Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014 round1/Wikimedia Österreich/Staff proposal assessment
Free Knowledge Awareness program
«The potential impact of programs is not high enough relative to the cost of this proposal, particularly in the Free Knowledge Awareness program»: how did you reach this conclusion? Elaborating would be useful. Are you saying that based on 1) their impact goals, 2) your hypothesis of the actual impact, or 3) past experience of similar programs? In any of the 3 cases, please explain or link explanations/context. Thanks, Nemo 11:16, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Response of WMAT to the FDC staff assessment
Firstly, we would like to thank all of you (community, FDC, WMF staff, other chapters) for all the work you did on these proposals during the last weeks. In our view, we all learned a lot during the last year and made progress into the right direction. There was a lot of criticism from different stakeholders, that we need to take seriously, but this should not prevent us from cherishing what we achieved. Thus: Kudos! Chapeau!
We agree with Nemo that this part of the assessment is overall somehow vague. Perhaps a few more words on our open data project may be useful: Open Data is an important ressource for Wikimedia projects. Without open data on monuments in Austria, we wouldn't have been able to create such an impact with WLM during the last years. Hence, we decided to take advantage of Austrias role as open government pioneer in the German-speaking countries and widen the focus on non-governmental data in a similar fashion. From the beginning, we thought of the open data portal as a prototype that should be designed in a way that makes it easy to roll it out in neighbouring countries (DACHLI). We already have interested partners in these countries. We don't think this will happen in 2014, but in 2-3 three years, given the portal is successful.
We also want to incorporate an interface from the open data portal to Wikidata, in order to make relevant data available to the various Wikimedia projects, which may also adress the FDC staff concerns regarding parts of our programms that are supposedly not addressing Wikimedia projects. Apart from that we don't understand were else there is a lack of focus on Wikimedia projects, clarification would be very much appreciated.
WMATs role in the German-speaking community
We agree that there is little information on the overall strategy across the German-speaking chapters in the proposal. However, we would have appricated to have the opportunity to answer such questions during the Q&A session on the proposal. But there were no questions, yet the criticism appeared in the assessment (Probably as a last minute reaction to the Signpost article on this subject?). We have been very aware of how crucial it is to work on synergies and design complementary strategies. In a sense, we already plan our strategic and operational work on such considerations (benchmarking, informal exchange between staff and volunteers across chapters), but so far not in a systematic fashion that comprises regular strategic meetings with WMDE and WMCH and a joint written and approved strategic plan. But given that we just entered the stage of professionalizing our chapter a year ago we think it is completely natural and important to focus on creating sound internal structures first. We are positive that the results of WMDE's "Chapters Dialogue" may provide a good starting point and baseline for joint strategies in 2014.
Free knowledge awareness
Impact in this program is hard to measure. Of course there are ways, but they are mostly out of proportion considering our financial and human resources. We are praised for not growing staff to rapidly, but one must also see the limitations this approach has regarding other aspects, such as the possible scope of evaluation. Nevertheless, based on our experiences we are conviced that our awareness initiatives will have considerable impact, but we difficulties to plan and prove it completely based on numbers.
Mixed track report on reporting (before FDC)
We want to state once more, that we put extraordinary effort into reporting in a timely and meaningful fashion. This is not a minor achievement for a chapter of our size, most other chapters have considerably more ressources at hand to go through this process. We also want to make clear that the mentioned "mixed track record on reporting" before FDC was often based on misunderstandings and a lack of information where things have to be published in what way on Meta. WMAT was completely run by volunteers at that time and the information flow from the WMF far from perfect, we think this should be mentioned in order to put things into perspective.
Quality in Program 2
Of course quality is an important strategic goal for us when it comes to content liberation. Looking at our proposal, I realized that there is something missing in this part, it looks like a part of the sentence was deleted by accident. I'm pretty sure that we wanted to include both "Increase participation and quality".
Community Support Program
Our experiences with a flexible budget for microgrants have been very good during the last couple of years. They were all spend on activities related to Wikimedia projects (either Wikipedia or Commons) and resulted in numerous pictures, videos, articles or new cooperations with external partners. There was no major failure or other negative incident which would trigger doubts in this approach - on the contrary, the collaboration with the community in this regard improved considerably during the last year, especially concerning reporting (on the results of the microgrants). Now we try to raise awareness of incorporating more systematic evaluation and lessons learned into the reporting and plan to intensify these efforts in 2014.
Reports on travels by staff and volunteers are also regularly published on our members wiki and/or mailing list. They also show how the expenses relate to strategic goals and impact on projects. Again, there has been little reason so far, to raise doubts on our existing strategies and policies in this regard. --CDG (talk) 15:45, 16 November 2013 (UTC)