Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round1/Wikimedia Eesti/Proposal form
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I want to congratulate you on a very good plan, I like both the content of programs, focus and the professionalism in its numbers and description of goals etc. My main question is related to the fact that you have very few active contributers and also few members in your chapter. Have you run through a risk analaysis of the proposal, with focus on the risk of it being too dependant on a few key people in community/chapter members, and what would the consequences be if some of these key persons were to leave their active participoation.Anders Wennersten (talk) 15:01, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
WMEE answer: risk analysis
Dear Anders Wennersten,
We thank You for this important question!
During the creation of our strategic plans and agendas we continuously work on risk analysis in Wikimedia Eesti and lack of contributors (as well possible ones due to small number of Estonian speaking people) and lack of organisation/community members (once again as well possible ones) is evidently the highest risk factor in the activity of Wikimedia Eesti.
This threat can be characterised in the possibilities of: 1) lack of involvement with our programs in general public and wider Wikipedia/Wikimedia community, 2) a decision or health problems of one (or more) active member(s) of the organisation that results in discontinuing activities. In general Wikimedia Eesti evaluates the probability of lack of general involvement to about 0.4 on a 0 to 1 probability scale and the possibility of one organisation member to discontinue its activities to about 0.3 on the same scale.
Lack of active participation in our programs may cause us not to achieve our targets in time, i.e. having lesser outputs, which in general can be translated into unachieved outcomes. As the probability of an actual occurence of this possibility is lower than even chance, but still rather high, Wikimedia Eesti sees the necessity to work actively towards reduction of the probability of these events. Therefore the work with community and also widening the local Wikimedia community has a central role in our proposal and we will dedicate important resources in this field of activity. Also we have arranged agreements with teaching staff in the universities and most activities in our education program and several activities in our organisations program will be related to university curriculas and be part of actual studies of students, which should motivate their contributions and aid us in achieving the set targets. This means that in composing this proposal we have already taken actions to actively reduce the risk related to lack of participation.
Although the possibilty of discontinuing of one of our active members has a lower probability, this event may have more serious consequences, which may even rupture the natural development of our programs (i.e. this may have a long-term negative impact on Wikimedia Eesti). This is a very serious problem and Wikimedia Eesti is working actively to reduce this risk. One of the fields of work of current Executive Director of Wikimedia Eesti is to deal with this risk and build up a strong network of active volunteering members of the organisation. This was also part of the vision and scope document of ED. We are planning recruiting activities even before the start of the grant period and hopefully these will be successful. We have also integrated training and motivational events as part of our agenda in order to support the continued participation of the key persons. We are also discussing a possibility to have financial input to our education program to increase the continued motivation of its key persons. The negotiations with the Ministry of Education and Research is still in process, the decision to fund our environmental awareness project has already been made. In our organizations program we will sign a binding agreement with all partners and hopefully guarantee a continued activity in this way. In general we will be monitoring the state of our key persons and try to provide them support when needed. Shortly, discontinuing of one key persons will bring about drawbacks, but should not result in a significant deviation from our path. The discontinuing of two or more key persons will certainly bring about more serious consequences to the chapter, but this threat is less probable.
In addition we can say that we already have an experience of the most active board member leaving the organisation in the beginning of the year 2014 and in general Wikimedia Eesti has managed to cope well with the situation and has continued its controlled development.
I hope that this generally answers the question, but we will continue to be available for any further questions or comments!
Availability of translated documents
As you already may have noticed not all of the documents linked from our proposal were at first translated into English. We do apologize for that and have made efforts to translate them as quickly as possible. Hereby I announce that all relevant documents have been translated.
- Here is the list of documents made available in English
- Wikimedia Eesti strategy for 2015
- Wikimedia Eesti development principles
- Third interim report on professionalization
We thank you for your kind attention and will be available for any questions or comments!
Questions from FDC staff
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.
