Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round1/Wikimedia Argentina/Proposal form

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Community review has ended. You are still welcome to comment on these proposals, but the FDC and the applicants may not be able to respond to your feedback or consider it during the deliberations.

Please do not edit this proposal form directly. If changes are needed, applicants can request them on the proposal form's discussion page. Thank you!

Proposal by Wikimedia Argentina to support its annual plan with ~US$214,000.

Program focus: Education, GLAM, Federalization (work in regions of Argentina outside the capital) and Community Support

Wikimedia Argentina will be focusing its anual plan estrategy on improving the sustentability and increase the professionalization of our programs, projects and activities. In this sense, we intend to develop and design actions in the long term instead of doing specific activities on any matter. The proposal presented by WMAR is driven by four major estrategic lines through which our three major programs will be developed. Also, WMAR priorities for 2015 will be: to strengthen and give continuity to our educational projects jointly with our partners, improve and strengthen relationships with cultural institutions in order to obtain better results and more stable relationships, and to involve and engage within all our activities to the Wikimedia community through volunteer groups and project leaders work. Similarly, and in order to respond appropriately to each of WMAR's objectives, the organization will work in the formulation and implementation of the correct measurement indicators for each activity throughout 2015.


Your big proposed increase[edit]

While I have no problem with the prorgam activities you propose, I have major problem understanding the rationale in you high increase in request for fundings. As you are well aware the directive from the Board is to cap FDC fundings, except in extraordinary cases. And you have a operations that has been running for seveal years and received a healthy increase last yaer. And while good in general I find nothing that can motivate this increase in your proposal. And the inflation rate in Argentine currecy ought not to effect the funding done in dollar. Could you please expand your reasoning behind this huge increase. I also would like to know if you have a plan B if you are not to recieve this huge amount, and could indicate what part of your proposed plan would be effected.Anders Wennersten (talk) 08:52, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Anders, thanks for your question. We expected to receive some comment of this kind so it is a great opportunity for us to explain our rationale. First, let me point that although the proposed increase in funding is of 22% when compared with our approved budget for 2014, when you compare it with what was our proposal for 2014 (USD 196,951,36) the increase in our proposal is limited to 10,25%.
Now, with regard to your specific questions and worries, please allow me to reply with bullets:
  • Inflation and devaluation. I fear you seem to be assimilating two different phenomena. On one hand there is high inflation in Argentina, as expressed in Argentine pesos, amounting to 40% for this year according to unofficial estimates (official statistics are severely questioned and have been even vetoed by the IMF, but even those recognize at least 20% of inflation). On the other hand, the Argentine peso was devalued from roughly ARS 6 per dollar at the beginning of 2014 to the current ARS 8,50 per dollar at the official currency rate. Devaluation allows us to partially compensate the effects of inflation, but it doesn't prevent it from happening altogether or from continuing in time. More so, inflation is not constant, and some kinds of goods and services get a double increase in costs as a result of devaluation+inflation. For instance, real estate, which has long been traded in dollars here, and that reflects in turn in the costs of rental. We are forced to anticipate the effects of inflation in prices for next year, but it would be improper to take for granted that an equivalent devaluation of the Peso will follow —it near happened in 2014, but hadn't happened in 2013, for instance. In any case, we did our best to keep our costs as reduced as possible, as expressed by the very limited increase in our biggest budget item, staff. Having to live with this economic phenomenon is not something to be desired (nor to say having to budget and to run an organization); we are the first ones interested in that macroeconomic conditions get stabilized so we can propose way more reduced variations in the following years. Under these conditions we find that our proposal is reasonable and well-detailed in terms of where do the proposed variations come from, how are they justified and what are they needed for. Determining whether our condition can be considered exceptional is up to the FDC. We believe to have solid and verificable reasons, and to have done everything possible to keep costs limited and strictly tailored to our increased activity.
  • Plan B: the continuity and personal stability of our current staff are a key priority for us, and we are sure that the FDC will agree with us when evaluating our current and planned programmatic work, which is the key of this proposal. In case the FDC accepts our proposal but reduces the funding amount we intend to cut non-essential activities before affecting current staff or any programmatic activity. For instance, first to be cut would be certain provisions for international travel, such as the ED retreat or an international event on Education, or reducing slots for institutional representation from three to two people. That said, we consider our engagement in movement-wide activities to be especially important considering that we are the only APG-financed Wikimedia affiliate not from and far from Europe —attending those events with means other than our APG would be practically impossible and diminishing to the representation of Latin America in said events. We could be compelled to discard the administrative assistant, but we believe that it is a really necessary position that does greatly compensate its cost —it would allow our ED to dedicate even more time for programmatic work instead of losing hours and hours visiting our bank, our lawyer or our accountant. We could move to an all-digital policy and avoid printing some materials that are scheduled, or condition that to receiving external funding for that purpose from our educational and GLAM partners. And the same thing could be done with the proposed funds for contest prizes. As you'll be able to see, the proposed budget is detailed enough to allow you and us to know what and why are we proposing to finance, and to know where and how to change course if there are unforeseen financial limitations without affecting staff continuity and programmatic work.
  • I understand that your main concern has to do with Administration. The proposal explains with some detail that an important part of the increase in some USD 12,000 is related with our need to change office. And there are three reasons that made our need for a new office substantially more expensive that it was in the past: (a) We are under an agreement with the National University of La Plata (UNLP) that allowed us to have an office (our current one) at rates that were sensibly below the market. The agreement ends next December and the University is not renewing it, for it will redestinate the whole building for academic activities; (b) This one is simpler: we need more space. Our current office was rented when WMAR's whole team consisted of one person, and it is already tight for our current three-people staff. It's a one-room office and any reasonable alternative (a larger space with at least a bathroom and a kitchenette; we're not asking for multiple rooms and so) will be more expensive; (c) The costs of renting have substantially risen since we signed the agreement with the UNLP for this space. Office-related expenses account for roughly USD 14,000, which explains 90% of our administration costs. Part of those are one-time expenditures, such as having to buy furniture for our new office —we mostly used existing facilities at our current space.
I hope this information is helpful to you. Don't hesitate to ask for more detail if needed. Best, Galio (talk) 21:13, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. I appareciate your extensive explainations, even if I have to admit I can not follow the reasoning with inflation. But FDC has Garfiels Byrd as finance support and I expect he understands and can clarify for FDC.Anders Wennersten (talk) 16:43, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Anders Wennersten, well, if there is very high inflation in Argentina (there is), you need more and more peso to buy goods. But you only get more peso out of your USD account if the USD appreciates. If it doesn't sufficiently appreciate, your USD grant still loses value in real terms over the course of the year. So it does make sense to consider in your plan for 2015 that--as a result of these economic conditions--your USD expenses in Q4 2015 might well be higher than what you'd expect them to be at current prices. (Sure, it's highly implausible that your currency doesn't devalue against the USD if annual inflation is at 40% and you've just defaulted on your debt (it's also kind of hinted at by the increasing gap between the official and the inofficial exchange rate), but of course there's always considerable risk that next year's depreciation of the peso will not suffice.) Given the significance of Argentina's inflation problem it would personally strike me as a grave mistake if this were not reflected in the budget. — Pajz (talk) 22:19, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Ok, but the grant proposal says too little about countermeasures taken for inflation risks.

