Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round1/Wikimedia Serbia/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 Serbia to support its annual plan with ~US$136,000.

Program focus: Education, Community Support, Competitions, GLAM, Wiktionary, Creative Commons

In the forthcoming year, Wikimedia Serbia plans to expand its capacity with one more employee, who will be responsible for managing the education program, given the fact that it is expanding. Wikimedia Serbia will support 10 community projects (26, if subprojects are counted), of which some are continuations of projects from previous years. The focus of these projects will be on education, regional cooperation, and increasing quality and quantity of free content on Wikimedia projects.


Balance of efforts to program areas[edit]

When I read you proposal I see a very professionally led orgasntion, and this being your first year with FDC funding makes me impressed. When reading through the programs there is much good buit I feel you have a bit many considering you limited resources. How have your reasong been to have such a bord portfolio, insted of focusing on a few? I also feel the resoource andh efffort balance could be discussied, mainly I find that your comunity support program, although good in iteself, is relative weak compared with other chapters. Have you studied what other chapters have done, and why have you then ended on this level wioth limited ambtions level. I understand your wish to enter the eduscation support area with one extra person, but wonder over the figuer for salary cost compared with the overall budget. Is it a possibilty to hire one new and cut other costs, or to hire the person say från June 1 instaed of Jan 1 (it often takes quite a while beteen sending ou an advertisment until the person nsits in the office).Anders Wennersten (talk) 14:36, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Hi Anders. Thanks for the comment. We are aware that we have branched into a lot of things, but there are several factors that have led us to that situation. Firstly, we're in the process of getting a new ED, so once we get him, we will have a stronger office and better support for such projects. Also, because of the transition we're currently in, we decided not to create a new strategy, so we're sticking with the current one for the time being, which means just continuing what we've been doing so far. That means two things: continuing the projects we have done this and in previous years (which we deem worth continuing), but also starting some new projects, most of which are "external" in origin (i.e. they have spawned from our Microgrants 2014 program, or were influenced by conferences and events during this year, so little overhead is expected from them). When we get a new ED (and that is very soon: expect an announcement in the next few days), one of his first tasks after the onboarding period will be to rethink our strategy with the Wikimedia Serbia Board, and create a new one. That will for sure influence the scope of our future projects, so it's quite possible to do some "narrowing of the focus", which would then be reflected in the Annual grant for 2016. --FiliP ██ 18:18, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
As for the Community Support program, I'm honestly pretty sure we haven't looked at other chapters, probably because of lack of the current state of working somewhat under capacity, but that will certainly change once the new ED starts working. And that is definitely something to think about in the future, and it shouldn't just stop at that project, but we should try to look around other chapters and see what has worked for them and what has not. --FiliP ██ 18:18, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
The new employee's salary is about 9% of the overall proposed budget. The net salary of 450€/month is way below the average for European standards, but it is a reasonable amount for a junior position, especially in Serbia, where unemployment is very high. Going much higher than that wouldn't be suitable, but also going much lower would be inappropriate. Shortening the working period would also be detrimental, as the new employee is expected to work mostly during the peaks of the semesters (March - June, October - December). However, as preparations and reporting are also necessary parts, we envisioned the position as a full time job for the whole year. It might be possible to save a 1000€ or something along those lines if we cut the job during the summer, but that would be demotivating to the employee and I believe it goes against our best practices when it comes to human resources. Of course, a possibility is not to get a 3rd employee at all, but that would probably lead to a stagnation of our Education program, as our activities therein are growing in such a fashion that volunteer work is just not enough, and I'm afraid we'll do some damage if some partnerships aren't nurtured (and that can be only done with a dedicated employee), because we as volunteers can't devote too much time to going to meetings with education institution staff or organizing workshops (most of us have day jobs etc). Also, we're getting quite versed in getting new employees quite quickly (all the while following all the policies and procedures, of course): last year, when we got the information that our Annual Grant for 2014 was going to get funded through APG, we announced a job opening at the beginning of December and the employee that we selected started working about a month later, just when the Grant started. This year, we announced a job opening at the beginning of August, and now, about 2 months later, we're getting a new ED (this time it was a bit longer because of vacation time, and the specificity of the position, where we wanted to be careful with our choice, and not to hurry things, and also because we were quite busy with this grant :), and also because the new ED's contract with the previous firm ends in a few days). --FiliP ██ 18:18, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
I hope these answers are clear and verbose enough, but I'll be glad to answer more questions regarding these topics or any other. Cheers --FiliP ██ 18:18, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. The first two answers I understand, but I wonder if we misunderstand what was in my question in item 3. My question is related to what would happen if you were to recieve say half the increas you ask for - could not most of the propsal still be executed. If you for the new hire calculaute 3/4 of a year salary, planning to pay the person from April 1, would allow you to get a new employe bot not needing all the funding you ask for. And what is the cost in your proposal not related ot wages. Is there parts that can be cut off, but keeping the genral ambtion of your proposal?Anders Wennersten (talk) 11:26, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure if we're talking here about the new employee or the whole budget. When it comes to the new employee, of course the budget can be cut (be it by a quarter, or even half), but then the expectations from that person/position cannot be the same. It is possible to execute the plan with a cut, but it's not realistic to expect that what we wanted to achieve would be really achieved. The financial overhead for the new employee excluding wages is mostly travel budget for workshops around Serbia, but that is also quite low. When it comes to the whole budget, again, it could be done, but with some adjustments, of course. I suppose if the budget were cut drastically, we would have to rethink some projects and likely cancel some of them, but that is up for discussion and I believe me and my board will cross that bridge when we come to it. Please note that the general practice of NGO granting in Serbia is to pump the figures by 20%, because most granting bodies give lower amounts than requested. We didn't want to do that, and we think most, if not all, of our figures are realistic, so any drastic cut would be reflected in the possibility of reaching the set goals. --FiliP ██ 21:20, 7 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! Winifred Olliff (FDC Support Team) talk 00:29, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Confirming your financial information[edit]

