Grants:APG/Proposals/2015-2016 round1/Wikimedia Sverige/Staff proposal assessment

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The staff proposal assessment is one of the inputs into the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) proposal review process, and is reviewed by the FDC in preparation for and during the in-person deliberations each round. The purpose of the staff proposal assessment is to offer the FDC an overview of the expert opinions of the FDC staff team about this annual plan grant proposal, and includes (1) An overview about all applications in the current round; (2) A narrative assessment; (3) An assessment that ranks each applicant according to specific criteria in program design, organizational effectiveness, and budgeting.

Overview for all assessments[edit]

High quality of proposals and annual plans[edit]

Proposals in this round have significantly improved in quality. Proposals are accompanied by detailed strategic plans, and some strategic plans include ways to monitor long term progress over time. With a few exceptions, proposals have been more focused and organized into 2-3 programs with common objectives. Most proposals have been more clearly focused on program work and have included less of an emphasis on operational details. Organizations have included logic models and other clear explanations (e.g. needs assessments and community surveys) to demonstrate why their work is needed and how proposed activities are likely to lead to results.

We appreciate the significant effort that has gone into these proposals, and also believe that the high quality of these proposals will aid the Funds Dissemination Committee in their understanding of each organization’s planned work. Furthermore, quality proposals with clear objectives will provide a strong foundation for each organization’s evaluation of their results in the coming year.

Better targets and effective storytelling[edit]

The inclusion of global metrics targets for each proposal has enabled a better understanding of the entire portfolio of Annual Plan Grant proposals in Round 1, and should help show the impact of Annual Plan Grant organizations as a group in a few key areas.

We know global metrics don’t tell the entire story of an organization’s impact. Organizations have included program-specific metrics that measure results that are specific to their work. We see organizations thinking about ways to understand the quality of the content contributed through their work, as well as ways the content is used by contributors (e.g. use rates for media), or readers (e.g. pageviews). Organizations are doing important work that is not yet reflected in global metrics, such as work in the areas of policy advocacy, building the MediaWiki community, and attempts to address community health. Organizations are striving to find good ways to show their achievements in these areas, and to link these achievements to online impact. We appreciate the different ways organizations are working to show the impact of their programs through metrics that are specific to their contexts, and we know this work will continue to be important moving forward.

Beyond the metrics, organizations are improving in their abilities to effectively tell stories and document lessons learned, both in terms of organizational learning and program learning. We have seen significant improvement from last year, with several organizations becoming systematic in the way they document and share their stories. We appreciate where organizations have highlighted important aspects of their work through effective storytelling.

Community health[edit]

This year, several organizations are using the lens of community health to structure their work with online contributors. Wikimedia Nederland is doing innovative work around training Arbitration Committee members and administrators. Amical Wikimedia, Wikimedia Nederland, and Wikimedia Israel are addressing online conflicts in their communities. We encourage them to share what they learn about this developing approach with the broader movement and Wikimedia Foundation, as we all stand to gain from these experiences.

Beyond this work, we have seen many organizations implement community surveys to gain a better understanding of the communities they work with and their specific characteristics and challenges. We see movement organizations as clear leaders in this area, since most have direct relationships with their communities and are well-equipped to address challenges that are specific to the geographies and languages they work with. We appreciate that learning how to address challenges in specific Wikimedia communities may be used to improve our understanding of community health in the broader Wikimedia context, which is one reason we see this work as so important.

Many organizations are looking beyond Wikipedia and Commons communities, to focus on other projects. Wikimedia Sverige and Wikimedia CH are both focusing on Wikidata this year, and Wikimedia Israel and Wikimedia Serbia are continuing their strong work on Wiktionary. A number of organizations are focusing on other projects like Wikisource and Wikivoyage, which may offer significant opportunities for improving content and increasing participation and reach.

Policy and legal work[edit]

Organizations are focusing on policy areas like copyright reform in a consistent and coordinated way. Wikimedia organizations already have a track record of participating in policy discussions. Some organizations, like Wikimedia Sverige, are seen by others as policy experts in their regions.