Confirming your financial information
Based on your budgeted spend for 2014 your proposed growth rate is -1.91% and based on your projected spend for 2014 your growth rate is 38.82% because you expect to spend 70.66% of the total budgeted. WMEE is requesting a
28.02% 8.7% increase in WM grant funding. This analysis is based on the following numbers:
- Budgeted spend 2014: €113,732
- Projected spend 2014: €80,363
- FDC funds granted 2014:
- Proposed budget 2015: €111,561
- FDC funds requested 2015: €63,477
WMEE comments about financial information
Dear Katy Love,
Thank You for this clear and short overview of our financial information! In general the presented numbers are correct and we confirm the lines budgeted spend 2014, projected spend 2014, proposed budget 2015 and FDC funds requested.
Nevertheless there is a misunderstanding related to line FDC funds granted 2014 - we do not understand the calculation behind it. According to our calculations we have received €47,813 from PEG for our 2014 grant proposal and €1,769 from PEG for continuing office rental, which according to our calculations adds up to €49,582 (not €49,146) (however growth rate is 28,02%, as stated). Also we would like to add that during the year 2014 we have received an extraordinary advance from Wikimedia Foundation for starting the office rental: €486.48 (for more details see continuing office rental grant proposal). This means that during the year 2014 WMF has transferred a total of €50,068 to WMEE (growth rate 26,78% in terms of funds transferred).
As an addition (and to make the facts related to our growth more clear) we would like to once more remind the fact that our 2013 grant period ended on the 28th of February 2014 and the funding for 2014 grant covers only 10 months of the activity of Wikimedia Eesti in 2014. Therefore it would be advisable to also count the expenditure of our 2013 grant for 2 first months of 2014 in the calculation of rate of growth of the chapter. According to our accountancy we have spent €8,328 during this period as part of the 2013 grant, which will make a total of WMF funding to WMEE during 2014 €58,396 (growth rate 8,7%). For further information see the section on growth rate in our grant proposal.
- Kaarel, this explanation is very helpful. We agree that the supplement for the first two months of office rental and your first two months of expenditures should be added to the total received in 2014, so that the total more accurately reflects equivalency with an annual grant. Therefore, we propose to adjust the total to 47,813.07+1,769.40+486.48+8,328=58396.95 or ~€58,397 and adjust the growth rate in WM grant funding accordingly to 8.7%. This makes a big difference in how we understand your growth in WM grant funding, but it seems fair and accurate. Our records will be adjusted accordingly. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (FDC Support Team) talk 21:24, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
- Your plan includes many programs and activities for a small organization and community. How will your volunteer community work with the staff to implement the plan? Is the potential for volunteer burnout a concern for you?
- Please provide some more details about what your planned education staff (3 FTEs, one of whom is a new hire) will do, and how you will divide the education work among them?
- Your Community Budget is about 2.5 times larger than the budget for your Education program. Can you explain the organization's thinking in choosing to invest so much in this program, with what may be a limited number of participants?
- Why you have chosen to work with both higher education and secondary schools in your education program, rather than focus on one level of education?
WMEE answers to FDC staff questions
Dear representatives of FDC staff,
We thank you for presenting these questions which have helped us to reflect on some of the central issues of our grant proposal! We find your input very valuable!
Question 1: Your plan includes many programs and activities for a small organization and community. How will your volunteer community work with the staff to implement the plan? Is the potential for volunteer burnout a concern for you?
Answer: Wikimedia Eesti does recognize that our annual plan has a rather wide scope, which may be problematic for a small chapter and small Wikimedia community. The problems are related both to on-wiki and off-wiki volunteer contributions and, as you suggest, this may lead to volunteer burnout.
Wikimedia Eesti has a small stable community of volunteers providing support in its programs and projects. We have the chance to have professional staff in our disposal to support them in the activities and provide constructive feedback. Also some motivational meetings are foreseen in the community program to increase their motivation. Nevertheless this does not increase the number of the volunteers.
To solve this problem Wikimedia Eesti is reaching out to a wider community. Already in the end of the year 2014 Wikimedia Eesti will carry out a volunteer recruitment and hopefully we can increase the number of off-wiki volunteers in the chapter. We have consulted with experienced local NPOs on the topic of recruitment and created a structure for program supporting groups. We do hope that this plan will be effective.
