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Latest comment: 10 years ago by AWang (WMF) in topic Approved

Evaluation by the GAC[edit]

GAC Members who read the grant request without comments[edit]

  1. --Mayur (talkEmail) 04:22, 10 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

GAC Members who approve this grant request[edit]

GAC Members who oppose this grant request[edit]

  1. I don't support it as conceived in big terms. I agree with Alex about the need to constrain the parameters and use it as a trial—I'd say Armenian kids only, one week not two, more selective of the right type of kids, more emphasis on parental involvement, more structure concerning the skills and activities to be conveyed/acquired by them, and the types of articles. And I'd like to see built into the all-important social activities some language/writing/reading "games", with prizes or some kind of motivational gateways, that related to wiki-editing. Some of it needs to be fun. Tony (talk) 06:09, 10 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
Here you can see some of our active high school students who participate in our education program (you can activate the English subtitles). --Lilitik22 (talk) 15:05, 11 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

GAC Members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

  1. I agree with Tony. Too ambitious considering the difficult management of young people. I would like to ask to review some parameters and to experience it firstly with few people and after to re-propose it afterwards as soon the local community gains more experience. Anyway I don't have big concernes and for this reason I would like to abstain. --Ilario (talk) 13:55, 11 April 2014 (UTC)Reply


Very interesting project. Just few questions:

  • How do you plan to select foreign and local attendands?
  • Have you tested your idea on smaller scale (for example a weekend Wiki Camp with small group of attendands?)

Polimerek (talk) 00:11, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Polimerek.

Very good questions.

  • For us it would be better if foreign attendees will be selected by chapters, each chapter maximum 5 attendees for free and a person, who will responsable for a group, since age of students 14-20. In addition chapters can attract more attendees and pay for them. We are preparing now registration and other pages for Wiki Camp on Meta:https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Camp_Vanadzor_2014, we can update it now.
Regarding to local attendees, we decided to invite for free very active students from our education project and some students from Vanadzor, may be only on day time. We also will invite students, who aren't active on wiki, but they have to pay for Wiki camp.
  • Owner of the camp is "Endanik" SNCO Youth Creative Center, they have organized Summer camp, every year. The administrative part of the camp will care Endanik Center (food, security, medicine, events, etc). Our Board member Avetik Yesayan is the chair of the board of Endanik Centre. They have 10 year experience of organising of camps with French students and with students with disabilities too.Some our team members are from Youth movement "Miasin", they have experience of organising Camps under tents.Regarding to Wiki, We are working now with students of 6 high schools and very succeeded.

--SusikMkr (talk) 07:59, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for your answers, but my second question was about something different - I asked if you - WM AM has tested the Wiki Camp in smaller scale to prove that the idea is effective. Just from the devil's advocate POV: What is the advantage for devoted editors to edit together for 2 weeks? They can actually stay at homes and edit if they have free time with probably the same results. There is also a question regarding sources. If I edit at home, I can go to the library, use books from my home library, maybe go to bookshop etc. In my Institute I have access to several professional databases. On the camp I'll be cut off from paper sources and from professional databases. Are you about to collect relevant sources and bring it with you? Or you want editors to use public, free sources available on-line only? Polimerek (talk) 10:55, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Sorry for misunderstanding: The idea is to encourage students to stay in Wikipedia long time. In addition in our educational wiki projects we have organized wiki groups, about five students in each. Group members are creating articles in collaboration. In addition jury of experienced editors chooses the best article and appropriate group obtains award. Results are great. Regarding to sources: During our educational projects I understood one thing, that we need to provide by sources. We are going to compose lists of articles, which are significant for Armenia and provide sources in several languages. In addition we planned excursions to worldwide known museums and historical monuments. The preliminary schedule you can find here:https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Camp_Vanadzor_2014/Programme.
I hope that other chapters will help by ideas, how to organize Wiki Camp more productive. --SusikMkr (talk) 14:48, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
I would like to add more about our experience. We received little grant "Wiki club in Gyumri" from our Ministry of Sport and Youth, and every weekend, participants from Gyumri club are busy in creating articles in Armenian wikipedia. Besides every Saturday, 10-15 editors are working (edit, discussion) in our office in Yerevan.--SusikMkr (talk) 18:18, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
Polimerek, thank you for your engagement on this request. I have added USD for clarity. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:29, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
The budget is IMHO reasonable, although I don't know the level of prices in Armenia very well. If it is similar as in Poland, I can say, that we could make such a event with similar costs if not taking into account free accomodation. I am only a bit scarry of the scale of the event (100 people), but it is WMF decission if it will be scaled down, or accepted as it is. Polimerek (talk) 21:22, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for the submission. I also find this project very interesting and I'd therefore like to propose a suggestion on expanding its goals. It'd be very nice if the people who come from abroad engage themselves in creating or expanding articles on topics related to Armenia on the Wikimedia projects of their languages. They could also take some photographs from interesting places that could be later uploaded on Wikimedia Commons. You can simply organise some kind of edit-a-thons on which the guests could do it. Having activities that lead to promotion of Armenia by generating content on other languages will have to make it easier for you to clinch future cooperation with many new relevant parties and institutions. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 17:24, 15 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Tony1 comments[edit]

