Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014 round1/Wikimedia Argentina/Proposal form

Add topic
From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Latest comment: 10 years ago by Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) in topic Questions about WMAR’s proposal from FDC staff

Funding strategy[edit]

For this year you have basically no funding from other sources than FDC. But even when the framwork asks for enities to also have alternative funding you still have a budget for 2014 with still no alternative funding. You are also requesting a 34% increase in funding which lies above the level given in the guardrailes (20%). And your runrate this year is only around 75% of budget. Could you elaborate why you have not put in plans for alterantive fundings and also why you have put in such an agressive increase in budget being above guardrailes and with you this year being far from being able to reach this year budgeted costlevel?Anders Wennersten (talk) 15:25, 1 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

I found on your q2 report that your runrate there is given to be 106% and am a little confused that on this propsal state it to be 75%, but leave this to others to look into and for the time being crose out my comments on runrate.Anders Wennersten (talk) 12:34, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
According to the Q2 report, we have spent 69,758.01 USD, 53,26% of the total amount requested to the FDC past year. From January 1 to September 27, we have spent 104,087.02 USD, 70,4% of the funds. By the end of the year, we expect to have spent near 145,000 USD in total (98,8% of the amount budgeted for 2013). I don't know where you get the 75% or the 106% numbers, but we have clearly not underspend our budget. In fact, comparing all the organizations funded by the FDC, we have the largest spent rate (53% of expenses for 50% of the year).
We haven't included plans for alternative fundings because we haven't been able yet to find them and we have focused our time and energy in the programs related to our mission and that were approved past year by the FDC. Unlike other chapters, we have no officer dedicated to seek donations or other funds sources. With only 1,5 FTE it is difficult to work in multiple partnerships, Education programs, periodic reports to the FDC and also look for donors, something that is not easy for any NGO in Argentina. Precisely, this is one of the reasons why we are including new officers so we can have more time to invest in partnerships that can not only help us the way they do now (with time, spaces and other non-monetary resources) but potentially also with funds. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 15:37, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
To explain my numbers. I misunderstood the Spending Year-to-date in table 3 where you state -26%. The 106 is the runrate when you have spent 53% och 50% of the year.Anders Wennersten (talk) 04:35, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I'm a bit confused by table 3 as well. When you say that your YTD spend variance is -29.3%, do you mean that you have spent 29.3% less than you expected to have spent in the year to date, or that you have spent 70.7% of your year's budget? I'm guessing the latter, since the numbers seem to work out that way. But it's not what I expected when I saw a number giving the 'variance' from the budget - it looks like you are spending 29.3% less than what you planned. I'd expect people are going to accuse you of reckless budgeting (as has already happened above) because of this confusion. Is it also the case that the cash balance of US$59,560.57 includes your budget for the remainder of this year? It again looks like you're sitting on a considerable cash reserve when this may not be the case. GoldenRing (talk) 14:05, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Greetings, GoldenRing. Thank you for participating in the discussions around this proposal. Osmar can confirm any details specific to WMAR's proposal for you, but I wanted to step in briefly to clarify some of the questions in Table 3 since I am familiar with the proposal form and its purpose. Year-to-date actuals refer to the amount spent at the time of proposal submission (since this will usually be 1 October, there are at least 3 months still remaining in the funding period for most entities, WMAR included). Projected final amount is the entity's opportunity to provide the amount they expect to have spent by the end of the entire funding period. Current fiscal year planned budget is the amount budgeted for the entire funding period. Therefore, we may expect the Year-to-date actuals to match about 3 quarters of spending out of an entire funding period of 4 quarters (or about 9 months of spending out of an entire funding period of 12 months), or about 75% of the funding period. I think you will find that Osmar's calculations here make sense when you understand Table 3 in that way, but I am sure he will be happy to clarify further if needed. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 16:39, 18 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Education programs[edit]

