Grants talk:Project/Wiki In Africa/Wiki Loves Women 2017

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Eligibility confirmed, round 1 2017[edit]

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 1 2017 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through the end of 4 April 2017.

The committee's formal review for round 1 2017 begins on 5 April 2017, and grants will be announced 19 May. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 19:53, 27 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments from Ruslik0[edit]

The project seems to have rather vague measures of success and essentially no clear plan. It generally lacks any specifics. Some more comments:

  1. When you say that 713 articles were created on the English Wikipedia as a result of your activities you are implying that all of them can be attributed to the project funded by Goethe-Institut. However many of them would probably have been created even if there had been no such a grant. So, I mean you should try to better separate the on-wiki Wiki Loves Women 2017 project and the off-wiki project with the same name. They are not completely the same.
  2. Regarding UNESCO. There is a Wikimedian in Residence at UNESCO now. How you do you plan to interact with him? Would not your planned activities duplicate his work?
  3. Why did Goethe-Institut decide not to continue the funding?
  4. Do you have any specific funding sources identified already that will provide the necessary funding after this grant expires?

Ruslik (talk) 17:53, 9 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments from Ruslik0 and answers[edit]

The project seems to have rather vague measures of success and essentially no clear plan. It generally lacks any specifics. Some more comments:

Actually…. We also wrote an email to the grant team when we published this page to explain the reasoning behind the grant request and we may have not made that point across in this wiki page. Sorry about that. The reasoning is that the local teams who worked in 2016-2017 on that project started various partnerships and those partnerships are now stopped due to lack of funding to support the local teams. We set up a proposal to continue the support for the 4 countries, but this is perfectly negotiable based on each country’s own needs and situation. Second, we intend to launch WLW in 4 additional countries but to do this, we would need to find additional funding. What we have asked Wikimedia Foundation grant team is to help us “bridge” by providing support and resources whilst we looking for other grant makers.
This is not the first grant request with that approach. Grants:Project/Whose Knowledge/Whose Knowledge? grant request, funded last year, was in a similar situation and we would like to quote them, as the following words exactly reflect what we have in mind : ‘’We don’t expect WMF grants to fund all aspects of the Whose Knowledge? campaign or infrastructure. Instead, we’re working to build a network of funders to support the work we’re doing. Funding from the Wikimedia Foundation demonstrates interest from the Wikimedia world in exploring this approach to address systemic bias, and we expect to be better able to give an update on our growing funding network at the end of this 6-month project.’’
In short… we would like to find external funders to support “Wiki Loves Women”, we are not completely new at doing this as we already set up other projects completely externally funded (such as m:WikiFundi, funded by Fondation Orange). However, this requires time and resources and it would also be extremely precious to us that Wikimedia Foundation demonstrates interest by sponsoring us. Does that clarify the situation ?


  1. When you say that 713 articles were created on the English Wikipedia as a result of your activities you are implying that all of them can be attributed to the project funded by Goethe-Institut. However many of them would probably have been created even if there had been no such a grant. So, I mean you should try to better separate the on-wiki Wiki Loves Women 2017 project and the off-wiki project with the same name. They are not completely the same.
Your comment is a bit confusing to us as there is only one project, Wiki Loves Women. It would appear that we have not been clear about how the activities of Wiki Loves Women were conducted. They were specifically off-line and on-line. There were off-line actions in four countries, spearheaded by the local teams conducted by Shola, Raphaël, Dominique and Georges, as well as specific online Wiki actions that we (Florence and Isla) started, guided and lead. There were in particular 3 onwiki actions : the #15WritingChallenge launched the project, we collaborated with Dr Blofeld on the African Destubathon and there would not have been a #16WikiWomen if we had not conceptualised, set up and run the translation drives.
Arguably, some of the articles created *might* have been created regardless of our online and offline actions. Still… looking at the results of the #16WikiWomen, ‘’overall, 116 articles have been created based on translation from the English version. Out of those 64 are basically a near equivalent of the master article in terms of quality. Additionally, 39 previously existing article versions have been improved’’... we are fairly sure that without the drive, none of those articles would exist.
If you would like to know more about the lack of editors in Africa, or the Gender Gap, please read more about it on the Wiki Loves Women website where we collected facts and figures to document the situation.Also, please have a look at this new tool, which creation Florence inspired : http://tools.dicare.org/gaps/gender.php, giving information about the African gender gap on WikiData.
Last, it is probably worth mentioning that we were under no obligation to provide Wikimedia metrics to our previous grant maker. We did some tracking though, however imperfect it might be. We would like to clarify that - beyond content - we knew our grant makers wanted us to 1) improve visibility of gender gap issues in Africa, 2) to give visibility to Goethe Institute role in the focus countries and 3) to foster long-lasting relationships between the GI and the local communities, that would extend beyond this pilot project. We reached those 3 goals and even if GI does not fund the project anymore, they are still active supporters of it. We can in particular point out the WLW video and the German TV report.
  1. Regarding UNESCO. There is a Wikimedian in Residence at UNESCO now. How you do you plan to interact with him? Would not your planned activities duplicate his work?
Not only we are aware of him, but we actually work with him. We have included the Wikipedian in Residence at UNESCO in the grant proposal as an advisor. The work covered by UNESCO is huge. The work we will do will assist him in covering one small aspect of their work. Our focus is on extracting the work they have done specific to gender equality in Africa and adding this to relevant articles.
  1. Why did Goethe-Institut decide not to continue the funding?
They were very clear from the onset that they were only going to fund the pilot (15 month) project. They have concluded their part of the agreement. Any discussion as to the extension of the project has also been ended with the movement of our primary contact at the Goethe-Institut to Munich and away from her previous focus on Africa.
  1. Do you have any specific funding sources identified already that will provide the necessary funding after this grant expires?
We already approached several grantmakers to kickstart the Wiki Loves Women project in 4 additional countries. So far, without success. We are hoping that our chances for success will be higher when we can show that our own community is supporting us via a Wikimedia Foundation grant as co-funding is generally appreciated. We have asked the WMF grant team to help us approach some grant makers who might be supportive of our focus. In this case, we would be able to approach grantmakers that do not allow for unsolicited funding proposals. Anthere (talk) and Isla.

