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Latest comment: 8 years ago by AWang (WMF) in topic Completion date change request

Evaluation by the GAC[edit]

GAC Members who support this grant request[edit]

  1. I am not completely sure about the costs (for instance why laptops and not tablets? Do you need to do something more than writing Wikipedia?) but it seems to me reasonable to spent this budget to setup offices. However I will be happy to read the reports about the deliveries. --Ilario (talk) 08:56, 24 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
  2. I support this proposal after the rewrite, I was inclined to support this anyway just because of the large efforts the small community of the Armenian chapter is putting into the activities, some of which like the digitization of historical books seem super important to me, and the rewrite made goals and budget much clearer for me. --Shipmaster (talk) 06:03, 19 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  3. Seems much more elaborate, like an annual plan should be. I am content with the revised version. I still think this is not 100% achievable, but I hope the Armenian Chapter achieves as much of this as possible of this. It seems more than reasonable sum of money for such a variety of goals and objectives. (PS - I changed usernames, used to be NLIGuy) Alleycat80 (talk) 09:52, 19 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  4. Support. I just want to note that I worry that the standards the Armenian chapter wants to reach still seems high to me. But I am confident that the staff of the WMF have all the evidence to prove that the chapter may achieve. That is my wish. --ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 03:15, 22 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  5. MADe (talk) 11:30, 23 August 2014 (UTC) Very happy with the updates on the grant request. It is both one of the most elaborate and one of the most simple to understand. Kudos to you! I remain with some doubts about the way budget is requested for a dozen projects at the same time... but the goal seems more then ok. Good luck withyour activities!Reply

GAC Members who oppose this grant request[edit]

  1. I find this request unsatisfactory and unjustified. NLIGuy (talk) 04:44, 14 July 2014 (UTC) Reply
  2. Not realistic: I agree with nearly all NLIGuy’s objections. --Packa (talk) 21:08, 30 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
  3. Not realistic. I would propose the team to file grant requests for the different projects MADe (talk) 14:18, 3 August 2014 (UTC) will reassess this proposal MADe (talk)Reply

GAC Members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

  1. I am still not convinced that the project is realistic, but I see the improvement. So I abstain. --Packa (talk) 21:51, 19 August 2014 (UTC)Reply


Dear GAC members, thank you all for your attention, patience and help, I really think that have helped me and our team to reveal all risks and problems deeply. It is my drawback: to define high goals, in order to achieve good results. --SusikMkr (talk) 06:30, 20 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

GAC Comments[edit]

No, no, no. This is not how you request 60,000$[edit]

We apologize for the delay in responding. We were all at wiki-camp with 70 students, hence our free time to engage in activities not related to wiki-camp was extremely limited. We have just ended the camp, and will attempt to answer your questions within the next few days. Thank you.

Excuse me for the title - but it conveys my thoughts after reading through the proposal, twice. I think that a 60,000 US$ amount should require some more documentation, pointing out actions that were performed successfully in the past, reports, something.

This is our first instance of providing a yearly plan, so we are not experienced at what the right level of detail should be. We appreciate your input on where further detail is needed. Please note our updates (not completed yet) to the grant request, and if you see the need for further detail or clarification, please pass it on, and we will be glad to provide further updates.

Moreover, and this is truly what is making me rebel (against my nature) about this grant, is the request for ~30,000$ for renovation. I understand you have *verbal* agreement (with whom?) for a matching sum, but this seems to be large enough for an operating budget of a small chapter, spent on paint and furniture. Isn't there a way to spend less on furniture and more on programs?

We have clearly not expressed ourselves well in our proposal, so our sincere apologies.
Let me try to clarify. We are NOT asking the foundation for $30,000 in matching sum for renovations. All the renovation is being funded by an outside donor Artur Janibekyan, who supports our activities. We had just included the amount in the overall plan for completeness and for keeping the foundation informed. Please note that Mr Janibekyan currently donates the rental cost of our offices. So if for any reason he does not proceed with the renovations, we will continue our activities, (though our plans to expand our output will be hampered) in the current rented space.
Let me also briefly describe why the amount being donated for renovations is $30,000. The area provided by the government consists of run down space, with no plumbing, no divisions of room, no flooring, no doors, no windows, no heating (the area has been abandoned since the Soviet times). However, it is in prime location, and the space will allow us to accommodate the flow of students who come to our offices for editing. Many of our editors do not own computers at home. They come to our center to write articles. The model is probably different than what you are used to. We hope over the next ten years, our editors will all own their computers, and we will not need to provide them with an environment where they can contribute. However, for now, to keep up the rate of contributions in terms of articles, we need to provide working space for our editors. Mr Janibekyan understand the need, hence his support in renovating.
If it helps maintain clarify, we will be happy to remove any reference to the renovations and the cost attached to it from the description of our yearly plans, and treat its funding and implementation as a totally separate grant and activity, funded by a totally separate source. Please let us know your preference.

