Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014 round1/Wikimedia CH/Staff proposal assessment
"the active community is very small"
What does this mean? Do you mean the target Wikimedia projects, the chapters members, the volunteers directly involved in the chapter's projects, or what else? WMCH works for 3+1 of the top ten Wikipedias, so I assume it can't be the first. --Nemo 10:24, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
"It is surprising that more coordination with other groups pursuing offline work was not mentioned in this proposal". Maybe it was taken for granted? Everybody knows that Kiwix is a joint effort between WMCH, WMF, WMIT, WMFR and WMUK; hard to have more coordination than this. Do "other groups [seriously] pursuing offline work" even exist? --Nemo 10:24, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Lack of Coordination with other Wikimedia affiliated organisations
A question to FDC staff or FDC members: I wonder how you came to the conclusion that WMCH lacks coordination with other Wikimedia affiliated organisations. Sure WMCH could improve and optimize. But did you realise that WMCH has four major chapter to coordinate with and where coordination is done on a daily basis, both by volunteers and staff? There are strong relationships with WMDE, WMAT, WMIT and WMFR. Not to mention other projects done in collaborations with WMUK, WMID and many more. Then there is the common infrastructure WMCH is providing to chapters and other affiliates, such as the Video Conference system or the free webhosting provided to a number of chapters such as WMKE, WMSK, WMNE, Wikimedians in Kansai or the Wikimania Tools and domains which have been first acquired from external owners to become owned by our community. Sure not everything is perfect within WMCH and criticism is due but this assessment simply doesn't reflect the reality. --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 16:23, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
- I can affirm that; there is a lot of cooperation in the D-A-CH part of our movement. But also with the other European chapters. The WikiCon in Karlsruhe is the best example. Ziko (talk) 16:36, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
Reponse of WMCH CSO to the FDC staff assessment
First of all, thank you very much for your work, and it's not a just "polite" remark, I really appreciate your availability and the exchange we had during this process.
Please find here some reflection about the assessment, all in one I think we identified the same important point, but I would like to make the point that we are addressing them in our annual plan.
About the concerns
The introduction remark is especially true for metrics, it's only the second round of FDC application and the Program Evaluation & Design has less than a year. We are all aware, and we all agree that metrics are one of the impact measurement available we want to use in the future. Nevertheless, metrics are difficult to establish at the beginning, and to compare between entities. Also for us we need a learning phase to establish the "swiss standards". As an illustration, we could not have a target of "20" new editors per community , whereas the different population are so different in numbers and in on-line culture. Nevertheless we have put an extra effort to have metrics for all our activities, we are obviously open to increase them and report more precisely in our quarterly report about the feasibility (increasing or decreasing during the year).
This year we already demonstrated that when a metric was estimated to low, we just continue to work to reach the good result (cf Herbarium where we should have twice the number of new pictures compared to the original target).
Bottom line we agree that our metrics are not perfect, and we are more than open to "negotiate" them with the FDC directly. I think that for the first year of FDC application with a real emphasis , it would be fair to have a real learning process for the definition of good metrics. That's why Wikimedia CH is especially motivate to work with the program evaluation & design department of the WMF to improve the quality and the efficiency of the metrics used by our chapter.
The size of the community is indeed a concern, but first of all the definition of the community is still unclear and this is a concern for the whole movement. Wikimedia CH defines as a community the editors of the wikimedia project in a language, according to that we are covering the top 4 of the Wikipedias, EN, DE, FR and IT. So our communities cannot be too smalls. But it's true that the active volunteers in Switzerland are very active but not so numerous. That's why we put an extra emphasis on working with the communities by recruiting two community managers, and by focusing our activities on community support. Our community support budget has been increased by 43% for the activity (113kCHF vs 80kCHF) and we have now a real 1FTE in term of staff availability (the 2 times 0.5 FTE of the community managers were covering also GLAM and Education activities, so, it was not a full FTE for Community until now)
Wikimedia CH is considering the Offline program as a long-term strategy, we are building of our experience and the experience of the movement like Wikipedia Zero. Increasing reach is indeed important, but it cannot support the sustainability of the whole movement, only increasing participation can accomplish that. The wikipedia Zero project demonstrated its potential by increasing the numbers of readers, and so the numbers of POTENTIAL editors, but it also demonstrated that it has no chance to turn these potential readers into potential editors. On the opposite, our Wikipedia Offline strategy is oriented to increase the numbers of editors, and especially in population that are under represented in the wikimedia community.
