Grants talk:Project/Whose Knowledge/Whose Knowledge?

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Actionable outcomes[edit]

The goal of increasing the amount of knowledge that underrepresented communities add to Wikipedia sounds good however I'm not sure that having a list of knowledge that isn't in Wikipedia will actually create change. Why do you believe that's an effective strategy that will increase content contribution? ChristianKl (talk) 11:05, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

Indeed. We already know millions of topics we don't cover, e.g. all speedy deleted articles. The challenge is to identify sources which can be used to "prove" that something would be worth covering, as well as to kickstart the content. Nemo 08:40, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: We see both as important. Sources are indeed part of the opportunities we want to map with marginalized communities, because we agree that is what's needed to make this work actionable - indigenous people and indigenous scholars, for example, are often most familiar with the missing sources, and without proactive invitation to participate and share sources, their knowledge remains significantly underrepresented in Wikimedia projects to-date. However, as far as already knowing what topics aren't covered, we're interested in the topics that are considered most important and most underrepresented by people whose knowledge and interests aren't yet fully represented in our movement and online in general. Collecting the sum of all human knowledge is a big goal. We don't believe that simply working off speedy deletion lists will help us prioritize addressing some of the most critical areas to address, because addressing systemic bias requires a consistent focus to systematically target underrepresented knowledge. And then, too, language matters. English Wikipedia has a lot of redlink lists, but that's not true for all languages, and we're interested in cultivating non-English content as well (as I know you are too!).
@ChristianKl: we agree that having a list alone doesn't create change. This research is the starting point to help raise awareness about areas that we need change the most, and help us prioritize future actions to create that change. It is in the following phase, when those lists are linked up with support systems and encouragement for groups creating content, that the fruits of this labor can be most clearly seen. We see mapping as a first phase of a multi-year campaign - the intention is to build a base for larger scaled actions with content creators in later phases, and we know not everything can be accomplished in 6 months.
Concrete example of how pairing research on gaps and opportunities/sources together with content creators works in practice on a smaller scale: On Indigenous People's Day at WikiConference North America this weekend, Mike Connolly Miskwish, a Native American studies scholar and himself a member of the local Kumeyaay tribe, was invited to give a talk on some of the main gaps, bias and issues he commonly sees both on and off Wikipedia related to native peoples of California. He also brought us a list of sources that could be useful to address those gaps. Capturing the list of the gaps/issues and sources identified by Michael allowed the group of Wikipedians present to then focus their efforts on working on new and improved articles that better represented this body of knowledge from and about Native Americans in California. It was a small event, but we see it as a successful proof of concept. Hope this helps explain a bit more of our current thinking about this project! Siko (talk) 17:38, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
As far as that example goes, it's seems to be about giving Wikipedia editors who want to create content about neglected knowledge sources. For this to be helpful at a broader scale there would have to be many people in the Wikipedia community who want to create such content but who are currently held back by not knowing sources. Do you think that's the current scenario?
You set as one goal "agency and participation from traditionally marginalised individuals". I don't see how the individuals who are marginalised and currently don't participate will be encouraged to participate by Wikipedia having a huge list of knowledge that missing. ChristianKl (talk) 20:59, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
engaging with knowledge organizations to get their content online and used as references on wiki will be a big task. wikimedia can supply the servers, and visibility for orgs stuck in analog, but it will require lots of training in digital literacy and methods for the scanathons, editathons. i think there is a broad cadre of many editors waiting for leadership, (see also women in red) i do not think we have a shortage of editors, merely a shortage of editors who will edit in a "cultural buzzsaw". look forward to working with you. Slowking4 (talk) 02:38, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for this response, Slowking4. We look forward to working with you too! Anasuyas (talk) 18:33, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
i would say that womeninred proves that "huge lists" and "marginalised editors" are necessary but not sufficient, you also need the leadership shown in this grant. the evidence of w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in_Red#Metrics demonstrates that content can be added systematically, it is just a matter of whether the WMF or community want to support it. Slowking4 (talk) 02:18, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

October 11 Proposal Deadline: Reminder to change status to 'proposed'[edit]

The deadline for Project Grant submissions this round is October 11th, 2016. To submit your proposal, you must (1) complete the proposal entirely, filling in all empty fields, and (2) change the status from "draft" to "proposed." As soon as you’re ready, you should begin to invite any communities affected by your project to provide feedback on your proposal talkpage. If you have any questions about finishing up or would like to brainstorm with us about your proposal, there are still two proposal help sessions before the deadlne in Google Hangouts:

