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Grants talk:PEG/WM ZA/Administrator bridging funding

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Latest comment: 9 years ago by Humetheresa in topic Change to end date of Grant

Evaluation by the GAC[edit]

GAC members who support this request[edit]

  1. Support, I have no other issues with the request. Alleycat80 (talk) 11:43, 18 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

GAC members who oppose this request[edit]

GAC members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

GAC comments[edit]

Alleycat80's comments[edit]

Hey WMZA, thank you for submitting the proposal. I remember your former proposals, and I'm very glad you had a good hire and that your administrator has done a tremendous job. I vote "yes" on providing you with bridging funding as requested. However, there are two expenses in your budget I perceive as problematic - and that is the two consultant salaries/compensation for Douglas and Dumisani. This is, of course, not personal. I think in the last grant proposal, you mentioned it was going to be a temporary arrangement, until your administrator has entered into her role comfortably. So, I ask you - do you agree with me that now it is up to her to manage, and you can get back to volunteering? I think board members getting payed, albeit as consultants, is something that can only be justified in rare cases. I don't see that your case fits this condition anymore, and I urge user:AWang (WMF) to consider this in approving your grant. To me, all the truly excellent achievements by your administrator are proof that she can handle herself.

This is my only main point; other than that - I think the submission is fine and wish you success with the FDC process. I think it is good that you try and diversify your sources, and try and renew the commitment from OSF. Keep up the good work! Alleycat80 (talk) 18:24, 13 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thank you Alleycat80 for raising this important issue. It is not appropriate for WMZA board members to be on retainer as consultants, as this constitutes a conflict of interest. If their time is required to deliver on the proposed project activities, they either need to resign from the board or the project plan should be adjusted. We are ok with paying board member's time for a couple days as project manager for a specific project (like Joburgpedia), but not for longer-term engagements, especially now that you have greater staff capacity. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:47, 14 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Alleycat80, thank you for pointing this out and apologies for its inclusion. Upon reflection it should have never made it in there. I can only put it down in intellectual laziness on my part for simply carrying this over from the original grant without interrogating why it should still be in there. I will see to it that the figures for the consultants is removed.--Discott (talk) 12:12, 15 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
cheers, Discott. Alleycat80 (talk) 12:29, 15 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Kiril Simeonovski[edit]

Thanks for the submission. I'd like to support this grant since improving administration is one of the key features of a healthy and efficient organisation. However, there are some things that need to be clarified:

  • Can you detail whether the personal income tax and social contributions are included in the amount requested? How much is the total burden for the employee and what is the total amount of the net salary?
Hi Kiril, thanks for the questions. In South Africa personal income tax is typically included into a person's salary. So the R20,000 per month will include a yearly income tax of "R 28,800 + 25% of the amount above R160 000". Since Theresa is not earning a full year's salary in this grant request the amount will be adjusted by the tax man. But assuming it was R20,000 for 12 months (=R240,000) that means that here tax oblications at the end of the year should be (R28,000 + R20,000= R48,000). This means that her net salary would be R192,000 per year or R16,000 (around $1,600) per month. If you feel she should be paid more I am happy to amend the budget accordingly? But it is worth pointing out it will push her into a higher tax bracket (however she would still be earning a higher net after tax income). As for payroll, we found out in the course of setting this whole thing up last year that it is not typically included in an employee's salary which is why it has its own line item.--Discott (talk) 12:51, 15 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Which city will the administrator be based in? Are you going to provide office space? I presume that the administrator would have to travel frequently in order to extend greater support to local communities, but most of the activities on the regular basis would have to be provided from one of the major cities.
The administrator is based in Cape Town, we have organised an office share one day a week which allows her a working space to meet with me so she can update me on what she has achieved for the past week and what will be done in the coming week as well as to coordinate strategy and projects. It also gives us a space to meet people in whilst keeping overheads low. We are located very close to the South African parliament (literally around the corner) so I feel it is safe to say that it is centrally located.--Discott (talk) 12:51, 15 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Can you redefine your measures of success to include numerical thresholds that should be achieved. I also see some measures that are hard to quantify and would be more properly included as goals rather than measures of success (e.g. compliance with the ligslative requirements or successful implemenation of proposed projects in 2015).
This I will look into but it might be hard to achieve given the sometimes nebulous nature of many of these tasks. We do currently use, as a metric of success, both the size and number of projects as one such metric of success for us as a chapter. We could also use the value of donations from partners and the public as another such numerical metric? As a person who collects and analysis data (on crime) as part of my profession I feel I can appreciate the value of numerical data in telling us what is going on, giving us perspective on the level of our achievements and allow us to analysis so as to improve our performance. However I do feel this is something we need to think deeply about it. I also feel that now is a good time to do that and would greatly value any advice on such numerical metrics we should consider looking at/gathering.--Discott (talk) 12:51, 15 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • What is your strategy to keep volunteerism on a high level after hiring the administrator? A common problem that might occur is that some volunteers may get disappointed if someone earns money for doing similar activities within the chapter.

Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 08:04, 14 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Keeping as well as promoting volunteerism within the local Wiki community is very important to us. At our AGM we identified a number of strategies to promote volunteerism ranging from a more active presence in the South African portal page on en.wikipedia and Afrikaans Wikipedia actively informing people of our presence and how they can get more involved (this also includes watchlist banners) to encouraging and supporting local Wikipedians to run their own projects. We have also found that hosting events such as meetups, edit-a-thons and Wikitakes events also tend to encourage participation. We are also looking forward to a stronger presence amongst Afrikaans editors. It is worth mentioning that prior to being hired Theresa was not a volunteer or contributor to the Wikis. However since then she has become quickly antiquated with editing and both the local as well as the international Wiki community. This is partly why I feel this problem might not occur.--Discott (talk) 12:51, 15 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for clarifying those things.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 00:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Community comments[edit]

WMF comments[edit]

Thank you for this grant request, your clear explanations of the context and background of the grant, and your engagement with the GAC. We appreciate Kiril's question above regarding maintaining and increasing volunteer engagement. As we've talked about, the main role of staff is to support volunteer activity and volunteer organizers. It's great that volunteer engagement was a key topic of your recent AGM and we look forward to continuing discussing strategies for recruiting more volunteers. A key measure of Theresa's success should be around volunteer recruitment/engagement. Additionally, what is Theresa's role in follow-up to the Wiki Indaba? Under Activities, it says "to promote local and other African Wikimedia communities." Can you please specify what her role/responsibility is in this capacity? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:29, 19 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Alex, Sorry I did not get round to answering this question sooner. I only just saw it now. I am afraid I am not the best person to ask about WikiIndaba as that is being handled by Dumi who is the project lead on WikiIndaba. I am sorry to pass the buck here but I am really not qualified to answer that question. However I am sure Theresa will be able to fill you in on her activities so far for WikiIndaba. On a non-WikiIndaba related note I can say that significant part of Theresa's activities involve volunteer recruitment/engagement. She spends a significant amount of time engaging existing editors on the South Africa portal and project pages on English Wikipedia and talks directly with members of Afrikaans Wikipedia. Her activities also free me up to run Wikimeet-ups which I try to host every 3 months although I am currently considering hosting one every 2 months next year. This is community out reach at its most basic yet most important and, I feel, most direct. We are open to other ideas on expanding engagement with the existing Wiki community in South Africa.--Discott (talk) 21:27, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, Discott. I am pinging Dumi and Theresa to see if they can provide the info. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:03, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

I will attempt to answer this question from my side and will remind Dumi as well.

Some of the issues highlighted at both Wiki Indaba and the African Meetup and Wikimania are issues that we want to focus on in the year ahead.

  • A shared space for editing
  • Supporting outreach actions of non-authorised entities
  • Promoted visibility of Wikipedia locally
  • The creation of customised, locally relevant homepages
  • Map the continent to show information on who to contact for what. This includes mapping external projects to assist in driving engagement across Africa
  • Support for projects

Initially we divided Africa into four regions for follow up and support. Unfortunately with Isla resigning from the board, we will have to re-allocate countries. Our follow up strategy includes the following :

  1. Following up on individual or group activities
  2. African newsletter to showcase success stories
  3. Thinking about what is important in being evaluated as a Wikipedian
  4. Establishing abilities and challenges going forward and provide support to do so
  5. Finding an administrator for the African pages
  6. Create an African Wikipedian page on Facebook and nominate a contact person in each country. This will be a social platform for all to keep up to date with activities
  7. Strengthen relationships
  8. Establish a collective force to request support from the Foundation - Global South Movement
  9. Follow up on personal pledges made at Wiki Indaba

Our initial goal was to contact these groups every two weeks. We will however need to rethink our strategy with Isla resigning from the board.

Many thanks --Humetheresa (talk) 08:02, 24 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Bank charges[edit]

It has come to my attention that we are being charged a lot in bank transfer costs. Theresa has been looking into this and we are currently exploring ways to reduce these charges but it looks unlikely given the consistently high cost of banking charges in South Africa.[1] As such I would like to know if we could amend our grant application to include a small line item for bank charges totalling R4,500 (around $460)?--Discott (talk) 10:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Discott. Yes, you can add a line item for bank charges if you think that the budget for contingencies will not cover this. Are these charges from receiving WMF funds or transfers as reimbursements? Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:21, 19 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
I have added a line item for Banking Charges. Just to confirm, we are charged a monthly service fee for having an account, a fee for each and every transaction - whether it is income or expenditure, and then a fee for sending a proof of payment to a beneficiary. --Humetheresa (talk) 10:06, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
  1. "Call for transparency on South Africa's transaction fees". Mail & Guardian. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 

Period of Grant Agreement[edit]

Alex Wang (WMF) I have reduced the number of months from 9 to 8 to coincide with the FDC Funding period as per your e-mail. Many thanks --Humetheresa (talk) 10:22, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Change to end date of Grant[edit]

In light of WMZA's LOI submission for an Annual Plan Grant which, if approved, will begin 1 July 2015, we would like to request that the end date of this grant be moved back to 30 June 2015. This will then change the budget to 7 months.

Many thanks--Humetheresa (talk) 06:58, 5 February 2015 (UTC)Reply