Grants talk:Project/Wiki Loves Monuments international team/2019 coordination

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Project Grant proposal submissions due 30 November![edit]

Thanks for drafting your Project Grant proposal. As a reminder, proposals are due on November 30th by the end of the day in your local time. In order for this submission to be reviewed for eligibility, it must be formally proposed. When you have completed filling out the infobox and have fully responded to the questions on your draft, please change status=draft to status=proposed to formally submit your grant proposal. This can be found in the Probox template found on your grant proposal page. Importantly, proposals that are submitted after the deadline will not be eligible for review during this round. If you're having any difficulty or encounter any unexpected issues when changing the proposal status, please feel free to e-mail me at cschilling(_AT_)wikimedia.org or contact me on my talk page. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:20, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2018[edit]

IEG review.png
This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2018 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community comments period, through January 2, 2019.

The Project Grant committee's formal review for round 2 2018 will occur January 3-January 28, 2019. Grantees will be announced March 1, 2018. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

--I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 02:43, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

I'd really love to be able to support this as it is an important project, but given the amount of money that is being sought I have concerns about the relative importance that the international team is placing on expensive in-person meetings around the world, and the relative lack of priority that has been given to updating and fixing some of the crucial software that the contest relies upon.

The entire 2018 contest came and went with virtually no updates to the international website https://www.wikilovesmonuments.org, with blog posts dating back to 2016 and 2015 remaining strongly in evidence on the home page. I am aware that there has been some active discussion about changing the WLM logo, but that is very minor issue compared with lack of attention paid to the website.

I've also been concerned for a long time about the extremely buggy Montage software, and the apparent lack of volunteer developer time to deal with the many serious issues that have been languishing on GitHub for years (https://github.com/hatnote/montage/issues). It seems that the developers who put in a huge effort some years ago to write the initial version of the tool have since largely moved on to other things. This is really disappointing, as the software could be absolutely fantastic if only it could be relied upon. Those of us who have been working with it for years now have a reasonable idea of where the elephant traps lie, but there still remains far too much that is difficult or impossible for new national organisers to sort out without a lot of time being expended on one-to-one support. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the instructions haven't been properly updated either, and don't correctly describe the program's operation.

I want to stress that I intend no criticism of the original developers of this tool. I know that a huge amount of work went into writing it, and it is in principle far better than any of the other volunteer tools that preceded it. I'm also aware that developers, like all volunteers, sometimes want to move on to other things and don't necessarily want to be under an obligation to fix bugs and provide enhancements forever. Nevertheless, since this software is of such crucial importance to the project, I'd like to see the international team making definite plans to ensure these issues are dealt with by the summer of next year. In return for the funds provided I do think that definite commitments ought to be made. If the team cannot be certain that enough suitably-qualified volunteer developers will be available, I think consideration should be given to finding an organisation could adopt the software and make those commitments, for example the Foundation, WMDE, or some other chapter. MichaelMaggs (talk) 15:14, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