Warm regards,
Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 03:16, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Survey scope and design[edit]

According to the budget, most work is to run a "survey" (among marginalised groups, if I understand correctly). What kind of method do you plan to follow for said survey and will you have professional/academic support and review for your methodologies? I would find it more appropriate for WMF to fund a university or other research group. Nemo 08:56, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi Nemo, we’re very lucky to have as advisors Prof. Mark Graham, possibly the foremost researcher into online knowledge geographies currently (including Wikipedia), as well as Amanda Menking, whose expertise is gender and social computing (including on Wikipedia). In addition, we have Wikipedian friends with strong data-analysis backgrounds who are supporting us. Finally, as the two coordinators, we have qualitative research skills and community knowledge. The most important aspect of work like this is to combine academic expertise with community expertise - research without significant understanding of the context can become, as you know, bad research with good intention. And this includes the communities we're reaching out to, who may not have much knowledge of Wikipedia itself; we have credible connections into those communities, and it can only make our research stronger.
We’d also be glad to have any suggestions from you on what you want to make sure is included in this survey, and any methodological pitfalls you’d like to warn us against. We’d be glad to incorporate your advice! Anasuyas (talk) 17:23, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Subjective vs. objective[edit]

I don't know how to express the concept clearly, but a lot depends on whether your goal is to collect (aspirationally) objective or subjective material. If you just want to collect information on what kind of perception people have of Wikipedia and Wikimedia project (their content, their community, how I fit within them), this feels like a rather standard market/brand/demographic study (which has a value).

However, your only stated deliverable seems to be "the largest and most diverse redlink list that Wikipedia has ever seen". This goal is clearly hyperbolic and impossible, since Mix'n'match already offers a list of several millions red links. Even a list of a few hundreds or thousands can be valuable, as long as it's systematic. There needs to be some unifying criterion or review process to "ratify" the list and ensure that all included items are above some threshold, so that the list itself can be used as a source. The only method I know to work in Wikipedia is to have such a list compiled (or "ratified") either by some authority or by a group of researchers. Nemo 08:56, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi again Nemo, as Siko pointed out above, we’re seeking to ensure that different forms of marginalised knowledge are represented well on Wikipedia, not simply any kind of knowledge. For us, there is a difference of priority between creating and improving content on women, or the global South, or racially marginalised and indigenous communities across the world, vs. adding content on the latest Simpson’s episode (even though I love the Simpsons). We are prioritising this for good reason - there is both an ethical imperative (that I know I don’t need to belabour) and a strategic one. We know that the significant growth potential for Wikipedia and sister projects is in these communities and we’re really not there yet. Do we want to continue to have WP (especially enWP) only reflect US and European knowledge or to have it reflect the diversity of the world further?
Finally, we intend for this mapping to be free and open data, not closed, so that many eyeballs can help improve it; the best of the wiki way. Anasuyas (talk) 17:28, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
I understand that I've not expressed myself well, but this response has nothing to do with my question (although I agree with what you say).
I'll try and (over)simplify: it's easiest for you to achieve impact if you produce something that can be used in a Wikipedia discussion as a reference in support of an article, a bit like "The person has an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography or similar publication" of w:en:Wikipedia:Notability (people)#Any biography. If the lists produced don't come with some perception of authority (in their field) or selectivity, they'll be about as useful (to a well-meaning editor) as a blog or IMDb playlist. --Nemo 15:25, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2016[edit]

IEG review.png

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2016 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2016 begins on 2 November 2016, and grants will be announced in December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:12, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Comments of Ruslik0[edit]

I read this proposal and seems to me very vague. It is not clear how you are going to determine what is missing from Wikipedia? And how this list of redlinks will be different from other such existing lists? (It was already mentioned above). In addition, it is not clear how the maps will look like? Any examples? You should be clearer especially as the maps is your main and likely only result.

