Grants talk:PEG/WM EE/2014

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On behalf of Wikimedia Eesti I invite You to participate in the discussion to clarify and ameliorate present grant request! --Misosoof (talk) 23:32, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Explications concerning 2013 grant[edit]

According to the Skype discussion we had today (participants: Winifred Oliff, Asaf Bartov, Alex Wang, Kaarel Vaidla, Raul Veede), Wikimedia Eesti has reached an agreement with Wikimedia Foundation. The 2013 grant will be extended up to Feb 28, 2014, or will be terminated before that if the new grant will be approved before March 1, 2014. We hope that the new grant will be formally approved by March 1, 2014. The new grant (updated now) includes the personnel costs, and our mutual agreement is that we wish to avoid any gaps in this spending item. --194.150.65.173 21:44, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I would like to add some more specifying comments:
  1. Wikimedia Eesti is still executing the 2013 grant with current completion date on the 30th of April 2014.
  2. Wikimedia Eesti would like to initiate a process of the alignment of its grant proposals to the fiscal year and logical structure of the projects (also aligned with the fiscal year) in the year 2014. It is hoped for that a complete alignment will be achieved for the year 2015.
  3. As a consequent, a discussion was held with the representatives of Wikimedia Foundation (see the above-mentioned list of participants) on the 17th of January and it was decided that:
    1. The projects of 2013 grant will be completed for the 28th of February 2014,
    2. The staff costs of the 2013 grant will be terminated with the start of the new grant,
    3. This means that there will be neither any overlapping time period nor program and staff costs for the two distinct grants,
    4. 2014 grant proposal of Wikimedia Eesti will, as a consequent, include both staff and program costs for the entire 10 months in Wikimedia Eesti 2014 grant term (1 March - 31 December),
    5. If the 2014 grant is approved, the 2013 grant will be ended on the 28th of February 2014 and the 2 months of staff costs for March 2014 and April 2014 covered by that 2013 grant will be considered returned when they are deducted from the first payment of the new grant.
I thank You for Your kind attention and will be available for any further comments, if needed.

--Misosoof (talk) 11:39, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

Evaluation by the GAC[edit]

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

GAC Members who approve this grant request[edit]

  1. Good distribution of costs and partial funding (more or less 50%) for an overall budget of 80.000 Euros, seems to reasonable. --Ilario (talk) 13:12, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. -- Roel (talk) 14:29, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  3. Nice plans ad a very well prepared grant request. I also find the answers on the questions and concerns raised bellow pretty convincing. But still be aware of the conflict of interest regarding Tartupedia.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 22:23, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

GAC Members who oppose this grant request[edit]

GAC Members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

Discussion[edit]

Comments by Namayan[edit]

I am impressed with the proposal, it appears you have carefully studied the direction where you want to take chapter a year hence and carefully studied the cost it will entail. You are targeting the active involvement of some 10% (not including the members of the Board), in this regard how many members do you officially have right now? -- Roel (talk) 11:36, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

At the moment, 33. We just excluded a couple of persistently inactive people. On the other hand, we have currently some projects led by people who are not members, so we hope they will join us. --Oop (talk) 13:09, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
As our board member Oop has specified, we have a current member base of 33 members. I would like to add some more comments for further explication.
It is an important problem of Wikimedia Eesti, that it is founded by active wikipedians, who are very interested in contributing to Estonian Wikipedia, but not to the organization and administration of supporting activities. Thus, we basically have an overburdened board, which consists of 3 members, and a passive group of general members (~30)[1], who generally approve the actions of the board, but would rather not be engaged in them. This situation is somewhat improved by the professionalization process and employment of board assistant and project manager. Nevertheless, the active contribution of general members is important for the sustainable development of the organization and is one of the priorities of the organization.
The first step is a rather small one - we would like to increase the number of active non-board members to the number of board members (i.e. to at least 3 or 4) in one year. This goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. I would like to stress that this is a minimum and we hope for more extensive engagement of Wikimedia Eesti members. This will be achieved through two types of actions: 1) further initiatives to engage current members (stressing and discussing the importance of the participation, enhancing internal communication in the organization, trying to find suitable roles for the members with differing profiles in our activities) and 2) integrating active volunteers of Wikimedia Eesti to the organization (for continued engagement in our activities).
We thank You for the time and attention You have found for the examination of our grant application and are looking forward to Your further comments and advice! --Misosoof (talk) 14:59, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your prompt answers Oop and Misosoof, the situation in Wikimedia Philippines is not any better, we officially have 121 members (end of 2013) but could only count 30–40 who regularly participate or make their presence felt during activities. It's great to see the involvement of others who are not officially inducted as members. I think if your base is 33, the involvement of at least 10 (~30%) or doubling the occasionally active members. We could definitely borrow your strategies, I hope you don't mind. Some times when you hold activities, outsiders would be enticed to join you, I think offering them to take part in future planning and holding of projects may be better at this point, membership (with responsibilities tied to it) may daunt them.-- Roel (talk) 23:49, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank You for Your further comments, advice and description of a similar situation of WM PH!
Do we understand correctly that You suggest that we should set our success criterion to 30%, i.e. 10 persons already this year? It may be a possible outcome of our efforts, but we are not sure yet. So far we have not been too successful in increasing administrative and organizational participation, which has also been a result of the lack of time of the board. As a result of the process of professionalization we have some more human and, therefore, temporal resources, but we also have a stack of other organizational obligations to attend to. Increasing organizational and administrative participation is quite time-consuming and seemingly our available resources may not be sufficient to increase non-board participation to 30% of the members in one year. We would like to keep our goals within our reach (i.e. attainable). Nevertheless, as we have some 5-6 occasionally active non-board members already, it seems sensible to increase the expected level of steadily active non-board members to 20%, i.e. 6 members (2 times the board size) in this year, with a perspective to reach a level of at least 10 (or 12) active members the following year (2015). What do You think of this suggestion? Or does the 30% criterion still seem more appropriate?
As for the other concern - we are not forcing anyone to join our organization, but we surely try to make the atmosphere as enticing as possible for non-member volunteers. It would be good for the sustainability of the organization if we managed to connect them with the organization in a prolonged way. We also have the concern of daunting our good-willed volunteers, but, nevertheless, we plan to sign volunteer contracts with them to ensure that they will carry out the responsibilities they have taken. We find that feeling of responsibility is important in voluntary work. Hopefully,this responsibility will help us to attain our goals, but will also give our volunteers a positive emotion from carrying through a project, enjoyment from the achievement of the proposed goals and eventually induce them to further participation. Here motivational events play an important role, as they create the feeling of belonging and community, indispensable for voluntary contributions.
We are glad if there is anything in our plans that others can learn from. One of the upsides of Wikimedia movement and existence of the chapters is the fact, that we all work for achieving the same goals. This means, that although the cultural, financial and political backgrounds may differ, there is always some way to integrate positive models of other chapters in our activities and also to avoid the mistakes that others have already made. On the grant application and discussion pages an impressive amount of valuable information can be found, that may help any chapter in their process of maturation. It is a good habit to keep the eyes and the mind open and to make relevant observations and conclusions.
We thank You once more for Your input on this important detail and look forward to Your possible further comments! Also good luck with Your work in increasing the organizational engagement in Philippines! --Miasosoof (talk) 03:30, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the thorough and clear explanation, I can sense passion on how to take WM EE achieve the goals it has set for their chapter, the 30% suggestion is from an outsider who doesn't know the ground situation, I was just going by the actual figures. I do hope though with that same number active members and the programs you have laid out for 2014 will not spread yourself too thin and exhaust you. I hope that your dedication in what you're doing will have a rippling effect on others too. Cheers on your well-prepared proposal. -- Roel (talk) 16:31, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Following the present discussion, it seems reasonable to set the engagement goal higher than 10%. Therefore it has been changed to minimum 20% in our application. Hopefully, following the results of our 2014 activities, we will be in a situation to set this goal higher for the 2015 application.
We thank You once more for Your input and kind words!--Misosoof (talk) 21:10, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Feedback from WMF[edit]

