Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2017-2018 round 1/Wikimedia CH/Proposal form

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Dear Wikimedia CH team, thank you for this proposal, we'll be reviewing it in the next few days/weeks. Best. Delphine (WMF) (talk) 17:30, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

Questions from the WMF[edit]

Revenue / Expenses /reserves[edit]

Hello dear friends at WMCH. We were looking at the expense and revenue tables and were a bit confused. It seems you will be running a deficit this year (1,077,600 CHF of expenses for 852,200 CHF of revenues, with no change in the reserves final). I may be missing something, but I can't figure out what. Could you please explain to me what these numbers mean and where from you will cover the deficit? Thanks! Delphine (WMF) (talk) 16:57, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

Dear Delphine. Thank you very much for your question that I would like to answer as follows: As you can see on the first page of our detailed budget in the section 'Detailed budget: upcoming year' we will finance the difference between expense and revenue through existing funds other than the operating reserves. You might have noticed as well in table 2, section 'Financials: current year' that we have already reached and even exceeded our revenue goals for 2017 but we are still planning some fundraising for WMCH until the end of the year. On a very conservative estimation we plan to collect additionally another 92K CHF. Hope this answers your question. Have a nice day. Sabine
Thank you Sabine. It kind of answers my question but still leaves the proposal showing something that does not really reflect reality. In short, you would be adding the extra that you got from the fundraising actions to your assets and then drawing from this in the following year, this should be clear somewhere in the proposal. As I see it now, the excess from this year's fundraising as projected in table 2 would be around 69k CHF. But your projected "deficit" is 225k CHF, so we're very far from covering, even if you add another 92k which you're stating now. It would be useful to me if you could make sure that things coincide. For example, table 2 would need to show an excess of around 225k CHF and the revenue table would show another line that says something like "assets from previous year's fundraising activities" and show these 225k again. I would be glad if you can make this here very clear even if the tables are confusing (because I am aware that financially wise, our tables are confusing) so that this quesiton does not hang in the air. Thank you for your help on this! Delphine (WMF) (talk) 14:14, 30 October 2017 (UTC)
Following our skype conversion yesterday afternoon, I herewith confirm that, as mentionned on the summary page of our Wikimedia CH detailed budget 2018, we will cover the 225k CHF from our net assets collected over the past years. Have a nice afternoon. Sabine.ray

Questions[edit]

Hello dear WMCH! There's a metric in your proposal that refers to "other Wikimedia projects". Which "other projects" do you mean by that? Best, Braveheart (talk) 13:40, 19 October 2017 (UTC)


Dear WM-CH (ping Jeeb1207), thank you for this detailed and precise grant application. I have a couple of questions about it, if you could please answer when it is convenient.

