Grants talk:PEG/Wikimedia TN User Group/Wiki-Arabia-2015

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Evaluation by the GAC[edit]

GAC members who support this request[edit]

  1. I consider the north african area and the Middle east like an important community to get involved in Wikimedia movement. The budget needs some small improvement (the main ones have been done) I support it in their principle. --Ilario (talk) 09:24, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  2. Support, like Illario --Packa (talk) 18:24, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
  3. Support MADe (talk) 10:44, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  4. Support per Ilario. The region is very important for our movement and all mission-aligned projects and activities carried out there are welcome.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 09:36, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  5. Anything that can kickstart more collaboration in this vitally important community is welcome. Craig Franklin (talk) 08:58, 17 January 2015 (UTC).

GAC members who oppose this request[edit]

GAC members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

GAC comments[edit]

Comments MADe[edit]

Support. As member of the Cape Town bid for Wikimania, I got the know the Monastir bid for Wikimania as very well organised. I met the responsibles during the Wikimania event itself. In the coming days I will check the proposal into detail (it is a considerable amount) MADe (talk) 21:19, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

There are two very similar grant requests at the same time. It allowed me to compare the two. The conference is planned in March, this gives the group some time to expand the grant request. I would advise to make the goal of the meeting more clear. It is now a bit divided over 'encourage participation', 'Wiki Loves actions', 'share experiences with other chapters'... Check the WM UA proposal. Try to define the measures of success better (use SMART_criteria). Does Arabic have dialects or language versions with a different Wikipedia (eg. Egyptian)? If so, are they welcome on the event?
  • Conference program: not yet well defined, again too wide (keynotes and user groups and educational programs and problem solving sessions and panels and workshops and GLAM and ...)
  • Planned outreach: any partnerships yet? I'm sure organisations like JCI, Clibre will be happy to assist
  • Budget: difficult too follow as you did not add comments. Please check the Ukraïne proposal.
    • 1.4, 1.5: seems high. 800$ for t-shirts?
    • 2.1.x and 2.2.x (venue and catering): fully paid by the WMF. Would it be possible to get support by a local organisation (museum, governmental organisation) to avoid this cost?
  • 50% of the budget goes to plane tickets. The WMF pays the full cost.
  • Partners: 'have expressed interest'... Any updates?
  • Fit to strategy: try to focus! Seems a bit too much here
  • endorsements: no endorsements yet MADe (talk) 19:58, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Packa[edit]

I support it, too, with few comments (later this week). --Packa (talk) 19:16, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

  • What will you do with equipment after this meeting (printer, flip chart)? --Packa (talk) 22:23, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Ilario[edit]

I have seen that the cost of the ticket flights are really huge because calculated on the average. You know the list if participants, please look what WM AR did with Iberoconf (example here) in order to have a detailed plan of costs. Honestly I would say that for a meeting where all countries are in closest area, the bugdet is high. --Ilario (talk) 20:12, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

@ MADe

  • Concerning the dialects question, WikiArabia will focus on projects with standard Arabic language only. However, we may analyse the impact and evolution of dialects.
  • conference program: we are peparing session themes here, we will add it to the grant page once finalised.
  • cost for t-shirts are reduced to $ 555
  • we have convinced the Hotel to get the conference room for free, we will check for museumes
  • comments added to budget
  • Fit to strategy: edited

@ Ilario

  • We made a research on flight tickets and added the table to the grant page as you recommended, and we found that our estimation for one ticket $ 555 is considered reasonable. We can reduce it, but then we may be more selective in choosing the paticipents.

