones will be replicated on a wider scale).
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)

An evaluation of WMDE’s pilot projects and educational activities from 2010 to 2012 demonstrated that individual events, seminars and workshops are not suitable methods to generate long-term interest in WMDE’s projects among new volunteers. As a result, WMDE changed its approach. The new strategy firstly focused on developing teaching and learning materials to enable educational institutions to participate in Wikipedia independently. This approach aims to help us reach more people and reduce the considerable administrative workload involved in coordinating individual training sessions. In cooperation with Klicksafe, we developed the learning module Wikipedia – Shaping Knowledge Together. WMDE developed the material and contributed its know-how on collaborative work and free licenses, while its cooperation partner – a recognized organization in the educational sector – worked together closely with schools. In addition, Women Edit enabled a series of editing events for women that took place in a peer-to-peer learning environment. These events aimed to move away from a one-sided approach to transferring knowledge: Instead of merely training participants on how to take part in Wikimedia projects, they also focused on enabling them to subsequently pass on the knowledge they had acquired to new learners and thus become teachers themselves. This process created the first multipliers, able to disseminate knowledge on collaborative work and the workings of Wikipedia. The activities of the learning network HIVE are also geared towards this goal. HIVE aims to connect institutions, organizations and initiatives to enable them to share experiences and pool resources in order to carry out pilot projects which balance the priorities of technology, openness and education. The goal is to create learning environments in Berlin, which can function as spaces to generate free content for our projects. We laid the foundations for this network in 2013 by collaborating with the Free University of Berlin and Mozilla – who are also members of the HIVE learning network alongside WMDE. These changes led us to develop new participation and dialogue formats with the potential to reach more people and helped create the basis for networking with institutions.


  • Volunteers: 10 Wiki Women, 100 participants in networking events
  • Paid staff: 2 FTE
  • External: 1 FTE
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?

Boost participation: The publication of teaching and learning materials to promote the use of Wikipedia in the classroom and the project Silver Knowledge, which encourages older people to get involved in Wikipedia, aim to raise awareness of Wikimedia projects among new target groups and thus boost participation in these projects.

What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • The project Silver Knowledge, which was launched in 2008 as part of the EU research project Third Age Online and aimed to encourage older people to write for Wikipedia and to share their knowledge, drew to a close at the end of 2013. 2013 saw 31 workshops held in a range of locations, such as adult education centers and senior citizens’ universities. Around 200 people took part in these events. A series of small, successive workshops aimed to give these people the knowledge required to become Wikipedia authors. We have published a final report in English, which brings together the findings of the three-year project.
  • In cooperation with the EU initiative Klicksafe, we have devised and published teaching and learning materials for the classroom. The materials are specifically targeted at students and provide a wide range of information on how to use Wikipedia, including numerous worksheets which are designed for the classroom and give teachers methodological and didactic tips.
  • We recruited a new staff member who will be responsible for directly addressing educational institutions and making them aware of the concept of free knowledge. Activities in this area mainly focused on continuing the pilot project with Mozilla, which is working to connect free knowledge, learning and technology. In particular, this involved the HIVE project, which aims to promote collaborative learning. At the end of last year, HIVE held its first project meeting and developed concepts for 2014.
  • 2013 saw the continuation of the Women Edit project, launched in 2012. Women Edit involved monthly editing meet-ups in the offices of our partner, the Women’s Computer Centre Berlin (FCZB). The workshops involved familiarizing women with editing and the workings of Wikipedia in a peer-to-peer learning environment.
  • In order to specifically address educational institutions and make them aware of the topic of free knowledge by providing them with materials or getting them involved in our projects, we created a new post and appointed a new member of staff.
If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?

While Women Edit did not manage to significantly increase the participation of women in 2013, the peer-to-peer learning environment did create initial multipliers and brought together particularly dedicated women in the WikiWomen network. In 2013 the regular editing events mainly focused on explaining how Wikipedia works. This was because most of the participants were newcomers. Another positive aspect is that numerous supporters of WikiWomen are helping build up the network by spreading the word in the community. 2014 will see the continuation of Women Edit. However, as a result of the aforementioned lessons learned, it will have a different focus. The goal is to expand and strengthen the WikiWomen network through community building measures and enable the women to launch their own projects and supervise the first pilot projects. Developing and publishing teaching and learning materials on how to integrate Wikipedia into the classroom in cooperation with Klicksafe was also a major achievement, as it integrated the topic of Wikipedia and free knowledge into the curricula of educational institutions. WMDE’s project Silver Knowledge, which came to an end in 2013, was part of the EU’s research program Third Age Online. This alliance made it possible for WMDE to generate greater publicity for its goals. In addition, WMDE gained extensive experience of taking part in a research program funded by the European Union.

Any additional details: The Silver Knowledge project (in German):

Report in English:

Women Edit project:

Wikipedia materials for the classroom:

Program 3: Wikimedia Deutschland will enable readers to bring their personal perspective into the Wikimedia projects.


Changes for readers (Communities Team)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Our objective is to collect data on reader interests and to ensure these interests are being heard in Wikimedia projects (we gather and process information on reader interests and regularly bring our findings into the communities).
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)

The goal for 2013 was to develop ways to collect data on reader interests and share this with the community.

In practical terms, this involved guiding the discussion facilitated by the introduction of the Article Feedback Tool at the end of 2012 beyond purely technical matters or the community’s mission regarding quality standards towards a more reflective way of dealing with feedback, which would make it possible to identify readers’ expectations. However, the pilot phase and an intensive and constructive discussion in and with the community revealed that the tool would not be conducive to meeting these challenges. A survey was conducted which rejected the option of permanently integrating the tool into the system. During the pilot phase it became clear that the majority of the feedback submitted was not constructive and that processing it involved too great a workload. As a result, the decision was made to deactivate the Article Feedback Tool after the survey was completed.


  • Volunteers: 237 volunteers took part in the survey on the Article Feedback Tool.
  • Paid staff: 0,1
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?

The goal was to use feedback from readers to improve the quality of contents. If the strategy had produced the desired results, it would also have signified a technical innovation for the MediaWiki software and working procedures in Wikipedia. However, the discussion in and with the community revealed that the tool developed for this purpose would not be conducive to meeting these challenges. As the community was involved in the process from the beginning of the discussion to the final survey, the project also boosted participation levels.

What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?
  • Monitoring the process of introducing the tool and conducting a survey involving a discussion between approx. 50 voluntary participants. 207 and 185 volunteers, respectively, voted against or in favor of one of the two options proposed.
If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?

In spite of the discontinuation of the tool, the process sparked an intensive and extremely constructive discussion and the pilot phase was a valuable experience and can therefore be viewed as a success. Due to personnel-related reasons and as a result of the complexity of this kind of project, it has not yet been possible to find an alternative option.

Any additional details: Survey on article feedback:

Program 4: Wikimedia Deutschland will form new cooperations to establish the concept of free knowledge on a broader basis.


Changes in the educational sphere (Education and Knowledge)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Link up players to make free knowledge a reality in the area of education (free educational content is on the agenda of key actors in school education and the first pilot schemes have been tested).
What is your progress against these objectives? (Include metrics and number of volunteers/staff involved.)

The main focus of our networking activities was the topic of open educational resources (OER). In all projects we worked in cooperation with other actors and together made progress on the following points:

  • The OER Conference (described in Case studies: Examples: Success) was an enormous step forward in bringing the various actors together and initiating a real movement. The conference also succeeded in putting OER on the political agenda. The partners unanimously agreed to hold the conference again in 2014.
  • The pilot schemes funded by the Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting Media Authority (mabb) together with WMDE, successfully reached a lot of teachers and trained them on the use of license-free material in the classroom.
  • In Berlin, several political parties joined forces in 2013 and brought the first pro-OER motion before parliament – the first of its kind in Germany. WMDE took part in the consultation process and suggested a number of improvements, most of which were then included in the final draft. In February 2014, the Berlin state parliament approved the motion. The Senate Administration is currently in the process of elaborating a detailed OER concept for Berlin. An individual Berlin state OER platform is the probable outcome – but we have to wait and see. Very exciting!
  • An OER Book Sprint, organized in cooperation with the Open Knowledge Foundation was successful as far as the networking aspect of the project was concerned, but proved very challenging to implement in practice. Technical shortcomings in the working document meant that very little text work could actually be done in the context of the Book Sprint.