Thank you for your clear and well thought out proposal. It is obvious that a considerable amount of planning, coordination, and time went into developing your 2014 plan. Please see our questions/comments below. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:49, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Capacity[edit]

You have an impressive and ambitious program proposal. Do you have the capacity to execute all of these programs, many of them in parallel? We acknowledge you have a number of project managers, but are you confident the editing community will be able to contribute enough time to make all these programs a success? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:49, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Tartupe(e)dia[edit]

Unfortunately, due to conflict of interest reasons, WMEE should not fund any part of the Tartupe(e)dia project. While the proposed project would be managed by Marten Vares, the fact that a WMEE board member works for, or is employed by, the City of Tartu, makes it inappropriate for us to fund this work. We suggest either 1). WMEE refrains from doing the project; 2). the project is funded by the City of Tartu; or 3). a modified version of the project is run entirely by volunteers at no cost. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:49, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Hypothetically speaking: would it ease your mind if the aforesaid member of board would resign on WMEE's next general meeting in the beginning of March? Continuing in the hypothetical speech mode, I have had health issues for a long time and they're getting worse by day, I'm behind the schedule with my MA thesis and currently, I have even a strong temptation to say "screw it all" and find a new hobby instead of Wikipedia. I might play more video games, start drinking or raise a family - in general, get a life instead of this... (insert your favourite expletive). All the while speaking hypothetically, of course. --Oop (talk) 10:00, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Other comments[edit]

  1. Fundraising: We commend your track record of raising funds from sources other than WMF and would like to especially applaud your partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science. However, we don’t believe it is a significant problem for the chapter to be largely dependent on WMF funding. We would suggest that the Project Manager only explore additional funding opportunities if it is an efficient use of time and resource, and focus instead on managing the delivery of successful programs.
  2. Exhibitions: Based on your experience managing exhibitions in the past, what is your assessment of their effectiveness? What has been the feedback? Do you have have any statistics on people contributing to Wiki projects after attending an exhibition?
  3. Fenno-Ugric Seminar: We are supportive of developing excellent articles about the small Fenno-Ugric languages on Estonian Wikipedia, as well as English and other large language Wikipedias. We are also supportive of activities that promote those languages on Wikisource and Wiktionary. These efforts are more aligned with our goals of free and open knowledge, as opposed to supporting the development of non-viable language Wikipedias, which is more about language preservation. We will fund this project in 2014 considering you have already obtained matching funds, but please note our preference for more mission-aligned activities.
  4. Civic Education project: Can you elaborate on the specifics of this project? What under the broad topic of civic education would be the focus and how will this lead to increased awareness of free culture and knowledge?
  5. Illustration Project: Please clarify what types of illustrations would be included in this project. Do you expect the illustrations to be usable on encyclopedic articles? What will the 50EUR allocated for Illustration Project Management be used for? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:49, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you again for your detailed proposal. Please let us know if you have questions regarding the above comments and we look forward to your response. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:49, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia Eesti responses[edit]

Firstly, we thank Wikimedia Foundation for such a rapid examination of our grant proposal! And we would also like to thank Wikimedia Foundation for valuable comments! We will present our responses in the same order as the questions were posed. Misosoof (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the detailed response! We'll respond inline, for ease of reading and keeping topics together. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Capacity of Wikimedia Eesti[edit]

We appreciate the attentive concern of Wikimedia Foundation regarding the capacity of Wikimedia Eesti to carry out its ambitious plans. As you acknowledge, during the professionalization process it was possible for us to build a voluntary base of project managers. We also intend to increase the level of activeness of our non-board members. We went through a long planning process and estimate the organizational and administrative level of Wikimedia Eesti to be sufficient for managing the projects in proposed extension in year 2014.

But as it was mentioned, the main concern of Wikimedia Foundation is not our management ability, but the possible response from the editing community. This has also been our concern in the planning process. To prevent a possible problem on the level of participation, i.e. editing, we have foreseen actions of different types: 1) Wikimedia Eesti is planning a number of competitions and, more importantly, workshops to engage more the not-yet-wikipedian part of Estonian population, 2) Wikimedia Eesti is increasing the level of cooperation with universities to get an important input from well educated students on the topics of our projects, 3) Wikimedia Eesti offers workshops to our GLAM partners, as to introduce their researchers to Wikipedia-editing and incite their interest in voluntary activity to write Wikipedia articles on their field of research, 4) Wikimedia Eesti introduces foreseen projects to current Wikipedia community and hopefully the possibility to participate in an important project is motivating and fosters their editing capacity.