--Vivaystn (talk) 23:20, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

@ Packa

  • What will you do with equipment after this meeting (printer, flip chart)? We will borrow them to C-Libre (Not Profit Open Source Organisation) and used by them and by Wikimedia TN User Group in case they needed in the workshops. When we will create a chapter we will get them back to our local.--Vivaystn (talk) 23:31, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
If I understand your answer, I support this solution. --Packa (talk) 18:21, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Community comments[edit]

  • As a member of the organising team of a similar event for the CEE region I support your proposal. I appreciate your efforts to launch cooperation in North Africa and Middle East and it would be great if you manage to have a regional annual plan for engagement with larger populations, and some of your innovative projects (such as Wikinews Workshop or Wiki Loves Mosques) sound great.
  • However, I was surpised by extremely high catering bill. Catering alone makes 24% of your budget and costs 20500 TND = 11388.88 USD, or 410 TND = 227.78 USD per person. Those costs for just three days seem extraordinarily high (even for Europe where prices are high) and seem to be at least twice as high as average prices in Monastir. Actually I did not manage to find any restaurant in Monastir serving lunches for 50 TND: average meal for two is estimated between 20 and 30 TND, gourmet website cites restaurants from 10 to 30 TND per meal per person, and Le Pirate, rated as the best restaurant in the town by Tripadvisor, has a menu for 35 TND per person or 50 TND for two. In addition, ordering for 50 people in advance can make prices even more affordable. Thus please provide exact quotes for meals at 50 TND per person. If your supplier really charges you 50 TND per person, probably you can try to negotiate with another restaurant or catering company to get a more reasonable price, which will considerably reduce your expences. Good luck for the event — NickK (talk) 18:06, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

@ Nickk

We checked with the hotel and the restaurant and we updated:

  • the accommodation price to 65 instead of 55 in order to include the lunch which has been removed from the Catering table ,
  • and the dinner price dropped to 40 instead of 50 (please note that this price is for a full menu : starter, main dish, desert and soft drink)

By doing these changes the budget dropped by 5000 $ --Yamen (talk) 23:39, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Yamen, this seems to be a good solution — NickK (talk) 01:32, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Tony1 comments and questions[edit]

Hi, it's just great to see some proposed activity in the huge and important Arabic-speaking world. This is a priority for the WM movement. This is the wrong way around: a big, expensive conference should come after contacts and planning and networking, not before it. It's extremely ambitious and too vague. Who is doing what in the team of seven? Partners have "expressed interest"—how likely ...? Money? In-kind help?

We agree with you that the conference should come after contacts, planning and networking and this is exactly what we did. We were planning to organise this conference since 2012 and we discussed it whenever we met with other wikipedians from the region. The most recent event was the meeting of the arab wikip(m)edians in Wikimania London 2014. During this meeting we discussed more in details the organisation of the conference and we think that the idea is mature enough to make it come true, especially after the creation of the first three user groups in the region (Tunisan, Egyptian and Algerian user groups).

Each member of the team has a specific list of tasks to do. For instance Yassin is the primary contact and is in charge to liaise with the Wikimedia foundation, Mounir is in charge of the preparation of the budget, Habib is in charge of the conference website ...

Regarding the partners, we confirm that received positive feedback from several public institutions (e.g. museums, universities...) to help us to organise this conference and to support us (not necessary by funding us (money) but by giving us access to conference centers, museums and facilitating administrative paperwork.

People's tasks should have been stated in the proposal. Which museums and universities? Do you have agreement for in-kind support in writing from anyone? Tony (talk) 09:55, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

It's a big budget, you want to start spending soon (5 January), and I have serious issues about the lack of specific groundwork among your participants at this stage. As Asaf Bartov has said publicly, conferences should be the culmination of discussions, not the start of them—and this looks too much like a series of brainstorming sessions for an average cost of nearly a thousand dollars per participant. Really??? I don't think the donors will get their $42,000 worth from that.

Above all, without preliminary contact among intending participants to determine at least working agendas for the sessions, this is likely to achieve nothing but holiday-time. Conferences should be reasonably hard work for all.