Based on your budgeted spend for 2014 your proposed growth rate is 31.24% and based on your projected spend for 2014 your growth rate is 38.01% because you expect to spend 95.09% of the total budgeted. WMRS is requesting a 31.24% increase in FDC funding. This analysis is based on the following numbers:

  • Budgeted spend 2014: din9,246,032 (from Q2 report)
  • Projected spend 2014: €75,000
  • FDC funds granted 2014: €80,000
  • Proposed budget 2015: €103,510
  • FDC funds requested 2015:€103,510

Questions[edit]

  1. You are planning many workshops. We have seen that in many contexts these events take a lot of time and resources to organize but don’t have high impact. With such limited staff, why do you believe these events will have high impact in your context?
    In Serbia, many people are still unaware of the way Wikipedia works and the fact that it’s open for everyone to edit. Workshops are, therefore, always a good way to let people get acquainted with Wikipedia for the first time, but also with Wikimedia as a whole and other Wikimedia projects. The workshops are only one part of the activities, but a lot of the activities is continued later through following the participants’ contributions, answering their questions, guiding and coordination, which is especially necessary when it comes to novices in editing Wikipedia. Also, the person we plan to hire next year will be someone whose main activity will be holding such workshops, but also their evaluation and following of the advantages and disadvantages. That person will also participate in the workshops within the Diversity, Wiktionary, GLAM projects etc, so we’re hopeful that having one dedicated person for that will increase the impact, as opposed to having to rely on volunteers or other staff who are burdened with plethora of other tasks. --FiliP ██ 10:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  2. What are some specific targets associated with your objectives for GLAM and Digital Belgrade?
    This year, representatives of Wikimedia Serbia held a number of lectures in relevant institutions. Bearing that in mind, next year we expect to continue this cooperation, but through cooperation that would give concrete results such as an increase of multimedia content. Regarding this, we expect the cooperation with at least three institutions, two edit-a-thons, one Wikipedian in Residence, as well as placing QR codes in museums and other models of GLAM cooperation. After the realization of these efforts, we expect that this success will be a good reference for cooperation and the implementation of specific projects with other cultural institutions. Digital Belgrade itself is a long-term project, which will continue in 2015. The main goal will be connection through the network of cultural institutions which will be introduced to the previous work on the project, so that they realize the importance of placing QR codes on cultural heritage objects and sites. --FiliP ██ 10:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  3. What are some specific targets associated with your objectives for your Wiktionary project?
    Although this year, by the time the FDC process is completed, we realized only one Wiktionary (1001 Arabic word), we did a lot of work on planning and dealing with implementation for others dictionaries for a couple of months. However, the implementation of four new dictionaries will start at the end of October, so we cannot know precisely how many words we’ll have until the end of the year and whether the motivation of students will be on the same level for participating in this project next year. For this reason, we did not want to set high goals and tentatively agreed that from the beginning of next year to the month of May, we expect between 200 and 400 words per every dictionary. This number depends on the dictionary, as the groups are not the same size (on average 5 to 10 volunteers per group). During the summer there will be no activities, but from October to December, at least 100 words per dictionary are planned. Also, these activities will be part of the program within specific subjects at the Faculty of Philology, which is another in a series of successful cooperations with this institution that we plan to continue in the future. The project will include teacher’s assistants who will help students on designing and making dictionary. --FiliP ██ 10:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  4. How do you plan to identify topics for your competitions?
    We usually choose interesting and diverse topics that are supposed to motivate users to participate and contribute with content. Throughout the year, we are trying to make a balance between what Wikipedia really needs and what users would like to write about. Sometimes the topics revolve around a date or anniversary, so consequently the awards are related to it. We have also considered making a competition in a somewhat niche subject, with the intention of drawing hobbyists and enthusiasts from the niche (there’s usually a club or association we could approach) to write articles. --FiliP ██ 10:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  5. How will you know if Wikicamp will achieve the desired results?