  • Volunteers: 30 Book Sprint participants, 10 OER network
  • Paid staff: 1 FTE
  • External: 0,3 FTE
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?

Increase participation: Our range of projects related to the topic of Open Educational Resources (OER) have successfully brought together all sorts of actors from the field of education, raised awareness of the issue among political decision-makers and delivered expertise in the form of well-founded statements, for example. All our efforts were geared towards making broader sections of the public aware of the problems related to the re-use and creation of OER material and thus increase participation and expand the reach of Wikimedia projects.

What key activities were conducted and/or milestones achieved with this program?

Our activities in this area included the following:

  • OER Conference 2013 (described in Case studies: Examples: Success);
  • The network of actors brought together on the initiative of WMDE in the last quarters to promote the cause of Open Educational Resources (OER) elaborated a number of pilot schemes in cooperation with the Berlin-Brandenburg Broadcasting Media Authority (mabb). The mabb then implemented these schemes in a total of five locations in Berlin and Brandenburg; WMDE delivered the necessary expertise. The schemes offered further training for teachers on the use of OER materials in the classroom.
  • A Book Sprint was staged in cooperation with the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) at the end of November 2013 with the aim of collaboratively producing a handbook on Open Education.
  • In early December 2013, WMDE submitted a statement on OER to the Berlin state parliament Committee on Digital Administration, Data Protection and Freedom of Information. MPs debated a motion that would pave the way for introducing OER in Berlin classrooms, and make Berlin the first federal state to incorporate OER into the school curriculum. WMDE strongly advised that the OER used in this context should focus on genuinely free-license material like CC-BY-SA and insisted on involving institutes of education and civil society in this process.
  • A follow-up meeting was held in the wake of the OER Conference, and a new member of staff (substitute for a member of staff on maternity leave) was trained.
If your entity did not achieve the desired objectives, why not? If it did, what enabled this? If the initiative was not in your plan, why did you pursue it?

The OER Conference attracted a total of 300 participants, far beyond the number we expected. The response from those who attended the conference was extremely positive, as were the results it achieved: OER has advanced to become a key issue in the German debate on education, and the preconditions for introducing free knowledge in education have been greatly strengthened. We want to build on this success by staging another conference, which will again expand our networks and advance the discourse on OER. The networking activities of the conference resulted in the creation of an OER action group, bringing together actors from various specialist groups with the purpose of elaborating clear positions. The experiences we made and approaches we developed over the past year have helped shape our programs and operative aims for 2014.

Any additional details: Blog article on Book Sprint:

Blog article on Open Education Handbook:

Link to Open Education Handbook:

Blog article on OER progress in the Berlin state parliament:

Changes for state-owned works (Politics and Society)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Use our political lobbies to make state-owned works freely accessible for use (our own regulatory proposal for the use of state-owned works attracts the attention and support of the general public).
  • Volunteers: The implementation of the measures set out above did not involve the direct participation of volunteers.
  • Paid staff: 0,7 FTE
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Increase participation and scope of Wikimedia projects.
Activities, progress and lessons learned – An overview

The term state-owned works refers to all published and unpublished works (texts, images, data) created by public employees and civil servants or directly commissioned by public administration. The term is pretty nebulous and can also include works created or commissioned by companies that are formally organized as private sector companies but are fully state-owned or are wholly or partially publically funded. This category includes many museums that are run as foundations but rely entirely on government funding. The German equivalent to the US NASA authority is a registered association called DLR, which is financed entirely by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs. Although “state-owned work” is not an official term, German copyright law does recognize “official works”, which are defined with significantly greater precision in §5 of the Copyright Act.

Data license Germany – WMDE reacts Just in time for CEBIT 2013, the government data portal govdata.de went into trial operation. The site lists published federal, state and municipal data and documents with the accompanying metadata and license information. As some members of the administration had reservations about the Creation Commons licensing model, a group led by the Federal Ministry of the Interior elaborated two licenses for data, which are essentially equivalent to two CC licenses for public sector information: CC-by and CC-by-nc.

WMDE raised an objection to these versions on two points: The issuing of a non-free license (Data license Germany under the attribution non-commercial) is a step in the wrong direction when it comes to making state-owned works freely available for use. The non-commercial clause is not equivalent to free use. We also criticized the presumption that such a license will ensure that “at least something” is published, or that the content will “at least be half free.” We were also critical of the sloppy formulation: Both the suggested versions contained problematic formulations and ambiguities. These legal uncertainties mean that licenses designed to be free, do not, in fact, meet the criteria for free licenses.

Our public and confidentially voiced criticism met with a warm response; following this episode, both WMDE and OKFN were invited to join the group working on a 2.0 version. In 2014, the group will produce a 2.0 version of the data license Germany that meets the criteria of free content. We are working towards the abolition of the -nc version.

Catalogues of key pre-election questions – Focus on state-owned works

Four out of eight catalogues of key pre-election questions, which WMDE has produced so far, were sent out in 2013: three for the state parliament elections in structurally compatible federal states and a set of questions for the parties competing in the federal election 2013.

We decided to use the federal elections as an opportunity to address the full spectrum of issues relevant to WMDE’s interests. For the state parliament elections, we focused on state-owned works in a series of ten key pre-election questions specifically dealing with free licenses for works from these federal states.

We published the answers we received from the parties – it is a very positive sign that all the main parties replied – with careful comments and remarks pointing out commonalities.

Royalties – The cash has stopped rolling in

From previous projects, we are well aware that the main argument used against free access to content is the fear of a loss of government revenue. To nip this argument in the bud, we asked MPs in various state parliaments and in the Bundestag to submit minor interpellations on the revenue situation of state-owned works. The results speak for themselves: the state – with the exception of geodata – generates no significant income from granting rights of use to third parties. On the contrary: the costs incurred by the mechanism required to administrate such minimal revenue probably exceed the actual revenue generated. But then again, in the case of unauthorized use, the law is often not enforced.

Further findings from minor interpellations on royalties:

  • Royalties are generally monitored down to the smallest detail; the (admin) costs, by contrast, not at all.
  • There is no clear differentiation between the costs of provision and the granting of rights. Frequently a sum total is quoted with no itemized breakdown of costs. The consistent use of free licenses would still make it possible to levy fees to cover the costs of provision.
  • The combination of non-free licenses and lack of law enforcement is a fatal mix: those who wish to obtain authorization are unable to, and those who decide not to bother have no need to fear the consequences.
  • The administration is lacking a uniform overview of its own rights of use, and a uniform approach as to how these rights can be obtained.

Parliamentary work brings results

Parliamentary work sometimes requires impetus from active stakeholders, an approach which parliamentary groups now explicitly ask for.


The information gained from the minor interpellations on the federal state level, enabled us to disprove the claim that – geodata excepted – the state generates significant revenue from issuing licenses for state-owned works. On closer inspection, however, even the proceeds from the geodata segment shrink significantly. This was particularly evident in the case of Berlin. Although in past years, the city-state posted annual revenue of approx. one million euros from this segment, these figures are revealed to be a mere sleight of hand: the main customer buying the data is a state-owned PLC.

Armed with these facts and figures, WMDE and other NGOs petitioning for open data were effectively able to support their arguments for free access to all geodata. In October 2013, new fee regulations for geodata belonging to the state of Berlin entered into force, freely authorizing their further use, irrespective of purpose, with only minimal charges levied for the costs of provision.

Schleswig Holstein

The results of minor interpellations are primarily intended to reveal need for action. In the case of state royalties, our ultimate aim is to achieve a change in copyright law, which is only possible on a federal level. On the level of general licensing regulations, however, it is also possible to bring about improvements on a state level. As the task of drawing up a draft bill ourselves seemed too big to handle, and WMDE did not have sufficient contacts to the coalition’s parliamentary groups at the beginning of the year, we opted for a different parliamentary measure: the motion for a resolution. Once such a motion is accepted by a state parliament, the government is called upon to take concrete action.

On the initiative of the Pirate Party parliamentary group in the state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein, a motion for a resolution was submitted, calling upon the state government to:

  • Put all its state-owned works in the CC-0 category
  • Declare the license status of own publications (public-domain content, CC-0, etc)
  • Relinquish the enforcement of own usage rights
  • Put all works with insufficient rights into the next-freest category of CC licenses.

