Grants talk:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia South Africa/2020

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Questions from WMF[edit]

We are excited to consider your application to the Simple Annual Plan Grant program. As part of our review we have a few questions for you:

  • Can you add a sentence or two to describe each of the projects in your outreach program? Can you also add in bullet points any metrics that are associated with them so we have an understanding of how many participants and events you’ll be expecting for each?
Sure thing, no problem. I have added this to the project section on the main page. This has already been provided in the SMART metrics as well.
  • Can you also elaborate on the different chapter support efforts and what each of them entail?
Chapter support efforts (that is to say, support by the chapter to chapter members) is still relatively small due to our past reliance on volunteers exclusively. As such it has typically involved providing Wikipedia veteran editors to help host workshops and editathons, host small competitions, and engage in local partnership building and public relations. Support for chapter members is therefore still greatly lacking due to this lack of capacity. With the arrival of an administrator we will be able to offer greater chapter support for local editors ranging from providing access to reference resourcing to organising social events (one COVID restrictions are lifted) to organising online events. We are also very open to learning from other chapters what additional chapter support we can offer our members. Suggestions and recommendations are most welcome.
  • In your budget you have indicated that you will be carrying out an “Africa related free knowledge research stimulation” grant. Can you please add this project to your proposal and describe what it is as well as how it will impact your community in terms of metrics?
The Africa-related Free Knowledge Research Stimulation grant is intended to stimulate research, undertaken at a recognised South African tertiary research institute or university, in the area of the impact that Wikipedia or one of its sister-projects has on a community or communities within South Africa. This community can be geographical, socio-economical, or education of nature.
The intention of this R5000 grant is to provide evidence of positive impact in a measurable form (see below), as well as to stimulate research. The metric to be used would be a thesis (half or full) that:
1) Serves as a means to provide evidence of impact;
2) That the conclusions can be used to further contribute to the WikimediaZa (and potentially broader) community development (operationally and/or strategically)
3) To provide an opportunity (foot in the door so to speak) for research entities to draw their attention to the work that the Wikimedia Foundation is doing through a local chapter, and how this can allow for additional research to be sparked.
It is proposed that the grant be awarded annually towards a study undertaken, meaning R5000 per annum for a period of one or two years for a Masters study, or three years for a Doctoral.
  • In your budget you’ve also indicated Event prizes for De-stubathon and writing competitions which have not been described in your proposal. Can you please add these with a description and metrics you hope to have for them?
We have decided to remove this amount as the lead volunteer is not 100% certain of the impact of this project for the 2020/21 year.
  • In regards to institutional costs, you mention that 30,000 Rand in accountancy that was rolled over from the 2019 budget year. Is that the same amount we discussed for taxes? If so, I believe you can remove it from this budget.
The tax amount is different and separate from the accountancy costs rolled over from 2019. The taxes were unexpected and we were only made aware of them around January 2020. As such we recommend that the accountancy amount should stay on so as to complete the chapter audit we indent to have. Conducting such an audit every year or every other year is considered good practice in South Africa. We indended to have this audit done in 2019 but the lockdown has prevented us from actioning this in the FY 2019/20 period.
  • Lastly, I see in the notes section next to Wikimania 2021 that you were planning on having two people attend, however, I don’t believe this has been reflected in your budget. Can you please take a look and let me know if that needs to be added?
Gosh, thanks for pointing this out. Adding it now.--Discott (talk) 14:57, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

Please let us know your response to these questions as we continue to review your grant application. Best regards, WJifar (WMF) (talk) 07:16, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Simple APG Committee recommendation[edit]

We recommend that Wikimedia South Africa receive a grant in the amount of R380,240 for one year. We are recommending an increase in the budget for Wikimedia ZA to help alleviate the challenges of capacity, diversity and geography. One of the main changes the group is proposing in this year’s annual plan is to hire an administrator and the committee agrees. We see the administrator tackling these challenges that have been laid out. Furthermore, we recommend not only hiring one administrator but hiring two administrators to help get at the diversity and geography issues. We understand the majority of the administrator’s time will be spent on communicating with the general public or on outreach. We believe this will help bring in the membership the group has been seeking over the last couple of years. The committee also recommends that the two administrators be located in two different cities to help with the geographical diversity.

