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The missing link: Incorporating policy reports into the the free knowledge ecosystem
The objective is to improve the presence of valuable policy and research material and coverage of important policy issues in Wikimedia. This will be achieved by using APO’s database to verify the most reputable and prolific publishing organisations as sources, feeding in APO metadata into Wikidata, and conducting an edit-a-thon on First Peoples public policy. This can be achieved within a year (by 12 June 2023) by collaborating with Wikimedia Australia.
start date2022-07-01
end date2023-06-30
budget (local currency)58214.83 AUD
budget (USD)40051.8 USD
amount recommended (USD)41234
grant typeMission-aligned organization
organization typeNon profit organisation
funding regionESEAP
decision fiscal year2021-22
funding program roundRound 2
applicant(s)• Brigid_van_Wanrooy Camilo_Jorquera
organization (if applicable)• Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO)

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Applicant information[edit]

A. Organization type

Mission-aligned organization

B. Organization name

Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO)

E. Do you have an account on a Wikimedia project?


E1. Please provide the main Wikimedia Username (required) and Usernames of people related to this proposal.



G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Did not apply previously

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?

H1. Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?
Australian Research Council, Australian Research Data Commons, Australia and New Zealand School of Government
H2. Please state the size of these grants from the following options.
Above 50,000 USD
H3. What type of organization (s) did you receive grants from?
Government, National NGO
H4. What percentage of your program budget do other funders contribute to?
Not applicable

1. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?


1a. Fiscal organization name.

Swinburne University of Technology

2. Are you legally registered?


3. What type of organization are you?

Non profit organisation

4. What is your organization or group's mission and how does it align with the Wikimedia movement?

APO’s vision is society is improved through evidence-informed decision-making because there is open access to policy and research. APO contributes to this vision through our mission to be the ‘go-to’ for policy and research by making material published by organisations openly accessible. We do this by creating metadata and building engagement with our searchable repository. APO plays a central role in Australia and New Zealand’s Free Knowledge Ecosystem and is striving for sustainability.

5. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

APO provides an open access website and searchable repository: https://apo.org.au

And free newsletters notifying subscribers of new additions to the repository: https://apo.org.au/subscribe

Our blog discusses issues around open access and evidence-informed decision-making and new repository features: blog.apo.org.au

We promote our repository, newsletters and other services on our Twitter (@APOorgau) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/apoorgau) accounts.

Grant proposal[edit]

6. Please state the title of your proposal.

The missing link: Incorporating policy reports into the the free knowledge ecosystem

9. Where will this proposal be implemented?


10. Indicate if it is a local, international, or regional proposal and if it involves several countries?


10a. If you have answered international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

APO is a public policy repository covering Australia, New Zealand and beyond. In this project, we propose to cover Australia and New Zealand.

APO currently maintains the New Zealand Governance & Policy Collection: https://apo.org.au/collection/300029/new-zealand-governance-policy APO previously partnered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the Pacific Research Collection; the items can be found here: https://apo.org.au/taxonomy/term/6225.

10b. Are there any specific sub-regions or areas where your proposal will be implemented?


11. What is the challenge or problem you are addressing and why is this important?


From the beginning of the internet, organisations (such as government, non-government, not-for-profits, universities, and research institutes) have been increasingly producing and publishing their own reports, and making them available for public consumption. It was yet another way that the internet was enabling the free knowledge movement. However, more needed to be done to propel the movement forward, as these reports were dispersed across the internet on organisations’ own websites. And because they were not produced by commercial publishing companies, they did not have the metadata required to make them discoverable. In 2002, driven by the principle of knowledge equity, academics at Swinburne University founded APO to make material published by organisations discoverable and accessible by applying information management principles, creating a website repository, and distributing free newsletters.

Issues to be addressed by this proposal:

  • Wikipedia’s primary reference sources are either webpages and news media or commercially published literature, such as books and academic journals. While webpages and news media contain the latest and most up-to-date information they often do not present in-depth research or policy on a particular issue; and while books and journals fill this gap, the time taken to publish leads to a loss of currency and they tend not to be open access.
  • Smaller organisations such as those that are First Nations-led, from the Pacific Islands, and other underrepresented communities and perspectives are more likely to publish their own material rather than through commercial means.
  • There are gaps in Wikidata and Wikisource with regards to policy documents and research reports produced by organisations. Wikimedia’s preference for Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) means that it is missing most of the material published by organisations.
  • Many organisational publishers are not acknowledged as verifiable sources on Wikimedia.
  • APO provides open access to key policy and research reports on a wide range of issues including climate change, First Nations policy and practice, gender inequality, and the Pacific Islands; yet it is still relatively unknown as a source of this information.
  • APO has a wealth of metadata on material published by organisations - some of which is already referenced in Wikipedia - and much more that is not, that Wikimedia could benefit from.

