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Regional Committee feedback and questions
Hello Scann, and thanks for your proposal supporting the work of the Open Environmental Data Project. The US/Canada Regional Committee has initially reviewed the proposal, and wanted to offer some initial feedback and questions for your review:
- We appreciate the level of innovation in this proposal, which the committee noted in two ways: First, the proposal seeks to support the development of a relatively new cohort group among two complementary disciplines, and second, while most proposals seek to directly contribute to the Wikimedia movement, the current proposal is premised more closely on how Wikimedia can contribute to the broader network of scientific and social movements.
- The committee is also glad to see an intention to ensure fellows are able to contribute research and work products in their own language, and that there will be some efforts to translate these materials for broader use across communities you work with.
- It has been very helpful to understand more about Appropedia and how its purpose is different from Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects through your application materials. This wiki is clearly a supportive platform for your goals for promoting knowledge around environmental issues, methods, and actions. It is also useful to see that some content from Wikimedia projects has partially supported Appropedia's development. The committee would like to understand if it possible to more closely integrate the the Wikimedia movement in addition to the proposed work on Appropedia in terms of sharing some of the outcomes of your work where these there is alignment between those aspects of the movement and your project goals. Some examples of such integration could include:
- Integrating research-based content on Wikiversity: While original research is generally not permitted on Wikipedia projects, it is supported on Wikiversity.
- Sharing of outcomes of the fellowship program, the hands-on forum, or development of the curriculum builder at Wikimedia movement events in the United States or internationally, such as Wikimania.
- Working together with other aligned groups within the movement to disseminate certain work products, such as WikiProject Environment or open-data groups on Wikidata.
- These ideas are merely examples/suggestions and not to be taken as specific changes you are required to make. However, we would like to understand your thinking around whether some content from this project could be incorporated into Wikimedia projects in addition to Appropedia in these or other ways that fit with your project goals. The reason for this feedback is that while projects focused on building and developing content entirely outside of Wikimedia projects can be eligible for funding, the rationale and expected impact of these projects with respect to movement strategy initiatives will be much more highly scrutinized, and the committee feels there are potentially some opportunities for outcomes of this project to be shared more directly with Wikimedia projects and its communities that are aligned with this collaboration.
- The committee would also like to better understand a little more about Appropedia: Is there any information you can share on who uses information and knowledge on Appropedia, and how effective it is at reaching its intended audiences? How will the Open Environmental Data Project conduct outreach or disseminate information on Appropedia related to its curriculum builder, forum, and project information from selected fellows to its target audiences or participants?
- Related to one of the suggestions above, we would also like to understand more about how you will be sharing information about strategies for collaboration and engagement between open climate/open data movements and Wikimedia. Much of this proposed work is focused on the complex and challenging work around building and cultivating a community, in this case, at the intersection of climate science and open data. Your organization's learning and experiences with this could be quite valuable for other communities or affiliates in the Wikimedia movement hoping to learn from or work together with one of these communities, or to do some community building of their own in a similar vein. Are there any intentions to share these learning around facilitating collaboration between communities with the wider Wikimedia movement?
- If funded, do you expect will additional funding be needed from the Alliances Fund in subsequent years to sustain the formal collaboration of these communities and promotion of this information?
- Finally, we want to acknowledge that funding available for the Wikimedia Alliances Fund is limited in this current round. Given our budget, it will not be possible to fully fund all proposals we have received this round. While no decision has been made at this time, the committee would like to understand whether this project could proceed with partial funding, and if so, what would need to change about the project with a partial funding decision.
We would like your feedback on these questions/comments by Tuesday, 10 May 2022 to support a final decision from the Regional Committee, and please use the talk page here to share your response. Thanks you again for the hard work on this proposal, and we look forward to your responses. On behalf of the Regional Committee, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 19:45, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
Timeline update for funding decision announcements
@Scann: Due to an unexpected medical issue I experienced earlier in April, I unfortunately was not able to interact with the Regional Committee or generally work during much of April last month. Due to this absence, we were unfortunately not able to provide committee feedback in a manner consistent with our original schedule. Consequently, we will be adjusting the date for announcing a funding decision for your proposal by one week from May 18th to May 25th. This change will help support the time needed for you to review and respond to committee feedback, as well as for the Regional Committee to finalize a funding decision. Please let me know if you have any questions or need clarification over this change in the schedule. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:32, 3 May 2022 (UTC)
- Ah, thanks for letting me know! I'm sorry to hear that you were sick, and I hope you're feeling better now. We're working on adjusting the proposal & sending the info to the Regional Committee by May 10. Scann (talk) 14:30, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Response to the committee's questions & feedback
Hello hello @I JethroBT (WMF): I hope you're feeling better. Please find below the answers to the committee. I'm the one replying but the whole group has worked on answering the questions. Good luck with the decision making process!