To our surprise, the majority voted for a modified version of the motion, which was approved by all parliamentary groups at the end of 2013 and will duly be implemented by the state government in the course of 2014.

This procedure taught us how easy it is to win a debate on the basis of economic arguments. As soon as the Ministry of Finance was presented with the assessment in printed form, which revealed that no loss of income would be incurred as a result of this decision, the actual debate in parliament met with practically no resistance, and other objections faded into the background.

We were equally surprised by the cross-party consensus on this motion. In contrast to the ideological trench warfare the subject of freedom of information generally arouses, all parliamentary parties seem able to embrace the idea of Open Government Data. After Schleswig Holstein, we had very similar experiences in other state parliaments and on a federal level. It is deeply ironic that the banner of Open Government Data successfully allows us to communicate concepts that would surely arouse the staunchest right-wing opposition were they presented under the title of freedom of information.

Proposal for the regulation of copyright law – Maximum leverage

So far the Open Data Movement in Germany has reluctantly accepted the copyright protection of state-owned works and focused on securing licenses for the free further use of this content. Although this approach might be pragmatic in individual cases, it has the disadvantage that it accepts a situation that is not really justifiable at all: state-owned works do not require investment incentives created by some kind of copyright law. The arguments brought up in defense of the IP markets and creative industries simply do not apply here. If at all, protection could be a concern for confidential documents or personal data, for which purpose, however, there are other instruments that have nothing to do with copyright.

WMDE commissioned and cooperated with the law firm JBB to draft an individual law with justification to amend § 5 of the copyright law as follows:

  1. More official works will become public-domain content
  2. The obligation to acknowledge sources and prohibition of modification will change
  3. Certain private standard works will be re-categorized as public-domain content
  4. The legislative proposal does not include public service broadcasting

We decided to take this approach to make our proposal is as concrete as possible and ensure that it can, in principle, be implemented and that no substantive aspects, like clashes with constitutional law, doom it to failure from the start. Secondly, we did not want to launch our campaign from a maximalist position that could infringe too much on the rights of third parties. For this reason, we decided to exclude public broadcasting and university content from the ruling and deal with free access for this content separately in the context of open access debates.

Outlook for 2014: Great scope for political work

The changing political framework conditions mean that WMDE’s activities in the field of state-owned works are falling on fertile soil. The prospects of making state-owned works freely available for use are brighter than they were at the beginning of 2013. The key to success is to limit our activities to a few – high profile – interventions that support the call for the freest possible re-use of data on the basis of well-founded examples, such as the following:

  1. Section 12 e-Government Act (E-GovG) allows the federal government to permit the further use of federal works by way of a regulation. However, no use has been made of this so far. Judging from our experience with the Geodata Usage Ordinance (GeoNutzV), this alone is an important but still insufficient means of achieving our aim. It is very likely that this regulation will be watered down.
    • WMDE will not urge for such a regulation to be adopted. Should this step be announced, we will attempt to ensure that it is free of restrictions impeding the re-use of the works it applies to.
    • Our activities so far: We collected experiences made in the course of parliamentary work relating to the application of the Geodata Usage Ordinance (GeoNutzV), and simultaneously drew attention to the contrary direction of the “Geolizenz” initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs.
  1. The revised EU Directive on the re-use public-sector information (PSI-Directive) must be transposed into national law by 2015. The Directive has determined a minimum set of rules governing the re-use of state-owned works. Should Germany decide to go no further than these minimum requirements, we run the risk of the law remaining a dead letter, as the present Federal Law on the Re-use of Public Sector Information (IWG) has proved so far.
  1. WMDE will urge the government to implement the PSI-Directive in the form of a separate Open Data Act that goes beyond the minimum requirements to ensure the free re-use of public-sector information set out in the Directive. In the context of this campaign, we can also refer to Recital 17 of the PSI-Directive and the amendment to Section 5 of the Copyright Act (UrhG).
    • Our activities so far: On the invitation of the EU Commission, we attended a hearing in Luxembourg in November 2013, where we presented our collected information on the current situation regarding royalties and free licenses in workshops on the implementation of the PSI-Directive.
  1. 3. The Coalition Agreement of the conservative/social democratic federal government put a"separate Open-Data-Act” to regulate the free use of the state-owned works on its agenda. It has deliberately not yet been specified whether this will be done in addition to, or in the process of the implementation of the PSI-Directive. In March 2014, the German Bundestag tabled a motion for a resolution asking the Federal Government to begin work on the Open Data Act, effectively bringing this item of the coalition agreement into the parliamentary process.
    • If an Open Data bill is drafted, we will actively contribute to the legislative procedure, especially in clarifying the specific licensing regulations on re-use.
    • Our activities so far: In cooperation with the Working Group on Open Government Partnership (AK-OGP), we lobbied for a binding formulation on the Open Data Act to be included in the coalition agreement.
  1. 4. The White Paper of the (outgoing) European Commission on the consultation process on the Reform of European Copyright Lawwill be published in summer 2014. Wikimedia chapters from all over Europe contributed to the consultation process and called for regulations governing the re-use of state-owned works. The fact that the current InfoSoc Directive still lacks a clear statement defining state-owned works as public-domain content again provides us with good reason to intervene.
    • Defining state-owned works as public domain content is a central topic on the agenda of the European Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU. The revision of the InfoSoc Directive will be a long-term process that is bound to go on through much of the coming legislative term of the EU Parliament from 2014-2019. Only continual, early intervention on this topic will enable the Wikimedia network to make a real impact.
    • Our activities so far: In cooperation with the EU policy group we joined the consultations on copyright law. We successfully convinced the Directorate General Internal Market and Services to publish the raw data of the consultation process before the publication of the White Paper. (Publication is scheduled for early April 2014).

Any additional details: Release of state-owned works in Berlin: Release of geodata in Berlin (2 October 2013):

Blog article by Wikimedia on the release of geodata in Berlin (1 October 2013):

Interview with Mathias Schindler at taz.de on the release of geodata (9 October 2013):

Interview with Mathias Schindler at tagesspiegel.de on the release of geodata (2 October 2013):

Release of state-owned works in Schleswig-Holstein: Consensus motion tabled in state parliament on the release of state-owned works:

Release of federal state-owned works: Intervention on non-released federal geodata:

Article in the iRights yearbook advocating the free re-use of state-owned works:

Regulation proposal on Data License Germany (how to solve the biggest problems):

Comment on the Coalition Agreement regarding state-owned works:

Start of the federal portal “geolizenz.org” with comments on the license:

Changes at the European level (Politics and Society)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.
  • Establish the preconditions to represent our interests at EU level (in cooperation with partners, we succeed in developing and implementing a sustainably funded model that guarantees our presence at EU level).
  • Volunteers: Copyright law consultations (writing and submitting answers) – approx. 30; statement of intent (elaboration, obtaining the signature from the relevant chapter) – approx. 11; other tasks (smaller measures, participation at public events, content contributions) – approx. 17
  • Paid staff: 1,4 FTE
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?

The aim of representing our interests at EU level is to increase participation and expand the reach of Wikimedia projects.

Activities, progress and lessons learned – An overview

Current situation

At the beginning of 2013, fragments of the Wikimedia network only appeared at EU level in isolated instances, although all were agreed that the topics in debate there (copyright law, internet governance, open access, public sector information) are of the greatest importance for us – a very unsatisfying situation! New to the jungle of European legislation, we only realized the impact of many legislative and regulative changes on Wikimedia projects at a point when it was far too late to intervene.

Recent legislative defeats like the term extension for sound recordings and the Orphan Works Directive led the Wikimedia network to ensure that in future the chapter family and the WMF are on top of EU developments at least a year before relevant decisions are taken, that we assume a coordinated position and make ourselves heard in EU institutions.

Contact person and issue monitoring

The first step was to appoint a contact person in Brussels[1] to continuously monitor and report on EU policy developments. The same contact person is also the focal point for signals from the community. WMDE is financing the full-time position and the internal reporting.

The contact person is to serve as the hub and pivot of all our activities in Brussels. Our attendance at relevant appointments in the EU parliament and the European Commission has ensured that Wikimedia network is regarded as a natural partner and stakeholder for internet policy issues. Our aim was both to establish direct contacts in Brussels-based institutions and to gain an information lead. For time is a huge factor if we want to lobby effectively.