Ruslik (talk) 17:53, 9 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Questions from NickK[edit]

Hi @Islahaddow: and @Anthere: and thank you for your proposal! I have heard a lot of good feedback on Wiki Loves Women project and its impact on African communities, thus it's clearly a good initiative. I have several questions regarding your plan and budget:

  • Wikipedians in Residence. Is it possible to have more details on what these WiR are doing? Are they in residence in Goethe-Instituts of the respective countries or in some other institutions?
  • Country team stipends. Do they apply only to WiR or also to other people invovled in organising local activities? It is not really a common practice to provide stipends unless they are staffers or contractors with clearly defined roles.
  • In general, Project Action line needs more detail, could you please at least provide what typical expenses per country look like (i.e. what sum are you planning to spend on stipends, on communication materials etc.)?
  • Communications. Could you please explain the difference between communication expenses in lines 3 and 5?
  • Tracking, Metrics, Assessment and Evaluation report. What do these expenses correspond to?
  • Project management. Could you please provide an estimate of the time you spend on the project (in hours or FTE)?
  • Admin overhead. What is in this line? Typical overheads (project management, financial administration) are already in separate lines, thus it would help if you would give at least one-line description of these expenses?

In general, I think that this is a great project, but budget is not well-written for a proposal of this size. I would expect more details for such an amount, thus I am looking forward to your answers. Thanks — NickK (talk) 17:13, 11 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello. We both took some time off for Easter. We'll be back shortly with answers to your questions. Thanks Anthere (talk)

Answers to Comments from @NickK:[edit]