We’re also excited that Wikimedia ZA is proposing the Africa-related Free Knowledge Research Stimulation grant. We think this will have great results. We want the group to think of this research grant as a pilot with the possibility of turning it into a longitudinal study expanding to multiple South African university campuses. As you embark on this project think about how it would be possible to expand it down the line and if the amount proposed will need to grow accordingly.

For the committee, Philip Kopetzky (talk) 16:41, 29 May 2020 (UTC)

Wikimedia South Africa’s grant is approved in the amount of R380,240 for 12 months[edit]

Congratulations! This grant is approved in the amount of R320,240, with the grant term starting on July 1, 2020 and ending on June 30, 2021. This reflects an increase from what you requested in your proposal because the committee recommended that you add another administrator to the grant proposal. We agree that this will help support your strategic plan and help address the challenges of lack of capacity, lack of diversity and geography you’ve indicated in your proposal.

In this year’s annual plan we were excited that Wikimedia ZA leadership has taken the time to develop a theory of change and work on a five year strategic plan. The long term objectives that have been identified will allow the group to move in new and exciting ways to revamp the South African community. As part of this planning you have identified the need for an administrator and we think this is going to help the group execute the strategic plan well.

We appreciate your efforts to think creatively about programming during this time of lockdown and look forward to learning the results of African language programming as well as the University and school digital roadshow. Lastly, the work you’ve proposed around Africa related free knowledge research stimulation sounds inspiring and something that can potentially bring in more of the academic community into our movement.

On March 12, 2020, the grants team shared a message from Katherine Maher, our Executive Director, regarding grant-funded programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know we’ve asked all grantees to cancel or postpone all offline (in-person) public events funded by WMF. We will continue to monitor this situation and connect with you over the course of your grant to work on any adjustments you might need to make. We appreciate your hard work during this time especially and look forward to tackling this challenge together.

Best regards, WJifar (WMF) (talk) 14:26, 3 June 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia 20: Press Club announcement request[edit]

Hello, as discussed via email Wikimedia South Africa would like to know if we could please use R5000 to pay for the digital streaming of the Cape Town Press Club Wikipedia 20th birthday announcement? As you know Wikimedia South Africa had organised to present to the Cape Town Press Club in person to announce Wikipedia 20 to the South African media. At the time it was hoped that the COVID 19 pandemic would subside by the time of the event. However South Africa has been hit by a second wave of the pandemic resulting in the government increasing the lockdown level to level 3, postponing the original date of the presentation from 14 January to 19 January, and forcing us to make it a digital event. Making the event a digital event helps fight the spread of the pandemic whilst giving us a broader platform to present to the public and South African media.

However there are costs associated with hosting the event digitally as the Press Club uses a streaming service that costs them R5000 per steamed event. We considered using an alternative platform but that proved ineffective and not optimal, the Press Club also tried raising the funds from one of their sponsors which was also no successful (as the sponsor they use only has a mandate to support politically related events and Wikipedia is not political). As such the chapter would like to know if we could use R5000 of grant funding reallocated from the Wikimania scholarship line item to pay for this event? The Wikimania scholarship funds will be unspent this year as Wikimania 2020 was not hosted due to the pandemic and as the 2021 event, if it happens, will be in the latter half of 2021 that will fall into the 2021/22 grant cycle. Thanks, --Discott (talk) 08:03, 21 January 2021 (UTC)


@Discott Yes, grant funding can be used for this purpose. We have been routinely approving reallocations to support events that have needed to transition from in-person to digital events, so this request is very doable. Best regards, --VThamaini (WMF) (talk) 12:07, 2 February 2021 (UTC)