Now, I have a ton of other questions, so I'll highlight some of the most puzzling:

  • Salaries - it is uncustomary for PEG grants to cover salaries for FTES, only project related staff. And you didn't even state for how many people...
We currently do not have staff on salary. We are proposing to add one person, full time, to help oversea the project related activity. The amount requested includes the salary and associated 26.6% income tax that Wikimedia Armenia has to pay the government.
  • Signing all the agreements of cooperation- are they attached to a specific project, workplan, goal? If not, an agreement by itself is not satisfactory as a goal.
All agreements of cooperation are attached to a specific project, mostly related to GLAM, as was specified in the Measures of Success section of the Grant. We had specified three GLAMS with which we hope to sign agreements: The National Library of Armenia, Matenadaran, Erebuni Museum. We are pleased to report that In June 2014, after submitting our first version of the grant, we have signed an agreement the National Library of Armenia, where they will provide digitized content in Armenian to be deposited in WikiSource, to serve as reference material to those editing in Armenian. They have also agreed to let us use their auditorium - if available - for major events. We aim to continue our negotiations with Matenadaran and Erebuni Museum, and hope to enrich our Wiki depositories with material provided by those culturally rich museums.
  • Cooperation with Wiki Education - what is the goal in getting 12 schools into the wiki education program? who will sustain work in the 12 schools? WMAM or Wiki Education personnel?
The goal of getting 8 additional schools (to make a total of 15) involved in the wiki education programs is to start building a population that is knowledgeable in the mechanics of becoming a wiki editor, and building up a community of future contributors to wiki. Our experience indicates that once the "wiki culture" penetrates a school, there is little needed by the Wikimedia volunteers to maintain the enthusiasm. The students and teacher staff sustain the program. The Wikimedia volunteers are involved solely in
> providing suggestion on what topics the students could write about - or topics they can translate from other languages
> providing statistics on level of contributions in different schools
> re-training teachers in the rare event that there is a turnover in teaching staff
> informing students on further training provided in the schools or other central locations, about advanced topics in wiki.
  • Number of activists - throughout the grant proposal I see names of ~10 people taking part in activities. How many active members do you have in WMAM? What are your growth plans?
Wikimedia Armenia was one year old in May 2014. We currently have 25 active members, and expect to grow to a minimum of 50 this year. The 10 names provided as coordinators in the plan will draw on the other active members and enthusiastic non-members to help realize the planned activities.
  • I see a lot of programmatic work - (Wiki loves Science, digitization, WLE, photo depository, etc - what programs are new? what programs are continuing?
The programs we have started within the last 12 months and will continue over the next 12 months are:
> Wiki Loves Earth (WLE)- Our first run at the Wiki Loves Earth project added more than 2180 photos to wikiCommons. This year, we intend to continue the project.
> Wiki Loves Monuments - Our first run at the Wiki Loves Monuments added more than 24,000 photos to wikiCommons. This year, we intend to continue the project if it is organized by the overall Wikimedia chapters.
> Digitization - Last year, we have digitized all the volumes of the Armenian Encyclopedia. This has proved a great help in facilitating the creation of articles by high school students. This year, we hope to expand the digitization to books provided to us by the National Library of Armenia. This effort should help improve the quality and depth of existing articles, and the creation of many more.
> Education - As mentioned earlier, over the past 12 months, we implemented an education program in 7 schools, and we intend to add 8 more over the next 12 months.
The programs we intend to organize this year are:
> Wiki Loves Science - We have often received feedback that articles on scientific topics are noticeably lacking in the Armenian Wikipedia. Through the Wiki Loves Science initiative, we hope to engage scientist in creating articles on their level of expertise. Our concentration will be on Biology and Physics. Our goal is to add 300 new articles in Biology, and 100 articles in Physics. Of the 400 articles, we expect at least 100 to be classified as good.
> Famous Armenians - Photo Depository: Our WikiCommons is lacking in photos of famous Armenians - living and deceased; hence those who are writing articles on famous individuals do not have the appropriate photos to reference. This project intends to organize events where contributors to wiki will create opportunities to interact with such individuals, capture photos and place them in our depository. Our goal is to add photos of a minimum of 200 individuals, through 4 events targeted for this purpose.
> GLAM _ As mentioned earlier we aim to establish agreements with the National Library of Armenia, Matenadaran and Erepuni Museum.