    What we can easily measure is the number of participants, quantity and (to a lesser degree) quality of the generated content, promotion of the project and the impact it has on potential local partners and media. On the other hand, measuring impact when it comes to strengthening of the community and regional support can be quite difficult. However, next year we want to organize a Wikicamp in a nearby country where there is no chapter, so ideally, we’d like to make people in that country more aware of the advantages of having a chapter (or at least a user group), to showcase our efforts and projects and to motivate and empower people from both countries to participate more. Again, this isn’t easy to measure, but one way would be to follow the later activities of the group of people in that country and try to identify the ways Wikicamp has helped with that (i.e. new projects or events that have been influenced by Wikimedia Serbia, one of its projects or Wikicamp itself). Strengthening local community can be measured by the number of Wikimedia Serbia members that join after Wikicamp or the number of members that become more active in our projects. --FiliP ██ 10:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  6. You mention, “Microgrants program of 2014 has been highly successful.” Would you be able to provide some examples of how this program has been successful? What do you hope will be the results of your microgrants program?
    When we say that the Microgrants program was successful, we primarily mean that we received a large number of diverse and useful projects for the program. The reception of the Call for applications was very effective. We had received 35 applications for the program, from which we had to choose 6. That number of applications and the diversity of the proposed projects gave us the proof that projects about and for open knowledge do have the potential to come alive in Serbia.
    All the projects we had accepted are well-organized and we can already see the results from some of them (some are still not finished).
    Here’s some of the uploaded content (note that projects are still in progress, so the uploads and article entry are not yet completed):
    Also, through this program we have gained several new members of Wikimedia Serbia who are motivated to continue to work with us in gathering and promoting free knowledge in Serbia.
    The last, but maybe the most important thing is that 4 of the projects we have accepted are now in our annual budget and planned activities for the next year.
    In that sense, we would like to broaden the Microgrants program for 2015 because we hope that the response this time will be even more significant and diverse, and that some of the projects could become regular activities of Wikimedia Serbia. --FiliP ██ 10:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Gender gap and diversity[edit]

Hello, thank you for the work that you are doing for the wikimedia movement and the work that you all put into the proposal. I enjoyed reading about your past projects and your future plans.

I see that you are planning future event to promote more diversity in your community and content (Wiki Fem & LGBT, and Wiki Women Camp Serbia Albania.) And I see that you have put specific numbers goals for these project/events. I like the goal to motivate the women to keep participating. You also note that the Wiki Librarian project has the potential to bring in new active women editors because librarians are frequently women. That could also be true of other projects like GLAM or medical/health projects as well. As a suggestion, you might want to include gender as something to consider for all your events and projects (like the microgrants program, GLAM projects, Wiki Loves Science, and Serbian Wiki Conference) so that you can see that women are being integrated into the overall community. FloNight (talk) 15:28, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Sydney, thank you for your comments and suggestions. As you have already mentioned, we do have some projects which are particularly focused on the gender gap issue.
In the other sense, we are aware that the gender gap can not be solved just with women-only projects, but we also have to work on that issue every day and in every project, as you said. That's why we mentioned Wiki Librarian as an example of something that is not women-oriented, but can make some changes on that issue.
We have also made new evaluation form for workshops and other events. We are trying to track the number of women participating in every educational workshop. With those kind of data we are planning to conduct a small research: for example are there any significant differences between the answers with regard to gender etc. With those information, we will be able to act accordingly and to increase the quality of all our projects in the relation with women and the gender gap problem.
We would like to share our experience and we are open to suggestions, so don't hesitate to contact us and share your inputs and thoughts. Trans Goat (talk) 20:03, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Trans Goat, thanks for your reply. I look forward to seeing the results of your research. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 18:46, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary[edit]

Great to see continued work on Wiktionary, as I said for WMAT. 40 workshops are really a lot and 1000 words are not that many, but the experience with Arabic clearly made a difference. If it evolves in a model replicated for several languages, which involves university students and faculty which we'd otherwise never involve anywhere, it's going to be really great. Foreign words explained in Serbian are probably a "market segment" in which sr.wikt has little competition and a clear value?