  • For instance, the cost [esteem] of the rent is mentioned, but not what the contract says about inflation. How long does the contract last? Is the cost frozen or does it vary depending on inflation?
  • Same for the other budget items, it would be nice to have an approximate esteem of what portion of them is protected from inflation.
  • If WMF can't give out a grant in inflation-indexed amounts, have you considered taking an insurance for currency variation as is customary in many industries? How much would it cost? --Nemo 13:21, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Errata[edit]

Please note that the table with the detailed variation by sector included under section 1.4 contains numbers that are slightly incorrect, since by mistake we included a series of calculations based on a draft version of the proposed budget amounting to USD 217,150. The final and correct budget amounts to USD 214,600. The proposed increase under Administration, whose rationale was explained on top, is thus of 63% and not 78% when compared with our FDC-approved budget for 2014. The total proposed increase is 20% and not 22%.

Published version
2014 budget 2015 budget % of increase Total increase
Programs 48.000 65.000 35% 17.000
Administration 19.566 34.800 78% 15.234
Staff 111.000 117.350 6% 6.350
Total 178.566 217.150 22% 38.584
Correct version
2014 budget 2015 budget % of increase Total increase
Programs 48.000 65.300 36% 17.300
Administration 19.566 31.860 63% 12.292
Staff 111.000 117.350 6% 6.350
Total 178.566 214.600 20% 38.584

Thanks for your consideration. --Galio (talk) 22:22, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Questions from FDC staff[edit]

Thank you for submitting this proposal for an Annual Plan Grant to the FDC! As the FDC staff, we have enjoyed reviewing it and learning more about the work you’ve done to date, and the plans you have for 2015. At this time, we’d like to know a bit more. Some questions have come up as part of our review, and we have a few requests for clarifications. Please let us know if any of this is unclear.