Thank you for the questions and comments that have been provided. We believe that they are best responded to in narrative format to demonstrate how components of this proposal work together. Throughout our response we’ve pointed to the questions that are being responded to, but note that they are not in the original order in which we received them.
[Reviewer Comment: We appreciate the level of innovation in this proposal, which the committee noted in two ways: First, the proposal seeks to support the development of a relatively new cohort group among two complementary disciplines, and second, while most proposals seek to directly contribute to the Wikimedia movement, the current proposal is premised more closely on how Wikimedia can contribute to the broader network of scientific and social movements.] [Reviewer Comment: The committee is also glad to see an intention to ensure fellows are able to contribute research and work products in their own language, and that there will be some efforts to translate these materials for broader use across communities you work with.]
- Thank you, we appreciate this feedback. We are excited to see Open Climate conversations and subsequent initiatives gain traction over the last year. With additional resources we’re looking forward to adding capacity to this movement that will allow more places and types of input for people. We believe there’s momentum and we’re excited to build upon it!
[Reviewer question: If funded, do you expect will additional funding be needed from the Alliances Fund in subsequent years to sustain the formal collaboration of these communities and promotion of this information?] [Reviewer question: Finally, we want to acknowledge that funding available for the Wikimedia Alliances Fund is limited in this current round. Given our budget, it will not be possible to fully fund all proposals we have received this round. While no decision has been made at this time, the committee would like to understand whether this project could proceed with partial funding, and if so, what would need to change about the project with a partial funding decision.]
- We appreciate the questions that the committee has brought forward, and believe that the answers to some are dependent on the final decision of full or partial funding. Each activity outlined in the proposal builds upon others and, based upon our experience over the last year, is necessary to build momentum, movement and capacity around this work. If we will be required to cut back on the budget, we will need to look at partial cuts to programs such as the fellowship and scaling-back on the number of community events.
- The question about whether we’d need additional funding from the Wikimedia Alliances Fund depends on whether we’d receive full or partial funding; our ability to pilot and test some of the elements with the Wikimedia communities will also depend on the amount of funding received for this round. In addition, receiving partial funding might limit our ability to work within Appropedia. For instance, we may need to cut back on important aspects of project output and long term sustainability that involve Appropedia, such as the curriculum builder.
- In short, partial funding would mean scaling back on the amount of communities that would be engaged through outreach and offering the fellowship program to a smaller cohort. We would be happy to revise the budget if requested, but it would be necessary to know how much would be cut before we could do so in fairness to the complimentary project needs.
[Reviewer question: The committee would also like to better understand a little more about Appropedia: Is there any information you can share on who uses information and knowledge on Appropedia, and how effective it is at reaching its intended audiences? How will the Open Environmental Data Project conduct outreach or disseminate information on Appropedia related to its curriculum builder, forum, and project information from selected fellows to its target audiences or participants?]
- Appropedia is well suited for building intermediate materials and producing drafts before publishing them on other foras and formats. For example, much of the research prepared on Appropedia goes on to be published elsewhere (e.g. journals, github, technical papers, organizational reports). Appropedia's audience is mainly researchers, activists and makers (here we share some examples from 2021 and here some of the Google Analytics for the past 365 days). Already in use, Appropedia has a series of normalized templates for citing local sources, external content and even open hardware.
- Open Environmental Data Project and Appropedia are friend organizations that collaborate extensively and see the mutual value in each others projects as well as leverage the specialties that each organization focuses on. It is in benefit to the work of Open Environmental Data Project to, for instance, use the wiki resources that Appropedia offers rather than building a parallel system that would potentially duplicate key functions Appropedia has already created. Shannon Dosemagen of the Open Environmental Data Project is a collaborator in the Open Climate community. She brings 20 years of experience in organizing, facilitation and community outreach and dissemination to the Open Climate coordinating team. Collectively the Open Climate coordinating team has extensive networks which will serve as “multipliers” across sectors in support of outreach related to project outputs – the curriculum builder, fellowship, etc.