My recommendations, on a quick look through, are pretty negative. Convince me ... ->

  1. I want a reasonable idea of who will be coming (not precisely the names, but the skillbases, the countries, the editorial and WM backgrounds). Not happy about nearly a thousand dollars each for ring-in newbies who've not already demonstrated that they can and are likely to be at least medium-term volunteers. What kind of people, from where, and how many??? It's just too vague. A preliminary list of participants is available on the conference website: http://arabia.wikimedia.tn/index.php?title=Main_Page/Participants and we are liaising with Alex( who will contact the most active Wikipedia in the region) in order to finalise this list. We don't think that "newbies" is the correct adjective to describe these participants who are a long term active users and most of them are administrators. We are expecting to have 35 non Tunisian participants and 20 Tunisian participants.
  2. The budget needs to be scrutinised with a view to trimming it back—possibly by up to a third. the budget has been drafted and calculated in order to organise a successful event. Around 70% of the budget is dedicated to the travel scholarships which means reducing it implies to reduce the number of participants and that will have a negative impact on the conference. We have to take into consideration that this event targets the 290 Million Arab speaking people and then it needs to have a respectable number of participants to reach the maximum of people (directly through active community or indirectly through the invited Arabe media).
That might make sense if we could see that the participants being funded to attend have a reasonable likelihood of networking and supporting their own communities. I don't see that. And I do think information on where and in what numbers these communities exist would strengthen your case and your planning. For example, you have Somalia in your list (with a question mark over transport cost). How many people are in the Somalia Wikimedian community? How many in the Mauritania community? I don't see your case that reducing the number of participants will "have a negative impact on the conference". Tony (talk) 09:55, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  1. Schedule. Nice work so far, but it's not yet convincing. This is the hardest part of preparing a conference. Let's take a look at a few examples:

    "Presentations from current user groups". Well, how many—could you name them? Official Arabic Wikimedia User Groups are 3: Wikimedia TN User Group (Tunisia), Egypt Wikimedians User Group and Algeria Wikimedia User Group, and we hope that the conference will be the trigger to create new user groups in other countries

    "Funding and administration of an organisation"—is there a set of problems yet? If not, I'm not funding this; if so, what are they? Same for project proposals: any preliminary information on who is likely to cook up a proposal, and what themes are important to this enormous language community? What are the challenges? Some emailing among key people is required. Have you identified them, presumably in a number of countries? And the next step is to formulate specific talking points, and to prepare a written (presumably on-wiki) challenges-and-solutions page for intending participants.this is related to the three mentioned user groups and problems encountered in the funding of their activities and the administration of the group. The conference will be a good opportunity to discuss these existing issues, and try to share best practices. The proposals have been proposed by the Arab community; the organizing team will filter them based on the importance to the evolution of the community and the Arabe wikimedia projects. Please note that We have reached more than 500 active Arab wikipedian and got so fare 36 propositions for interventions. Please check the program page at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiArabia/Agenda_WikiArabia_2015

    What I find troubling is the lack of themes directly related to impact on WMF Arab-language sites.We agree with you that the Arab contributors are mainly active on the Arabic Wikipedia. This could be explained by the huge needs of the Arabic Wikipedia which keep Arab contributors to focus more on it at the expense of WMF Arabe-language sites. We believe that the conference will be a good opportunity and the place to be to discuss how to activate and promote these projects especially at the level of user groups.

    "Communication & PR"—I can't imagine why this requires talk at the conferences, rather than networking before the conference. Aren't there more important things to discuss, like ... the Arabic WP?Maybe this looks weird for you, but believe us there is a lot of communication work to be done in order to explain what's Wikipedia, what does it mean a user generated content, what's plagiarism and intellectual property. The culture in the Arab region is not the same as western countries and communication & PR are crucial for the development of the arabic WP (quality and quantity).

    "Toolkits, Training and Translation / Adaptation"—could you explain these four items? Toolkits: set of tools useful for user groups to manage their activities, community and communication. / Training: train user groups how to use the toolkits / Translation/Adaptation : possibility to translate some official booklets or other chapters's documents to be used by local user groups.