Structure of the working group

To ensure that the Wikimedia network makes both a multi-faceted and coordinated public impression, an informal (i.e. not officially registered) group was founded, open to representatives of chapters, specialist organizations, user groups and individual community members and other supporters.

To give this “Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU”[2] a workable framework, speed up reaction time and ensure accountability, additional individual contact persons were appointed in the respective chapters. A statement of intent[3] was formulated and accepted to ensure uniformity on these topics. The declaration defines the group’s key legislative aims, which the boards of the participating chapters have formally approved.

The chapters thus retain their independent position and can simultaneously reap all the benefits of a common structure (monitoring, contact person in Brussels, available expertise, model answers in consultations etc.). The first test of this new structure – besides the monitoring – was the consultation on copyright law announced at the end of November 2013. The Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU (FKAGEU) took charge of the content-related preparations, worked through the 80-page catalogue of questions and formulated model answers[4] for the chapters and community members. The various chapters were then free to decide if they wished to adopt the answers provided in full, or develop their own answers on the basis of the given model. The information flow via advocacy-I also ensured that all the links in the Wikimedia chain produced compatible or complementary answers.

Networking activities

One of the preconditions for effective lobbying is collaborating with external actors playing on the same field. Concerning networking activities with other active groups in Brussels, we have joined European Digital Rights[5], the European umbrella association, as an observer. This has facilitated our entry into political life on site and ensures that we can cover a much wider range of topics. Most of these topics would only be a priority for Wikimedia under particular circumstances, which is why the creation of synergies is of such importance here. EDRi is also an excellent platform for finding the right partner organization for a specific topic and coordinating on a European level, which can be of decisive importance in Brussels.

We were able to benefit almost immediately from these advantages by participating in the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights[6] One of the Observatory’s tasks is to compile studies on immaterial goods, to provide an empirical basis for the Commission’s legislative initiatives. As studies in the past years were very one-sided in the interests of industry, Wikimedia, EDRi and BEUC (The European Consumers’ Organisation) joined forces in the Observatory plenum in Alicante to commission studies proposed by civil society. The request was accepted and put on the Observatory’s agenda for 2014. Wikimedia will propose a study on the subject of contributions of public domain and open licensing to the European economy.

The way ahead

Further key points on our agenda for 2014 is to submit our answers to the copyright law consultations, study the Commission’s analysis and take part in the debate on its next steps. A cooperative event with UNESCO on the subject of mass digitalization on the occasion of the World Book and Copyright Day is also planned, which will again heighten our visibility in copyright policy circles in Brussels.

As far as our organizational framework is concerned, work processes in the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group, which are still pretty much effected on an ad-hoc basis, must be given a fixed form, and the group as such a definite structure. Another issue right on top of the agenda is the sustainable and (ideally) shared funding of the project – a vital question for the future.

Positive experiences:

  • Direct contact with officials and political actors in Brussels is the most effective way of keeping up to date with developments and presenting our cases. Our network of contacts in the Commission and Parliament is expanding steadily.
  • Appointing contact persons enabled us to avoid drawing up precise rules for the positioning of individual chapters. This remains an internal due process. So far, it has worked very smoothly and has guaranteed the chapters their independence, which lowered reservations about joining advocacy activities.
  • Coordination has also worked very well so far. Even if opinions differ, we can always refer back to the three core aims and keep working for the project as a whole.
  • Even our partner organizations have problems understanding the specifics of licensing policy in Wikimedia projects (exclusion of an NC clause). But here again, we discovered that continuous, customized explanations were the best way of answering these queries.


  • Volunteers can only be planned in for continuous or long-term activities to a limited extent. However, if the topic is interesting and the time-frame clear, a lot of interest can be generated. Restructuring work processes in such a way as to make them visible for the community in clearly itemized blocks is an exciting challenge on next year’s agenda.
  • So far, the core of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU is composed of European Wikimedia chapters. It would, however, be a distinct advantage to get more user groups and European communities involved in the project. As these, in contrast to the chapters, tend to be sporadically organized, the main means of establishing contact should be at events like conferences and meet-ups.
  • The advocacy advisors mailing list is still comparably short. Although this distributor will always be a little specialized in the Wikimedia context, we should make it a priority to increase the number of addressees next year.
  • The EP elections 2014 also present a particular challenge. On the one hand, we run the risk of losing our present parliamentary contacts; on the other hand, the change is represents a good opportunity for building up new contacts. For this to be the case, we should develop creative and pan-European initiatives.

Any additional details: Blog article WMF blog:

Blog article WMDE blog:

Statment of Intent:

Contact persons:

Archive of monthly monitoring reports:

Changes in partnerships (Politics and Society)

What were the stated objectives of this program? Please use SMART criteria to explain these goals.

Continue our partnerships in the cultural sector and find new fields in which we can effectively demonstrate the benefits of free knowledge (new partnerships come about as a result of direct inquiries from our association and there is demand for our consulting activities).

  • Volunteers: GLAM on Tour Braunschweig: approx. 20 participants; GLAM on Tour Görlitz: 19 (active contributors from Wikipedia, Wikisource, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons), 2 (organization, on-site support); Culture initiative:124 replies (of which approx. 20 from members in GLAM institutions; reach of mailing: approx. 7,000 WMDE members; ZDFcheck: approx. 25 regular contributors to Wikipedia; GLAM conference: 245 participants
  • Paid staff: 3,2 FTE
Which Wikimedia movement strategic priority (or priorities) did this program address and how?
  • Increase participation and expand reach
Activities, progress and lessons learned – An overview

One of the changes we aimed to achieve in 2013 was to generate sustainable partnerships in the GLAM sector. The idea was to inspire GLAM members to pass on their expertise by becoming authors themselves, or making their collections available as free content. In the course of 2013, we pursued this aim on three levels: outreach, encounter and exhibit.

Outreach: We launched a broad-based information campaign on the potential of cooperating with Wikimedia projects for the target groups of GLAM institutions. The main project in this area was the GLAM conference“Zugang gestalten” ("Shaping Access), as well as the production of information media.

Encounter: Our focus here was on creating opportunities for personal encounters between Wikimedia project volunteers and members of GLAM institutions and their honorary sustaining members, with the aim of making the basis for future cooperations more sustainable. The project we pursued on this level was “GLAM on Tour”.

Exhibit: Our focus here was on particularly attractive or innovative projects that would inspire other GLAM institutions to follow suit or choose another way of joining in. Our projects on this level were “Wikidata trifft Archäologie” (Wikidata meets Archaeology) and “Exzellente Partnerschaften” (Excellent Partnerships).

Working on these three levels, we carried out four projects in 2013, which each consisted of a variety of measures spread throughout the year. The usual project phases (conception-planning-implementation and evaluation) were carried out for all projects at different points throughout the year.

Activities: Summary of the year 2013 as a whole (selected highlights)

please see below

The three-dimensional approach outreach-encounter-exhibit was a success: In 2013, the number of volunteers active in the GLAM sector more than doubled, resulting in new content for Wikimedia projects. Through the various measures, personal contact was developed to over 30 GLAM institutions. However, we must continue to hold individual talks with each of these organizations on how to shape free access to collection holdings. In some cases it has been possible to transfer the task of maintaining this dialogue entirely to local volunteers. However, it is sometimes necessary to involve WMDE, particularly with regard to providing specific services or concluding contracts. This dialogue is time-consuming and the results are often fairly meagre in terms of the metric which counts Wikipedia articles and photographs for Wikimedia Commons. Our main goal – in line with the objectives laid out in our charter – is to bring about a lasting change in mentality, moving towards an open culture mindset. This will take time.

A comment we often hear from the Wikipedia community is that the capacities for integrating information on large collection holdings into Wikipedia are limited. Community members point out that there are not enough authors to write articles on all the open culture content. As a result, there is reluctance to make bulk uploads of this content. At the same time, it is often tricky for newcomers to enter the community. There are obstacles on both sides. Nevertheless, we have managed to engage more and more people from the communities and the GLAM institutions in the discourse and made them aware that while the necessary change of mindset towards free knowledge may be happening very slowly, it is absolutely essential if public institutions are to meet the provisions of European policy as set out in the PSI-Richtlinie (PSI Directive) and adopt them at national level from 2015.

