Grants talk:PEG/Wikimedia Slovakia/Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2013

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Evaluation by the GAC[edit]

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

GAC Members who approve this grant request[edit]

  1. MADe (talk) 09:01, 20 October 2013 (UTC) Well done grant request, very interesting that the WMF only needs to support about 40% of the grant amount.[reply]
  2. --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 15:58, 28 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. I'm happy to see an event with a significant amount of outside funding. That said, I still don't feel excellent in approving this, and share many of the concerns Asaf voiced in his email to WMCEE-l. Since there's been enough interest to secure outside funding, and it is true that some previous WM conferences have pulled together well in the last minute, I'm willing to approve this as a bit of a leap of faith. That said, I want to make it explicitly clear that I would not feel comfortable funding future grant requests for CEE meetings if they exhibit the same problems seen here. I would also feel at least somewhat reluctant to approve future requests that did not include at least some measurable metrics of success that involved the actual improvement of the Wikimedia projects, rather than number of participants, etc. Kevin (talk) 02:01, 29 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

GAC Members who oppose this grant request[edit]

GAC Members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

  1. I abstain from evaluating this grant request because of my involvement in creating the programme for the conference.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 01:08, 21 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. I abstain as well - as Wikimedia Polska is already engaged financialy in this meeting. Polimerek (talk) 10:27, 22 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. I abstain, too. Wikimedia Serbia supported this meeting with funds, cooperation and etc.--MikyM (talk) 13:42, 23 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Short Notice[edit]

I notice that the event itself is to be held in less than a month, yet the grant is only being lodged now. Is there a reason that this is being asked for at such short notice, and does Wikimedia Slovakia have sufficient cash reserves to cover the cost of the event if the grant is delayed or declined? Craig Franklin (talk) 12:45, 22 October 2013 (UTC).[reply]

I'd like to see an answer to this question, too. I don't oppose the idea of the meeting in theory, but this is an extremely late point at which to file a grant request, which gives me multiple worries about the project. Kevin (talk) 03:27, 23 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]
It was mentioned in CEE mailing list (or similar medium) that grant request will be accepted only in case of interest of potential participants. So I send calls to potential participants, was waiting for the interest and meanwhile was preparing another parts. But the interest was showed especially in person-to-person communication; it was my error to require big public interest. For some time we was considering not to open a WMF grant at all because of another sourced funds. Finally, it took some additional time to adjust the request for this purposes as I had to combine 4 sources of funding with different requirements (it was the first time for me to combine more grants).
About reserve: WMSK have managed to receive grant from International Vysegrad Fund and WMPL and WMRS proposed additional funding. So we already have money for basic conference, but can not accept as wide attendance as we would like (2 persons / country).
In addition. The grant request for the last year conference was opened one month before the conference with total requested sum 2.5 times higher. I don't want to apologise this late request by showing to another by to show that it can work. But, of course, I hope that this will not be a tradition. --KuboF (talk) 00:46, 24 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]


Hi, my comments and questions below are on the negative, critical side, but please take them in the way they're intended ... to maximise the likelihood of impact.

Costs. I note that WMF donors' funds of more than €5,000 are already being put to this event through three chapters, in addition to this claim for €6,540 and a request for the participation of a WMF employee (probably another €3,000 cash in airfares, accommodation, meals, and in-kind in work-productivity foregone). It's nearly €15,000. Given the estimated minimum of 40 attendees, that's €375 per person, not including their personal expenditure.

No program. Someone above mentions a "program". I can't see the program—at least a schedule of sessions, and I'd be much happier funding a conference in which I could see the themes being presented and discussed. On that count, last year's schedule looks a bit vague, I have to say. I looked at the etherpad for "Chapters professionalisation" (i.e. engaging full-time employees), and found not much, actually, that wasn't rambling and/or disconnected—and a few statements like "The board needs to have lots of discipline"; and "accounting in WMCZ is cover[ed] by [a] kind of barter". Despite the significance of the five questions in the schedule abstract (almost the same as at the Milan conference) it's unclear whether a formal presentation was given (probably just a loose discussion).