In general I like your proposed programs, but I have some questions related to the education program. You have not included targets to get more contributers. Is this then only an outreach activity? While a progam like seems reasonable, we are learning from other entities the importance of focusing a program in education on only the acitivites that gives the best effect. Can you elobarate on these two questions?.Anders Wennersten (talk) 15:31, 1 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Wikipedia is already known by most students and teachers in Argentina, so only an outreach activity would not be that effective, besides the usual demystification of the projects. That is why we intent a more comprehensive plan focused on turning those passive users (readers) into active ones (contributors). As we said, we expect to "increase adoption of Wikimedia projects on Educational environments (with a strong focus on secondary and higher education), promoting participation of students, teachers and academics on them". Workshops have been the usual way to encourage this participation in the past, but we want also to work directly with the teachers and introduce Wikipedia as a teaching tool. The problem is that none of us are experts and that is why we want to introduce a new person that is able to understand what teachers think and need about Wikipedia, so we can formulate activities that are suited for those needs and thus have a bigger impact in the inclusion of new contribuitors. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 17:07, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. The explainion you do here makes it much clearer and reasobale for me then what you had written in the proposal, including the goals you have stated for this program.Anders Wennersten (talk) 04:42, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Administrative assistent[edit]

While I understand the need to shift adm tasks from the ED I do not understand why you budget a person 100% of time for these tasks. Other enitites like you typically uses a part time person for this making it a 10-25% FTE. Are there any special circumstances in Argentine that can motivate this very high volume on adm tasks?Anders Wennersten (talk) 15:35, 1 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

I agree that usually having someone dedicated only to bureaucratic stuff doesn't require a full time employee, but we are not thinking only someone in charge of traditional things like going to the bank or the accountant, fill some papers and organize others. We want someone that can also request budgets for projects, help the implementation of them, support the work of the rest of the staff and coordinate them, contact suppliers, arrange meetings, etc. At this moment, I think I'm using 50% of my hours doing this kind of stuff and probably María is doing 25-50% of her own and we are not doing it even efficiently. That is why we think it is important to have an assistant (maybe "administrative assistant" is not the best title), so each member of the staff focuses on its own work instead of spending time doing this kind of things. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 17:39, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Proposed new staff and and long-term contractors for upcoming year's annual plan[edit]

It is not very clear to me when going from current to proposed staffing. Are you deleting the Executive Director position? MacEachan1 (talk) 20:25, 17 October 2013 (UTC)MacEachan1Reply
Greetings, MacEachan1. Thank you for participating in the discussion. I believe this question also has to do with the way the proposal form is structured. Table 5 lists the entity's current staff only, while Table 6 lists new staff only. Unless otherwise noted, the current staff listed in Table 5 (like the Executive Director) will carry over into the next year's plan. In this case, WMAR has chosen to include the Communications Manager in both tables since they are at 50% time currently and their time will be increased to 100% (therefore, they are both current staff and new staff according to WMAR's interpretation of the form). In Table 7, you may understand how all of the staff costs are combined. Does that make more sense? We can see that this is a bit confusing! Osmar, please correct me if I am not reading your tables correctly. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 17:13, 18 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks!! That cleared it up for me. MacEachan1 (talk) 23:21, 19 October 2013 (UTC)MacEachan1Reply
Thanks for your question. As Winifired answered before, we are not deleting the ED position. We are moving our current Communications Manager from a part-time position to a full-time one and adding two more members to the staff (1 full, 1 part-time). --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 18:30, 21 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Inversión en software[edit]

Esta ha sido la iniciativa que más me ha gustado y creo que lo último que le falta es una propuesta para fomentar el desarrollo del software de wikimedia para poder mejorar su diseño e interfaz que es usada por millones de personas al día y es claramente mejorable. Además de mejorar proyectos como VisualEditor o el mismo núcleo del código de las wikis. Esto se podría hacer tanto promoviendo la mejora del código por voluntarios como contratando programadores. --Flashlack (talk) 21:42, 19 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

¡Gracias por la pregunta! La mejora del diseño de Wikipedia y sus proyectos hermanos es una responsabilidad de la Fundación Wikimedia; aunque no es mi rol describir lo que ellos hacen, tengo claro que la Fundación está de acuerdo con tu observación y está permanentemente mejorando las plataformas, especialmente respecto a su usabilidad (como en el caso del VisualEditor). Puedes ver parte de lo que hacen en Wikimedia Engineering. Pese a ello, nosotros estamos interesados en fomentar el desarrollo dentro del entorno MediaWiki, ya sea para generar extensiones a los proyectos, programas de apoyo para éstos o herramientas que permitan evaluar el impacto de nuestras actividades. Es por ello que tenemos pensado un "hackatón" a realizar en Buenos Aires en las próximas semanas y veremos cómo continuar con ello durante 2014. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 18:45, 21 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Question on composition of budget & staffing[edit]