If the recruitment process will be successful we will have more volunteers with Wikimedia competence available for activities directly related to contributions. Also with our community work we will try to close the gap between the chapter and local community and hopefully we will be able to engage more active community members.
In education program we also use the help of philology students who help us with providing language related feedback to contributors - even wiki-related activities can be supported by non-wikimedians.
In short, we are implementing different strategies which hopefully help us to prevent volunteer burnout.
Question 2: Please provide some more details about what your planned education staff (3 FTEs, one of whom is a new hire) will do, and how you will divide the education work among them?
Answer: Wikimedia Eesti has started in cooperation with Estonian Environmental Investments Center a project for increasing environmental awareness through Wikimedia activities, which mainly includes activities related to article writing, but in some part also picture contributors. In order to provide support to participants in this project Wikimedia Eesti hires 2 trainers with the task to organize training events and provide feedback to the participants. Having such trainers with Wikimedia competence has been a tradition in Estonian Education program and funding for these positions comes from Estonian Environmental Investment Center. We do believe that this increases significantly the quality of Wikimedia content created as part of the project and also provides essential support for Wikimedia newcomers. You can find more detailed description of the job functions of the trainers on respective meta page.
The third position that may be introduced will be the position of education program manager. Education program is the largest program of Wikimedia Eesti and coordination of this program eats up significant amount of our staff and volunteer time. Having a person specializing on the good coordination of the program and program team can bring about quantitative and qualitative raise in the outputs and outcomes of the program. This may also be helpful in continued expansion and maintenance of the network of institutions and teachers participating in the education program of Wikimedia Eesti. Nevertheless introducing this position has not yet been decided and we will thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of introducing this position with our possible donor - Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. We will keep you updated if there is remarkable progress in these discussions.
Question 3: Your Community Budget is about 2.5 times larger than the budget for your Education program. Can you explain the organization's thinking in choosing to invest so much in this program, with what may be a limited number of participants?
Answer: As an introduction to this question we would like to point to the fact that your statement that we plan to invest 2.5 times more finances to community program than to education program next year is based on table 7 of the proposal, which excludes staffing costs. If we include these costs our planned education program costs exceed community program costs by more than 1.5 times.
As to the core of your question - as a small chapter and as a supporter of a small community, Wikimedia Eesti understands its responsibility in providing support to this community on different levels: 1) on the level of organization itself, 2) on the level of local Wikipedia community, 3) on the level of informing and supporting new possible contributors, 4) on the level of mediating information between local and international community, as well as 5) on the level of general outreach, which will increase knowledge about free culture and hopefully number of users of available Wikimedia content.
This means that Wikimedia Eesti has defined the community in a very broad way, which also includes wider general public as part of the community (as potential Wikipedia readers and contributors). This means that our community events are by no means targeted to a limited number of participants. For example this program includes the wide specter of competitions, bees and workshops that Wikimedia Eesti is organizing, as well as Tartupedia project with the aim to increase the awareness about free culture and free knowledge in the second largest city of Estonia and engaging its citizens in the use of and contributing to Wikimedia projects.
Without the community there is no Wikipedia and therefore Wikimedia Eesti finds that it is essential to invest time and financial resources to the community program.
Question 4: Why you have chosen to work with both higher education and secondary schools in your education program, rather than focus on one level of education?
Wikimedia Eesti has been focusing mostly on the higher education in our education program and this has been rather successful (with more than 200 students contributing every year). Therefore we will continue with the focus on the higher education program.
At the same time our important partner Estonian Ministry of Education and Research sees the importance of introducing Wikipedia related activities also in the curricula of secondary education. Wikimedia Eesti is also interested in raising the next generation in the environment where free knowledge and participation in the creation of this knowledge is self-evident. We do think that education project or program which includes secondary schools is essential in building this environment and therefore essential for the future of Wikimedia movement.
