Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2016-2017 round 2/Wikimédia France/Staff proposal assessment

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Wikimedia France comments to the staff assessment[edit]

The appraisal of our activity seems to have changed drastically compared to previous years, and such a negative assessment is so astonishing that we feel the need to respond. It is all the more shocking that we were in constant communication with WMF and FDC staff about our APG process throughout the year. It is therefore questionable, and more than regrettable, that such criticisms are only surfacing now. Finally, we were most surprised that a lot of the remarks are either very general and not backed by any example or factual data, or denote misunderstandings and a lack of communicated elements, none of which were addressed at previous steps.

Environment[edit]

It seems that you’re having difficulties seeing the links between WMFr and GLAM institutions; perhaps this page could be helpful in this regard: Category:GLAM_in_France

47,291 files have been uploaded as part of GLAM project partnerships led by Wikimedia France, all of which are listed under the GLAM in France category. Activities like Wiki takes a Museum are also mentioned in this category even if there is no formal partnership. Moreover, it would be extremely difficult to evaluate how many contributions were made following these partnerships but outside of their formal scope.

Here is a short list of GLAM activities in France this year:

  • Palais des beaux arts de Lille
  • Archives Nationales
  • Musées des Augustins (Toulouse)
  • Rennes 1 University
  • Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6) University
  • Conservatoire botanique national (Brest)
  • Sèvres - Cité de la Céramique
  • Archives départementales de l'Hérault
  • Musée des Hospices Civils de Lyon
  • Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lyon
  • Archives départementales du Rhône
  • Musée de Bretagne
  • Musée de l’Ardoise
  • Bibliothèque de Bordeaux
  • Musée d’histoire naturelle de Lille
  • Ecomusée du Pays de Rennes
  • Les Champs Libres de Rennes
  • Musée de Saint-Raymond
  • Médiathèque André Malraux (Strasbourg)
  • Musée du Quai Branly

Of course, we can’t forget that France has a specific cultural context, including the ‘’Réunion des Musées Nationaux’’ that actively defends the enclosure of their collections. This made it difficult to perpetuate some of our long-term actions, so we are now taking things in a new direction by building a GLAM-Wiki network.

Regarding GLAMs, we have never been as involved as we are now in the promotion of open culture:

Emeric Vallespi unveiled the WikiMuseum project at the Ministry for Culture in the presence of the Minister. It’s an innovative initiative for GLAMs that are bound by an agreement with the ‘’Réunion des Musées Nationaux’’ and thus not allowed to share their art collections: l’art de la rencontre (French)

Finally, we welcome the appointment of Florence Raymond (curator at the ‘Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille / Lille Fine Arts Museum) on our Board of Trustees. We trust she will prove a strong asset for GLAM projects, improving our understanding of the needs of this kind of institutions and the way we’re addressing them with volunteers and WMFr.

Past performance[edit]

We did adopt the new metrics and templates proposed by the WMF between the proposal and the half-year reports. If the metrics don’t change again we will in fact be able to compare the results next year. You report a gap between the objectives and the half-year data. These low half-year results are to be expected because our most active period is that of the summer holidays (July and August): actions like Wikiconcours lycéen, Mois de la contribution, WikiMOOC, etc. all happen during the second half-year.

The objective of 185,320 was initially made of 150,000 new images/media uploaded and 35,320 articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects. Among the 150,000 images/media, we expected 90,000 on “Developing regional participation” (action ‘’Eté des régions’’), but this figure was over-estimated: on these themes there were only 51,000 edited pages (~ 36,000 pages on Wikidata, and 15,000 pictures uploaded). Our partnership with the ’’Association des Maires de France’’ (Association of French Mayors) representing the 36,000 French cities and towns sadly did not work out, and with it we lost the expected 72,000 picture uploads (1 or 2 per city).

We also noticed a contradiction in your remarks: on the one hand you report a low re-use rate of these uploads but in the next paragraph you mention their good level of re-use as a success.