Thank you for your hard work! KLove (WMF) (talk) 00:22, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Clarifications about your finances[edit]

Based on your budgeted spend for 2014 your proposed growth rate is 22.29% and based on your projected spend for 2014 your growth rate is 38.45% because you expect to spend 94.11% of the total budgeted. WMAR is requesting a 22.29% increase in FDC funding. This analysis is based on the following numbers:

  • Budgeted spend 2014: 1,399,650 ARS (from your Q2 report)
  • Projected spend 2014: 155,000 USD
  • FDC funds granted 2014: 175,000 USD
  • Proposed budget 2015: 214,600
  • FDC funds requested 2015: 214,000

You explain that you need a significant increase due to inflation. Since you receive your FDC grant in US dollars, why is this needed?

Questions[edit]

  1. Education is proposed as a significant area of focus for WMAR. What are your targets related to content for your education program? How do you believe your education program will lead to significant online impact?
  2. You are prioritizing your GLAM and education program, which will build on work done this year. We note that you are focusing on increasing the number of new alliances with cultural and educational institutions. How will you focus on depth and quality of these partnerships to ensure meaningful support to them?
  3. What is the Conectar Igualdad program, and how does it work with Offline?
  4. We are interested to note your focus on diversity, specifically on increasing material related to minority culture on projects. How will you realize this goal? Will representatives from these minority cultures be at the head of these initiatives?
  5. What do you mean by “alliances with educative portals”?
  6. Why do you believe that creating and distributing printed materials (included in your detailed budget) will lead to online impact? Is this based on past results?


