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Global metrics overview


Global metrics across all programs

Metric Achieved outcome
(01-12 2016)
1. # of active editors involved 1,465 Existing active editors (5+ edits per month) involved at any capacity (planning, executing, participating) during the project duration.
2. # of new editors 1,272 Newly registered users as a result of a project.
3. # of individuals involved 8,434 All people participating in the project (organizers, users, attendees, etc.)

Additionally to this figure, further 1,687 people attended 66 events of our partners and allied organizations which were hosted on our premises.
4. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages Uploads to Commons (total): 145,627

Distinct images/ media used on Wikimedia articles/pages (namespace only):

69,044 (47% of total)

Number of images uploaded to Commons which have been added to Wikipedia articles or other Wikiproject pages
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects 68,998 Number of articles created or improved as a result of the program efforts

Based on project documentations documenting articles created/ improved and integration of media files in articles

Telling your program stories – all programs




In 2016, Wikimedia Germany (WMDE) made significant progress on major annual plan priorities, while on others 2016 was a year of testing, learning and deliberating.

Wikidata continued to grow in a healthy way, both in terms of editors and content. The course was set, financially and technically, for Wikidata to become the backbone of Wikimedia sister projects Commons and Wiktionary. Notable here is the increased and deepened integration of software development work done in California and in Berlin, at the day-to-day level as well as as at the strategic and planning levels.

Community-centered software development is now established as a movement-wide practice. WMF and WMDE engineering teams began to establish routine collaborative practices, and many development projects that were important to communities emerged and were completed.

In terms of WMDE’s policy priorities, our new Legal and Policy Advisor hit the ground running, and together with Dimitar Dimitrov in the Wikimedia Brussels office created a voice for free knowledge in numerous policy and legal arenas. Together with partnering European Chapters WMDE assured that the movement’s presence in Brussels is sustainably funded.

WMDE’s international work looks back on another successful Wikimedia Conference, on providing other chapters with technical assistance around the organization of local and regional conferences, and shared an unprecedented number of learning patterns and other knowledge pieces with the movement. WMDE’s constant advocacy for clarifying the big questions facing the movement, which had started with the Chapters' Dialogue, is now being answered by the movement strategy process 2017.

WMDE piloted and evaluated a first deliberate venture into the science community, with the Open Science Fellows Program, which is already shaping up to be a success, and meeting much interest among science funders and universities.

We continued and expanded our support for the German-speaking community, supporting record numbers of volunteers and their productive projects, including opportunities for offline collaboration at local hubs and at the most well attended volunteer conference WikiCon ever.

WMDE had some difficulty with filling key positions in 2016. This is was a problem affecting engineering positions, which generally just take time to fill due to the high demand for these professionals. It also concerned key leadership positions, such as the head of the Education, Science and Culture Department. Fortunately, the WMDE Central Manager position, (similar to a Chief Operating Officer) was finally filled in December with an experienced nonprofit leader and administrator, Christian Humborg.

When WMDE Executive Director Christian Rickerts suddenly left the organization in December to take on political office, leadership conducted a smooth leadership transition to head of software development Abraham Taherivand, who first served as interim ED and has now been appointed as the permanent ED. Hiring someone from within, with excellent staff, community and international ties, has already proven to be a good decision. There were no interruptions in day-to-day business, more than positive impact on staff morale and warm reception in the local and international communities.

The WMDE Board likewise shows stability, supported by the recent change from one- to two-year terms. Recent elections added one new member, Johanna Niesyto, a political scientist who has conducted in-depth research on Wikipedia. With the recent online campaign, WMDE’s community of members grew to 50,000. The campaign itself met the fundraising goal easily and early, supported by improved code resulting from refactoring of the fundraising framework done by a WMDE engineering team.

Finally, the annual planning process for 2017 resulted in a strategic stabilization of goals and objectives, effectively continuing ongoing work, learning from failures and successes and building our 2017 activities on products and developments from 2016.

APG-funded program: Software development for the Wikimedia movement


Wikidata Key Performance Metrics

Wikidata Map as of October 2016 (map shows a single pixel dot for every Wikidata item with a coordinate location)
Wikidata Map as of October 2016 (map shows a single pixel dot for every Wikidata item with a coordinate location)
Additional Metrics: Wikidata Overview
Metric 12/2015
YoY Change
editors (1+/ 30 days) 16,530 16,729 +1% stable
active editors (5+/ 30 days) 6,650 7,240 +9% still growing, clearly positive
very active editors (100+/ 30 days) 1,080 1,250 +12% still growing, clearly positive
new active editors (passing 10th edit threshold) 719

(average per month, 01-12/2015)

(average per month, 01-12/2016)
+2% stable
Metric 12/2015
YoY Change
pages 20.32M 26.04M +28% steadily growing, clearly positive
items 19.31M 24.67M +28% steadily growing, clearly positive
items with referenced statements 11.64M

(~60% of total items)

(~63% of total items, data by December 26)
+33% steadily growing, share increasing, clearly positive
edits (total) 287.42M 422.80M +47% steadily growing, clearly positive
statements (total) 80.91M 127.50M +58% steadily growing, clearly positive
statements referenced to Wikipedia 23.02M

(~28% of total)

(~24% of total, data by December 26)
+34% still growing (as total number of statements is growing), share is decreasing, positive
statements referenced to other sources 16.86M

(~21% of total)

(~27% of total, data by December 26)
+104% massively growing and share is increasing, clearly positive
Metric 12/2015
YoY Change
# of entity usages from Wikidata in Wikimedia projects 162.70M 282.30M +74%

massively growing, clearly positive

Wikidata Birthday map
Wikidata Birthday Map

Please refer to WMDE’s 2016 Progress Report for key developments and highlights from the first half of the year. Trends described here, such as increased use of Wikidata in movement projects, routine collaboration with the WMF Tech teams, and continued positive reception of how our team addresses requests from the community wishlist, have continued throughout the second half of the year. Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary are the two central sister projects that Wikidata still needs to support properly. An increased focus on this work is now enabled through the new external funding sources acquired by WMF and WMDE. The respective engineering teams have started working together closely across the ocean.

For Wikimedia Commons this means making it possible to store all the metadata of a file, including the license and what it shows, as structured, machine readable data. Over the past year the teams have done a lot of groundwork for this and published the first demo system.

For Wiktionary, WMDE developers went through another feedback round and started working on automating the links between pages on different Wiktionary editions, which was a long-requested feature awaited by many Wiktionary users. There is still a long way to go for both projects but WMDE has made good progress.

WMDE celebrated Wikidata’s 4th Birthday with concurrent parties in many places around the world, and the project received a bunch of great birthday presents from communities, friends of the project and staff, including


While the team focused and progressed on the two features outlined in the annual plan – the ArticlePlaceholder, and Automated List Generation, many other developments also supported the increased reach of the database into the Wikimedia projects. In particular, the Wikidata team took the necessary preparatory steps to take on significant work for Wikidata’s support for Wiktionary and for Wikimedia Commons in 2017. WMDE worked closely with the WMF teams to prepare the application for the Sloan grant which will fund the development of a structured data backbone for Commons, based on the technology of Wikidata.

Objective 1: By end of 2016, encourage and support new article creation in minimum five (smaller) Wikipedias through providing an article placeholder extension (AP) based on Wikidata.

Screenshot Article Creation or Translation dialogue in Welsh Wikipedia
Article creation/ translation dialogue in Welsh Wikipedia

WMDE has more than achieved this objective: At the end of the year, nine small Wikipedias were using the ArticlePlaceholder. However, an increase in new article creation is not noticeable at this time, since the ArticlePlaceholder pages are not discoverable through search engines yet. As a result, the team is now working on the next step: Making ArticlePlaceholder pages discoverable by search engines, in order to help small Wikipedias increase their page views on pages generated by the ArticlePlaceholder. These are currently at a low 100 page views per day. Discoverability will support these small language Wikipedias in further growing their reach and spark article creation. Preparing the roll-out was discussed with WMF Teams at the Developer Summit recently, and the Welsh Wikipedia was asked (and agreed) to be the first to test improved search engine discoverability.

A further improvement is the successful integration of the content translation extension into the ArticlePlaceholder. A button now provides the user with the choice of ‘create’ or ‘translate’ to start a new article. The team also rolled out new parser and Lua functions and made use of them in the ArticlePlaceholder. As a result, many links on ArticlePlaceholders now connect to Wikipedia articles or external sources, making the ArticlePlaceholders more useful and inviting to start working on an article. The ArticlePlaceholders have moved significantly towards offering features similar to a stub article. We are preparing for making it available to larger Wikis, such as the Russian Wikipedia. This requires significant performance improvements, as well as getting ready for communities with higher tech skills, who are thus more likely to make changes to the default templates and Lua modules we already provide for the smaller Wikipedias.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Refinement and further roll-out of the Article Placeholder extension until end of Q3. n/a The ArticlePlaceholder went live on the first Wikipedias on May 11, 2016 (Esperanto, Haitian Creole, Neapolitan, Odia Wikipedia) and in a second round (Nynorsk, Latvian, Gujarati) on June 10.
The ArticlePlaceholder is now used in 9 smaller Wikipedias (previous Wikipedias + Welsh and Kannada).
Article creation and translation (via content translation extension) is fully integrated.
Further work in 2017 will include making it possible for placeholder entries to be discoverable by search engines, and thus to be accessed through search results (which will most likely boost access/ pageviews).
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
At least five Wikimedia projects actively use Article Placeholder extension by end of 2016. n/a ArticlePlaceholder used in 7 Wikipedias
Target achieved. At the end of 2016, ArticlePlaceholder was used in 9 Wikipedias worldwide.
2017: further performance improvements, making it possible to potentially include also larger wikis like e.g. Russian Wikipedia.
Important Indicators / Metrics
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Increase of page views in (smaller) Wikipedias (if AP is used) Some positive effects can be observed, but larger impact on page views will require search engine indexing of the placeholders (to come in 2017).
Number of articles created or translated after ArticlePlaceholder was displayed (in WM projects using ArticlePlaceholder extension) Article creation and translation feature was just refined by end of 2016. Metric statistics for ‘create button pushed’ are included in the ArticlePlaceholder dashboard, but are still very low due to the relatively low number of pageviews.
Decrease in stubs in bigger Wikipedias (if AP is used) No roll out in major wikis yet due to performance considerations

Objective 2: By end of 2016, facilitate easy editing in minimum five Wikipedias through providing an automated list generation feature based on Wikidata.

The automated list generation feature turned out to be more complex than anticipated at the beginning of the year. This project continues to be in the concept phase, as incorporating meaningful community feedback into the design will be crucial to create a useful feature. We conducted in-depth user research, which took time, but was much appreciated by the community. We identified users who maintain lists in Wikipedia, and then conducted user interviews with them around what works and what does not. The team also reviewed existing SPARQL queries in order to understand the current usage better. One of the things we learned through the research is that in the large Wikipedias, people not only generate and maintain lists, but also create small text parts (e.g. explanations or synopses) with each entry in the list. These are not on Wikidata, and the developers still need to figure out how to assure that they are incorporated.

Then the team published concept scenarios, in other words, several prototypes or series of sketches that show different concepts for list generation, for the community to comment on.

For comparable endeavors in the future, we learned to plan for even more ample time to conduct this type of deep, one-on-one research, as well as for community comment periods and subsequent analysis of the results.

A next step will be experimenting with different ways to make it easier to write and edit queries. However, given the reinforced focus on Wiktionary and Commons, automated list generation, while remaining a priority, has moved down on the priority list.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Provision of an automated list generation feature until Q4/2016 at the latest n/a On track: research and prep work
Behind expectations, still in concept phase
More complex than expected. We had to conduct user interviews and to gather additional community input on different scenarios to fully understand the complexity of this task. This now has to be addressed in the development plan for 2017.
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Automated list generation feature is used in at least five Wikimedia projects. n/a Not rolled out yet.
Target missed as actual development for this feature had to be postponed to 2017
Continues to by an important priority for 2017. Next step: making it easier to generate queries for lists (see above).

Emerging developments

fourth Wikidata Birthday logo
fourth Wikidata Birthday logo


WMDE teams further developed the Wikidata Query service, and refined the online information and guidance available around data donations. Staff and community worked closely within the UNESCO data partnership, which may be leading to other data projects in collaboration with entities in the UN System.

Emerging developments

Example visualization Wikidata query service
Example visualization Wikidata query service

Improvements to the query service will be informed by the results of the extensive user research staff conducted around the automated list generation feature (see above). New forms of visualization, such as bar and line charts, were created as one of the birthday presents for Wikidata’s 4th birthday. Query results can now be displayed as table, image grid, map, line, bar, scatter and area chart, bubble chart, tree map, timeline, dimensions and graph. In addition, queries can now be done using unit conversion.

The team also worked on concentrating all information and guidance on the query service, which had been somewhat scattered, on one portal and directly accessible in the query service user interface. This is structured so that users can get information and instruction based on their level of technical skill and understanding, including the possibility to request that a volunteer generates a SPARQL query. Users also submit their SPARQL code here and have it reviewed or trouble-shot by other users. Finally, several tutorial videos are now available, in German and English, to walk users through the process of generating queries.

Usage of the query service has been impressive. On a daily basis, around 700 queries are generated manually, and tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands are generated automatically. This is illustrated on the following Dashboards:

This entertaining blog post, published for Wikidata’s 4th birthday, presents the ten best queries, including the world’s most well-known cats, things named after French presidents, and the average gestation period of genera, visualized in a bubble chart.

Wikidata Sparql Query Tutorial

Objective 1: Publish a transparent process and dedicated key contact persons for establishing data partnerships between Wikidata and external partners.

Explainer video data donations

This milestone had been completed by the end of Q2. In Q3/4 we continued to expand and improve the tools and entry points for external parties who wish to import data into Wikidata. They now include a main page for data donations, a page for discussions around importing data from external sources and forming partnerships with external organisations, a data import hub and data import guide. The main page explains the rationale for data donations, and provides an overview of the process, as well as case studies for data donations. The data import hub is a place for organizing and tracking the process of importing a dataset, which is as follows:

  1. Dataset import is requested.
  2. The data import is planned and formatted by the community.
  3. The data is imported through a bot request.

This process is further broken down into nine steps, which are outlined in the data import guide.

The data donation pages have been translated into many additional languages and have received over 10,000 page views in 2016.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Process and key contacts for data partnerships published by end of Q1 n/a Completed

Completed (and constantly expanding)


Objective 2: Establish at least two new data partnerships of high quality/ relevance between external partners and Wikidata and document them for the movement.

The data partnership with UNESCO, supported by Wikimedian in Residence John Cummings has resulted in first datasets to be imported into Wikidata. These include UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserves and UNESCO prizes. Other data sets still in progress include world heritage sites and the UNESCO art collection, among others. This data partnership represented a significant learning opportunity for WMDE. We now understand the process for data partnerships and donations much better, and have developed the resources and sites listed above based on this improved understanding. John Cummings has been listing data sets from other UN entities that could be candidates for data donations, and is working to encourage their offices to import data.

Without much WMDE’s involvement, the TED organization has also begun to donate data sets related to educational TED talks, also with the help of two Wikipedians in Residence.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Publish two success stories about successful data partnerships in 2016 n/a Not yet addressed
Partly completed: one story and one video published.
Story: “Wizards, Muggles and Wikidata: The Room of Requirements for structured knowledge” (WMF Blog)

Video: Explainer video data donations
A session on data donations at the Wikimedia Conference 2017 is to come.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
At least two new data partnerships of high quality/relevance are established in 2016 N/a Ongoing.
Only partly fulfilled:UNESCO collaboration led by WiR John Cummings, with two datasets already imported.
Although the number of two new partnerships was not reached in 2016, the UNESCO collaboration is extremely fruitful for investigating and documenting the optimal workflow for data partnerships with Wikidata. Several new opportunities for data partnerships are emerging.


Diagram: Quality Process in Wikidata
Diagram: Quality Process in Wikidata
Diagram: The data flow of Wikidata
Diagram: The data flow of Wikidata

Data quality continues to be important for Wikidata. As reported in the past, data quality has mostly been assessed through one somewhat crude measure: the number of statements that have an external reference. However, data quality on Wikidata is a much more complex issue. In 2016, through the use of dashboards, and through a request for comments (RFC), we began to gain a better understanding of what data quality means for our users. One of our mentees, PhD student Alessandro Piscopo, through the RFC process asked users to provide comments and advice about a set of data-quality dimensions already identified. These included, among others, reputation, consistency, timeliness and completeness. The framework of dimensions and the unique dimensions were discussed. This research will be used to better assess and communicate the quality of Wikidata as well as develop tools to increase it further.

Another piece of the data quality puzzle went live with ORES and ORES review tool, which was developed in a very effective collaboration between the WMDE Software Engineering department, Aaron Halfaker (WMF) and Amir Sarabadani (User:Ladsgroup) who was contracted by WMDE as an engineer for this project. ORES and the review tool help to automatically classify edits to make it easier to spot and revert vandalism.

Objective 1: Establish a dashboard of different markers/metrics for data quality in Wikidata and make it broadly accessible for the WM editing communities.

The dashboards are fully up and running, and show a variety of markers that help to inform both our team and the community in real time about the health of the project. These include several data about statements (e.g. statements per item rate), references (e.g. referenced vs. unreferenced statements) or items.

