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Grants talk:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/WoALUG 2023-2025 Annual Plan Activities

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Questions from W[edit]

Hello, Margott! How are you? Thank you so much for your proposal. As a member of Grants:Regions/CEE and Central Asia#Regional Committee, I have 2 questions, that I hope will be helpful in amending the proposal, as you operate across disputed borders:

  1. Based on what the Regional Committee asked last year (Grants talk:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/WoALUG 2022 Annual Plan of Activities), what new communities in the region, including Wikimedia chapters, have you tried to outreach in 2022?
  2. What are you planning this year in terms of outreach efforts with such communities?

Best wishes,--W (talk) 11:37, 22 October 2022 (UTC)Reply

Hello @W, thank you for your questions. My name is Vyolltsa and I am writing on behalf of WoALUG.
1. We have worked so far with the International competitions and campaigns such as Wikipedia Pages Wanting Photos, CEE Spring, WikiVoyage, WikiGap. Also, we have been working with Wikimedia Serbia on two big edit-a-thons: International Roma Day, Wiki Loves EuroPride. Lately, we joined the cause of Queering Wikipedia organizing team and Wikimedia LGBT+ User Group.
2. Even for this year, we plan to follow the same approach and are always open to new collaborations. Also, since we are working with wikiclubs, we would like to connect wikiclubs in Albania with other ones at an international level, so students from different countries can translate and help improve articles in respective Wikipedia languages.
Thank you! Vyolltsa (talk) 11:01, 26 October 2022 (UTC)Reply

A couple of other issues:

  • Have you considered using CentralNotice instead of payed online advertising on social media platform for your Outreach campaigns, such as edit-a-thons?
  • There is also question "15. How do you hope to sustain or expand the work carried out in this proposal after the grant?" that was left unanswered in the form.--W (talk) 09:14, 23 October 2022 (UTC)Reply
  • We have been using banners and notifying our community on Sq Wikipedia, as well as notifying them on our telegram groups but the paid online advertising is aimed to target new audiences. We will certainly look into CentralNotice and apply it as well in our future activities as our goal is to reach out to as many as we can.
  • Based on our work over the years, we want to focus on projects that are truly significant for our community. So far, we have collaborated with education offices, museums, galleries, libraries, and embassies and organizations. For this, we have used social media to promote our work with all the institutions we closely work with. For the years to come, we would like to intensify the events and have more thorough and follow-up ones, change the seasonal calendar and adapt everything to our audience's interest to include more people by activating and connecting senior Wikipedians to new ones. These ‘key’ Wikipedians will help facilitate our projects and increase the number of people and materials on Wikipedia and other platforms. To expand our work, we believe we will focus on the essential bits of the 10 recommendations of the Wikimedia Movement to highlight their needs and support our contributors, such as established volunteers and newbies. We foresee giving more opportunities to people to increase their awareness of Wikipedia and other projects.
Vyolltsa (talk) 11:15, 26 October 2022 (UTC)Reply
Thank you W! Vyolltsa (talk) 11:17, 26 October 2022 (UTC)Reply

General Support Fund proposal approved in the amount of 33,356 EUR[edit]

@Margott: Congratulations! Your grant is approved in the amount of 33,356 EUR (~34,623 USD) with a grant term starting 1 January 2023 and ending 31 December 2023.

on behalf of the team, thank you so much for this wonderful news and for all the feedback. Please find below our answers related to your concerns. --Margott (talk) 15:06, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Reply

During its review, the committee expressed support for your organization’s general work around community engagement supporting your annual planning process, proactive use of Friendly Space policies to create a welcoming environment for contributors, and high quality partnerships that map well onto certain content gaps you’ve identified and can potentially support improvements to cultural content related to your communities.

However, the Regional Committee was not willing to support an increase in funding for your activities this year. Detailed below are the most important reasons for this decision. The committee has also included recommendations for how to resolve these concerns, and in some cases opportunities for direct support to address them:

  • Overall learning: The committee wanted to better understand what you have learned over the past year and how it is informing improvements or changes to your current programs. While some of your learning is clear from your midpoint report, such as that you have found your general information sessions beneficial for underrepresented communities, the current programmatic plan and goals are generally unchanged from last year. While it is not a problem to maintain similar programs or metrics year to year, the committee would like to see a clearer statement of how you may be improving or adjusting your programs based on your midterm reporting and other learning experiences.
Answer - Over the past year, we have intensified the in-person meeting with many partners from the main pillars: Education, GLAM, and Outreach. As stated in the midpoint report, are still maintaining the same programmatic plans and strategies, intensifying the info sessions not only for the underrepresented communities but also for all programs. We have noticed this approach is helping us get closer to people, students, partners, schools, and organizations to understand and raise awareness of the Wikimedia Movement due to the decline of interest in Wikimedia projects.
In an attempt to improve and adjust our reporting and experiences, we would like to combine the 3 main programs together and be closer to our audience in schools, universities, libraries, museums, etc., disseminating the Wikimedia Movement and encouraging our audience to participate in our activities, edit-a-thons and much more.
For example, in the second part of the year, some schools and one university invited us to talk about Wikipedia in Albania, how and when people use it. These information meet-ups are helping us approach these institutions to develop activities or put up wikiclubs. --Margott (talk) 15:06, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Reply
  • Impact in metrics: The overall impact in terms of content-based outcomes is not substantially different from the previous year, and makes it difficult to justify a large increase in your budget (over 30%). While there are some expected increases in the amount of contributions to Wikimedia Commons, other targets remain about the same or slightly less than the previous year. The committee recommends increasing these targets or more clearly describing why a greater level of investment is important to support your ability to reach these targets. Alternatively, you could consider including new kinds of qualitative or quantitative metrics to capture impact outside of content and participation metrics, as these do not always tell the full story around your impact as an organization.
Answer - Regarding the increase in our budget, we have faced high inflation up to 12% this year and expect this to continue into next year.
In addition, we would like to mention that for the year 2022 we had our budget deducted due to the COVID-19 Travel Policy, the amount we applied for was €35,892.00 ($41,634.72) while for 2023 we applied for the amount of €41,042.10 ($40,705.55). After the policy was removed we were given the opportunity to have the deducted amount approved but we decided to proceed with reallocation of the funds from our existing grant (2022). With the calculation according to the amount we initially applied for the increase is 14.35%. --Margott (talk) 15:06, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Reply

  • Addressing knowledge gaps: In the committee decision for your last General Support Fund, the committee requested that your user group provide more detailed plans around your work around knowledge gaps described in your next proposal (e.g. gender, cultural background, ethnicity) and how you will evaluate whether that work has been successful. In the current proposal, the amount of detail around activities to address content gaps is minimal and there are no clear metrics or evaluation plan to assess these knowledge gaps. The committee recommends 1) providing more concrete information describing how your activities address knowledge gaps and 2) to focus on a few specific knowledge gaps you have named and to add metrics specific to these gaps in your evaluation plan so it is clear how you will evaluate your outcomes. For example:
    • establishing a goal around adding or improving a certain number of articles for biographies in an ethnic community, or
    • helping to increase the accessibility of articles about women or non-binary individuals by adding relevant categories or wikilinks to those articles to make them easier to find, or
    • increasing the quality of existing stubs by expanding them beyond a basic summary.
Answer - The activities that addressed knowledge gaps are:
WikiGap - an international annual collaboration with the Swedish Embassies in Albania and Kosovo to address gender gap. In this project the main goal is that the participating wikimedians or newbies write or translate qualitative articles about Albanian and Swedish women activists who have contributed to the protection of women's rights and gender roles.
International Roma Day - a collaboration with the Roma communities in Albania and Kosovo and current Wikipedians. In Kosovo this year several Roma organizations were contacted and we got the support of the Prime Minister’s advisor on minority communities, however results of their participation were modest. We believe this is because a sizable percentage of members of the Roma community drop out of school.
In Albania, we wanted to develop the edit-a-thon with the Roma community organizations, but we were unfortunate in 2022 as the organizations were busy with their own activities during the Roma week.
The goal of the activity is that we bring together the communities and translate, write and improve articles on Roma minorities, their identity, history and culture to combat the barriers of prejudice and discrimination faced by Roma in employment, education, health care, public and social services and other areas of life.
Wiki Loves EuroPride - a collaboration with LGBT communities. This year we have been in touch with the LGBT communities and organizations, and we came up with joint activities to organize.
In the first edit-a-thon, the LGBT community participants and we talked about the information that is lacking on Wikipedia, and we tried to translate articles from English into Albanian. But, we thought that this edit-a-thon was not enough and this is why we will raise the number of meet-ups with the community, raising the people’s interest and in the future we would like to have more offline or online activities.
Involvement of our Group with other affiliates to talk over this topic by sharing, telling, and planning more activities of this kind. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/QW2022
To evaluate our work, we use the outreach dashboard to monitor the number of articles. We use outreach as well as to collect the articles worked on the actual activity so in the future we can work on these articles to increase their quality by expanding them or updating them to new information.
Here are some of this years outcomes from the aforementioned activities:
We are working hard to expand the related knowledge gap in Sq Wikipedia, but we are experiencing a lack of participation from stakeholders and other thematic organizations. They find Wikipedia valuable, but they always justify their participation in our events, activities, and edit-a-thons. Most of the time, they do not show up or drop things along the way. And we open new invitation google forms for people to register for different activities.
For example, we had a stumbling block with the Roma Community Organizations in Albania. In 2022, they are all booked to develop one edit-a-thon with them on the same International Roma Day, April 8.
As hard as it is, we are working to overcome these challenges. We are focused on expanding our wiki community as well as working with groups of people who are more reliable and potentially would become part of the community for a longer term than just the time period of the activity held with them.--Margott (talk) 15:06, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Reply

  • Editor targets: There were some concerns around the basis for your metrics and targets for editors. The active editing base of Albanian Wikipedia is between about 65 (see Wikimedia Statistics to 300 people each month (see sq:Speciale:Statistikat) as of the time of this writing, depending on whether a strict or less strict definition is used. Based on this general community of active editors, the committee has concerns that your target of 396 editors in the current proposal is not realistic. While the number of total editors each month for Albanian Wikipedia is higher, this target still appears too difficult to achieve. The committee recommends either adjusting this target or providing more context around this editor goal so it is better understood how you are gathering information to measure the number of editors.