Regarding Montage, I would not call it "extremely buggy". It is in fact very robust and efficient for a non-commercial software developed by volunteers during their free time. This year we were able to grade over 32500 photos using Montage. We did not experience any single bug, only the limited functionality. Montage was never the bottleneck of our grading process, and I really appreciate this, especially when I think back about the jury tools that we had to use in the past.
Further development of Montage is, of course, highly desirable, and this development may be in fact linked to the proposed work meeting, should it be organized in the form of a hackathon. I was quite skeptical about the 2017 meeting (and I still am). On the other hand, I should admit that I changed my opinion about in-person meetings in general, after this year I met a few other WLM organizers (not the international team) for the first time in person. This meeting was very efficient, because we met not for a general discussion, but for sitting together and solving several well-defined problems. If one plans something like "Bring together the Montage developers and end users, and let them improve the interface", I think that's the way to go and perhaps the only possibility to stimulate the developers to allocate their limited time for further development. Something like "Sit together and organize monument database on Wikidata" or "Sit together and create infrastructure for WLM in several new countries" would be very interesting too. On the other hand, "defining focus areas" or "deciding on our shared mission" is something that could be done remotely (if at all). --Alexander (talk) 21:39, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
If it could work as a way of tacking the main outstanding GitHub issues (https://github.com/hatnote/montage/issues) I'd very much support funds being used, as suggested, to "Bring together the Montage developers and end users, and let them improve the [program]". Indeed, I'd be keen to be involved. MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:13, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback and sharing your thoughts. Apologies for not responding sooner.
We have been working on redesigning the WLM main website, and that has definitely not helped in adding new content. At the same time, we have been struggling to find sufficient material from local organizers to put up there that is adapted for an international audience. This is in part because we didn't have a dedicated person to chase countries around - with limited capacity we had to make some hard priority choices.
As for Montage, this is indeed a critical building block in the tool kits of national organizers, and we recognize its importance. I would not agree with your characterization of its state though - the software has been improved over the years continuously - whether visible or not. I agree with Alexander that it's not so much 'buggy' but rather limited in scope and ease of use. We aim to continue this improvement, and that is exactly where in person meetings help a lot. Unfortunately we were unable to meet last year, and we immediately see that this causes a setback in development efforts. Team meetings are essential for strategic, tactical and morale reasons - besides all the practical things that get done as Alexander rightfully points out. Without this kind of checkin-points it's hard to keep a team of volunteers to keep going constantly (note that our 'year' doesn't end until January/February, and immediately starts again with preparations). I do recognize that this is disappointing when the requested improvements don't make it though. I should probably note that if volunteers are willing to assist with improving the software (or any of the tools really), they are most welcome to do so. Growing the group of people maintaining all these tools (as you may realize, there are several more essential building blocks in use across our community) would be very beneficial for the long term health of Wiki Loves Monuments.
Your feedback on the documentation is fair, and is valid for much documentation that we have developed over the years. Updating documentation is a tedious task that very few people enjoy - and while we originally hoped that the larger community of national organizers would help update these documents, this does not seem to happen organically. As you may recognize, this is one of the points for improvement we have preliminarily identified for improvement (but we really should go into evaluation for that).
As for the meeting, I want to point out that the scope is necessarily somewhat vague: the timing of this grant process is highly unfortunate and premature. We have to plan for a meeting over a year in the future, while the meeting of this year still needs to happen. We have provided some rough ideas of what we think with the current knowledge to be useful, but recognize this may well change over the next months as we evaluate our ongoing competition year and plan for the future.
All in all, I hope to collaborate fruitfully in the future, and that we can make sure Montage and other critical building blocks are improved to a level that the competition becomes easier to organize across the world. Effeietsanders (talk) 21:53, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
Effeietsanders, is there a plan and timeline for the Montage development in the period before September 1, 2019? --Alexander (talk) 06:21, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
At this point, I'm not aware of a plan and timeline that would satisfy the concerns above (which is probably to be expected given that evaluation needs to start still). There is a general commitment as outlined though to make improvements again, and I have seen/heard some conversations on directions - but it would lead too far to qualify it as a 'plan'. Effeietsanders (talk) 07:28, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
Lodewijk, I can only say that the next time Montage is going to be used is June 1, the grading for WLE-2019. It is only 4.5 months from now. Realistically, I don't believe anything will happen until that time if we have only the "general commitment" now, and no plan with the timeline exists or is at least actively discussed with all interested parties.
From my side, I can't write the code, but I can help you with collecting feedback and drafting the list of priorities that programmers can assess to eventually make the plan of Montage development in 2019. I can also try to bring new (volunteer) programmers into your team, but that can't happen before the tasks are defined. The main problem I see is that there seems to be fading interest in the problem. I understand how busy everyone is, but things won't sort out on their own, and there needs to be some activity in either developing Montage with existing resources, or finding new resources like external (paid) programmers per Michael's suggestion above. --Alexander (talk) 12:57, 14 January 2019 (UTC)

Hey guys, I'm behind front-end of Montage. I'm aware that application is working far from optimal currently. Unfortunately because of various reasons my capacity for open-source work is limited. Most probably (if nothing unexpected happens) I will be at Wikimedia Hackathon (mid May) and I want to use this time to prioritize work that needs to be done around Montage. It would be great if we can meet there and discuss things. Do you plan to go there? Do you need some funding help? @MichaelMaggs, Atsirlin, Effeietsanders, and Slaporte. Yarl (talk) 10:52, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