I tried another etherpad, for "Social media communication and public relations"—no report of the meeting. And another, for "GLAM in CEE region" (six participants), which contained such helpful advice as "have fun with teammates", "Send press release to local newspaper", and "Wikipedia T-shits" (sic)—yet we still have no written advice in any language on just how you write an effective press release, and I've never understood where the PR value of T-shits lies, let alone for how to take effective photographs (you could almost be sure they were talking about WLM at one stage).

Do these kinds of unstructured meetings achieve anything? When will we see even a draft schedule for the proposed 2013 version, and will there be a higher standard of reportage and a more effective structuring of discussion where there is no formal presentation? Should meetings be held without presentations? First day: I can't image much happened for the first hour, which was devoted successively to "Walk-in", "Opening", "Introduction of participants", and "Break". At the end of the day there was a "Summary of the day" and then "Wrap up".

Measures of success— at least 40 participants is measurable; the other two are woolly ... "developing of collaboration projects between (at least some) CEE countries" and "decent media coverage". If you've decided which outlets to approach (you probably should have already), could we know? Is there direct contact with journalists?

Line items. Translation: good, but please state which languages. Surely you've decided already? I suppose it will all be in English, orally. Internet €75 for wifi ... how reliable will it be? Previous WM conferences have been utterly plagued by poor connectivity.

Fit to strategy. I want to see the program schedule to see how the statement is supported by the plan and possible impact.

Benefits. "Primary it will help in organisational affairs. Secondary it hopefully help to Wiki projects and communities of all CEE countries." Memo to WMF grantmaking—separating this question from "fit to strategy" and others is forcing applicants to write meaningless text. I believe some rationalisation is in order!

I can't judge much without knowing the thematic details and who will present what. And may I suggest presentations and tightly structured discussions on specific projects to improve WMF sites? Let's start with where the weak points are in the WMF sites covered by the languages, and the possible strategies for linking local participation with these. And please specify the languages and get the planning on a better footing. Altogether, it's yet more of a practice of funding meetups rather than substantive projects that will benefit the sites. Tony (talk) 13:41, 22 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Tony1, I appreciate that your comments, although critical, are constructive.
Costs: Thanks for the calculation! Please consider that WM movement organisations cover only 10,390 € so cost for 1 person is 259 € from WM movement.
Measures of success: The part about developing project seems to me very clear - if we will develop some project based on collaboration of our '"countries" (understand "wiki projects", including wikimedia projects) we can say "done", otherwise "undone". Some such projects are already in discussion, in advance.
Line items: The language will be English and we will need translator for program book and communicating with public in some cases. It is partly in-kind work, partly covered by IVF. The wifi was upgraded on our request.
Fit to strategy: Program is on Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2013/Program. It will slightly change.
Benefits: Some rationalisation was did. --KuboF (talk) 00:38, 26 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Not funded[edit]

I'm afraid the Wikimedia Foundation will not fund this proposal. The main reason is insufficient community engagement, resulting in a weak program and an unclear raison d'être for the event given the weak engagement. Additional concerns are the intermittent available and highly constrained capacity of the organizing team, and communication difficulties around (earlier) offers to help.

My advice to the communities making up the CEE group is to devote some more time to discussing what the CEE identity might mean, what concrete goals are sought for CEE and how an in-person event can best be designed to achieve them. WMF does want to encourage regional events and regional cooperation, but we also want to ensure these international gatherings are effective and meet real needs.

To the point made earlier that last year's CEE grant was submitted on a similar timeline, I will conceded it is correct, but will point out that last year's organizing team was more consistently available, had a good track record of producing events and a strong community to rely on for volunteers, and also that it was the first time we were doing this, so some allowances could be made. For future CEE events, however, the bar is and will remain higher.

(I will also note that I have recently gone on record describing this policy at a comparable regional event, Iberoconf 2013, in Mexico City, where I explained what it would take to get WMF to fund the next Iberoconf. I will be publishing a version of that explanation soon, in an e-mail with the putative title "How to get me to fund your international gathering".) Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 22:29, 29 October 2013 (UTC)[reply]