  • Wikipedians in Residence. Is it possible to have more details on what these WiR are doing? Are they in residence in Goethe-Instituts of the respective countries or in some other institutions?
When the four countries (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria) were activated in April 2016, they were organised according to the strengths of their local community and local situation. In Cameroon, there is one Wikipedian in Residence who has operated on his own and in concert with other WM volunteers (that are now forming a Usergroup), in Cote d’Ivoire, and Nigeria the local Wikimedia Usergroup, and similarly in Ghana a local Foundation (created by two Wikipedians) was tasked with the project, with one Lead member and an action person or WIR.
Throughout our projects, our use of the WIR title is pretty loose. In that the WIR is “in residence” with the project and is working with multiple organisations to get the work done. They worked with the Goethe-Institut to do training, upload and editing events at the GI’s library facilities, but in most cases they worked with other civil society groups, and you can see the actions that they have been doing here on blog posts and listed on the en:wp and fr:wp wiki project pages.
You can also see the individual actions for each country here:
  • Country team stipends. Do they apply only to WiR or also to other people involved in organising local activities? It is not really a common practice to provide stipends unless they are staffers or contractors with clearly defined roles.
In order to get maximum actions and concentration on the project, the countries get a set amount that they can use in the way that is suitable for their conditions. In some cases, the lead person has a “salary” in others it is an amount that is divided up as per each person’s specific engagements. This is up to the team … however in Africa, if people are not paid to work on a specific project - which takes considerable time and effort to do - it will simply not happen. In this case, the person and group act as activators and not as paid editors. They work with partners and groups of people to release relevant, researched and citable content and then port that content onto Wikipedia by training passionate community members who are either Wikipedians or are part of the partner’s network.
As discussed above, the teams in each country determine how the stipend is divided up.
  • In general, Project Action line needs more detail, could you please at least provide what typical expenses per country look like (i.e. what sum are you planning to spend on stipends, on communication materials etc.)?
Per country, we have essentially stipulated the following divisions:
  • WiR salary/ies: 5700 euros (6081 dollars) per month per country for six months
  • Communication material: 250 euros (266 dollars) per country
  • Events (catering + venue + volunteer travel): 1200 euros (1280 dollars) per country
The amount detailed for events has been based on our experience over the last year.
  • Communications. Could you please explain the difference between communication expenses in lines 3 and 5?
(I see that we were missing a line item 4. So have changed the order to be sequential. Below refers to this new numbering).
This project is run at a global level and at a local level. The communications on line item 3 relates to the global project communications - Social media, on-wiki, off-wiki, website, design, flyers, pr, newsletters, translation, and general comms.
The items in line 5 relates to local communications - mainly printing (e.g. leaflets, posters) and production (eg. stickers) of global project designed materials, and any subsequent distribution and media based events.
  • Tracking, Metrics, Assessment and Evaluation report. What do these expenses correspond to?
This includes the time spent collating information across multiple platforms, countries and spaces, it also includes translation, analytics, report writing, design, auditing and proofing, etc.
  • Project management. Could you please provide an estimate of the time you spend on the project (in hours or FTE)?
The project management rate has been reduced significantly in this “interim” time frame. From experience we usually work at between 50% to 75% of our time on Wiki Loves Women. Although the teams are currently active, we are still expecting the work load to be at 50% as there is a new project that is required to be set up and instigated (the UNESCO aspect) and this will also include the time-intensive and exhaustive process of raising funds for the next phase of the project. The funding aspect includes, but is not limited to research, prospecting, communication, proposal writing, chasing and negotiation.
  • Admin overhead. What is in this line? Typical overheads (project management, financial administration) are already in separate lines, thus it would help if you would give at least one-line description of these expenses?