The goals for the year of expansion are set to moderate level and there will be a thorough evaluation process in the end of the year. After the evaluation it is possible to decide if the projects were successful or not and if there is a need to limit our field of activity. At the moment we expect to achieve the goals we have set and estimate the editing capacity in Estonia to surpass the requirements of our projects. Hopefully, we can turn this editing capacity in potentia to comprehensive Wikipedia articles in actu. Misosoof (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

We're glad to hear you've given thought to the capacity issues, and based on WMEE's successful track record so far, are happy to put confidence in your assessment. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Tartupe(e)dia[edit]

We understand the concerns of Wikimedia Foundation regarding Tartupedia project, as well as reluctance to fund a project with a possible conflict of interests. Nevertheless, the proposed solutions of Wikimedia Foundation are not fully coherent with our situation and prospects. 1) Wikimedia Eesti is not really in a position to refrain from doing the project - the project kicked off with an excellent start in February 2013 and has had a good nationwide media coverage throughout the year. It is a well-known project of Wikimedia Eesti and sudden termination of such wide-scope project may reduce credibility of our organization and its projects. We would like to avoid it. 2) This project is generally approved by the city of Tartu, but, as the administration of the city was overwhelmed with local elections last autumn, we did not have a possibility to discuss this project in detail with them and it did not make it to the annual budget of the city. We will try again in the autumn of 2014, but this funding will be available for the year 2015. We are trying to engage local enterprises in this project, but so far we have not secured any funds from them. 3) This leaves us the possibility to continue the project with no costs, which, in our view, is not the best solution. As we already have a good media coverage of this project, we would rather expand or maintain the current activity level and not reduce it (which is the most probable result of a no cost year). We would like to "make hay while the sun shines" and take the most out of the good position that the project has at the moment.

We assess the Tartupedia project to be important for outreach and participation and terminating or reducing it may have negative effect on the credibility of Wikimedia Eesti. The reasons for starting this project were not related to the possible conflict of interest, but we understand that the situation does not look good for an outside view. We thank you for sharing that insight! Our question is, if the resignation of the concerned board member in the beginning of March may change Your mind and would make it possible to fund this project (maybe partially?) in the year 2014? We are doing our best to find other sources of financing for this project, but it is rather difficult to find the financing for the year already in progress.

In brief, 1) Wikimedia Eesti will continue Tartupedia project to avoid a possible damage to our credibility, 2) Wikimedia Eesti will try to find other sources of financing for this project, 3) nevertheless, we hope that Wikimedia Foundation will be in a position to grant us at least partial funding for the year 2014 to keep the project going until our negations with others have a positive and sustainable result. Misosoof (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for understanding the issue here. I understand this is an awkward position for WMEE. Let me clearly state that the conflict of interest centers on a board member of WMEE working for the city of Tartu. If he is no longer on the board, the conflict of interest issue is resolved.
However, as we've noted above, the conflict of interest issue is only one of two issues that make us reluctant to fund this particular program, and the other issue is a matter of policy. Therefore, we'd urge you not to lose an active board member over this particular project; I repeat that in our estimation, QRpedia projects are ultimately of little impact on our core mission (though we recognize they help establish credibility and good publicity for the chapter, which is itself an auxiliary contributor to future impact on our mission).
Since, as you say, the continuation of the project in some capacity is important for WMEE, I'd urge you to do so without any additional investment of funds, nor of staff time. That is, the project should continue based solely on the work of unpaid volunteers and/or resources funded by the city of Tartu. Specifically, it behooves WMEE to ensure that the board member working for the city recuses himself from any WMEE discussions of the project. Again, I realize this is awkward, but that is the least damaging way to manage this situation while still keeping the project going. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
"The Moor has done his duty. The Moor can go." Actually, the Moor is happy to have some rest, even if he's not allowed to touch one of his favourite projects with a 6-foot pole. That's what rest is about, after all: not messing with 6-foot poles. So, the active board member is already lost, the question is what becomes next - but that's not for me to answer. --Oop (talk) 09:54, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Other comments[edit]

1. We find that varying sources of financing are good for the sustainability of any non-profit organization, but our activity on this field is not only related to fundraising. It is also part of outreach, as we make applications to ministries, other governmental structures and foundations and with our applications we have an excellent possibility to present the idea of free culture and knowledge to these institutions. We also make them recognize that also free culture and knowledge may need some funding, as well as introduce them target and interest groups of our activities. It is one possible way to get the foot in the door and even if current applications are not funded, this may well be a preparation of intellectual and administrative soil for a future germination and growth of free culture in Estonia.

We understand the concern of Wikimedia Foundation that splintering our already meager resources may have negative effect on our activity and we can confirm that we are fully aware of this threat and will cut down fundraising activities during intense periods of our programs, as to invest all our potential to the achievement of our goals.

You have said that it is not a problem for a chapter to be largely dependent on the funding of Wikimedia Foundation. We would like to specify if this means that you suggest that our goal to reduce the funding of Wikimedia Foundation under two thirds of our budget is superfluous and ought to be removed from our grant application, as well as our strategic plans? Misosoof (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I did mean that -- it's just a suggestion, though. You can always change this policy, but as you acknowledge, WMEE's human resources are scarce, and WMF is happy to support WMEE in the foreseeable future, including measured growth. That said, WMEE should certainly act on opportunities and seek external funding where that seems readily within reach. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Based on this suggestion, the goals regarding the diversification of funding sources and reducing Wikimedia Foundation overall financial contribution have been removed from our grant request. The discussion on this strategic goal will continue within our organization during the process of the development of the strategic plan of Wikimedia Eesti. --Misosoof (talk) 21:05, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

2. We find that exhibitions are a good outreach activity, as they attract media attention and introduce Wikimedia in a different, physically real environment. We try to move around printed exhibitions to as many different locations in Estonia as possible. We do not have good statistics about the effect of exhibitions at the moment, we only have positive feedback from the participants who find them to be a good idea and a great way to acknowledge the work they have done. The discussion about measurable criteria to evaluate the success of the exhibitions is important in our chapter and yet we do not have a great solution how to relate new registered Wikipedia / Wikimedia users and articles / content to the exhibitions. As it seems an extremely difficult task we are thinking about creating a survey that may shed new light on this question, but the content and realization of it still needs discussion. Presently we presume that exhibitions do have a positive effect and we have some support for this presentiment and not any for a possible refutation. Therefore, at least at the moment, Wikimedia Eesti has decided to continue with its exhibition activities. Misosoof (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree exhibitions are very hard to measure; I was curious to see if you have more concrete information. Thank you for the frank assessment, and we are happy to fund the exhibitions in this budget based on your gut feeling for now. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

3. We note your advice concerning Fenno-Ugric cooperation and 1) try to find other funds for possible future activities regarding smaller Fenno-Ugric Wikipedias and 2) will discuss the Wikisource and Wiktionary related possibilities with their representatives during the seminar. Just out of curiosity, does Wikimedia Foundation have clear criterion/criteria to distinct viable Wikipedia languages form non-viable ones or is this primarily based on gut feeling (resp. common sense) and community discussions? Misosoof (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

We do want to develop clear written criteria around this, in consultation with the international community and with experts, but have not yet had time to do so. In the meantime, we rely on gut feeling and some broad indicators (e.g. existence of secondary literature or daily newspapers in the language) to determine whether a proposed investment in a Wikipedia makes sense. We do intend to develop this as a clear, written policy, and hope to be able to present it, or at least some thinking toward it, at the Wikimedia Conference in April. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank You for Your efforts! We look forward to reading the written-down outcomes! --Misosoof (talk) 21:05, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