Our hope that the community of editors would actively monitor the quality indicators and act based on the information has not quite become reality. however, the communities too find interesting pieces of information that inform project discussions (example regarding flow).

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
A basic version of a data quality dashboard is available by end of Q2, further refinement until end of Q4 n/a Basic version available
Various Wikidata dashboards available and constantly refined
Wikidata dashboards
Promoting the dashboard with the editing communities n/a Targeted communication started
Dashboards are used as monitoring tools and for discussing quality issues within the Wikidata community.

Objective 2: In 2016, further increase the proportion of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference in order to ensure high data quality.

Diagram: % of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference Jan 2015 – Jan 2016
Diagram: % of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference Jan 2015 – Jan 2016

While team and community have broadened and better defined the understanding of data quality in 2016, referenced statements continue to be a central indicator. In order to actively affect increases here, we worked on a number of tools and avenues to facilitate the addition of meaningful references to statements. One way to make it easier to add references to statements is to automatically extract them from reliable sources that mark up their texts to be read by machines.

Another is the Citoid Gadget, a script for editing references which uses the technology of the Visual Editor. For example, if an editor is adding a newspaper article as a reference, the script can automatically populate parts of the reference using the citoid api. If a reference contains certain types of properties – reference URL, PubMed ID or DOI- an "autofill" link is added next to the "remove" link/button, and the reference data is completed. Currently, it can add the reference title, publication date and retrieved date.

WikiCite, a conference about the future of citations in Wikimedia, also helped gain a better shared understanding of references and scholarly publications on Wikidata.

The proportion of statements with a non-Wikimedia reference has continued to rise in 2016, while the number of references from Wikimedia projects has now decreased below the external references (see diagram below). This is due to the fact that overall, statements grew dramatically, and that through the increasingly easier avenues to add external references, these increased more rapidly than the Wikimedia references.

Important Indicators / Metrics
Growth icon
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% of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference as of a given month The percentage of Wikidata statements with a non-Wikimedia reference as of a given month has constantly risen during the past two years. In October 2016, the share of statements with a non-Wikimedia reference has for the first time exceeded the share of statements with a Wikimedia reference (e.g. Wikipedia).

December 2016: 27.10% (34.41M statements with a non-Wikimedia reference)

Baseline December 2015: 20.83% (16.86M statements with a non-Wikimedia reference)

Objective 3: Implement new/ improved data types in Wikidata to increase the number of options to create statements in Wikidata (leads to a broader variety of potential statements).

This objective and its targets were achieved by Q2 and are discussed in the progress report. In Q3/4 we were able to further see the statements/item metric increase. Work on new data types to benefit Wikimedia Commons are currently reconsidered in the context of the upcoming joint work with the WMF on structured data for Commons.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
In Q1/Q2, implement new data types/ improve existing ones n/a Completed: 2 new data types (‘external identifier’ & ‘mathematical expression’) 2 data types with improved usability (‘time’ & ‘globe coordinate’)
Completed: 2 new / 2 improved data types in total
Next steps: Create new data type for linking to geoshape and data pages on Wikimedia Commons.
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
The 'statements per item’ rate rises above four statements per item (average) until Q2/2016 3.8 statements per item (09/ 2015) Target exceeded: 4.64 statements per item (by 2016-6-30)
Target exceeded: 5.17 statements per item (by 2016-12-31)

Expected for Q1/2017: ~5.3 statements per item

‘Statements per item’ is a measure indicating how much we know about a given topic/ item on average.


At the end of 2016, WMDE is looking back at two full years of working with, supporting and developing people as part of the mentoring program and of reaching out to FOSS developers with a variety of methods. We dedicated some time and resources during the second half of the year to gain a better understanding of the quality, satisfaction and impact of this program.

Lydia Pintscher at SMWCon Fall 2016

First, staff conducted qualitative interviews with nine volunteer FOSS developers to answer two questions: What motivates volunteer developers and how can we attract new volunteer developers? And: How does our support structure function for volunteer developers and how can we keep them engaged? Major findings from the interviews included:

  • Offline and personal contact between volunteer developers and staff is very important
  • Clear communication and contact points help to lower the entry barriers and make it easier to start on new tasks and projects
  • Motivation, time and tasks vary greatly depending on the individual
  • Developers appreciate being included as much as possible in the software development process of staff
  • More volunteer developers would help to lower the workload
  • Volunteers appreciate the freedom to choose their own tasks
  • They appreciate the welcoming culture and find it motivating

Two of the interviews are shared in detail through blog posts:

The interviewees had a joint passion for doing good meaningful work online, a hunger for always learning more and contributing more, and a deep appreciation for opportunities to connect with peers in person. Both advocate for more of these opportunities, and for anything that Wikimedia organizations can do to grow the community of people contributing.

Highlight: "I don’t have to find tasks. Tasks are coming to me." Being a Volunteer Developer for Wikimedia projects: An Interview with Tpt
An interview by Julia Schuetze with Thomas Pellissier-Tanon aka Tpt

“I work on the software behind Wikipedia!” That’s what Thomas aka (Tpt), a Volunteer Developer from France, tells his friends if they ask him about what he does in his free time. Up to ten hours per week he dedicates to free knowledge that way.

In the past two months, I got the chance to talk to some of our volunteer developers about their experience with the Wikimedia movement. I’d like to share Thomas’ story, his views, concerns, ideas and accomplishments with you.

Thomas started in 2009 when he was still in high school. A passion for egyptian history and pharaohs inspired him to contribute to the French Wikipedia. Back then, programming was new to him. He started by writing templates and by learning how to use the functions around Wikipedia.

Starting is not easy. Wikipedia is a project created, maintained and developed by millions of people. Thousands contribute at least once a month. People commit, some stay for longer, some only for a short time. I wondered what made Thomas stick around and become a very innovative volunteer developer in our community for over seven years now.

MediaWiki: “huge, complex and often ugly”

The first few months can be rocky, he says. It was an exploration for him because MediaWiki, the free and open source wiki application, which stores the content into databases, “is huge, complex and often ugly.” “It was a lot of reading code to see how it works and how all the pieces are fitting together,” Thomas remembers. “Some of that can act as barriers. Especially for developers who are not familiar with Wikis,” he explains. It was quite difficult to write code matching MediaWiki standards and conventions and with a good enough level of quality at first.”

Improvements have been made in the past years to make the start for volunteers developers as smooth as possible. The WMDE engineering page for volunteer developers aims to provide relevant links and explains the processes and tools the developers work with on Wikimedia projects. For MediaWiki, the developer hub aims to give new developers an overview and the article “how to become a MediaWiki hacker” tries to give advice for beginners. “The documentation of MediaWiki is good enough to get into it,” Thomas says “because it has nice little schemas.” On this level it is good, but Thomas raises an important point. Good documentation is not always the case for the extensions. That can be problematic if an extension is not maintained and someone wants to pick it up again.

What made him stick around for so long?

Thomas (Tpt) at the Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem
Thomas (Tpt) at the Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem

An overarching theme during our chat was “need” – the need for this tool or that extension to be developed which made him stick around. When he started “it was very painful because the Wiki source code was breaking because the extension wasn’t maintained. And the system at this time for deployment was kind of bad. So I have written unit tests in 2013. Unit tests are a kind of automated tests that are written in order to ensure that the software still behaves correctly before the deployments”. This shows how the projects have potential but it’s the people who make the Wikimedia projects to what they are today by developing useful tools, features and thinking of ways of how the project can look like in the future.

When Wikidata started in 2012, it was another milestone for Thomas. He was keen to follow the development work and proposed some changes. Questions about how it would be structured and discussions with Denny Vrandecic about if links to external sources should be in the cycling question really got him involved in the project early on. AskPlatypus, a Wikidata-based search engine, which can translate natural language to questions Wikidata can answer, should soon become his biggest Wikidata project. That is a good example of how volunteers should and can shape the direction of a Wikimedia project.

Another way Thomas got involved was via the technical wishlist. During the last Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem, he worked on the VisualEditor support for Wikisource. It’s one of the items on the wish list. So that can be a good way to get started as well and find the first tasks.

About the impact beyond Wikimedia projects

Thomas also notes how impactful his work can be to other open source projects. Wikimedia/MediaWiki projects can expand into other projects which are connected or not. One of the ones Thomas mentioned is WSexport. It is a tool that exports Wikisource content into epub, pdf and those formats.

This initiative emerged because the community and him found that it was very painful to read Wikisource content out of Wikisource. “I think Wikisource was losing a lot of contributors because it was quite complicated compared to Project Gutenberg that has quite a lot of tools to read books in a lot of different formats. And for us it was completely different. It’s not very useful, but it’s quite nice and fancy and very interesting to develop.”

Other reasons for why he is motivated to develop something is because others and him would like this tool, because it would be so useful. So he says: “Hey, I should do it”. Or “Hey, it could be amazing to have such a thing.” For that the community appreciates him. He receives a lot of direct requests. “I don’t have to find tasks. Usually, it is tasks which are coming to me. I just receive an email for each request.” For developer tasks, volunteers use Phabricator and Github. Some tasks are extra marked with ‘volunteers needed’. Talk pages, too, play an important role. Thomas is known in the community, so there are a lot of people who ask him “You should fix it” or “You should implement this”. “Usually, there are a lot of requests, that is a very good side effect of the talk page,” he says.

Thomas’ hope is to find other volunteer developers to work with in the future.

By looking at the many ways Thomas has contributed, it becomes clear how diverse the impact of Volunteer Developers on Wikimedia projects can be. Thomas’ hope is to find other Volunteer Developers to work with in the future. “If there were more, some of the extensions could be maintained better.”

Some final advice for us? “If the contribution process is easy enough to make people realise that contributing to MediaWiki is not so difficult and that with a small contribution you can get huge improvement in the Wikis, let’s say contribution of workflows (…) then usually people come up with smart things.”

And wishes for the future?

“In general, for the Wikimedia Movement to have more interest in Wikisource and keeping up the good work for Wikidata.”

At the beginning I asked him which three words he associates with Wikimedia. They were knowledge, sharing and community. And his role in the community, I wondered?

“Maintenance,” he says would be the best word to describe his volunteering position.

I believe caretaker is a good one for Thomas aka tpt, too.

Thank you, Thomas for taking the time to share your experience!

Our team wanted to learn more specifically about women in open source development, and find out how we can engage more of them in volunteer work for the Wikimedia projects. Based on the initiative of WMDE’s own female staff developers, the event ‘Ladies that FOSS’ took place in September 2016 (see box below).

After the event, we took the opportunity to conduct an online survey with the participants, to learn what worked, what didn't work and what types of activities we can offer in the future to keep women engaged. Overall, the event and its format were evaluated very positively. Participants appreciated attending an offline event with a positive atmosphere, food, mentors, a one-on-one match-up process and direct personal contact. They stated that the event provided a very good intro to FOSS that “made me a lot less scared to contribute”. They enjoyed the choice of projects, that there was a concrete goal for the day and that their work was visible. Finally, it was positively noted that participants took problems of sexism in the developer communities seriously. When asked about formats and resources for future engagement, the majority requested events such as Ladies that FOSS, regular meetings with others interested in FOSS development, mentors or personal contact with members from particular FOSS communities.

Much to our delight, some aspects of the ‘Ladies that FOSS’ concept will also be adapted for the mentoring program of the upcoming 2017 Wikimedia Hackathon in Vienna, and ‘Ladies that FOSS’ will return in Germany for 2017 as a regular meetup in collaboration with Mozilla.

The team is still in the process of analyzing the wealth of quantitative and qualitative data around the work of engaging FOSS developers. First learnings include:

  • Create every activity from a contributor/ community perspective
  • To gather interest, communicate as much as you can about your products/ projects and opportunities to contribute
  • Learn from the patterns of how existing volunteer developers became successful contributors and try to apply this to the onboarding of newcomers
  • Be a mentor. Mentoring activities prove to be highly effective to engage new contributors/ developers and to keep them on board
  • Use offline events for building up community spirit and coordination around more complex development tasks
  • Build on a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures to measure the success of your developer outreach activities

More of our key learnings in developer outreach will be proposed as presentations for Wikimania 2017, and a report with findings and recommendations for the next years will be published at the end of March 2017. In summary, it can be said already that this work takes focus, time, and lots of communication. Offline events require funds and coordination, but pay off in terms of connecting people and helping them gain confidence. And with all these efforts, the outcomes are overall very positive: Several bachelors, masters and PhD theses, the majority of young developers and researchers so far remain engaged, either through becoming work students or through volunteer work, and the slow growth of an international network of enthusiastic people who in turn work to engage others in their local or tech subcommunities, attend events and spread the gospel.

Objective 1: Engage new junior developers to contribute to Wikimedia projects.

Diagram: Evaluation of WMDE Software Development mentoring program
Diagram: Evaluation of WMDE Software Development mentoring program
Diagram: Involvement of Mentees before and after mentoring at WMDE
Diagram: Involvement of Mentees before and after mentoring at WMDE

Our mentoring program achieved or exceeded most of the milestones and targets in the annual plan. The qualitative and quantitative evaluation of mentee satisfaction and experiences took place until December 2016. Major findings included a generally high satisfaction with our mentoring support and a high involvement of mentees after they left mentoring.

Mentee cases:

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
One ’mentee case’ is published per quarter which shows our mentees’ ongoing involvement with Wikimedia projects n/a On track: 5 publications about mentoring activities
Completed: 8 publications in 2016
See list of blog posts above.
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Until end of 2016, six new mentees participate in our mentoring program. 4 mentees in 2015 Target exceeded: Currently mentoring 9 mentees in Q1/Q2
Target exceeded: In the course of 2016 we have mentored 13 mentees in total.
Additionally we provided stipends for participation at movement events like e.g. hackathons for further five junior developers.
Mentees work on bachelor or master thesis about Wikidata or similar WM-related topics. n/a On track: 2 bachelor’s thesis finished/ published
Target completed/ ongoing:
2 bachelor’s theses finished/ published
1 PhD project
2 further thesis and PhD to come
BA thesis 1: Generating ArticlePlaceholders from Wikidata for Wikipedia – Increasing Access to Free and Open Knowledge

BA thesis 2: Facilitating the use of Wikidata in Wikimedia projects with a user-centered design approach

High level of satisfaction of mentees with WMDE mentoring program: All key aspects of the mentoring program are rated as 'good' or better in the feedback survey. n/a Extended our approach: We additionally conducted qualitative interviews with 7 mentees so far in order to get detailed input for the improvement of our mentoring activities.
Mentee satisfaction survey (n=9, conducted in December) showed high overall satisfaction with our support for mentees.
87% of our mentees reported that the mentoring has “increased their involvement with the Wikimedia projects”.

The Net Promoter Score reaches a good value of 37.5.

Qualitative and quantitative feedback is used to improve our mentoring activities.
Important Indicators / Metrics
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Mentees who continue to be involved with developing software for the Wikimedia movement after finishing their menteeship. In our 2016 mentee survey, 88% of the respondents reported being active as a volunteer for the Wikimedia projects (opposed to 22% before being engaged in the mentoring activities).

After being mentored with a bachelor’s thesis, two mentees continued with an internship at WMDE or became working students.

Among the Mediawiki and Wikibase code contributors you can find many of our current or past mentees.

Objective 2: Engage new individuals from the FOSS scene (e.g. developers, multipliers, volunteers) with Wikimedia and the Wikimedia projects.

WMDE’s Julia Schuetze at Netzpolitik.org Conference
WMDE’s Julia Schuetze at Netzpolitik.org Conference

Staff continued the outreach work through both the source code Berlin podcast and through attending many events and connecting with communities. For now the podcast format and concept will be maintained as is. Not as many episodes were produced as originally planned, however the number of listeners per episode has remained stable.

Staff continued to attend numerous events, providing information on Wikidata and open source development through booths and presentations. In addition we have awarded sponsorships for volunteers to attend hackathons. In total WMDE staff covered over 50 events in 2016, ranging from large conferences such as the FSFE Summit with around 2.000 attendees to smaller events such as View Source Mozilla with around one hundred attendees.

In all cases, the teams are sharing information about the events on WMDE Blog, Twitter, or Facebook.

These events serve to connect with other communities, reach out to new people and create enthusiasm. Conversations center on questions such as: How does Wikidata potentially support or fit with your projects? How can we make sure not to step on each others’ turfs? Why are references important for Wikidata? In the future WMDE staff will continue to be present at relevant events, and also increasingly empower volunteers and others working with Wikidata to use events for outreach and network on behalf of the project. This can occur through travel stipends and the joint preparation of materials and talks.

Highlight: Ladies That FOSS — Welcoming 35 women coders into the FOSS movement and that was just the beginning

Ladies that Foss Logo
Ladies that Foss Logo

In October 2016 Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. held its first hackathon aimed at women and nonbinary coders who are interested in Free and Open Source Software. The majority of them had one thing in common: they have never contributed to the FOSS world but were eager to find out what all the fuss in FOSS is about.

The event was a “good guideline into the FOSS world, I’m much less scared now to contribute,” one participant wrote in the feedback survey.

Women coders are still a rare sight in FOSS projects. We wanted to change that and provide a space which makes it easier to start which was offline first. The contribution to FOSS projects comes with some overhead, it’s not that easy to figure out where to find the relevant information at the start or understand how and where contributors communicate. Some newcomers to coding have simply just not come across free software projects or are predominantly users instead of contributors not knowing where to start. Whatever the reason, providing a personal introduction to the projects lowers some of those barriers, so Ladies That FOSS that we knew should be about personal interaction. We aimed our communication specifically at women who are not involved in FOSS yet and met with the mentors before to discuss the code of conduct and talk about what mentoring means and how it can be most successful for both the projects and the newcomers.