At the same time, progress is being made in the digitization of collection holdings – with public funding and in public-private partnerships. This creates new requirements with regard to re-using materials. Wikimedia projects offer a range of tried-and-tested services in this area. WMDE should, however, take advantage of the latest technology and ensure that these services appeal to users by incorporating them into apps or other interactive applications and then integrating them into Wikipedia. To sum up, our experiences from 2013 showed us that we must focus our work on tirelessly searching for new opportunities to make contacts, managing the resulting partnerships and informing the community about them.

For this reason, we have decided to continue our three-dimensional approach outreach-encounter-exhibit over the coming year. The format GLAM on Tour allows us to develop initiatives proposed by volunteers and to provide them with considerable support during the process of implementation. In 2014 we will continue to invite GLAMsters to share their ideas and will specifically target regions that have only just begun their GLAM activities. In addition, we will provide extensive support to the follow-up projects from the first tour dates at both locations and help fund and organize their implementation.

The following tour dates have already been confirmed:

  • May 2014 Half-timbered houses project in Lusatia (follow-up)
  • May 2014 The Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn
  • June 2014 Braunschweig State Museum in Braunschweig (follow-up)

We plan to organize two further dates:

  • Fall 2014 The Bauhaus Foundation and Wörlitz Garden Realm in Dessau
  • Fall 2014 Hövener House in Brilon

We aim to more closely interlink the outreach sphere with the other two spheres. With this goal in mind, in the first half of the year we are joining forces with partners from the Exhibit sphere to organize the cultural data hackathon Coding da Vinci and plan to present the findings of this event to a broad range of experts in November at the fourth GLAM conference Shaping Access, which we are also organizing in cooperation with several partners. The hackathon will also provide an incentive for the GLAM institutions to create free licenses, as the event will produce specific applications using “their” contents, allowing the GLAMs to reach new target groups.

However, we must improve the way we present our best practice projects. We are exchanging ideas with the community worldwide, in order to develop suitable presentation formats. We must learn to communicate more effectively with the communities and the GLAM institutions, while also accepting that all stakeholders are operating on a testing ground, which may cause them to act in a cautious, nervous and volatile manner. This applies in particular to the findings of GLAM on Tour.

Maintaining dialogue and sharing experience and ideas with volunteers is, therefore, an important field of work and our activities in this area include organizing two GLAMster meetings a year and, of course, impromptu discussions with volunteers on a wide range of Wikimedia pages. We will continue this work. We will also continue to spread knowledge of Wikipedia’s culture within GLAM institutions by giving presentations and taking part in various congresses, symposia and conferences with digital agendas. A final important point is sharing experience of our GLAM activities with other Wikimedia chapters at Wikimania or at bilateral meetings. We will continue work in both areas in 2014.

Ultimately, we must accept that readers/users’ demands on Wikimedia projects are also changing. Mobile Internet, usability and visualization are key trends which Wikimedia projects must take into greater consideration. We must be open to these developments and ensure that we do not restrict access to free knowledge by giving the impression that participating in and shaping Wikimedia is a difficult process. We are dedicated to making progress in this area. “Network and facilitate” is therefore a good motto for 2014.

Any additional details: Overview and dates of GLAM activities

GLAM on Tour in the Oberlausitzische Bibliothek der Wissenschaften (Oberlausitz Library of Sciences)

Conference “Zugang gestalten” (Shaping Access) in the Jewish Museum Berlin


GLAM on Tour in Braunschweig

Wikidata trifft Archäologie (Wikidata meets archeology)

Wikipedian in Residence at the German Archaeological Institute

Activities: Summary of the year 2013 as a whole (selected highlights)

Sphere Quarter Project Achievements Challenges
Exhibit I Wikidata trifft Archäologie scientific symposium focusing on the limes map as an interactive application for open culture data. 50 participants from various communities and several specialist institutions. Volunteers from Wikipedia, scientists and coders joined forces to demonstrate the potential of open culture data. The map still has to be integrated into Wikipedia. We must overcome data protection-related obstacles and set out some general parameters for cooperation with OpenStreetMap.
Encounter II GLAM on Tour in Braunschweig community event in cooperation with a local GLAM. The Wikipedia article Battle at the Harzhorn is a key example of how cooperation can reap substantial rewards. WMDE has been responsible for maintaining contact between the GLAM and volunteers to date. This places a particular burden on time resources. In the long run, the GLAM and volunteers should be able to liaise without the intervention of WMDE.
Exhibit III Exzellente Partnerschaft: ZDFcheck In line with Wikipedia’s operating principles – cooperative, substantiated and unbiased – this project invited the Internet community to check the accuracy of politicians’ statements during the election campaign. A Wikipedian in Residence paid by ZDF was responsible for keeping the Wikipedia community up to date. In return, ZDF became the first public broadcaster to make content available under a CC BY license. Fewer than 20 Wikipedians (known by name) were involved in the project, yet they managed to ensure exceptionally high standards from all participants. The free licensing of content set a precedent. When organizing projects like this in future, we must communicate the value of these measures more effectively in advance. We must also improve the way we document these measures for expert audiences in order to set an example for future projects.
Outreach IV Zugang gestalten (Shaping Access) GLAM symposium with 245 participants from 48 GLAM institutions. The conference is an established format and a good networking platform. Goals for 2014: reduce the workload related to the partnership; boost the presence of Wikimedia projects.
Encounter IV GLAM on Tour in Görlitz community event in cooperation with a local GLAM. The event not only helped build good relations with the GLAM, but also resulted in the formation of a group of volunteers in the region who are organizing further measures. WMDE has been responsible for maintaining contact between the GLAM and volunteers to date. This places a particular burden on time resources. In the long run, the GLAM and volunteers should be able to liaise without the intervention of WMDE.

GA detailed overview of GLAM on Tour, as time resources were dedicated mainly to this project.

Parameters Braunschweig Görlitz
Coordinating Wikipedian Brunswyk ConnY
GLAM institution Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum (Braunschweig State Museum) Oberlausitzische Bibliothek der Wissenschaften (Oberlausitz Library of Sciences)
Project page https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Die_R%C3%B6mer_kommen! https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Oberlausitz
Duration 3 days 2 days
Blog article http://blog.wikimedia.de/2013/06/28/braunschweig-wird-zur-romerstadt-wikipedia-ist-dabei/ http://blog.wikimedia.de/2013/11/07/goerlitzer-schaetze-hinter-dicken-mauern/
Wikipedians & other members of the Wikimedia Community 15 17
Wikipedia articles (new or edited) 10 22
Considerable improvements and additions were made to the article on the battlefield and it was voted article of the day on 30 September 2 new articles were created; most were significantly expanded and enhanced. Excellent quality photographs were added to the article on the OLB, attracting more visitors to the page.
Other contents 227 (photos) 159 (photos)
The photos can roughly be divided into two categories: photographed artefacts and pictures of the event. Both categories were included in Wikipedia articles. The OLB boasts a wealth of iconographic architecture. For the first time, a central-point perspective of the library’s historic reading room is available under a free license. The photograph was a featured picture on Wikimedia Commons, allowing it to reach an extremely large audience.
Continuation There are plans to hold a writing workshop with museum staff at the end of June 2014 to produce materials for the exhibition on the First World War scheduled for August 2014. There is interest in participating in the project on Umgebinde-Häusern(half-timbered houses) in the region in May 2014.

Special projects




The Wikidata project celebrated its first anniversary [1]. in October 2013. With 92.5 million edits, 24 million statements, 3,900 active editors and 600 very active editors as the end of 2013 approached, Wikidata ranks as one of the most successful Wikimedia projects of all time and has far more user participation than most Wikipedias. Wikidata is a project of major significance not only for Wikimedia Deutschland, but also for the entire Wikimedia movement. The development of Wikidata has seen Wikimedia Deutschland take a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the creation of a new department dedicated to software development.

Wikidata statistics

Wikidata users
Wikidata edits
Statements in Wikidata
Wikidata social media reach

The initial development of Wikidata was completed in 2013. Twelve employees[2], most of whom moved to Berlin for the assignment, worked full time on the project. Large donations from the George and Betty Moore Foundation, the Paul Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Google made this possible. Later, the search engine Yandex [3] and IBM http://blog.wikimedia.de/2013/07/16/ibm-research-spendet-preisgeld-des-aaai-feigenbaum-preises-fur-watson-an-die-wikimedia-foundation/ donated additional funds for the project. Within a year, the Wikidata team had created an infrastructure for structured data in Wikimedia projects. Some 284 Wikipedias received access to the database in March 2013 [4]. The excellent collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation played a key role in these efforts: the Wikimedia Foundation not only runs Wikidata, but also operates numerous tools that helped with the development. The Foundation also provided us with invaluable advice and support.