[Reviewer question (abbreviated): The committee would like to understand if it possible to more closely integrate the the Wikimedia movement in addition to the proposed work on Appropedia in terms of sharing some of the outcomes of your work where these there is alignment between those aspects of the movement and your project goals.]
- Project organizers will push the final knowledge products of the fellowship and other activities into Wikimedia projects. We agree that it’s important for some of the content to go back to Wikimedia projects, and Wikimedia will be an important aspect that we’ll highlight as part of the overall open strategies directed towards the climate action community, as we have already been doing in our Open Climate work. We also expect Wikimedia communities to actively collaborate in pushing the final knowledge products of the fellowships, but we believe that, as previously mentioned, Appropedia is well suited for building intermediate materials and drafts prior to final publishing. We’re also very aware that some of the projects mentioned (such as Wikiversity) lack consistent technical support, making the use of a well maintained wiki such as Appropedia a better avenue to publish learning materials.
[Reviewer question (abbreviated): Related to one of the suggestions above, we would also like to understand more about how you will be sharing information about strategies for collaboration and engagement between open climate/open data movements and Wikimedia.]
- We are planning to involve the Wikimedia community early on, and will devise diverse strategies for doing so. In previous projects that Scann has participated in, she has put together Advisory Boards with community members to help advise, guide and engage with the community and build opportunities to exchange ideas around project development. For the Open Climate community this could look similar through enlarging our Core Organizing Team to include more members from Wikimedia, or devise other similar mechanisms to engage with the community early on.
- We are planning on sharing learnings and results in different places and at community events. In particular, we’d also be interested in working with Jessica Stephenson at the WMF to understand if this work is of interest to the Let’s Connect group, be it through a Clinic, 1:1 calls or another format that might be of interest to the people that are participating in the Let’s Connect pilot program. For instance, we could design learning experiences in order to exchange relevant knowledge with the community. We are happy to work on an updated engagement plan for the review council if the proposal is accepted.
Again, thanks again for all the hard work that the committee has been putting into reviewing all the proposals, including ours. We really appreciate this feedback and looking forward to the final decisions! Scann (talk) 17:13, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
General Support Fund proposal approved in the amount of 40,000 USD
@Scann: Congratulations! Your grant is approved for partial funding in the amount of 40,000 USD with a grant term starting 1 July 2022 and ending 30 June 2023.
The Regional Committee supports the Open Environmental Data Project’s community building effort to bring together open technology specialists and climate scientists to make information on sustainability practices more accessible. We recognize that the proposed activities bring many important strengths. The project is a novel initiative in the movement around community building using Wikimedia movement principles to help bring together complementary scientific and social movements. Your efforts in connecting these communities together and ability to share effective practices can help build more collaborations between open knowledge communities and other disciplines. Finally, the Core Organizing Team and other collaborators form a good foundation for the project, and include mentors, organizational leaders, and other stakeholders with expertise in open knowledge, open technology, and relevant academic disciplines. We are also glad to hear you are interested in engaging with the Let’s Connect program, and we will keep you informed of potential opportunities for training and sharing outcomes from this project.
The committee did not support full funding for a number of reasons. First, while the committee appreciates that there is an intention to move some content to Wikimedia projects, and that Wikimedia volunteers may also support this integration, there wasn’t a clear plan detailing what Wikimedia projects / communities could be involved and how this outreach would be done. Furthermore, we acknowledge that technical support varies across Wikimedia projects, but that more clarity was needed in how this would interfere around integrating or publishing knowledge from fellowship projects. The committee supports the use of Appropedia as suitable and supportive wiki for publishing project outcomes, and we would like to meet to build better shared understanding with you around these obstacles related to Wikimedia projects. The committee may be able to offer some ideas for integration of knowledge around sustainability topics in Wikimedia projects. Finally, we were not able to consider full funding due to limitations in the overall budget for the Wikimedia Alliances Fund this round.
We understand that the reduction in funding may result in a smaller cohort overall or cuts to certain products, such as the curriculum builder. While you have full discretion over how best to allocate the awarded funding, the Regional Committee recommends reducing the number of fellows overall for this initial project. You are also welcome to adjust core metrics proposed related to participation and engagement by public audiences as needed. While the project may need to operate at a smaller scale than originally proposed, the committee agrees the potential for impact in the project is high both in terms of its outcomes around environmental sustainability, but also for demonstrating supportive practices for building communities that thrive on open knowledge principles.
The committee looks forward to working together with you in your future work in the Wikimedia and broader open knowledge movement. On behalf of the committee, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 07:09, 28 May 2022 (UTC)