We do understand that extending our scarce financial and human resources over several different projects is a risk, but we are reluctant to let the secondary school project go, especially when we have support from the Ministry. In order to evaluate and to increase efficiency of the program we are at the moment, however, planning to call together a council or workgroup of local specialists to discuss the problems and possibilities of the education program of Wikimedia Eesti (this also relates to possible introduction of the position of program manager discussed earlier). We will keep you updated!
We do hope that you find our answers relevant and helpful. We will be available for any further questions, comments or specifications! Best regards, --Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE) (talk) 22:35, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Gender gap and diversity?
Hello, and thank you very much for the work that you put into preparing the proposal. Globally, the Wikimedia movement has been dominated by men and younger aged people as volunteers. Looking over this proposal and also looking at your previous forms and reports, I didn't see anywhere that you discussed or analysed your situation regarding diversity in your community, and in particular the rate of participation of women. Is something that you all have consider looking at, and developing a strategy to make sure that you are reaching a diverse community of contributors and readers? FloNight (talk) 02:21, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
We thank You for this question and for the feedback related to our previous forms and reports! We do understand the importance of the diversity of contributors in the process of the creation of free knowledge.
Nevertheless we do admit that we have been overwhelmed with different projects and programs and focusing on diversity and gender gap questions has perhaps somewhat escaped our focus. One reason for this may be that although the gender gap problem is widely recognized in Estonian society, it is maybe not as acute on Estonian Wikipedia. Among the top contributors (we have 8 extremely active ones) of Estonian Wikipedia there is equal number of men and women. If one looks at the statistics from the last 30 days, there are 33 users on Estonian Wikipedia who have made more than 100 edits and according to our knowledge 10 of them are female and 12 of them male (for 11 of them we do not know for sure). (In some part this balance may be created by our education program in University of Tartu, as the percentage of women enrolled in higher education is larger than the percentage of men). All in all we do understand the need for developing a clear strategy in order to ensure outreach to a diverse community.
Although we do not have a clear strategy for increasing or maintaining diversity, we do acknowledge the need for it and we have been engaged in cooperation with different interest groups. For example this year we have been working on bringing the local history of feminism to Estonian Wikipedia and also created an itinerant exhibition with small texts about most important feminists in the history of Estonia (project funded by Estonian Council of Gambling Tax). We have contacts with LGBT community, but have not been able to bring mutual acknowledgment to a concrete project. The engagement of local Russian community is also an extremely complex thing and although we have tried some projects, we have not had remarkable success with this possible field of contributors.
In short, we thank You for this important comment (and for giving us a cause to think about gender gap and diversity on Ada Lovelace day). We will try to be more attentive towards diversity questions in the future, as well as integrate data related to diversity in our future reports. As always we will be available for further specifications and comments. Best regards, --Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE) (talk) 18:44, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Hello Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE),
- Thank you for your reply. I'm glad to hear that you are thinking about diversity in your community even though it is not reflected in your reports and forms so far. Look forward to reading your future reports. Sharing the information what you all are doing in qualitative and quantitative ways will be good for not just your community but the movement as a whole since you seems to have been more successful than other locations/languages. Warm regards, FloNight (talk) 20:11, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Questions from Risker
- I note that about 30% of your budgeted income has not yet been granted, confirmed or (in some cases) applied for. How will your focus and priorities change if some or all of those funds are not granted, or are only partially granted?
- I note the focus on Tartupedia in your plans and budget. Have you communicated with WMUK to find out their learnings from a similar project they undertook? How will you avoid the problems that were encountered in that project?
Thank You for Your time and attention that You have dedicated to our proposal and thank You for the questions!
1) At the moment only about 15% of the funding of our annual plan for the year 2015 is guaranteed. Therefore we are actively working on securing other funds (of which the work on current proposal is probably the most visible one). We do hope that more than 90% of the funding will be guaranteed for the beginning of the next fiscal year, but we are also considering the possibility of the funds being granted partially. This is part of our risk management and an evident thing to do considering the way APG funds and state budget is distributed.
Our priorities and focus for the next year are based on our prior experience on the field of running Wikimedia projects in Estonia and generally we have tried to hang on to projects which are working best in the local context. Therefore we will most probably not change the priorities and focus of our annual plan, even if the funding is reduced. This means that we will try to achieve the same goals with a more restrained pace.