Hi, this does look interesting, and the free accommodation is good value for money. But I have a number of questions—legal, educational, and logistical.

Tony, thank you for your input. Your experience has certainly made us look into some issues that we would not have looked into otherwise. Please note our answers in-line, and if you need further clarifications, or have other questions, let us know.
  1. What is the age-range of students in the "very successful educational project with high schools" you currently run? What is the age-range of the students in this proposed project? What is the legal obligation towards students who are younger than 18 years old? Presumably there's no insurance for injuries, misadventure. 100 youngsters is an awfully big number to manage at once.
    • Our high school students are usually 14-18 years old. In our camp program, we are aiming to also include students who are in their first and second year of college, so the age will range from 14 to 20. To out knowledge, Armenia does not impose legal obligations for students under 18, but since you asked the question, we have forwarded the question to the justice department, to confirm. If you are concerned about anything in particular, or can give me an example of what type of obligations you were thinking about, it will be helpful. As far as insurance goes, yes, we are currently not planning on having any for local students, but your question has prompted us to make inquiries of INCO Armenia (an insurance company - incoarmenia.am), to see what kind of coverage they provide, and its cost. Depending on what information we get, we might consider it in the future. For international participants, we expect them to provide their own travel insurance.
  2. $50,000 is a lot of money, and two weeks is a big chunk of time for both the adults and the students. Would it not be wiser to start with one camp, of one week's duration, learn lessons, and then subsequently run a more modest series?
    • About $21,600 of the $50,000 covers the travel costs for our 40 international participants. So the program cost for two weeks is less than $29,000. The detailed breakdown of the costs is in the budget section of https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:WM_AM/Wiki_Camp. The camp has been operational for over ten years, and we have experience with it, since members of our volunteer camp committee have run similar programs for French nationals and organizations for the handicapped. We chose two weeks so we have time to allow the students to both explore Armenia - total of 3 days), take pictures upload them to wiki commons, do research, write and post articles.
  3. To what extent will parents be involved? What are the ethical considerations concerning your guardianship of the students?
    • We anticipate each group of 4-5 foreign students be accompanied by a foreign adult - be it a parent, or a leader from the local chapters. The responsibility of the leader will be to act as the guardian of their team. We expect each chapter to set their expectations of the leader, based on their local laws and traditions, and share those with us. The non-attending parents' role will also be published and include such things as a)discuss the expected code of conduct with the participants b) provide detailed report of medical conditions that the organizers should be aware of c) provide any religious requirements that the children may have
  4. What will the recruitment criteria be (no. of edits, ability to write, etc)?
    • We are leaving that for each local chapter to decide. We will be requesting them to share their criteria with us.
  5. Presumably the Armenian WP will be the main target (it's linked overleaf), and the language of camp will be Armenian. When you talk of inviting groups of students from other countries, are you referring to Armenian-speakers? If not, I'm missing the point. And the legal issues multiply with foreigners, do they not?
    • We are not limiting it to the Armenian WP. We are just requiring that articles and related material are related to Armenian topics, which can be published in any language. We are also supporting the participants with sources in different languages.
  6. I see no schedule of activities—both editing-related and the kind of recreational activities young people need.
  7. Who would be "teaching" and supervising the editing sessions? I can't imagine it would be very productive if small groups of students were just left to themselves without structure, explicit goals, supervision. As one GAC member comments above, how would that be better than simply organising gatherings in homes?
    • Both the group leaders and volunteers from our Armenia chapter will be supervising the editing sessions. The submissions will be reviewed by our experienced chapter volunteers, and if particular students need special coaching, we will provide that.
  8. What kind of articles? And will it be solely on creating articles, which brings its own narrow skill-set challenges, or will more advanced editing skills be involved, the type of which raises the general standards of wp articles, and extends them beyond stubs?
    • Participants will have a choice of creating articles, translating them, or extending the information in existing articles.
  9. You specify the wifi provider, but what will the quality of the connections be like? Do you have first-hand experience, and can you give an idea of ping, download, and upload (I suspect that when masses of connections are running simultaneously at the camp, the system will grind to a very slow speed and poor reliability).
    • We are planning on testing that within the next week. Our requirements is to have 120ms to Wikipedia.org. We will also have 10MB CIR symmetric channel. Please let us know if you have any further concerns or recommendations on what else to test for.