However, organizations do not yet have a strong track record with influencing policy, as it remains a nascent area of work. Plans focus on processes and mechanics of policy works rather than identifying specific and achievable policy goals.

Outside of policy work, organizations are also working on supporting contributors with legal expertise (e.g. Wikimedia CH and its work on copyright guidance for users on Commons).

In general, we see this policy work as well-aligned with Wikimedia Foundation’s strategies in these areas. We encourage organizations to continue to articulate how these policy goals benefit Wikimedia projects. We acknowledge that it is challenging to measure the outcomes of this work, and encourage further discussion.

Technology work[edit]

Organizations are continuing to request funding for technical work, with a focus on technology tools. In general, we have seen an improvement in plans for technology work and have seen these projects proposed on a smaller scale. Some organizations already have expertise in these areas, while others are working to build more expertise. Beyond Wikimedia Deutschland’s software development plans, Wikimedia Sverige is working with its community to address bug reporting, and Wikimedia Sverige and Wikimedia CH are building relevant tools to expand the use of Wikipedia (text-to-speech, Kiwix and Wikimini). Wikimedia UK is also continuing work on VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) and QRpedia. Wikimedia Israel is working on ways to support technical contributors to MediaWiki, and Wikimedia Ukraine is planning to support the development of gadgets relevant to its community.

Coordination among organizations[edit]

Organizations are continuing to coordinate with one another to improve movement practices and accomplish shared goals. Wikimedia Nederland, Wikimedia Österreich, Wikimedia Ukraine, and Amical stand out as high performers in documenting learning and improving movement practices, and Wikimedia Israel, Wikimedia Argentina, and Wikimedia Sverige, are making important contributions too.

Wikimedia Argentina and Wikimedia Ukraine are taking leadership roles in regional collaborations like Iberocoop and the CEE regional group. Organizations are collaborating across languages (e.g. Amical and Wikimedia Sverige), as well as within languages (e.g. DACH). A number of organizations are supporting international program groups and convenings, including Wikimedia Ukraine (Wiki Loves Earth), Wikimedia Nederland (GLAM conference), Wikimedia Österreich (Wikisource conference), Wikimedia Israel (Hackathon). Organizations in Europe are coordinating around EU advocacy issues.

Beyond technology tools, organizations like Wikimedia Österreich, Wikimedia Nederland, Wikimedia Sverige and Wikimedia Israel are working on tools for advocacy work and education work that can benefit the broader movement. Organizations are also engaging actively with the Community Engagement team at Wikimedia Foundation to coordinate with Wikimedia Foundation on movement learning.

Quality of budgets[edit]

Budgets in this round varied in quality. Some organizations are still struggling to include an appropriate amount of detail in their budget. We believe more conversation is necessary to agree on the level of detail needed in these budgets, and to establish shared norms for good practices in budgeting and financial reporting. WMF plans to provide more in-depth guidance for budgets in the future.

Wikimedia Sverige and Wikimedia Nederland have performed consistently in the area of making quality budgets and offering transparent financial reporting, and we’ve also seen significant improvement from smaller organizations like Amical and Wikimedia Serbia. Several organizations included staff time and costs for each program. This is a good practice, which can help organizations demonstrate how staff are contributing to different program areas, and tracking this closely will also help organizations understand how their resources are being allocated.

In some cases, however, we received budgets that included line large line items without sufficient detail for understanding the costs. This means that we could not draw strong conclusions about how budgets were weighted toward impact in many cases.

Finally, we noticed large amounts allocated to travel expenses, printing and promotional materials, and it is sometimes difficult to link these significant expenses to commensurate impact. Where expenses are significant, we would like to see clearer links to impact.

Pilot: one restricted grant request[edit]

The FDC makes general support grants to support programmatic and operational costs. For the first time, the FDC has received a request for a restricted grant, from Wikimedia Deutschland. We are piloting this approach to specifically support Wikimedia Deutschland’s software development focus. In a restricted grant, funds are allocated to specific line items in an organization’s budget.

Overview[edit]

Summary[edit]

Current (projected) Upcoming (proposed) Proposed change (as a +/- percentage)

FDC or PEG funding

$302,288.54 $309,263.52 2%

Budget

$517,803.60 $894,736.25 73%

Staff

6.5 9.5 46%

Overview of strengths and concerns[edit]

This section summarizes the strengths and concerns identified by staff, which are explained in the detailed narrative section of this assessment.

Strengths[edit]

  • Strong targets leverage Wikidata work and self-sustaining partnerships
  • Community engagement, expertise in technical support
  • Opportunities for partner engagement in Sweden

Concerns[edit]

  • Significant staff and budget growth may strain capacity
  • Balancing priorities of multiple funders could be a challenge

Staff proposal assessment narrative[edit]

This section takes an in-depth look at this organization's past performance and current plans.

Context and effectiveness[edit]

This section takes a close look at this organization's context. Here are some questions we will consider:

Environment[edit]

How does this organization's environment (including its local context and its community) enable this plan to succeed and have impact?

  • Wikimedia Sverige works with a small but consistent group of core contributors, and the organization’s technical expertise meets the needs of this core community.
  • Swedish Wikipedia continues to grow and thrive. Swedish Wikipedia hit the 2,000,000 article milestone in September of this year.
  • Partner organizations in Sweden are eager for GLAM-digitization expertise that Wikimedia Sverige can provide, and there are opportunities in the Swedish context to deepen Wikidata work.
  • There are opportunities for external fundraising in Sweden, and Wikimedia Sverige is beginning to have success in raising these funds.
  • Wikimedia Sverige is now being consulted by the Swedish government for their expertise in particular topics, which we see as evidence of their credibility in Sweden.
  • Gender equality is recognized as an important issue in Sweden and the cultural context here could enable good work. We hope to see the organization deepen their work on the gender gap.

Past performance[edit]

Will this organization's past performance with program implementation enable this plan to succeed?

  • Wikimedia Sverige is showing good results, especially now that they are measuring some results from their self-sustaining partnerships. Wikimedia Sverige is also beginning work with Wikidata, which is the focus of much of their content growth in 2016.
  • In terms of content performance, by mid-2015, they have supported 1,926 improved or new articles and 1,279 images used on Wikimedia projects.
  • By mid-2015, they have overachieved on many of their targets outlined in their last proposal (for 2015). They had a target of 50 active editors involved, and have achieved 342 by mid-year. Wikimedia Sverige reported 2,200+ total individuals involved by mid-year 2015, compared with 1,800 total in 2014. This could be at least partially due to underreporting in previous years.

Organizational effectiveness[edit]

Will this organization's overall effectiveness enable this plan to succeed?

  • Wikimedia Sverige has stable and effective leadership, including board and staff leadership. Wikimedia Sverige’s executive director is leaving the organization at the end of 2015, but it seems likely that Wikimedia Sverige will be able to effectively manage this transition.
  • While Wikimedia Sverige is an effective organization, we note that the budget growth and staff growth proposed are very significant and would place a capacity strain on any organization. This growth is funded externally, but managing the priorities of external funders is also likely to be an increasing challenge as Wikimedia Sverige diversifies.
  • Wikimedia Sverige has experience managing funds effectively and makes financial information transparent to the community. Wikimedia Sverige has been refining their financial systems to gain more efficiency.
  • Wikimedia Sverige is a strategic organization that uses learning to improve their effectiveness and adapt their programs to achieve better results. Wikimedia Sverige has proven ability to measure and document the results of their work.
  • Wikimedia Sverige contributes to improving movement practices, through regional collaboration and proactive collaboration with organizations beyond their region.

Strategy and programs[edit]

This section takes a close look at this organization's programs. Here are some questions we will consider:

Strategy[edit]

Does this organization have a high-quality strategic plan in place, and are programs well-aligned with this strategic plan?

  • Wikimedia Sverige has a strategic plan in place, and is currently engaged in a process to create their new strategic plan which includes a series of consultations. This new plan moves away from a stakeholder-based approach and to context. It will be a 3-5 year plan.
  • New alignment of three programs leverages Wikimedia Sverige’s expertise and capacity, and all three programs are strongly aligned with movement strategic priorities.

Programs[edit]

Do proposed programs have specific, measurable, time-bound objectives with clear targets, and are program activities and results logically linked? Are there specific programs with a high potential for impact?

  • Strong approach to program design, including three main work areas with clear and relevant objectives, logic models. We like the reorganization of programs into three main work areas.
  • Wikimedia Sverige has set ambitious targets for online content, particularly in the area of articles created or improved. By mid-2015, they achieved 1,926 articles, but for 2016 targeted 580,350; images uploaded are expected to reach over 100,000 images. This massive planned growth in articles can be explained because of Wikimedia Sverige’s plans to work on Wikidata and through the migration of WLM database. Images uploaded are anticipated to rise because of their Cultural Heritage project.
  • While gender is not a specific focus of any of the programs in this plan, Wikimedia Sverige includes targets that are broken down by gender, which will give a good indication of progress in this area. At the same time, Wikimedia Sverige appears to be losing some of their focus on diversity, as they are no longer focusing on translation work with diaspora communities.
  • The text-to-speech prototype could make Wikimedia projects more accessible to people who currently have less access. We encourage Wikimedia Sverige to consider MediaWiki integration, as there may be concerns if they plan to rely on external software.
  • Wikimedia Sverige is leveraging their expertise in partnership building to form partnerships with organizations that continue to sustain Wikimedia work over time.
  • Wikimedia Sverige is beginning to focus on Wikidata, which is a high potential program.
  • Wikimedia Sverige is continuing to use their technical expertise effectively to support their communities through short-term bug reporting.

Budget[edit]

Is this plan and budget focused on the programs with the highest potential for online impact?

  • Wikimedia Sverige is planning to increase their budget very significantly from $517,803 to $894,736 (a 73% increase), through external funding. Wikimedia Sverige is also requesting a 2% increase in their Annual Plan Grant.
  • Wikimedia Sverige is planning to increase their staff significantly, by 3.0 FTEs, contingent upon securing external funding.
  • Wikimedia Sverige is requesting to allocate 100,000 SEK of Annual Plan Grant funding to increase their operating reserves.
  • Wikimedia Sverige has a good track record of budgeting effectively, and of transparent and effective financial reporting. In their budget, Wikimedia Sverige has provided a breakdown of staff time per program, which confirms that the budget and staff time are weighted toward impactful programs.

Summary of expert opinions (if applicable)[edit]

This section will summarize any expert opinions or other research.


Staff proposal assessment framework[edit]

This framework assesses annual plan grant proposals across the three dimensions of (1) Program design, (2) Organizational effectiveness, and (3) Budgeting. To complete the assessment, we identify whether each criterion is a strength or a concern:

  • Major strength
  • Strength
  • Neither a strength nor a concern
  • Concern
  • Major concern
Criterion Assessment Description

Program design

P1. Strategy

Major strength WMSE has a quality strategic plan that includes ways to evaluate long term progress, and all of its programs are strongly aligned with this strategy and with movement priorities. WMSE is continuing to improve its strategic planning process as part of making its upcoming strategic plan. Rationale for strategic alignment is clearly explained for each program.

P2. Potential for impact at scale

Strength WMSE is planning programs that build on its strong track record of program and organizational effectiveness, and is pursuing a self-sustaining partnerships strategy with the potential for scalability on a national level. Furthermore, the organization's work on Wikidata has great potential to contribute to movement priorities at scale. Targets set are ambitious and yet realistic based on past performance and plans, which correspond to the amount requested.