Hello WMAR, Thank you for your elaborate proposal for 2014. As I see in your detailed budget, 56.44% is going for staff expenditure (USD 111,161.18), 13.08% for international & local travel ($25,753.91), 11.46% for program & outreach ($22,565.08), 9.93% for administration ($19,566.62) & 9% for reserve ($17,904.67). However, in your last year budget, fund allocated for program & outreach was $26,823.88; meaning you have actually reduced your planned expenditure for program & outreach by $4,258.8 in 2014, which is 15.88% less than that of last year (I have excluded expenditure for federalizatin from outreach expenditure section of last year's budget for making the consecutive two year figures comparable). Planned expenditure for last year's program & outreach was 18.86% of total budget which is also greater than that of this year's (11.46%). On the other hand, you are proposing an increase in staff expenditure by $55,404.25 which is a 99.37% increase from last year. So what is your justification of reducing expenditure on program & outreach by 15.88% where as increasing your staff expenditure by 99.37% on the contrary? --Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 16:20, 26 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hi Ali, thanks for your questions and your interest.
The main reason for the decrease is that we are not having a second Hackathon/Techno Conferecence in 2014 (it is going to be realized next Nov 30 and Dec 1) and the publication of Wikigénero is expected for December 2013. Without those 2 projects, we will have a decrease in 6,845 USD that are mostly compensated with the increase in Outreach & Education (+1.290 USD) and Community support (+2,183 USD).
Also, it is important to consider than most of our activities don't have important direct costs. For example, an edit-a-thon or a workshop only have the costs related to catering in case it is needed and sometimes we can even save that, or the travel in case the activity is outside Buenos Aires (but that is included in the Federalization item). The main issue with our activities is that we have a hard time trying to make them effective. Currently, we can have several workshops, presentations and other activities every week, but we don't have now the capacity to make most of them and follow them up they we would have wanted. We want to increase our staff so we can respond better to the opportunities we have now and will have in the future, creating more effective activities, supporting the participants after them so they can truly become editors. We don't want to increase our activities if we are not going to be able to implement them. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 16:36, 28 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Questions for all entities from FDC staff[edit]

Please answer a few questions about your entity that we are asking of all entities. The purpose of these questions is to gain clarity about the information provided in your proposal, and also to request information that we can easily understand across all entities. We ask that you respond to these questions within 14 days, so that the FDC will have time to consider your responses during the deliberations. We apologize if any of these questions seem redundant. Thank you for your attention to these questions, and please let us know if you need any clarifications or have any questions for us. Thank you! Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 00:12, 29 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Please confirm your rates of growth[edit]

The FDC reviews rates of growth, which are calculated using the amounts provided in the currency requested in the proposal, to understand each entity’s proposed growth in total budget, and proposed growth in movement resources (what the entity is requesting from the FDC this year compared with what the entity received from the FDC last year) requested. We are asking you to confirm these numbers here so we may be sure we are understanding your request.

  1. Please confirm the amount you received from the FDC for the current FDC funding period in the currency you received it.
    146,854.00 USD (without considering the unused funds from 2012, discounted from the amount sent by the WMF). --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 17:26, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  2. Your total budget in 2013 listed in Table 3 is US$147,282.46 and that your total proposed budget for 2014 listed in Table 2 is US$196,951.36. Therefore, we calculate a proposed growth rate in your total budget of 34%. Please confirm that this matches your records.
    It is correct --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 17:26, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  3. Your movement resources in 2013 are US$146,854.00, and your request for 2014 listed in Table 2 is US$196,451.36. Therefore, we calculate a proposed growth rate in movement resources of 34%. Please confirm that this matches your records.
    It is correct --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 17:26, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Clarity around exchange rates used in this proposal[edit]

Please state how you calculated the exchange rate used in your proposal to provide the estimates provided in this proposal. Note that FDC allocations will be made in your requested currency (your local currency, in most cases), and amounts in US dollars are provided only so that entities and the FDC may understand allocations across entities. The FDC will use the exchange rate on the date of the proposal submission (1 October 2013) as calculated by Oanda, to ensure consistency across proposals.

We request the funds in USD dollars, considering it has not been possible for the WMF to disemburse the funds to WM-AR in Argentine pesos in the past. Also, the continuing high inflation of the country (nearly 30% annual) and the devaluation of the Argentine peso (the rate in the black market is nearly twice the official value of the dollar) makes very hard to estimate the value of supplies for the next year in local currency. Because of this, we made our budget using dollars instead of pesos (with the official rate of 4,79 existent at the time of the proposal -currently is over 4,92-) --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 17:38, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Questions about your entity’s staffing plan and strategy[edit]

Many entities plan to grow their staff in the coming year, and we would like some more information about each entity’s staffing strategy.