You also need to be more specific about pilots as in the current form it is absolutely not clear what you are going to do. Ruslik (talk) 13:54, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi, Ruslik0, thanks for your feedback. I think we've already answered much of your first question above in terms of our focus and the difference between what we’ve proposed and just working off existing redlink lists. Essentially, we're using a methodology that invites a set of marginalized groups into the process from the start, asking them to prioritize the knowledge that they feel is most critical and urgent to include online in projects like Wikipedia. See here for some concrete though much smaller-scale (and not yet aggregated or cleaned up) examples of what kinds of data we expect the survey will generate. This is not where most Wikipedians or technologists have tended to start when generating redlink lists in the past, we know, but we think that to truly build the sum of all human knowledge it is important to begin identifying gaps and opportunities from the priorities and perspectives of marginalized communities themselves.
In terms of mapping, we don’t see maps as the only result of our work, though you’re right to see it as the most concrete outcome from phase 1 of the project. The grant we’re requesting includes funds to hire a smart designer to work out the best visual presentation, so we’ll be able to provide prototype images once we have funds to compensate for their time.
Pilots are in discussion with multiple partners. We’d prefer to discuss details more fully with grants staff or committee members off-wiki for the time being, if there is interest in a proposal of this nature, and when we’ve got enough clear and detailed agreement to publish details committing specific partner organizations to specific actions, we’ll of course be very happy to do so.
Thanks again for your input! Cheers, Siko (talk) 21:06, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Comments by Joalpe[edit]

Hi. This proposal tackles a very relevant issue --the need to take into consideration that individuals, groups step into Wikimedia projects with different backgrounds, embedded in specific systems of social relationships, and that as a community we should take facilitate the entry of people who are chronically marginalized into the project. I also believe we should see Wikimedia projects as having the potential to be a relevant space for promoting social change; this might already occur indirectly or at the small scale, and the idea of a campaign seems to me a means of making this potential more explicit and widespread.

Dear Joalpe, thank you so much for this affirmation of the need and urgency of this work - and the work of so many others who are supporting us to do this. We’re very appreciative! Thank you too, for your very thoughtful comments and questions; those are answered inline below. Anasuyas (talk) 17:53, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

1. Yet, I second Rulisko's comment that this proposal is still more a statement of intent than an actual project. We are missing clearcut metrics, for instance. There is a vague understanding of sustainability.

As people who’ve worked with metrics before, we’re feel this set is pretty clear and attainable for this phase of the project (remember, it’s only six months!) - with both important quantitative and qualitative aspects. The struggle - as always - with something as complex as this, is that we have no clear baseline. No one knows what the sum of all marginalised knowledge might encompass, just as we don’t really know what the sum of all human knowledge is; what we’re trying to do is to make WP significantly better by improving the sub-set of marginalised knowledge in the larger universal set of ‘all human’ knowledge, knowing that it is significantly centred on the demographics, identities and issues of those _not proportionally represented on our Wikipedias.
We’d also be glad to hear what you would suggest instead or in addition to make these metrics clearer? Suggestions welcome. :-) And I do realise it may not be clear (other than in the budget) that the metrics are for six months; I'll update to reflect that. Anasuyas (talk) 17:53, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

2. Endorsements to this project remain astonishingly low, given the ambition, the sum requested and the reference to important outreach actions that are used as examples --Art+Feminism, AfroCROWD, and Indian Women in Science. Proponents are committed, well-known Wikimedians, but I am having the sense that this particular project is not sufficiently grounded on actual community. References to outreach actions might just be anecdotal.

I think we’ve been getting a steady stream of endorsements over the past few days, post your original comment. I hope the project feels more grounded in community now. Anasuyas (talk) 17:53, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
@Joalpe: Outside of endorsements on this page, it's also worth noting here that there is a substantial degree of interest in participation in this campaign on the user group page, containing both long-time and newer contributors, and I think that interest indicates that this campaign would enjoy strong community support. Their announcement at the AWID Forum, broad messaging on-wiki and through mailing lists, collaborating with existing initiatives, and good old word of mouth have all been excellent strategies for gathering broad participation. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:28, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for this helpful additional comment, I JethroBT (WMF). We do believe this project enjoys some significant support right now, both in the Wikimedia and wider world! Anasuyas (talk) 18:35, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

3. I would recommend to consider transforming this project into a sequence of activities, basically starting by a research project, with a strong methodology, and consultation to user groups and chapters to have a sense of the need/potential for such a campaign.