P3. Objectives and evaluation methods

Strength WMSE has a clear plan in place to evaluate its work, and has a strong track record of effective evaluation in the past. WMSE monitors its ongoing progress according to goals set. WMSE's plan goes beyond global metrics to provide useful insights into its programs that are important to the organization's specific work. WMSE has improved its metrics and evaluation methods year over year.

P4. Diversity

Strength WMSE has lost its focus on working with diaspora communities and has not clearly prioritized any direct work on the gender gap as part of its plan. However, WMSE has set targets around female participation and their focus on text to speech work should benefit currently underserved communities.

Organizational effectiveness

O1. Past results

Strength WMSE has been showing strong results. Beyond quantitative metrics, they are now seen as an expert in their field and are being consulted by the Swedish government.

O2. Learning

Strength WMSE is a learning organization that has greatly improved its ability to effectively document and share its work, and manages risks and challenges effectively. There is evidence in this proposal that WMSE is continuing to refine its programs and approaches as a result of this learning.

O3. Improving movement practices

Strength WMSE has worked with other organizations in their regional group (Scandinavia) and beyond, to share learning and collaborate.

O4. Community engagement

Strength WMSE is directly in touch with its core of consistent active contributors, who have remained part of the community over a long time period, and communicates with active contributors directly about their needs throughout the year, in addition to involving the community in planning.

O5. Capacity

Strength WMSE has a focused plan, stable board leadership, and an effective staff. At the same time, we have some concerns that so much hiring (if fundraising is successful) will require some of the organization's capacity, alongside the search for a new executive director.

Budget

B1. Past budgeting and spending

Strength WMSE has budgeted consistently year over year, done a good job of adjusting its budget when changes were required, and has made its financial information transparent. Past spending has been focused on impact.

B2. Budget is focused on impact

Strength Budget is clear and focused on impactful programs. Staff increase is supported by external funding.

This staff proposal assessment is the work of FDC staff and is submitted by: Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 20:17, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Staff proposal assessment framework[edit]

  • Major strength. This is something the organization does very well, and this is a strong indicator of future success.
  • Strength. This is something that the organization does well, and this could indicate future success.
  • Neither a strength nor a concern. This is something that does not indicate future success or make funding the application a risk, or aspects of this criterion conflict.
  • Concern. This is something that the organization does not do well, and this could make funding the application a risk.
  • Major concern. This is an area where the organization is not strong, and this could make funding the application a serious risk.
Criterion Description

Program design

P1. Strategy

The organization has a quality strategic plan in place, programs are aligned with this strategy, and this strategy is aligned with online impact.

P2. Potential for impact at scale

Programs could lead to significant online impact at scale, and corresponding to the amount of funds requested.

P3. Evaluation methods

Programs include a plan for measuring results and ensuring learning, and employ effective evaluation tools and systems. Programs include SMART objectives, targets, and logic models.

P4. Diversity

Programs will expand the participation in and reach of the Wikimedia movement, especially in parts of the world or among groups that are not currently well-served.

Organizational effectiveness

O1. Past results

This organization has had success with similar programs or approaches in the past, and has effectively measured and documented the results of its past work.

O3. Learning

This organization is addressing risks and challenges effectively, is learning from and documenting its experiences, and is applying learning to improve its programs.

O4. Improving movement practices

This organization effectively shares learning about its work with the broader movement and beyond, and helps others in the movement achieve more impact.

O5. Community engagement

This organization effectively engages communities and volunteers in the planning and implementation of its work.

O6. Capacity

This organization has the resources and ability (for example, leadership, expertise, staff, experience managing funds) to do the plan proposed.

Budget

B1. Past budgeting and spending

This organization has a history of budgeting realistically and managing funds effectively in the past.

B2. Budget is focused on programmatic impact

Based on past performance and current plans, funds are allocated to programs and activities with corresponding potential for programmatic impact.