I assume (please correct me) that you are referring to the mention of administration in line item 7. The reference to administration in Line item 2 is “action related" and the reference to administration in Line item 8 (now 7) should be seen as administration that is not specifically project related but allows general support to the organisation running the project - in this case, Wiki In Africa. One example is to set up an arrangement with the Reserve Bank of South Africa to pay one person regular stipends costs around R1,140.00 (in Jan 2016). In this case there will be 5 applications. By experience this total becomes rather high, as we work across quite a few countries and is rather a long process (between 6-8 weeks). This cost should not be confused with the banking and transfer fees covered above. Additional costs covered by this amount are general office costs (telecoms, data and internet access, electricity, water, etc.) and other costs, such as "accountant fees", association registration costs, etc..
  • In general, I think that this is a great project, but budget is not well-written for a proposal of this size. I would expect more details for such an amount, thus I am looking forward to your answers.
Please find significantly more detail available to you at this link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lsBOcHfjPaJ_81IuiDzAwrn78M165HUWJ8HBsJ3f86E/edit?usp=sharing

Thanks — NickK (talk) 17:13, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

@Anthere: Thank you for your answers. Sorry for my late comment, your ping did not work and it was my turn to take a few days off for Easter.
  • Thank you for a way more detailed budget, it has the level of detail I need. Looking forward please include such level of detail (or at least give a link to the detailed table) in the initial proposal.
  • Thank you as well for explaining local context. I see why you would need paying someone to coordinate the project locally and I do understand what they are doing now, but there is a terminology problem: what you call WiR are not what is typically called Wikimedian in residence, they are more like project leaders or project managers.
  • Now I'll briefly go through your comments on budget lines.
    1. Project management: details are clear, the amount is reasonable.
    2. Everything is good in my view except UNESCO translation and integration: this looks very much like paid editing (someone is paid to write articles), and in addition, it is not clear whether this will be done by you and Isla or by some other people. In any case this is not an administration expense.
    3. Communications. It is still not very clear as you list communications, social media, network, pr and on-wiki activities as a part of project team responsibilities and add a separate budget for en/fr communications. Will you have separate people working exclusively on communications?
    4. Tracking, Metrics, Assessment and Evaluation report. OK, the amount is reasonable, but it is unclear again whether this will be done by you and Isla or by someone else.
    5. Project actions. I think there is a problem in your calculations (5700 euros (6081 dollars) per month per country seems way too high and beyond your grant budget), from your detailed budget it looks more like 1000 USD per month per country, which is still a lot for Africa. I would appreciate having more clarity how these stipends are spent. I am not sure that letting local teams distribute this sum the way they want is the best approach: I would expect more transparency regarding who is paid and for what. It is fine to have both full- or part-time project managers and pay people who occasionally help, but please track how these funds are used, that's about a half of your grant!
    6. Contingency: OK
    7. Admin overhead: OK as it is what your fiscal sponsor asks for.
To sum up, it is now clear for me how this entire system will work, but some budget lines are not clear yet. Please try to provide more details next time so that it is more clear from the very beginning. Thank you again for your answers and for organising this project — NickK (talk) 23:02, 25 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All fair points @NickK: and very useful feedback. Some points are easy to clarify and I'll be back to you on those shortly. I am a bit more hesitant on the Unesco part. Indeed, uploading the documents on Commons should not be an issue, whilst integrating contents from the documents into articles might be considered paid editing. It did not really occur to me as I saw the integration as purely factual, with no pressure to add certain facts rather than others (the integration is not driven by Unesco), hence with a very low level of potential conflict of interest. Still, I see where it might come to be an unwanted perspective issue. Will talk to Isla and John about this. It could be done differently, such as "a drive to integrate" or "an edit-a-thon dedicated to integrate". But I am much less convinced of the efficiency of the approach. There might be a delicate balance at some point between the effort put into "getting stuff integrated" versus "stuff really integrated" that could make it worth ... or not worth. Will explore the issue. Cheers. Anthere (talk)