This is Phase 1 of our intended activities on this project, and indeed we see it as starting primarily with the research. And although we’re already speaking with user groups and chapters as well, we don’t believe that starting there alone is sufficient. We believe that it is critical to look at outsider interest and expertise on this issue, because in our experience, it is non-Wikimedian inputs to marginalised knowledge work that has been missing so far, and is urgently needed. Just as an example, bringing a delegation of cross-continental Wikimedian women to the largest gathering of feminists in Brazil in September was the first time such a connection was made, at that global scale, and we intend to continue making these important connections in other spheres. Anasuyas (talk) 17:53, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

I hope these comments were helpful! --Joalpe (talk) 15:11, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Indeed, thank you so much for both your thoughtful comments on the proposal as a whole, and your detailed questions diving deeper. Obrigada, Anasuyas (talk) 17:53, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Comments by Chris K[edit]

Hello Siko and Anasuya - thank you for this proposal, looks very interesting, and glad to see you both back. I can certainly see the potential to identify and fill content gaps, which would be a useful step forward. However I have a couple of questions:

Hi Chris, thanks for these questions. I'm threading some replies below. Siko (talk) 18:20, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

1. Can you clarify what "data and visualisation tools" you envisage, and how you have arrived at the $25k USD cost estimate? How will the data and visualisation tools have practical use? Will the tools be usable by other "content gap" scenarios on Wikipedia, as well as those you have specifically identified in your survey phase? Finally, managing technical projects poses some important challenges: Do either of you have experience specifying and supervising the delivery of this kind of technical development projects?

Data-Viz Tools:We envision a mapping tool that will ultimately take data we’ve collected from all over the world, and display it so that users can:
  • see and search for patterns and clusters (e.g. user sees a pattern of missing biographies of trans women noted from 12 countries (gaps), and a cluster of organizations that have access to notable material which could be used to generate these biographies (opportunities))
  • drill down or export data based on specific criteria (e.g. user is able to generate a view of oral sources that are available to be digitized from one specific community, or a view of information tagged as missing on a particular bias-related topic in a particular language).
  • contribute to the data so it isn’t read-only. Although we’re gathering v1 data via a survey, we expect that mapping gaps and opportunities in marginalized online knowledge will never really be done, and so we want people to be able to contribute more data into the system using our mapping tool as well.
A six month project can only begin this work, but it will give us a serviceable alpha to use for subsequent mapping efforts with partners, and help us to prioritize actions for the following phases of the Whose Knowledge? Campaign.
Re-use: We’re talking with the creator of the Wikipedia Requests tool to see how we might integrate with his work, to use and integrate with existing tools wherever possible rather than recreate everything from scratch. Our Whose Knowledge? user group includes Wikimedians working on various content gap scenarios, and we intend to closely involve them as alpha testers to ensure we’ll create something multi-purpose for the movement and for mapping multiple forms of marginalized knowledge (e.g. we may focus on collecting data on gender and the global South first, but others will have a use-case to focus on LGBTQI data first, and we intend to learn from and support it).
Specifying, supervising and budgeting technical projects: I accidentally became a technical project manager 10 years ago at a start-up nonprofit tech organization, where I ended up managing the relationship with our technical contractors and owning specifications in order to deliver our alpha product for community testing. Since then, I've specified and managed projects with a software development aspect in my work at 2 other orgs (including WMF), and I've mentored several Wikimedians to do the same. Anasuya has also been a non-techie working on the margins of the FLOSS movement for over a decade, and has brought that experience to bear upon her own work in social justice and the Wikimedia movements. Our 25k budget for tech/design is based on a ballpark estimate from speaking with a few techies/designers about our needs, and our past experience funding software projects in the Wikimedia movement. We agree that technical projects bring their own challenges, and we’re not engineers, but Whose Knowledge? also has access to good technical advisors to help if/when we get stuck. Siko (talk) 18:20, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

2. How much of your personal time do you expect to spend on this if the grant is approved? If I read the application correctly, it is both of you full-time for 6 months - is that right? Do you have a more detailed time estimate for yourselves of the different phases of the project? While I think the $1000/month rate you have suggested is remarkably cheap given your backgrounds and experience, I would be sceptical if the work involved was conveniently arranged so that it took 40 hours a week for 26 weeks. :)

We each spend ~20 hours/week forwarding Whose Knowledge? right now, and we expect at least 75% of that time to be taken up by this project for the next 6 months if funded. Agree with you that $1000/month comes nowhere near our usual working rate ;) But because we understand the limited budget that WMF grants is working with, and because we felt it was critical to have funds for things besides our own time, we decided to propose a heavily subsidised rate for ourselves instead of our actual hourly rate. In order to subsidise our low rate on this project, we'll personally need to take on additional other work and/or external grants at a higher rate for other Whose Knowledge? projects to complement this project. Siko (talk) 18:20, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

3. Regarding travel costs - One face-to-face partner meeting during the project seems on the low side: do I take it that more face-to-face engagement will be happening, but isn't reflected as a budgeted cost?