Paweł, it sounds like an interesting option. I did not plan to go Wikimedia Hackathon, because I can't write the code and will be useless there in general. However, if you plan to be there and intensively work on Montage, I would be happy to come, discuss, and perhaps test the code. Funding help is not needed (thanks for offering it, though!) --Alexander (talk) 12:35, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
I would love to be there, but there's too much risk for me in booking flights so soon after the UK government's intended Brexit date (though still hoping it will not happen!) I should be pretty free around then, and would be more than happy to join in meetings by Skype, and to help run tests and break the code. Let me know. MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:58, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Wiki Loves Monuments international team/2019 coordination[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?
8.8
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
8.2
(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?
7.8
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
8.4
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • The project fits with Wikimedia's strategic priorities and has a significant potential for online impact. It can be (and in fact has been for 9 years!) sustained successfully.
  • It proved its impact already
  • Extremely relevant project for our communities all around the globe.
  • The project is iterative. The risks are low (as evidenced by the past contests) but the potential is great. The success can be measured although the measures of success can be improved.
  • This is project is on a 'sustainability plan' by itself. This is important in order to have more clear where we want to head with WLM as it has gone past it's maturity as a project over the years. The project plans for a long-term impact that would affect many communities over time.
  • The participants have necessary skills/experience and the scope can be executed within the proposed timeframe. The budget is realistic.
  • Budget seems reasonable but I'm not supportive on the idea on holding a full international meeting, it's clear that these type of events have a positive outcome but taking in account that grantees already plan on holding it in some already existing international Wikimedia movement conference and the fact that main proposed solutions will be work and agreed upon on-line meetings during the year makes me doubt on the usefulness of this meeting.
  • The community outreach efforts are sufficient. The projects supports diversity without any question.
  • This project is well positioned to obtain the enough engagement needed for completing all the planned documentation. Grantees already work with existing networks of tool-developing and event-organizing.
  • I am willing to support this project. However in the future the team should consider including some development work into the budget to facilitate improvements of their tools and the site design.
  • I will be happy to have a breakdown of all funds as its not very clear to me some of the line items
  • I would reduce drastically the total cost of the international meeting.
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 March 1st, 2019.

Questions? Contact us.

I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 17:10, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

Round 2 2018 decision[edit]

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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, $33,500 EUR / $38,070.10 USD

Comments regarding this decision:
The committee is pleased to continue supporting the Wikimedia Loves Monuments coordination efforts and is especially supportive of its continued thoughtfulness around sustainability of its events and extensive community outreach efforts.


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!

Questions? Contact us.


Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:09, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Request for extension & redistribution[edit]

@I JethroBT (WMF): Thanks for the very helpful conversations last week. I look forward to continued communication about both the upcoming and ongoing grant. As we discussed in our communication, we're struggling to complete some components of our 2019 plan in time for the closing of the year. I would like to request to either extend the closing of this year's grant with 3 months, or to carry over the budget to a 2020 grant (if approved) - whichever is more convenient for you administratively.

Secondly, because of the current crisis, many things are not happening according to plan. Travel is much restricted, we were unable to invite as many people to the February meeting as we intended, and Wikimania and conferences have been canceled. I would therefore propose to also internally reallocate a fair amount of our budget:

  • We have ~4500 EUR remaining on our budget from the international meeting (partially due to not succeeding to invite everyone, and partially due to excellent planning by Mohammad)
  • We have 2500 EUR remaining on our budget for travel to conferences
  • We were unable to spend the bulk of our budget for "Outreach and Branding" to this point in the way originally intended

We want to reallocate all these funds to "Outreach and Branding", but interpret that very broadly. We have three main expenses in mind for the next few months: 1) a small amount for community recognition efforts, 2) resolve a bottle neck in our www.wikilovesmonuments.org wordpress design (which will then consequently be made available to national competitions) and 3) resolve bottle necks in the development of the Montage tool. I'm happy to discuss this in more detail with you. Finally, we are still resolving some award funds, which are slowed down by the ongoing crisis as well. Effeietsanders (talk) 06:17, 24 May 2020 (UTC)