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Latest comment: 7 years ago by Islahaddow in topic WMF Comments

GAC members decisions[edit]

GAC members who support this request[edit]

GAC members who support this request with adjustments[edit]

  1. -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 17:03, 4 June 2016 (UTC)Reply
  2. seems OK for me in general but I'd pay more attention to in-country actions: I would better not to use fixed 1 500 USD per country but also to analyze funds and impact: I am sure that some countries have more efficient practices and their best practices should be incorporated for other movements, too. Best ratios of impact/funds should be used as benchmark: while we analyze effectiveness of the centralized movement here, I am afraid that we pay too less attention to local movements. And I am quite worried by the quality/quantity of materials uploaded to Commons from such a diversified event: see comments of Karthikndr below. rubin16 (talk) 11:25, 5 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

GAC members who oppose this request[edit]

GAC members who abstain from voting/comment[edit]

  1. COI: part of the project team. Thank you for your attention to this grant application. Islahaddow (talk) 08:26, 24 May 2016 (UTC)Reply

GAC comments[edit]

in-country actions[edit]

it is possible to see more detailed breakdown? What will you buy, what is the price? rubin16 (talk) 19:54, 30 May 2016 (UTC)Reply

We (as continental team) will not buy something specific. All these expenses will cover expenses for the organization of the contest locally. These expenses can cover printing of marketing/com elements (such as leaflets or a pull-up banner), travel expenses (costs to go to a place for a photo hunt), food and renting expenses (when organizing an edit-a-thon) and ceremony/prizes when a local ceremony is done.
What we have done last year is, prior to the contest, we asked all local teams interested in joining to submit a plan and a budget. We chose teams to support based on their proposition, the budget submitted and to be fair, also based on the size of their user-group and track record of action. I invite you to have a look at last year propositions: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Loves_Africa#Proposals_from_countries_that_wish_to_participate_in_2015. We got 10 propositions and supported 8 countries. To pick up an exemple, here is Uganda proposal; Another is Nigeria; Or Algeria. Last year, the supported budget was 800 dollars per country, this should give you an idea of the typical expenses and breakdown. If we stick to a value around 800 dollars, this is what we will get for this year as well.
Our main argument to ask for an increased package this year is that several teams reported the funds were too limited to allow much travel and too limited to support a local ceremony and prizes. Which several teams were very excited to do and would really support local activity.
As soon as we have a global envelop, we will ask which teams are willing to join and we will ask them to provide a program and a budget.
To balance the fact we are looking for an increased funding per country, we propose to provide the teams a "template" budget (with predefined lines for expenses types). We will confront these figures with the actual figures and provide an "analytical" breakdown at the end of the project. The idea is to increase the accountability of teams (with regards to the original planning), and give more visibility to the actual amount spent in each category. I hope I am clear here... if not, ask me to expand. Anthere (talk)

Theme and Success[edit]

I'm little worried about the scope with ref to the theme implied here. Concerns are below:

  1. With such a limited theme; why not run the contest for just a month?
  2. I understand and coming from diversified culture; what we can expect out of the contest is numerous; but how much? (refer next point for the worry)
  3. My another worry is burdening Wikimedia Commons community. With experience in such type of contests, I have seen participants uploading maybe a same type of dance from various angles. How do you aim to control them? Something like; awareness about what Wikimedia Commons is first and why participating will help.
  4. Measure of Success: Again, with my experience I have rarely seen winners or participants coming back to the movement after the contest; how do you plan to incubate them for long term?

Few for now; many might come. Thanks in advance. -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 17:16, 4 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

On point 1: Music and Danse. You consider it a limited theme ? I think many would disagree. Pictures of singers and dancers, records, instruments, schools, special buildings, clothes, fairs... this said, we mentionned in the proposal that we may switch to a 1,5 month long rather than 2 months. I think this can be open to discussion.

On point 2: sorry... I did not understand the question. Can you rephrase please ?

On point 3: This is the third time that we would hold such a contest. I have not heard even ONE commonist complain along the lines you mention the past two years so I tend not to see it as a big problem. I hear your concerns though. Previous years, we explained the contest and Commons on the landing page and in a FAQ. Locally, the teams relayed the word. A bit sadly, I would like to outline that the fact internet connexion is poor in many african countries, prevent us from being flooded by multiple Pictures/videos from different angles... (contrariwise to what is observed on Wiki Loves Monuments).