About the level of re-use, the data is easily accessible for actions that have their own category on Commons, like Wiki Loves Monuments 2016 (7,761 pictures uploaded and 1,108 re-used). Data about all re-uses of files supported by WMFr uploaded on Commons is much harder to obtain: although we can get the number of uploaded files between two given dates, we don’t have direct access to the number of re-uses. Therefore, we are now working on a tool to make this possible. Please note also that in the half-year report, the re-use rate takes into account Wiki Loves Monuments 2016 and the use of GLAMOROUS in Septembre 2016.

Regarding the level of activity of local groups, we are surprised that you did not ask for additional info on such a crucial point. We initially didn’t want to overload the grant request and instead opted to only highlight one example of an activity carried out by a local group. In fact, the Wikimedian activity in the regions is very diversified. First, a wikiletter is drafted every other month by members to present their actions. Here are the latest issues that perfectly illustrate this strong dynamic and the number of members involved:

In order to give you an even more detailed idea of ​​all the activities carried out by our members, please find below a table detailing actions lead by local groups between July and December of 2016 :

WMFr also supports several actions aimed at reducing the gender gap in Wikimedia projects:

  • Every year we organize the Art+Feminism edit-a-thon.
  • In Nantes since September 2016 the local group organizes a recurring workshop called Femmes et Féminisme, which to date contributed 74 new or improved articles on Wikipedia.
  • With the l’Oréal Foundation we organize twice a year in Paris an edit-a-thon focused on women in science, [fr:Projet:Femmes_de_science|Femmes de sciences].

Inside Wikimedia France, a thematic group focused on the gender gap is about to be created by some members.

On March 9, one of our volunteers was invited at the Ministry of Family, Children and Women’s rights as part of the government’s “action and mobilization plan against sexism”: on this occasion her work in this domain was acknowledged and rewarded. The “Women and feminism workshops” organized in Nantes with support from Wikimedia France were also awarded the French label “sexisme pas notre genre” (a play-on-words meaning both “sexism is not our gender” and “sexism? We would never do that”). Finally, we are not sure what it is exactly that you ask from us in the fight against the gender gap: should we increase the number of events and workshops? Increase the number of women on the board? Perhaps you can point us in other useful directions.

Regarding the MOOC, compared with average MOOC engagement, our own results are quite good:

  • More than 6,000 articles created;
  • A 20% retention rate (the average is close to 10%) with 860 accounts created out of 4,000 registered users.

Moreover, we are criticized for the lack of connection with the community, even though we have recruited Jules Xénard, a well-known contributor, to strengthen and further develop this link with the communities.

Organizational effectiveness[edit]

We shouldn’t have to draw your attention on the fact that WMFr would not develop tools without a reason, nor do we do it just for fun. As noted, WMFr’s permanent staff is lacking in the area of software development: up to that point we relied solely on volunteers or interns.

Development of an upload tool more suited to GLAM needs than the GLAM Wiki Toolset or Commonist began in early 2013. Pattypan started three years later as a different way to fulfill the same needs, and sadly ComeOn was overlooked at the time by the IEG committee that funded Pattypan. We are pleased to see this new tool meeting a quick and large success, but we don’t plan on giving up yet on the effort we placed in ComeOn! and in empowering our partners to use it.

We are quite baffled by the advice to use WMAR’s MOOC platform when WMAR publicly supports the development of a new WikiMOOC platform (read Anna Torres endorsement)! Theirs suffers from ergonomic issues and a lack of features (to cite only one, sharing future articles with students takes place on a public Google spreadsheet…) Moreover, their platform is designed for academic use only, with teachers creating sessions of at most 200 students. We expect our solution to not only deliver on these features (thousands of students per session and the whole thing entirely run by Wikimedians) but also make training sessions open to virtually everyone.

Please also note that when WMFr commits to the development of technical solutions, these are actually needed, used and useful:

We discover in this assessment the alleged degradation of the investment / results ratio during the past year. We are left wondering why this concern has never been formulated before despite several meetings over the past months.

As to the resignation of four members of our Board: the first was related to personal reasons. The second was Caroline Becker’s choice to avoid a revocation procedure for a serious breach of her role as board member and employer. Because of that, and the time spent seeking an amicable settlement, there was a delay between the actual departure of this administrator and our communication to our members. The two following resignations were related to this one. However, these departures have had no effect on the smooth running of our Chapter. These resignations were announced at the same time as the arrival of two new board members: Florence Raymond, curator (as previously mentioned), and Louise Merzeau, university professor. However, their appointment was decided several months prior (in accordance with our chapter regulations the Board can co-opt two members besides the ten elected positions) and discussed over the last six months: this is by no means a quick-fix attempt at filling the empty seats.

