Grants talk:APG/Funds Dissemination Committee/Nominations

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Question about COI and recusal[edit]


While reading through this page, I noticed this expectation of new members: To avoid a potential conflict of interest, FDC members may not accept compensation or payment in any form (including travel and lodging expenses) from persons or entities that have or will likely have activities before the FDC, including requests for grants. It also mentions exceptions might be possible by board resolution or charter, but the intention seems rather clear: don't ever accept money or stuff from chapters.

During a short discussion on social media, it was pointed out to me, that this is not current practice and the question was raised if this was intentionally so definitely worded. For comparison, I looked at the comparable 2013 page, and it doesn't mention this restriction. Could someone please clarify? Effeietsanders (talk) 11:03, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the question, Effeietsanders. Every year, each FDC member signs a Pledge of Commitment and fills out a Conflict of Interest (COI) questionnaire. These documents allow us to interpret and apply the spirit of the guidance outlined in the FDC Framework, with members taking the pledge to ensure the disclosure of anything that might be an issue of (perceived or actual) bias or conflict.
The FDC members so far have been extremely thoughtful in working through these issues by disclosing and discussing them in advance, and recusing themselves from proposal deliberations when the FDC thinks it's appropriate.
Let me know if you have any other questions about this, and I'd be happy to respond further. FYI, we're holding two upcoming IRC office hours, do join us for further questions, clarifications, comments. :-) ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 19:03, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks ASengupta for the reply. However, I'm afraid I'm unable to read an answer to my question in this. While reading back, it seems that my question was maybe not so clear itself. So let me clarify too: 1) Did anything change regarding the requirements compared with last year. 2) Will an elected FDC member be allowed and able to run projects within the framework of an FDC-applying affiliate and 3) will they be allowed to receive reimbursements for actually incurred costs for that from such affiliate (travel, accommodation, acquired items for the activity etc).
I understand that there are disclosures required, and that people may have to recuse under circumstances. What is unclear, is whether someone who is unwilling to give up running actual real life projects is practically able to join the FDC. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:10, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Ah, that's clearer, thanks Effeietsanders :-) So 1) Nothing's changed from the requirements of last year. We simply didn't quote the Framework on the elections page as we've done with this nominations page, that's all. :-) 2) As it currently stands, an elected FDC member can continue to run projects as a volunteer (even if paid for their time or other project costs). What's required is that they actively disclose those arrangements or relationships, and recuse themselves from the discussion of the proposal of any organisation they support in this fashion.
I will add that the ED's decision on improvements to the FDC process are pending the FDC Advisory Group's advice to her, so some aspect of the Framework may change as a result of these recommendations, but for now, status quo. ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 16:20, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Effeietsanders: my2cents, the point of that sentence, IMHO, is: if you (and/or the rest of the committee) have doubts about COI (even perceived COI) be ready to discose it. As a rule of thumb, FDC members have always recused themselves from evaluating proposals for chapters where they are active members, so - as an example - I would recuse myself if a proposal from WM-IT was on the table. So if you have ongoing projects with an entity, you may want to recuse from participating in the deliberation around that entity. You can find a mention of this in the recommendation text from last round (see the note). For cases that are not clear cut as per the rule above, the committee takes a collective decision (where the member in question is not participating). The fact that a member has COI (or even conflict of loyalty) with an entity does not prevent the said member in participating to the discussion about the other entities applying since the FDC staff provides separate documents to each member to handle any case of recusal. So, the short answer is "no, you don't have to give up with existing projects to be part of the FDC". I hope this answers your question -- CristianCantoro (talk) 16:38, 4 June 2014 (UTC)


I am curious about the purpose of asking for the ages of nominees. Beyond a simple yes/no question around the age of majority, I am not sure what purpose it serves making this information public, and how relevant it is to whether each candidate is qualified for the job. Craig Franklin (talk) 11:43, 20 June 2014 (UTC).

I agree. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:06, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Craig Franklin and Mike Peel, thanks for asking this question. The previous two FDC elections and nominations processes have included this question on age, and from a quick glance, it appears all the Board elections since 2007 have as well. It was included as one of many questions that could help the Board to appoint a diverse group of people to the FDC, but as you say, the important question is about being over the age of majority. I am glad you asked this question, and I will reconsider how we ask this question the next time around.KLove (WMF) (talk) 04:16, 21 June 2014 (UTC)
Age should not be used as a factor in "whether each candidate is qualified for the job"... but a 60 year old person will be quite different to a 20 year old person --- and I think the movement should strive for some diversity in this attribute as well. I note most of the nominees are 20 something. Regards, Ariconte (talk) 05:29, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Factors considered in Board decision on FDC member appointments[edit]

There were very strong candidates this time around - the entire shortlist of 12 was pretty strong, others too could have made the final selection. This is what it should be; we were really happy.

Many of those shortlisted had a mix of:

  • Solid Wikimedia contributions (online or offline)
  • Complementary non-Wikimedia background, some in finance or budgeting or program evaluation/review (not all though and that's not a must)
  • Grantmaking/reviewing experience in Wikimedia
  • Chapter leadership/exec experience or non-chapter contributor
  • Geographical, age, language, wiki diversity
  • Reasoned, analytical responses to the Q&A on meta and during the interviews.

We considered all these; everyone on the shortlist did not have all of these, but everyone had a mix of these.

No single candidate was chosen on one measure alone, but on a series of criteria. Diversity was one of the criteria, but not one that replaced the other criteria.

Based on all this, we tried to figure out how well each candidate could do the FDC job, no matter their language, geography or gender. In making the final decision between strong candidates, diversity and complementarity both came into the picture.

We discussed continuity and experience, candidates who have expressed strong views on FDC processes in public, the need to find the right balance of members so that the FDC can work as a productive whole. (These are things we also discuss when dealing with trustee appointments). We also noted that the community elections to the FDC offers another pathway for membership.

Hope this helps better understand the process. Bishdatta (talk) 05:27, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

For at least one of the selected members, I fail to find a single fully satisfied criterion among those 6, let alone two or more. For another, I find only one (and no "additional considerations" matched either). The decision appears to be, at best, 50 % incomprehensible and schizofrenic. --Nemo 10:20, 15 July 2014 (UTC)