Looking forward to discussing this, and I hope reshaping it. Tony (talk) 13:12, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

I hope, that a little had clarified and looking forward for further discussion.--SusikMkr (talk) 15:50, 22 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Ilario's comment[edit]

This project seems to me similar to one had in the IEG: Grants:IEG/Generation_Wikipedia. The project was not funded I think for the big risks connected with the management of young people and the request to cover these risks with insurances. Anyway in this project I don't see these costs of insurance. --Ilario (talk) 10:07, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

For international participants, we require the individual to purchase travel insurance for themselves.
For local participants, first line medical help will be provided by volunteers. Anything more involved will be the responsibility of the parents.

Feedback from WMF[edit]

Thank you for this interesting proposal and your engagement with the GAC so far. We appreciate your efforts to engage students in editing Wikipedia and ideas on how to sustain their enthusiasm. We have a number of questions and comments regarding the proposal and would appreciate your response:

  1. Since this is first time WMAM will conduct a Wiki Camp, it should be seen as a pilot program and we would like to see it succeed on the local level first. We think it would best if the camp is for Armenians and in Armenian. If Wiki Camp proves to be a success the we can reconsider if international attendees would be an added value for future camps. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
    • The organizers and teaching staff of WikiCamp have previous experience organizing camp programs at "Endanik" for international participants, so we have confidence we can successfully run the program. We also know that for our local attendees, the interaction with individuals from international chapters is a must to help instill a sense of belonging in a global wiki community, something that we are eager to instill in our volunteers. We would truly appreciate your support in helping us achieve that. We can, however, do a pilot with a smaller number of international students (not less than 25, for the interaction to be affective), and we can increase the number of local participants.
We definitely understand that having international campers would add value but we would like to see this new program succeed locally first. If you do decide to invite international campers, they would need to pay their way or be funded through their chapter. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:45, 1 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
  1. Normally we would be concerned about organizing a program where more experienced editors and newbies are attending the same activities. Newbies have much different needs in terms of wiki skills training and what program content is most appropriate to them. However, this may be different in a camp environment. Have you thought about how different activities would be tailored for different levels of experience and how they can learn from each other? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
    • The very majority of our attendees will be experienced editors. Since Newbies will have to contribute to their own cost, we are not sure how many will participate. Based on their number, we will assign additional teachers at the ratio of 5:1.
  2. It is wonderful that the "Endanik" SNCO Youth Creative Centre will provide the camp for free. Please confirm that they will not profit financially from Wiki Camp. Since Wikimedia Armenia board member, Avetik Yesayan, is also the chair of the board of the Endanik Centre, we want to ensure that there are no issues around conflict of interest. For example, who will be paid for providing food? The provider directly, a caterer, or the Centre? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
    • Yes, "Endanik" SNCO Youth Create Center will not profit financially from Wiki Camp. We will however contribute to the costs incurred for running the camp such as medical service, security, cleaning. These costs were lumped within the "food cost" category. If you think it useful, we can break it down further.
    • Regarding conflict of interest related to Avetik Yessayan, we confirm that there is no conflict of interest. Mr. Yessayan does not make any profit from any of the services provided in the camp. On the contrary, his company Shirak Technologies is providing free hosting for wikimedia.am, and will be providing free internet service for our participants in the camp, more, he helps in organizing our events in every case.
  3. Do you have WMAM volunteers who have committed to attending the camp for two weeks to serve as resources, teachers, facilitators, and to supervise the students? Are there camp staff that will be there to facilitate the non-editing portions of the program and help supervise? It would be appropriate to have 1 adult/10 students. What other personnel resources are available at the camp - medical staff, etc.?
    • The following individuals have committed to attend the camp for two weeks to serve as resources, teachers and facilitators: David Mkrtchyan, David Saroyan, Arsen Harutyunyan, Avag Simonyan, Hayk Khloyan, Arsen Hayriyan, Narek Hayriyan, Hakob Hakobyan, Anahid Vassilian, Goryun Soghomonian. We also have 2 individuals who have volunteered to act as a back-up if our front line teachers cannot make it (Zabel Vassilian, Ofelia Julhakyan).
Will these individuals be available for both rounds of camp? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:45, 1 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
Yes, these individuals will be available for both rounds of camp.
    • Student supervision and facilitation of the non-editing portions of the program will be at the ratio of 1 adult for 5 international students, and 1 adult for 10 local students. The adults for international students will be provided by the international chapters. The five adults for local students are: Susanna Mkrtchyan, Lilit Tarkhanyan, Mher Bekaryan, Arpine Andreasyan, Arman Musikyan.
    • "Endanik" is providing camp event management, medical, custodial, security and kitchen staff.
    • Field trips will be provided by WMAM, and the fees associated with that are outlined in the overall Expenses section of the proposal.
  1. Why would the campers need to arrive two days early in Yerevan instead of going directly to the camp? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
    • Since international campers are coming from different countries and via different airlines, we allowed two days up front to accommodate all the arrivals, so the trip to the camp, which is at a distance of about 2 hours, can be done once with all the campers present.
  2. Please provide a more detailed breakdown of the food costs. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Breakfast - $2.5 / person - Includes:
Bread, Cheese, Tea, Coffee, sour cream / cottage cheese, jam, marmalade, eggs and omelet, butter, cold cuts, cereal / oat meal and the like
  • Lunch - $4 / person - Includes:
Juice, Soup, chicken or beef dishes / stuffed vegetables dishes, potato side dishes, vegetables, fruit
  • Dinner -$3 / person - Includes
Variations of Pilafs, Yogurt, Cold cuts, Hot dog, Cheese, Tea
  • Coffee Break - $1 / person – Includes:
Coffee, Tea, Juice, Cake, Sweets Ice cream
  • Camp services - $4.5 / person – Includes:
Transportation from Yerevan-Vanadzor-Yerevan, Nurse, Security, Grounds & Custodial, Kitchen staff
Please respond to the above question. A breakdown including the other camp costs -- medical, security, cleaning, etc. should also be included.
All these items are included.

Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:45, 1 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

  1. If you are ordering 200 T-shirts is it possible to get them made for less than 4,000 each? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply
    • Yes, it's possible to get them made for 3,200, but the quality will suffer noticeably.

Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you again for your efforts on this proposal. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:58, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Please revise the grant end date so it is after the second camp. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:45, 1 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Additional questions[edit]

Thank you for your thorough responses to our feedback. We have a couple remaining questions.

1. Please expand on the measures of success. Will you require a certain level of quality for the "10 articles"? Will you be using Wikimetrics to track the students' contributions? Do you have plans to follow-up with the students after camp is over? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 11:26, 10 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

We'll consider the camp to be successful if 10 of the articles written by each student are at least 10k bytes. The contributions will be measured using wikimetrics. Furthermore the team leaders who are experienced Wikieditors will assist the students all the time and look through the created articles at the end. After camp is over we are going to organize various events in which all these students can be involved such as participating in different workshops as experienced editors, in Wikiconference Yerevan 2014, in all GLAM projects. We have long-term cooperation with schools: with Ayb High school for already 9 months, with other schools - 5 months and the majority (about 90%) of editors have remained active editors as well as new participants join our Education project each month. Some of the students have already become real Wikipedians, participating actively not only in Education program but also in other projects which are organized in Armenian Wikipedia.--Lilitik22 (talk) 07:42, 17 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

2. Please provide more detail on how the scholarship students will be chosen for the camp. How will the full pay students be recruited to ensure they are interested in contributing to Wikipedia and have the potential to be longer-term editors? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 11:26, 10 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

We have about 100 active students from different high schools, 20 students from Gyumri Wikiclub project, as well as other students from different projects. All the scholarship students will be chosen depending on the contribution amount in Wikipedia, all in all about 30 000 bytes. Full paid students will be chosen via motivation letter and questionnaire. Based on our experience motivated students but not yet editing ones involving in wikiprojects and wikievents, become active wikieditors. --Lilitik22 (talk) 07:42, 17 April 2014 (UTC)Reply


This grant request is approved. We appreciate your (and the GAC's) engagement on this request. We are excited to support the strong Wikipedian community of high school students in Armenia. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:23, 22 April 2014 (UTC)Reply