Because of the huge success of the large-scale project, WMDE quickly decided to continue work on Wikidata after the initial phase [5]. Our continued support shows that we have confidence in Wikidata and its goals, and also ensures the further development and maintenance of the project.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, we were able to start connecting further projects such as Wikivoyage, Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource to Wikidata. The work done by the development team at WMDE focused on performance, usability and the introduction of data sets. Thanks to the team’s efforts, Wikidata has established itself as an important infrastructure project for Wikimedia projects.

This success story for the Wikimedia movement needs to be continued in the years to come. The further technical development will mainly focus on redesigning the user interface, implementing data queries in Wikidata and integrating Wikimedia Commons. WMDE has set several mid- to long-term goals for the further development of the Wikidata project. First of all, we need to build trust in the data stored in Wikidata. The project is still young, and Wikipedia editors and others are still apprehensive about using large amounts of data from Wikidata. We need to develop tools and processes that make the data more reliable. Another priority will be to improve the user experience of Wikidata. And, last but not least, we have to make Wikidata easier to understand for people who are not as intuitively inclined to use structured data as the project’s tech-oriented community has been so far.

In the future, the development team will continue to concentrate on enhancing and expanding Wikidata in order to give the Wikimedia movement a useful, reliable and pioneering project. As a repository of the world’s knowledge in structured-data format, Wikidata has the potential to become a central infrastructure component for the Wikimedia movement’s knowledge activities in the 21st century.A solid foundation has been laid.

Additional information Media reports:

WMDE blog:

Development plan:

Weekly status updates:

Software Development


WMDE seeks to strengthen its expertise and knowledge of free software, especially within the context of developing MediaWiki and large-scale projects such as Wikidata and sister projects of Wikimedia, but also in software projects that deal with other aspects of free knowledge. The make-up of the Software Development department is itself an example of how we are translating these aims into practice. Individual projects like Wikidata and Render prompted us in 2013 to establish a new area that embodies our goal of developing software for free knowledge in an entirely different way while also bringing together activities toward this end under a common focus.

Software development at Wikimedia goes far beyond the large-scale project Wikidata and is relevant for all projects and areas of WMDE – from the creation of in-house solutions to the implementation of open infrastructures and the promotion of the movement’s communities. As the largest Wikimedia organization outside the United States, WMDE is starting from an excellent position through its integration in Berlin’s thriving open-source developer community. At the end of 2013, in the last quarter, not only the Supervisory Board of WMDE, but also the members of the association voiced clear support for the idea of creating a Software Development department as a field of the future and establishing the area as development hub for the Wikimedia movement in the center of Europe.

Software Development projects in 2013

WMDE carried out several projects in Software Development in 2013. With RENDER[6], an EU-funded project focused on knowledge diversity [7], we developed tools [8] for investigating and visualizing the diverse forms of knowledge within Wikipedia. The most important tool here was the Article Monitor [9], which gives an overview of statistical data und various analyses for a Wikipedia article.

The CatGraph[10] custom graph database is a service for tool developers who need open-source access to a graph infrastructure based on Wikipedia categories for their own applications. CatGraph was initially made available to the community on the Toolserver and has since migrated to Tool Labs.

Within the scope of the [do:index] Digital Openness Index[11] Software Development at WMDE has built a survey application for interviewing government institutions to determine how they measure up in terms of digital openness (use of open source, open date, OER, etc.).

In the future, WMDE seeks to collaborate more closely with the Product and Engineering Teams at the Wikimedia Foundation in order to continuously enhance the innovative capacity for the movement. This particularly concerns, among other areas, the further development of the MediaWiki software, Wikidata and other joint projects. We will focus in 2014 on continuing to build up the department and expanding the present structures according to requirements, tasks and challenges, in order to further promote and establish a competence and development center alongside the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco. WMDE sees itself as a pioneer in this area and can serve an example to other chapters that wish to create decentralized software development projects from scratch parallel to the work of the Wikimedia Foundation.


At the start of 2013, we and WMF decided to tackle the migration from Toolserver to Tool Labs together. This will be particularly challenging as the Toolserver is one of the most active community projects. WMDE has been the communications link within the community for anyone who develops or uses tools. It was, and still is, the aim of WMDE to ensure that the community receives the best support possible during the migration. The project management team at WMDE developed a migration schedule together with WMF.

Various workshops such as the hackathon in Amsterdam assisted the community with technical questions about the migration of tools. Dozens of tools were successfully migrated in 2013; however, in 2014, there are still several tools to migrate and larger projects that will pose a number of challenges. WMDE will continue to give the community support on technical questions and issues related to the migration from Toolserver to Tool Labs.

The fact that WMF and WMDE made a joint commitment to tackle the migration was critical to the successful start and execution of this project in 2013. This was the only way to ensure that priority would be given to making Tool Labs a viable alternative to the Toolserver.

Difficulties: There were times during the year when the roles and responsibilities at WMF for the project were not clearly defined. Changes in responsibilities were not always clearly communicated, which led to communication delays and uncertainties within the community and the project management team at WMDE. Information about the progress being made on Tool Labs was often not furnished with the frequency and level of detail that the community would have liked.

Reasons for deciding not to continue operating the Toolserver:

  • The Toolserver grew over the years to such a point that it required a completely different type of resource planning and needed to be made easier to extend. This is much easier to accomplish in a virtualized environment. The Toolserver is also heavily dependent on Solaris, which requires admins with a good grasp of Solaris.
  • WMDE does not have direct access to the Toolserver. It is located in Haarlem, the Netherlands, in racks belonging to the WMF. These racks are full, and a shortage of electricity is imminent. Procuring and installing hardware is extremely complicated and time-consuming. Even from a logistics standpoint, it would require a considerable amount of expense and effort to extend the Toolserver.
  • The Toolserver project is designed in such a way that only one person is meant to manage its tools. The departure of maintenance staff leaves behind orphaned projects that are not as easy to pass on as is the case with the concept implemented in Tool Labs.
  • The Toolserver does not have a staging process for functionalities that will be taken live later by the Wikimedia projects.
  • The WMF no longer wants to publish the database dumps that make the Toolserver so special. The Toolserver is therefore not an independent project; it heavily depends on the WMF in this respect.
  • The WMF has the resources needed to operate a Toolserver alternative, and it has devised an infrastructure that can respond to the growing requirements better than the current Toolserver. It can provide access to processes that enable tools to be deployed on live systems, and it has data authority over the databases. These are all facts in favor of the WMF also operating the infrastructure on which volunteers can develop software for Wikimedia projects.

Operation of the Toolserver:

WMDE will continue to operate the Toolserver as long as Tool Labs does not represent a full replacement in terms of its range of functionalities. In 2013, WMDE assigned a further part-time system administrator to Toolserver tasks and purchased a minimal amount of replacement hardware. The difficulties involved in procuring hardware for a server located in the Netherlands confirmed our decision to shut down the Toolsever in the medium term. At the end of 2013, the Toolserver’s longtime volunteer system administrator left the project, because he did not back the decision to ultimately shut down the Toolserver. Unfortunately, there were often problems with the Toolserver in 2013, at times with the system itself, and other times with individual tools or with the database replication. This made us realize that the community (those not involved with maintenance) frequently sees the Toolserver as one whole system, although each technical problem in the complex set-up must be viewed individually and cannot necessarily be solved by throwing money at it.

Lessons learned


Lessons from the past


A key objective of the funding is to enable the movement as a whole to understand how to achieve shared goals better and faster. An important way of doing this is to identify lessons learned and insights from entities who receive funds, and to share these lessons across the movement. Please answer the following questions in 1–2 paragraphs each.