To make it easier for the participants, we asked about their experience level, interests and skills to be able to match them with projects they’d like to work with on the day and give projects the opportunity to prepare tasks and instructions for specific people. Projects which got on board were: Mozilla Firefox, RIOT, MediaWiki, Wikidata, Inventaire, coala, Nextcloud, LibreOffice and Sourcefabric. About the event, participants said afterwards that they liked the atmosphere, the one-on-one matchup process, personal communication, the direct contact with the mentors, the diversity of projects and the concrete goal for the day and that work became visible.

The positive feedback encouraged us to continue with the format. Predominantly, the women wanted to take part in form of a meetup where also mentors are available, so we set up a cooperation with Mozilla which is supporting the meetup and invited projects involved in Ladies That FOSS. Additionally, the meetup will allow more time to exchange, chat and meet more like-minded people – something which was missing from the more goal-oriented hackathon. For now, participants can freely access and add ideas to an etherpad which provides information about the projects involved but also tasks and installations processes as well as people who are coming to the event. We encourage everyone interested in the meetup to join and add ideas.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Publish 12 Sourcecode Berlin podcast episodes until mid of 2016 n/a Slowed down publishing rate: 8 podcasts in Q1/Q2
15 podcasts episodes published in 2016
Please see above for further detail.
Stage FOSS outreach events / WMDE participation at important FOSS events n/a Team members were present at more than 28 FOSS events as speakers or participants.

Ladies That FOSS event with 35 female coders (with 28 not in contact with FOSS development so far) plus projects mentors from 9 different FOSS projects.
Team members were present at more than 50 FOSS events as speakers or participants.
In 2017, Ladies That FOSS will return as a regular meetup in collaboration with Mozilla.

LadiesThatFOSS Twitter Feed
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Increase Sourcecode Berlin podcast ‘listeners per month’ by 10 % until mid of 2016 Average 1253 listeners per month (01-12/2015) Behind target: 1319 listeners per month(+5.3%, average 01-06/ 2016)
Target missed: 1103 listeners per month (-12%, average 01-12/2016)
We missed to increase the audience of the podcast mainly due to the lower amount of podcasts published (see above). However, ‘listeners per episode’ remained stable.

Logo The Technical Wishes Project
Logo The Technical Wishes Project


In 2016, the methods and processes piloted by WMDE’s Technical Wishes team became the standard for scaling community-centered software development to the WMF Community Tech team (involving also many other WMF engineering teams). At the end of the year, there is an agile, transparent, collaborative and participatory process in place, which addresses community priorities while utilizing and effectively integrating the appropriate technical and human resources at both organizations and in the community.

Objective 1: Provide a variety of opportunities for meaningful community participation in software development and assure that they are utilized.

The WMDE Technical Wishes Team organized and held three user-specific workshops in Q3 and Q4. The topic for the series, held in Stuttgart, Cologne and Munich, was 'Advanced Search in Wikipedia'. There are already powerful advanced search options in Wikipedia, however, they are mostly unknown and not accessible for all users. The first workshop introduced the terminology and the keywords that help to conduct specific search queries, such as "incategory", "intitle" "deepcat" or "filetype". Then we gathered some typical queries participants were interested in running and created a prioritized search mapping by connecting these queries to the keywords. During the following two workshops team and participants discussed and designed ideas on how to to include the keywords into the advanced search field. We used the paper method to sketch out possible user interfaces.

After the last workshop the team discussed all the ideas and started to work on a first prototype. The prototype is a first draft to make it easier to see how the advanced search field could work and what it could look like providing a basis for discussion and feedback. The WMDE Technical Wishes Team has started to work on the technical implementation in the first quarter of 2017. The ideas and the prototype were presented and discussed at an unconference session at the mediawiki developer summit in San Francisco in January 2017, which helped to further refine the design. So far, community feedback has been positive.

The team is very satisfied with the flow of this process and the milestones achieved so far – picking up an identified community wish, honing in on the problem and the user needs in face-to-face workshops, creating first prototypes and then working with the colleagues at WMF to check, coordinate and finetune the next development steps.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Minimum 20 participants at user-specific workshops (offline). n/a In preparation
Target completed: 3 Workshops with ~40 community participants
Workshops are used to involve volunteers offline in the development of new features.

Workshops in Stuttgart, Cologne and Munich regarding Advanced Search
Important Indicators / Metrics
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# of page views of online resources ~ 9,500 pageviews on German Wikipedia and on Meta:

Baseline 2015: ~ 3,800 page views in Q1/Q2 2015. Pls. note: there was no voting or survey for the German-speaking community’s wishlist in 2016, which usually boosts page views additionally.

Objective 2: Throughout 2016, implement features and tools based on technical wishes submitted by the German-speaking WM project communities and monitor their use.

2016 was an incredibly productive year in terms of rolling out the technical implementations of community wishes. The following major projects were worked on, most in close coordination with users, communities and several WMF teams:

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Roll-out of software release versions for technical wishes as planned in the quarterly planning cycles n/a On track:

Catwatch shipped to all Wikis

Watchlist Code Refactoring (basis for Watchlist Expiry and Cross-wiki Watchlist)

RevisionSlider on beta wikipedias

Attribution Generator

Completed in 2016: Catwatch in all Wikis
Mention Notifications in all Wikis
RevisonSlider as beta feature in all Wikis (September 13) and as default feature in German, Hebrew and Arabic Wikipedia (November 22)
Attribution Generator
Upcoming:TwoColConflict Extension (edit conflict solution) as beta feature on meta / mediawiki / dewiki (since February 2017)

New option for tables in PDFs available on meta and dewiki (since February 2017), further Wikis to come.

Also coming next: Show changes in moved text paragraphs/chunks
Status of community requests, development milestones and progress information are publicly accessible on-wiki. N/a Completed: Accessible in dewp, on meta and on phabricator
Completed: Accessible in dewp, on meta and on phabricator
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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
At least 75% positive evaluations of communication & development process around ‘technical wishes’ by the respective communities involved (via feedback survey, end of 2016). n/a Not due yet
Target met: In the feedback survey, 80% of respondents rated the Technical Wishes process positive (TOP 2 on a 6 point scale)
Interest in the feedback survey was not very high (n=26) as there are many alternative channels to give feedback along the process. Thus, this evaluation data is far from complete. However, results provide us with first valuable insights: this data combined with the qualitative feedback we continuously receive throughout the year show high appreciation of the technical wishes project by the communities involved. Qualitative data gave us concrete ideas how to improve the process for the future.
Minimum one feedback-loop with communities per software release version Na Implemented
Throughout 2016, 10 feedback rounds werde conducted, both locally and internationally, onwiki and in real life.
Feedback rounds are integrated in every feature’s development roadmap.

Objective 3: Support German and international community and staff collaboration on addressing internationally and locally relevant technical requests.

2016 was a busy and successful year in terms of international collaboration on tech projects for the movement. After the productive face to face encounters of the WMF and WMDE tech teams during the Jerusalem Hackathon, at and around Wikimedia Conference and at Wikimania, the collaboration with the WMF continued online, supported through bi-monthly meetings.

WMDE continued to coordinate with WMF Community Tech around communication and timing of work packages. In addition, WMDE’s team also began working with tech teams at WMF beyond Community Tech, including the WMF Discovery, Editing and Reading Teams. The joint work with the specific WMF tech teams functions smoothly, and effectively integrates community preferences and ideas, as described above for the case of Advanced Search. In a few cases where it makes sense, such as the pageviews analysis tool, the development work has been taken over by WMF, and WMDE takes care of the communication. In other cases the WMDE team has taken over the work for the some items from the international to do list. For each case, we get to know a new WMF Tech team and to deepen the collaboration. Projects with much international importance include the Watchlist refactoring, the Revision Slider, Mention Notifications and Tables in pdf. This latter issue was a pain point for the international community, and the joint planning assured that it was addressed with higher priority and a designated product owner for Electron PDF.

At the developer summit in January 2017, we coordinated the planned work for the upcoming year and jointly provided a presentation on the work and the underlying philosophy and processes to the gathered developers. The presentation highlighted the new TOP10 wishes from the 2016 international list, current tasks from the German list, and upcoming work on both. We continue to provide joint status reports with WMF Community Tech. In addition, staff members from our development teams serve as consultants and advocates of our communities in technical movement committees including the MediaWiki Architecture Committee and the Wikimedia Developer Summit program committee. Staff provided extensive support for preparing grant proposals, in particular the recent Sloan Grant regarding structured data in Commons, and reviewed several software development related project grant proposals submitted to WMF.

In summary, the WMDE Technical Wishes team is very satisfied with how the collaborative work has developed and grown, maintains its close ties to the community requests, becomes more routine and yet creates much room for innovation and sensible division of labor. Positive feedback from communities as well as high usage of the developed products is evidence that we are on the right track here.

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments

Documentation and follow-up of the output of two hackathons/ tech community events (Wikimedia Hackathon, Wikimania) e.g. requests jointly worked on by WMDE and international tech community.

n/a Hackathon outputs documented and tracked on MediaWiki and Phabricator (for overview about tasks at Wikimedia Hackathon pls. also see here)
Common work with WMF community tech team fully integrated in documentation.
Important Indicators / Metrics
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Number of participants at WMDE sessions at hackathons/ tech community events (WM Hackathon, Wikimania, Developer Summit)

Great success: This year’s Wikimedia Hackathon in Jerusalem was especially dedicated to technical community wishes (118 participants).

25 participants joined the community wishlist session at WMCON16.

Wikimania Hackathon saw joint work on the RevisionSlider task and the “include tables in PDF” wish. 15-20 participants joined WMDE’s ‘edit conflict handling’ session and 12 editors have tested the prototype for a better solution of edit conflicts at the “edit conflict and cookies corner”.

> 40 participants joined us in workshops on Advanced Search in 3 different cities in Germany (Stuttgart/Wikicon, Munich, Cologne).

Objective 4: Throughout 2016, contribute to the shared learning on community-centered software development in the movement.

In 2016 we have continued sharing our lessons learned on community-centered software development with the movement. The following success stories and lessons learned were shared, some in cooperation with WMF teams:

Stories from community centered software development:

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Last year (if applicable) Progress (until Q2/2016) Results by end of 2016 Comments
Six software development success (or failure) stories published until end of 2016 n/a On track: 3 stories shared
Target exceeded: 8 stories shared
See list of stories above
Important Indicators / Metrics
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# of announcements on WM project pages and international movement platforms Feature announcements:

Catwatch, spread via Tech News (mailing list, project chat and individual subscribers of several wikis) and German Wikipedia.

Mention Notifications, announced via Tech News and on German Wikipedia (Kurier, 9/2916, right column)

  • Announcement of the first deployments as a beta feature to German, Hebrew and Arabic Wikipedia on Wikitech-L and Wikitech-Ambassadors, July 2016, Tech News and on German Wikipedia
  • Announcement of the beta feature rollout to all other wikis and in 30 languages via mass-message, September 2016
  • Announcement of the deployment as a default feature on German, Arabic and Hebrew Wikipedia in Tech News, November 2016

Page View Analysis Tool, feedback loop and announcement on German Wikipedia

Joint status report with WMF Community Tech team (via mailing lists, village pumps)

Regular updates on meta:WMDE Technical Wishes

# of talks and workshops at movement events (e.g. Wikimania, WM Hackathon, WMCON) 4

Shared learnings from WMDE Software Development


For further shared learnings from WMDE pls. see shared learnings section below


Wikimedia Hackathon:

Wikimedia Conference:

Wikimania/ Wikimania Hackathon:

Developer Summit, January 2017

Learning Patterns:



Non-APG funded programs as per WMDE 2016 compass priorities



This section provides information on the other components of the WMDE Annual Plan, organized along the lines of the 2016 WMDE Annual Compass. The Compass is organized along 10 focal points on three priority levels (rather than programs). It serves as a strategic guide for 2016, and allows WMDE to flexibly develop and implement activities that will directly contribute to the goals and objectives under each focal point.

Each of the three focal points at priority level one – volunteer recruitment, software development and political work – has a cross-departmental work group assigned to the completion of the objectives. Lower priority level focal points are addressed by respective departmental staff. Progress on the focal points, goals and objectives is reported to the board on a quarterly basis.

Attract and retain new volunteers for the Wikimedia movement



As explained in the APG Progress Report and the 2016-17 APG Proposal, attracting and retaining new volunteers is a continuous and important priority for WMDE, both in 2016 and 2017. As per the WMDE Annual Plan 2017 developed in summer 2016, this program in 2017 will focus on an online banner campaign. This upcoming activity determined our activities for the remaining months of 2016. Much of the second half of 2016 was spent researching, producing materials such as on-boarding videos and preparing the four-part banner campaign. This ensured a smooth start and facilitation of the first banner roll-out that took place in the first days of January 2017.

Introductory workshop at Forum of Free Knowledge at WikiCon 2016
Introductory workshop at Forum of Free Knowledge at WikiCon 2016

After staff turnover and recommendations for a more deliberate and thoughtful approach in Q2 of 2016, staff resources were shifted to set up a new project team and the team started working on an improved concept for this focal point. First, the project team reviewed all existing information that had already been gathered on this topic: outputs from a workshop with community members, an expert report commissioned by WMDE, and the editor survey on community welcome culture. The team then entered into conversations with community members and analyzed the newbie workshops at the WikiCon 2016, in order to reality-check the assumptions regarding barriers faced by new editors.

Based on this data, the team came up with a few conclusions: There are still many Wikipedia readers who do not know that they have the opportunity to edit Wikipedia, so they have never even tried editing – still a largely untapped potential for new editors, However, there is already a healthy growth in user accounts, without any WMDE activities focusing on this output. Therefore, account creation is not the primary focus of WMDE’s outreach efforts. The difficulties arise once people start editing for the first time, and the on-boarding period of new Wikipedia editors is quite challenging. Help pages cannot be found easily as there is no central access page for newbies. Their new articles are often quickly deleted. New editors then quickly give up and leave the project. This problem could be addressed by supporting new editors during the on-boarding period with videos that explain the most important basics of editing Wikipedia. In this way, newbies may gain a better understanding of how Wikipedia works in a more compact, wide-reaching and accessible format than plain help pages, and avoid common pitfalls that discourage their further engagement.

As a result, several activities of WMDE staff and volunteers focused on retaining new volunteers and making the on-boarding period less challenging.

All activities of the project team are being documented on a project page on WP:DE which also serves as a central space to discuss recent developments with community members.

Highlight: On-boarding videos to recruit and support new editors

In total, eleven new explainer and introductory videos that target potential new editors were produced until the end of 2016. All video scripts were shared and discussed with the community before the video shoot, resulting in a positive reception of the videos upon release. Several community members are also the main protagonists of the explainer videos, which is also an effective way to highlight and appreciate their long-term volunteer commitment. As a result of involving Wikipedians, the response was generally very positive: many community members were excited about the new videos and included them in other help pages they maintain.

In order to evaluate the impact of these videos, the team is currently analyzing this campaign, improving the abilities to measure impact and will be presenting first results in WMDE’s APG Progress Report 16/17. However, the team is hoping that these videos will also be widely used beyond WMDE’s initial campaign. Several of these videos have already been translated into English and might serve as useful for the English-speaking communities as well. And some German community members have already included the videos in their tutorials, as seen in a special online course targeted at new female editors available at the State Agency for Civic Education in the German state Baden-Württemberg.

Overall, the program activities 2016 have put WMDE in a very good position to roll out the four-part banner campaign in 2017, even after a quite challenging year 2016. We did not meet most of the objectives under this focal point, and although the objective of an increased number of Wikipedia accounts was met, this cannot be attributed to WMDE's activities. The year was needed to gather data, discuss with community and staff, and finetune the approach for 2017. WMDE is now in a much better position than in the beginning of 2016, with a strong project team and better knowledge and resources at hand. The project team will continue its work and expand in size in 2017. The focus will be on retaining new editors, for which WMDE will provide additional resources, but the team will also need support from the community, for example to adapt the site structure of help pages on Wikipedia or build a help new section dedicated to beginner questions. We will continue to tackle the issue of editor decline in the German Wikipedia and will be able to share some results of the new campaign in the upcoming months.

The reception of these activities in the Wikipedia community has generally been positive and people appreciate that the organization is trying to tackle this very challenging task. Staff was also in constant exchange throughout 2016 with Wikimedia Austria and Switzerland, for example regarding the German-language videos, as both chapters were excited about these new resource for their communities to use and adapt for their own work. As staying in contact with the international community about editor recruitment and retention activities remains important to WMDE, staff have been in touch with the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Argentina as well as attended the WikiConvention in France. For 2017, however, the team will expand communication into the movement and share as well as discuss what we have learned so far.