On point 4 : First let me outline that editor recruitement and retention is not the primary goal of the contest. Or at least not the only goal. Three of the main goals are the following:

  • first collecting enough content from African countries so as to make sure that when Africans do come to Wikipedia and Commons, they also feel it is their home, a place about them, their culture, their countries rather than a site that hosts only stuff about Europe and North America. Most of the current content about Central Africa is actually posted by tourists visiting the countries. So you have more chance to get a picture of a lion or an elephant than a picture related to african daily lives. So the first goal is to get content.
  • the second big goal is to raise awareness about Wikipedia and sister projects. In developed countries, we now take wikimedia for granted. When you ask the layman, there is every chance he heard about wikipedia and is using it. Not so in Africa. It is improving. The contest is a good way to give an opportunity to talk about the project locally
  • the third goal is to support the local user groups, the growing community over there. In most cases, the groups are small, a couple of active people at most. It is not easy to organize actions entirely on your own when you are only 2_3 active in an area. It requires a lot of effort. The contest is a good way to facilitate the organization of events because the local groups do not have to set up everything all by themselves. Things scale better.
  • so whilst editor recruitement and retention is indeed important, it is not our main goal and not our main measure of success. Still... I'll ask Isla if we can have some updated figures on editor retention.


Anthere (talk)

analyze funds and impact[edit]

Opening a section to discuss here Rubin comments above.

Fair point Rubin. Note that we have currently three elements in our design that I ask you to consider

  • before choosing the teams which will get supported, we will ask them to submit a proposal and a budget (we also asked them to do this last year). Contrariwise to last year though, we will provide them with a "template" for the budget, with different categories of expenses (eg, printing, catering, prizes, travel costs, etc.) so that we can more easily compare them and compare their actual final expenses with their original projection.
  • over the months of operation of the contest, a dedicated person will be in charge of collecting expenses documentation and sumarizing elements in a central document, so that we are able to compare real expenses with projected ones. This table will be public.
  • the teams need to have the most part of the funds before the actions. Ideally, they need ALL the funds before the actions. Otherwise the money needs to come out of the pocket of someone first and this create problems as not anyone can afford doing that. Money "promised" should be given at the earliest convenience.

The thing that makes measurement of impact difficult to estimate locally is that

  • part of the results per country is due to the actions of the user group. But part of the results are unrelated to the group. The group may do nothing but the country may still have some decent results.
  • some countries are more developed than others, enjoy more technology and more connexion than others. So the same amount of effort in two countries will not yield the same results. Some will put a lot of energy, will enjoy some impact locally, but it will still be little compared to other countries. Still... do we not want to precisely support countries where it is difficult ?

I think there are two elements that could make sense

  1. we ask teams to provide a program and a budget for UP TO a certain amount (eg 1500 dollars). Most are likely to propose a budget featuring the maximum, but some may voluntarily decide to be "lighter" budget wise. Pretty obviously, a ceremony with local prizes has a significant cost. So a small team deciding to simply run a few photo hunts and training sessions, but not a contest, may reasonably ask for less;
  2. we make the final decision with someone at the WMF, reflecting on former experience and trackrecord (most countries willing to participate this year have participated last year or two years ago. A few might run their first case).

What do you think ?

Anthere (talk) 22:54, 5 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

  • Thank you for your comment! I like the idea and mostly the first part (ask for budget up to 1 500 dollars). While I agree with difficulties with impact estimation, I'd have tried to look what local movements can propose and what funds they need. There will be no direct relationship between impact and funding, but it will still be possible to understand level of involvement of local groups and what they do in the best way or not rubin16 (talk) 16:26, 6 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

Thank you rubin16 and ♪Karthik♫ for your questions. Anthere and I have done a lot work on the reports for the WLA 2014 and 2015, and post mortem on both of the projects 2014 and 2015. In them you can see exactly how the "limited scopes" of earlier themes have worked very well, what events have resulted in the number of entries we have; and those countries where events didn't happen, but there were still notable numbers of submissions. We are dedicated to making this project work and to develop skills for all involved - the volunteers and focus groups, the jurists and the contributors. It is a complex and challenging project, but we have adapted where required, and where we have seen it is necessary. We are also willing to experiment to make things work better for all involved, hence the need for budget accountability and the tracking of other metrics. Islahaddow (talk) 06:05, 8 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

Community comments[edit]

WMF Comments[edit]

Hello. Any news ? Thanks Anthere (talk)

Hi Anthere and Islahaddow. Thank you for your patience with following-up after our call and thank you for the detailed responses to our comments on last year's report. It is very helpful having such thoughtful reflections to support our review of this year's proposal. As discussed, we are very interested in doing a bigger evaluation of the project after this year. Beyond the basic metrics, we want to better understand the impact of Wiki Loves Africa on community development. We can start to collect more feedback from participating countries at WikiIndaba and next year's Wikimedia Conference. Regarding this proposal, we still have a few remaining comments and questions and look forward to your responses.