On the other hand, I still believe that a critical mass of words and definitions in your language is what made successful Wiktionaries sustainable in the long term. Once the 1001 words model becomes stable and WMRS gets confident operating in Wiktionary, I'd really love to see WMRS support a large-scale effort to import and develop one or more Serbian dictionaries into sr.wikt. You could then become a model and headquarter for similar operations in many languages. I talked about this with Millosh in Wikimania 2011 and I'm sure he's still interested; WMIT's project is still going on and off, but starting small as you did is probably smarter. --Nemo 08:52, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Well, when it comes to 40 workshops vs 1000 words, we drew that projection from the 1001AR project figures. We don't want to pressure them, and the point is to thoroughly cover all those words. As for importing and developing a Serbian dictionary into Wiktionary, that's an interesting idea, something which we've talked about numerous times, but it's not something that's done easily, and it usually includes a cooperation with an external organization, so we definitely would want to do something like that, but it's not exactly only up to us. :) --FiliP ██ 20:04, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

I'm still very curious to hear how many classes are expected to follow the new national curricula and hence how many teachers will supposedly carry them out. Are they forced to take training? How many of them will you be able to train? If all the teachers of the country were to give even just a handful lessons on Wikimedia projects, an organisation ten times as big as WMRS would hardly be enough to train them all. There are very promising perspectives for WMRS in this area. --Nemo 08:52, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Well, every second grade Gymnasium class is supposed to follow the curriculum, including the "wiki tools" unit, but teachers are under no obligation to have any sort of training for that. So, we don't expect informatics teachers to apply en masse, but those who do will be educated about the matter. However, the seminars are much more encompassing and are intended not only for informatics teachers, but for all teachers who wish to include Wikipedia as a platform for learning. This year, we will hold 2 seminars for 30 people each and we expect at least 4 next year. The reach won't be tremendous, but still I think we will have reached people that wouldn't otherwise use Wikipedia in their classes. --FiliP ██ 07:22, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
I see, thanks. I'm looking forward to seeing how many apply! --Nemo 08:15, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Толчок для развития Википедии и других проектов на славянских языках[edit]

--80.72.225.162 07:01, 27 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) 04:41, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Risker, thanks for asking this. This is something that is very difficult to track, especially as some volunteers are active from time to time so it is difficult to assess the right metrics and the best way to evaluate these things.

  1. Wikimedia Serbia have 128 members, from which 44 are regular ones, 78 associate members and 5 of them are honorary members. These are verified data. As we’ve already mentioned in the form, the biggest challenge of Wikimedia Serbia is animating existing volunteers, so in the future we expect to find the best way to motivate them. One way to achieve this was the Wiki Camp.
  2. Approximately 30 volunteers participated in various events organized and sponosored by Wikimedia Serbia. By this, we mean events such as EduWiki conference, Edit-a-Thons, Wiki Camp, exibitions, numerious workshops and such. Only few of them are not members of the chapter. At the aforementioned events, it is often the case that the participants are interested and become a member of Wikimedia Serbia (as is the case with Wiki Camp), after which they continue to edit Wikipedia or upload photos on Commons. Volunteers who are not members of the chapter are the project leaders within the Microgrants. Many of them were contacted and they were happy to take part in various activities such as organizing exhibitions and creating contacts that we intend to use in the future.
  3. This is very difficult to predict, especially because the majority of our volunteers are students, and can not be active continuously or on all of the projects. We have a similar situation with volunteers who are employed. To avoid burn out, we gave volunteers the freedom to adjust their time to the projects, which proved to be successful. A good example are members of the “1001 arabic words” team, whom beside their project actively took part in other activities such as edit-a-thons and Wiki Camp. This year they have worked on creation of other Wiktionaries and took over the coordination of volunteers (4 of 10 volunteers are constantly helping to ongoing projects). One volunteer from Wiki Camp became active Wikipedian and showed initiative to start Edu project in Kikinda. --IvanaMadzarevic (talk) 14:10, 6 November 2014 (UTC)