Much of our engagement can be accomplished through video calls, but you're right to assume that not all of it can! More than one face-to-face meeting is likely during this period, but some partner networks also have a local base or come through our area from time-to-time, which will help keep costs down for smaller meetings. Our plan is to use the $4500 for only the most critical travel needs to accomplish the stated goals, and continue to seek external funding for other meetings where needed. Siko (talk) 18:20, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Many thanks for your help, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 20:18, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks again for these thoughts. Would you suggest any changes to the budget, based on the information we've provided? Cheers! Siko (talk) 18:20, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
That all makes sense - thanks a lot. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 22:40, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

How can I join or participate as a prof and editor of color?[edit]

I teach WikiEdu modules in my courses on POC and Women in hip-hop and other topics. I'd like to become more active in this project/grant. --SheridanFord (talk) 14:03, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

Hi, SheridanFord! Thanks for your note here - we'd love to have you involved (and I'm also really curious to hear more about your thoughts on representations of women in hip-hop both on Wikipedia and the broader internet). Would you email us (I'm siko(_AT_)whoseknowledge.org) so we can be in touch off-wiki? It would be great if we could send you the survey once it is ready and ask you and your students/networks to contribute to the map of marginalized knowledge that we're aiming to build. I'd also be really happy if you've got some time to talk together about what sorts of resources or pilot approaches could be most helpful to support your work. Whether or not this grant is funded, hope you'll be in touch - maybe also consider joining the Whose Knowledge? user group, so we can let you know when more things happen? Thanks again for reaching out! Siko (talk) 23:30, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Whose Knowledge?[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?
6.5
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
5.1
(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?
6.9
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
7.1
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • This project fits with the strategic priority of improving quality, specifically by increasing coverage of knowledge from marginalized communities. It has potential for online impact and builds off of and ties into other efforts/projects to address systematic bias in Wikipedia. In terms of sustainability - it appears to me that there's an assumption that Project Grants will continue to fund the future phases of the project. Clarity on this would be appreciated.
  • Unclear how this analysis will help to solve the problem. There will be a mapping of gaps, and afterwards?
  • The project fits within the Wikimedia strategic priorities. However the impact potential is very hard to judge because the project is more a statement of intent than a well developed project with clear goals, expected results and metrics. Its sustainability is also difficult to estimate.
  • In line with Wikimedia strategic priorities, with big potential and, in ideal situation, it can create a large new user movement
  • This project reads to me as a statement of intent concerning the need to democratize and diversify Wikimedian resources and goals, not as an actual plan of activities. In the talk page, proponents made a stronger assessment for this proposal: "No one knows what the sum of all marginalised knowledge might encompass, just as we don’t really know what the sum of all human knowledge is; what we’re trying to do is to make WP significantly better by improving the sub-set of marginalised knowledge in the larger universal set of ‘all human’ knowledge, knowing that it is significantly centered on the demographics, identities and issues of those _not proportionally represented on our Wikipedias;" this uncertainty also raises the risk of this project. I would make sure to distinguish types of marginalization in the mapping process.
  • Fits with strategic priority of closing diversity gaps. Online impact and scalability/adaptation is not evident.
  • The applicants are proposing an innovative approach to solving a key problem, and their proposal demonstrates that they have given a lot of thought to methodology and how to work best with different groups and communities. I think it makes senses for the committee to support larger and bolder experiments - in addition to funding one off projects - in this area and in order to begin to address the very complicated issue of systematic bias across WMF sites. The risks here as I see it are 1) that the efforts of the project cannot be sustained (for example, after the grant ends) and 2) that the outcomes of the grant do not meet expectations (i.e. a mapping tool or system is successfully put in place but we still do not see on-wiki results in terms of sustained contributions and expanded content from participating communities).