Answers to Additional Comments from @NickK:[edit]

Firstly, thank you NickK for your considered questions and for your patience. I only returned to Cape Town from the CC Summit in Canada on Thursday, to find my father was in a very bad way, having had a suspected stroke. So I am sorry to keep you waiting. Below are our answers to your outstanding questions. They have been (as all the previous answers were) written by both of us - but you can also see clearly where we have inputted differently. I have copied your relevant text in order to provide context to our answers.

NickK: Thank you as well for explaining local context. I see why you would need paying someone to coordinate the project locally and I do understand what they are doing now, but there is a terminology problem: what you call WiR are not what is typically called Wikimedian in residence, they are more like project leaders or project managers.
>> We understand the difference, but believe that the title allows the people they are involved with to connect the project and its goals directly to Wikipedia. It gives the work added purpose. This terminology is only a problem for those in the community, i.e. Wikipedians working in GLAM project in more developed countries. Many of them are aware of this issue, and we haven’t had any concerns from them with regards to misunderstanding.
Also, please keep in mind that the primary goal of those is to build partnerships.
Practically speaking … our WIR chose to call themselves the way they felt was the most practical and relevant to their situation. Georges usually uses WIR, whilst Shola refers to himself as Project Leader.
Just a small clarification here: most people who evaluate this proposal are from the community and have a good knowledge of GLAM project in more developed countries, hence the confusion. While this title may work well in Africa, please add a brief explanation next time as this would make things much more clear for people who will read this — NickK (talk) 13:15, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
* NickK: Now I'll briefly go through your comments on budget lines.
1. Project management: details are clear, the amount is reasonable.
>> Florence. I am glad to read that. The amount I propose to get “paid” compared to the time I work on it, compared to the cost of living in France is … really really low. Mandatory working taxes and basic operating costs (no one hosts me) represent about 50% of the amount received. All together, unless I “sub-contract” some elements, the overall amount I will receive per month is 1500 euros per month. 1500 euros per month represents actually about 700 euros net income (before income taxes). Which is… really not much. So thank you for saying it is “reasonable”
A relevant comparison is the budgeted amount of John Cummings (WIR hosted at Unesco in Paris), which is $41585 per year, which is 3500 per month.
As we explained in the project, a significant part of our tasks for both of us will be to apply for grant funding. Any one day train trip to Paris to visit a potential sponsor will cost me 180 euros. Just saying...
@Anthere: I took into account that you are both also working part-time on Wiki Loves Africa, which brings a total for you at 3000€ per month before taxes. This is indeed a reasonable amount for someone living in France outside Paris, I can even say this is a decent amount that allows to occasionally travel to Paris — NickK (talk) 13:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@NickK: I think you misunderstand the timeline on these applications. Yes, both are 5-6 month projects, but the Wiki Loves Women one would be to start as soon as possible (to end in October/November). The Wiki Loves Africa one only starts in October /November - depending on when the community decides is the best date. There is only month's overlap. Islahaddow (talk)
@Islahaddow: Yes, it's a misunderstanding, or more precisely it was not clear from both grant proposals: both of them do not have any mention of timeline. I do not think that you can reasonably expect to end in October/November, you are unlikely to receive funds before mid- or late June, thus this project is likely to end in December. However, it's true that my assumptions on project management costs are partially wrong — NickK (talk) 15:43, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Absolutely not NickK. For three reasons. The first is that WLA is a whole around the year work, for which we only ask 5 months support. It is not a 12 months long thing. The second is that both projects hardly overlap (they are not done at the same moment). The third is a bit more complicated to explain, but let me put it this way. I am not a staff person of anyone. I am a freelancer. What is invoiced by a freelancer absolutely not equal to a salary. First because a freelancer is set up as a company and has to pay all mandatory social taxes (employee and employer) which equals to slightly more than 30% of the amount collected. Second because all working expenses are also to be deducted from the amount collected. This include professional taxes, mandatory accounting, a basic health insurance, some professional insurance if we do anything wrong, phone, desk and all that stuff that comes for free for any staff member working in his company office, but does NOT come for free when you work on your own. In the end, the amount I keep as benefit is slightly less than 50% of total. Which means that when I collect 1000 euros, I actually get as a salary around 500 euros. This is no joke. Of course, all the time we are looking for work is also not paid at all since freelancer have no unemployment coverage. And when we are sick, something which happened to me in the past, we get nothing either, but we still go on paying for mandatory social taxes and expenses, which means that, when we have no work, or are sick, we actually have a negative income. Yes. That also happened to me. So let's suppose the 1500 euros I would get for WLA adds to the 1500 euros I would get for WLW (which is not going to happen given that the two projects basically do not overlap in time), that would make 3000 total, which would make 1500 salary. Which is hardly above minimal wages in France. I am 48 years old and I have 3 kids. There is no way a 1500 salary with no benefits whatsoever can be considered "reasonable".
In the freelancing world in France, it is usually considered that a freelancer invoicing less than 300 euros PER DAY, is actually not really making benefits. What I am asking to be paid is so low that it makes my banker and accountant laugh at me and ask why I just do it. I do it because I think it is important to do. I do it because I enjoy doing cool projects which I think make a difference.
If you feel getting 1500 euros per month or even 3000 euros INVOICED per month as a freelancer (not as staff) is "quite confortable" in France, please do me a favor and talk to Delphine. She has been there and know what I am talking about. Most people working as staff do not realize how the free lancing world operate.
If the plan is to ask us to lower the amount, just say it so and let's close entirely the grant request. I already thought privately I was insane asking such a low amount. I will not do it for less.