4. We understand that Civic education is a very wide topic and some specifications are appropriate. Firstly, we are about to finally publish Free Culture of Lawrence Lessig in Estonian and plan to distribute it with good media coverage and public awareness. For this reason we are also planning a public book presentation, which seems to be important for outreach. Secondly, we are also planning to hold a public conference / seminar with organizations dealing with civic education, as to promote Wikipedia as a possible mean of civic education. We hope that these organizations will understand the possibilities that Wikipedia entails and will allocate some of their voluntary resources to article creation and amelioration. Thirdly, we will engage in finding the editors concerning two important topics in Estonian society: 1) financial literacy and 2) equality (feminism). As to financial literacy, it is an important topic in Estonia and people are looking for their answers in Estonian Wikipedia (e.g. see the list of most visited articles on Estonian Wikipedia on 2013, where term loan has the honorable third place and annual percentage rate of charge ranks sixth (sic!)). As an Eastern Europe and post-soviet country we also have problem with gender gap, to the extent that there is even talk about feminization of poverty in Estonia. We would like to address these important questions and topics through creation of new articles and amelioration of old ones in Estonian Wikipedia to increase the accessibility to the competent information of all target and interest groups. As these themes are important in public discussion, dealing with financial literacy and equality questions is most likely profitable to our outreach efforts as well. Misosoof (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, this is much clearer now! Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

5. All illustrations of our illustration project will have encyclopedic value and will be added to Estonian Wikipedia and also to other language Wikipedias if relevant articles are available. At first we are concentrating on illustration of important persons, the pictures of whom are not accessible due to copyright issues. As it is stated in our grant application, we target at least 30 pictures for significant articles, but we are planning to have at least 120 illustrations uploaded to Commons and integrated into articles within the year 2014. There will be no copying of existing copyrighted images and we will follow the good example and experience of Wikimedia Amical and will use several pictures and available video files per illustration to be created for Estonian Wikipedia.

Project management includes various costs of the project, i.e. all non-prizes costs. This means costs of possible printing, copying and archive work for preparations of illustrative activities, costs for Wikimedia do's and don't's lectures for illustrators and gatherings of illustration evaluation committee. Misosoof (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, this sounds excellent. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

I hope that you find our explanations helpful! We will be available for any further specifications.

Wikimedia Eesti thanks you once more for the time and attention, as well as for valuable comments and insights! --Misosoof (talk) 00:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the patience and the time it took to prepare these detailed responses, in what is not your native language. They were most helpful. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Next steps[edit]

So, given the satisfactory responses above, the remaining issues before we can make a decision on this proposal are:

  1. The removal of the budget item for Tartupe(e)dia from the proposal, and the inclusion of a clear statement about the conflict of interest and how it is going to be managed (see my description above).
  2. A statement about the Fenno-Ugric program clarifying that Wikipedia would not be the sole focus of the work for languages other than Estonian, Finnish, and Hungarian.

Once these are addressed, we would be ready to make a decision. Thanks! Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 03:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Wikimedia Eesti responses[edit]

Tartupe(e)dia

Firstly, we thank Wikimedia Foundation for such a swift reply, which has made it easier for Wikimedia Eesti to continue the Tartupe(e)dia related discussion in the chapter! Nevertheless, we regret to report, that we have not arrived to the outcome that Wikimedia Foundation has designed.

The results of the discussions within the chapter have been described in the appendix of our grant proposal[2]. Although the conflict of interest will be resolved and there will be no direct contradiction with the policies of Wikimedia Foundation, there are 2 fundamental contradictions with the proposal of Wikimedia Foundation:

  1. The resignation of an active board member in the next general assembly[3], which has become inevitable, as one cannot force a board member to be on the board and be active,
  2. The continued request for funding from Wikimedia Foundation for the project. The producing of QR-codes has been removed from the grant proposal, but, nevertheless, Wikimedia Eesti would still like to apply for funding which is directly related to the content and quality of articles and photos. Therefore, although Tartupe(e)dia project has been removed from the grant request, Tartu article competition and Tartu photo competition activities have been added to the activities section and relevant budget lines are added to the budget of other smaller projects. Wikimedia Eesti evaluates that abrupt cancellation of the funding of the project may result in (publicly) remarkable omissions, which may have a significant negative impact on the credibility of the organization. We cannot risk that! We will continue to be engaged in the search for other sources of funding, but we would like to secure our position also with a financial contribution of Wikimedia Foundation for a smooth transition.

In a word, we would like to know, if the terms of funding Tartu related activities are negotiable, if the conflict of interest and incoherence with the policy have been resolved. We are fully aware that it is only € 500 that is related to this continued discussion, but as our external funding is project-based and activity-related, we really do not possess necessary funds at the moment to cover the lacuna in the project. We apologize for all possible inconveniences related to the Tartupe(e)dia discussion!

Fenno-Ugric seminar

We have modified the textual content and also goals related to the Fenno-Ugric seminar in our grant proposal. Would You be so kind as to verify its correspondence to Your expectations (or give further guidance for the amelioration)!

We would also like to know, if it is in accordance with the policies of Wikimedia Foundation and also with the chapter agreement, if Wikimedia Eesti, as a chapter, would look for external funding to continue with the support of small Fenno-Ugric non-viable Wikipedias in the future?


We kindly thank You for Your time and attention and look forward to Your replies and suggestions! --Misosoof (talk) 21:53, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. It is a rough generalization, as we already have about 5-6 members who are occasionally active. We would like to increase their activity as to consider at least 10% of our non-board members steadily active. Payed members are not counted towards member activity criterion.
  2. Appendix has been added as a response to your demand to include a clear statement about the conflict of interest and the handling of the conflict of interest in our grant proposal.
  3. The concerned board member has terminated his board member contract on the board meeting of the 11th of February 2014 and from the 12th of February will no longer be a board member of Wikimedia Eesti.