Goal 1: Increase the number of volunteers active in the Wikimedia projects: Motivate a significant number of the thousands of daily Wikipedia users to become active contributors to the projects.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
By the end of 2016, # of additional new German Wikipedia user accounts: 20.000 Ongoing:
Accounts de.wp: 2,277,002

+119,747 vs. baseline end of 2015 (+62,902 vs. Q1)
Accounts de.wp by end of 2016: 2,386,184

+228,929 vs. baseline 2015
Note: The 2016 growth in accounts is aligned with the normal annual growth (237,000 on average 2011-2015). Only a small amount of new user accounts can be attributed to particular WMDE activities because most recruitment activities were postponed to 2017. For the planned 2017 campaigns we expect a larger number of accounts created and will establish additional tracking features to figure out how many accounts are created based on the campaigns.
By the end of 2016, # of additional users that have made the 10th edit: 1,000 on top of 2015 baseline of 8,706. Ongoing:
de.wp Accounts with 10 Edits: 171,854 (end of May 2016)

+4,616 vs. baseline
Target missed:
de.wp accounts with 10 edits: 176,813 (Dec. 2016)

+7,341 vs. baseline 2015
Most recruitment measures were postponed to 2017 (please read above).
By the 4th Quarter 2016, # of additional users who make 5+ edits/month: 150 (on top of the baseline Q4 2015: average 5,832 active editors) Not due yet Target missed:
5,332 Active Editors (Average Q4 2016)

-500 vs. Q4/2015 (-8%)
The number of active editors in de.wp is still declining but we hope to slow down or stop this trend through the measures planned for 2017.

Goal 2: Create the conditions for volunteers to contribute towards a larger body of knowledge (in terms of depth and breadth) of consistent quality and diversity in Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
By the end of Q2, compile a report representing the current status of knowledge on content and authors of the German Wikipedia. Delayed: The completion of this objective has been postponed to Q4. Cancelled Personnel resources were shifted to set up and prepare the 2017 recruitment campaigns.

Software development: extend Wikidata, implement the community’s needs, and further develop MediaWiki


See above “2.2 APG-funded program: Software development for the Wikimedia movement” for details.



WMDE’s political and legal work in 2016 took place at the EU, federal and state levels, involved various players and partners, and started to create attention with a high number of decision-makers. Much of WMDE’s advocacy was applied at institutional levels and thus did not draw much media attention. In addition, WMDE received a steady number of requests to take part in policy processes, for example in federal and state parliaments, through direct participation, consultation and policy statements.

With the help of the community and other experts, WMDE was able to to identify and prioritize relevant national and EU policy issues. This helped to coordinate with other civil society groups even before an issue made its way on the political agenda, as it happened with regards to upload filtering. As a result, WMDE worked with several political decision-making bodies to shape policy with regards to open content and open data in Germany and at the EU level. Another success factor continued to be the work of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU (FKAGEU) and of the Wikimedian in Brussels, Dimitar Dimitrov.

For the second half of 2016, Legal and Policy Advisor John Weitzmann set out to identify relevant policy issues and develop as well as document WMDE positions. This was a participatory process and went through a few phases of community/external input. In August, as part of our annual planning for 2017, main policy goals were prioritized by the community through an online polling process on Meta. 14 different policy positions were put up for discussion.

Eight themes were prioritized:

  1. Content, once in the public domain, stays in the public domain.
  2. Free, open knowledge is default for all content produced with public funds.
  3. Memory institutions refrain from prohibiting photography on their premises.
  4. Freedom of Panorama has been harmonized at a high level across the EU.
  5. Orphan works are re-usable for open knowledge projects.
  6. No new ancillary copyright for media publishers at the EU Level.
  7. State and non-state entities are enabled to handle public licenses.
  8. Text and data mining remains usable for free knowledge.

In 2017, we will continue to work on these themes, as well as on any others that arise though the policy making process. At the time of this writing, WMDE positions on six of the above policy themes have been published. WMDE positions on the remaining policy issues are still being developed. Since it is important to incorporate input from experts and the community while formulating such positions, this is a longer and continuous process that will also continue to be a part of our agenda for 2017. Such a participatory process for formulating policy positions was already started in November, when our Legal and Policy Advisor conducted a deliberative polling at the local Wikimedia hub in Hamburg to gather input. WMDE positions are only available in German to date.

A Pilot: Deliberation Forum to develop policy positions with our stakeholders

This year, WMDE experimented with a constituent engagement format called “Deliberation Forum”. It is rooted in Scandinavian traditions of direct democracy (Stanford University calls this “deliberative polling” and does research on it) and involves a representative sample of constituents (in our case: WMDE members) who get equipped with sufficient time and external expertise to develop a policy position on a complex topic. The idea is to bring together the best features of both representative and direct democracy. Against the backdrop of open projects, such as the ones we deal with in the Wikimedia movement, the advantage WMDE sees in such an approach is an added legitimacy of positions with less of the typical bias that may be caused by a small, vocal group of community members dominating the process.

For the first installment of such a forum we chose the so-called “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) as the subject. As WMDE did not have any position on this, we were able to start with a clean slate. We cooperated with the local space Kontor Hamburg to give this a less centralized flavor, as opposed to having it in the Berlin office. As legal experts for the discussion we could draw on Dr. Lukas Mezger, member of the WMDE Board and fully qualified lawyer, on WMDE’s Legal and Policy Advisor, and were also generously supported by the WMF Legal Team’s Aeryn Palmer. Twelve randomly chosen members took part and were able to come up with a coherent position which was later presented to the WMDE Board for acknowledgement. Learnings from this first pilot will be incorporated into one or two more deliberation fora that WMDE plans to host in 2017.

Dimitar at the Wikiconference in Brno
Dimitar at the Wikiconference in Brno

The development of policy positions is an important pre-condition for engaging with political decision makers. The Wikimedia Brussels office uses such positions for EU policy work frequently. John Weitzmann and Dimitar Dimitrov established a virtual ‘wording’ workshop, where policy suggestions are drafted by staff, to later be disseminated to parliamentarians to submit as amendments to bills and in other contexts.

WMDE worked together with other Wikimedia chapters to make the EU policy work more sustainable through an agreed upon financing model for the Brussels office. Dimitar’s position is now permanent and fully funded by WMDE, while the partnering chapters cover the non-personnel costs. Decisions regarding the roadmap and the direction of EU-level work are made by the entire FKAGEU group, for example at the now institutionalized Big Fat Brussels meeting.

WMDE’s decision to increase the investment in EU advocacy comes at a crucial time: in September 2016 the European Commission finally proposed a copyright reform that will be reviewed by the European Parliament in 2017. However, while commercial publishers’ issues and demands reflect prominently in the legislative wording, concerns of the open and free knowledge communities such as access to knowledge and education online have basically been neglected. With increased resources for 2017, WMDE will work very closely with the Brussels office and the FKAGEU, together with our allies such as Mozilla and EDRi, to make sure that policy recommendations supporting Free Knowledge will be included in EU copyright reform.

At the national policy level, WMDE aims to directly work with German political decision-makers. In this context, the following institutions are seen as relevant for WMDE’s policy work:

  • the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
  • the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (with regards to cultural heritage)
  • the Federal Ministry of the Interior (with regards to open government, open data public partnerships)
  • the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (with regards to open science)
  • the Federal Ministry of Justice (with regards to EU copyright policy)

The Federal Ministry of Justice, for example, conducted a consultation on the proposed EU copyright reforms for which WMDE published a political statement (as part of the total 10 political statements published in 2016). Together with the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany (OKFDE), WMDE also took part in open consultation workshops of the Federal Ministry of the Interior that is currently in the process of drafting new open data legislation in Germany. WMDE takes part in the monthly Public Civil Partnership calls to provide input regarding the Federal Government's open data policies and contributed to the preparatory white paper about a Federal Open Data Act. With OKFDE taking the lead in this project, WMDE succeeded in including its most important policy recommendations. WMDE's Legal and Policy Advisor was invited to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to host a workshop on what future education in a world with digital collaboration could look like. He worked with ministry staff on ideas around open educational resources (based on recommendations from WMDE's Mapping OER project) to include concepts of sharing and civic engagement in the conversation about digital society.

At the judicial level, WMDE has been engaged in a legal dispute with the Reiss Engelhorn museum around works in the public domain for several years now. At the core of it lies the question whether photographic reproductions of public domain works from inventories of public heritage institutions (such as museums) are protected by photographers’ rights - which determines whether they can be uploaded to WM Commons or not. In June 2016, a verdict was reached at the first court’s level. While WMDE’s case was dismissed in our favor, the case of the WMF is still ongoing, now at Berlin High Court, as is the one against the Wikimedian who uploaded the material, his case now before the High Court of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. For the entire year, the WMDE team has been working very closely with WMF’s legal team and Wikimedia Brussel office to prepare for this case and has been using the legal decision as a basis for future policy work. One of our main program items at the “Shaping Access! 2016” conference in Berlin (“Zugang gestalten! 2016”) was built around the case, for example. Even though the verdict against the WMF was not decided in favor of free knowledge, WMDE will use this case as a platform to launch our work around safeguarding the public domain and will continue this work in 2017. Based on the belief that works, once in the public domain, should remain there (one of our priority issues identified for 2017, see above), WMDE wants to further engage political decision-makers in a dialogue to actively shape future policies regarding this issue.

Bassermannhaus, a building of the Reiss Engelhorn Museum
Bassermannhaus, a building of the Reiss Engelhorn Museum

On another level, WMDE’s John Weitzmann has been working very closely with the volunteer response (OTRS) team to respond to requests for legal assistance in a timely manner. The support encompasses taking part in team discussion or providing expertise for concrete practical examples. At this point, the OTRS team works very well as an independent body and has gained much expertise among the team members. As such, WMDE focuses on providing support when necessary, forwarding appropriate requests to the team and making sure everyone is on the same page regarding legal and policy issues. In this function, WMDE commissioned two expert reports for the team, providing clarification on legal issues that are recurring again and again. One report covered the proper re-use of photos taken by drones and another provided details on copyright-related questions regarding the digital copy of the famous Schindler’s list. Through this kind of support, the OTRS team will be enabled to become an even stronger community body and further increase its capacity to independently handle requests for assistance.

Overall, one important learning from the 2016 political and legal work concerns the assumption that WMDE needs to establish itself as a contact point with mass media on policy issues in order to strengthen our political work regarding free knowledge. This assumption was reflected in the metrics that were created for the annual plan in 2015. Based on the experiences in 2016 and the objectives that compelled us to measure impact in this area, the WMDE Legal and Policy Team concluded that WMDE’s presence in mass media did not have a direct or in any way significant impact on our political work in the area of free knowledge. Even though some of the objectives regarding press coverage of Wikipedia or Wikimedia certainly provided important information and showed that WMDE is increasingly successful in placing relevant information in the press, a direct impact on policy was not apparent. Rather than focusing on the mass media, WMDE staff will therefore shift its focus in the coming years. The policy work will have a stronger emphasis on working directly with decision-makers and actively shaping policy through involvement with political institutions directly, rather than through mass media.

Highlight: Generating proper license attributions for pictures from Commons and Wikipedia

The Attribution Generator is a tool developed by WMDE’s Software Development team in close collaboration with the WMDE Education, Science and Culture Department and the WMDE Legal and Policy Advisor since 2015. This tool enables people to attribute the correct license notice for publishing pictures from Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons and avoid mistakes when attributing CC licenses, which helps them honor the open content rules and stay safe from legal trouble. For WMDE, this is an important part of our legal work regarding open licenses. Since June 2016 an English version has been available online in addition to the German Lizenzhinweisgenerator. Since launch, both versions have received more than 18,000 unique page views in total, resulting in more than 16K correct license attributions, with the German version receiving more attention so far. In order to increase awareness around this great new tool, WMDE staff held talks at the Wikimania 2016, Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2016 and WikiIndaba 2017 in Accra. The tool is available to be translated in other languages, with a detailed explanation available on Commons and its code on GitHub, the caveat being that legal conditions have to be reviewed for each country and the tool will have to be adjusted accordingly. Interest in translation has already been expressed by Wikimedia Ukraine, Wikimedia France, Wikimedia Indonesia and Wikimedia Sweden.

Goal 1: To establish WMDE as a competent and relevant contact point with mass media on policy issues relevant to free knowledge. Specific national and EU issues will be identified, prioritized, and responded to as they arise.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
Within four months of hiring the policy advisor, identify relevant policy issues, and develop as well as document WMDE positions on each issue. Ongoing:
The policy advisor joined us in April. The major policy issues have been identified. The WMDE position documentation is still ongoing.
Partly fulfilled:
Relevant policy goals were prioritized together with our stakeholders through different methods. Further elaboration of the positions is ongoing. Six positions are already documented on Meta.
2016 issues were: Public works, EU data base directive, freedom of panorama, protect PD status from digitization rights, orphan works, interoperability, refugees.
Increase the number of Wikipedia/Wikimedia related articles in the German press that directly mention WMDE (through quotes, mentioning WMDE staff/board, or covering policy positions; clearly resulting from WMDE communication efforts) to 150 in the first half and 190 in the second half of 2016 (100-150% increase, Baseline 1st half of 2015: 74) Nearly on track:
Total articles: 543

With direct mentions: 146
Partly fulfilled:
Total articles: Q1-Q4: 689

With direct mentions: 198

Clearly resulting from WMDE communication efforts: 390
Total number of articles and ‘articles resulting from targeted WMDE communication efforts’ have clearly increased.

Direct mentions of WMDE have increased, but not as strongly as targeted.

Nevertheless, as most of our main messages had good press coverage, we regard this development as success.
By the end of 2016, three op-eds and six interviews involving WMDE staff or board have been published/aired. Ongoing:
Op-Eds: 0
Articles: 3
Interviews: 1
Almost fulfilled:
Op-Eds: 3+
Interviews: 5

Goal 2: To work directly with political decision makers and actively shape policy.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
Within two months of hiring the policy advisor, all requests for assistance from the volunteer response (OTRS) team have been responded to in a timely manner. Each request is analyzed for its significance, and if needed, follow-up in terms of legal action and/or public awareness is initiated. All requests received timely responses and follow up. Continuous collaboration with the support team (OTRS) and timely response/ follow up to all requests.

Two external legal reports were commissioned by WMDE to be used by the support team and for policy work.

Three requests for change directly addressed at WMDE could be clarified in a non-confrontative way.
Major issues dealt with were:
  • requests for deletion concerning date of birth of living persons
  • proper re-use of photos taken with drones
  • copyright-related questions regarding the digital copy of ‘Schindler's list’
By the end of the year, four political statements, position papers or public input into consultations have been published On track:
3 statements: NRW parliament and 2 EU consultations; Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science;

Input on WMF-Brief re IPRED

Total of 10 statements in 2016
E.g. WMDE position on the EU Copyright reform sent to the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer

Improve relationships between WMDE and volunteers



The WMDE Volunteer Support team continuously improves the process of applying for and receiving appropriate and effective monetary, logistical and technical supports. The average response time of around three days for funding requests shows the diligent and efficient work of our Volunteer Support team which managed to process all but one request for funding within 30 days of the application date. With these efforts, WMDE staff wants to ensure that all volunteers’ requests are processed in a smooth and timely manner, succeeding in this objective for 2016.

For 2016, WMDE reached a record number of people with this program: a total of 3,194 participants and volunteer organizers were involved with or directly benefited from projects supported by WMDE Volunteer Support. This marked a significant, 20 percent increase from the previous year, demonstrating that improved support mechanisms have allowed WMDE to support more people from the communities and beyond to engage with Wikimedia projects.

WikiEule community award in Stuttgart
WikiEule community award in Stuttgart

An increasing number of volunteer activities supported by WMDE are aimed at supporting Wikipedia readers as well as newbie editors. The number of introductory workshops offered at WMDE’s local hubs has risen and there are a few new, regional initiatives such as WikiWedding (Wedding is a neighborhood in Berlin) that have started to offer courses for people interested in Wikipedia. Besides the number of events offered, the WMDE team also recorded an increasing number of requests for informational materials, generally used at informational events and introductory workshops. On another level, effective collaborations initiated by community members in the past few years now serve as great examples for impactful local and regional partnerships between institutions and volunteers. One such example is the collaboration between German community members and the University of Heidelberg. As User:Marcus_Cyron writes in his blog article, it started at the German WikiCon 2015 in Dresden which a staff member of the Special Research Unit at the university visited to explore possible collaborations with Wikipedia. A GLAM on Tour station and a few meetings later, the collaboration has produced concrete results such as a number of new Wikipedia articles and Commons pictures on the antiques collection of the university. The story continues: the Special Research Unit wants to further explore opportunities to incorporate their research results into Wikipedia, Wikidata and other Wikimedia projects with the next workshop already planned for March 2017. The initiator of this project, User:Christianvater, a staff member at the Special Research Unit, received the WikiEule (the German community award for volunteer engagement and contributions) for his outstanding and enthusiastic dedication in bringing academia and Wikipedia in contact with each other for this project.

In addition to the GLAM on Tour station at the University of Heidelberg, another six stations were organized around Germany and Switzerland. Stations included the Kirchner Museum in Davos, the German Museum in Bonn and the State Museum Württemberg. For the first time, the GLAM on Tour format was adapted in Switzerland, organized by Wikimedia Switzerland.

Glam on Tour stations 2016

Diagram: Uploads and Uploaders WLM in Germany 2011 - 2016
Diagram: Uploads and Uploaders WLM in Germany 2011 - 2016
Winning picture from WLM 2016 international competition
Winning picture from WLM 2016 international competition

Among the larger projects officially supported by WMDE Volunteer Support, the photo contests Wiki Loves Earth (WLE) and Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) continue to be very popular in the German communities, with the largest number of photos uploaded to WLM and the second largest number of photos to WLE coming from Germany. The German community again submitted pictures of the highest quality, resulting in two placements of German contributors among the Top 15 photographs selected, with User:Code’s district court photo being chosen as the winning photograph of the international WLM contest. In Germany alone, 884 volunteers contributed more than 39.000 pictures to WLM. WMDE supported the community contest by organizing kick-off meetings, assisting with communications and public relations, maintaining jury tools, and facilitating the jury workshops. For the contest, WMDE has also partnered with the German National Heritage Preservation Committee (German: DNK) which officially supports WLM Germany with prizes. Several joint activities are currently being planned for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 in Germany.