  1. If your entity is increasing its staff by one or more people, please explain how your board and, if applicable, the staff person managing your new staff, will handle the increased responsibilities of managing more staff.
    In our plan, we expect to incorporate two new staff members that will depend directly from the Executive Director. The Administrative Assistant will work closely with him, supporting him and the rest of the staff in the administrative and bureaucratic work, so there will be easy to handle. On the other hand, the Education Manager, as a part-time employee, will need more dedication to be sure that he/she is doing the work correctly. We expect to set clear goals and have frequent reports to see the progress towards those goals. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 18:41, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  2. Do you think the decision to increase the number of your staff will change the way your organization or your staff interacts with volunteers or change the attitude of volunteers toward your organization? Will the role of volunteers shift as a result of the change in staffing? How were community members a part of the decision to grow your staff?
    While the assistant will only be focused on administrative work (something where the community doesn't participate directly), the Education Manager will be in charge of some of the activities where there is more participation from volunteers. An important part of his/her work will be to define how volunteers can participate in the activities proposed in the new Education Plan and then coordinate the volunteers to implement correctly that plan. We don't think this Education Manager will replace completely the work of the volunteers and instead it will help to empower them to be more effective in their activities. Most of the volunteers know about Wikipedia but not how to exactly teach others and how to evaluate the activities. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 18:41, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  3. Who on your staff is responsible for your organization’s fundraising activities in 2014?
    We don't have plans in the short term to fundraise independently given the characteristics of the country. Donations are not a common thing and is more focused in other kind of NGOs, specially those devoted to reduce poverty for example. Those NGOs focused on education, knowledge and free culture have been usually funded from large corporations (like Microsoft or Telefónica) or through development funds from the European Union. Most of the institutions, however, have been facing serious problems because those funds have been dramatically reduced given the austerity measures in countries like Spain.
    The Executive Director is in charge of contacting institutions and propose them opportunities for cooperation and support. Obviously, one of those possibilites is financial support and we will encourage any opportunity in this line, but we don't expect this will be the norm. Instead, other ways to support our work have been common, especially about infraestructure or outreach, and we will continue increasing this in the future. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 18:41, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Organizational context[edit]

We have noticed a few ideas that are included in many of this round’s proposals, and would like more information about each entity’s context.

  1. Growth: We have reviewed your response to the question in the proposal form about your proposed rate of growth in budget and in movement resources. The rates of growth in movement resources for all entities in this round are at or significantly greater than the recommended maximum of 20% in the FDC Framework funding guidelines. It would be helpful to the FDC and FDC staff if you have any further details to justify your proposed rate of growth. Why do you believe your rates of growth are sustainable and that your plans are feasible? This request is also informed by the context of current underspending of movement resources (FDC allocations and WMF grants).
    As you can see, Wikimedia Argentina is the chapter that is most in line with the spent proposed for 2013 (53% by the middle of the year and nearly a 70% by the end of Q3). We have tried to request money for what we need and not just because we want to have it. In this case, most of the growth proposed is given by the increase of the staff that has been explained before. At this moment, we have just 1 employee to report to the FDC and Foundation, propose and implement Education activities, carry relationship with gubernamental institutions, manage GLAM projects, evaluate activities and even go to the bank to pay taxes. This is not sustainable if we really want to see Wikimedia Argentina growing and taking the most of it. Several projects have to be delayed because there is no capacity to deal with them and also with all other things the chapter must do. We expect this year to have a staff focused on their role, not only supporting the current activities but evaluating them, improving its effectiveness, and innovating. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 20:00, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  2. Partnerships: How does your entity define partnership? Do you have a process in place for bringing on new partners? What commitments do you require from the partner to begin the relationship?
    A partnership is an agreement where both institutions with similar objectives accept to cooperate towards mutual goals. There is not a clear process besides several conversations to find those mutual goals and define the responsabilities of each institution. Usually, Wikimedia Argentina is in charge of coordinate the activities, promote them, bring volunteers while the other organizations provides infraestructure, funds, supplies and institutional support. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 20:00, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  3. Grants: If your entity has a microgrants, minigrants, travel grants, or other grants program, how much funding in your budget is committed to grants? What is your process for selecting who is able to receive grants and which grants to fund? How do you know if your microgrants are leading to good outcomes?
    We plan to have a microgrants program for 2014. As this will be the first time to implement this project, we have established a small fund (1,000 USD, less than 0.5% of our budget) to test not only the interest of the volunteers but also the processes for control and evaluation of those volunteer-led activities. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 20:00, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Questions for all entities about operating reserves[edit]