Free Culture Project[edit]

The Free Culture Project has been moved from the WMEE 2013 grant to 2014. The budget for this activity is 4,900 EUR. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:55, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Introducing the position of executive director in Wikimedia Eesti[edit]

Dear representatives of Grants Advisory Committee and Wikimedia Foundation,

Introduction
I am writing to you on behalf of Wikimedia Eesti in order to discuss the question of the continuation of the professionalization process of the chapter, which we started last year. Wikimedia Eesti has monitored the process and evaluated the outcomes and changes on the organizational level. As a result 2 quarterly interim reports have been published: Wikimedia_Eesti/First_interim_report_on_professionalization and Wikimedia_Eesti/Second_interim_report_on_professionalization.
In short, it has become evident that the voluntary board of Wikimedia Eesti requires more assistance than the present part-time positions can provide. Board assistant is concentrating on the management of quotidian operation of the organization, whereas the project writer is not only writing projects and reporting, but has taken / received the responsibilities of operational and financial planning and management, strategy work and policy drafting and operates as a day-to-day advisor to the voluntary board. To sum up, the current project writer has worked overtime to fill in the gaps in the organization and this position has in its core already become a position of an executive director.
The change
The problem is that the board of Wikimedia Eesti is accustomed to the extensive help of the project writer and actually the need for such help is constantly increasing (as the project writer is also successful as a project writer creating finances and projects that need to be managed). On the other hand, for personal reasons, it is hard for project writer to continue with the current extensive contribution on a voluntary basis. As the board of Wikimedia Eesti is extremely content with the work that the project writer is doing, we are considering “legalizing” the current situation and transforming the position of the project writer to the one of an executive director.
We have discussed this question with the members of our chapter on the internal list and the idea has met a general approval and support. Now it is time to discuss the question with our donors, i.e. Grants Advisory Committee and Wikimedia Foundation staff. Wikimedia Eesti is presently going through a phase of development, which often fosters structural changes in the organization in order to reach a new operational efficiency. We feel that transforming the position of project writer to the position of an executive director increases the clarity within the organization and facilitates task management. Do you agree or disagree with our understanding of the situation? Can you propose better alternatives?
One of the reasons why this type of change needs to be discussed with donors is that it entails an increase in human resources costs. Position of an executive director will be a full-time position (we are moving towards FDC funding for the next year), which means that the working hours of the employee that Wikimedia Eesti pays for will be increased. We would also like to increase the hourly wage so it will correspond to the extent of the field of activity of the employee and the responsibility to be taken. Although the level of increase in salary needs to be specified, as a calculational basis we have spoken about doubling the wage: 1) at the moment the employee has a monthly net salary of 561 euros, 938 euros with all taxes, which will add up to an expenditure of 5682 euros for a period of six months, 2) what we are suggesting is a raise of net salary to about 1100 euros, 1890 euros with taxes, with a sum of 11340 euros of expenditures for a period of six months. This means an increase of 5658 euros in the current project budget. What do you think of such increase?
Volunteer engagement
We have discussed the situation in our chapter briefly with the representatives of Wikimedia Foundation and one of their major concerns is the off-wiki volunteer engagement in Wikimedia Eesti. In our strategy process we have determined the main constraints for the development of the organization and actually it has been identified that the lack of people in Estonia is our main external constraint and the deficiency of active people in organization is the main internal constraint.
As part of the strategy process Wikimedia Eesti has also identified three possible fields of work in dealing with this problem: 1) interaction with younger part of the population as to offer them a voluntary position that can provide them valuable experience for the future, 2) interaction with specialists as to offer them possibility to increase the value of their available skills with voluntary work, 3) interaction with people who are no longer working and look for interesting challenges in their life.
At the moment Wikimedia Eesti has concentrated on the first of these fields, with small and so far unsuccessful attempts made on the second one. We have been more successful with engaging the youth and have made good contacts with the students of cultural management and guiding (for wikiexpeditions). At present we have volunteers for GLAM projects, organizing wikiexpeditions, Tartupeedia project and digitization program. It is a rather solid base, but they are not helping out on their own - they need management. With the current organizational structure it is somewhat unclear who should take care of current volunteers and who should scout for new ones - no-one wants to take the responsibility for it.
Introducing the position of executive director will help Wikimedia Eesti to resolve the situation of indecision. Current project writer has also taken over some activities related to volunteer engagement and is communicating tasks and giving feedback to some of the volunteers. An increase of payed working time will be a good motivation for the present project writer to continue the work with voluntaries in a more structured manner. The employee has good experiences of volunteer recruitment on the field of non-profits from other organizations and will be most probably able to implement volunteer engagement strategy and tactics, once the strategy of Wikimedia Eesti will be complete. As the leader of the strategy group the employee is well acquainted with current discussions.
Final words
We thank you for your kind attention and look forward to receive your opinions on the topic. We will try to answer your questions and comments as swiftly as possible!

Yours faithfully, --Misosoof (talk) 08:40, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Recruitment of the executive director[edit]

Hi :) I learnt first hand and on the hard way that recruiting not carefully enough an executive director can actually do more harm than good, even if I'm totally convinced that an executive director position is absolutely needed. I'm thus worried that the extra cost here is only because of the salary of the ED and not of the recruiting costs. I strongly advice in favor of passing by a human resource consulting firm to help define the mission of the ED and find the right candidate. Léna (talk) 08:41, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Your observation about the need to turn to an HR for advice is definitely something worth considering, especially as far as defining the mission of the ED is concerned (if you look at our reports on professionalisation, you'll see that not having a clear enough vision of the scope of the work of our project writer at the beginning of the process has been a bit of an issue). Indeed, we actually hired a consultant when we were looking for a board assistant and a project writer last year. The person we hired for the latter position was highly recommended by the consultant; our experience has proven her right. We are extremely satisfied with the work our project writer has done and as he's already been performing many of the tasks we'd expect from an executive director, we'd be more than happy to keep cooperating with him in the capacity of an ED. We can definitely ask our HR consultant to evaluate his fitness as an ED, but we really don't think a new public hiring process is necessary, as, like I said, we already have a person in our project writer who knows the ins and outs of our organisation. - Daniel charms (talk) 19:41, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Can you clarify the current situation? Is the Project Writer currently being paid (fulltime)?
I actually agree with the comments of Léna. Atm I would prefer offer the opportunity to apply for Executive Director. The job content of the new job is not the same as a project writer. As such I would prefer getting HR support to find the best candidate MADe (talk) 20:42, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
The PW is currently being paid, albeit not full-time. As explained in our interim report on professionalisation, however, he's been doing quite a bit more than required in his part-time position. And this is indeed part of our motivation for "upgrading" him into an ED - the project writer's job description just doesn't cover everything that he has to do. At the same time, this would also allow us to define his tasks and powers more clearly.
Regarding the suggestion to announce a public competition for the ED's position, as we said in our report, we've been very happy with the work our PW has done - both in terms of the tasks initially set out for him and what he has actually done. Hence, we are quite certain that he has the skills, knowledge and experience to excel as an ED. - Daniel charms (talk) 07:49, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
As for now, I have a bit a bad feeling about the request. It seems as if the goals of the new hiree are unclear (from your comments above). Secondly, I disagree with not offering other people the chance to apply. Remember, if the existing employee is so good, a selection committee will probably also select him. These two aspects make it difficult for me to approve this request. MADe (talk) 17:28, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I have to agree with MADe on this matter. I think that what we need in order to have a clear decision in this matter is: (1) clear Job Description for ED position and (2) public and transparent as possible selection process for this vacancy (Maybe WMF will be open to have the vacancy announcement published on one of its websites). And I mean this should be the minimum standards to comply with. Indexum (talk) 12:29, 19 June 2014 (UTC)


I can imagine that such a position is indeed needed but as others have pointed out, hiring a first full-time staff is not going to solve the problem right away, it may actually become worse. Hiring full-time staff and especially an ED requires a board transition, HR guidance and management. My best experiences I have made was discussing all the pressing needs in a strategical board retreat.