Strategy and programs[edit]

Strategy[edit]

We are taking note of the suggestion to become more independent from Foundation funding. However, we cannot accept the reproof that we increase, without strategy, our dependance to the APG. On the one hand, our proposal, compared to last year, only increases of 8 % (from 636,000 to 686,000 €). Moreover, this increase is only due to a new recruitment, for which we consulted our APG Program Officer before adding it to our budget. On the other hand, every year our attempt at increasing of our own fundraising is ruined by the terrible communication of the WMF Fundraising team in France. We have been reporting on this issue for at least two years, but all our requests have fallen on deaf ears.

Our strategic project is up for 5 years and was established in 2013. Our action plan for the next 2 years was built with all the stakeholders of the chapter, as we already mentioned. This work began at the end of 2016. We are actually awaiting the outcome of WMF’s strategic process to evaluate the need to rebalance our own strategy.

Programs[edit]

It sounds like the relevance of our grantee-defined metrics are called into question. However, these metrics were created during workshops led by our “Quality” committee during our last general meeting. Anyway, a “trained person” by our “People trained” metric is someone who has acquired the competences to contribute by themselves on one of the Wikimedia projects. Those people are trained during sessions (with an institution, a company, an association, etc.) and during edit-a-thons (with an inevitable training session at the beginning of the action). On the opposite, a trained person is not someone who attends a conference, for example. To measure the rate of people who contributed after being trained, the usernames are listed in the Program & Events Dashboard (we actively use this tool as we strive to improve our organizational effectiveness). To sum things up, this metric may be described as “the number of people trained during a workshop”.

The number of media mentions allows us to measure our impact on the environment and society. We believe that media mentions (national and local) not only demonstrate society’s interest for our activities but are also an effective way to spread our values and our ideas. It is also proof of the performance of our media contact list gathered in our CRM. This metric was considered by our “Quality” committee, regarding the various activities led on the French territory and which have an influence in the world or other regions (like Wikicheese did, for example). There again, the metric may be better described as “the number of mentions of the actions led by / with Wikimédia France by the media : local, regional, national or global, in the press, radio, tv or Internet)”.

Finally, about trainings to non-violent communication, it is pleasant, even comforting, to observe that WMF is conscious that actions whose impact on the projects is hardly measurable may be interesting anyway.

Budget[edit]

Last year, the amount requested was 636,000 €. This year, we plan to keep the same activity level but add to it the recruitment of a developer (project mentioned to Delphine Ménard while we met on February, 16th) to build a platform dedicated to WikiMOOCs shared with the whole movement. The salary of such an employee (about 50,000 € a year) accounts for the entire increase in our requested amount from 636,000 to 686,000 € i.e. an 8% increase. This 8% increase is far from the 20% mentioned in the assessment. Furthermore, this increase was asked for and explained after the staff assessment meeting.

About the raise of planned travel expenses, despite the problem it seems to cause, once again no explanation was asked from us beforehand. The move from 50,000 to 80,000€ is explained by one or two Wikimania events we expect to support during the next financial year, compared to none in the current financial year. A Wikimania event usually involves a 10,000€ budget dedicated to grants for French-speaking contributors, to which can be added the travel expenses of staff and board members. For the record, on the financial year 2015-2016, where we took part both to Wikimania Mexico and to Wikimedia Esino Lario, we spent about 70,000 € in travel expenses, despite Esino Lario being very close to France and thus a low cost destination. Next year, we will have to fund participation to Wikimanias in Quebec and in South Africa. In such a situation, good management imposes to predict the amount we can expect to spend. In the past years, our accounts show that:

  • 44,23 % of travel expenditure is made by community members;
  • 33, 3 % of travel expenditure is made by staff members;
  • 22,47 % of travel expenditure is made by board members (this includes their activities as simple volunteers). Please also note that two members live outside of France (one of them in Africa).