Although the focus and priorities will most probably not change with reducing of the funds, there will be changes made to our activity plan. There is a plan of introducing some new things to the chapter this next year (education program manager, new GLAM cooperation model, new community related activities) and as a result of possible decreased funding we will most probably refrain from innovation. The part of our annual agenda in which changes will be made is closely related to the funds which are not allocated. Respectively decrease of funding from Estonian Ministry of Education and Research will have a negative effect on education program, decrease of funding from Estonia 100 team will have a negative effect on GLAM program and decrease of funding from Wikimedia Foundation will have a negative effect on community program and may also result in cuts on administrative level.
We do understand that the present answer is somewhat vague, but I have tried to give a general idea of the effect that possible decrease of funding may have. If You do think that more specified information would be essential in evaluating current grant proposal we will try to find extra resources to provide a more detailed risk management document in English.
2) As to Tartupedia we have contacted the representatives of the UK, Australia and Sweden to discuss their QR projects. At the moment we have been informed of solutions used for QR plaques, which has been really helpful.
As to the structure of the content related project, it is fairly simple at the moment. We have made a list of 25 remarkable objects in the city center of Tartu and are holding workshops, competitions and translation bees to provide quality content to relevant articles. We have consulted relevant materials (e.g. booklet from MonmouthpediA project) and also have a significant support from the City of Tartu. As already said above, we do have contacts from other Wikimedia QR projects and we will not hesitate to contact them with specific questions as we progress with our own project.
I do hope that You find this answer relevant and helpful and as always we will be available for any further specifications.
- Thank you very much for your response, Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE); it largely answers my question. When you were speaking with WMUK, did you also discuss their work with Gibraltarpedia? (I agree that MonmouthpediA was fairly well accepted by the English Wikipedia community.) Risker (talk) 03:15, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
- Dear Risker, thank you for your continued interest in our QR project. The person who we contacted was actually John Cummings who is also related to GibraltarpediA project. Although we have received information about technical solutions, we probably will need to acquire more information about common problems related to QRprojects. Thank you for drawing our attention to this important source for learning! Best regards, --Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE) (talk) 08:58, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Questions from Risker about participant metrics
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.
- How many members do you have? If you have different categories of membership, please give subtotals for each category.
- 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?
- 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.)
Thank You for the question! We apologize for a late response and we try to be available for any further comments or specifications, even though the community review period has ended.
1) Wikimedia Eesti has 34 individual members and this is the only category of members in Wikimedia Eesti (at least at the moment). This data is verified.
2) About 350 individuals have participated in different activities (competitions - roughly ⅓, education program events - roughly ⅓, workshops, seminars and other activities - roughly ⅓).
Around 15 people have volunteered for organising different off- (e.g. seminar of Finno-Ugric Wikipedias, wikiexpeditions, photo exhibitions, workshops) and on-wiki (photo and article competitions and collections) events. Around 75% of them are members of our chapter.
We do keep track of different participation levels, but tracking systems vary by project and therefore current data is estimated and partly approximative. We are currently working on improving our methods of tracking and hopefully we can provide more thorough information for our future activities.
3) Generally the individuals participating on article competitions are active wikimedians (about 75%). About half of the participants on photo competitions can be considered as active wikimedians. As to education program and other activities, contributor retention is significantly smaller (less than 10%).
Of organising volunteers the core activists are members of our chapter and also active Wikimedians. We have managed to engage some of the new volunteers more thoroughly and generally they have become chapter members. Therefore about 75% of organising volunteers can be considered to be active wikimedians.
I hope You and also others find this data helpful and, as I mentioned above, we will try to provide further information, if needed.
Request for audited report extension
Dear representatives of Wikimedia Foundation,
Hereby I present request of Wikimedia Eesti to extend the deadline for presenting audited financial report for our 2015 annual plan grant due to some pending documents needed to complete the report. We expect the audited report to be available by the end of May 2016.