Grants talk:Project/AfLIA/Wikipedia in African Libraries

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Scope and budget[edit]

  • Hello, and thank you for this interesting proposal. It would be helpful if you could explain how you came to the figure of $5000 per month for the Wikipedian-in-Residence. Can you provide comparative salary figures or other rationale to support this amount? On the face of it, it strikes me as inflated. Ijon (talk) 20:56, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Ijon, thank you for your comment and our sincere apology for not responding in due time. We are very new to using the platform for this application and we struggled a bit to work on the response. We have itemised the budget to provide more insight and meaning to our request. --AfLIA Librarian (talk) 10:10, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for providing additional information. With it, I think the budget is inflated. It is still unclear who is getting paid beside the WiR, and what the money pays for.
For instance, $6000 for "Evaluation" is unclear: is this paid compensation for a person who will perform the evaluation? If so, who is this person, and what are their qualifications, to justify such an amount? Taking cost of living into account, I find it hard to imagine evaluation work of such magnitude that would require $6000 of compensation to fund.
My recommendation would be to require a more responsible budget from the applicants, or to approve only a partial amount, as the current budget seems greatly inflated to me. Ijon (talk) 18:15, 17 May 2020 (UTC)

  • A breakdown of costs, including salary, marketing, travel (I'm guessing this person will travel around Africa to meet and promote Wikipedia involvement face-to-face with librarians on the continent) would be useful. Also, perhaps information about what types of libraries will be targeted? Public, academic, or both? Bridges2Information (talk) 19:01, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment Bridges2Information, our target audience covers both of the audiences mentioned and we have also provided a further breakdown of the budget. --AfLIA Librarian (talk) 10:10, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm also a bit confused by what exactly is being proposed here. At times the page seems to describe a remote training program, at time it seems to envision in-person workshops. If you invite people from all those countries, how are they going to reach you? Do you expect they'll need reimbursements or some sort of financial support, or does your expected audience of librarians have sufficient resources to pay for their costs themselves? I'm happy to read that you plan to hire an experienced wikimedian in residence; it may be helpful to write down the requirements of your project and the qualifications you'll require, to have a better idea of what needs you'll have for this recruitment. I'm glad that this is an organisational grant request; I read "financial oversight of the project as Executive Director, AfLIA" so I suppose AfLIA will act as fiscal sponsor and offer management, and I think it would be good to specify what cofinancing they offer in terms of in-kind support. Nemo 14:05, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Nemo, the grant makes a request to provide an online training course curriculum that can provide training and support for African librarians at their own timing (what we are calling a progressive course curriculum). This means that the content will be hosted on our already existing online training platform (Moodle) and will not incur any extra costs for infrastructure. The only cost element will be for content creation and supporting of an abled personnel to help us achieve that goal.--AfLIA Librarian (talk) 10:10, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
    • Nemo's comment leads me to suggest looking at previously funded Wikipedian in Residence proposals. This one, for UNESCO, provides a great example for a budget. [[1]] Bridges2Information (talk) 00:23, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
Hello Bridges2Information, thank you for your suggestion --AfLIA Librarian (talk) 10:10, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, Round 1 2020[edit]

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This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for Round 1 2020 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through March 16, 2020.

The Project Grant committee's formal review for Round 1 2020 will occur March 17 - April 8, 2020. We ask that you refrain from making changes to your proposal during the committee review period, so we can be sure that all committee members are seeing the same version of the proposal.

Grantees will be announced Friday, May 15, 2020.

Any changes to the review calendar will be posted on the Round 1 2020 schedule.

Questions? Contact us at projectgrants (_AT_) wikimedia  · org.

I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 19:04, 2 March 2020 (UTC)

WMF advising/MOU and feedback[edit]

Hi all. I wanted to stop by and mention that User:FNartey (WMF) and I are advising AFLIA as part of our ongoing MOU to support the adoption of #1lib1ref and advise on other Wikipedia outreach in Africa.

We also find that this proposal is consistent with other tactics in the library space: the OCLC curriculum was very successful and so far attendence in the webinars supported by the AFLIA have been well attended and recruited from both African and global communities. #1lib1ref and other content campaigns like WikiForHumanRights, WikiGap and ArtandFeminism has been rapidly growing in the African context, and libraries are often the first hosts for the local communities (i.e. the long and very fruitful relationship with the Goethe Institute libraries). We think AFLIA has substantial reach and experience being able to do a project like this, that there is a lot of eager interest in the African library space for participating, they have a good track record of webinars and training for the library sector, and it could advance capacity building and community growth in the whole region.