Thank you for answering these questions. Warm regards, KLove (WMF) (talk) 00:22, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Katy, thanks for your kind comments and for your questions. We'll attempt to provide more insight and to clarify the different aspects of our proposal you mention.
Please let us first make some considerations about finances. Our proposed budget for 2014 was capped by the FDC at USD 175,000 and we are proposing a budget of USD 214,000 for the coming year, which implies an increase just above 20% in the requested funds. As the FDC is at this point our only considerable source of revenue, our APG proposal reflects the proposed growth rate entirely. That is, our budgeted spend 2014 equals FDC funds granted for 2014 as credited in ARS. We find those figures above 30% to be potentially misleading and suggesting a drastic growth increase that is not reflected in numbers nor has never been our stance —neither in numbers, neither in staff: we have always tried to prevent from confusing organizational growth from programmatic progress. From our point of view, underspending shouldn't be negatively measured as an increase for next year: any remaining funds from our 2014 APG can and will be deducted from our 2015 APG at the point of wiring the grant's installments to Wikimedia Argentina, so the impact in movement funds is abstract and negligible.
Now, regarding inflation, your question will allow us to expand the arguments that we have already provided in our response to Anders. The FDC grant is received in dollars by the bank, but it is exchanged to Argentine pesos at the point of being credited to our account. This is mandatory and unavoidable. We cannot operate in US dollars. Funds are exchanged at the official rate of the day they are credited, which is roughly two weeks from the point the Wikimedia Foundation transfers each installment. So the first thing is that we actually receive our FDC grant in Argentine pesos.
The fact that WMF transfers an amount in US dollars has no relation with the effect of inflation in our finances. Your question seems to assume that there is a direct, linear relation between currency exchange rates and inflation —i.e. that any price increase in Argentine pesos gets compensated, or cancelled, by an equivalent devaluation of the local currency. While there is a connection, this is not necessarily true. This year there was a strong devaluation in January (from ARS 6 to ARS 8 per dollar) that created an artificial increase in our FDC funds in Argentine pesos (but not in dollars), which allowed us to compensate increased costs in the context of an annual inflation rate of 40%. This 40% inflation rate was not foreseen last year, when inflation was at about 25%. To put a graphic example, let's suppose we had budgeted ARS 100 for some expenditure. That meant USD 15 one year ago (100/6). As the devaluation took place before the first installment was credited, for those USD 15 we got instead ARS 120 (100*8). But then the real thing didn't cost ARS 100 any more, but perhaps ARS 110 or ARS 130. And, on another note, we were forced to make some modifications in spending priorities and timing because of our unforeseen staff changes, which incidentally enabled us to cope better with and within a context of economic uncertainty.
Inflation has its own, complex dynamics, and operates independently from the dollar exchange rate. The dollar could be quiet and inflation would continue, because its macroeconomic causes are internal to the Argentine economy. Since January, for instance, the peso depreciation rate has been well below inflation. Of course, when the dollar moves, it has a feedback effect on inflation, first and most directly by affecting the costs of imported supplies and goods. Or in the cost of renting and real estate, which is dollar-based. The Government and the Central Bank deal with this dilemma of preventing devaluation at the cost of sacrificing international competitiveness of the Argentine economy, or enabling a controlled depreciation of the peso at the cost of fostering inflation and dealing with the risk of entering a vicious circle. And we are there, doing our best to ensure the orderly continuity of our operations and programs —something we are able and accustomed to, but that is not always easy to explain to foreign fellows who are not used to such volatile conditions.
The Government denies that it will apply a new devaluation next year —and even if that happened we have no certainty it would be at the beginning of the year or before funds get credited, and of course we have no certainty it would be able to compensate for future inflation along the year. Our only certainty here is that prices have risen in average 40% over the course of 2014 and that all economists predict a similar behavior for next year. That implies calculating an increase in our costs in Argentine pesos that we cannot "deduct" or deflate by way of an hypothetical future devaluation we have no news about —we would love to be able to do it, but it would be highly imprudent and compromising for our finances. We have to plan for the most feasible scenario, that implies that inflation continues at an annual rate of around 40% and the Argentine peso remains within its current rate. Just in case you are wondering, that's not the WCS. The WCS would imply that inflation gets out of control and our 40% provision is insufficient to deal with future increases. We don't expect that to happen, but we have to be prudent to guarantee organizational stability.
Of course, this 40% in Argentine pesos does not translate into a 40% in US dollars. The US dollar started 2014 at ARS 6,50 (January 2) and is currently at ARS 8,37 (October 10). We budgeted with an exchange rate of ARS 8,49 per dollar. We can't foresee which will be the rate next January, next March or next December, and even less can we expect it to move in the same lines of this year. Let's suppose a BCS: the Argentine peso gets devalued at a rate superior to annual inflation. The practical result would be artificial underspending (we would end the year with a remnant in ARS), and that gets solved easily by way of an equivalent deduction in our 2016 APG if needed. We hope you find this explanation useful.
Anna will reply about the nice part soon :). Warm regards, Galio (talk) 16:28, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Most of the depreciation happened in January 2014, but ARS is constantly depreciating.[1] Would it be helpful if WMF wired the amounts (say) in monthly installments, to benefit from the ever-increasing conversion rate? The less money one keeps in ARS the better, in this period, no? --Nemo 12:59, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Dear Katy thank you for your kind comments. Here they come the answers regarding WMAR programmatic work.
1. As we have explained in our grant proposal, Education will continue to be a strategic area of great importance for Wikimedia Argentina. During 2015, Education will focus on different objective goals. We plan to work with different educational authorities in Latin America (teachers, professors, educational websites staff, etc) through our online courses, students (mostly from secondary schools) and school teachers, professors from Conectar Igualdad and students from non-formal educational institutions.
The contents will vary in accordance to the different detected needs:
  • ONLINE COURSES
Free culture and school culture
Digital school practices (or The digital classroom)
The free encyclopedia: how to edit Wikipedia
Use of Wikimedia Commons
Preserving the cultural heritage through the Wikimedia projects