Just to confirm what I answered on my talk page: no, I don't ask to change the amount, I have no objections regarding the amount proposed. The word reasonable has several meanings, and I wanted to state that these lines are not expensive, not that those are fair and practical costs. Sorry for not being clear about it from the very beginning — NickK (talk) 17:06, 9 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
2. Everything is good in my view except UNESCO translation and integration: this looks very much like paid editing (someone is paid to write articles), and in addition, it is not clear whether this will be done by you and Isla or by some other people. In any case this is not an administration expense.
>>Florence : I do not see why you say it is an “administrative” expense… I see it in the “operations” category… or am I missing something ?
>> Isla : We acknowledge, that given the ongoing worries around paid editing, this is a tricky one. A person would be hired (we have someone in mind) to port the information from UNESCO to the relevant Wikipedia pages on both English and French Wikipedia (hence they would need specific language skills). The text they would be porting is released under a CC-BY licence. They would not be connected to UNESCO in any way. The information, where possible, would be copied and pasted, and the images, tables, and data, added where possible. Of course, in some cases, the text of the existing articles would have to be merged with some of the new information, and in other cases, new articles would have to be written. The value of the information is paramount, but, it appears, is not of enough importance to existing editors (for obvious reasons, gender, geography, interest, etc.). Anthere and I have discussed the other ways to do this that does not involve paying someone to do it - these are:
# uploading the documents to commons and hoping someone will notice and integrate the content,
# try to motivate teams and people to get involved incorporating the contents (although the local teams are paid, so this does not get around the paid issue),
# try to motivate volunteers to integrate the content (this does not seem to be very efficient),
# try to organise an online “event” around the content (again, does not seem efficient),
# I could do it voluntarily (but only in one language), but even if I did it outside of project time - would anyone consider that it wasn't paid editing?
The only option seems to be to “be bold” and do the integration with a bilingual writer and make sure that it is clear on the talk page where the content came from, and in what frame the content was integrated. We welcome your thoughts on this, as we know there is no easy answer.
>> Florence : Note that what you report is already happening within the Unesco frame, but the person integrating Unesco content is not directly paid through a WMF grant. Is the issue really related to paid editing? Or is it with the appearance that WMF would pay for paid editing?
@Anthere:, @Islahaddow: UNESCO is in the line related to Includes financial administration, banking fees, and project equipment, while it is neither of those, hence the confusion. In the current approach we will have a person funded by WMF to directly add content to Wikipedia articles, i.e. WMF paying someone for editing content of WMF projects. I think we need a very serious reason to make WMF pay for this, and I do not see this here. I would accept if any other organisation (UNESCO, Goethe-Institut or any other partner) would pay to this person as this would be an acceptable case of paid editing for me, but WMF paying for editing WMF projects is not an acceptable case of paid editing except probably some emergency cases — NickK (talk) 13:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fine. We will remove that line entirely. No Unesco project. Anthere (talk)
3. Communications. It is still not very clear as you list communications, social media, network, pr and on-wiki activities as a part of project team responsibilities and add a separate budget for en/fr communications. Will you have separate people working exclusively on communications?
>> Flo : There are essentially 3 potential “beneficiaries” of the “communication” part.
Two of those are Isla and I (en and fr lines). This is typically all the communication work being done on the wiki projects (including the global events we plan), on the communication networks (the website, social media), and off-wiki (presentations at conferences such as Wikimania, or a TED), calls for translations of the WLW video, newsletter to partners and stakeholders. We also want to create a new set of special women bookmarks (as a consequence of the March translation drive).
The third beneficiary does support us for social media activities and generally translations of materials on the site for example. Or translations of texts (such as for grant requests). If you look at the website, you’ll see we try to maintain a rather strict translation strategy, with all info and all blog posts being bilingual. We have routinely worked with two women for such tasks, my preferred choice going to Christine because she is French living in SA (and teacher of French language). This would go into the PR, SM and marketing line.
We might also need some design support for marketing material (the new WLW bookmarks) and have planned a budget for goodies. This may include potential gifts as part of the global event. This is the “promotional material” line. We tend to think design and communication is important. As a reminder, Wikipedia is still very little known in Africa. So in making WLW projects visible to certain stakeholders, we also promote Wikipedia. Do not get me wrong on this, but I have half of a mind of setting up a big huge Wikipedia-like balloon (a sort of kite) floating in the air above a city. No idea who would support that though. But that could be cool.
@Anthere: The balloon idea is cool indeed!
More seriously, I think a major source of confusion in this grant is that there is no clear distinction between what you do and what others get paid for. Both you and Isla (correct me if I am wrong) work half-time on Wiki Loves Women and Wiki Loves Africa, and it would be much more clear to see personnel costs and non-personnel costs separately here. It would be much more clear if you would state that you are both working on 60% project management / coordination, 20% communications and 20% metrics / evaluation: this is a completely normal work of a project manager. Unfortunately it is not clear from the very beginning, and I believe many fellow grant committee members did not understand your budget — NickK (talk) 13:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Different organizations have different means of organizing data in a budget... the entry can either be done by "person" or by "category of activities". We usually do it "by category of activities"... but we can change that if needed. Note that yesterday, I clarified on the google doc budget the names of people who get each line. Anthere (talk)
@Anthere: Yes, your google doc format is fine, it is clear this way — NickK (talk) 17:06, 9 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