Flyer of the program for freedom of information requests
Flyer of the program for freedom of information requests

Staff made some major revisions to the central page for the Volunteer Support grant process, to be found at WP:FÖ, where community members find information on the grant process and apply for funding. What is new: now, this page will not only be available to the German community for WMDE grants, but also to the Austrian and Swiss communities for the grant processes of Wikimedia Austria and Wikimedia Switzerland. Since September 2016, there is now only one central hub for grant applications from the German-speaking communities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. And the entire process has been made more concise and easier to navigate. This will hopefully enable easier access to support from the Wikimedia chapters for our community members. Furthermore, WMDE also established two new grant programs for which community members can apply: one is funding trainings for skill building of volunteers. Under this program, community members can apply for funding of professional workshops or other forms of advanced trainings on topics such as media or photographic skills that demonstrably improve their activities in the Wikimedia projects. WMDE has launched the second new grant program, funding the fees of freedom of information requests directed at public institutions in order to enable a low-threshold access to governmental data and to point out the lack of transparency in public authorities. Wikimedia Austria joined the program in 2017. As part of the AskTheState-project coordinated by Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland, members of the public can easily and transparently request information from public institutions which is then being documented and becomes public knowledge. However, some public institutions charge a fee which can now be reimbursed through WMDE’s and also Wikimedia Austria’s new grant program. All information requests will be available on https://fragdenstaat.de/. Grantees are required to contribute to the Wikimedia projects based on the content they acquired.

Expanding our work with external partners who work towards aligned goals has been a guiding principle for the work of the Volunteer Support team. Accordingly, our community and staff have increasingly collaborated with OKLabs, the regional volunteer hubs and groups of Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland working on open data and civic tech. Several meet-ups of the OKLabs in cities around Germany are making use of the local Wikimedia hubs and hold their regular meetings in these spaces. Increasing collaboration with other stakeholders working on all things open was also a guiding principle for our volunteer conference of the German-speaking Community – the WikiCon 2016. Having taken place in Kornwestheim, near Stuttgart, this WikiCon proved to be the most open and largest one to-date.

Highlight: Openness for new ideas, groups and projects at WikiCon 2016

The WikiCon 2016 was a great success! Organised by the local Stuttgart volunteer team in collaboration with WMDE, Wikimedia Austria and Wikimedia Switzerland, more people attended the yearly conference of the German-speaking Wikimedia communities than ever before – 333 attendees in total (2015: 196). The newly established ‘Forum of Free Knowledge’ proved to be a great space for the community and staff to engage with people who are completely new to the Wikimedia universe and wanted to get to know the people behind Wikipedia – 150 people from the local region participated in addition to the regular conference attendees.

The WikiCon is always organized by a local team of volunteers, with a different conference location chosen each year. As a result, every WikiCon is different in terms of team and location, making every conference a unique experience. For 2016, the Stuttgart team was responsible of organizing the WikiCon 2016 in collaboration with WMDE, Wikimedia Austria and Wikimedia Switzerland. The Stuttgart volunteer team took the lead, and received strong support from chapter staff regarding event management, evaluation, project management and media work. A decision was made to open up the conference to other projects in the open knowledge scene, leading to several program sessions held by experts from Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland, OpenStreetMap and Serlo. A location in the suburbs of Stuttgart was chosen with the intention of having a more regional impact. This turned out to be very effective: local citizens participated broadly in the Forum of Free Knowledge and the conference was supported by the local government and local organizations. The mayor of Kornwestheim liked the conference so much that she attended all three days of program.

Overall, feedback from attendees was highly positive and their expectations were either met or even exceeded. A large majority of attendees described the conference as increasing their motivation to contribute to Wikimedia projects, strengthening connections within Wikipedia and to other sister projects, and expanding their knowledge and skills. With almost 90% of attendees being active in Wikimedia projects and 49% for nine years or longer, these ratings show that the WikiCon remains an important support element for the German-speaking communities. As such, WMDE will continue its strong support of this conference in 2017, as always in cooperation with the local organizing team, Wikimedia Austria and Wikimedia Switzerland.

Data from the feedback survey:

"How do you rate the WikiCon 2016 as a whole?" "The WikiCon 2016 demonstrated appreciation of the volunteer work for Wikipedia and/or its sister projects." "Participating in WikiCon 2016 strengthened my motivation to contribute to Wikipedia and/or its sister projects."

Women Edit
Women Edit

Based on our activities from previous years, 2016 also proved to be a successful year for WMDE supported women projects in and around Wikipedia. After WMDE started an initial pilot project called WomenEdit in 2013, much has happened with the initial group.

During 2016, several regular women meet-ups were newly established by a number of different groups, often focusing on a particular topic or theme. The group Wikipedia Women in Film targets women from television and film who are interested in getting involved in Wikipedia and several events were organized in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, with the biggest meet-up during the Berlinale film festival drawing in more than 50 volunteers for the workshop.

The group WikiWomen on tour in Berlin documents important projects for women in Berlin and Women Wikipedia Design was established as a collaboration of community members from Berlin, Melbourne, and New York, focusing on the presence of women in architecture and construction in Wikipedia. Taken together with an edit-a-thon of the international project Art + Feminism in Berlin and several Wikipedia workshops for Women in Stuttgart, much has happened when it comes to women initiatives regarding Wikipedia. These projects show that there is much interests of female community members to organize locally, offline and according to their specific interests. WMDE has been supporting these individual groups and initiatives, for example by providing meeting spaces and enabling site visits, and will continue to do so in 2017.

Goal 1: Active volunteers have easy access to support, and are thus enabled to engage in the further development of WMDE and free knowledge activities.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
100% of complete project proposals receive a final response within three weeks after submission. On track:
Q1: 95%
Q2: 100 %
Nearly reached:
Q1 – Q4: 99%
Average: response 2.7 days after submission

Maximum: 34 days (just one proposal which required cross-departmental review and substantial revision)
At least 1,000 active volunteers are involved with or directly benefit from projects supported by WMDE Volunteer Support.
Baseline 2015: 2,663
On track:
Q1: 572
Q2: 635
Total 2016: 3,194 participants & organizers directly supported (+20% vs. 2015)
This figure does not include participants from the two big photo contests supported in 2016 (WLE: 1,107; WLM: 887) and participants at larger events/conferences.
Increase by 100% in the number of contributors and contributions to consultations regarding the planning of activities and development of WMDE strategy (baseline from the annual planning process for 2016: 16 Ideas, 30 contributors, 200 contributions). Just started:
Q2: World Cafè at the WMDE membership assembly in May (81 participants)
Target completed:
> 100 contributors in total
Under this target, contributors from all programs and activities involving volunteers were counted

New discussion format (‘deliberative forum’) to define policy positions together with stakeholders

Recruit educational, scientific, and cultural institutions for flagship projects



Open Science is an area of interest for WMDE because it holds much potential for moving towards our vision of a world in which all have access to all knowledge. Science, and consequently scientific research, is a field where knowledge is often guarded and hidden by elite researchers and traditional institutions, or where it is considered an economic asset not accessible to all. Opening science does not only improve the transfer of knowledge within the science community, but also the transfer of knowledge to society and for the benefit of citizens. Broad access to scientific knowledge, not only through the Wikimedia projects, will help equalize educational opportunities. To carry this message into institutions, and affect institutional change, the above goal was placed in WMDE’s annual plan.

First workshop with participants of the Open Science Fellows Program at the WMDE office
First workshop with participants of the Open Science Fellows Program at the WMDE office

The flagship project of 2016, the Open Science Fellows Program started in spring with the search for mentors. The call for fellow applications in took place in May and the first group of fellows who started in September of 2016 will conclude in March of 2017. Ten fellows were selected out of almost 80 applications, from a diversity of disciplines, at varying stages of their scientific careers.

The program is based on the theory of change that young researchers at the beginning of their careers will be able and excited to incorporate principles and practices of Open Science into their projects, and will then in turn act as ambassadors in their scientific institutions, demonstrating to their peers and older colleagues the advantages and benefits of practicing science in an open and collaborative manner. Open Science here goes much beyond Open Access, and includes Open Methodology, Open Data, Open Source, Open Peer Review, Open Educational Resources and Citizen Science.

Poster WMDE Opens Science Fellows Program
Poster WMDE Opens Science Fellows Program

The program concept rests on four pillars: financial support, training, mentoring and visibility. Fellows receive a stipend of 5,000 Euro to reimburse them for the extra effort. As a group, they meet for training and networking. The centerpiece is the mentoring component: Five mentors support two fellows each through a variety of methods and media, including regular meetings, videoconferencing and hands on work on their projects. Finally, fellows work to make open science more visible in their institutions and beyond through talks, workshops and blog posts about their research process.

The WMDE Science team worked with the WMDE ZEN team to design a formative evaluation for the pilot. It consists of a pre- and post-assessment of the fellows’ knowledge and skill levels, as well as of narrative mid-term and post-project reports. The pre-assessment informed the design of the training sessions, and the mid-term reports already gave staff an insight into what worked, and what areas need improvement. Three early learnings include:

  • Fellows appreciate the intensive mentoring and name this component as the decisive factor for their progress.
  • Fellows are already successful in triggering change processes in their institutions through small activities in teaching, research or institutional decision-making bodies.
  • The trainings could be strengthened by adding new institutional program partners and their contributing perspectives.

Given these first positive feedback points from both fellows and mentors, science staff is already actively planning the scaling of the program in upcoming years. WMDE, as well as its project partner, the Stifterverband decidedly operate with a multi-year horizon. So far, the program targeted young researchers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. WMDE plans to facilitate the creation of an alumni network, with the hope that alumni will in turn act as mentors for new fellows. We anticipate that after several program years, impacts start multiplying and cross-fertilizing at research institutions and organizations, and that the visibility component will normalize Open Science, while reducing current institutional, economic and cultural barriers.

With this vision in mind, the teams have begun to recruit additional partners, such as foundations, science/scientist-funding institutions, and universities and research institutes as training providers. Scaling of the program will occur slowly, as the program needs to assure a reasonable mentor-fellow ratio to maintain quality and impact. A few potential partners come with much expertise in fellowship selection and administration, processes that WMDE would rather not see in-house.

WMDE Staff is seeing much enthusiasm and interest in these new partner negotiations. Open Science is a topic much talked about in theory, and Open Access at a minimum is already part of public funding criteria at EU and the German federal levels. However, practical solutions for furthering Open Science as a practice are few and far between to date. In this vacuum, WMDE’s Open Science Fellows Program offers the new partners and investors an opportunity for getting involved in a hands-on project with tangible, measureable results.

Further reading in English:

In addition to the Open Science Fellows Program, WMDE also worked closely with a number of cultural institutions on various projects. One highlight of this work is the WikiLibrary barcamp that WMDE conducted together with the German Library Association and the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) for the first time in early December 2016. A barcamp is an open event format where the program is entirely shaped by attendees, without any predetermined session program. 60 participants, around 30 librarians and 30 Wikimedians met to discuss the topic of libraries in a digital world and exchange ideas and skills. Sessions were offered on various Wikimedia projects, libraries as co-working spaces, digital involvement at libraries, Wiki Loves Books, and the international campaign #1Lib1Ref. The goal of the event was bringing Wikimedians and librarians together in order to develop and execute ideas on how to collaborate effectively. This worked very well, as several new project ideas were born at the event, including a new collaboration of the SLUB with WikiSource with regards to maps and guidebooks for bikers. In Hamburg, community members of the local space Kontor Hamburg meet with staff from the Hamburg State and University Library to discuss collaboration for the #1Lib1Ref campaign in 2017. The event showed that bringing Wikimedians and librarians together can inspire many great projects. The organizing team, including WMDE, will be working to improve the event concept for a second edition of the WikiLibrary Barcamp for 2018.

WikiLibrary Barcamp 2016

Another success story about collaboration with cultural institutions is the regionalization of the popular cultural hackathon Coding da Vinci, a joint project of the German Digital Library, Service Center Digitization Berlin, Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland and WMDE. For the event, cultural heritage institutions meet coders and designers and during a six week competition, the technical community uses data sets provided by the institutions to program something new – an app, a website or a game. All data sets from the institutions are made available under a free license and can be used and re-used during and after the event, ideally from a platform such as Wikimedia Commons. At past events, for example, the City Museum Berlin released pictures of its entire geological collection on Commons. For WMDE, Coding da Vinci is a great event that demonstrates to GLAM institutions what can be done with their digital data and encourages them to release much of their data under a free license and on Wikimedia platforms.

For 2016, the event took place as a regional edition in the city of Hamburg, as Coding da Vinci North, organized by an autonomous local team that included community from our local space, the Wikipedia Kontor Hamburg. This regional edition proved to be a great success: 19 cultural institutions took part, 23 data sets were included and 18 projects were developed during the hackathon. WMDE supported this regional edition with funding and consultation provided by the founding team of Coding da Vinci. For the founding team, the regionalization in 2016 proved that it was possible for others to take the concept of the cultural hackathon and almost autonomously organize their own events, opening new perspectives for scaling the program. Nevertheless, support from the founding team was still vital to ensure fidelity to the program concept and principles. For 2017, WMDE will continue to further expand on the idea of regional Coding da Vinci events together with the German Digital Library and Service Center Digitization Berlin. Several Coding da Vinci events are already being planned for 2017 and 2018. As for all Coding da Vinci events, the goal is to enable even more cultural heritage institutions to independently release their data under a free license and make this data accessible to a broader public through platforms such as Wikimedia Commons or the German Digital Library.

Coding da Vinci Nord hackathon

Goal 1: Establish free knowledge as an issue in education and science through the initiation of a Wikimedia Fellow Program.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
15 Fellows initiate research projects as part of the program. Ongoing:
The call for applications is open until mid of July.
Partly reached:
Due to limited funding resources we funded 10 Fellows (out of 76 applicants), who started their research projects.
The overall concept of the program turned out to work very well and already generates valuable learnings for the 2017 round.

For 2017 WMDE is currently identifying additional funding and project partners.
Three highlights or success stories from the program are published. Not due yet as program just starts, planned for Q4 or after Completed:
3 Stories published until end of 2016

Open Science handbook at Wikibooks (set up in the course of the program)

Program cycle is September through March, further stories are published through Q2 2017, including several short videos.

Improve the conditions for free knowledge through OER practice and policy



OER Practice Framework
OER Practice Framework

Open education continues to be an important focus of WMDE’s work for free knowledge for all - which not only encompasses OER(Open Educational Resources), but rather uses these as a practical example on how to address digital learning and media education based on principles of free knowledge and open education. Based on the Mapping OER project, WMDE continues to be recognized as a leader in the OER discourse, and increasingly in the larger policy context of open education.

For the second half of 2016, the education team worked on disseminating the outcomes of the Mapping OER project, in particular the OER Practice Framework. The framework document provides recommendations around improving the conditions for free knowledge in education through practice and policy (full text (German), executive summary (German)). It shapes the current essential discussions around implementing OER in Germany. WMDE has used these discussions to further the debate around Open Educational Resources (OER) in regards to policy and practice, with different approaches.

At a practical level, the OER Practice Framework has served as the context for OER-related calls for proposals by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (German: BMBF) which were published in early 2016. It is also frequently used as a reference tool and for guidance by staff in government, educational and other public institutions. Portions of the framework were re-published as an article in a journal for school teachers. A WMDE staff member from the Education team was invited to join the advisory board of the newly set-up, federally funded OER Central Information Hub. These are just few examples of how the WMDE framework continues to have impact on the practical implementation of OER.

WMDE did not receive any new funding for OER in 2016 through federal grants. Although proposal abstracts were submitted, the calls did not quite fit with what our team saw as WMDE's future role in this field. Should WMDE apply for public funding again, it will only be in a consortium situation, with a group of strong partners and other OER stakeholders. This will increase the resources, available expertise and impact of any project. Currently, we are not planning to apply for any substantial project funds, but rather will continue the work at the policy and practical levels, supporting emerging networks and practitioners through our expertise. This will allow WMDE to utilize its central competencies, assisting with continuing education and transferring knowledge rather than serving as a central hub for OER in Germany. Nevertheless, the Mapping OER project and its OER Practice Framework have been essential investments for WMDE that continue to produce concrete results and remain critical milestones for our work in the educational sector.

DIHK Workshop on open content, free licenses and OER
DIHK Workshop on open content, free licenses and OER

As a concrete example, a new collaboration with the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (German: DIHK) has emerged from the Mapping OER project. The DIHK is a provider of occupational development trainings for hundreds of professions, which are then distributed through its 79 member organizations, the local chambers of commerce. Since all companies registered in Germany, with a few exceptions, are required to join a chamber by law, the DIHK reaches more than three million businesses and their employees.