  • what are the goals, in which position you want to be in three years (younger organisations better set shorter goals, so three years should be enough in that situation)?
  • what competences / tasks / ressources are needed to get there?
  • define virtual positions as empty containers to assign these tasks to and define their competences - that also includes the board!
  • In the end you will end up with the job description of all the people you need, so you could start hiring right away. The bonus: the board agrees and has a common plan. You then still need to figure out how much such a person would cost, where to get that money from and how to manage it, once you got it.

--Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 09:57, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for these remarks. The points you've raised are definitely something we need to consider. We'll try to discuss this with the rest of the group and get back to you as soon as we can. - Daniel charms (talk) 11:42, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
I second Manuel's comments and questions. I do like the idea of paying decent money for talented labour input (but I'd like to see the hourly rate proposed in the context of other Estonian rates—Alex Wang did a good job in the US context, but this is quite a task for staff to compile systemically, and will probably not be possible until after the GAC revamp).

A full-time operational manager on a more or less permanent footing, rather than project-grounded, requires very special justification, and generally I think we have too much of this among the chorgs, with a possible exception in the big established ones. The benchmark is even higher when the affiliate serves a country of just two million people (of whom not much more than 60% are native-speakers of Estonian—yet another niggly little issue I have concerning chapter vs thorg, as you know).

I'm struggling to see why so much time is proposed for allocation to a writer, given the need to spend donors' funds with caution and in clear relation to likely impact on WMF projects. It seems a luxury, when a large part of the raison d'etre of WMEE is to marshall the enthusiasm and capacity of skilled volunteer writers in Estonian—some of whom are probably not bad at international languages too.

But my most pressing concern at the moment is the strategy of accruing grant after grant during the same period. Already we've funded office rent on top of a generous nine-month grant. New needs seem to arise continually, rather than being built into a more stable, ongoing medium-term plan, which is what the WMF board recommends. I don't want to be unkind, but let's not expose you to possible later criticism that the more you go to the FDC with, the more you might ask for within the "guardrails". I'm not accusing anyone of being sneaky; but perceptions count in that competitive, judgemental system, and we're here to protect you, too.

Again, I want to congratulate WMEE for its dynamism and the creativeness of its programs (although to scrutinise them properly is beyond the time I have available at the moment). Tony (talk) 15:15, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Again, thank you for the time you've dedicated to the matters of our chapter and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. A quick note, however, is in order regarding a bit of confusion that seems to have arisen from the terms that I've used (this is re: allocation to a writer): the person I've termed our 'project writer' is basically a project manager (plus a lot more things, as discussed above), not a person hired to write Wikipedia articles. I apologize in advance if I've misread you, though. - Daniel charms (talk) 11:42, 14 June 2014 (UTC)


The WMEE board discussed the comments and suggestions made here in the Tuesday meeting and would like to clarify a few details:

  1. The board has been discussing and experimenting with the roles of different people for over a year now, long before the professionalization process began. The current employees (board assistant, project writer) were initially hired based on the roles we had defined. The need for an executive director arises from the fact that we have number of roles that we have defined that are currently unfilled. Our project manager/project writer has been kind enough to perform these roles on a voluntary basis, but he's no longer in the position to contribute as much as a volunteer.
  2. Regarding the recruitment process itself, the board is convinced that we have a suitable person for the job; and as holding a public competition for the position would be a significant expense (20% of the proposed additional costs), our initial decision was to hold off a public competition in order to cut costs. However, having discussed this a bit more, we can definitely see where you're coming from on this and are willing to either a) have our existing employee evaluated by an HR consultant or b) hold a full-blown competition for the position if the Committee finds this necessary and can allocate the resources (User:Misosoof presents a detailed account of the numbers below). - Daniel charms (talk) 06:56, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Some numbers and Project&Scope document[edit]

Dear all,

Thank you for contributing to the discussion related to introducing the position of executive director in Wikimedia Eesti. Although I will try to abstain from commenting on this topic (as I am the project writer whose position will be transformed into the position of the executive director), I would still like to provide you some numbers related to the decision making and also share my Vision&Scope document.

Firstly, I would like to inform You about the costs related to HR consultation in Estonia. 1) If Wikimedia Eesti will carry out a public recruiting of the executive director, it will cost around 1000 to 1200 euros. 2) As in general the board of Wikimedia Eesti is content with the current project writer and his field of activity resembles the tasks of an executive director, we also inquired into possibility of making a thorough evaluation of the aptitude of the present employee to become an executive director. Such evaluation consists of different tests and interviews with different parties and gives a more thorough overview of the capacities of the employee and costs around 500 euros. 3) There is a possibility of making just relevant tests, which is much cheaper, but probably will not provide the information needed.

Secondly, I would like to inform you about salaries in Estonia. There is a database available, based on the biggest salary survey in Estonia. According to this page the salary for chief executive officer is 2138 euros, but for the position of executive director of a small non-profit (although the field of activity is rather wide), we have used for calculation purposes the average salary of project manager, which is 1103 euros.

Thirdly, I would like to add that unfortunately it was left out from the change request, that the contract will be signed for 6 months (although with the possibility of extension), from the 1st of July to the 31st of December. Wikimedia Eesti will continue its practice to provide quarterly interim reports on professionalization during the process, including the evaluation of the aptitude of the selected person in this position.

Finally, I would like to notify you that I have published a short Vision&Scope document on meta, related to my plan to candidate for the position of executive director of Wikimedia Eesti. Any questions or comments or specifications will be appreciated!

I would like to thank you once more for your input to this discussion and hopefully the board of Wikimedia Eesti can provide the answers to your questions and will arrive to a conclusion that serves most the interests of our chapter and the movement in general!

Best regards,

--Misosoof (talk) 00:32, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Executive Director Approval[edit]

We approve the Executive Director position and increase in budget by EUR 5658. This approval is based on the following:

  • It is very hard to hire in this movement, especially for an Executive Director. IF WMEE already has someone working as an active ED (under the title of Project Writer) and the board is pleased with this person's performance, this is the best possible scenario. It is highly unlikely WMEE will find a better candidate in an open process. Promoting the Project Writer to a position he is already essentially doing will save both time and money.
  • WMEE has an excellent track record in programmatic activity, reporting, and frugality.
  • The vision and scope document provides details regarding WMEE strategy and the ED's role and responsibilities.
  • WMEE has submitted a Letter of Inquiry for the Annual Plan Grant process, which is an appropriate program for supporting full-time staff. It's in this context that it makes sense to provide continuity in WMEE's growth to allow a smooth transition to an APG (which, if approved would provide funding beginning January 2015).

