Grants talk:PEG/Grant Advisory Committee/Candidates

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To all candidates[edit]

Please include, below your signature, a brief statement about your background and involvement demonstrating you meet the criteria. That will help the community understand why you're interested and what you bring to the process. Thank you and congratulations for your interest in serving the GAC! Cheers, --Solstag (talk) 18:21, 4 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clarification re 'Programmatic'[edit]

To those candidates who mistook 'programmatic' to mean software, please see this clarification. Sorry about the ambiguous term... :) Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 16:39, 19 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Exclusion of FDC members[edit]

Out of curiosity, I'd be interested in knowing why FDC members are not allowed to be on the GAC as well. As far as I can see, there's nothing in the FDC framework that disallows this, nor can I see an explanation at Grant Advisory Committee. (Note that I am an FDC member, but I have no interest in serving on the GAC due to the way its decision-making process is structured.) Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:26, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I will be addressing the decision-making process in a few weeks, after new GAC members are inducted, but to the question on serving on both committees, the answer is this: when I originally set up the GAC (which was the first advisory body to any grantmaking at WMF), I worried about diversity, i.e. I wanted to avoid getting a committee composed of "the usual suspects" -- people who already serve in other capacities on another Wikimedia committee and who therefore already have an amplified voice in movement goings-on. I therefore decided to explicitly ask for "fresh faces" by adding the exclusion.
In the time since then, the GAC has adopted a less exclusive participation model, in which all Wikimedians in good standing who submit an expression of interest in response to a call for volunteers are welcome into the committee (i.e. there is no selection involved, and no cap on the committee size). This new model perhaps obviates the need to ensure the committee is composed entirely of people not holding other roles (and in fact we have allowed people to also serve in the IEG Committee at the same time). So I'm open to revisiting this exclusion if there's interest in discussion potential upsides and downsides. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 22:27, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see any conflict of interest issue; it's more that someone on the FDC shouldn't be able to afford the time to engage properly with the GAC process if they're doing their job as a member of the FDC. I think the same about the IEG committee.

I must say that I'm concerned at the number of GAC members who are inactive or almost inactive. Tony (talk) 10:45, 29 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks Asaf and Tony. That makes sense, and it's always good to have new faces involved where they can bring good perspectives to the committee. I think the issue I have with that is that the exclusion is solely for FDC members, rather than taking into account other movement structures that will also lead to the usual suspects being involved. Please consider either removing the exclusion, or making the exclusion more general so that it better serves the aim here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 19:56, 31 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mike (and Asaf) – one solution might be to remove the exclusion and add advice on the nomination page and the GAC main page to the effect that "In particular, members of other volunteer WMF bodies are reminded that if they serve on GAC, they will be expected to provide regular input to both it and the bodies they already serve on." Or something like that. Tony (talk) 03:49, 1 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Have any of the GAC applicants ever been seen on a proposal talkpage?[edit]

Without seeing anyone in action, it's hard to judge willingness to participate (not one of GAC's strong points, is it), and relevant skills. I'm surprised that prior participation in proposal reviewing isn't a recommendation—but it's not mentioned anywhere, Alex.

We had thirty members of GAC until mid-2014—most of them inactive. Numbers are down significantly now, but still I see very little activity from most members.

I need convincing that all 14 new applicants for membership will actually contribute for most of the year. And that contributions will at least some of the time be more than a one-line support or oppose.

The system of recuiting new GAC members is rendered even weaker by the fact that only five of the 14 applicants have listed the criteria in their statement; and those who have done so address each one with such responses as "yes", and "check". So:

  • "Experience with applying for grants"—which ones?
  • "Experience with auditing, comptrollership, and finance - yes, particular with documentation of finance"— but where?
  • "Experience handling externally provided money and working with and within budgets, preferably in a non-profit context ‘’’Check’’’"—which ones?

This process needs hard evidence rather than vague ticks and crosses. It is this type of vagueness that still undermines so many PEG applications. Tony (talk) 08:15, 31 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Tony. Thanks for your comments. 7 of the 14 candidates have previously applied for a Wikimedia Foundation grant (and engaged in discussions) or served on a grants committee (IEG or GAC). While it would be great if candidates had experience reviewing WMF grant proposals, we know that there is little engagement in grant discussions by community members who are not on a committee. In addition to the statements that the candidates have written, we also do additional background research into their experience on and off-wiki, use our network to get a better sense of their community standing, and communicate with candidates directly if more information is needed. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 06:34, 1 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your comment, Alex. Sadly, I don't see the utility of your statement: "we know that there is little engagement in grant discussions by community members who are not on a committee".

What we all know, you only too well, is that there is little engagement in grant discussions by community members who are on a committee.

My concern is that adding numbers to GAC (particularly to the extent that the size of candidature here suggests) weakens it unless there's an overall increase in real activity by members. Will the tenure of the current members who are inactive be brought to a close? And will the two-month rule be enforced properly in 2015? Tony (talk) 07:23, 1 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Tony . Yes, inactive GAC members will be asked to resign from the GAC this month and I will be enforcing the now two-month rule in 2015. Also, please note that not all candidates listed will be invited to join the GAC. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 15:22, 1 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, Alex. Have a nice break! Tony (talk) 04:06, 2 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Tony & Alex Wang (WMF) shoudl I read the abouve comments as an invitation to add comments to my statement to clarify / expatiate? --DerekvG (talk) 20:22, 7 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Next round[edit]

Where is the next round planned? I can inform future possible candidates with pleasure, I know a lot of names from different languages, but a clear deadline would be better. --Alexmar983 (talk) 05:42, 11 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There won't be any next round for GAC. Grants have been reimplemented. There will be new committees instead.
Danny B. 05:45, 11 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you I've started the translation.--Alexmar983 (talk) 11:00, 11 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]