  • There are several instances of projects focused on identifying "wiki needs", this is not a new initiative.
  • I see significant risks with this project. It may not live to very high expectation set for it by its authors. The main reason is that even its authors admit that they know little about existing knowledge gaps and opportunities. The measures of success are basically non-existent.
  • Creative but too vague: measures of success are not clear, not sure that map itself is result though new volunteers could be
  • Level of uncertainty is moderately high, so measurable outcomes are not so present. The stronger point is that this could have, if successful, a long-term impact within our community, working on acknowledging and tackling positively power relations in the wiki world.
  • Will be useful if we have a sustainable resource like http://whgi.wmflabs.org/ . Considerable risk in the visualization/map just staying there without triggering widespread community action. Success metric need to be based on clear and direct on-wiki impact.
  • The applicants are extremely capable and experienced. They have the right mix of expertise as well as key contacts/relationships to make a project like this work. The budget seems reasonable for the work proposed and we are getting a bargain in terms of the rates charged for the coordinators' time.
  • Very huge mass of data to analyze; in my opinion the time frame is optimistic.
  • I see no problems in the ability of its participants to execute it. However the tech costs are not well substantiated, in my opinion. The authors do not seem to understand what tech they will actually need.
  • Realistic, grantees definitely have enough skills and I am glad to see their low rates for management fees
  • Very ambitious project. Participants are undoubtedly experienced and skilled to coordinate this proposal.
  • Great team with deep understanding of the movement and the problem they are trying to address.
  • Supports diversity and has good community backing.
  • The project supports diversity and have a specific target community. However, the level of endorsements appears to be low for such an ambitious project.
  • Specific targeting but I hoped to see more support and endorsement
  • Strong support from the community.
  • Engagement is great through the newly formed user group.
  • I would like to see this funded and think it is very important work for the movement. That said, I anticipate that some may see this work as vague and lacking concrete, on-wiki deliverables. Given the request for funds is quite high, if there is lack of support for the proposal as it currently stands, I would recommend that the grantees look at a way to proceed with the work without as much focus on developing the data and visualization tool. While I think the tool is important for ultimately making the mapping data usable for participating communities, its design is currently more than half the budget for the project, and I wonder if there is a way to move forward without a full commitment to designing the tool, for example, by using a lo-fi mock-up or only initially presenting the gaps/opportunities for 2-5 communities/partners. This brings the cost of the total project down but also does not prevent the survey from going ahead, the necessary data being collected, the toolkits being piloted with 1-2 partners, etc.
  • In my opinion the project is huge and doesn't produce a real "operational" impact.
  • It is better to split the project in a sequence of smaller proposals. The first one should be a research project. Then based on the results of this research the next steps taken.
  • I think the idea is good, budget is low compared to the amount of grantees' work but I don't see a particular project here, just an intent: we already have projects like art+feminism that give raise to many disputes inside grant committees as we see no strategy, plan and particular steps with results: we haven't solved all issues there but bearing in mind the seriousness of the problem we take up more and more new projects that require budgets and human efforts but we still have no joint vision and complete plan, that's why I am not ready to support this project
  • This project is ambitious and levels of risk and uncertainty are high. Proponents are experienced, skilled Wikimedians. This project, if grant request is funded, should be closely tied to the WMF outreach team, since this could become a real campaign in our community and this tie could be a means of lowering risks.
  • Budget needs to be reduced. Project should have more on-wiki deliverables with a clear plan to trigger widespread community action.
IEG IdeaLab review.png

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:

  1. 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. We recommend that you review all the feedback and post any responses, clarifications or questions on this talk page.
  2. Following due diligence review, a final funding decision will be announced on Thursday, May 27, 2021.

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



I´m more than surprised[edit]

that this project was changed significantly after the comments of 20 people without explicitely contacting them. Is this the way how it works? Simply adapting the content to the circumstances until it fits? Without proving that it can work like this, just because a few people think it might just be better?