About the budget
I would like to point out that our "true" rate of growth in movement resources is actually 16%, we include the full cost of the Hackathon in the 500 000 CHF requested, and our understanding is that Hackathon is a Movement project like the wikimedia Conference or Wikimania. If we do not count the hackathon in the specific WMCH budget, we are requesting 420 000 cHF, ie 16% more than last year. In 2015 we plan to apply to organize the Wikimedia conference (building on the experience of the 2014 Hackathon) and in this case too we will have an "artificial" increase of our annual budget. The overall budget is hard to analyse because we took the decision to postponed several project in 2014, then our 2013 budget will be finally lesser than expected, but 2014 will be higher than it should be.
About feasibility and underspending
In the last two years we have focus on getting the things done on a quality level, that's why we have abandoned project when we were thinking that the impact on wikimedia project would be too low according to the financial expense, or postponed when we saw that we could do better if we take more time. For an example of the last categories, we postponed to the late 2014 the WikiVillage contest, because we have now the opportunity to imply all the scholar libraries in the french part of the Switzerland.
In WMCH we are especially concerned by not forcing spending if they are not necessary, that's why we have no problem to assume the annual underspending. But in the long-term we are also considering that a recurrent under-spending is representative of a bad planning of the activities. For our second FDC application we are requesting to the FDC to lower the impact of the annual underspending in the application evaluation, in order to avoid a dommageable dynamic of "spending for spending", but to consider a back-up strategy like a redistribution phase in the middle of the funding period.
About international coordination
The problem is may be more in the communication than in the actual coordination. WMCH is working actually on a daily basis with its neighboring chapters, but also with several other chapter in the world. The chapter's village this year in Wikimania was a joint idea between Wikimedia DE and Wikimedia CH, and I think that everybody agrees that it was a major improvement of the conference. Our CIO is working closely with WMAT to improve the efficiency of the chapter's IT and then improved the use of movement funds. Our community managers are working a lot with their relative chapters, we are even looking to have real inter-chapter staff working group for diversity (gender gap). But we have to face the reality, it's not always easy to communicate about inter-chapter activities, the story of the WCA is an illustration, that's why we are focusing on getting the things done, and not on the communication that "we will do" something.
About other risks
I acknowledge the weakness of the Q1 and Q2 reports, but would like to point that our Q3 report was publish on time with an extensive improvement in the community manager report as suggested by the FDC staff. Even if I'm not satisfied by the quality of our Q3 report, we have really work to improve it, and I'm confident that our annual report will reflect this tendency.
After the publication of our FDC application, we internally acknowledge that the lack of strategic plan is a weakness for the FDC application, but most of all it's something we need to improve the efficiency of the chapter's work. That's why I will conduct the strategic planning for the association. Our target is to discuss the draft plan during our next general assembly, and then having a real strategic plan for the next summer.
All in one, I consider that the FDC staff assessment is going in the same line than our evaluation of the situation and that our annual plan is addressing the the risks pointed. I think we could have done better in the wording of our application, and we should have find a better balance between a too light application and a too detailed annual plan (not easy to read). --Charles Andrès (WMCH) 17:10, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
- Charles, thank you for your detailed response to the Staff Assessment. I'll take it into consideration when I deliberate on the proposal. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 14:08, 18 November 2013 (UTC)