Per the comments by others above, there is probably room for clarity and design choices on the budget and structure of the project -- but for the first time participating in our grant process the proposal feels right and scoping a project within the Wikimedia space that also fits with our experiences with other grantees. It would be useful to have committee and grant officer feedback on those components. Astinson (WMF) (talk) 16:46, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Wikipedia in African Libraries[edit]

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • The goal and the main activity is not clear. The project has small description about the impact and it's difficult to evaluate.
  • The project fits with Wikimedia's strategic priorities. The adapted OCLC curriculum will continue to be available after the end of the project and can be further developed and expanded.
  • This is a good initiative. Having more African librarians on Wikipedia is important and if successful this project can be scaled and adapted elsewhere.
  • Great project. Specifically addresses strategic priorities of knowledge as equity and knowledge as service.
  • Concerns about lack of detail in the description, but appreciating the clarity around having a Wikipedian in residence with an ambitious program.
  • The project is of iterative nature. There some risks but they are over-weighted by possible benefits. However there are no specific measures of success provided.
  • It isn't clear from the proposal how the grantee plan to measure impacts and outcomes.
  • Glad to see the reuse and adaption of existing material for a new audience and cultural context. Would be interested to see if that model can be replicated in other regions.
  • User without any experience in Wikipedia and unclear definition of the activities.
  • The scope can be accomplished in 12 months but there is no budget actually. The sum of $60,000 allocated for WiR is not justified in any way. The skills of participants and their ability to execute the project are difficult to evaluate.
  • No experience with working on Wikimedia related projects.
  • In as much as I am in support of this project, I think the goals set are too high considering the approach which will be used in executing it. Internet connectivity is a huge problem in Ghana other African countries, it would be very difficult to get 20 librarians from each country to attend online trainings of this sort.
  • What are the opportunities for asynchronous training not just video conferencing? What are the opportunities to delivery offline distance training considering unreliable connectivity in many parts of the content? Is there an opportunity to scale up some aspects of the project to reach a wider audience. Outside of the MOU how will AfLIA be supporting the project? Would a Wikipedian-at-Large rather than a Wikipedian-in-Residence model be more suitable? Does the budget include overheads especially travel and equipment. What equipment and subscriptions necessary to delivery online training?
  • The participants have already been working with AfLIA.
  • No community engagement beyond the MOU with the 1l1ref (?) team.
  • What kinds of libraries are the target audience? Public, academic, schools etc?
  • The project is not mature yet and the editor without experience. It should have more time to re-elaborate the proposal.
  • Not satisfied with how the proposal is written -- lacks specific measures of success and a budget. All these should be provided before the project can go forward. $60,000 allocated for the WiR should be explained in some way.
  • It isn't clear from the proposal how the grantee plan to measure impacts. The proposed post-training survey would only tell us what worked well and what didn't work well during training, participants experience with the webinar platform, trainers evaluation etc. There is a need for a concrete plan on how to measure impacts and how to follow up with participants after the training. We need to know if there is a plan for mentorship after the training, who these mentors are and how they plan to do it. Then, a rough idea of the number of that would continue to contribute after certain months or weeks.
  • It isn't clear from the proposal how the grantee arrived at 60,000USD (5000USD per month) for WIR. What continent would this WIR be recruited from? What is the cost per hour and how many hours would they commit to working per week. I'd recommend this budget to be reviewed and broken down. I don't expect the cost per hour to be more than 30-40USD/hr and a maximum of 4 hours per day.
  • This proposal was announced on the African mailing list and I am surprised that no single person from the African community endorsed this proposal. This leaves me with the impression that there is no support from the targeted or supporting community. This is a potential problem as the grantee needs that particular community for this project to be successful. Considering all these issues, I am neutral for now and learning towards not recommending this proposal for funding.
  • The goals set are too high and seem unrealistic using only online trainings.
  • Budget may need to be increased travel, equipment and other overheads. Especially equipment and subscriptions necessary to deliver online and offline training.
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This proposal has been recommended for due diligence review.

The Project Grants Committee has conducted a preliminary assessment of your proposal and recommended it for due diligence review. This means that a majority of the committee reviewers favorably assessed this proposal and have requested further investigation by Wikimedia Foundation staff.

