Grants talk:Project/MSIG/WMAT and WMPL/Volunteer Supporters Network 2022
Overall Positive Feedback
This proposal takes a proven structure and tries to build upon it something bigger and more sustainable. There is a specific focus on roles and responsibilities for the hub (skill/leadership development, supporting underrepresented communities to run Wikidata competitions, and developing an ambassadors program), and there is a lot of support from other communities that could stand to benefit from their pilot.
The proposal’s goal appears clear; to test the hubs concept with a thematic focus. Through a series of activities - delivering 12 workshops, providing resourcing support to the Wikidata competition, and creating an ambassadors program - they plan to observe whether their role as a hub has any impact on those community activities and affiliate collaborations. The plan to test the hubs concept is very timely when thinking about the wider context of Movement Strategy hubs implementation, and the learnings that result will potentially be useful for other communities interested in forming hubs. YPam (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 9 February 2022 (UTC)
Feedback For Improvement
Clarify project design
- The proposal highlights three sub-activities, hence three different avenues to test VSN's function as a hub. What concretely do these three initiatives help test? For example, how is the ambassadors program relevant to the hubs test?
- How can a hub support activities derived directly from the movement strategy? This would be the case with the ambassadors program. What makes this program also specifically valuable is that it allows us to explore the responsibilities and relations between hubs and traditional affiliates. Some affiliates already have (local) ambassadors programs. Do they fit in? Do they feel threatened? Can potential cooperations be mutually beneficial? We regard these questions as highly relevant for any activities provided by a hub and at the same time by some affiliates. Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL) (talk) 14:24, 16 February 2022 (UTC)
- The number of initiatives proposed seems ambitious for a small team of two. How will the workload be shared with affiliate teams or other affiliates? Similarly, how feasible will it be to complete all of the suggested initiatives in the timeframe noted, given that the plan is to write a detailed report, deliver 12 workshops, support a multi-day Wikidata competition, and develop an ambassador program. How does the project team plan to ensure that all initiatives can be accomplished? Has the team anticipated challenges that might arise when working with partners and multi-stakeholder teams within the project planning (e.g. planning and budgeting for delays, for translation support, etc.)?~
- We can draw from our long-time experiences with other multi-stakeholder projects and also from working with volunteers. It is important to have more than one way to a solution and not to get surprised without fall-back options. We already have an example: We planned to start our project on February 1st but couldn’t because the grants application is still pending. We knew that something like this could happen. So whereas in general we still want to encourage other affiliates to organize skills and leadership development workshops, we could step in with providing one or two such activities right away in order to keep aligned with our time schedule. This is still in line with our overall expected workload. And it is also worth noting that while the project management is supported by two people, the project is built in a way to encourage engagement of other members of the VSN in organizational work - for example organizing regular meetups and the annual VSN meetup. The conversations with the VSN members from other chapters showed that they are very much interested in the project and plan to be engaged and supportive in every step. So the workload will definitely be shared with the whole network. Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL) (talk) 14:24, 16 February 2022 (UTC)
- While VSN is based in Europe, it appears the proposed activities may involve affiliates across other regions. What aspects of equity is the VSN looking to address with this funding, and will it focus on any specific regions or thematic areas in its work? Has the team considered whether or how the findings from this work work might be relevant for other cultural contexts that are vastly different from the European one.
- The VSN might also be considered as a Latin American project with strong historic roots and very active members from this region. However this doesn’t cover many other cultural contexts. We want to address both our “geographical” and our “structural” inequalities. Better defined decision-making and power structures within the VSN should lay the foundation for more reach-out towards affiliates from world regions which are not (or not enough) active in the VSN. “Structural inequalities” refers to different organizational structures of communities/affiliates especially when it comes to own staff members and yearly budgets. This is one of the main things we want to analyze with the Wikidata competition and the ambassadors project. They aim at supporting both highly-structured communities with formal connections to our hub structure as well as so-called emerging communities which normally can’t benefit from movement resources in the same way. How can a hub serve different needs, especially those of groups without the power and privilege of “forming” a hub’s activities in a way that affiliates with more (time) resources and experience can? Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL) (talk) 14:24, 16 February 2022 (UTC)
- More clarity is needed on how the Wikidata competition connects to the overall strategic concept of hubs.
International community competitions face similar challenges. Hubs are often discussed for overcoming their unsolved problems and makeshift solutions. For example, Wiki Loves Monuments and Wikimedia CEE Spring rely on having an affiliate as a fiscal sponsor, this could be assigned to a hub. CEE Spring provides a similar model to the Wikidata competition by bringing the whole contest framework to the communities (and this model is a frequent topic in CEE Hub related discussion). Such big projects are also endangered by potential volunteer burnout regarding administrative work which could be provided by a hub. Whereas we know what certain challenges are regarding international Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons competitions and what a hub could do for them, we expect to make and provide new learnings regarding our Wikidata communities in the process. Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL) (talk) 14:24, 16 February 2022 (UTC)
Clarify success metrics
- The proposal does not outline key measurement of success for each area of work. How do we know that the goals of this project have been met?
- The overall success of this research project depends on understanding and explaining what works with a hub and what doesn’t (and why). An important part of the the detailed report will be the results of a survey among the Volunteer Supporters Network members and other important project partners. In addition to specific questions around the activities, the survey will focus on questions like whether the project has created a bigger sense of connection, more skills and made it easier for to collaborate. Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (WMPL) (talk) 14:24, 16 February 2022 (UTC)
YPam (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 9 February 2022 (UTC)