Wikiprojects: how to generate educational projects through the Wikimedia projects such as Wikiversity
  • STUDENT TRAINING:
Wikipedia and how to edit Wikipedia
Workshops about the rest of Wikimedia projects: Commons and Wikivoyage as the most important
Promoting editions and participation in Wikimedia projects through the recognition of the local heritage of the users/new users of the :Wikimedia projects in different Argentinean schools
  • TEACHER TRAINING:
Design of proposals through Wikimedia projects
Workshops of metric construction with the purpose of evaluating the impact of the projects in the classroom, through teacher support
  • NON-FORMAL EDUCATION
Introduction to digital literacy through the Wikimedia projects in non formal and adult learning environments.
The online teaching that Wikimedia Argentina proposes answers a series of needs detected in the region:
  • Ignorance of Wikimedia and its projects
  • Wide use of Wikipedia as users but not as editors
  • Wide consensus regarding the presence of Wikipedia in teaching environments.
According to this analysis, Wikimedia Argentina focuses its online courses with the goal of offering the Latin American referents not just a theoretical framework and a cultural concept of what is Wikipedia and how it is built, but also a practical way of generating a community of referents on the topic, through an online course not available before.
Similarly, since the first week of classes, participants investigate and participate in the Wikimedia projects and there are specific weeks devoted to editing Wikipedia and the construction of educational projects through the use of Wikimedia projects. Through the spaces and open discussion forums (and the participation of the Wikimedia community to support specific classes), we seek to create a network of local teachers that begin to implement in the classroom the result of the contents learned and that will become editors and will be able to incorporate editing in the curriculum and activities proposed to students.
In this sense, we hope to build a community of professors that will later be part of our team of educational ambassadors, as well as generate the strategic induction conducted throughout the course where we consider the participation and the diverse opinions of all those who participate (currently 100+ teachers). This contributes to achieve our most important goal: to improve the content and participation.
From the beginning of our online course, the motivation of the participants has been excellent, and works have been delivered on time and with high levels of involvement. This gives us even more certainty that in some cases teachers want to be able to access this type of educational options for accessibility but can only be done online, which is currently an option used regularly.
In this sense Wikimedia Argentina has already successfully participated in similar activities in format like the MOOC made ​​with UBA in 2013 or EduHackatón conducted with PENT-FLACSO in April 2014.
2.During 2015 the strategy of Wikimedia Argentina in relation to the cultural institutions that show interest in working with us will be defined differently. Until this date, our relationship with different cultural institutions has usually meant the realization of specific short-term activities (edit-a-thons, agreements to publish already digitized materials) and loans granting scanners for freeing contents.
The realization of short-term activities has meant a difficulty in terms of sustaining the development of GLAM alliances over time, and one of the goals for 2015 is that WMAR can generate programs whose objectives and results involve a continuity in time. We believe the best strategy to strengthen these alliances in time is to generate a plan of continuous work with institutions, where all actors are involved and where the presence of WMAR is a constant in terms of providing advice and coordinating common activities.
In this sense, although coordination will be done by the Wikimedia Argentina staff, volunteer communities will be fostered to lead part of the GLAM projects and closely monitor each of our alliances, especially those established in cities far away from Buenos Aires, where our staff and a good part of our member base is based. On the other hand, for the first time the training of the own staff of cultural organizations will be proposed in order to establish focal points for coordination of joint projects. In this sense, the strategy that we aim to promote is to generate content generators from our own cultural and GLAM partners with the support and contribution of the expertise of Wikimedia Argentina.
3.Conectar Igualdad (Connecting Equality) is a national-wide program created on April 2010 by president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner whose primary goal (already achieved) is to provide every children in public secondary schools with his own laptop. This 1:1 model includes the delivery of a netbook for each secondary school student and teacher, but also the staff from teacher training institutes. Today, more than 4.638.287 netbooks have been distributed.
Schools are also equipped with an internal LAN and with an Internet connection, the latter being subject to the available network infrastructure in each region or town. The program was created to recover and improve public schools and to reduce the digital, educational and social divides in the country. It is a public policy jointly implemented by Presidency, the social insurance system (ANSES), and the ministries of Education and Federal Planning.
Each netbook has a number of programs to be used without the need of an Internet connection. Among these programs there is CDPedia, a software piece to read the Spanish Wikipedia while being offline. This version of CDPedia is updated each time the student or teacher brings the computer to school.
The program considers the use of netbooks both at school and after school, having an impact in the daily lives of all kinds of families from a diverse number of communities from all over Argentina. The recipients of the program are: students, teachers, families, school management staff and technological liaisons deployed in the different educational districts.
Reference links:
4. Wikimedia Argentina includes diversity through two perspectives: cultural diversity and social diversity. Cultural diversity refers to the degree of cultural variation among coexisting cultures in one space. In this sense, cultural diversity reflects the interaction of cultures in the world, according to UNESCO as part of the common heritage of mankind. Furthermore, although social diversity is the primary expression of cultural diversity, it also regards the expression of faults in the distribution of wealth and opportunities.
In this sense, Wikimedia Argentina, through the activities proposed in diversity, aims to target the concept from its multiplicity of notions.
Regarding cultural diversity and coexistence understood as the common heritage of mankind, we understand that Argentina, as a country, has a cultural heritage and a present of indigenous people that moves us to strengthen projects in order to highlight and document the cultural heritage on this matter. Our project is to set up volunteer groups in charge of dedicate GLAM project proposed within the community for the preservation of native cultures. Wikimedia Argentina will support the work of volunteers and GLAM leaders in order to improve the content of the original cultures in Wikimedia projects. In order to articulate the best possible way and respect the participatory processes, we will generate the appropriate alliances in order to achieve the best possible results expected. We expect representatives from minority cultures not to be at the head of WMAR-backed initiatives but to be represented within our partner organizations.