4. Tracking, Metrics, Assessment and Evaluation report. OK, the amount is reasonable, but it is unclear again whether this will be done by you and Isla or by someone else.
>> Florence : Usually it is Isla and I. We do it together but we often seek help for some of those tasks (in particular when it is quite technical in nature or when some elements are very simple and repetitive).
See my answer to line 3 — NickK (talk) 13:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
5. Project actions. I think there is a problem in your calculations (5700 euros (6081 dollars) per month per country seems way too high and beyond your grant budget), from your detailed budget it looks more like 1000 USD per month per country, which is still a lot for Africa. I would appreciate having more clarity how these stipends are spent. I am not sure that letting local teams distribute this sum the way they want is the best approach: I would expect more transparency regarding who is paid and for what. It is fine to have both full- or part-time project managers and pay people who occasionally help, but please track how these funds are used, that's about a half of your grant!
>> Isla : Apologies - that is meant to read = 5700 euros (6081 dollars) per country. Which as you have said is US1000 per month. I am not sure what “seems a lot for Africa” means? The people we ask to be part of the project have to have tertiary degrees or at least formal tertiary education of some sort (this is not cheap to attain), they must have their own comms devices (cellphone, laptop, etc.), their own working space, and to do the work, in many cases, they have to have generators and other expensive elements just to be able to connect. They also live in countries that do not have free healthcare (or if so, is not optimal or a viable option) or social security. AND they must be able to justify doing this work that takes precedence over a job which would no doubt pay them a better salary or at least give them more security, or some benefits.
>> Florence : So I have made a little bit of searching to try to establish some equivalents. Here we are. Those are approximate salaries for an average high school teacher (data found on the net. I take it they could be fine tuned).
* In Ghana : 400 euros per month
* In Nigeria : 867 euros
* In Côte d'Ivoire : 652 euros
* In Cameroon : 763 euros
* In SA : 922 euros
* In France : 2500 euros
All those figures are net and this is for a permanent job. Net means they do not have to pay employment taxes, they probably get retirement benefits and health benefits.
I remember asking Georges how much he was paid in his previous job. He was paid less than we gave him, about 700 euros roughly is my memory. But since he was staff, it was a permanent job, his equipment and internet access to work was paid by IF and presumably he got support for retirement and health care. So I think it is fine to pay a bit more.
It is worth noting that Nigeria is the higher of the 4th, quite logical and in this case, 1000 dollars seem a fine value.
However, it is also worth noting that salaries seem to be significantly lower in Ghana and this might require further thinking.
I also have the grid for stipends given to “international volunteers” paid by Francophony for year 2015-2016 (sorry, I could not find the grid online. I got this one a year ago when we were working with Wikimedia France to get two volunteers positions. We got the two positions in the end. One of the volunteers is working in Cote d’Ivoire at the moment, the other in Tunisia). I used that grid to when we set up WLW last year.
Such volunteers are “hosted” in a local organization. They do not get a “salary” (as they are not staff) but they get an amount insuring they have enough to make a living. However, note that this is the “net” income (before income taxes. There is no employment taxes on those).
The first figure is the amount given by OIF and the second is by the local country partner. Volunteers get both amounts, unless a living space can be provided for free (in which case they do not get the second figure)
For our countries
* Cameroun 711 + 305
* Côte d’Ivoire 833 + 358
A few more countries for reference
* Burkina Faso 664 + 285
* Congo 1120 + 480
* Gabon 992 + 426
* Madagascar 641 + 275
* France 1041 + 447
* Suisse 1282 + 550
* Tunisia 629 + 269
>> Obviously we have no figures for Ghana and Nigeria since those are not French speaking countries. But I think the stipends given by Francophonie for their “volunteers” give a fairly interesting comparison. And the conclusion I would give is that we are not overly “out of it”.
In our case, the WIR would not be hosted by anyone, which means they would either have to find an office, or work from home. They would have to pay for the basic operating costs (phone, computer). They get no health, no retirement etc.
Honestly, I do not think we can reasonably give less.
The only real issue here is… as to whether the WIR would really work full time… or half time… or even less. This is a much more difficult issue to tackle… and one of my concerns.
However, I completely agree with you on a point, which is “who gets paid what”. During the first WLW, the deal was that Georges would get 100% because there was no UserGroup. In the other countries, they could “divide” the sum and share some of it between people but there was a main beneficiary (the WiR). That way of doing was agreed upon with our previous sponsor (the Goethe Institute), but we could do it differently this time (such as tracking more precisely who gets what).
@Anthere:, @Islahaddow: I also did some research into what salaries in these countries are, and when I wrote "seems a lot" I meant that those are good salaries for an educated person working full-time in these countries. Not outstanding ones, of course, but good ones. Thus I agree with you on the point that we need more details on who gets paid what and whether local coordinators work full time indeed or just half time. While I would accept paying without tracking at the pilot stage, I would expect more details at this point when the project is more mature — NickK (talk) 13:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
6. Contingency: OK
7. Admin overhead: OK as it is what your fiscal sponsor asks for.
To sum up, it is now clear for me how this entire system will work, but some budget lines are not clear yet. Please try to provide more details next time so that it is more clear from the very beginning. Thank you again for your answers and for organising this project — NickK (talk) 23:02, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
>> Isla : Again, apologies I could not reply sooner as I have been both out of the country at the CC Summit in Canada, and remotely dealing with severe health issues relating to my father. Please let me know if you have any more questions. Islahaddow (talk) 09:21, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Islahaddow: No worries, it is absolutely fine if only one of you is able to answer, as Florence's answers were clear enough. Thank you very much for additional details and hope your father will get well! — NickK (talk) 13:09, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Round 1 2017 decision[edit]

