Grants talk:Project/Rapid/UG BR/Document Quilombos in Maranhão

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Remaining funds[edit]

Hello, SMalik (WMF), Sturm and Chicocvenancio. If this grant request is approved, remaining funds from the previous RG the UG Wikimedia in Brazil was awarded could be transferred to the proponent, who is a member of the UG. Remaining funds will not be enough to cover all expenses of the project to document quilombos in Maranhão, though. --Joalpe (talk) 13:16, 13 May 2017 (UTC) Remaining funds were reallocated to Grants:Project/Rapid/Enlightening talk: OSM and Wikidata. --Joalpe (talk) 19:48, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Comments from WMF[edit]

Hi Chicocvenancio. Thank you for this grant request. Introducing Quilombo members to Wikipedia and supporting documentation of their community is a great initiative. We have a number of clarifying questions about the project and look forward to your responses:

  1. Can you tell us more about the team of researchers and what their research project includes? How does this project fit with that research?
  2. One of the goals is to "recruit readers from Quilombos in Maranhão to Wikipedia". What type of internet access do members of the community have? Will they be reading mostly on cell phones, computers, online or offline?
  3. Joalpe commented in the Endorsement section about how this project connects to the work of Whose Knowledge?. Similar to that group's work, this is a unique opportunity to engage a community in documenting their own history and culture. If one of the main aims of the project is to photograph and document the Quilombo, it can be more effective and empowering to have community members themselves do the documenting (photographing and article writing), in partnership with experienced Wikimedians. Unfortunately, we cannot pay for a professional photographer to take photos for the Wikimedia projects as this constitutes paid content creation.
  4. We would be excited about a more sustained project focused on working with the Quilombo community members to identify sources and local experts in Quilombo culture/history to work on content gaps. We have seen that one-day trainings without a plan for follow-up or mentorship has little impact in terms of recruiting new readers, editors or new/improved content. If you'd like to talk about how to design a more sustained project, we are happy to do so!

Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 19:42, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Alex, I'll start with the refusal to fund the photographer for this activity. I'm sorry if this is your current understanding and I recommend this be made clearer in the guidelines for rapid grants. As it stands, "Funds for people’s time for short-term project activities that can't be completed by volunteers" is within the "Eligible for funding" in the guidelines. While I understand the questioning, this is an activity that I would not feel comfortable doing myself or accompanying an inexperienced volunteer photographer. The photographers we talked to have experience with research and photography in these settings.
Pertaining to the first question I'll ask for a better description from the professors themselves. As I understand it, the ongoing research deals with the different ways of living and architectural and urbanism choices of these communities; there is an aspect of urban intervention and planning as well, with varying involvement from the federal and state governments.
Regarding internet and device access, that is a very difficult question to answer. Firstly, I have not been to Icatu yet and all information I have is second hand from the professors, who are not as technologically inclined as me. There is also no good data on this, to my knowledge. There seems to be LTE access in the biggest communities and on the area we plan to have the meetings, and some of the quilombolas will have smartphones. How many have smartphones or notebooks and to what extent they have LTE in their communities is something I can only ascertain by going there and asking these questions.
Getting back to that third point, yes of course empowering them to do the document their own history and culture is better than doing it from an outside perspective. However, this cannot be done by magic and sheer will. Without outreach and examples that can show how their communities can be seen through Wikimedia projects it will not work.
Let's start with one grant and we can see how it goes. There is interest from the professors and me to do a more sustained project, but we do need to make sure the communities are/became interested and that funding can be arranged.
Cheers, Chico Venancio (talk) 20:46, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
@Chicocvenancio: Hi Chico, I'm sorry that the guidelines were not clear. I've just now made some changes to the language regarding short-term project activities. Under the general guidelines, we have also have a statement reading Projects that replace volunteer action by directly funding someone to create content (e.g. editing articles, uploading photos) as an activity that is not eligible for funding. If this language can be improved, let me know.
I note that you're currently providing services for the Wikimedia Foundation. There are a few other questions that I need to ask because of these circumstances:
  • Who is your manager or who do you report to at the Wikimedia Foundation? (I tried looking for this info on places where we have staff/contractors listed, but didn't have any luck!)
  • Will you be leading this project? If not, what portion of the work in this project will you be responsible for?
If you'd prefer, you can reach me at cschilling(_AT_)wikimedia.org to respond to these questions. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:18, 5 June 2017 (UTC)
Hello Grants people, Alex, Chris,
I have changed a bit of the grant proposal to reflect what I discussed with Chris. I believe Jan has also given the proper responses about my status as a contractor.
The biggest change is contracting the photographer to consult on teaching the quilombolas to take their own pictures and help them documenting their own way of life, customs and architecture. As I explained to Chris, I worry about using a volunteer on this role as many may not have the necessary sensitivity to approach the communities in a way they'll feel comfortable.
About internet access, beyond my first response, I can confirm the State government has plans to bring free wifi directly to the communities, but could not get an estimated time of installation, this may take a year or more. There is already LTE or HSDPA access in the city centre and some of the communities, but we'll may look for offline access solutions if there is enough interest from some of the communities.
The researchers are Professors in the State's University School of architecture.
Professor Marluce Wall, my mother, researches, among other things, participatory urban and architectural planning. Has developed an urban creation methodology with a few colleagues and has applied it to urban communities in cities in Brazil[1], France[2], and Italy[3][4][note 1]. Her research has also involved previous activities with other quilombola communities.
Professor Ingrid Braga also researches participatory methodologies in urban and architectural planning[note 2], but has a special attention to bioarchitecture and traditional building techniques.
Their current research involves bringing urban planning decisions to the communities and discussing it with them. In that context this workshop would involve discussing the state's proposal develop a touristic route with the communities and how their knowledge, culture, and traditions will be exposed. Wikipedia and Wikivoyage can be specially important in that regard, as this specific route is also predicated in the historical battle of Guaxenduba and the legends and tales of around it (example).
I would love to talk about further plans to mentor and extend this workshop into a bigger sustained project. I am, however worried about the intersection between this grant request and our group's simple apg request. At the inception of this request I believed it would be reviewed, and funded(or not), before the start of that simple APG[note 3], I still hope this can be done. Chico Venancio (talk) 14:03, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
@Chicocvenancio: Hi Chico, thanks for the changes to this proposal; I think the project on its own is eligible for funding. However, as you've noted, there are indeed some questions that have come up around the Simple APG proposal in relation to this proposal. In general, if someone in an affiliate is or could be receiving funds through an APG, affiliate projects and events should be made a part of that APG rather than in separate Rapid Grant. I'm waiting to hear from Delphine (WMF) about how to proceed here (she is traveling right now, but will be in touch soon), but one question that might be helpful is aside from you, who else from UG BR is involved with this project? Thanks for your patience in addressing these matters. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 22:46, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
As I mentioned to I JethroBT over Google Hangouts, we do not expect another member of the group participating directly due to the distance to their cities. We plan to involve them in follow up activities that may have a stronger online activity, and they helped with feedback on the proposal, Joalpe especially. Chico Venancio (talk) 23:17, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Chico hello! Sooo. First, I want to apologize for dragging this along, Chris / I JethroBT (WMF) has been pinging me about this for a while and I have left him without an answer for too long. This rapid grant hasn't been a very rapid grant :-(. After talking to many people, we have come to the conclusion that we will not fund this grant. Please find hereafter rationale and comments:
  • It seems that there are quite a lot of unknowns as to the feasibility of the project in itself, and we feel that there should be some more exploratory work going into this (such as sending just a few people to assess the exact feasibility of this - it is not clear whether you already have contacts in those communities, whether there is connectivity, facilities for you to do your presentation and workshop). In short, before sending a team of reasearchers in, I think more assessment work needs to happen.
  • I want to confirm that we do think that there is merit to this project, but that it probably needs to happen in two phases. one to assess feasibility, and then the project itself, in order to maximize impact and results. We are not too worried about the cost for full implementation, but more about funding a project which at this stage presents very little evidence that even the lower goals would be achieved. We are lacking evidence that the actual context on the ground is fully mastered and understood.
  • As per my conversaiton with Celio in Buenos Aires, but also a lot of the other conversations we've had around the APG for your user group, we think that it is important for all of those involved in the user group to consolidate the work you are doing as a group. As such, we feel that this project, or the genesis of it, should be taken into the APG proposal you are working on and not happen as a separate project. This would reinforce the impression of cohesion we need to see from your community and allow for concerted efforts.
  • I want to thank you personally for being so accomodating and for pursuing this and adapting it as much as you can. I hope that we will see this project surface in the current APG request, or maybe in the next, and that you will be able to put in the preparatory work to make it a success.
obrigada for your patience! Delphine (WMF) (talk) 23:21, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
References
  1. "16.09.2015 – Dia de visitas aos territórios". EQUINOX, Atelier Internacional de Criação Urbana. (in Portuguese). 2015-09-17. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  2. UPEMLV. "Institut Francilien des Sciences Appliquées: Workshop international : EQUINOX". ifsa.u-pem.fr (in French). Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  3. www.ideafutura.com, Idea Futura srl -. "EQUINOX International Workshop 2016 - Comune di Ascoli Piceno". www.comuneap.gov.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
  4. "14.09.2016 – EQUINOX 2016". EQUINOX, Atelier Internacional de Criação Urbana. (in Portuguese). 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2017-06-11. 
Notes
  1. Was the coordinator of the Equinox International Workshop of Urban Creation several times. This is an event developed with Universities from France, Italy and Brazil about urban interventions with a participatory methodology.
  2. Participated in all editions of Equinox International Workshop of Urban Creation as well
  3. Most delays, of course, where due to my inexperience with this process and other personal issues