Again, what is a "toolkit"? Tony (talk) 09:55, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  1. Expected result. "Chapters, established and new, fully equipped and resourced to grow community; creation of Arab-wide network."—Chapters take some years to achieve, and look as though they're a singularly inefficient way to make progress on the WMF's Arabic sites (like the Indian and Bangla chapters that won't work together on improving the Bangla/Bengali WP, and the multiplicity of German-language chapters that partly duplicate each other's functions). What is wrong with user groups? And why the focus on building up and funding affiliates, rather than improving the WMF's sites? What areas of the Arabic WP most desperately need article improvement and creation? How to increase the editing communities? What technical requirements specific to the Arabic language might you eventually ask the WMF to create/improve (I can think of one or two already ...)—I see "tech" as just one bullet in "problem-solving" ... I'm worried there's no detail. This needs to be workshopped by email/skype before the conference. The "Pre-conference" bullets are just notes I could have typed in myself, in three minutes. And they're rather late in timing (but wait, is "pre-conference" meant to be a separate bullet? I'm confused).We totally agree with you that it takes some years for a chapter to achieve and it's not a guarantee to make a progress on the WMF sites and that's why Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria opted for user groups. Nevertheless, user groups are not enough once you have an active community as these groups (in most of the Arabic countries if not in all) they don't exist legally and we need to make a partnership with a local NGOs in order to be able to organise activities and manage the administrative paperwork. The conference will be a good opportunity to discuss this subject and make it clear whether we need more groups or a chapters
  2. Education—which institutions will you target or focus on? Seems rather ambitious at this initial stage. Do you have the right people attending in this respect? Who will take responbility for taking up the outcomes/decisions/planning from the conference, in each case? Education will be one of the most important topic to be discussed during the conference with the participation of Wikipedians from Egypt, Algeria and Jordan. We hope also that Tighe from the Wikimedia Foundation will be present during the conference. Professors and presidents of Tunisian universities will be invited (we already received a positive feedback from them) to discover the education program and have an idea on the Egyptian and Jordanian experience. We think that by having these people present we will have the right people in order to start an education program in Tunisia and inspire other participants (from countries where there is no education program yet) to do the same. The Tunisian User group (which counts two professors as members) will be in charge to take up the outcomes and decisions and will manage the education program in Tunisia.
  3. Problem-solving sessions. Way too vague. Which local language wikis, for example? In fact the are many: one is official (Egyptian) and some are in the incubator (Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, etc.). In this session, in addition to local language wikis, we will solve problems of translation. We could find some interventions proposed by the community in the above Agenda page, and this approves the need for this session.
  4. Who is researching Arab-community behaiviours?There are some very active Arab contributors who, based on their experience, understand some behaviors and synthesize them. They proposed to present what they found during the conference. We will also send an invitation to Dr. Mark Graham http://geography.oii.ox.ac.uk/?page=home, director of a research unit in Oxford University who made a research about Wikipedia in MENA region, to present his work.
  5. Fit to strategy. All points impossibly vague. They mean nothing to me—just ticking the right boxes, all very nice to say, but very difficult to achieve, and impossible as benchmarks for your report.We think that we put down what we intend to achieve and the Arab community will define during the conference measurable actions which fit to the mentioned strategy. We agree that it's not an easy task and this is a good reason for the conference to exist. If our targets and objectives are easy to achieve then there is no need for the conference at all.
  6. Approval should be postponed until there is more certainty about who, what you'll be discussing, what the outcomes are likely to be, and a plan explained of how preliminary discussions by email or otherwise will be conducted before the conference. If this was for $4,000, I'd be less concerned; but it's for ten times that. I have a lot more questions, too, including budget lines.Regarding this, please check the program page https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiArabia/Agenda_WikiArabia_2015. We think that we have included enough details in the grant request, and we are more than happy to respond to any further inquiry.
Fit to strategy—It begins with: "Increase participation and reach". Do you mean participation and reach of the relevant WMF sites? If so, how? And there's no mention of the gender diversity crisis. Tony (talk) 09:55, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Sorry to be so critical. Looking forward to your responses. Perhaps with Alex's help you can get this looking more organised. Tony (talk) 13:30, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