On the other hand, regarding the social diversity, Wikimedia Argentina is committed to use its position as a social actor in order to favor the inclusion of people living in vulnerable contexts. Argentina is considered a country belonging to the developing world, and disparities in the distribution of wealth tend to be more pronounced and notorious than in developed economies. Latin America, it is frequently said, is not the poorest region in the planet, but the most unequal.
In this sense, although we have a strong governmental structure and we are one of the countries with higher levels of human development in the region, the concept of development should be understood from a Latin American perspective. Lack of proper housing and infrastructure relate with focal points of poverty that persist in time amid times of economic prosperity. In this sense, Wikimedia projects are intended as a gateway to the world for people who live in vulnerable contexts, a space where they can make their voices heard and write their own story. For instance, officially-sanctioned barrios (neighbourhoods) almost never include the unofficial but quite real boundaries of villas miseria (slums), and these exist even in the heart of Buenos Aires. There is plenty of academic production about villas miseria, and even a trend of in-house literary and academic production (cfr. La garganta poderosa). However, this gets poorly reflected in Wikipedia —turns out the typical inhabitant of those settlements is way too different from the typical Wikipedia editor: where Wikipedia editors are predominantly male, there has traditionally been a strong women leadership in villas; where Wikipedia editors are predominantly unmarried young people in their 20s, villas have a demographic pyramid where parents have to take care for very young children; where Wikipedia editors are predominantly well-educated locals, many people in villas are or settled as irregular immigrant workers.
We also believe that through the Wikimedia projects we not only encourage participation and improve the incursion of the participants in the cultural scene but build bridges to promote knowledge of this reality from an inclusive point of view.
Therefore, the participants of the projects and activities will be the ones leading with the support of civil society organizations and Wikimedia Argentina in order to generate participatory attitudes with their reality and position them as protagonists of their context.
5.With “educative portals” we refer to the online platform of the national Ministry of Education and other online training and information channels of official educational institutions. Regional educational portals are in charge of providing educational content and teaching proposals for professors and technological referents. They are in charge of leading the development of technological inclusion programs in the 1:1 models that are national policies. For instance, professors from Conectar Igualdad do most of their training via online courses hosted by the national platform Educ.ar. Their impact on schools and teacher training institutes is notably deep.
This sort of partnership allows us to give online formation courses and distribute contents for teachers and technology referents without the need of traveling, bringing the Wikimedia projects to different places and at the same time generate activities that involve genuine collaborative work done by people from every country, which is faithful to the spirit of the Wikimedia projects.
We are currently developing an online course with RELPE (Latin American Network of Educational Portals) that gathers 16 educational portals from Argentina and all over Latin America. This network is a distributed regional system that stores and distributes educational contents that are constantly expanding and being updated. This network is made of educational portals —autonomous, national, public and free— designated under those conditions by the Ministry of Education from each country. The network was built at the end of August, 2014 under an agreement of the Ministries of Education from 16 Latin American countries.
Our actual partnerships with organizations such as RELPE or PENT-FLACSO (Latin American Social Sciences Faculty), allow us to have a broad impact both nationwide and regionwide. These online platforms enjoy a large number of users (composed from school teachers to education researchers) that already follow a diverse set of online courses.
For example, we launched an online course with RELPE two weeks ago that is already enjoying a great response from approximately 100+ active users from not only all over Argentina but also from all over Latin America, with users from México, Honduras, Uruguay, Bolivia and Perú. You can see a map of our users here.
The course is aimed towards specific professional profiles so that our course graduates can promote Wikimedia projects and foster participation within their educational communities
This online course aims to generate a first community of teachers familiar with Wikimedia projects and to become a sort of forum for a growing community of active volunteer teachers. In this sense, Wikimedia Argentina hopes that a number of teachers that are now taking part of the course will become the “educational ambassadors” in different teaching levels, in different regions, always with the goal of promoting the use of Wikipedia and the other projects in the classroom and their multiple didactic uses.
6:Broadly speaking, in countries such as Argentina access to Internet is not of great quality and therefore many of the students and teachers we expect to work with require printed material or digital copies that can be downloaded so they can be used offline. Most schools in the countryside or in towns far from provincial capitals can even lack a working Internet connection at all.
Since we started the Education Program a few months ago, we’ve verified while working with our partners that these are necessary practices and uses for working with teachers. We have a continuous demand from teachers for our “Wikipedia en el aula” booklet and other printed materials. Most times is doesn’t have to do with an immediate online impact, but with being able to disseminate information more broadly and more effectively, reaching publics we wouldn’t otherwise --many times we arrive to a new school and learn that teachers were already acquainted with some printed material from ours.
As an example, the Argentine educational portal Educ.ar has given us a space called Wikipedia en el aula (Wikipedia in the classroom) and requires us to keep up to date the printable materials.
On the other hand, the participants of our online course Puentes entre las culturas escolares, digitales y libres are working on gathering all the available materials online about Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects. This leads us to believe that we must update those documents as soon as possible. You can check out some of this work in progress here.
If there is any other question, please don't hesitate in ask. Warm regards --Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 23:55, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I would find it useful for this response to be broken down in subsections with headers, rather than bold text. It's very hard to navigate this page at this point. --Nemo 12:59, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Gender gap and diversity[edit]

Hello, thank you for the work that you all are doing for the wikimedia movement. I enjoyed reading about your previous and planned projects and programs.

I want to take special note of the way that you integrated gender and diversity into all of your plans. I'm glad to see that you all are recognize these issues as cutting across all programs and projects. I appreciate the way that this comes across as an important value of the leadership of Wikimedia Argentina. FloNight (talk) 17:47, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear FloNight, thank you so much for your comment. Wikimedia Argentina aims to approach the main strategic goals defined in our Anual Plan proposal as much as including in all our procediments the gender and diversity mainstreaming. Please, feel free to give us any advice regarding these matters. --Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 18:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Proposal and synergy[edit]

If the plan does go through, how can the public access the proper facilities that you enable from your own perspective? If their is a budget deficit of a high-quo then this status is ultimately a state means rather and a communal one? If the proposal does fall, then in what cases are the impacts going to help for the education of the will is possibly a standby. Then will the money be distributed equally, among the company and what will be the focal point of the endeavor. In any case, their will need to be some progressive language and stance leading to a progress and based off the the criteria, their legitimately is a argument for the demand in the area of expertise that is going to be discussed in the main dealing. The proposal, if endeavor should fall suit will be engaged by the policies by which is standard education. If this would only become a proposal for the equal distribution then the policy should be driven towards the cause in like respect.

Sorry, we couldn't understand your question. We'd appreciate if you could clarify it. Thanks! --Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 18:13, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Question[edit]

How will the neighboring Latin American countries benefit from the funds received by WMAR? Will there be any type of material available for students in Chile, for example? Best regards, Austral blizzard (talk) 21:54, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your question, Austral Blizzard. Each one of the programs and projects that we’ve planned for Wikimedia Argentina pretends to be a focal point to promote activities and actions with the rest of Wikimedia organizations in Latin America, including of course Wikimedia Chile.
We understand that Argentina is in a privileged position to help the movement, since we have annual funding for the development of programs and projects and we have paid staff. We are willing to use this position to help other organizations in the region, planning not only joint activities but also processes that favor assessment and mutual aid within the Regional Cooperation Initiative for Latin America, Iberocoop. In this sense, Wikimedia Argentina aims to work not only on programmatic work, but also to offer any needed help in designing and implementing common criteria for project monitoring and evaluation within the region.
On the practical side of your question: Yes, there will be for instance materials for students in Chile. Right now, Wikimedia Argentina is organizing an online course for teachers about school, digital and free cultures —while most participants are from Argentina, we made it open for all teachers in Latin America and there are people from Chile, Bolivia, Panamá and México, among other countries. Wikimedia Argentina aims to update its existing educational materials and to design new ones over the course of 2015, which will be shared with our fellow Wikimedia organizations in the region in order to ensure that they are useful not only for Argentina but for all of us. In this sense, two new tutorials inn Spanish have been developed for the online course and will be shared with all our fellow Wikimedia organizations in the region, as well as the brochures and other materials that we are planning to design. --Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 18:14, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Questions from Risker about participant metrics[edit]

I realise that the chapters and affiliates have not really been asked to produce consistent participant metrics to date, so it is understandable if you have to give estimates for some of these metrics. When responding, please identify if the data you are providing is verified (e.g., a maintained membership database) or estimated.