@Risker, Notafish, and MJue (WMF): This statement is published on behalf of the Board of Wikimedia France -- EdouardHue (talk) 11:46, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Noting, since I was pinged, that the FDC has reviewed this page prior to completing its recommendations. Risker (talk) 15:39, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

On reuse numbers[edit]

Just to note as an aside that Glamorous can count the number of reuses per year, e.g.: commons:Category:Content media by years - Supported by Wikimedia France - 2016 - 5680 total, 2813 used (9.42%) . However, I'm not sure if all of your supported content is in that category (or in subcategories - up to 2 levels in this example query), given that the total number seems lower than quoted above? Plus I think this only works with images, not with other types of media. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 15:37, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Reply to comment on the WMAR's MOOC and virtual platform[edit]

Dear WMFR's Board,

On behalf of WMAR we would like to transmit that we are very surprised and unhappy by your negative reference to our work in the discussion of your staff assessment. For this reason we would like to clarify some issues to avoid any unkind misunderstandings.

  1. Yes, WMAR endorsed your proposal to develop a platform for movement MOOCs. We did it as we support any proposal that involves improving and promoting new educational activities and tools within the Wikimedia movement.
  2. With our support we never wanted to say or imply that our platform does not work. In fact, and according to our context, it does work very well. We do not develop a traditional MOOC: the WMAR virtual course is a learning experience where teachers and tutors meet daily and work to learn how to edit and above all how to take Wikipedia to the classroom.
  3. We never told you (or anyone) that the platform has ergonomic problems. In fact we offered you to review it and we understand that your comments are based on personal appreciation, which of course we respect but do not share. Yes it is true that we use google docs to list the articles that we work during the course. This may seem a deficiency, but it refers to a matter of context. In Argentina, although it is hard to believe, teachers need to work with platforms they already know and although we would like to say otherwise they are not yet fully familiar with Wikipedia.
It is quite wrong, from my point of view, to judge without knowledge and thoroughly the why.

With this we do not want to stop supporting you and the initiative. As I said, we believe that any initiative that will strengthen the movement and in this case will to add more wikipedians, would be supported by WMAR. But we also want to make it clear that our platform is available to anyone who needs it in the movement, including you.

Without more to add from WMAR and in the name of all the staff we hope the best for the future of WMFR.

Sincerely --Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 15:55, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

Dear Anna,
We are sorry for these misunderstandings. We did not intend to be rude on WMAR or harsh on your huge work about your MOOC. We wrote in the urge of publishing our answer to the assessment before the FDC meets earlier the same day and we didn't noticed how it could be interpreted. Our intent was to point out the fact that our project of building a MOOC platform is bringing a solution to a different class of problems than Campus Wikimedia Argentina.
One of the main issues pointed by participants of the French WikiMOOC is the lack of integration between the current MOOC platform and Wikimedia projects. They would like to switch effortlessly between the courses and the projects. This is the reason why we pointed out the use of Google Drive as an ergonomic issue. But we realize that Google Drive might be a requirement in the academics!
We look forward to keep on working with WMAR to build a platform for the worldwide community to use at scale and learn from your current experience.
Sincerely Cyrille WMFr (talk) 14:14, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
@Anna Torres (WMAR): please note that this message was posted by Cyrille on behalf of WMFr's Board ^^. --EdouardHue (talk) 21:07, 15 May 2017 (UTC)

WMF reply[edit]

Thank you for this response to the assessment. The FDC has seen and reviewed this response in detail, prior to making their decisions and drafting their recommendations text, as noted by Risker. Best, Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 12:49, 14 May 2017 (UTC)

Resignation of referents[edit]

Hello,

For your information, 5 volunteers (Litlok, Lyokoï, Mathis B, Symac and me) have resign to protest against WMFR direction. We were referents of working groups (education, photography and Wiki Loves Monuments) and local groups (Bordeaux, Lyon and Paris). Pyb (talk) 14:10, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

On the 23rd of June, Vigneron resigned from his mandates of referent for the groups Communication (thematic group) and Rennes (local group) (copied from here (diff) --Nattes à chat (talk) 07:30, 24 June 2017 (UTC)
I also resigned from my role of referent for Strasbourg local group, for the same reasons. --Psychoslave (talk) 20:55, 2 July 2017 (UTC)