We need more clarity on the state of the operating reserves of all entities. Operating reserves are defined as liquid, unrestricted assets available for an organization to use as a cushion, and to cover the costs of operations in case of unanticipated expenses or loss of revenue.

  1. Please summarize your strategy or policy around holding operating reserves, and your procedure for determining the amount of operating reserves needed by your organization. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 22:00, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
    Wikimedia Argentina has requested this year and in the past proposal a 10% of the budget as a reserve for unexpected. Besides this, WM-AR has a reserve amount that was used, for example, while the funds from the 2013 Annual Plan haven't been disbursed in our accounts.
  2. What amount of funds are in your entity's operating reserves right now?
    The current reserves of Wikimedia Argentina are around 195,000 Argentine pesos, which is near to the average costs of 3 months. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 22:00, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  3. Is your entity planning to use money from your 2013 FDC funds allocation (your current funds allocation) to add to your organization’s reserves, and if so approximately how much money are you planning to add to your reserves?
    In case there are some underspent money from the 2013 FDC and it is possible according to the conditions of the Grant Agreement, we will request those funds to be re-allocated to our reserves. In this case, this will be a very small fraction compared to the total amount requested to the FDC in 2012. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 22:00, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
  4. Have you budgeted any funds for your operating reserves in this proposal (your proposal for 2014) and if so, how much?
    We haven't budgeted funds for the operating reserves in this proposal. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 22:00, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Questions about WMAR’s proposal from FDC staff[edit]

These are some questions and points of clarification that arose while reading your proposal. These questions are an opportunity to clarify information in your proposal for the FDC and for FDC staff. Thank you in advance for your attention to these questions. We ask that you respond to these questions within 14 days, so that the FDC will have time to consider your responses during the deliberations. In a few cases, we may need to follow up with you after you respond to gain further clarity around your answers. Thanks again on behalf of FDC staff! Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 00:12, 29 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

  1. Please discuss how the GLAM-WIKI Conference Argentina will contribute to the objectives of Program 2.
  2. About how many files are released by institutions and used in Wikipedia articles as a result of your digitization work? Are there categories that link to these images?
  3. You highlight your lectures and workshops with the National University of Córdoba as an example of a successful activity. How did you measure the increase in quality and quantity of content contributed to the Spanish Wikipedia as a result of these events? How did you measure the recruitment and retention of new contributors?
  4. Which measurable outcomes will your Community Support program have on the Spanish Wikipedia?
Hi Winifred, thanks for your questions. I reply to each one here:
  1. The conference is an opportunity to reach to several cultural institutions, show them our activities and invite them to join. This way we can increase the number of institutions uploading content to Commons, organizing edit-a-thons or establishing "Wikipedians in residence". The idea comes from the Encuentro GLAM-WIKI Santiago 2012 that I organized while I was in WM-CL and in my opinion was very effective to meet and introduce new institutions to the GLAM world.
  2. All the files are available in this Category at Wikimedia Commons. Considering most of the files are plain-text books, they have not been used on Wikipedia (or at least as far as we know) but are in Wikisource. Most of them are available there but they needed to be transcribed and corrected.
  3. It is difficult to measure this kind of activities, especially an open presentation like some of those given in Córdoba. Usually, the only way to measure is how many people participated in the talks. In the case of workshops it is easier; in the case of the workshop focused on gender issues, three new articles were created and several others were improved. All of those edits were made by new editors. However, the level of retention has been very low: of the six identified accounts created on the workshop, only one edited some days after. That is why we feel it is important to have someone to evaluate those activities and propose changes to make them more effective.
  4. We expect to have, for example, more pictures uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and Spanish Wikipedia, including participation in activities such as a football match or a movie premiere (similar to what Wikimedia CH does [1]) and pictures of more quality. Maybe there can be audio or videos of important people, new articles for the Spanish Wikinews, etc, etc. --Osmar Valdebenito (WMAR) (talk) 23:00, 1 November 2013 (UTC)Reply