  • Your two “grantee defined metrics” are confusing to me, could you please elaborate on how you will define these, and how you will collect this information? Specifically, (as Braveheart has asked above, what is meant by “other” Wikimedia projects? Does this mean files on Commons being used on Wikipedia/Wiktionary/WikiVoyage (etc) articles? Or, translations of Wikipedia articles between languages? or something more/else? Wittylama (talk) 17:31, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Equally, for the “number of people reached” metric, does this mean that if you receive an article about your program in a major newspaper you will count the circulation figures for that newspaper in your total? Are people counted twice if the same newspaper writes two stories about two projects? Do you include social media followers in this metric, etc.? Wittylama (talk) 17:31, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
  • A major element from last year’s grant request (the development of a statistical and administrative platform for GLAMs - described in the "develop major glam" section of the 2016 grant request) receives only a small mention here ("Release of the first stable version of the statistical tool [and] continue implementation [with established steering committee]”). Can you elaborate on the change in visibility of this program from year to year? Wittylama (talk) 17:31, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
Hi (ping Braveheart) and (ping Wittylama) I suppose that you are speaking about the 1st metrics selected by us. The meaning is that if a content is present in Commons, we will measure the use in other Wikimedia project excluding Commons, if a content is in Wikisource, we consider the use in other Wikimedia projects excluding Wikisource. Naturally following the rules and the guidelines of each Wikimedia project. An example I can give is connected with the project with Alpine languages. Here we have uploaded in Wikisources several texts of Karl Felix Wolff and of Caspar Decurtins but some Wikipedia articles misses the interproject links. For us the creation of an interproject link is a metric to measure. I know that it would have been easier to indicate only images to be reused in Wikimedia projects, but some of our projects are working in Wikisource and in Wikidata. A good example is the planned project with SBB Historic (the Archive of the Swiss Railways) because this archive has content in different format (images, texts, data, posters, videos) of different rail stations. In this specific case the goal may be to document better the rail stations but the repository of this material will not be a single Wikimedia project. The goal for us will be to train GLAM to understand that a mass upload of data or of images or of text is only a first step of contribution, the second step is to document and to integrate this material also in other Wikimedia projects. --Ilario (talk) 10:57, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, the term makes sense now - is there a difference to just phrasing it as "media being used in two or more projects"? Braveheart (talk) 11:08, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi (ping Braveheart), yes it makes sense but I suppose that we cannot "formally" change the proposal at this stage. --Ilario (talk) 08:26, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
It's good to hear about Wikisource projects with SBB and I agree it's useful to have some kind of metric to track how well connected to other Wikimedia projects such content is. There are more tools for file links than for page links, so it's not easy. --Nemo 14:57, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
No worries, I think it's fine as is :-) Braveheart (talk) 15:23, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi (ping Wittylama) the metric of "number of people reached" is important to measure, mainly in a multilingual country like Switzerland where the language is a barrier and the communication may be rapidly ineffective, but at the opposite, if the communication is good, the country can reveal to have a high potential in terms of donations/participation. In general Swiss people donate/participate because they can see that some projects are running or are planned and that these projects are generating an impact in their own country. The sense of "common good" in Switzerland is relevant but the communication to give is that the generated impact is close to the donors. Last year we have limited the measure only to the traditional medias (newspapers and radio and TV) and calculated the social networks but only for campaigns (so when we didn't limit the communication only to the followers). Basically we have limited the measures to the elements which can be easily measured or can be extracted from "trusted" sources. The online campaigns in social networks or online newspapers can give quite precise numbers. About traditional media we used as parameters the traditional tools used by communication agencies which are based for instance on the Newspaper circulation. In this last case it's not possible to identify the exact number of readers but the advantage is that we can reach several targets of the population which are not frequent users of online tools. In this last case we count only major media where this number of readers can be extracted from specialized sources (an example is offered in the German article of the Swiss newspaper). In the number of people reached we don't identify "unique" readers, so we count the reader twice if a newspaper publishes two different articles. We considered this point but we considered also to keep this kind of counting because the communication cannot be effective if a person is reached only once. Basically reaching one million of single readers can generate lesser impact than reaching half of them twice. We try to reduce this overlap using different newspapers and different channels (i.e. also radio and TV). Time by time we are improving the measurement of this metric (i.e. we have not included the visitors of our website because we have to differentiate the users coming from the fundraising campaigns), but we would stress that we are having a high beneficial from it. Surely the current number of people reached we are calculating is reduced down. --Ilario (talk) 09:56, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi (ping Wittylama) about statistical tool we have reserved, like last year, the last three months of the year to work on this project. We reported it in our progress report explaining the reason of this choice. I can confirm it again: the team of development has been committed to another GLAM project (not owned by Wikimedia CH) and Wikimedia CH has been involved in the migration of the data center. We understand that perhaps the reasons for the priority of this migration are not well understood, but to be brief, we can say that we provide the mass storage server for the GLAMs' mass uploading and when there are several mass uploading operations in progress, our data center has several issues and the same basic functionalities (i.e. the mail server or the web server) are affected. This year Wikimedia CH has filled the target of uploading from big GLAM thank to this server, but we are facing some technical issues. We would continue to provide servers and IT services to the GLAM to support their contribution to Wikimedia projects but, without a new data center, that would not have been possible. For this reason, before reactivating the GLAM statistical tool, we have chosen to select a new data center in order to have a scalability. The selection has not been trivial because, to avoid COI, we have proceed to a tender and to define clear guidelines for the selection. The new development step of Cassandra (Statistical tool) is re-started 20 days ago, at the moment we have just published the software code and, at the end of November 2017, the first version of the web site will open to the first group of GLAM on a new server and on a new data center. --Ilario (talk) 22:12, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Response to the FDC assessment[edit]

In response to the FDC assessment, WMCH would like to make the following factual statement, highlighting its concrete situation:

Whereas WMCH recognizes that there are still some milestones to be reached and steps to be undertaken on the way to becoming as effective and sustainable as possible – professionalizing an organisation indeed takes time - nevertheless, over the past two years, significant progress has been made. Clear progress has for example been made not only in terms of streamlining WMCH’s overall initiatives under one umbrella but also in aligning both Board and staff behind common values, a concrete and strong mission as well as clearly identified goals and objectives. Over the past years, working completely virtually WMCH has, among other things:

  • Professionalized the Board and ensured that diverse backgrounds, regions and interests are represented;
  • Created a strong Advisory Council with external experts to support WMCH’s various undertakings;
  • Created a case for support, relevant underlying documents as well as a clear plan for fundraising which has already had significant results;
  • Generated a detailed overall strategic document outlining the organisation’s plans for the next 3 years as well as its main impact directions, enabling it to align projects and programmes under concrete umbrellas;
  • Drafted a detailed GLAM strategy for the 3 years to come, which has already translated into concrete action plans with solid momentum (including external funding opportunities). To give only one example: for the first time in its existence, WMCH proactively approached institutional partners and is now a recognised, official partner of the Swiss #Cultural Heritage 2018 initiative;
  • Drafted an education strategy with major directions of impact for the next years; these initial ideas will be consolidated and validated in 2018;
  • Generated impact across the whole of Switzerland by ensuring that initiatives and programmes are implemented nationally, in various regions, rather than locally. The Archives Day 2017 are a prominent example of these efforts whereby French, German and Italian speaking Archives participated and opened up their doors. Given that even in the business sector, crossing the language borders remains often very difficult, this is a major success;
  • Ensured that the workforce can effectively move forward by adjusting job descriptions to real needs and strategic goals; as with many other Chapter organisations, staff fluctuation remains a significant issue for WMCH which needs multilingual, flexible specialists to function in a competitive environment. Being able to strongly motivate/enable people by aligning them behind common goals is definitely a major organizational step forward;
  • Worked on automatizing and professionalising WMCH’s ICT environment in a way which shows best practice when comparing with the Swiss NGO environment. These projects are hugely time intensive, even more so for a small structure like ours. Others can learn from us (best practice) and will be able to advance efficiently into the future, without losing time with manual processes.