  1. How many members do you have? If you have different categories of membership, please give subtotals for each category.
  2. How many individuals volunteered for/participated in an activity sponsored by your organization so far this year, excluding special events like WMF-related conferences/Wikimania? (Please let me know what kinds of activities you're including.) Approximately what percentage of these volunteers are also chapter/affiliate members?
  3. What percentage of the individuals who have volunteered for or participated in your organization's activities in the past year are also active Wikimedians, or became active Wikimedians after participation? (Activity could include content contributions or administrative contributions on any project, developer contributions, committee membership, etc.)

Thanks for any information you are able to provide. Risker (talk) 04:37, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Risker, thank you for your comments. According to your questions, let us give you the most appropriate answers we can:
1. Wikimedia Argentina has currently 80 members as part of the organization. All members are individuals. 55 are full members and the rest are supporting members, who pay a reduced fare and don’t have voting rights. An additional member is a cadet (under-18).
2. We’ll separate the numbers per type of activity for more clarity:
  • GLAM volunteers: Different people involved actively on edith-a-tons and the digitization program during 2013: ca. 50 - 60% of which members. This does not include participation from our partners’ affiliates.
  • Iberoconf 2014: 5 supporting volunteers, 4 of which affiliates.
  • Education
    • Volunteers taking part on educational courses: 166, 113 from the ongoing online course carried out with RELPE and 17 from a workshop carried at the University of Buenos Aires, and 40 new participants from the Eduhackaton.
    • Volunteers helping in educational activities: 9, of which none are members
  • Contests
    • WikiTour photo contest: ca. 500 participants, of which roughly 90+% are new contributors (stats as of Oct 31, 2014; contest is ongoing)
    • Escuelas Argentinas contest: ca. 30 contributors, 95% are new (stats as of Oct 31, 2014: contest is ongoing)
    • Wikiviajes” contest: ca. 20 contributors, 100% are new (stats as of Oct. 31, 2014: contest is ongoing)
3. When considering ground work at least 70% of our volunteers are active Wikimedians. Roughly 60% of WMAR members are active Wikimedians. The online course conducted by Wikimedia Argentina and RELPE is fostering new participants to become active members and become Wikimedians and education ambassadors of our programs. The results and activities conducted since today have shown great results and we expect to build at least 2 networks of educational volunteers conformed by 10 people each.--Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 00:31, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Translator[edit]

Aah, the budget, lovely delicious tables, much sweeter than text to the tongue. :)

4 k$ for a translator, interesting. Translation is a very important pain point in international communication, so I'm glad you manage to find some room for translation costs (Italy is a poor country, so at WMIT to get translations we overwork volunteers instead...). However, I'm curious: what translation platform do you use, what's the rate and what did you plan to translate? I certainly think that WMF's grant should pay for the cost of any translation required by the grant agreement itself, for instance; but probably also something more than that. --Nemo 13:11, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Nemo for you question. As you say, translation is a painful point for any organization composed from non-English speakers that is compelled to report in English. Our goal is to report not only numbers but also to be able to tell the story behind them, providing quality and clarity about our activities. In this sense, many times we find it difficult to express in another language all our projects and results the way we expect. For these reason and being aware of our weaknesses, we budgeted a translator to support us in our work with FDC-related reports.
We identified that our staff lost hours, if not days, trying to figure out how to explain or inform our activities in English for the four “Q” reports (that’s why the budget indicates 4 as quantity). We took the length of the APG request for reference, which should be larger than the average “Q” report. We also intend to use this service for Iberocoop-related reports if possible.
We have worked with different translators in the past, so there is not such thing as a platform –the custom here is to hire professional translators registered at the Colegio de Traductores Públicos, who tend to have a standard fare among themselves. Current rates are at around ARS 250 per A4 page, excluding surcharges for corrections and last-minute requests.--Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 00:33, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. "Charging" the four "Q reports" to the APG program itself, so to say, seems very reasonable to me, for any org. --Nemo 21:29, 1 November 2014 (UTC)