DIHK staff participated in a workshop as part of Mapping OER and picked up much enthusiasm for Open Educational Resources and the potential for DIHK educational work. WMDE then developed a collaborative project with DIHK to create guidelines for the use of OER in vocational trainings. WMDE’s goal for this collaboration has been to not only provide information to DIHK staff and freelance vocational trainers/coaches, but also to raise awareness about OER among trainers and coaches, so they are motivated to incorporate open practices in their work. So far, WMDE conducted a first workshop on the topic of open content, free licenses and OER with DIHK staff and vocational trainers. This workshop was then used to collect ideas and suggestions for a new brochure on the same topic. The brochure is currently in review and will be published in 2017. Even though WMDE views this collaboration as a promising project to advance OER in the area of vocational training, the collaboration brings many challenges. This is the first time for WMDE staff to work with a partner that is inherently different in its structure, work and staff culture. The majority of needs from DIHK staff focuses on questions related to legal security in publishing. To bring together WMDE’s interests in improving the conditions for free knowledge and the DIHK’s own ideas about their content has continuously been a challenge in this project. Nevertheless, this innovative project with a new and significant partner will provide WMDE with many new learning opportunities, and plant the seeds for the changes needed in this large educational field.

Logo and members of the Open Education Alliance
Logo and members of the Open Education Alliance

With the Mapping OER project concluded in the second half of 2016, WMDE had much more time and resources to work on influencing OER related policy. After participating in consultations and hearings about the ‘strategy for digitalization of education’ of the ‘Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany’ (Kultusministerkonferenz, KMK), WMDE issued a strong statement (German) in favor of open education. Three main policy action items were highlighted by WMDE’s Legal and Policy Advisor in a blog post:

  1. A sharing culture has to be actively supported and developed, going beyond Open Educational Resources, in order to meet future needs of the educational sector to be part of the digital society.
  2. The potentials and benefits of learning in a digital environment need to be more tangible and clear for people working in the educational sector.
  3. Legal and formal frameworks for transformative educational materials need to be improved, so that it is clear how products such as open educational materials enhance the free access to education as a larger impact goal.

The Open Education Alliance (German: BFB) has been a critical vehicle for educational policy work. WMDE has been supporting and collaborating with BFB in the past few years. In addition to the KMK statement above, WMDE issued five statements/positions papers and organized one event as part of BFB in 2016. In the past, BFB suffered from a lack of coordination and operated largely based on the volunteer time of participants. The members represent organizations with few resources, yet bring enormous expertise and reputation around OER and related policy. This potential had not been fully tapped into due to the lack of backbone coordination. Therefore, for the second half of 2016, WMDE resolved to invest more time and resources in BFB, and support the alliance to reach its full potential as a policy player. As a result of this decision, WMDE now has a dedicated education staff member serving as a backbone for BFB. With this support, an increased number of BFB statements and position papers was issued in response to recent political developments in the second half of 2016. With a solid backbone function in place, BFB will be able to be much more present in online and face-to-face policy arenas, as well as issue statements and electoral evaluations whenever appropriate. Within a few years, the members hope to show concrete impact in terms of OER and open education solidly anchored in new policies and regulations. Some of the recent BFB statements have already received quite a lot of publicity.

In early 2017 the BFB members met in a retreat and set their policy goals and indicators for the year. WMDE is committed to further serving as a backbone to the BFB, unleashing this group’s potential for affecting policy changes.

Goal 1: Within 2016, build the capacity and secure the funding to implement the results of the OER Practice Framework.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
OER Practice Framework has been finalized and published. This has been completed and the work is being carried forward into Q3. Formal end of project and final accounting with the funder. The OER Practice Framework shapes the current discourse around OER in Germany.
A proposal for funding the OER hub has been approved. Two pre-proposals were submitted and did not receive funding. Two pre-proposals were submitted and did not receive funding. See narrative above

Goal 2: WMDE contributes to and intensifies the policy debate regarding OER.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
Two statements (in response to consultations, etc) and two WMDE/BFB policy position papers have been published by the end of the year. No position papers have been published yet. Fulfilled:
  • 6 statements
  • 2 position papers
  • 1 discussion event
  • 1 journal article
Including one statement for the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany regarding their upcoming strategy for ‘education in a digital world’.

Define and consolidate WMDE’s position within the international movement



All WMDE departments and staff members worked throughout 2016 to act as a strong learning partner in the movement and to support the movement as a whole as it increases its impact through international collaboration. WMDE has been doing this, among other activities, through organizing the Wikimedia Conference (WMCON). We also view the strategy process announced at Wikimania 2016 as a great opportunity to expand and consolidate collaboration within the movement. Combining both, WMDE worked towards developing the Wikimedia Conference 2017 as a forum for deliberation and conversation kicking off the movement strategy process. As a result, the Wikimedia Conference was enlarged in scope and will now include a strategy track with an additional 150 participants. WMDE sees the movement strategy as the much awaited next step in strengthening our network towards being an actual movement of equal partners. One of the first steps was the Chapters’ Dialogue, organized by WMDE in 2013-14, which formulated many of the big questions which now will be subject of the strategy process. WMDE will continue to support these conversations and help to ensure diverse participation in the development of the movement strategy.

Affiliates are the local and thematic organizational representatives of the movement, and along with volunteers and external partners must play an important part in developing the strategy. WMDE’s International Relations Advisor Nicole Ebber advocated for this in her presentation at the Wikimedia Foundation Board Strategy retreat in New York City on November 10-12, 2016. Furthermore, Nicole is also part of the Community Process Steering Committee that is taking up work in early 2017, and will take on the lead role for the affiliate portion of the strategy formation.

The appointment of WMDE Board Chair Tim Moritz Hector to the Board Governance Committee of the WMF is another example of how affiliates such as WMDE can contribute to the international development of our movement at a strategic level.

In light of these developments regarding movement strategy, much of WMDE’s international work in the second half 2016 was focused on preparing the next WMCON 2017. Based on the participant survey results, the 2016 conference was the highest rated for the satisfaction of participants compared to previous years. However, the conference team concluded that the topic of ‘impact’ that had been chosen for an entire program track might have been too broad and too abstract for a conference with participants coming to learn and to collaborate. Based on this learning, WMDE’s International Relations team wanted to make the program tracks more tangible, with more actionable learnings and connections for participants to take home. One of the themes that has been much discussed among movement entities in recent years is partnerships, collaboration with movement and with external partners, as well as with funders. Since there is much desire to learn about promising practices on the one hand, and a high interest in working in actual collaborations among affiliates, WMCON staff dedicated a track of the 2017 conference to partnerships.

Highlight: Working better together in partnerships

A few different chapters (WMDE, WMSE, WMFR) have already been informally meeting for several years at WMCONs and Wikimanias as a movement-focused partnership group with the goal of pooling resources and strengthening collaboration, for example by sharing resources and information on a central page on Meta. By invitation of WMDE, this partnerships group was convened again, more formally, in Berlin in November 2016, with several additional chapters attending. The idea was to strengthen the existing network of movement learning partners and provide input for the WMCON 2017.

The two-day workshop was attended by Wikimedia Polska, Wikimedia UK, Wikimedia Eesti, Wikimedia France, Wikimedia Argentina, Wikimedia Sverige, Wikimedia Österreich, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Nederland and Wikimedia Deutschland. As a result of plenary and working group discussions, the partners agreed on the following outcomes:

  1. The group intends to meet at least three times year (Wikimedia Conference, Wikimania and a 3rd meeting) and actively promote collaboration towards a joint impact
  2. The group will formulate a shared vision for partnerships in the movement and, based on this vision, also contribute to the movement strategy development.

One of the attendees, Giselle from Wikimedia Argentina, wrote a short post about this meeting as part of the community digest on the Wikimedia Foundation blog. The full documentation of this workshop can also be found on Meta.

Wikimedia Commons brochure in English
Wikimedia Commons brochure in English

The partnerships workshop is just one of WMDE’s activities as a learning partner in the movement. In addition, WMDE shared a record number of materials such as learning patterns, policies, reports and documentations with a total of 70 outputs for 2016. Among WMDE’s top most-read learning patterns: data transfer to Wikimedia Commons, business cards and email addresses for volunteers, and facilitating social interactions at conferences. More than ever, WMDE tries to share relevant content on international platforms such as the English translation of the Wikimedia Commons brochure, for example, that is now available on Commons. This is a result of the work of WMDE’s International Relations team that has been gently but consistently urging WMDE staff to think about international audiences as part of their communication strategy, and to increasingly see themselves as acting locally and regionally within a large international community of practice. Underpinning these efforts is a monthly presentation by the team on all topics international called ‘quick introduction to international affairs’ as part of weekly staff meetings.

Top 3 most-read WMDE learning patterns 2016

  1. Data transfers to Wikimedia Commons: Sharing institutional archives
  2. Business cards and email adresses for volunteers
  3. Facilitating social interaction at conferences

The International Affairs team reached out and connected with a variety of communities around the world by attending several conferences in the second part of 2016, among them WikiIndaba in Ghana, the CEE meeting in Armenia, as well as the French and German WikiCon, our volunteer-led regional conferences. The goal of this effort was for WMDE to serve as a learning partner on the topic of organizing conferences. Staff did this through hosting sessions and providing consultation to local staff organizing those conferences. At the same time, WMDE’s Program and Engagement Coordinator Cornelius Kibelka gathered additional input from participants for the upcoming WMCON 2017. While trying to serve as a learning partner, WMDE worked hard to connect diverse language communities working on similar topics. Cornelius together with WMDE staff working on the German WikiCon attended the WikiConvention Francophone 2016 to share learnings and connect with the organizing committee in August 2016. In turn, members of the French organizing committee as well as volunteer from the Italian community were invited to the German WikiCon in September 2016 to share their experiences and connect with the German community first hand.

The Visiting Wikimedian for the WMCON has been another innovative exchange project that will spread learning past the German chapter. Visiting Wikimedian is a program by WMDE for transferring practical knowledge from the German Wikimedia chapter to other Wikimedia movement affiliates. The program brings a Wikimedian to Wikimedia Deutschland’s office to work with us for up to six months on practical tasks around the conference.

Highlight: Visiting Wikimedian – Knowledge transfer as a hands-on experience
WMCON 2016 Team
WMCON 2016 Team

For the 2016 edition of the Wikimedia Conference, Teele Vaalma of Wikimedia Eesti worked at WMDE for three months to support WMDE in organizing the event but also learn the ropes from our increasingly experienced team. In her blog post Teele wrote about the experience:

“One and a half months flew past and the conference itself was knocking on our door. Suddenly everything was going much faster, as we were packing boxes for transportation to the venue and printing last documents – both the logistics and program coordinator were really busy and so was I. And then the participants arrived and the Conference began. Following five days were long and full of energy. I had to run and tape and explain and call and carry. And I think that a smile never left my face. I was trusted with things, like I were one of the team. And indeed I was, for that conference.”

As part of Teele’s work at the WMDE office, she also wrote two learning patterns on how to facilitate social interactions at conferences (together with WMDE’s Cornelius Kibelka) and a step by step guide for finding the right venue for a conference (together with WMDE’s Daniela Gentner). In addition to these new resources, WMDE also gains an entirely new perspective through having a Visiting Wikimedian from a different Wikimedia entity as part of the team. As the program has proven so successful in its first year 2016, WMDE is continuing this in 2017 with a new Visiting Wikimedian: David Saroyan from Wikimedia Armenia. More information about this ongoing program will be found in the next APG Progress Report for 2016-17.

Goal 1: Share as many possible learnings, successes and failures with the movement, WMF and other Wikimedia organizations.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
At least 20 learning patterns, learning materials, policies and procedures, statements, reports, documentations, resources etc. have been translated and shared. Q1: 5
Q2: 39

Total outputs shared: 44
Total outputs shared: 70

(Baseline 2015: 18 materials shared)
Compared to previous years WMDE increased the resources and materials made available for the Wikimedia movement e.g. as learning patterns (~4,400 pageviews in 2016), reports, portals, documented conference sessions or videos.

Please check the ‘shared learning’ sections of this report for comprehensive lists.

Goal 2: WMDE is viewed as a respected and competent player within the movement, and actively participates in relevant decision-making processes.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
Our funding-related interactions with movement entities (PEG/APG proposals, reports, shared learnings) are aligned with movement priorities, demonstrate high quality, are well received, appreciated and result in the requested funding awards. The 2015 impact report was received well.

The 2016 WMCON, according to survey results, was perceived as the best WMCON to date.
The 2016 progress report was received well.

PEG funding for 2017 WMCON was approved and its budget increased in the light of the role of the conference for the movement strategy process.
WMDE measurably participates in and influences three movement processes and decisions. ‘How to move forward’ track at WMCON16 was provided.

WMDE public recommendations re affiliate selected board seats were endorsed by some chapters. Our preferred candidates were elected.
Presentation held at WMF BoT strategy retreat on the role of Wikimedia affiliates.

WMF agreed in utilizing the WMCON 2017 as one main arena for movement strategy dicussions (incl. +150 additional participants at the conference).

Regionalization of volunteer structures: continue and analyze



WikiMUC's official opening event with cake
WikiMUC's official opening event with cake

Regionalization, that is the development of local spaces and hubs, continues to be of great interest to local Wikimedia communities. After a new local space (WikiMUC) opened in Munich in the spring of 2016, another group in Berlin has begun to set up a local volunteer hub in the German capital (WikiBÄR). In addition to WikiBÄR, Berlin community members formed the group WikiWedding that aims to improve information on the local district Wedding in the Wikiverse (Wikipedia, Commons, Wikivoyage and Wikidata). The team around WikiWedding has been offering regular editing workshops, Wikipedia clinics in the local library and open edit meetings. This shows that local initiatives are thriving, and continuing to grow and inspire each other. There are now ten local groups active across Germany, with the new local space opening in Berlin in 2017.

The existing local groups organized a record number of activities during the last year. In total, 489 activities were organized throughout 2016. The opening of local spaces to external groups working on projects close to WMDE’s mission is a new development with much potential. The local space in Munich, WikiMUC, has been especially active when it comes to collaborating with other groups, providing meeting space to Serlo (educational materials), Kiron (refugees) and Start2Code (coding for kids) since its opening. These partners utilize the local spaces for meetings, and frequently, further collaboration originates from that.

Activities of local spaces:

On the other hand, Wikimedia groups that do not have their own local spaces available in their town are also increasingly collaborating with other groups for activities and events. A great example for this is the local group in Ulm which has been partnering up with regional open data activists and is offering open edit meet-ups at a local open data space. This collaborative space in Ulm is designed to be open to diverse groups working on free knowledge and all things open in order to share resources as well as ideas. Since it is another great model of cooperation between local groups that shares existing spaces, WMDE has been supporting this initiative by providing technical equipment such as laptops, projector and screen to the local space. This partnership in particular has already produced some great results.

OKLab members from Ulm were interested in working with Wikidata, prompting WMDE and the community to organize a workshop on the topic, with some great new projects in the pipeline for 2017. The three-day workshop took place in late 2016 and WMDE staff Jens Ohlig and community member User:TweetsFactsAndQueries spoke to OKLab members about how to utilize Wikidata when working with open data and developing all things civic tech. The response was amazing: many great little hacks and tools were already produced during the weekend, for example this Wikidata query about long-lasting marriages or the vote impactor, a mobile app prototype that measures the impact of your vote during an election. And not only that: a group of hackers already committed to integrating all data surrounding the upcoming federal elections in Germany into Wikidata. For WMDE, this was a great outcome from collaboration; another workshop is already planned (and funded) on the potential role of Wikidata in election circles.

Wikidata meets OKLab

Presentation of workshop results at the end of the weekend
Presentation of workshop results at the end of the weekend
Regular local partners at local hubs 2016
Regular local partners at local hubs 2016

Local partnerships and collaborations are increasingly important resources for local groups, going far beyond just using shared spaces, inspiring new projects and contributions to Wikimedia projects with the help of WMDE-supported libraries and tech pools. Local spaces are comfortable and convenient places for community members, enabling them to co-work independently and autonomously on their own projects.

To further develop the concept of regionalization and incorporate community feedback, WMDE staff members organized a workshop on local spaces at the WikiCon2016. Together with around 20 volunteers from local spaces and groups, WMDE staff members reflected on the past activities, reported recent developments and gathered ideas for future changes. Given the potential of local spaces as catalysts for volunteer and outreach work, WMDE is not only continuing to strengthen these groups, but also learning about what makes them successful. To this aim, WMDE staff is offering support to local volunteers to more thoroughly document their activities and events. As shown in the WMDE study about local spaces, the local groups still often only report on a fraction of the events organized and the number of people attending. Looking at the coming years, reporting and documentation of impact at the local spaces is an important area of improvement, depending on the close collaboration of WMDE staff and volunteers.

Goal 1: Working closely with local communities to analyze local hubs/activities based on an jointly developed evaluation plan.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
Three local hubs have been evaluated. Completed: 5 regional hubs have been analysed jointly with volunteers and are reflected in a study. Completed (see left)
A report with recommendations on scaling regionalization has been published on Meta and has been accessed by at least 100 groups and individuals. The study has been published on Commons (incl. an English summary) and received 126 pageviews by users so far. Study was published on Commons (incl. an English summary, 181 pageviews) and was linked in the Impact and Progress Report.