WMCH monitors and evaluates all of its programmes and initiatives closely. Suppliers are sourced through tenders with at least three offers. With clear strategies in place, as well as analytical accounting in future, more adequate budgeting/planning processes will be possible, with even more precise reporting. WMCH recognizes that for the wider Wikiverse but also for its donors, this is a prerequisite.

As a Chapter we are already applying what the Community is suggesting to the Wikimedia Foundation, that is inclusivity (knowledge equity) and knowledge as a service. We are undertaking all possible efforts to keep our Association open to everyone not withstanding language or cultural background so that nobody gets excluded. Indeed, people in Switzerland not only speak various languages but have a distinct culture, differentiating them from each other. Interculturally experienced as we are, we can definitely say that German speaking Swiss cannot be put into one basket with Germans/Austrians (nor managed from Germany), nor can French speaking Swiss be thrown into the basket with the French (or the Belgians or the Québécois) and the Swiss Italian speakers cannot be put into the basket with the Italians. Drafting strategies, defining action plans and implementing projects/programmes in a multicultural country is something that poses an enormous challenge even to major businesses. People do not cross the so-called “Röstigraben”. In Switzerland, we deal with different markets within one and the same country. WMCH has chosen to embrace this diversity and to make it its strength (as fully outlined in its strategy), not falling into the trap of just proposing a single language or opening up one single office in Bern. Therefore, WMCH is operating quite differently from all other Chapters, working virtually, with no full-time staff, not sustaining a single office but speaking four languages and embracing many cultures so that we can service this culturally rich country in an adequate way.

Our impact results exceeded in many ways our forecasts and our reports clearly show this fact. Possibly, in comparison with other, monolingual countries, you would expect something different. But the fact is, that in a multicultural country like Switzerland, impact has to be monitored in a different way as it is often more subtle, and qualitative rather than only quantitative (but reflects back when seeking new partners and working on fundraising as WMCH has an extraordinary brand reputation) We are definitely on the right path, embracing and living inclusivity, encouraged by our successes and results since nearly two years.

WMCH only focuses on projects and programmes, where the organisation has a “unique selling proposition” with clear advantages, opportunities or concrete value-added experience. Working closely with the diverse multi-lingual community and meeting its needs is definitely one of our main preoccupations.

Therefore, in order to move forward and to build a sustainable and effective organisation, we still require the financial support from the WMF. The new CEO is barely two years in place and this is not enough time to build sustainable partnerships and establish long-term funding relationships in the country. We therefore request the FDC/WMF to reconsider their decision and grant WMCH its full amount for 2018. We feel that many of the comments/remarks received are unjustified given our particular circumstances and efforts and would have appreciated discussions and the opportunity to explain and outline beforehand, as would be usual in grant giving processes. Wikimedia CH is a unique multicultural organisation applying to the FDC and it is already pursuing many initiatives with international organisations, institutions and partners thus recognizing its unique expertise and experience.

Of course, WMCH remains available and open to jointly reflect upon its role within the wider movement but in order to do so, it needs the chance to consolidate and stabilise and build a sustainable basis. The received report and comments were de-motivating and, we feel, incorrect. As they do not portray WMCH with the understanding of our context and history.

Thank you for your consideration.

In the name of WMCH

--DorianCrede (talk) 19:02, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

Interesting points on multilingualism and remote, part-time work. --Nemo 14:15, 26 December 2017 (UTC)


Dear colleagues of WMCH, thank you for this response. We are aware that the nature of the APG-FDC process might sometimes bring about results that are not what the grantees expect. The FDC works hard to make the best decisions possible, and that is what it strived to do based on the documents and information provided to them at the time of the proposal. The FDC process is regulated by a framework, which foresees a very clear schedule for deliberations, decisions and complaints. The deadline for complaints and appeals was 8 December 2017, and we therefore cannot revisit the FDC recommendation to the board at this stage. We understand that this might be frustrating, but are looking forward to working together in the coming months towards a better outcome for the next round. We'll be looking forward to meet soon in Berlin to discuss next steps together.
Best regards, Delphine (WMF) (talk) for the WMF, and Wittylama (talk) for the FDC. 15:44, 16 January 2018 (UTC)