Grants talk:Conference/WM UA/CEE Meeting 2018

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Grants Committee Comments[edit]

Hello team, @Taras r:, @KHarold (WMF):

I reviewed your grant request and I find it very comprehensive and well detailed. Yet I have the following questions:

  • Can you give examples for New cross-border projects or do you intend to brainstorm that in the conference?
  • The participants are of different countries and there are variety of languages. Will language be a barrier? are they making use of the experience in this context from previous years?
  • Can the priorities be more specific? there are a lot of items from the community inputs, and the priorities mentioned were for 2017, no?

Thanks. --Mervat (talk) 12:36, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

Hi @Mervat: and thank you for your review.
  • Regarding new cross-border projects, I can name a few topics mentioned in the survey: international contests, common GLAM initiatives, advocacy in the region, improvement of coverage of same topics in different languages, international gender gap campaigns. We will have more clarity once we send the pre-conference survey (wider feedback) and once we advance in conference programme (better definition of the focus of this session).
  • The working language of this event will be English as this is the only language spoken in all CEE communities. It is a barrier more at the selection stage: we are unfortunately unable to arrange translations to over 20 CEE languages, thus in most cases communities select participants having a reasonably good command of English. The situation was the same in previous years: we had very few (less than 5) participants who had significant issues understanding English but who spoke other languages (mainly Russian and German). There were discussion about simultaneous interpretation last year, but we found out that the cost is prohibitive (it could reach 20-25,000 USD if we cover all sessions over all days, and the minimum package was somewhere around 5,000 USD) compared to the benefit (just a few people who really do not understand presentations in English). We will thus work like in previous years, with all sessions in English and eventually providing translation by volunteers if we ever happen to have a valuable speaker who does not speak English.
  • Could you please clarify your third question? If your question refers to Please list the priorities identified in the report from the last conference organized by this community, we mentioned the priorities identified in 2017 as that was what we were asked to provide.
Thanks — NickK (talk) 11:06, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
@NickK:, thank you for your answers, for the last question, in the request you wrote that these priorities are for 2017, may be I didn't get it, so I wanted to know if the same priorities still apply. Thanks. --Mervat (talk) 17:53, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
@Mervat: Sorry for not being clear, these are priorities from 2017 post-conference report. Thus they still apply as we did not have any CEE discussion since then — NickK (talk) 18:08, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks @NickK:. Good luck. --Mervat (talk) 18:16, 11 April 2018 (UTC)

WMF questions[edit]

Thank you to the organizing committee for all of the work they have put into planning this event and organizing the proposal. We are pleased to continue to support this conference, and we are impressed by your commitment to continue to improve collaboration within the CEE communities. Below are a few questions that we hope will help your team plan the next stages of the event.

  • Can you explain more about how or why you want to be more flexible with the selection of attendees this year?
  • You note that you want to dedicate more effort to the program team. What support do you think the program team needs?
  • Are there ways that you would like the program to change this year?
  • Several people are estimating they will spent 480 hours, and the group is estimating they will spend a total of 3,480 hours all together on this project. I realize that these are estimates, and the work will be spread out over several months, but it is still a significant amount of time to commit to this project. Do you have concerns about whether WMUA will still be able to focus on their other projects when so many board members and volunteers are organizing this conference?
  • How many WMF staff would you like to include in this conference?

Please let us know (contact Alex Wang if you would like support from the WMF on the program and selection of participants. We look forward to working with you in the coming months. Cheers, --KHarold (WMF) (talk) 18:20, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Hi @AWang (WMF): and Kacie and thank you for your questions. Sorry for the delay, we did not notice your questions immediately as the grant was already approved and we were quite busy recently.
  • On selection of attendees, we would be looking for more ways to reach underrepresented communities which do not have affiliates yet (such as Lithuania or Slovenia). We think that it worked relatively well in 2014 when we managed to boost several communities such as Latvia or Georgia, and we think that we need to reach them in more ways (personal messages, contacting them on mailing lists or social media etc.) to achieve this
  • (on 2 and 3) Our goal regarding the programme is to pre-define the frame for programme based on the needs of respective communities (already done, see Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2018/Submissions) and have the programme team to select submissions which would be the best fits to this frame. Our major difference would be to start with pre-defined topics and prepare the programme based on them and not vice versa. Of course, given the timing, we will have more sessions on strategy than in previous years.
  • First of all, these are high estimates, and cover time spend from the bid back in autumn 2017 to the reporting phase in late 2018, most people will probably actually spend less. Our planning has also changed since the application due to the fact that Vira Motorko, our programme manager based in Lviv, was a Visiting Wikimedian this year and gained significant experience which helps us prepare this event in a more efficient way. CEE Meeting will take most of Vira's staff time for the forthcoming months, and she might spend more than 360 hours initially anticipated. In return, we expect that other people will spend less time than initially anticipated. Given that most preparation will take place over July and August which are traditionally months with lower activity, we do not expect any major impact on our projects, although we might have some minor impact on other projects.
  • We are looking to include somewhere between 5 and 10 WMF staff members, with a focus on topics within the programme scope, i.e. strategic discussions, capacity development and trans-border working groups. Given the scope, these people will most likely be Katherine (invitation already sent), Community Engagement and possibly Legal. I would let programme committee (once finalised) to provide more details on that.
We would be interested in getting support from WMF on the programme and selection of participants if available — NickK (talk) 15:02, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Hi NickK. Thanks for all your responses. I'll follow-up via email regarding WMF staff support. Best, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:44, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Budget reallocation[edit]

Dear @AWang (WMF) and I JethroBT (WMF): we would like to request reallocation of Unforseen line to the Travel line in our conference grant. The two main reasons are the following:

  • We were very successful in engaging our region, and for the first time we have all countries of the region represented at the meeting. In addition, we have several invited speakers. All this means that all budgeted participants will attend.
  • In addition, some participants have more distant travel than we anticipated. For example, we have Greek representatives who live not in Athens but in Aegean Sea islands, which means significantly more expensive travel. We obviously do not want to reject them just because they are more expensive than we planned, which means some tickets exceed the budget.

As a result, we would like to reallocate 3000 USD of unforeseen (line 5.3) to International travel (line 1.1). Thank you very much! --OlenaMuzychenko (WMUA) (talk) 11:48, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

Hi OlenaMuzychenko (WMUA). Thank you for this update. It sounds like a good use of the contingency funds. This budget change is approved. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 15:12, 25 September 2018 (UTC)