Next steps:

  • Aggregated committee comments from the committee are posted above. Note that these comments may vary, or even contradict each other, since they reflect the conclusions of multiple individual committee members who independently reviewed this proposal.
  • If you have had an interview with a Program Officer, you may have orally responded to some of the committee comments already. Your interview comments will be relayed to the committee during the deliberations call.
  • You are welcome to respond to aggregated comments here on the talkpage to publicly share any feedback, clarifications or questions you have.
  • Following due diligence review, a final funding decision will be announced on May 29, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact us at projectgrants (_AT_) wikimedia  · org.

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 23:04, 13 May 2020 (UTC)

Hello Grants Committee, thanks for your comments and insightful suggestions. I wish to summarise my response as some of it were suggestions and appreciation for the project, firstly I wish to mention that we have provided a proper breakdown of the budget and what it seeks to cover or address. We can not say for sure reasons why this was not endorsed by the African community but we anticipate that the community may not have encountered us before and may not have known us, hence the lack of support. However as mentioned in the grant the Wikipedia Library Team at the Wikimedia Foundation is working close with us to ensure the success of the project.

I wish to emphasise our ability to meet the targeted number of participants quoted, as we can already show proof that our recent 4 part series webinar yielded more than a 100 participants on average at each session. Also our recent ramp up towards the 1Lib1Ref campaign which we have localised and dubbed the African Librarians Week, already has over 390 participants signed up to the dashboard. Lastly, I wish to mention that we may not need any additional funding as travel is already included in the budget and may not even happen until may 2021. We hope we have answered all the questions asked by the committee --AfLIA Librarian (talk) 10:28, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

Round 1 2020 decision[edit]

IEG IdeaLab review.png

Congratulations! Your proposal has been selected for a Project Grant.

The committee has recommended this proposal and WMF has approved funding for the full amount of your request, US54,098

Comments regarding this decision:
The committee is pleased to support a Wikipedian in Residence for AfLIA, to engage and train librarians in 30 countries in Africa. With the close mentorship that Alex Stinson (Senior Program Strategist) and Felix Nartey (Global Coordinator, The Wikipedia Library) have committed to providing, this project has potential to have significant and lasting impact.

Prior to finalizing a contract, we ask that you work with Alex and Felix to provide a job description specifically outlining the activities of the WiR role (we are now making this request of all WiRs). The first draft should be completed as soon as possible as a prerequisite to contract finalization. The draft can be refined after a contract is issued, but a final version should be submitted to Marti Johnson, who will be your Program Officer, for approval before hiring proceeds.

Please note that we consider funding for WiR activities to be short-term. Grant funding that the Wikimedia Foundation provides for WiRs is not intended to support ongoing workflows, but to leverage the partnership to build a sustainable platform that ensures outcomes long after the WiR has completed their service. Their work should secure long-term outcomes that do not depend on ongoing grant funding.

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Training for AfLibWk[edit]

Hi folks, this looks like a really worthwhile program - well done on getting it set up!

I'm a volunteer on Wikipedia's English-language help IRC channel, and we've had a helpee come in yesterday who's been taking part in the AfLIA AfLibWk project, asking about why their draft had been rejected. The user had created a draft in their user sandbox, with information talking about the AfLIA week, with no external references, and with information about themself, similarly with no references.

When asked about what they'd been intending to do, they said that they'd been directed as part of their training to create a Wikipedia article about themself; I then asked if they'd been informed about the notability guidelines, and they answered that no, they hadn't.

I explained to them about notability the best I could, and pointed them towards the Wikipedia Adventure to get a better idea of the policies and guidelines that shape the wiki, but it's slightly concerning that the training that's being implemented apparently is being interpreted in this way. Of course, I've not seen the training that's being used, so I can't say as to whether this is a misunderstanding of what's being presented or a deficiency in the content itself, but it's probably worth noting as some feedback for the next time something like this is run - inclusion of those basic policies would be of use if people are being recommended to create articles.

All the best, Naypta (talk) 11:44, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

Hi, Thanks for this observation. The feedback is great. The training given for the AfLibWk was on how to add citations, insert citation needed tags and do minor edits. Before the practical training, AfLIA had done four webinars and we learned about notability and neutrality as well as being bold among other things. AfLIA did not ask anyone to write an article. However, some editors tried to do that on their own especially those who might not have attended the introductory webinars. I believe the progressive course that AfLIA is going to run for 5-6wks will correct this misconception you had noticed. Thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AfricanLibrarian (talk)