The Wikimedia Movement and APO are aligned due to their shared values and missions, and their respective contributions to the free knowledge movement. An alliance could address the above issues by increasing the discoverability of material published by organisations on Wikimedia and amplifying the voices of organisations that tend to be underrepresented in policy debates and discourse, and in information and knowledge systems.

12. What is the main objective of your proposal? Please state why you think partnering with Wikimedia Movement helps to achieve this objective?

The objective is to improve the presence of valuable policy and research material and coverage of important policy issues in Wikimedia. This will be achieved by using APO’s database to verify the most reputable and prolific publishing organisations as sources, feeding in APO metadata into Wikidata, and conducting an edit-a-thon on First Peoples public policy. This can be achieved within a year (by 12 June 2023) by collaborating with Wikimedia Australia.

13. Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective?

Stage A: Establish the Project

A volunteer advisory group will be established and led by the Wikimedia Facilitator to guide the project across all stages. The Project Lead will develop a project management plan in consultation with them. They will also consult with First Nations contacts to recruit a lived experience expert. To ensure Stages B and C will support the edit-a-thons in Stage D, the area of focus will be identified by the lived experience expert in consultation with Wikimedia Australia and any relevant interest groups. The area of focus will be dedicated to First Nations content related to public policy (e.g. First Nations health or education, or First Nations public policy and research institutes). The lived experience expert will be supported by APO editors / Wikimedians in residence who will examine gaps in Wikipedia, and quantity and quality of relevant resources on APO.

Stage B: Verifying policy organisations as reliable sources The key to getting more material published by organisations into Wikipedia is to recognise them as reliable sources. To do this, we will engage Wikimedians via the Reliable Sources Noticeboard as well as lived experience and subject matter experts to develop a list of approximately 100 publishing organisations on APO that make substantial and reliable contributions to the focus areas and public policy more generally. We will present results to Wikimedia communities such as The Wikipedia Library, The Signpost, and the Wikimania conference.

Stage C: Feeding APO metadata into Wikidata APO has structured metadata based on internationally accepted vocabularies of Dublin Core, Library of Congress and Scholix, and it is fed into other databases such as Informit. APO metadata is linked, connecting authors, organisations, and reports. We propose to use existing tools (e.g. Toolforge) to feed APO metadata of resources published by organisations identified in Stage B into Wikidata. We will work with the advisory group and Wikimedians to identify resources to be included; determine the metadata to import; and ensure metadata structure is compatible with Wikidata.

Stage D: Building awareness and use of policy reports We will work with Wikimedia Australia to build awareness of the policy reports available for referencing and present the project at various forums such as WikiCite. APO will promote the project and associated events extensively through all communication and social media channels, including our 16,000+ newsletter subscribers. We will conduct an edit-a-thon on the area of focus identified in Stage A, aimed at Wikimedians and new participants from APO’s policy and research community. The hybrid events will enable participation across Australia. The edit-a-thon will be led by the Facilitator and lived experience expert with support from APO for preparation of content and training materials.

14. Are you running any in-person events or activities?


15. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified content knowledge gaps?

Content Gender gap, Age (regency) , Geography, Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

16. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or thematic focus.

Climate Change and sustainability, Diversity

17. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select all categories that apply.

Gender Identity, Geographic , Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background

18. Please tell us more about your target participants.

Our target participants are Wikimedians who are interested in contributing to public policy content and APO’s policy and research community who have an interest in the areas of focus. There will be no set criteria for participation. It’s important that these events are inclusive and provide anyone who is interested an opportunity to participate.

The area of focus will be chosen to reflect policy issues and concerns of the underrepresented community of First Nations in Australia.

The engagement of a lived experience expert to guide stages A, B and D will be key to amplifying their voice and ensuring the diversity of participants. Not only will the expert have a role in developing content but also recruiting participants with relevant expertise and lived experience for the edit-a-thon. It is expected that these new participants will continue to participate in Wikimedia projects when it is demonstrated how they can use Wikimedia (and APO) to amplify their voice and the research and policy materials of their communities.

The addition of approximately 100 publishing organisations as reliable sources on Wikipedia will more broadly amplify the voices of First Nations and women. Women are overrepresented in public and social policy and research, and by incorporating material published by government and community organisations will improve their representation in Wikipedia.

APO has a variety of communication and social media channels that will be used to promote the project and recruit participants in the edit-a-thons and to contribute to Wikipedia more generally. A direct email will be sent to APO’s 16,000 subscribers inviting them to participate in the project.

APO has a good working relationship with many of its key publishing organisations and will promote their addition to Wikipedia as a reliable source. It is expected that this will be something these organisations will promote through their own networks as well.