1. What were your major accomplishments in the past year, and how did you help to achieve movement goals?
  • One of our successes for 2013 in the area of education actually resulted from a failure during previous years: We had, for a long time, focused on individual workshops at schools or universities. As effective as such projects may be on a small scale, they do not offer long-term transferability to larger stakeholder groups, and they consume a lot of resources. In 2013, we decided that, although we would continue to support model projects (such as Women Edit), we would concentrate our other efforts on laying foundations that can then be used for our own work as well as for the work of other (volunteer and/or paid) stakeholders. The result is our diversity concept, which we hope can be fruitfully mined during continued efforts to increase diversity in all Wikimedia projects worldwide.
  • In the GLAM sector, our greatest success is the excellent partnership between the volunteers who are so vital to our collaboration with numerous museums, libraries and archives and the employees in Berlin who support this work organizationally and actively help to improve the conditions under which it is performed. This has only become possible through the long-term involvement of Wikimedia Deutschland.
  • We have seen that long-term involvement can pay off organizationally as well: Our fundraising continues to be enormously successful and contributes considerably to the global Wikimedia movement.
  • The Statement of Intent of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU within the Wikimedia Association is also a clear success. Here, for the first time, several chapters have agreed upon a shared political agenda, resulting in specific projects and a shared infrastructure in Brussels.
  • The decision to both continue with Wikidata and set up a second hub for MediaWiki Development in Berlin in addition to the one in San Francisco has also turned out to be a success. It’s not just that the continuity of Wikidata is ensured – in the future we will now be able to take on additional major projects that will have a direct influence on all Wikimedia projects. We have successfully created the structures necessary in order to do this.
  • There have been successes in the area of communities as well. Just one example: Since 2013, volunteers have been insured through Wikimedia Deutschland while they actively contribute to Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects.
  • The decision not to design the WMDE’s new space as office areas only but instead to also make them into a contact point for communities and to keep the infrastructure open to all individuals and organizations that support our goals is already a resounding success today. For 2014, at the beginning of the year, we have already scheduled about 100 events to be held in our space.
2. What were your major setbacks in the past year (e.g., programs that were not successful)?
  • 2013 showed us how important personnel decisions are. The long search for leadership for the Communities Team left the department uncertain and unstructured: This had a particularly negative effect on ongoing volunteer support. Not until Denis Barthel was appointed did this department regain the necessary structure and certainty. However, it will take months before this department gets to where it should be, given the size and role of the German-speaking Wikimedia communities.
  • Communications are a second core area in which we were not successful. Firstly, we did not manage to incorporate our topics broadly and deeply into societal debates, and secondly, we failed to do our work well vis-à-vis the communities in particular. We surged ahead in areas where restraint would have been called for. And we held back too much in areas where clear involvement would have been necessary. In 2014, both of these matters will be addressed in the Communications Unit (under new leadership as of late 2013) and together with the Communities Team.
3. What factors (organizational, environmental) enabled your success?
  • For political players, GLAM institutions and scientists, a positive and open attitude toward free knowledge is increasingly becoming a matter of course. The Wikimedia projects are successful points of reference in this regard. In this climate, WMDE is able to position itself as a professional partner and as an institutionalized point of contact for the movement’s volunteers.
  • Community empowerment or open innovation approaches such as those we have, for example, explored in our work on the Diversity Project, have proven to be successful methods for connecting different players with one another in a professional project context. This approach is suited to mobilizing volunteers as well as to promoting ongoing involvement and exchange of experience. A multi-dimensional methodological approach to project work (round tables, workshops, networks, community organizing methods) helped generate expertise and ensure the transfer of results.
4. What unanticipated challenges did you encounter and how did this affect what you were able to accomplish?
  • When the Wikimedia Chapters Association (WCA) “went dead,” the budget that had been allocated to it was not called up, thus impairing the association’s ability to act with regard to the international projects of the movement. It was only in the course of the third quarter, thanks to the start of the Chapters Dialogue, that we were able to invest in movement projects. This step should have been taken much earlier.
  • In the area of community-building, we were not in a position in 2013 to set up the structures needed to ensure effective, customer-centered support. Instead of the marked expansion of support that was planned, it was all we could do to maintain the status quo. Here we see how central personnel decisions are to the achievement of goals – and how important it is to invest sufficient time and expertise into the selection of personnel. As a consequence, in 2014 we hired a manager for the Administrative and Personnel Department.
5. What are the 2–3 most important lessons that other entities can learn from your experience? Consider learning from both the programmatic and institutional (what you have learned about professionalizing your entity, if you have done so) points of view.
  • In 2013 WMDE had a key insight in the area of software development: Wikidata was a great start, but in the medium term Wikimedia needed a second development hub in addition to San Francisco. WMDE decided – in consultation with the Wikimedia Foundation – to operate and expand this hub.
  • Using the Statement of Intent as an example, it is easy to see the pull that a joint action by several chapters can exert and how important networking with one another is for the achievement of shared goals. In the course of 2013, it became clear that monitoring political events in Brussels appears to address a need that was previously not being met through the movement’s established communication channels.
  • Through the measures in the areas of education, science, politics and culture, we have succeeded in becoming accepted as a partner and go-between for the Wikimedia movement and representatives of knowledge-producing institutions. We thereby create greater commitment for the institutions and ease the burden on the volunteers.
  • In the course of 2013, it became increasingly clear that for projects with extensive volunteer participation it is absolutely necessary to include the communities in project planning early on so that the relationship between paid and volunteer workers does not suffer. Experiences with the community project budget demonstrated that financial support alone does not guarantee successful community projects. Project planning and implementation support are also crucial.

Lessons for the future


The Wikimedia movement grows as each entity in the movement reflects and adapts its approaches to changing needs and contexts. The questions below encourage you to apply your thinking in the sections above of "how well have we done" and "what have we learned" to the development and execution of future organisational and program strategies. The questions below can be informed both by your own entities' learnings, as well as the learnings of other movement entities (e.g., adding a new program that appears to have caused significant impact in several other countries or communities).

1. What organisational or program strategies would you continue?
  • In the coming year we will retain our content-related focuses and carry them over into new program lines with operative goals. To do this, we classified all current projects pursuing a shared long-term goal into cross-departmental programs. With methodological guidance from the Evaluation Unit, impact models were created for these programs in each case. These models show how interim goals can be attained in steps that build on one another in a causal fashion. These impact models provide the theoretical foundation for project planning and evaluation and are intended to help improve WMDE’s work in the future.
  • On the organizational level, we will concentrate on three approaches: Supporting the communities in Germany, operating a software development location for the worldwide Wikimedia movement and establishing WMDE as a cooperating partner in order to carry out societal, scientific and political initiatives in a targeted way.
2. What might you change in organisational and program strategies in order to improve the effectiveness of your entity?
  • Further work on and for Wikidata will continue to set the agenda for our Software Development Department for quite a while yet, but we will also move forward gradually with additional important software development for the global Wikimedia movement. In addition to the benefit to the entire movement, this decision also alters the structure and DNA of WMDE: Already today, 25% of our employees are software developers – and, due to the work processes and the particular culture that are involved, this changes our everyday workplace experience as well. While in the other departments we wish to work a lot more using external projects (that is, projects that we carry out together with partners) and thereby grow in a more volatile fashion, the continued expansion of software development will be a key concern for WMDE.
  • Wikimedia Deutschland will thus become an organization that will differ clearly from the WMDE of two or three years ago: Supporting the second-largest Wikipedia community in Germany and our contributions to Wikimedia’s global software landscape will be the donation-financed core areas of our work. Influencing the societal framework, working with scientific and historical institutions and disseminating the ideas of free knowledge (collaboration, free licenses, etc.) in society will be approached in a more project-driven way and in close cooperation (including financial cooperation) with partners.
3. Please create at least one learning pattern from your entity's experiences this year and link to it here.

Stories of success and challenge


Of all the accomplishments highlighted through this report, please share two detailed stories: one story of a success and one story of a challenge that your entity experienced over the past year in a few paragraphs each. Provide any details that might be helpful to others in the movement on the context, strategy, and impact of this initiative. We suggest you write this as you would tell a story to a friend or colleague. Please refrain from using bullet points or making a list, and rather focus on telling us about your organization's experience.

Case study: success


WMDE promotes free knowledge throughout society. In 2013, WMDE identified the area of Open Educational Resources (OER) as an important area for our work in education. OER means that teaching and learning materials are provided under free licenses to enable participation, access and continued development by everyone. OER is, simply by virtue of the educational sector’s size and the associated potential impact, a significant area for free knowledge work. We believe that what happened thirteen years ago with encyclopedias is about to happen with teaching materials: The dissolution of a traditional system of publishers, editors and multi-year publication cycles in favor of a system of collaboration, continuous improvement and free licenses.

