Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round2/Wikimédia France/Staff proposal assessment

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WMFr Feedback[edit]

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your assessment. While we had really little time to answer your concerns, we hope that this feedback will find you before the end of your discussions.

We’ve identified 6 main points of concerns on your end, which we’ll address right after, and 1 point of concern on our end, which we’ll address at the very end of the document

Strategic plan[edit]

You say that we have a “minimal strategic plan” but, when we presented it to you in the past you praised both the process to design it (involving our members, etc.) and the end result (the two-year strategic plan and its adaptation into a yearly action plan).

It’s rather odd that what was a good thing has suddenly becomes a bad one.

If needs be, our strategy is quite clear and simple to explain:

  1. Stabilize Wikimedia France as an efficient organization
  2. Empower every volunteer through financial, human or any other support we can provide

If this summary isn’t enough or unclear, we’d have loved to explain it to you more in the past (to top our explanations made during FDC site visit 5 month ago). As for the continuity in our approach, this is the oddest comment to us as this year and last year proposals share the very same axis and priorities. If this approach was unclear, it would have been a good thing to tell us and talk with us in the last 12 month.

As you know, we do read and use your inputs. On last year proposal, you told us we dwelled too much into the operational details of our programs and we needed to provide you with a more strategic proposal. We did, and now you’re asking us to provide more details on how each program is linked to the strategy.

As for our integration of communication and fundraising as programs : communication and fundraising are tools, per our strategic plan, we designed the teams and their work so that both are doing a lot of program work.

Quick example, Communication team jas designing all the material needed to empower local user group and to provide them with local prospectus. Fundraising team is working closely with WikiCheese on how to use crowdfunding as a participation lever, and they’re also running point on the hackathon to find external sponsors. It is because we have a clear strategy that we reorganized and redesign communication and fundraising to do more programmatic work than what would be organically expected from them.

Quality approach[edit]

Through your assessment you do make many comments on our quality approach. But your comments sound contradictory and we’re having a hard time to understand what you really expect.

On one hand, for our last year proposal, during Wikimania, on your site visit and on our visit to WMF, you praised and talked a lot with us about our quality approach. You told us that the process we designed (having a yearly review and a constant improvement of the quality approach) were good ideas ; and on the other hand you’re now saying that we’re doing it the wrong way.

On top of that, you are asking why we are not using global metrics. First of all, you told us, numerous times, that global metrics were NOT mandatory as long as we could provide with a way to evaluate our programs. Second, it makes no sense whatsoever, from an evaluation standpoint, to radically change your evaluation criteria during a specific period of time. Third, evaluation criteria must be adapted for the org you’re evaluating, one size fits all doesn’t really exist. Fourth, as you know we do have different people within Wikimedia France that do work professionally on evaluation, of course Nathalie our ED, but also Pierre Selim, PhD, who does evaluation for airline companies and myself as chief marketing officer, I am constantly evaluating our market, our revenue, our global performance and split that that by product/staff. We will all be in Berlin and, as usual, available to talk with you on evaluation and quality measurement.

Local development[edit]

A good table says more than a hundred words

Before our local development program / One year after the start of our local development program
Before our local development program One year after the start of our local development program
Regional action plans 0 13
Local active user groups 6 ( Rennes, Paris, Brest, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Grenoble) 14 ( + Lille, Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Auvergne, Bourgogne, Lozère En cours : Reims, Franche Comté, Centre)
Local volunteer coordinator 0 21 (1 in Strasbourg, 2 in Bordeaux, 1 in Auvergne, 1 in Bourgogne, 2 in Rennes, 1 in Brest, 1 in Reims, 1 in Paris, 1 in Languedoc, 2 in Toulouse, 2 in Lille, 1 in Nantes, 1 in PACA, 2 in Lyon, 2 in Grenoble)
Wikimedia France membership ~ 200 ( -50% versus 2013) 380 (+90% in one year)
Signed partnership with local authorities (City, region, etc.) 1 (Toulouse) +2 (City of Bordeaux/ Loire Atlantique region) + 3 in progress : Lille, Marseille, North region
Field visits from staff to support volunteers 0 25
Third places regularly used by local groups 1 7

In our impact report we will provide more information on this very topic. But we’ve had a hard time to read there’s no impact when we have such results on year 1. For anyone who had to run a long term program, you know that usually year 1 is really deceptive as you are starting your journey in Terra Incognita. We’re thrilled to see such results, and that is the reason why we want to increase resources allocation on this program.

As you already know, but we feel we have to remind you of that, we have designed our approach with two main goals :

  • Maximum autonomy for the local groups
  • Maximum reusability for the movement

We have shared many learning patterns and documents on this topic, so our experience the global movement, here are some links (not exhaustive): File:Guide_pratique_de_Wikimédia_France.pdf File:Kit_de_communication_des_groupes_locaux.jpg File:Nappe_Wikimédia_France.JPG

Which makes an awesome transition to the next part.