@Tony : Dear Tony, we wish you a happy new year and please accept our apologies for our late replay. Please find above our answer.--Yamen (talk) 00:43, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

WMF comments[edit]

Thank you for this grant request and your efforts to connect the Arabic Wikimedia community. This would be the first community organized, international gathering of Arabic Wikimedians and we are excited to support important in-person collaboration. We appreciate that you have worked to facilitate community input on the conference and program through the survey and encouraging community members to submit their presentation ideas. You've done a great job on the grant request listing the proposed workshops, aims, and expected outcomes, but we would still like to see a more developed program in coordination with the community. We suggest that you review the proposed workshops, see how they map to the survey and presentation feedback, and then begin providing more details on the conference program page. This way, you will have a better understanding of the specific questions people hope to resolve and can begin asking people to add proposals for action. We want to ensure you are getting enough community feedback on the program beforehand (and discussions are happening in preparation for the conference), so that sessions result in solid next steps, plans for organization/collaboration, strategies, and people appointed to follow-up. As we discussed earlier, the goal for each session would be to prepare the following:

  1. Specific topic/question that is reasonable to cover in the allotted time.
  2. Specific outcome in terms of what attendees of the session do at, or gain from, the session (e.g. brainstorm solutions to a problem; learn a skill; share best practices).
  3. A clear format -- is it a lecture? a group discussion? a training workshop?
  4. Clear roles, i.e. who is/are the speaker[s]? Who runs or moderates the discussion, if any?
  5. A clear audience, e.g. "this session would be useful to people who already have some experience running an education program", "this session will teach you the basics of using CentralNotice and GeoNotice", "this session is for people who don't know anything about GLAM", etc.
  6. Clear mention of any preparatory work attendees should do before the event, to maximize the utility of the rare (and expensive) face-to-face opportunity a Wiki Arabia conference would provide, e.g. "please be sure to have read the introductory material at [LINK]" or "Please think about your own group's experience and come prepared to share two successes and one mistake"

Here are a couple of specific comments on the current draft program:

  1. Challenges/Success in North Africa and Challenges/Success in Middle East can be covered in pre-conference information sharing on the conference page. Each country can list their main challenges and successes, which people can review beforehand.
  2. Will you have multiple sessions being offered at the same time? If not, there is only 1.5hrs alloted to cover the Wikipedia Education Program, GLAM, and the Wikipedia Library. Each of these topics could easily use the entire time slot. It would be good to lengthen the conference days and/or prioritize the issues that participants are most interested in.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the above and how we can support you. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 00:48, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

@Alex Wang (WMF) Thank you for the precious advices. I understand that more the program is focused more we get better output and then a sucessful conference. We have sent to 500 active Arabe wikipedians inviting them to put an intervention if they have any. Besides, we have emphasized that any intervention must contain the information you have already mentioned (format, role, audiance, etc.). So far we have many interventions that contain specific pages. Before and during the conference we will encourage participants to share their slides in these pages so that every Arabe wikimedian can consult the details of what is discussed in the conference.

Regarding the question of who moderates the discussion, Emna Mizouni a memeber of the organizing team will do this. She have already performed similar tasks whithin her activities in different NGOs.

The actual program is based on community notes and inteventions. We have made some changes to make it more clearer. For the challenges and success, we have stressed that these sessions will present the activities of the communities which reveal in certain ways some ideas and best practices for the whole community in addition to their role in knowing the status of wikimedia and the amount of activities of each community. It is very important to know where we are now to plan for the future.