Answer - We have highlighted the number of editors who participate in our calendar of activities to develop throughout the entire year. We are in the learning process as to the number of participants in each type of event. Part of the reason behind those statistics and our statistics is the low retention of editors. Being focused more on school environments, and collaborating with more GLAM and Outreach institutions and organizations, we hope to retain more editors in the future. --Margott (talk) 15:06, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Reply
  • Outreach methods and CentralNotice: Related to outreach, the committee requests that you explore the use of the CentralNotice system to support your ability to reach editors and newcomers, and to reduce budgeting toward advertising on Facebook or other social media channels for your next proposal. CentralNotice is a free tool that many affiliates use effectively to support engagement with experienced editors, newcomers, and readers. However, the committee acknowledges that documentation around the CentralNotice system is not available in Albanian. If this is a significant obstacle to using the tool, the committee is willing to provide additional funding to address these translation needs. Furthermore, if the use of social media advertising is important to effectively reach your communities, we would like to better understand why this is.
Answer - Based on the nature of edit-a-thons or activities, we use several forms of outreach to reach editors, contributors, and newcomers. So, for example, we use Meta ads to reach newcomers or communities that are not part of the Wikipedia community yet.
We try to follow the mindset of our communities in Albania and Kosovo where most of the information either about an event, work of an organization or anything significant is taken from Facebook or Instagram. People in our countries tend as their first source of information to rely on social media and that is precisely why we go through with Meta ads which include both Facebook, Instagram as well as Messenger.
For example, in the activities Photowalk or Traditional Food Photography, we use social media (Meta) ads to call professionals or newbies to participate in these activities and become part of the Wikimedia community as this is a medium they know are used to interact with. We create events on Facebook where we attach google forms or links to the wiki articles about an event/ edit-a-thon so people can join and get to know about the Wikimedia projects in Albania and Kosovo.
On the other side, we also use Village pumps, sq wiki banners and posts on sq wiki as tools to connect with our existing community on Wikipedia. We will also explore and learn the CentralNotice system as well and use it to support the reach on our wiki community.--Margott (talk) 15:06, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Reply
  • Computing equipment: While the committee acknowledges that there is a need for computing equipment for students in the schools you work in, more clarity is needed around why this is a continued need from the previous year’s investment in this equipment. The committee was concerned that the current budget uses the same language as the previous year in its description: Our existing (used) laptops have been damaged and outdated and are not enough. We will get 6 additional laptops…to be used in offline editathons and trainings. To better understand your circumstances, the committee would like to know what computing equipment your user group currently maintains and why a similar request was needed this year. The committee also may be able to recommend more modestly priced computing equipment that can support your work with students.
Answer - Our user group operates in Kosovo and Albania with the Project Managers 400 km and a border in between. We bought 6 laptops in 2018 and 6 more in 2022. As they are used laptops, through time they come to have technical problems, those that still work are divided 4 in Albania and 4 in Kosovo. While we work with the education pillar, hardly any schools/universities have computing equipment to offer, so we have to provide the laptops for the edit-a-thons and events we hold with them. We believe this is a good investment to make for more access. --Margott (talk) 15:06, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Reply

The committee acknowledges that some aspects of this feedback were not provided during the early review portion of the current round or from feedback in your last grant. As such, the committee is open to hearing your responses to this feedback and opportunities for additional support. I (Chris) also recommend that we meet in a call to discuss this feedback in greater detail.

The committee looks forward to your responses, and is happy to continue supporting your engagement with Albanian language communities in Kosovo, Albania, and other CEE communities.

On behalf of the Regional Committee, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 04:15, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply

@Vyolltsa and Margott: Hello Wikimedians of Albanian Language User Group and thank you for your comments and responses to the committee decision on the talk page of your General Support Fund. The CEE/Central Asia Regional Committee has reviewed your feedback and approved a 15% increase to your current General Support Fund budget. The basis for this increase was supported by the committee for the following reasons:
  • to support an adjustment to your budget from the previous year based on inflationary broadly affecting affiliates in the CEE region,
  • the committee agrees that your needs for additional computing equipment are important to adequately support students and the general goals of your Education program, and
  • to provide funding toward the time needed to learn, engage with, and use documentation for the CentralNotice communication tool to support your outreach efforts.
Specifically, this adjustment will be an increase of 5,004 EUR, meaning your total budget will be adjusted from 33,356 EUR to 38,360 EUR. Please monitor your e-mail for instructions on the amendment process to receive these additional funds. Thanks again for helping support better understanding around your work and needs.I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 03:31, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply