Grants talk:PEG/WM UA/CEE Meeting 2014/Report

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Thank you for this detailed and thorough report! It's obvious that the meeting was a success in many different regards. We appreciate all the efforts WMUA put into organizing a well-planned meeting, especially considering the short timeframe. We're especially excited about the diverse representation from CEE countries. Many thanks also to Wikimedia Polska for their support with all the travel logistics.

Please see our comments/questions below. We look forward to your responses.

  1. Thank you for a such a comprehensive outcomes section.
  2. It's great that you asked each participant to make a commitment about something they want to do after the event and list actions they are motivated to do. It would be great in future conference reports, to have a wiki page where folks can update their progress towards those commitments/activities and share experiences relevant to the discussions that happened at the conference.
  3. Two of the challenges listed included 1) poorly organized sessions without concrete outcomes and 2) under-preparedness or disinterest by session participants. Besides supporting better preparation of session facilitators, what could future conference organizers do to address these issues? What do you think are the best ways to engage participants in the program before the event?
  4. The underspend has been deducted from your 2015 programs grant.

Thanks again for all your work on the conference and this report! It sounds like this years conference really solidified the working and personal relationships between many CEE affiliates and individuals.

Hi Alex and thank you for your feedback
  1. We hope that these results will make future editions successful
  2. I think we can ask people in Estonia about this. We should have quite many people who attended CEE Meeting 2014 in Ukraine and who will attend one in Estonia, so it might be a good occasion to revisit these commitments. @Asaf (WMF): do you have a list of these commitments or do you remember them? :)
  3. We have already discussed these issues with CEEM 2015 team (in particular with @Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE):) and we decided to make improvement on the following two points: 1) clearly define what we want to learn from each session (e.g. "you will learn how to organise a WikiCamp" or "we will find out the best approaches for collaboration with GLAM institutions"), 2) provide expected level of preparation (e.g. "please read this page on Outreach wiki before this session" or "this session is for those already involved in Education Programme")
Thank you for the support of this meeting and of our grant request and we are looking forward to further development of collaboration in the region — NickK (talk) 20:16, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Some comments from Wikimedia Eesti[edit]

Dear Alex Wang, thank you for the questions related to Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2014 in Ukraine. They are also most useful for the organising team of Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2015 in Estonia.

As to commitments made during the last session of the Kyiv meeting on the 21st of December 2014 "The Future of CEE", there are not too many, but those that were made, are protocolled in the session minutes. We are generally observing the progress and also had a check-in during the meetup on Wikimedia Conference in Berlin on the 15th of May. Nevertheless, I agree that a more systematical and transparent progress reporting would be useful and the solution provided by you seems to be reasonable - we will take that into account when preparing post-conference activities of Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2015.

Thank you for the questions related to conference challenges. We find that a good answer to these questions is a key to make the 2015 meeting even more impactful and we are already working on some solutions. In short these can be answered by better and more inclusive preparation for the next meeting. Here are some actions taken to manage proposed risks (challenges):

  1. Wikimedia Eesti started planning of the meeting in the beginning of 2015, i.e. 9 months before the actual meeting. As a result we have managed to think through several aspects of the meeting.
  2. Wikimedia Eesti prepared a short overview of our vision of the meeting for group discussion on Wikimedia Conference in Berlin. As a result a special late night session was held, which resulted in thorough revision of prior plans. Nevertheless, the organising team in Wikimedia Eesti was really happy to revise its plans, as we are now on the path to make the whole meeting and its particular sessions more relevant to the community.
  3. In addition, Wikimedia Ukraine is really supportive in preparations of the meeting in Estonia, sharing some of their experiences and helping out with different tasks. For example User:Antanana has created a "Questions&Needs Survey" for regional partners to fill in and to share their ideas related to the meeting. All propositions will be taken into account during the organising process of 2015 meeting.
  4. As Mykola has already mentioned (and thank you for pinging!), we can provide suggestions about prior needed and/or relevant knowledge/literature on each and every session page. We can also highlight threshold competencies for sessions to make them most effective for participants. We have also discussed the possibility of making separate sessions for beginners and advanced sessions, especially for tools.

As a result I think that we are moving towards making the meeting highly relevant for participants and will be able to provide some guidelines which will help for participants to take the most out of the meeting. Forementioned list of actions taken in preparatory phase of 2015 meeting is also available on relevant meta page, which will be updated as conference approaches.

I thank you for your kind attention and will be available for further questions, comments or specifications! Kind regards, --Kaarel Vaidla (WM EE) (talk) 21:20, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks NickK and Kaarel for your thoughtful responses. It's great to hear you're working so closely with WMUA to understand their learnings from last year and planning so far in advance. I see from the CEE list that Antanana has been very active in getting input to the survey. Having the sessions plans up in advance and proactively requesting participants to prepare beforehand will go a long way in making the conference as engaging and effective as possible. The idea to divide some sessions by experience level is also very useful. Looking forward to how plans for this year's CEE develop. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:25, 29 May 2015 (UTC)