You are right regarding the multiple session remark. We discussed the topic internally and with the Egyptian community as well and we have decided to focus more on the educational program. We studied the possibility to postpone the conference by one week in order to permit the presence of local universities. We may have some good news in this sense ! Currently we don't receive any proposition of intervention talking about GLAM and Wikipedia Library, so they were removed from the program and in case there will be any topic related to them, the session "Arabic Wikimedia projects & open projects related to them" will be very suitable. At the end, we have to mention that lengthen the conference will automatically increase the budget, which is not very advantageous for our grant request. However, we are thinking of maintaining one or two active members of the educational program to do some workshops in the Tunisian universities after the conference. --Vivaystn (talk) 00:35, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Additional comments[edit]

Thank you for your responses and efforts to develop the program. We are excited to support this conference and see that there are still a few main areas that need improvement/focus.

Participants[edit]

In regards to participants, we did some analysis on the top 10 active contributors to Arabic Wikipedia from each of the Arabic-speaking countries. Our data request pulled up people from the top of the list by edit count, simply as a means to make sure we're getting highly-active people from each country, but also to balance the fact that many of the volunteers most active off-wiki are not so active on-wiki.  Seeing as we know the most effective programmatic work happens when there's a strong partnership between off-wiki work and on-wiki work, our "top editors" data set is useful in ensuring that the (mostly) off-wiki group in each country is 1. aware of, and 2. on good terms with, the most active on-wiki contributors in the country. The data returned 155 editors. Based on those 155 editor’s editing contributions, we identified 46 to contact to let them know about WikiArabia and invite them to share their ideas on the conference program page. Of the 46, we only found 9 that had not already been contacted by the WikiArabia organizing team on their user pages. Great job!

We would like a commitment from the organizing team to continue to work together to ensure that participants and scholarship recipients are active contributors, on and/or off-wiki, and have a high potential for both contributing to the event and sharing their knowledge more broadly after the event. An outline of the scholarship criteria should be included in the grant request and on the event page.

We are truly committed to make sure that scholarships are recieved by active contibutors based on a pre defined scholarship criteria visible on our website. The organizing team will assess each participant and a global note will be given and taken into account in the scholarship decision. Please check them out here

Thanks so much for your committment. We'll be sure to work together on the scholarship recipients. An additional important criteria is the applicant's potential for sharing information/knowledge gained after the conference (on-wiki or off). This type of criteria is the same as the "enrichment" criteria for Wikimania scholarship recipients (for your reference). Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 02:47, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Program[edit]

It’s great to see so many submissions on the program page! Next, we hope the team will categorize/improve the submission table so we can quickly see major tracks, how it aligns with the survey results, and if there are gaps in the program based on the stated goals. For the submissions that align well, the team will need to make sure that each session has clear goals, expected outcomes/action points by the community, and are actively planning before the event. It’s ok for some sessions to be essentially reports offering experience sharing, but it should not be the overwhelming majority. An example of a solid (although not perfect) conference program, is from the recent CEE meeting: CEE meeting program.

We are also convinced that experience sharing should not take the major part of the conference. Actually we have received a variety of topics that covers the topics already mentioned in the survey. This is also expected since many of those who expressed their opinion in the survey, they also proposed to take part and give a talk. Kindly find the initial program here (We will improve the program quality in few days; display, titles, seperate languages, etc.). For the goals, we are careful regarding this point. We believe that the sucessful of the conference is correlated with the action points of each intervention. Goals will be put next to each intervention in the program.

Thanks for all your work developing the program. It's great to see so many sessions aimed at addressing the needs of active editors and current challenges. We'll be interested to see how the program develops over the next several weeks. Again, it would be helpful to have more session details, including type of session, speakers, goals, and any necessary pre-event discussion that will make the session more fruitful.
Since the program is not finalized yet, we didn't mention such as details, but no problem with adding that! We will make some improvements/changes to the file asap and as some modifications are required. Dyolf77 (talk) 07:09, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Budget[edit]

  • Please update the number of participants and expected scholarship budget based on your current understanding of who will participate and where they will be coming from.