APO also has a community of active contributors (such as academic researchers and research institutes) who add their published material to APO to engage a wider audience with their work and measure engagement via our My APO+ metrics service. Including APO content on Wikipedia will further bolster this community of contributors, both for Wikipedia and APO.

19. Do you have plans to work with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


19a. If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

This proposal has been developed through consultation with Wikimedians and Wikimedia Australia.

The funding scheme was first brought to APO’s attention by Thomas Schaffe (a Wikimedian who led a session at WikiCite 2020). The initial proposal was developed in consultation with Thomas and Amanda Lawrence (Secretary of Wikimedia Australia).

The initial proposal was then presented to a meeting of representatives from Wikimedia Australia Committee and significant changes were made as a result of their input. Members of Wikimedia Australia reviewed the draft proposal.

If successful, we will engage with Wikimedia New Zealand who are in the process of setting up a chapter.

19b. If no, please tell us the reasons why it has not been possible to make these connections.


20. Will you be working with other external non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


20a. If yes, please describe these partnerships.


20a. If yes, indicate sharing of resources from these partners (in kind support, grants, donations, payments).


21. Please tell us how your organization is structured.

APO is hosted by Swinburne University and provides facilities and management systems on an in-kind basis. The remaining expenses are funded through income from services and grants. APO notionally sits within the Social Innovation Research Institute (SIRI) within Swinburne. The APO Advisory Board is chaired by SIRI Foundation Director and made up of people working in education, research and government. More details here: https://apo.org.au/page/about-apo

The entire APO team will be involved in the project.

Project Lead: Associate Professor Brigid van Wanrooy, Director. Brigid has a PhD in public policy and research methods and has worked in both academia and government, with extensive experience in managing large-scale research and policy projects. Brigid is responsible for business development and communications.

APO Editors: Tim McCarthy and Penelope Aitken will be trained by an experienced Australian Wikimedian in Residence. Between them, Tim and Penelope have 20 years of cataloging and curation at APO. As Editor, Content and Newsletters, Tim has his finger on the pulse of policy and research in Australia and New Zealand. As Editor, Collections, Penelope was responsible for overseeing the First Peoples and Public Policy and Pacific Research Collections.

Systems Developer: Camilo Jorquera is responsible for the APO platform, information architecture and interfaces with other platforms, and has been doing so for 10 years.

Refer to pages 15 & 16 of the Strategy Plan.

22. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

Project Lead: will oversee the project to ensure it runs to time and budget; and be responsible for communications and promotion of the project.

Wikimedia Facilitator: APO will engage a facilitator from Wikimedia Australia to lead engagement with the Wikimedian community and the various forums, and provide training for the APO Editors.

Volunteer advisory group: will comprise select members of Wikimedia Australia who will provide advice and oversight throughout the project.

APO Editors/Wikimedians in Residence: are needed for their extensive knowledge of the APO repository and will be responsible for providing supporting materials from the APO database, including providing information to support the selection of areas of focus, recommending publishing organisations for inclusion, and providing supporting content and participating in the edit-a-thons. Training APO Editors to be Wikimedians in Residence is key to policy content continuing to be updated in Wikipedia beyond the project.

Lived experience expert: recruited from APO’s research and policy community, the lived experience expert will ensure that content is being developed with underrepresented communities and not about them, and ensure the included publishing organisations adequately represent voices in their community.

Wikimedian volunteers: We are relying on Wikimedians to contribute their time in Stages B to D and it is envisaged that some of them could be the same people while others may only contribute to one Stage depending on their experience and expertise. The Wikimedia Facilitator will engage Wikimedians: on the Reliable Sources noticeboard to determine the publishing organisations that could be considered reliable sources of information; who have specific knowledge of Wikidata and experience in uploading databases; and editors who are interested in public policy and research and the three areas of focus.

23. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  


Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation[edit]

24. What do you hope to learn from this proposal?

The questions driving this project are:
  • Can material published by organisations be an important component of Wikimedia and the free knowledge ecosystem?
  • By incorporating material published by organisations can the voices of underrepresented communities be amplified?
  • How can APO contribute to Wikimedia and are there other opportunities for further collaboration?
  • Will greater linkages between Wikimedia and APO improve APO’s future sustainability?

Despite its longevity, APO does not have a guaranteed future. Different business models and options are being explored to determine if APO can evolve into a self-sustainable public good - much like Wikimedia. The alignment of Wikimedia and APO’s mission and values is clear and exploration is needed to determine if greater collaboration would have tangible benefits for both organisations.

Core Metrics[edit]

25. Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants Stage B: We are hoping to engage approximately 20 returning participants through the Reliable Sources Noticeboard and the volunteer advisory group.

Stage C: We are hoping to engage approximately 10 returning participants who have expertise in Wikidata including the volunteer advisory group.