Goal 2: Continue the support for the existing eight local hubs, as well as test and share additional ways to directly support local groups.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
Eight local groups have implemented 200 local activities with WMDE support. On track:
10 groups, 171 local activities
10 groups, 489 local activities
The strengthening of independent local groups and hubs appears to be a promising strategy to spark offline activities, collaboration with partners and volunteer commitment at the local level.
Learnings from regional work have been processed and shared with volunteers in local groups. Learnings were shared at Wikimania. Leanings are used by volunteers in developing further local activities and hubs e.g. in Munich or Ulm, as well as organizing the WikiCon.
At least five additional groups apply shared learnings in their own local contexts. Five additional regional groups have begun planning for local spaces. Five regional groups started working on local level (in different ways)
  • Opening of a new local Wikipedia hub in Munich
  • Collaborative space and first joint events with other free knowledge groups in Ulm
  • A group tries to establish a new permanent community space in Berlin
  • WikiWedding, a group committed to work about and involve others in Berlin’s famous district Wedding
  • In Leipzig/ Halle a group for organizing the volunteer conference Wikicon 2017 has formed

Involvement of volunteers



Naturally, involvement of volunteers is an essential part of many of WMDE’s programs described throughout this proposal, including policy work, community-centered software development and the GLAM work. In addition, WMDE works closely with volunteers in a variety of programs and processes, including the annual planning for 2017. As a result, over 70% of all activities in our 2016 annual plan involved volunteers at one or more steps in the process. A remaining 30% of activities did not involve volunteers as this incorporated only internal activities (like internal communication or internal capacity building) where collaboration with volunteers does not apply. In the Volunteer Support Department, WMDE staff have been in constant dialogue with the community to further develop the support mechanisms and actively involve the community in these processes. For example, in February 2016, a two-day workshop was conducted with the community and WMDE staff around the topic of attracting new volunteers. Regarding the production of give-aways, community members were actively involved in brainstorming and deciding on the specific give-away items through an online discussion. For the annual planning process 2017, a participation phase was incorporated that provided time for involving volunteers and other experts prior to finalizing goals and objectives for 2017.

Regarding the development of a toolkit, the team had to shift staff resources to the focal point ‘attract and retain new volunteers for the Wikimedia movement’, resulting in a cancellation of this activity for 2016.

Goal 1: Systematically and jointly plan and develop the collaboration between WMDE staff and community volunteers.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
Volunteers have been meaningfully included or involved in the implementation of 100% of annual plan goals. Q1: Volunteers involved in 6 of 10 focal points.

Q2: Volunteers involved in 7 of 10 focal points.
Total 2016: Volunteers involved in 9 of 10 focal points (90%). Collaboration and involvement of volunteers was a guiding principle for all of WMDE’s 2016 work, from technical wishes and software development through annual planning to concrete community projects.
Develop a toolkit with volunteers that includes principles and practices of volunteer- staff collaboration. Cancelled, due to changes in staff allocation Cancelled, due to changes in staff allocation Staff resources shifted to focal point ‘Attract and retain new volunteers for the Wikimedia movement’.
For each activity, the respective department reviews how communities can be involved. Checked and reviewed for Q1 / Q2 Checked and reviewed across all activities/ departments all through 2016

Clarification of WMDE identity and strategy



Developing a multi-year organizational strategy was a topic that the organization deliberated on and planned for throughout much of the year. The board formed a strategy committee, which created a draft approach that has been used as a basis for discussion.

Leadership discussed in particular how to integrate long-term strategic planning with the annual planning and reporting processes. It will be important to design meaningful participation opportunities for communities and stakeholders. As a first step, board members conducted an analysis of existing documents that reflect elements of strategy, such as the by-laws and the value statements on the website. They then created and published a text that reflects a current snapshot of the vision, mission and values as seen by the board.

Organizational strategy should include striving for financial health. Given this, the board in the fall assigned the executive director with the task to create a study on the long-term financial viability of the organization. This study was completed mid-January 2017. It covered three main topics, analyzing the situation and providing action scenarios as well as recommendations. The topics were (1) The current main revenue sources, as well as related projections and major risks, (2) Opportunities for increasing and diversifying revenue, and (3) Possibilities for creating long-term assets, including reserves and endowment. The 80-page White Paper was reviewed by external experts and staff, and then submitted to the board for review in late January. The board is expected to complete review and decide on next steps within Q2.

Given yet another leadership change at the end of 2016, and in the light of the emerging movement strategy process, creating a full structured plan for a strategy process was postponed to 2017. This year WMDE will additionally engage external expertise to assist with the ‘planning of the plan’, assuring that it is participatory, that it effectively supports, simplifies and integrates the annual planning process, reflects the values and culture of our organization and communities, and links with the movement strategy that is shaping up this year as well.

Goal 1: Plan the process to develop a multi-year organizational strategy, and assure a common understanding among all stakeholders (Board, Executive Director, staff, membership) about process and community participation.

Objective Progress until Q2 Results by end of 2016 Comments
Concept, tools and timeline for creating a multi-year strategy that is data-based, participatory, adaptive, real-time, applicable and relevant. The board committee on strategy and planning met in May and created a draft plan for the multi-year strategy. Discussions among the board working group could not be finalized until the board elections in November.

The newly elected board will now address this issue in 2017, also taken into account the movement-wide strategy process.

Further shared learnings


Learning Patterns




Other materials

Financial information


2016 began with a reduction in the requested APG award, which led to cuts in the software development budget. Positions such as the Product Manager for the Technical Wishes Team were hired later than originally planned in order to reduce expenses. The originally planned new Engineering Manager position was not filled with a new FTE, instead these functions were taken on by existing team members. Still, WMDE software development was able to deliver on the Wikidata objectives in the APG proposal, and provide a significant amount of additional prep work for Wiktionary and Commons. The entire APG award was expended, and allocated exclusively for development of Wikidata and MediaWiki.

Besides the reduced APG funds, 2016 was a much better-than-expected year from a revenue perspective. WMDE collected 450K Euros more in membership dues than anticipated at the beginning of the year. A grant from Google, restricted to Wikidata, but not restricted in terms of the funding period, was received late in Q2, and has not been expended yet. As mentioned above, the filling of positions, especially in Software Development, takes a long time, and thus causes delays in expending personnel funds such as the ones from the Google grant.

The Memorandum of Understanding between WMDE and the WMF which regulates the funding process for Wikidata over the next three years, while not guaranteeing funding, was finally signed in Q4. Very conservative spending under the former ED in other departments, such as Administration, Education, Culture & Science, as well as Volunteer Support, combined with the slow filling of positions in those departments, resulted in a significant surplus at the end of the year. This surplus becomes part of WMDE’s financial reserves (while not formally being categorized as operating reserves in the US sense, see text on operating reserves below).

To reflect some of these changes in revenue and expenses, the WMDE Board officially approved a supplementary budget in October 2016. This new budget is included in our financial figures below. As a result, budgeted expenses and anticipated revenues sometimes differ significantly from our financials published in the APG Progress Report.

Wikimedia Deutschland has received questions regarding its policies around operating reserves in the past. To date, there has been neither a need nor a possibility to formally generate operating reserves. The existing financial reserves at any time in the year provide a sufficient financial cushion to keep the operations going at least for several months if revenue were to drop to zero suddenly. More importantly though, the accounting standard currently applied by WMDE does not allow for forming operating reserves.

The general German accounting standard is called HGB (Handelsgesetzbuch/German Commercial Code). Many modifications and extensions exist. In 2010, the German Institute of Chartered Accountants introduced HFA 21, a special accounting standard for donation collecting nonprofit organisations. When WMDE's books were audited in 2012, the auditing firm KPMG strongly advised the application of HFA 21, and this advice was followed. The special feature of HFA 21 is that incoming donations are only accounted as revenue once the money is spent, since the donor wish is executed only at that moment. Since the accounting of donations as revenue is pushed into the future while the actual money is already in the bank, the standard does not allow the formation of operating reserves.

The HFA 21 standard is controversial. WMDE is currently reviewing its accounting standards to decide whether or not to change back to the HGB accounting standard. Any change would apply earliest to the accounts of 2017.

Table 1

Please note: Exchange rate used throughout the APG 15-16 process is 1€ = 1.12179$

Wikimedia Deutschland: Expenses 2016 by quarter

APG program expenses Q1 expenses Q2 expenses Q3 expenses Q4 expenses
Activity Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Cumulative Cumulative in USD
Focal Point 1.2: Software development for the movement
Program expenses
ArticlePlaceholder 1,625 € 17,083 € 983 € 12,733 € 2,423 € 12,828 € 1,690 € 9,005 € 58,370 € $ 65,479
Automated list generation 2,880 € 0 € 4,646 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 1,449 € 7,685 € 16,659 € $ 18,688
Structured data support for Wikimedia sister projects 8,775 € 44,777 € 3,141 € 62,249 € 22,444 € 33,910 € 38,881 € 99,017 € 313,193 € $ 351,337
Unit convertion 0 € 0 € 414 € 0 € 896 € 8,287 € 241 € 1,280 € 11,118 € $ 12,472
Partnerships for Wikidata and foster collaboration in Open Data 0 € 16,196 € 275 € 14,716 € 525 € 18,109 € 937 € 12,941 € 63,699 € $ 71,457
Continued mentoring program volunteers 1,006 € 2,612 € 7,135 € 8,580 € 4,000 € 8,855 € 7,199 € 7,087 € 46,474 € $ 52,135
New datatypes and improvements to existing ones 2,600 € 42,318 € 931 € 18,423 € 896 € 8,287 € 241 € 1,617 € 75,312 € $ 84,485
Continue to evolve the user interface 3,250 € 25,235 € 1,163 € 23,026 € 3,269 € 25,623 € 2,414 € 12,808 € 96,787 € $ 108,575
Agile development of community requests from the technical wishlist 0 € 34,757 € 791 € 59,854 € 1,119 € 79,787 € 1,444 € 48,586 € 226,337 € $ 253,903
Cooperation with the Community Tech Team (WMF) 0 € 6,309 € 377 € 6,367 € 500 € 8,531 € 0 € 2,232 € 24,316 € $ 27,278
Hacking on international technical requests 3,088 € 2,097 € 192 € 7,451 € 0 € 5,803 € 1,153 € 2,421 € 22,205 € $ 24,910
Events SD & E 2,988 € 730 € 3,307 € 1,867 € 3,638 € 5,673 € 53 € 3,110 € 21,365 € $ 23,967
User specific workshops SD&E communites 0 € 39 € 0 € 287 € 286 € 3,379 € 1,039 € 2,386 € 7,415 € $ 8,318
Subtotal 26,211 € 192,151 € 23,354 € 215,553 € 39,996 € 219,072 € 56,741 € 210,174 € 983,254 € $ 1,103,004
Management, coordination and developer capacity 0 € 30,048 € 0 € 30,091 € 0 € 32,446 € 0 € 41,758 € 134,343 € $ 150,705
Subtotal 26,211 € 222,200 € 23,354 € 245,644 € 39,996 € 251,518 € 56,741 € 251,932 € 1,117,597 € $ 1,253,709
Administrative overhead (1) 7,339 € 62,216 € 6,539 € 68,780 € 11,199 € 70,425 € 15,887 € 70,541 € 312,927 € $ 351,039
Total APG expenses 33,551 € 284,416 € 29,893 € 314,425 € 51,195 € 321,943 € 72,628 € 322,473 € 1,430,524 € $ 1,604,747
Non-APG program expenses

(other Focal Points)

Q1 expenses Q2 expenses Q3 expenses Q4 expenses
Focal Point Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Cumulative Cumulative in USD
Priority level 1
1.1: Attract and retain new volunteers for Wikimedia projects 42,516 € 56,738 € 39,436 € 57,892 € 23,696 € 64,181 € 81,530 € 67,461 € 433,450 € $ 486,240
1.3: Strengthen political and legal work aimed at promoting free knowledge 11,187 € 27,806 € 13,446 € 37,794 € 12,240 € 34,592 € 36,273 € 40,791 € 214,129 € $ 240,208
Subtotal 53,703 € 84,544 € 52,882 € 95,686 € 35,936 € 98,773 € 117,803 € 108,252 € 647,579 € $ 726,448
Priority level 2
2.1: Improve relationship between WMDE and volunteers 36,320 € 39,055 € 60,111 € 43,449 € 48,796 € 51,993 € 221,386 € 45,625 € 546,735 € $ 613,322
2.2: Recruit educational, scientific, and cultural institutions for flagship projects 0 € 20,374 € 759 € 25,677 € 35,825 € 30,542 € 11,879 € 22,450 € 147,506 € $ 165,471
2.3: Improve the conditions for free knowledge through OER practice and policy 112,857 € 49,866 € 5,875 € 15,099 € 7,919 € 24,174 € 6,976 € 21,314 € 244,080 € $ 273,807
2.4: Define and consolidate WMDE’s position within the international movement 29,870 € 38,850 € 69,618 € 45,105 € 30,843 € 45,699 € 8,519 € 26,102 € 294,606 € $ 330,486
Subtotal 179,047 € 148,145 € 136,363 € 129,330 € 123,383 € 152,408 € 248,760 € 115,491 € 1,232,927 € $ 1,383,085
Priority level 3
3.1: Regionalization of volunteer structures: continue and analyze 9,205 € 3,096 € 26,158 € 1,005 € 13,200 € 1,627 € 20,030 € 1,291 € 75,612 € $ 84,821
3.2: Involvement of volunteers 0 € 1,570 € 292 € 32 € 0 € 10 € 0 € 0 € 1,904 € $ 2,136
3.3: Clarification of WMDE identity and strategy 0 € 18,850 € 922 € 14,717 € 203 € 13,884 € 455 € 12,237 € 61,268 € $ 68,729
Subtotal 9,205 € 23,516 € 27,372 € 15,754 € 13,403 € 15,521 € 20,485 € 13,528 € 138,784 € $ 155,686
Total Non-APG program expenses 241,955 € 256,205 € 216,617 € 240,770 € 172,722 € 266,702 € 387,048 € 237,271 € 2,019,290 € $2,265,219
Other program/program support expenses (2) Q1 expenses Q2 expenses Q3 expenses Q4 expenses
Department Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Cumulative Cumulative in USD
Education, Science and Culture 339 € 7,817 € 2,324 € 0 € 2,602 € 0 € 657 € 0 € 13,739 € $ 15,412
Volunteer Support 11 € 1,927 € 1,446 € 0 € 240 € 0 € 3,470 € 0 € 7,094 € $ 7,958
Software Development 4,524 € 69,693 € 1,537 € 38,513 € 2,828 € 40,653 € 2,127 € 38,920 € 198,796 € $ 223,007
Communication 295 € 13,914 € 14,936 € 8,448 € 1,114 € 6,343 € 29,478 € 7,284 € 81,812 € $ 91,776
Event Management 2,670 € 29,827 € 2,912 € 29,917 € 2,662 € 30,523 € 10,015 € 30,439 € 138,965 € $ 155,889
Partnerships und Development 0 € 12,973 € 255 € 17,622 € 313 € 10,952 € 150 € 29,837 € 72,103 € $ 80,885
Total other program and program support expenses 7,839 € 136,152 € 23,410 € 94,500 € 9,759 € 88,471 € 45,897 € 106,480 € 512,509 € $ 574,927
Administrative/indirect program expenses (3) Q1 expenses Q2 expenses Q3 expenses Q4 expenses
Item Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Cumulative Cumulative in USD
Office of the CEO, Board of Directors 14,675 € 34,293 € 11,300 € 33,075 € 31,734 € 34,112 € 11,811 € 32,398 € 203,398 € $ 228,170
Finance 7,466 € 12,706 € 9,535 € 11,905 € 3,371 € 12,783 € 8,139 € 12,294 € 78,199 € $ 87,723
IT 27,735 € 13,947 € 47,615 € 13,403 € 54,758 € 14,357 € 69,884 € 12,720 € 254,420 € $ 285,405
Communication 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 140,058 € 0 € 140,058 € $ 157,116
Operations (incl. Works Council, HR) 121,904 € 29,750 € 135,990 € 29,270 € 116,367 € 31,879 € 123,289 € 37,685 € 626,134 € $ 702,391
Total administrative and indirect program expenses 171,780 € 90,697 € 204,440 € 87,653 € 206,230 € 93,132 € 353,181 € 95,096 € 1,302,209 € $ 1,460,805
Total expenses Q1 expenses Q2 expenses Q3 expenses Q4 expenses
Total program and associated expenses 455,125 € 767,470 € 474,360 € 737,349 € 439,906 € 770,248 € 858,754 € 761,320 € 5,264,531 € $ 5,905,699
Risk liquidity (4) 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € $ 0
Total expenses (including risk liquidity) 455,125 € 767,470 € 474,360 € 737,349 € 439,906 € 770,248 € 858,754 € 761,320 € 5,264,531 € $ 5,905,699


(1) Administrative overhead: Proportion of WMDE administrative overhead (28% rate) allocated to 'software development for the movement'.

(2) Other program expenses include expenses for Volunteer Support, Software Development, and Education, Science and Culture not included in the programs listed under non-APG expenses.

(3) Total administrative and indirect program expenses without the 28% overhead allocated to Software Development.

(4) Risk liquidity includes funds set aside for unforeseen changes to our annual expenses. These are not operating reserves pursuant to a policy, as defined by the FDC.