International Impact[edit]

At this point we’re no longer finding your assessment as odd but as shocking, to say the least.

In the past year, we have spent a tremendous amount of time filling learning patterns, sharing every document we publish, and share with the movement. And more than sharing knowledge, we are active on an international level : this year we will have organized one ED meeting, one international GLAM meetup, the yearly hackathon, we went visiting WMF, our staff interacts on a weekly basis with other chapters. We are also actively providing support to WikiFranca and to growing French speaking communities, such as in Burkina Faso.

What more than that would you expect ? I mean, if organizing 3 international events, including one gathering all of our tech community, isn’t enough, we feel that it is impossible to meet your expectations. What could we have done more?

Training and awareness[edit]

Regarding awareness, we’re involved in 4 main projects, plus numerous local projects (such as the wikipermanences). The main 4 projects are:

What we do lack regarding awareness, is a dedicated study to assess the impact on the general public. The cost of such studies is quite expensive, and we’re trying to find a way to do it for free.

Regarding training, we are providing a lot to the academic and GLAM worlds (in Lille, at URFIST, CLEMI, UPMC, during the Wikiday, for the Galeries Lafayette Foundation, for the “Mois de la Contribution”...). And we even linked those works to our diversity goals by organizing specific editathons targeting “Women in Science”.

Volunteers involvement[edit]

You say: “Wikimédia France has included information about how volunteers will be involved in each of its programs. At the same time, we would like more information in how online communities are engaging with Wikimédia France.”

In our proposal, for every axis you will find a sub-section called “participation” which details how we address both offline and online volunteers.

What further information would you need for our approach? Do you have advice so we can improve in that prospect?

Staff cost growth[edit]

Our staff spendings will grow for 3 main reasons:

  • A large proportion of our staff accepted to significantly decrease their revenue to join us. After they proved their value, it seems fair to grant them a raise
  • Those 20% also includes the mandatory raise of salaries minimal and new employers costs
  • We also hired one staff that is more senior than his predecessor
  • We hire a PhD candidate to increase our focus on local development seeing our results

Overall reaction[edit]

For several years, we’ve worked believing the whole FDC process was an opportunity to improve what we do. We still believe that the FDC process is such an opportunity, but this year it doesn’t seem so.

In fall, for the site visit, we had only compliments and some feedback that we should share more of what we do through the learning patterns, which we did.

Your Q1 and Q2 progress report assessments are basically praising our work and saying we’re on good tracks. We visited WMF in February and heard the same things.

And now, less than 45 days after our last discussion, we’re off tracks and are a major concern to you. Even worse, what you praised at the beginning of your staff assessment is also used to say you have concerns about us (see International impact).

As ever, we will be glad to have that discussion with you to better understand what changed, so our experience during this proposal will serve all the other APG candidates.

As you may have understood, we didn’t try to answer all your points, time is lacking, and of course there are points we agree with. But we have strong arguments regarding your major concerns.

We just landed in Berlin, and would be happy to talk with you on this topic at your convenience. Schiste 10:16, 13 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]


I would like to strongly praise and support the engagement of Wikimedia France in African French speaking countries. The fact that activities in Africa have faced challenges does not make them less important; it is exactly because there are challenges that activities need to continue and to be developed further. Wikimedia France has a series of important assets in its capacity of supporting a Wikipedia/Wikimedia African community (mother-tongue trainers, links with international networks, communication materials in French, proximity to the continent considering travel costs, experience and interest); its activities linked to French speaking countries targets territories with an extremely limited Wikipedia/Wikimedia presence (it might be argued that we should support only existing communities; i personally argue that we should as well support the establishment of communities), it contributes to Wikipedia Zero and it facilitates other initiatives (i.e. WikiAfrica Cameroon and Kumusha in Côte d’Ivoire are examples). The work of Wikimedia France with its program Developing international links (representing in the budget around 20% of the program expenses of Wikimedia France) directly focuses on encouraging the growth, development and distribution of fee, multilingual, educational content (our Wikimedia core business which is difficult not to associate to Wikimedia strategy and objectives). --iopensa (talk) 14:49, 13 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you from the FDC staff[edit]

Hi colleagues, thank you for our conversation in Berlin. I am glad that you were able to voice many of these concerns and we were able to discuss them together. I also want to acknowledge on Meta the response you made to our staff assessment. The FDC appreciated this additional information and your detailed feedback to our assessment, and took this into consideration as they deliberated on your proposal. You have given us a lot to think about in the area of communication, and we plan to improve our processes by engaging in regular and direct communication with grantees about their progress reports and impact reports that includes critical feedback as well as appreciation. We think that google hangouts, meetings, and phone calls may be more useful than providing feedback to reports directly on Meta, because these channels will give more opportunities for dialogue, discussion, and clarification. Again, thank you for sharing this. KLove (WMF) (talk) 00:34, 20 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]