Some of the budget items seem to be off - 2 laptops cost like 6 months of wi-fi. Either the wifi is extremely pricey, or the laptops are extremely cheap.

The wifi costs are the running costs in Armenia. The Laptops we have priced are the low end laptops that have enough power in them to do the basic editing functionality.
  • How can it be that the only risk you foresee is working with GLAMs? I witness many risks in your grant proposal.
Please let us know what risks you see, so we can gage the type of concerns you think we should discuss. We see a lot of challenges and the need for a lot of dedication and hard work to bring the programs to fruition. We intend to overcome those challenges. The one item that remains of major concern is the GLAM projects, since a lot is dependent on the administration of well established museums and libraries, and we are concerned with where our objectives will fall in their priorities.
  • Do you have long term, or short term goals that are measurable? (except for number of articles)?
Response forthcoming
  • I find goals like "more people will edit wikipedia in West Armenia" to be very obscure.
Please note that we have not asked any funding for Western Armenian in this year's budget. We have simply included it in the grant proposal as an activity that we intend to run in parallel, as an FYI. The distinction between "West Armenia" and "Western Armenian" is important to understand. Western Armenian is the Armenian language that is the mother tongue of about 5,000,000 Armenians in the diaspora. Eastern Armenian is the language used by Armenians currently in Armenia and the X-Soviet Union. There are a lot of common words within the two languages, because they both originate from one common source - Medieval Armenian. However, the Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian languages differ extensively in grammar, vocabulary and dictation. We are currently engaging individuals to contribute in Western Armenian. Since most of those individuals live in the diaspora, we aim to use this year to gain some experience and gage expectations. So, you are correct in your assessment that "more people will edit Wikipedia in Western Armenia" is very obscure. It stems from our inexperience in how best to interact/train editors. We will use this year's experience to form an executable plan for next year with concrete and measurable goals.

So, as you can see, I'm somewhat dissatisfied with the proposal. I'm waiting for clarifications, and for now I oppose this grant on grounds of lack of information and unsatisfactory justification for such an amount. NLIGuy (talk) 04:43, 14 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

I agree with NLIGuy. Asking 25.000$ for renovation works and ten (!) laptops... that's not really the goal of this programme. I see a huge potential, though. I would start with requesting money for the different projects. That would be a good start for future growth. MADe (talk) 19:02, 17 July 2014 (UTC)Reply
Please note the clarification we provided above regarding the renovation costs. We will be glad to answer any further questions, if you have any.
Regarding the 10 laptops:
> As mentioned in the grant, the first laptop is for the one full time staff we need to hire to support the coordination of the multiple programs across the country. Currently that work is being done by Mrs. Mkrtchyan, whose increased responsibilities do not allow her to cover those activities going forward.
> Two additional laptops are needed for our educational program. Since most of the training is done during school breaks, the trainings are often done in parallel, and two additional laptops are needed to accommodate our intention to support training in locations remote to Yerevan, where because of the distance, one laptop cannot be shared among schools, by staggering the training to different parts of the day.
> As for the other 7 laptops - in 2014, Mr. Janibekyan has currently provided us - for use ( as opposed to donating) 7 laptops that we are using for our Yerevan-Club. He has requested us to re-distribute these laptops to the clubs that we are going to open. As specified in the grant request, we are aiming to open 7 new clubs in 7 major cities across Armenia. This is to support our aggressive plan of spreading the wiki culture within the major cities in the country. The population in these cities are far behind in terms of buying power as compared to the population in Yerevan. A minimum of one laptop per city-club is a must in allowing individuals to contribute as editors. A reduction in the number of laptops will correlate one on one to a reduction in the cities where wiki-clubs are created.
Per Janibekyan's request, we will distribute 7 of Janibekyan's laptops to the wiki-clubs, hence the dire need for replacing those laptops.