Table 2

Please note: Exchange rate used throughout the APG 15-16 process is 1€ = 1.12179$

Wikimedia Deutschland: Expenses 2016, budgeted vs. actual

Total in EUR Total in USD
Budgeted Actual Budgeted Actual
APG expenses Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Total Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Total Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Total Nonpersonnel cost Personnel cost Total Percentage of budget spent Explanation of variances from plan
Focal Point 1.2: Software development for the movement
Program costs
ArticlePlaceholder 5,500 € 55,188 € 60,688 € 6,721 € 51,649 € 58,370 € $ 6,170 $ 61,909 $ 68,079 $ 7,540 $ 57,940 $ 65,479 96%
Automated list generation 14,000 € 108,934 € 122,934 € 8,975 € 7,685 € 16,659 € $ 15,705 $ 122,201 $ 137,906 $ 10,068 $ 8,621 $ 18,688 14% In preparation. Actual development work has not started yet.
Structured data support for Wikimedia sister projects 58,000 € 313,039 € 371,039 € 73,241 € 239,952 € 313,193 € $ 65,064 $ 351,164 $ 416,228 $ 82,161 $ 269,176 $ 351,337 84%
Unit convertion 12,000 € 75,835 € 87,835 € 1,551 € 9,567 € 11,118 € $ 13,461 $ 85,071 $ 98,533 $ 1,740 $ 10,732 $ 12,472 13% In preparation. Actual development work has not started yet.
Partnerships for Wikidata and foster collaboration in Open Data 12,000 € 60,393 € 72,393 € 1,737 € 61,962 € 63,699 € $ 13,461 $ 67,749 $ 81,210 $ 1,949 $ 69,509 $ 71,457 88%
Continued Mentoring Program Volunteers 26,000 € 41,319 € 67,319 € 19,340 € 27,134 € 46,474 € $ 29,167 $ 46,352 $ 75,518 $ 21,695 $ 30,439 $ 52,135 69%
New datatypes and improvements to existing ones 5,000 € 75,839 € 80,839 € 4,668 € 70,644 € 75,312 € $ 5,609 $ 85,076 $ 90,685 $ 5,237 $ 79,248 $ 84,485 93%
Continue to evolve the user interface 10,000 € 76,983 € 86,983 € 10,096 € 86,691 € 96,787 € $ 11,218 $ 86,359 $ 97,577 $ 11,326 $ 97,250 $ 108,575 111%
Agile development of community requests from the technical wishlist 9,500 € 255,122 € 264,622 € 3,354 € 222,984 € 226,337 € $ 10,657 $ 286,193 $ 296,850 $ 3,762 $ 250,141 $ 253,903 86%
Cooperation with the Community Tech Team (WMF) 3,500 € 41,569 € 45,069 € 877 € 23,439 € 24,316 € $ 3,926 $ 46,632 $ 50,558 $ 984 $ 26,294 $ 27,278 54%
Hacking on international technical requests 13,500 € 78,208 € 91,708 € 4,433 € 17,773 € 22,205 € $ 15,144 $ 87,733 $ 102,877 $ 4,973 $ 19,937 $ 24,910 24%
Events SD & E 10,000 € 44,268 € 54,268 € 9,985 € 11,379 € 21,365 € $ 11,218 $ 49,660 $ 60,877 $ 11,202 $ 12,765 $ 23,967 39%
User specific workshops SD&E communites 5,000 € 16,356 € 21,356 € 1,325 € 6,090 € 7,415 € $ 5,609 $ 18,348 $ 23,957 $ 1,486 $ 6,832 $ 8,318 35%
Subtotal 184,000 € 1,243,053 € 1,427,053 € 146,302 € 836,951 € 983,254 € $ 206,409 $ 1,394,445 $ 1,600,854 $ 164,120 $ 938,884 $ 1,103,004 69%
Management, coordination and developer capacity 7,000 € 112,778 € 119,778 € 0 € 134,343 € 134,343 € $ 7,853 $ 126,513 $ 134,366 $ 0 $ 150,705 $ 150,705 112%
Subtotal 191,000 € 1,355,831 € 1,546,831 € 146,302 € 971,295 € 1,117,597 € $ 214,262 $ 1,520,958 $ 1,735,220 $ 164,120 $ 1,089,589 $ 1,253,709 72%
Administrative overhead (1) 55,364 € 393,006 € 448,370 € 40,965 € 271,962 € 312,927 € $ 62,107 $ 440,870 $ 502,977 $ 45,954 $ 305,085 $ 351,039 70%
Total APG expenses 246,364 € 1,748,838 € 1,995,201 € 187,267 € 1,243,257 € 1,430,524 € $ 276,369 $ 1,961,828 $ 2,238,197 $ 210,074 $ 1,394,673 $ 1,604,747 72%
Non-APG program expenses
Priority level 1
1.1: Attract and retain new volunteers for Wikimedia projects 186,000 € 266,767 € 452,767 € 187,178 € 246,272 € 433,450 € $ 208,653 $ 299,257 $ 507,909 $ 209,974 $ 276,266 $ 486,240 96%
1.3: Strengthen political and legal work aimed at promoting free knowledge 144,500 € 240,897 € 385,397 € 73,146 € 140,983 € 214,129 € $ 162,099 $ 270,236 $ 432,335 $ 82,054 $ 158,153 $ 240,208 56%
Subtotal 330,500 € 507,664 € 838,164 € 260,324 € 387,255 € 647,579 € $ 370,752 $ 569,492 $ 940,244 $ 292,029 $ 434,419 $ 726,448 77%
Priority level 2
2.1: Improve relationship between WMDE and volunteers 320,000 € 100,000 € 420,000 € 366,613 € 180,122 € 546,735 € $ 358,973 $ 112,179 $ 471,152 $ 411,263 $ 202,059 $ 613,322 130% Program costs of 90,000 € for organizing the WikiCon 2016 were originally budgeted for Volunteer Support and then shifted to this budget item.
2.2: Recruit educational, scientific, and cultural institutions for flagship projects 40,000 € 73,000 € 113,000 € 48,463 € 99,043 € 147,506 € $ 44,872 $ 81,891 $ 126,762 $ 54,365 $ 111,105 $ 165,471 131%
2.3: Improve the conditions for free knowledge through OER practice and policy 48,000 € 132,000 € 180,000 € 133,627 € 110,453 € 244,080 € $ 53,846 $ 148,076 $ 201,922 $ 149,901 $ 123,905 $ 273,807 136% Nonpersonnel expenses for Mapping OER were higher than planned, due to expenses planned for 2015 but realized in 2016. All of these expenses have been fully reimbursed through the grantmaker.
2.4: Define and consolidate WMDE’s position within the international movement 166,068 € 157,482 € 323,550 € 138,850 € 155,756 € 294,606 € $ 186,293 $ 176,662 $ 362,955 $ 155,761 $ 174,726 $ 330,486 91%
Subtotal 574,068 € 462,482 € 1,036,550 € 687,553 € 545,374 € 1,232,927 € $ 643,984 $ 518,808 $ 1,162,791 $ 771,290 $ 611,795 $ 1,383,085 119%
Priority level 3
3.1: Regionalization of volunteer structures: continue and analyze 100,000 € 16,500 € 116,500 € 68,593 € 7,019 € 75,612 € $ 112,179 $ 18,510 $ 130,689 $ 76,947 $ 7,874 $ 84,821 65%
3.2: Involvement of volunteers 0 € 62,000 € 62,000 € 292 € 1,612 € 1,904 € $ 0 $ 69,551 $ 69,551 $ 328 $ 1,808 $ 2,136 3% Staff resources shifted to focal point 1.1: Attract and retain new volunteers for the Wikimedia movement. Some activities were cancelled.
3.3: Clarification of WMDE identity and strategy 5,403 € 108,933 € 114,336 € 1,580 € 59,688 € 61,268 € $ 6,061 $ 122,200 $ 128,261 $ 1,772 $ 66,957 $ 68,729 54%
Subtotal 105,403 € 187,433 € 292,836 € 70,465 € 68,319 € 138,784 € $ 118,240 $ 210,260 $ 328,500 $ 79,047 $ 76,639 $ 155,686 47%
Total Non-APG program expenses 1,009,971 € 1,157,579 € 2,167,550 € 1,018,342 € 1,000,948 € 2,019,290 € $ 1,132,975 $ 1,298,561 $ 2,431,536 $ 1,142,366 $ 1,122,853 $ 2,265,219 93%
Other program/program support expenses (2)
Education, Science and Culture 20,000 € 18,086 € 38,086 € 5,922 € 7,817 € 13,739 € $ 22,436 $ 20,289 $ 42,724 $ 6,643 $ 8,769 $ 15,412 36% The position 'Head of Education, Science and Culture' remained vacant for the majority of 2016.
Volunteer Support 65,000 € 35,219 € 100,219 € 5,167 € 1,927 € 7,094 € $ 72,916 $ 39,508 $ 112,425 $ 5,796 $ 2,162 $ 7,958 7% Program costs of 90,000 € were shifted to focal point 2.1: 'Improve relationship between WMDE and volunteers' for organizing the WikiCon 2016.
Software Development 0 € 125,284 € 125,284 € 11,016 € 187,780 € 198,796 € $ 0 $ 140,542 $ 140,542 $ 12,357 $ 210,650 $ 223,007 159% Additional personnel expenses due to increased support for the Fundraising department.
Communications 64,277 € 76,405 € 140,682 € 45,823 € 35,989 € 81,812 € $ 72,105 $ 85,710 $ 157,816 $ 51,404 $ 40,372 $ 91,776 58%
Event Management 10,000 € 121,590 € 131,590 € 18,259 € 120,706 € 138,965 € $ 11,218 $ 136,398 $ 147,616 $ 20,483 $ 135,407 $ 155,889 106%
Partnerships and Development 1,801 € 58,500 € 60,301 € 718 € 71,385 € 72,103 € $ 2,020 $ 65,625 $ 67,645 $ 805 $ 80,079 $ 80,885 120%
Total other program/program support expenses 161,078 € 435,084 € 596,162 € 86,905 € 425,604 € 512,509 € $ 180,696 $ 488,073 $ 668,769 $ 97,489 $ 477,439 $ 574,927 86%
Adminstrative/indirect program expenses (3)
Office of the CEO, Board of Directors 161,418 € 168,417 € 329,835 € 69,520 € 133,879 € 203,398 € $ 181,077 $ 188,929 $ 370,006 $ 77,986 $ 150,184 $ 228,170 62%
Finance 27,390 € 45,681 € 73,071 € 28,510 € 49,689 € 78,199 € $ 30,726 $ 51,244 $ 81,970 $ 31,983 $ 55,740 $ 87,723 107%
IT 169,420 € 60,072 € 229,492 € 199,993 € 54,427 € 254,420 € $ 190,054 $ 67,388 $ 257,442 $ 224,350 $ 61,056 $ 285,405 111%
Communications 165,289 € 0 € 165,289 € 140,058 € 0 € 140,058 € $ 185,420 $ 0 $ 185,420 $ 157,116 $ 0 $ 157,116 85%
Operations (Office, HR, Works Council) 535,685 € 111,340 € 647,025 € 497,550 € 128,584 € 626,134 € $ 600,926 $ 124,900 $ 725,826 $ 558,147 $ 144,244 $ 702,391 97%
Total administrative and indirect program expenses 1,059,202 € 385,510 € 1,444,712 € 935,631 € 366,578 € 1,302,209 € $ 1,188,202 $ 432,461 $ 1,620,663 $ 1,049,581 $ 411,224 $ 1,460,805 90%
Total program and associated expenses 2,476,615 € 3,727,011 € 6,203,625 € 2,228,144 € 3,036,387 € 5,264,531 € $ 2,778,242 $ 4,180,923 $ 6,959,165 $ 2,499,510 $ 3,406,189 $ 5,905,699 85%
Risk liquidity (4) 114,940 € 0 € 114,940 € 0 € 0 € 0 € $ 128,939 $ 0 $ 128,939 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 0%
Total expenses (incl. risk liquidity) 2,591,555 € 3,727,011 € 6,318,565 € 2,228,144 € 3,036,387 € 5,264,531 € $ 2,907,180 $ 4,180,923 $ 7,088,104 $ 2,499,510 $ 3,406,189 $ 5,905,699 83%

(1) Administrative overhead: Proportion of WMDE administrative overhead (28%) allocated to 'software development for the movement'.

(2) Other program expenses include expenses for Volunteer Support, Software Development, and Education, Science and Culture not included in the programs listed under non-APG expenses.

(3) Total administrative and indirect program expenses without the 28% overhead allocated to Software Development.

(4) Risk liquidity includes funds set aside for unforeseen changes to our annual expenses (not operating reserves).

Table 3

Please note: Exchange rate used throughout the APG 15-16 process is 1€ = 1.12179$

Wikimedia Deutschland: Revenues 2016

Revenues Q1 revenue Q2 revenue Q3 revenue Q4 revenue
Anticipated Cumulative Anticipated in USD Cumulative in USD Percentage received Explanation of variances from plan
Donations 2,489,528 € 2,410,905 € 95,855 € -250,283 € 0 € 2,256,477 € $ 2,792,728 $ 2,531,293 91% Due to new terms of the fundraising agreement with the WMF, additional donations of 250,283 € had to be transferred to the WMF in Q3.
APG grant 1,200,000 € 1,200,000 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 1,200,000 € $ 1,346,148 $ 1,346,148 100%
Membership fees 1,710,000 € 746,554 € 713,369 € 202,722 € 89,150 € 1,751,795 € $ 1,918,261 $ 1,965,146 102%
OER grant 106,000 € 0 € 106,108 € 0 € 0 € 106,108 € $ 118,910 $ 119,031 100%
Google grant for Wikidata 437,500 € 0 € 437,500 € 0 € 0 € 437,500 € $ 490,783 $ 490,783 100%
Carry-over 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 0 € $0 $0 0%
Other revenue 21,500 € 5,571 € 12,041 € 10,410 € 75,648 € 103,671 € $ 24,118 $ 116,297 482% Additional income resulted from an unexpected one-time donation received in late 2015 and partly in 2016.
Fundraising management overhead 217,274 € 50,000 € 0 € 0 € 167,274 € 217,274 € $ 243,736 $ 243,736 100%
Wikimedia Conference 145,365 € 0 € 145,935 € 0 € 0 € 145,935 € $ 163,069 $ 163,708 100%
Total 6,327,167 € 4,413,030 € 1,510,808 € -37,151 € 332,072 € 6,218,759 € $ 7,097,753 $ 6,976,142 98%

Table 4

Please note: Exchange rate used throughout the APG 15-16 process is 1€ = 1.12179$

Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft: Expenses and revenues 2016

Revenues Q1 revenue Q2 revenue Q3 revenue Q4 revenue
Anticipated Cumulative Anticipated in USD Cumulative in USD Percentage received Explanation of variances from plan
Donations within the fundraising agreement (carry-over 2015) 9,441,647 € 9,347,624 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 9,347,624 € $ 10,591,545 $ 10,486,071 99% Fluctuations due to across-FY payments to WMF
Donations within the fundraising agreement (first term 2016) 934,916 € 701,455 € 317,007 € 0 € 0 € 1,018,462 € $ 1,048,779 $ 1,142,500 109% Fluctuations due to across-FY payments to WMF
Donations within the fundraising agreement (second term 2016) 9,441,647 € 0 € 0 € 237,749 € 9,372,602 € 9,610,351 € $ 10,591,545 $ 10,780,796 102%
Interest 8,000 € 575 € 67 € 65 € 54 € 761 € $ 8,974 $ 854 10% Lower revenue due to interest rate reduction
Total 19,826,210 € 10,049,654 € 317,074 € 237,814 € 9,372,656 € 19,977,199 € $ 22,240,844 $ 22,410,222 101%

Expenses Q1 expenses Q2 expenses Q3 expenses Q4 expenses
Budgeted Cumulative Budgeted in USD Cumulative in USD Percentage spent Explanation of variances from plan
Transfer of donations to WMF (July 2015 - June 2016) 5,852,261 € 5,394,474 € 221,152 € 250,283 € 0 € 5,865,909 € $ 6,565,008 $ 6,580,318 100%
Transfer of Donations to WMDE (July 2015 - June 2016) 2,489,528 € 2,410,905 € 95,855 € -250,283 € 0 € 2,256,477 € $ 2,792,728 $ 2,531,293 91% Due to new terms of the fundraising agreement with the WMF, additional donations of 250,283 € had to be transferred to the WMF in Q3.
Transfer of FDC funds to WMDE 1,200,000 € 1,200,000 € 0 € 0 € 0 € 1,200,000 € $ 1,346,148 $ 1,346,148 100%
Fundraising management overhead WMDE 68,774 € 50,000 € 0 € 0 € 18,774 € 68,774 € $ 77,150 $ 77,150 100%
Personnel Cost 207,849 € 51,164 € 37,255 € 35,867 € 53,872 € 178,158 € $ 233,163 $ 199,856 86%
Nonpersonnel Cost 566,151 € 74,297 € 183,511 € 10,420 € 321,140 € 589,368 € $ 635,103 $ 661,147 104%
Donations collected since July 2016, marked for transfer to WMF/WMD in July 2017 9,441,647 € 0 € 0 € 237,749 € 9,372,602 € 9,610,351 € $ 10,591,545 $ 10,780,796 102%
Total 19,826,210 € 9,180,840 € 537,773 € 284,036 € 9,766,388 € 19,769,037 € $ 22,240,844 $ 22,176,708 100%


(Table 4) The difference between total revenue and total expenses results from the different fiscal requirements of WMF/WMFG/WMDE: WMF's fiscal year runs from July 01 to June 30, while WMFG's/WMDE's fiscal year is the calendar year. This results in across financial year payments.



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Abraham Taherivand (WMDE) 17:04, 24 March 2017 (UTC)