Thanks for the points that you have placed here Alex! Anthere is currently on holiday, so I have answered from my side. I am sure she will add something when she returns on the 11th August. Please find my response below each point you have made. I hope I don't mess up the formatting too badly. Islahaddow (talk) 10:38, 8 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
  1. It sounds like local communications and press materials are an important piece of WLA. On our call you mentioned foregoing editing trainings for trainings on media relations. We can reach out to the WMF communications team to see if they can provide any materials or support, but do you have additional plans for how to accomplish this?
  • We are currently compiling a more deeply researched Africa-wide database of media so that we can get the global information out, and encourage the teams to use this database for more localised interventions and discussions with the media. We are going to add an additional focus of Photographic groups/associations, and as in other years, contacts for media specific to the theme for that year (2016: Music and Dance).
  • We would like to encourage/host a documented communications workshop at Wiki Indaba to assist in providing more communications ideas and a better marketing strategy for teams in future. Perhaps this could be a collaboration with the WMF team as this would not just help Wiki Loves Africa, but the groups in general.
  1. We support the proposal to fund 10 national teams. However, we are surprised at the large increase (more than double) in budget for local events. Better marketing will take more training and resources, but not necessarily additional funds. We understand having a local prize, post-contest event to incorporate photos and more travel are possibly all good uses of resources. We are able to support up to $1,000 per team, depending on the quality of their proposal and use of funds in previous years (if applicable). Alternatively, you can focus on providing more resources to fewer countries to better understand how the addition of local prizes, more travel, and post-contest events impact participation, content, and community building.
  • Thanks for considering an increase in funding per country. And we are very excited to have the possibility of 2 more countries involved this year. We would like to draw your attention to why we believed the initial amount that we asked was vital.
  • Firstly, it is a consolidation of the two line items that we had previously - events and marketing materials.
  • Secondly, it is not only in line with what the teams have asked for, but also what the actual costs are. At the moment you know that there are four communities working on Wiki Loves Women. Despite having a venue partner, the modest amount that was budgeted for events in these countries is just not nearly enough for the amount of events that are required - both in the case of Wiki Loves Women and Wiki Loves Africa. The following table is a breakdown of event costs, based on recent experience over the last 3 months, in Nigeria. As you can see, should all these factors be elements be required to be covered by the group, then one event would take half of the 1500 budgeted per country. On a continental level, we have secured venue partnerships with the Goethe-Institut for some countries, but not all. And this doesn't always work if you are not in the main or capital city. Within that money each teams needs to provide competition marketing materials, a local prize and other elements. When you look at the real figures below, we think it is absolutely incredible that the teams have managed to do so many events (42 events in 2015 and 27 events in 2014) on the frugal amount of money that they have had to work with over the last few years.
Line Item USD
Venue 375.00
Modem (wifi) 31.00
Data for the modem 30.00
Transport for 10 members 157.00
Projector 47.00
Catering: Tea and biscuits 10.00
Catering: Lunch 120.00
Generator 15.00
Total 785.00
  • Finally, that having been said, we will ensure that the teams understand what needs to be considered for the proposal which will be announced in the next few days, and will ask them to consider (and justify) their request in terms of local prizes, more travel, and post-contest events impact participation, content, and community building.
  1. While we understand article writing is not a core focus of the project, photo usage is an important measure of the encyclopedic value and quality of photos. Photo use was relatively low last year. We encourage teams to use additional funding to hold post-contest events focused on integrating new content.
  • As discussed in the meeting, a reason for the lack of photo usage is that the articles that would be illustrated by these photographs are just not written yet. We completely agree that there should be a drive by the local teams - perhaps in the form of a local focused writing contest - to encourage that each theme is covered in text as well as in photographs. As we discussed, we believe this is a way that the teams can consolidate the engagement with the community that they raised during the contest and increase their partnerships with GLAMs and academic institutions around each theme. We will be encouraging all teams to host such events 3-6 months after the end of the competition and to apply to the WMF for separate funding for this.

Thanks, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:16, 5 August 2016 (UTC)Reply

Thanks again. Islahaddow (talk) 10:38, 8 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
Hi Islahaddow. Thanks for your responses. Thank you for providing more context for the local team budgets. However, the increase is substantial. With up to $1,000 per country, we would like to see local teams prioritize the events or materials they produce. It may not be that each local team has increased travel, prizes, and events. Please update the budget. We look forward to doing a retrospective after this year and thinking more about how to increase coverage about these topics so the content submitted during WLA can be used more on wiki and participants continue to be engaged. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 18:12, 9 August 2016 (UTC)Reply
Hi Alex, Thank you for your response. I have made a change to the budget and will be clear with the teams about the expectations with regards to your priorities. Thank you! Islahaddow (talk) 07:24, 10 August 2016 (UTC)Reply