In Germany, the topic of OER was, in contrast to the situation in countries like Poland, USA and Great Britain, not yet a significant part of educational policy discourse in 2013. There were a number of initiatives, but there was no shared platform for bringing together all who were involved. At that time, very little networking had taken place among the key players.

WMDE saw itself as the ideal organization for changing this: With our networking capacity, our methodological expertise, our experience with collaborative structures and our size as an organization, our analysis showed that we had the abilities needed to move the topic of OER forward in a significant way in Germany.

WMDE decided that our most important single undertaking would be to hold a two-day conference on the topic of OER – the OERde13 – in September of 2013. We worked with a number of partners to prepare for the conference. For example, we made decisions together with other organizations about the conference schedule and programming. In this work, our partners included the German UNESCO Commission as sponsor as well as the Medienanstalt (media company) Berlin-Brandenburg, Werkstatt.bpb, Creative Commons Deutschland and Co:llaboratory. The planning of the program of presentations was entrusted to Jöran & Konsorten, a well-networked agency with experience in education; we worked intensively with this agency.

The partners contributed to the planning using their respective content-related and methodological expertise: Creative Commons and Co:llaboratory have been working on OER-related content for years and thus have a large network and experience with these topics. They primarily helped to design the content of the conference. Werkstatt.bpb provided media services during the conference via videos and blog posts. Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg (mbb) supported the conference through direct financial and indirect content-related support: In 2013, mbb promoted a number of local initiatives in the area of OER, including OERde14. The conference profited from this directly in a financial sense and indirectly through the network of supported projects and initiatives that came into being. The German UNESCO Commission opened many doors for the conference in the political arena and within institutions.

OERde13 brought many key players together around the topic of Open Educational Resources (OER) and became the largest German conference focusing on that issue. On September 14 and 15, 300 participants spent two days discussing the current situation and the future of free knowledge in the area of education; because at that point little discussion of the topic had been taking place in society as a whole, the original plan had been that only 150 individuals would attend. We could not have foreseen the overwhelming interest in the topic.

OERde13 was a combination of professional conference and BarCamp and thus offered participants the opportunity to help shape the conference themselves. Thirty specialized presentations and project presentations as well as 20 participant-organized workshops took place. The conference helped key players, scientists and decision-makers working in educational policy to expand their networks and make new contacts, and was recognized both nationally and internationally as a significant event in this field. The participants who were asked expressed enthusiasm about the conference’s content and implementation.

The conference was comprehensively documented. An overview with presentations and videos can be found at http://www.wikimedia.de/wiki/OERde13.

The conference could only be held because WMDE worked together professionally as a team and across departments. The Event Team’s and the Communications Unit’s exceptional support during the planning and implementation of major events contributed significantly to the success of OERde13. Another key to success was the delegation of activities to experts like the Jöran & Konsorten agency as well as the collaboration with other organizations. We were able to delegate many activities outside of our core areas of expertise.

As a result of the conference, discussion about OER among the German public has intensified dramatically: The topic is now being discussed in educational policy magazines as well as in the political arena. In February2014, Berlin became the first state in Germany to make OER into a part of its future educational landscape. Several representatives of the Pirate Party, where this initiative originated, had previously attended the conference. In their rationale for the original request, the Pirates referred to the successful OER conference.

From the highly successful conference, we have learned that we are most likely to have an impact when we bring in our special strengths: The ability to network, experiences with collaborative structures and credibility as an organization. In 2014 as well, we want to again work closely with partners to organize a conference on OER and thereby build on the 2013 success.

Case study: challenge


In spring 2013, there was a lot of discussion in the Wikimedia world about the chapters’ roles, relationships, responsibilities and challenges. There is a lot of uncertainty, there is speculation, but many discussions are not conducted publicly and do not involve all affected parties. Decisions are made that just deal with the symptoms and do not address the cause of the current situation.

In our opinion, what is missing in all these discussions is a shared understanding of what chapters want to do, what their wishes, goals, fears and stories are. There is also a lack of clarity as to what relationship and what type of collaboration chapter stakeholders (e.g. Wikimedia Foundation, Affiliations Committee and Funds Dissemination Committee) consider optimal.

To this end, Wikimedia Deutschland designed the Chapters Dialogue project. In this project, we ask all the chapters and their stakeholders, in face-to-face interviews, about their stories. Using the Design Thinking methodology, we create a synthesis of about 100 90-minute interviews and thereby prepare a “map of the Wikimedia world.” In this regard, an ongoing dialogue with broad participation is desirable: The insights can lead to recommendations for action in 2014 and are intended to lay a foundation for various international movement processes and decisions.

In addition to analysis of Wikimedia universe structures, goals and perspectives, the Chapters Dialogue also provides an opportunity for WMDE to network even better with the international organizations and committees. For example, in addition to having access to a large pool of international contacts and having the ability to promote collaboration or partnerships, in the future the International Affairs Unit will be even better able to put WMDE’s work as a whole into an international context.

Another important insight from this process for us was that it can be helpful to approach complex questions concerning joint promotion of the Wikimedia mission pro-actively. We seized this opportunity, planned the project thoroughly and implemented it in a structured fashion, allocated the relevant resources and devoted ourselves to this task with dedication and commitment from beginning to end. These types of movement-related topics cannot be satisfactorily dealt with by setting up a Wiki page and a few emails or isolated conversations.

Additional learning

1. What are some of the activities that are happening in your community that are not chapter-led? What are the most successful among these, and why?
  • Volunteers organize and carry out all CPB projects, such as Festivalsommer (Festival Summer) or the Landtagsprojekte (State Parliament Projects), as well as regular casual gatherings, editorial meetings and outings.
  • The WikiCon is also an essentially “community-driven” event for which the community implements content and, to a large extent, does the organizing as well. After Wikimania, it is the largest regular community event in the Wikiverse.
  • Due to the large volume of free content (articles, images) that they generate for Wikimedia projects, Festival Summer and the State Parliament Projects have measurable success and simultaneously increase external recognition of projects. Success factors here include the very active communities and their close cooperation with one another.
2. Provide any links to any media coverage, blog posts, more detailed reports, more detailed financial information that you haven't already, as well as at least one photograph or video that captures the impact your entity had this past year.

There are numerous videos on WMDE's vimeo-channel that illustrate our work in 2013. Here are a few examples:

Conference "Zugang gestalten!" (Shaping Access)

Wikimedia Diversity Conference

OER13de – Conference on Open Educational Resources



Is your organization compliant with the terms defined in the grant agreement?

1. As required in the grant agreement, please report any deviations from your grant proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.
  • In the end of Q3 we have adjusted the revenues and spending budget for 2013 ; due to a number of factors (see the previous reports for details) we reduced the budget and have planned to spend the carry over of approx. 500.000 Euro mainly on Software Development in 2014. Another change to the proposal was the cancellation of certain objectives which proved unrealistic to be realized in 2013 ("Taking reader interests into account" and "Improved motivation in the communities").
2. Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".
  • Yes
3. Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Grant funds as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".
  • Yes

Financial information

1. Report any Grant funds that are unexpended fifteen (15) months after the Effective Date of the Grant Agreement. These funds must be returned to WMF or otherwise transferred or deployed as directed by WMF.
  • In 2013 we had an underspending of 500.000€ as compared to the original budget (please note that although the revenues minus spending equation results in 580.000€ the service period for some renovation work of 2013 has been shifted to January 2014). However one should consider the following calculation: our revised revenues budget for 2013 was 4.5 Mio Euros; the FDC allocation was 1.37 Mio or 30% of the overall revenues budget. One could therefore argue that 30% of the unspent 500.000 € came from the FDC allocation. That would mean 152.900€ of the FDC allocation was unspent. We would like to point out that FDC already reduced the entire prognosed underspending amount of 500.000€ from the 2013/14 allocation so in our understanding the funds has been returned already.
2. Any interest earned on the Grant funds by Grantee will be used by Grantee to support the Mission and Purposes as set out in this Grant Agreement. Please report any interest earned during the reporting period and cumulatively over the duration of the Grant and Grant Agreement.
  • The entire interest of WMDE and WMFG amounted to 25.587€. Since the FDC allocation constituted 30% of the revised revenues budget, the interest earned on the Grant funds amounted to 7.676€ .



--Pavel Richter (WMDE) (talk) 13:25, 14 April 2014 (UTC)