This project has not been selected for a Project Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding. This was a very competitive round with many good ideas, not all of which could be funded in spite of many merits. We appreciate your participation, and we hope you'll continue to stay engaged in the Wikimedia context.


Next steps: Applicants whose proposals are declined are welcome to consider resubmitting your application again in the future. You are welcome to request a consultation with staff to review any concerns with your proposal that contributed to a decline decision, and help you determine whether resubmission makes sense for your proposal.

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.

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Wiki In Africa/Wiki Loves Women 2017[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?
6.9
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
5.7
(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?
5.2
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
7.8
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • The project has the intersection of two gaps: gender and Africa. Both are part of the focus of WMF projects and the unknown information relevance. The online impact is clearly defined in the previous stages of the wikiproject.
  • Fits with strategic priorities by addressing two significant gaps – women and Africa – both in terms of content about these subjects and in terms of participation by people from these groups. I am impressed by achievements to date by the project team and think activities will continue to have online impact. In theory, the grant could support the sustainability of the project because the team is requesting funds to support them while they look for other funding options and explore partnerships.
  • The project fits with Wikimedia's strategic priorities. However its potential online impact is difficult to judge as the proposal is so vague.The same about sustainability - there is little specifics.
  • Aimed at diversity but seems unsustainable: the request itself shows that the work won't be continued after cut off of the funding from Goethe-Institut.
  • This project could have considerable impact on certain African communities but will not impact smaller, local languages and wikipedias, as it is focused in editing in English and French only.
  • Excellent fit with strategic priorities (increases reach, participation and improves quality), huge potential for impact (I heard a lot how this project boosted African communities). It can be adapted in other countries as well.
  • I see well defined objectives if the project is funded, but I see the project as "bridge funding." I don't see the innovation in this project or how without maintaining the costs, the next project would become successful.
  • Concrete measures of success and clear targets are provided. The team seems very capable, but a risk could be their relative small capacity (particularly because many on the project team are also involved with Wiki Loves Africa).
  • Difficult to estimate due to vagueness of the proposal. There are no specific measures of success.
  • Metrics are vague, the strategy isn't defined.
  • Considering other aspects it must be said that many of the risk factors depend on local community members and leaders that will execute the majority of outreach activities. This project and other precedents have proven effective methods before. Also this project includes very effective ways to measure success.
  • Re-iteration of a very good and impactful project. I think it has a good return on investment by increasing the amount of content and number of users from these countries.
  • There is a lack of measurable metrics for the "how will you know" section. The budget is not explained in the equipment line item (line item 2), so I can't estimate if the equipment is purchased, borrowed, etc.
  • Team has been successful to date, however the budget needs more details. What is the breakdown for project management (hours and hourly rate)? What equipment is needed? How were event costs estimated?
  • They probably have an ability to execute the project, and necessary skills and experience, though this will be better known after the report from the previous phase is published. The budget is not detailed enough.
  • No detailed breakdown for budget, rates and hours of involvement aren't clear: Nick asked for details a week ago but no answer received.
  • Budget is not detailed, although more details were given in the proposal discussion and not posted to main proposal page. Some questions raised by other committee members related to the budget were not fully answered. Moreover budget is not very "tight" as much of final funds allocation decisions will be taken by local committees of the project.
  • Plan is too large and confusing. Unclear objectives and unclear basis for budget items.
  • Good participants with necessary experience, but the budget seems bad for the project. It is not clear who is paid for what, which is not what I would expect from a grant of that complexity and for such a significant amount.
  • A great base of endorsement, the project is clearly supported by the community.
  • Lots of endorsements and the project has a good track record of engaging and training editors. Supports diversity.
  • There is definitely evidence of the community engagement. The project does support diversity.
  • This project has several local leaders that will play a key role in the community engagement.
  • Good community engagement, excellent contribution to diversity: this project both supports and is supported by African editors.
  • The project has a clear base to continue, but this proposal is only to bridge the costs until the new sources of funding are setted. I don't see the results of other actions (user retention).
  • This work is important and the project team's achievements to date are impressive! The budget seems quite high but without having specifics it's hard to judge if it's reasonable. I also note the project team has applied for funding for 2 separate projects and it might be challenging for them to take on both at the same time. I’m not sure if this is possible or not...but it’d be great if there was a way of somehow merging the Wiki Loves Africa photo contest with the Wiki Loves Women project, perhaps through a shared theme (i.e. the theme for the 2017 contest could be related to women and gender) and focused activities (edit-a-thons that focus on reuse of contest images in new articles).
  • I am not able to decide whether the project is worthy of funding due to lack of information. At least I would want to see the report from the previous phase before I can support this project. In addition I am not sure that short term bridge funding just to write another grant proposal is within the scope of the project grants.
  • On the second thought I will decline the project.
  • It seems somehow to be more paid editing than creating a stable community that is sustainable and scalable. Furthermore, the budget is high but not detailed and breakdown wasn't presented after the request.
  • Several budget line items (Operations, Country team stipends, Contingency, and Admin overhead) are too high in my opinion.
  • I support partial funding: I do not want to kill this project as it will be impossible without funding and it is too impactful to be killed, but the budget needs a serious review. It is unclear who is paid for what. It is unclear how team stipends are used. Thus I would support only justified expenses (e.g. not paying someone to add UNESCO content), perhaps around 40 kUSD.

Feedback from one project leader[edit]

What I find particularly sad when I read the comments above, is that many of the committee members base their decision on a budget not detailed enough. The original budget we put here was not very detailed, but when we were asked, we put the link to the detailed budget. And that budget is very detailed. Still, the comments from the committee did not change. Which I read like the committee members did not bother looking at the material they asked for and we provided upon being asked. Is that the way the committee should operated ? I do not think so. In any cases, I am not sure what the benefits is for us to be given arguments for rejection that are moot.

On another note, I appreciate that some of the projects who born directly from WLW were funded.

At least Wiki Loves Women made a difference for some people. Anthere (talk)