I see the intent of WM AM to jump start their nascent chapter. And GAC members have seen a lot of these types of proposals, it will be wonderful to properly guide them how they can probably set realistic targets for a year for a growing local organization and what will be the minimum requirements to meet that. -- Roel (talk) 13:57, 16 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Just a quick thank you[edit]

Hi, this is NLIGuy (talk). I just wanted to say that I am holding comments as requested, but wanted to say thanks for the detailed replies to my comments. I read them and await eagerly for continuted discussion on this. NLIGuy (talk) 12:20, 23 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi, this is Alleycat80 (talk) - I changed usernames during Wikimania... Just a quick follow up that I revised my feedback to "approve". The only issue I have in question here is the scanner type, which from my professional knowledge seems a bit inappropriate. I will try to come up with a nice alternative. Alleycat80 (talk) 09:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)Reply


Why laptops? I have read that these IT equipment is mainly used to do demos or lessons. A tablet may costs 50% less than a laptop. Please consider that the laptop has a really short lifecycle, you need software and licenses and that the maintenance is bigger. I understand a laptop for office automation but not for anything which is only use of a browser and of the emails. --Ilario (talk) 08:59, 24 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

We too would have preferred tablets, but we don't have drivers for the Armenian alphabet for tablets. So for now, laptops are our only option. If you can recommend a path towards obtaining drivers for tablets in the very near future, we will be glad to modify our plans.
Sorry. I would like to tell more about our experience.

First of all requested laptops are for Wikimedia office & club in Yerevan, where we are. Since November of 2013 we used to have 10 laptops in Wiki club Yerevan for collaborative editing. ( Armenia in common family at home has one computer and people used to come to Wiki club to edit and improve Wikipedia). Since that time, Armenian Wikipedia improved on both quantity and quality. All laptops that we had now we are going to distribute to cities Wiki clubs, which are located in town halls and one (two) experienced wikipedian(s) (who had trained before) is/are responsible for everything (laptop, workshops,…). Since November we all time by various program and project were working on increasing awareness and disseminating Wiki projects as much as we can, therefore we can’t stop now and break all what we achieved through huge work.----SusikMkr (talk) 19:08, 4 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Packa's comment[edit]

I don’t find this request realistic: for instance 7 laptops in 7 different towns (who will be responsible for these devices?) or $12,000 for Office Staff without description of his/her work.

I suppose to rewrite this request in more realistic way. --Packa (talk) 21:02, 30 July 2014 (UTC)Reply

I'd recommend perhaps 2 laptops where WM AM is based. From there they can be assessed for the frequency of their use and how crucial they really are in ensuring that the chapter meets its success measures. -- Roel (talk) 14:02, 16 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

WMF Comments[edit]

  • Please note that PEG does not fund full-time staff, unless on a temporary, project-basis.
  • Will the event manager be full-time for 12 months? What are their duties? What will this person do in the months they are not organizing the wiki conference?
  • If you want to fund full-times staff, WMAM will need to go through the Annual Plan Grant process, which the chapter is eligible for. The next deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent is November 1, 2014.
It would be very hard to find experienced professional employee temporary, in my opinion, half time isn't effective too.
I deleted this item from the budget.
  • GLAMː The measures of success are quite low. We would normally expect to see a lot of content creation from a GLAM project.
We'll try to achieve more, I have increased measures of success.
  • Digitizationː Who will be doing the actual digitization work?
Digitization will be managed by David Saroyan, by help of two employees of National Library and by other active members of WM AM.--SusikMkr (talk) 06:26, 18 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Please let us know if you have any questions. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:53, 13 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks SusikMkr for the significant re-write of the proposal. We have asked the GAC to review the proposal again and update their responses. We have the remaining questions/comments:
  • The costs for the famous Armenians photography project seem very high. What will the 400,000 AMD be used for?
We have changed the costs, it isn't easy to gather famous persons together. Money is for coffee break. I think Venue will provide National Library of RA.
I deleted this item from the budget.
  • Please delete the laptop for the Event Manager.

Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 00:06, 19 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Comments from ProtoplasmaKid[edit]

Dear colleagues of Wikimedia Armenia, I am so happy for your proposal and this growing projects in your country and the work in this grant proposal. I want to request you some information.

  • You are promising as a Measures of success in Educational Program the creation of 10,000 articles! Really?
Dear ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) thank you for your help. Exactly, since date of applying this Grant during "Wiki camp Vanadzor 2014" and within two terms of camp, campers wrote nearly 6000 articles from suggested in hy.wikiource.org materials. So on suggested list we have only materials for 4000 articles. In addition I hope, that students will translate articles from our "Translation corner" program and/or create new articles, standalone.
Thank you for your kindly responses, Sussana. I think this is an opportunity for the armenian Educational Program. Are you will use the Wikimetrics tools for track this programs in the future? --ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 03:08, 22 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
I use wikimetrics to count the students' contributions every 2 months. Results encourage students to edit Wikipedia more. It is very useful and helpful tool that's why I'll use it in the future. --Lilitik22 (talk) 05:02, 22 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Fit to strategy: how will be measure exactly "open wikiclubs" and how you are offering to track the success of this clubs in the future?
The success of the clubs will be measured by new registered users, their activeness and monthly contributions which will be measured again by Wikimetrics. --Lilitik22 (talk) 05:02, 22 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
As in educational projects, here also we'll create special pages, for registration of members of each club and for accounting statistics of further activities.
Cool. Have you one example that I can see (Google Translate can help). --ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 03:08, 22 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Here is our Education Project page in Armenian Wikipedia. You can see AYB High school page. --Lilitik22 (talk) 05:02, 22 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Organizational maturity and effectiveness: "recruit young leaders": what is exactly this? what is the measure of considering recruited people: contributions, activity trough Wikimedia projects, simple affiliation?
By opening Wiki clubs we will enlarge our community, also we need responsible persons for each wiki club. During Wiki camp, and workshops in our office in Yerevan, we already have trained several teachers from each city. They will disseminate wiki projects. WM AM will help them in all their activities.
Cool. Good luck in the projects! --ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 03:08, 22 August 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thank you.--SusikMkr (talk) 04:09, 22 August 2014 (UTC)Reply

Request for "Wiki loves science" project[edit]

As you know we started new project "Wiki loves science", through which we try to attract professionals and keep them stable in wiki projects and we achieved tangible success. In order to sustain this achievement and to attract more adults professionals, we need to continue this project. Moreover I thought we could enlarge borders of this project into other countries. In January we had guests from Georgian Wikipedia, they were excited in success of this project.

Can we make changes to our annual plan, in order to continue this project? I am afraid that in case if we cut this project, it will decrease in quality of articles. We tried to find other sponsors for this project as we wrote in the interim report but couldn't. We ask you to allow to use Wiki loves Earth fund on Wiki loves Science project which is more important for us now than the photo contest. --SusikMkr (talk) 10:16, 9 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi SusikMkr. Thank you for the request. Wiki loves science is an important program and we are fine with using the WLE budget to continue this program. Since the project's budget will double, will you be increasing your targets in terms of number of participants and articles? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:00, 9 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi dear Alex. As the budget for WLS doubled we doubled the measures as well:
  • Number of newly registered editors - 80
  • Number of new members - 4
  • Number of new articles - 1000
  • Number of articles created and expanded within projects and during events - 200
  • Additional good and featured articles in Armenian Wikipedia - 4
Thank you for your support as always!--Lilitik22 (talk) 06:23, 10 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Lilitik22. Thanks for the updated metrics. This change is approved. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:59, 10 March 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thank you! --Lilitik22 (talk) 18:43, 10 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

Completion date change request[edit]

Dear Alex, as our APG was approved we ask you to change the completion date of WM AM annual grant from 14 July 2015 to June 30. And as we will be busy in August with the second term of Summer Wikicamp is it possible to change the reporting date from August 30 to September 30? Thank you.--Lilitik22 (talk) 12:28, 2 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Lilitik22. Thanks for the update. Both are approved. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:12, 2 July 2015 (UTC)Reply