A strange form of requesting a grant. In any case, this is not the path I am familiar with and which follows the usual rules. It may, however, show that the technical qualification is missing. Since it is likely to be a confirmation (which does not necessarily have to be part of the participating people, but more on the subject), it is all the more important to look at the sustainable success and the result one gets in succession and whether this result also fulfills the promised expectations. --Hubertl (talk) 15:04, 4 December 2016 (UTC)

Hi there. Our understanding of the process is that, because it is a wiki with full history preserved, proposals can be refined in response to committee feedback after scoring is completed, and we were encouraged to make adjustments to specify more details. Generally endorsers have proposals on their watchlists so we don't expect it is necessary to re-notify with each edit, but it is helpful to understand that was an expectation that you personally had. One of the things I found surprising in this process was to see your opposition in the endorsements section of the main proposal, rather than on the talk page where constructive (including opposing) feedback is usually found. So, I guess we're both finding some unfamiliar things on this path, and I can understand how you'd be surprised too when something doesn't happen quite as you expect. I'm not, however, going to question your technical qualification as a result, and I would appreciate if you'd give us the same courtesy. We're all here to contribute to the vision of more open knowledge on Wikimedia projects, and we also expect success to be determined based on actual outcomes/results. Meanwhile, any concrete suggestions you have for improving this project are most welcome. Cheers, Siko (talk) 22:10, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Round 2 2016 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, $47,840 USD

Comments regarding this decision:
The committee is pleased to support your efforts in organizing and mobilizing marginalized and underrepresented communities to identify and tackle systemic bias and knowledge gaps on the internet. We are excited to learn from your pilot with the Dalit community and women’s human rights defenders in working towards expanding free knowledge, and from your commitment to developing a sustainable model to empower future initiatives.

Next steps:

  1. You will be contacted to sign a grant agreement and setup a monthly check-in schedule.
  2. Review the information for grantees.
  3. Use the new buttons on your original proposal to create your project pages.
  4. Start work on your project!

Upcoming changes to Wikimedia Foundation Grants

Over the last year, the Wikimedia Foundation has been undergoing a community consultation process to launch a new grants strategy. Our proposed programs are posted on Meta here: Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021. If you have suggestions about how we can improve our programs in the future, you can find information about how to give feedback here: Get involved. We are also currently seeking candidates to serve on regional grants committees and we'd appreciate it if you could help us spread the word to strong candidates--you can find out more here. We will launch our new programs in July 2021. If you are interested in submitting future proposals for funding, stay tuned to learn more about our future programs.



Non-Commercial license[edit]

Why is grant money being spent on a project, which main page (http://whoseknowledge.org/) displays a -NC- license? Isn't that againt our values? Ping AWang (WMF) --Josve05a (talk) 12:00, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