Best, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:02, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Request for a change in project budget[edit]

Dear representatives of Wikimedia Foundation,

On behalf of Wikimedia Eesti, I hereby submit a request for changes in the project budget for our 2014 annual plan.

Wikimedia Eesti was recently approached by a local stakeholder with a proposal to help Wikimedia Eesti in promoting Freedom of Panorama in the Estonian society, which would also entail the preparation of a proposal for a Freedom of Panorama bill that could be presented to the Estonian Parliament on behalf of Wikimedia Eesti and might possibly pass before March 1, 2015.

Context[edit]

There is currently no Freedom of Panorama in Estonia and this unfortunate restriction is a significant impediment to the work of the Estonian Wikimedia community. There are constant issues with photos of Estonian architecture and public art on Wikimedia Commons, which have resulted in deletion of several valuable contributions in the Commons environment, including some very remarkable ones from photo competitions like Wiki Loves Monuments. Such deletions have a significant discouraging effect for the Estonian Wikimedia community.

Estonian copyright law is currently undergoing a major overhaul, but this process is long and arduous: there are many stakeholders involved, and the results are far from clear and may not see the light of day for years. We have inquired into the details of this process and we have learned that passing of the copyright law is delayed due to several controversies existing in the current draft. Also we have noticed that despite the efforts of Wikimedia Eesti and some members of the Estonian Wikimedia community, the current published draft (from July 2014) lacks in detail regarding the questions related to architecture and art in public space. In fact, Freedom of Panorama as such is not stated (non-commercial use will be free, though, just as in the current version).

The question concerning Freedom of Panorama per se seems to be non-controversial in Estonia and seems not to be in substantial conflict with the interests of most stakeholders (architects, artists, politicians, and general population). On March 1, 2015, parliamentary elections will be held in Estonia, which seems to be a good frame for dealing with the question of Freedom of Panorama - the period of elections is a time when every party would like to support popular, non-controversial issues. Wikimedia Eesti hopes that the current proposal may help us pass the Freedom of Panorama separately from the thorough reform of Estonian copyright law.

Proposal[edit]

The proposal we received from the enterprise Blue Ant OÜ consists of: 1) providing the draft bill with the supporting analysis (proving its non-controversial nature and supporting evidence from other jurisdictions) and legal opinions from notable copyright lawyers, 2) writing articles for newspapers to give prominence to the issue, 3) negotiating with the members of the parliament parties to provide as much support as possible and avoid it becoming an issue of conflict.

The budget of the proposal is as follows:

Item Unit cost Amount Unit Total cost
Preparation of proposal 12 15 hours 180
Legal consultations 200 2 consultations 400
Public relations 10 30 hours 300
Lobbying 12 15 hours 180
Transportation 20 5 trips 100
Communication expenses 15 3 months 45
Total 1205

As for the background of the enterprise Blue Ant OÜ, the founder and board member of the company is Mr. Raul Veede, a former member and board member of Wikimedia Eesti. Having been involved in the Wikimedia movement and currently acting as a Wikipedia administrator, he knows the ins and outs of Wikipedia and Wikimedia in general. He has also extensively studied Estonian copyright law and the ways it influences Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. During this process he has also been in contact with professionals of the highest competence level regarding the issue. While we have discussed this matter with other people of similar interests, we believe that Mr. Veede possesses the best combination of knowledge and PR skills needed for carrying out the foreseen activities.

Wikimedia Eesti has analysed the proposal and we find it to be of good value, with a good perspective of success. Although this proposal is related to a former member and board member of Wikimedia Eesti, we have discussed the issue and find that there is no conflict of interests and that the background of the actor supports the good execution of the project. The board of Wikimedia Eesti has decided that it would be wise to accept the proposal, especially considering its long-term benefits.

Change request[edit]

Therefore, we would like to redirect 1,205 euros from the currently underspent funds from the cancelled project Viki48 (910 euros) and cultural heritage program (295 euros) (both proposal section Wikimedia content) to cover the expenses of the current proposal (proposal section Community/outreach). Since the elections are coming in March, the timeframe to act is rather short, so we would appreciate it if a decision was reached as soon as possible.


Wikimedia Eesti will be available for questions and clarifications. Thank you for your time and kind attention!

Daniel charms (talk) 10:58, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Comment by Tony1[edit]

I'm not comfortable with the continual requests for more money (this whole application was that in the first place); so it's a relief that this involves no further funding.

I cannot think of anything more essential to an affiliate's role, aside from GLAM work, than to promote local legal changes that make knowledge (and images) freer. So this looks to be an extremely valuable thing to be doing, and the sum involved is not large if it does have an impact on the legal framework.

Some questions:

  1. Who would be doing the framing? It looks like the lawyer won't be doing all of the writing, and such writing is very specialised.
  2. Who would be "lobbying" the parties/politicians? Do you have lobbying skills? What form would the lobbying take, and have you identified the key personnel to approach?
  3. Would press releases be prepared and disseminated? Do you have skills in doing this, and a strategy for approaching journalists/news outlets?
  4. Would your community be involved in reviewing/providing feedback on any aspects?
  5. Would collaboration with GLAM partners possible on this matter?

A comment: in terms of getting traction among parties/politicians—it's not really much of a vote-winner, is it ... I mean, FoP, who's heard of it among the voting public? Probably most politicians wouldn't be able to distinguish it from roast beef. So how can you develop arguments that will appeal to politicians, that they themselves can effectively use to persuade their colleagues, and ultimately to persuade specialist sections of the voting public who might swing towards them (i.e. school teachers, artists, academics, broadcasters, museums, intellectual organisations). May I suggest that you emphasise the national cultural benefits—an argument that should be fleshed out with examples and expressable in easy bullet points. Tony (talk) 14:03, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Answer of Wikimedia Eesti to Tony1[edit]

Dear Tony1,

We thank You for Your attention and for inquiring into the details of our change request!

Wikimedia Eesti finds improving legal framework for free knowledge very important and we regret that we have not been too successful in that field of activity so far. As a consequence we were extremely happy to receive current proposal and are excited to see the proposed plan in action.

We understand that promoting legal changes is a rather specific activity and therefore competence and collaboration with possible partners is needed for succeeding. We will reply to Your questions in order they were presented and hopefully demonstrate that we do have competence and necessary partnerships to carry out the plan.


