Grants:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia Deutschland e.V./Staff proposal assessment

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Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. received a funds allocation in the amount of 1,790,000 in 2012-2013 Round 1. This funds allocation was recommended by the Funds Dissemination Committee on 15 November 2012 and approved by the WMF Board of Trustees on 1 December 2012.

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

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

Proposal overview

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. [Responses]
Date of submission [mm/dd/yy] 10/01/12
Adherence to proposal process [yes/no] yes
Adherence to legal, regulatory, and policy regulations [yes/no] yes
Adherence to US anti-terrorism laws [yes/no] yes
Currency requested (e.g., EUR, GBP, INR) EUR
Exchange rate used (currency requested to $US) and date accessed (mm/dd/yy) 1.3 as of 09/18/12
Total amount proposed to the FDC for the upcoming year annual plan [in $US] 1,820,000
Total amount proposed to the FDC for the upcoming year annual plan [in currency requested] 1,400,000
Summary staff assessment [substantial concerns: none/some/many] minor or none

Annual plan

Table I: Financial summary

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

Strategic alignment

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

WMDE’s plan is strongly aligned with the priority areas Increase participation, Increase reach, Improve quality, and Encourage innovation.
WMDE’s plan focuses on volunteer support, which for WMDE is comprised of ways to involve the community, recognize the community, and support the community through tools. WMDE also focuses on improving online tools and is currently planning to build an evaluation unit to more effectively measure its outcomes.

Context of the entity and community

  • To what extent does the context of the entity (e.g., community participation, fundraising context, sociopolitical environment) enable or inhibit the entity's potential for impact?
  • To what extent does the entity's experience or maturity enable or inhibit the entity's potential for impact?
Besides Wikimedia Foundation, WMDE is the oldest affiliated entity and appears to have high credibility and a positive reputation within Germany and the European community. The German Wikipedia is very active and rich in content. WMDE has a diverse donor base and fundraising capacity: the current request to the FDC is 24% of its total budget. WMDE is seen by many other affiliated entities as a movement leader.
Many of WMDE’s programs have an international focus, and / or can be replicated outside of German-speaking project communities or outside of the German community. WMDE is the only affiliated entity that (within the FDC proposal) devotes significant resources to technology and building tools used on project sites.
WMDE has several large projects that are financed independently of the FDC: WikiData2 and House of Free Knowledge, and this reliance on external funding is both an opportunity and a risk.
WMDE reports on its program responsibly and has a good history executing and reporting on its grants from WMF.

Feasibility and risks for the annual plan

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

  • To what extent are the budget, staffing, availability of volunteers, and other resources realistic for achieving the anticipated outcomes?
  • Are the timelines realistic for the proposed initiatives and associated activities?
  • Are there acknowledged and/or unacknowledged risks in the proposal?
WMDE’s proposed total budget is very large, at about USD 7,500,000, and WMDE seeks to increase its staff size by from 44 to 52. This implies a potentially high capacity for projects, but also raises questions about how staff positions will be maintained after projects conclude. WMDE is proposing the creation of an evaluation unit, which is important for an entity of this size and scope. The conclusion of large research and development projects like RENDER and Wikidata1 may shift WMDE’s scope.
WMDE will face a few challenges during the scope of its proposed plan, including a change in leadership, potential legal risks, uncertainties surrounding funding. WMDE acknowledges that editor decline and “deterioration in the atmosphere in the Wikimedia community” are serious threats to the success of its initiatives and seeks to mitigate them through volunteer support programs.

Summary of expert opinions and/or community commentary

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

Table II: Scores, comments and feedback

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

Dimensions Criteria Score (1–5) Comments and feedback
Potential for impact against strategic priorities (A) The plan addresses the Wikimedia movement global targets 5 The plan very clearly addresses a number of movement targets.
(B) The initiatives in the plan have the potential to lead to the global targets, if executed well 5 WMDE has very high potential to lead targets if executed well.
(C) The initiatives in the plan have the potential to lead to significant impact, given context and amount of funds proposed 4 Some large initiatives may not lead to commensurate impact against global targets (e.g., volunteer engagement), while others have high potential (e.g., technical projects that are scalable).
Ability to execute (D) The entity has the resources, skills, and capacity (staff, volunteer, non-staff) for the plan to succeed 4 The entity is well-staffed, with a diverse set of skills.
(E) The entity has a record of success in similar initiatives 4 WMDE has a track record of success with similar projects, and has documented this success in past plans and reports.
(F) The entity's leadership is effective, committed, and relatively stable 4 The entity has a stable and strong board and executive leadership, though there will be turnover of the President this year.
Efficient use of funds (G) The funding requested is reasonable given the proposed initiatives 3 There are still some questions around overbudgeting and staff costs in particular, but the entity's funding request is reasonable and within the guardrails as identified in the FDC framework.
(H) The entity has a record of using funds efficiently and staying on budget 4 The entity has typically been on-budget in past years.
Quality of proposed measures of success (I) Clear indicators of success are outlined in the plan 4 The plan has indicators of success outlined for proposed initiatives.
(J) A plan is in place to track the proposed metrics 4 WMDE will be creating an evaluation plan.
(K) The entity has a feasible plan in place to track the proposed metrics 4 WMDE has the staff capacity (within a new evaluation unit) to measure and track progress against goals.
Potential to add knowledge and/or other benefits to the movement (L) The initiatives in the plan, if successful, could be helpful and/or productively replicated elsewhere in the movement 4 Many (but not all) of the initiatives could be relevant to other movement entities.
(M) The entity is ready to share with the movement the lessons learned from the initiatives 4 WMDE does have some collaboration with other movement entities, but could do more to share learnings.

Table III: Scoring rubric

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

This form was created by: --ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 04:30, 26 October 2012 (UTC)