(Sorry if my tone sounded abrasive. Not my intentions. Josve05a (talk) 18:08, 7 March 2017 (UTC))
Please remove the non-commercial restriction. WMF grant money is used for projects which comply with the wmf:Values, per Grants:Start/About. Non-free content, for example media that may require payment for commercial reuse, does not meet those values. Thanks -- (talk) 12:11, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Hi Josve05a and , is this how you'd like to begin a friendly conversation with us about our licensing choices? There isn't anything on our website that conflicts with WMF values, as far as we're aware, and any content we create on Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia or Commons is of course not NC. But if you'd like to share your specific concerns about why you think it would be better to select a license that allows for commercial reuse of the writing on our website itself, we'd be open to hearing more about your thoughts. What's a real use case you can imagine where someone would need to repurpose content from one of our website pages and charge money for it? Help us understand why that feels important to you - I'm always happy to learn something new. Cheers, Siko (talk) 17:48, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
The grant application makes no mention that the outcomes may be presented on a website that uses a non-commercial license as a default. The presumption for all grants is that the work and outcomes will be published freely, in line with wmf:Values. Rather than demanding explanations of why anyone would question your licensing choices, it is self-evident that WMF grants should not be used to promote websites that may later charge for their content. If you have no intention of ever charging for commercial reuse of the website content (as you appear to be saying above), then please remove the non-commercial licence to avoid doubt, or provide an explanation of why this is necessary as you missed this key point out in your original grant application. -- (talk) 17:59, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Seeeko - perhaps you could explain why your website needs to be NC licensed, and why you think that's acceptable, given that nothing there can be imported onto Meta, Commons, Wikipedia etc, even if it's just the behind the scenes organisational pages ? Nick (talk) 22:31, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
Hi everyone, I want to offer some clarity about the formal requirements for grantees participating in Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) grantmaking programs. While it is true that WMF deeply values freedom of information and we support production of freely licensed (non NC) content wherever possible, our funding support is not limited to organizations whose own web content is non NC. Any content produced by grantees (including Whose Knowledge?) using WMF funds must be released under a non NC license. However, they are free to license their own website under any license they choose. Nick, we do expect (and the grantees understand) that all content produced under this grant will be uploaded in a form that _can_ be imported into Wikimedia projects. --Marti (WMF) (talk) 00:42, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
I know the end result will be CC-BY-SA licensed, but that, to my mind, makes things more complex, not less so - there's going to be a mixture of material suitable for our projects and the potential for some material under the NC licence which we will need to delete if it's imported in. It's needlessly complex and we still don't know why Seeeko needs to use the NC licence at all, particularly given any fruits of their project will be available for use under the CC-BY-SA licence.
This complexity, the needless mixture of licences and the potential for unintentional copyright violations which we, as administrators on various projects have to spend time (or in this case, possibly waste time) dealing with is the sort of thing that puts people off from getting involved with these sorts of projects. Nick (talk) 09:33, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
Can you please clarify what's meant by "these sorts of projects"? At first I read this to mean something like projects that focus on marginalized knowledge and people (women? Global South?), but surely that's not what you intended. Thanks Siko (talk) 22:46, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
"These sorts of projects" would be any project where there's external involvement with outside organisations, and they don't understand copyright, try to enforce Byzantine copyright restrictions, try to change licences later or a variety of other unnecessary copyright issues. Nick (talk) 23:35, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
@Nick: all content produced under this grant will be uploaded in a form that _can_ be imported into Wikimedia projects is what Marti wrote above. Given that stipulation, I'm not seeing a real problem here. We don't place these kinds of demands on external websites maintained by grantees. If there is some specific content that is at issue, then I think we can discuss that further, but I haven't seen anything like that here. I understand you and others have dealt with handling bad uploads to Commons and other projects, but importantly, the team clearly plans to share their research, data, and other relevant project materials under an appropriate license. This can be a matter of simply noting a CC-BY-SA license on the materials directly. Because the project team will be responsible for uploading these materials, I doubt any of this will take up anyone's time. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 21:02, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
@Nick: thanks for making it clearer what your concerns are re uploading, offering that information is helpful. Anasuya and I have been uploading files to Commons and the other projects for many years without issues, we're well accustomed to uploading all materials created for Wikimedia projects under CC BY-SA license. We don't intend to shift any burden to admins in sorting out licensing of materials that have been created using WMF funds, and we're well aware of the licensing requirements for any materials created with WMF funds. You might not be aware that we've also got an organizing hub on meta, which we update about 3x more often than our external website, and any materials we create there (for example, knowledge maps and resource lists) are default CC BY-SA. Our website is one of several places we live online, in other words, and just to underscore what WMF staff have said above, work on our website is not what's being funded here. As for our website, please note that the licensing states "unless otherwise specified," because as we create more materials for use on Wikimedia projects (as any funded by WMF will be), the body of specified CC BY-SA materials referenced there will naturally also grow. Finally, to your first question: The particular purpose for the NC license choice on our website was to ensure no commercial use without negotiation, because for far too long, marginalized knowledge has been used for profit by the powerful and privileged without permission. That's something Anasuya brought up as we were setting up the website, and it is the way we've decided to move forward with the external website until there is a good reason to do otherwise. Hope this information helps. Cheers, Siko (talk) 18:43, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
Seeeko - thanks for your reply. "The particular purpose for the NC license choice on our website was to ensure no commercial use without negotiation, because for far too long, marginalized knowledge has been used for profit by the powerful and privileged without permission" I'd say that's a very fair and reasonable approach to take. The robust partitioning your propose between your own site and the content that could/will be generated under the terms of this grant seems to be the best that can be done, hopefully it will prove to be satisfactory. I don't for one moment doubt that you and Anasuya know your way around Commons, but hopefully as the body of work you create grows, other users will begin to use it, and it's those users I'm concerned about becoming confused, not the experienced users who know about licensing. My experience is to never underestimate what material less experienced users can find, nor how confused they can become trying to use it. Nick (talk) 23:35, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

The argument that freely licensed work could be abused by evil people is a known fallacy, refer to Free knowledge based on Creative Commons licenses for more information. I see the website has been fixed in the meanwhile, thanks! That will help reduce confusion and increase chances to reach the expected goal (it's a bit hard to convince professors to publish under a free license when your own website is unfree, for instance). Nemo 14:58, 16 May 2017 (UTC)