Stage D: We are hoping to engage approximately 10 new and returning participants in the edit-a-thon. In addition to the Wikimedians in residence (2), the Facilitator (1), and the lived experience expert (1).

Number of editors We are proposing to hold an edit-a-thon for which we expect to attract 5 returning editors and 6 Newly Registered Users (new editors) in total. This includes the lived experience expert who may or may not already be a registered user.

There will be an additional three editors who attend the edit-a-thon: the Wikimedia Facilitator (existing users) and the two APO Editors who will be trained as Wikimedians in Residence (Newly Registered Users).

In total this is 6 returning editors and 8 new editors.

Number of organizers The organisers include the Project Lead, Wikimedia Facilitator and the two Wikimedians in Residence.

It is expected that there will be 4 members of the advisory group.

The Wikimedia Facilitator will train the lived experience expert so that they can recruit new editors from their respective communities to participate in the edit-a-thon.

Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
Wikidata It’s expected that approximately 100 organisations and 1,000 reports will be added to Wikidata. 1100
Wikipedia Approximately 6 Wikipedia pages will be created and 12 Wikipedia pages will be improved in the edit-a-thon. 18

25a. If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation. (optional)


26. What other information will you be collecting to learn about the impact of your work? (optional)

Please refer to the ‘Measures of Success’ in APO’s Strategic Plan - a subset of these will be used to measure engagement with this project. APO will be measuring engagement with the project on our end such as engagement with any communications and social media activity (e.g. open and click-through rates of emails, views of blogs written about the project, engagement with social media posts, and views and click-throughs of advertised events).

The qualitative evaluation questions outlined in Question 24 will be gathered through interviews and reflective practice throughout the project with all members of the project team including the advisory group. Regular project team meetings will be held where members will be asked to reflect on the progress of the project and these evaluation questions. The Project Lead, Brigid van Wanrooy, is an experienced and qualified social researcher and evaluator.

27. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

APO is looking forward to learning more about the tools that can be used and metrics that can be elicited. The most relevant tools appear to be the Programs & Events Dashboard and Event Metrics.

For APO’s metrics we will use packages provided with each of the various channels, including Google Analytics (website), Mailchimp reporting (newsletters), Twitter and LinkedIn analytics, and Wordpress data (blog).

28. How do you hope to share these results so that others can learn from them?

Make a short presentation of the experience, Create a training workshop to show others what we learned, Share results on social media, Share results with our communities, I would like to receive support from the Foundation to discover how I can share my learning, Share it on Meta-Wiki

Financial Proposal[edit]

29. What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency.

58214.83 AUD

30. What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

40051.8 USD

31. & 32. Please provide a budget for the amount of funding requested.

The majority of costs related to this project are personnel. These costs have been estimated on the basis of days and daily rates from Swinburne University's Enterprise Agreement for Academic and General Staff plus on-costs. In the case where APO team members are to perform a role we have used their current position and salary. For are new positions (i.e. Wikimedian facilitator and lived experience expert) we have based this on the current positions of people we expect may be able to fill these roles.

Swinburne hosts APO and provides operating services (such as finance and legal) on an in-kind basis and this is reflected in the budget. The other expenses that will be provided on an in-kind basis are software and platform expenses and venue hire.

We have not included the day-to-day running costs of APO including daily curation of reports and metadata - which may or may not feature in the metadata provided to Wikidata.

33. What do you do to make sure there is a good management of funds?

At Swinburne University, funding is managed at several levels. Project Leads are responsible for complying with all funding body contractual requirements and their School manages the accounts together with the Project Leads. Our Finance Division has oversight over all financial management and is responsible for financial reporting.

The APO Director monitors all APO’s contractual obligations and maintains a budget and forecast. The budget and forecast is updated on a monthly basis with reports on APO’s accounts from the Finance Division. Payment and creation of invoices is managed by the School at the Director’s request. All contractual obligations are entered into Asana which is used by all APO team members to keep track of deliverables and timelines.

34. How will you contribute towards creating a supportive environment for participants using the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy?

APO staff comply with the Swinburne Behaviours and these are kept front in mind through discussion in all performance conversations. These are:

Communicate: have the conversation, respect each other’s differences, give meaningful feedback and share honestly and openly. Listen and learn: learn from one another, actively listen to each other, resolve conflict and be innovative. Collaborate: work constructively together with a common purpose to achieve the university’s goals. Trust: be open to and with others, act with fairness and respect, inspire positive expectations and communicate honestly. Act: have a strong sense of immediacy, take practical action and see it through.

APO-specific values are detailed in our Strategic Plan.

APO complies with all of Swinburne’s policies including the People, Culture and Integrity Policy (https://www.swinburne.edu.au/about/policies-regulations/people-culture-integrity). This involves requirements to create an inclusive and diverse work environment.

35. Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s):

Final message[edit]

By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

36. We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.