According to the established program after selecting the most pertinent interventions, we have 21 participants from 10 Arabic countries and 2 participants from UK (Wikimedia UK & Oxford University). In total we will have 23 already allocated and the remaining 12 scholarships will be attributed according to the above mentioned criteria. If we save the total number of participants which is actually 35, then the budget will remain the same

@AWang (WMF): Update:A primary list of participant is available on our website. Please consider that this list is not a final. Dyolf77 (talk) 17:38, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
  • What is the need for 20 press kits?

The press kits will be distributed to journalists who will be invited to cover the conference. Each press kit will include documents about the conference, wikimedia and wikimedia Tn User Group, notepad , USB flash drive, pen, badge ...

  • What will the hired bus be used for?

The bus will be used to take participants from Tunis Airport to Monastir and then take them back to airport at the end of the conference. It will be used also during the conference for social events.

  • Lunch during the conference has been deleted, but included for scholarship recipients. Please clarify this change.

All is exposed in the note; Lunch will be provided by Hotel instead of outside restaurant and price will be 65TND instead of 55TND (including accomodation and breakfast). Dinner still in outside restaurant and price is reduced to 40TND instead of 50TND.

  • Have you identified who the keynote/expert speakers will be? Will they need to participate for 4 days?

These speakers will be integrated in the participants' list. The budget is adjusted accordingly.

  • Finally, does the team have any updates on the other organizations who expressed an interest in partnerships?

We still don't find partnerships.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the above and thanks for all your work in putting this together! Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:51, 2 January 2015 (UTC) We would like to know if WMF would make some specific interventions during the conference so we could take that into consideration in the program? thanks --Vivaystn (talk) 14:11, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

We will work with the team in the coming weeks regarding WMF participation. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 02:47, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia Education Program comments[edit]

Thanks to everyone so far who has put so much work into this grant request. It's great to see how it has developed over the past few months.

I wanted to confirm that I have been watching this space closely and plan on attending this important regional event once things are settled (it had been mentioned as a possibility in some of the conversation above by the Wikimedia TN user group). I wanted to indicate this in case it would impact the program/schedule of events. I know that education seems to be a huge topic for the region, and I would love to work with community members in my role supporting education programs and initiatives in the Middle East and Africa. I am also happy to submit a session for your consideration in the program planning area if that would be useful at this time.

I know Alex is still working with the organizers to finalize this proposal. Please don't hesitate to let me know if there is a way I can be of assistance! Tighe Flanagan (WMF) (talk) 23:30, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi Tighe,
Thank you for your interest in our project. What you do, affects us a lot, it helps in the improvement and development of our action.
Indeed, we have provided an important place for the Education Program in the conference. As you can see from our draft program, we spent a whole morning to talk about. Representatives of the university and students (20 persons) will join the dedicated sessions.
As for your statement, we consider it appropriate that you present the program at the top > (ED01, Saturday). Even more, we would like you make of the discussion that gets filled (session ED06). Does this proposal seems reasonable for you?
Best, Dyolf77 (talk) 14:31, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
@Dyolf77: Yes, that sounds very reasonable to me. I will watch this space to see how it develops. Merci, Tighe Flanagan (WMF) (talk) 16:55, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Approved[edit]

Many thanks to the organizing team for your work on this grant proposal. The program has developed to reflect the needs and interests of the active editors on Arabic Wikipedia and we look forward to continuing to collaborate on refining it further. We also appreciate the team's commitment to supporting scholarships for active contributors and ensuring all participants have the experience needed to add value to strategic conversations. We are very excited to support this first community-organized meeting of Arabic-speaking Wikipedians and are here to help make it a success! Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 05:48, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

@AWang (WMF): What a wonderful announcement. Thanks for all your help and support!--Dyolf77 (talk) 21:51, 22 January 2015 (UTC)