Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia Nederland/Progress report form/Q3
Thank you for submitting a complete report for Q3 on time. We look forward to reading more about your activities. Due to the timing of the FDC funding cycle, it will take staff a little longer than usual to offer feedback about this report and post clarifying questions. We appreciate your patience with this process, and welcome any urgent questions or concerns that you may want to address before our comments are ready. Thank you for your attention to the reporting process during this busy time and best regards, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 02:08, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Appreciation, questions, and suggestions from FDC staff
The lessons learned section of this report seems incomplete; several questions remain unanswered. WMNL has not shared any setbacks from the current quarter. We ask WMNL to complete the report by answering the remaining questions.
- Q3 was a relatively uneventful period, mainly because of the summer vacation. There were no real challenging activities in that period, and therefore also no major setbacks.
We are reading the actual cumulative expenses in EUR as 220,667 EUR, or 76% of WMNL’s revised budget of 289,828 EUR. Spending in Q3 has decreased to 22% from 38% in Q2. Cumulative spending rates for the line item “WORK” is still lower than 20% against the budget, while cumulative spending across other expenses is higher than 70%. In terms of the greatest amounts of money spent, spending in Q3 is concentrated in the areas of staff salaries and international collaboration.
- Thanks to WMNL for this clear, detailed and transparent financial reporting.
- While discovering the results of some activities and expected outcomes around goals such as editor retention may be discouraging at first, we very much appreciate that WMNL is closely tracking the editing activity of participants in its activities over time in order to better understand the impact of its programs on the projects. Even if the results cause WMNL to reconsider some of its approaches or strategies, gathering this information is a very positive step that is beneficial for both WMNL and the movement.
- We appreciated learning about WMNL’s community-driven process for its 2014 annual plan and budget.
- Thanks to WMNL for sharing observations about partnerships, including the observation that it is critical to share with potential partners what they can and cannot expect from WMNL.
We would like to learn more
1 Thanks to WMNL for providing us with information about its revised plans. Please share more about WMNL’s process for revising its expected revenues and expenses this quarter.
- After completing the Q2 reporting, it became clear to us that we would not be able to reach our fund-raise target. We recalculated the budget by first re-assessing how much revenue we could reasonably expect to raise in 2013. Then we determined the costs which we were certain we would incur in Q3 and Q4 (i.e. costs of high-priority activities and basic operational costs). As part of this process, we also looked at opportunities to reduce costs of activities. This gave us revised assessments of expenditure for Q3 and Q4. Furthermore we also looked at opportunities to cut costs or combine activities in order to make most use of the resources. SRientjes (talk) 13:55, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
2 WMNL writes, “Wikimania was as inspirational as always for the WMNL attendees and resulted in many new ideas and useful contacts” and that WMNL would like to increase resources for this in the future. What other outcomes or results were achieved as a result of this participation? Did participating volunteers report back to WMNL about these outcomes or results?
- The reports of the WMNL attendees can be found on the WMNL Wiki. Participation in Wikimania is both a capacity building and a networking experience. WMNL attendees shared their experiences with e.g. community surveys, the FDC process, office building, development of apps and templates with other participants. This happened both in formal settings of workshops and in more informal contacts during breaks. Also, more concrete 'business' was done, as in discussing cooperation with other chapters in developing the Berlin diversity conference, funding Phase 2 of the Europeana Glam-wiki toolset, developing Wiki Loves Earth. Often, Wikimania provided the opportunity to finalise discussions that had been started on-line long before anyone left for Hong Kong. SRientjes (talk) 16:04, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
3 We are interested in the development of WMNL’s annual planning processes, which seeks community input but also seeks to produce a realistic plan that WMNL can execute. Please share more information about how WMNL successfully balances these two concerns. We know a lot of organizations are testing models that include community input into their planning processes.
- The process of developing the annual plan 2013 is outlined on the WMNL WIki. It started in June, with a brainstorming meeting for community members. The key questions during this meeting were: which activities developed by WMNL so far should be repeated, which should not be repeated, and which new activities could be developed. The framework for this brainstorming was WMNL's Strategy 2013 - 2015. This meant that activities suggested had to contribute to the priorities of this Strategy. Community members could also get involved in the process via the Wiki. The next step (July) was that board and office jointly went through the input received, clustered suggestions within the thematic headings of the Strategy, and checked for consistency and coverage. Suggestions that did not meet any of the strategic priorities or were deemed over-ambitious in terms of resources needed were put aside. (We worked on the assumption that the main and most reliable source of income would be the FDC grant and that we would get at most a 20% increase compared to the 2013 grant) The result was again discussed in a meeting with community and via the Wiki. This input was used by office and Board during a two-day working session (late August) to set priorities and develop a coherent package of activities that could realistically be implemented successfully, in view of the resources (volunteer time, staff time, funding) that would be available in 2014. This involved a rough assessment of the resources needed for each activity. An almost final draft annual plan and budget for 2014 was made available for a last round of comments. The WMNL board members and the director were present at a Wiki Saturday August 31 to answer questions. With very few amendments the draft was then put before the members of WMNL during the General Assembly on September 21. The process required substantial input of time from Board and staff, but we do feel that is has increased ownership of the annual plan in the community. It also motivated some community members to become involved in WMNL activities for the first time. The annual plan and budget were formatted in such a way that it was relatively easy to complete the FDC application. SRientjes (talk) 16:04, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
4 Does WMNL have plans to measure the quality or use of content produced through its programs?
- We see this as the obvious next step in a process of evaluation and monitoring. However, at the moment we are still getting to grips with monitoring and evaluation of quantitative results. Once we have got this system working to our full satisfaction, we will move on the measuring quality and use which will be a real challenge! SRientjes (talk) 16:04, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Suggestions for future reports
- We appreciate that WMNL is improving in its willingness to share more reflections about activities that were not successful and to provide information about lessons learned. At the same time, we encourage WMNL to continue to develop more detailed reflections around lessons learned as it creates future reports.
- We encourage WMNL to move toward setting stronger targets for its programs that are related to the outcomes or results of its programs, and to track its metrics over time in order to measure editor retention and use of content in the projects.
- As WMNL learns more about its plans to partner with libraries, please do share its lessons around these activities with the broader movement through reports. This is an area that many entities are looking toward as part of their plans and lessons learned by WMNL’s early work in this area may be very informative for the movement.