1) Who would be doing the framing? It looks like the lawyer won't be doing all of the writing, and such writing is very specialised.

Establishing Freedom of Panorama really takes a very minor change in the current Estonian copyright law. The minimal necessary change would consider only two sentences, and one of those would be an exemption currently made for using photos in advertising by realtors which would be redundant under Freedom of Panorama.

Although the change in the law is not significant experts will be nevertheless engaged in order to guarantee the legal quality of the text. Contractor Blue Ant OÜ will be responsible for framing and according to the activity plan lawyers will be consulted as necessary and legal advice will be provided by the experts.Since autumn 2014 Wikimedia Eesti also has a voluntary legal advisor and she will also be available for contractor throughout the process.

2) Who would be "lobbying" the parties/politicians? Do you have lobbying skills? What form would the lobbying take, and have you identified the key personnel to approach?

As Estonia is a rather small country lobbying is a much less professionalized activity here than in the United States, and politicians are approachable much more easily. In recent years, Estonian internet community has developed contacts with the politicians for several reasons, from considerations about the copyright laws to the anti-ACTA protests. All these contacts will be used and new ones developed. Also, we shall try to cooperate as much as possible with the other organizations of the internet community (e.g. the local branch of the Internet Society).

In short, contractor will be coordinating lobbying activities, but Wikimedia Eesti and other actors will be involved. Key personnel to approach has been identified and already contacted (working group of the copyright law, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Justice).

3) Would press releases be prepared and disseminated? Do you have skills in doing this, and a strategy for approaching journalists/news outlets?

Yes, yes, and yes. Luckily, Wikimedia Eesti has very good relations with the media, and almost everything we send out gets picked up by the news channels. Still, major effort will be spent on publishing other types of journalistic material like op-eds in major papers and portals. The key person of current proposal has worked as opinion editor and journalist for major Estonian newspaper, has been involved with public relations activities for several nonprofits and is currently working as a press officer for second biggest city in Estonia.

As the actual change to be made in the copyright law is rather small, the emphasis of current project will be on public relations and increasing the awareness about the issues related to Freedom of Panorama in general public (which will build up pressure on political parties).

4) Would your community be involved in reviewing/providing feedback on any aspects?

Not so much on the strictly legal or technical matters, but Wikimedia Eesti will have control over the campaign and will be constantly consulted in preparation of the materials. Also, experienced Wikipedians/Wikimedians will be thoroughly involved in the process. Any feedback by the community would be appreciated, but most likely it will not be very extensive, as most of the issues would be legal or technical.

5) Would collaboration with GLAM partners possible on this matter?

We will cooperate with our partners as much as possible, especially in the effort to educate the public in the media. For example, we do have an extensive partnership with National Heritage Board of Estonia and hopefully our collaboration will be helpful in implementation of the proposed plan.

Comment 1: in terms of getting traction among parties/politicians—it's not really much of a vote-winner, is it ... I mean, FoP, who's heard of it among the voting public? Probably most politicians wouldn't be able to distinguish it from roast beef.

Absolutely true, and this hypothesis was just recently proven by our Minister of Culture (in a response to the inquiry made by a member of Wikimedia Eesti).

Comment 2: So how can you develop arguments that will appeal to politicians, that they themselves can effectively use to persuade their colleagues, and ultimately to persuade specialist sections of the voting public who might swing towards them (i.e. school teachers, artists, academics, broadcasters, museums, intellectual organisations). May I suggest that you emphasise the national cultural benefits—an argument that should be fleshed out with examples and expressable in easy bullet points.

Indeed, one of the main points will be the possibility to spread knowledge about Estonian national culture in foreign sources - currently, even photos of our National Opera building shouldn't be allowed on Commons. This would be relevant, as Wikipedia and Commons are becoming ever more influential in spreading information, including as sources of graphic material for the media. Another important point would be the release of significant amount of source material for the creative industry which has been a hot topic in Estonia for several years. Such a source material would boost the sector both culturally and economically. Rhetorically, we shall emphasize Estonia’s will to prove its image as a beacon of internet freedom. The anti-ACTA movement created some years ago a positive background in the public for the reception of such changes. Also, it is important to show that this change would harm no important economical players on the field (like the architects, sculptors, and authors' organizations, etc who will all be consulted during the preparation of the proposition)


We hope that You find these explanations useful and, as always, we will be available for any further questions or comments! Best regards, --Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE) (talk) 02:02, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

OK, if the change were approved, it would be good to stay in contact with WMF staff on both the legal framework and public relations. They might have suggestions. And we'd certainly want to use this as an example for other jurisdictions. Are you aware that the upcoming CEE conference (funded against my wishes) will be talking about FoP in their multitudinous jurisdictions? Is there an opportunity for sharing, both ways? Tony (talk) 13:25, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes and yes, of course. Our people will be present at Wikimedia CEE and it will be interesting to learn from those who have had success in fighting for the extension of FoP, while others should definitely have something to learn from our experience so far. - Daniel charms (talk)

Approval[edit]

Hi Daniel charms and Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE). Thank you for this change request. We are happy the board approved this proposal and will support the project. It's a solid plan with a reasonable budget. If successful, it would also be useful as a case study to present in other countries where Wikimedians are trying to bring about the same change. Thanks to you and Tony for engaging in a useful discussion. Please let us know how we can support you with making it a success. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 15:21, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi Daniel charms and Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE). Please note that these activities will require a separate grant report. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:25, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Request for an extension on Freedom of Panorama report[edit]

Dear representatives of Wikimedia Foundation,

Hereby Wikimedia Eesti requests an extension for the report on lobbying for Freedom of Panorama in Estonia, because:

  1. the project was restructured after not being able to accomplish Freedom of Panorama before elections
  2. there are lobbying activities planned for the autumn 2015
  3. it makes more sense to report on our activities in entirety

We hope to finish the activities by the end of November and therefore request a new deadline to be the 14th of December. We will be available for further comments, specifications or questions.

Best regards,--Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE) (talk) 17:09, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE). Thanks for this update. The extension is approved. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 19:00, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Freedom of Panorama report[edit]

Dear Alex Wang (WMF), thank you for checking in via email and reminding that the report on our activities related to lobbying for Freedom of Panorama is not linked to current talk page, as it should. This report can be found here, on meta reports page of Wikimedia Eesti. After receiving e-mail reminder we have also presented the only expenditure document, invoice from our contractor Blue Ant in the amount of €1,200.00 on the 19th of February 2016. We will be available for further comments and specifications. Best regards, --Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE) (talk) 22:32, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE). Thank you for linking to the report. It is approved. As expected, the process is longer and more complicated than expected but it sounds like WMEE has made good progress in identifying the stakeholders and understanding next steps. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:43, 23 February 2016 (UTC)