Grants talk:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia South Africa/2021

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Comments from DSaroyan (WMF)[edit]

Dear Discott and colleagues at Wikimedia South Africa, thanks again for submitting the sAPG application. I have reviewed your proposal and have some questions and comments:

  • In the current sAPG application, could you please add the programmatic areas described in the Strategic Plan? I’m afraid that the logic behind the proposed projects is currently not clear from your sAPG application. So, adding the introduction part of the Programs section would make it easier for the reader to understand the theory of change and strategic goals behind the proposed projects.
  • Certainly and thank you for pointing this out. I will review and rework the Strategic Plan to be clearer and better structured. I will also endevour to make it clear within each project on the relevant project sections which strategic goal they seek to achieve within the context of WMZA's 5 year plan.--Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
  • How did you engage other community members in development of the Strategic Plan and current Annual Plan?
  • The day prior to WMZA's 2019 Annual General Meeting (15 December 2019) the chapter met in Cape Town, with additional members from other parts of the country joining digitally, to discuss and plan the strategic goals for the 2020-25 period. At this half day workshop, held on 14 December 2019, the strategic goals were decided according to the collectively felt needs of the community. One of those needs being to grow the community through outreach activities. I regret that I did not add this preamble into each year's strategic goals section as I now see it would have been useful background information for the grant reviewers.--Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Thanks for setting SMART objectives for each program. However, the cumulative metrics table for 2021-22 is not completed. Could you please complete it?
  • Yes, absolutely. These metrics are already laid out on within the SMART objectives matrix but they need to be copy-pasted into the Google Docs metrix table as well. I was just too tired after finishing this grant at the time to action this. I will do it next.--Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
  • This year, you plan to maintain a full-time paid position for an administrator. While we are glad to support your decision, we would also like to understand why you didn’t follow the committee and staff recommendations from last year. In 2020-2021, the committee recommended hiring two administrators to help get at the diversity and geography issues, and the approved budget was increased accordingly. Could you please provide more details on why you didn’t follow this recommendation? What were the challenges you faced?
  • A very good question. It was indeed our hope, at the time, to have one person in Cape Town and one in the Johannesburg area. However the process of hiring and managing the first administrator for Cape Town highlighted the logistical difficulties of doing both these things at once, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is felt that it would be easier and best to first train and bring up to speed one administrator and centralise all activities therein first than do two people, each working half time, at once. Having to do this during the COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to this decision as the pandemic and resulting lockdown forced us to do everything digitally thereby obviating, for the foreseeable future at least, the need for a representative to be physically located in each major city. The fact that the administrator happens to be located in Cape Town is simply because they happen to live there and not because of any other factor. If the successful candidate had been from the Johannesburg area then we would have been fine with that as well. We would still like to have a person in each of the two major metropolitan areas of South Africa but this has been put on hold until a) we have finished training and on-boarding the first person and b) until COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.--Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Wikimedia ZA’s 2020/21 budget does not reflect the approved amount for 2020-2021. When you have time, could you please update it, so that it reflects the approved amount?
  • Will do, apoligies for the confusion. To assist me, where can I find the budget line-items that have increased the budget to the final grant amount approved? I would like to add them into the budget page its self instead of just adding in a line for amount received. --Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
  • In the current budget, could you please move the administrator (staff) expenses from 2.4.4 to 3.0 (Staff costs) section? I’m requesting this because currently, the staff costs are merged with the operational budget, and we’d like you to split them off to facilitate the review process.
  • Certainly, that is no problem. We put it in that line item as we were treating the administrator as a service provider/sole proprietor. However on review we feel that moving it into this other category is, in fact, better placed after all for reasons in addition to the review process on our side.--Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
  • What is the current governance structure of WMZA? Do you plan to recruit any new Board members in the upcoming year? Additionally, do you plan to organize any capacity building training for the leadership?
  • We elect a new board every year at the chapter's Annual General Meeting. It is our hope to replace outgoing board members with new board members. However we currently have no plans to expand the board beyond the nine positions aviable as we feel it will make the board too large and so administratively in efficient and less nimble/effective. In the past capacity building of board members was done though the annual affiliates conference in Berlin. This was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we do not know when it will restart again. Although we currently have no plans to organise capacity building training for the leadership it is our hope to action such training in the future. We would greatly value any opportunities from the WMF and/or affiliates network to action this training. Currently all such training and on-bording of new leadership is done during the bi-monthly board meetings.--Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
  • In general, how do you ensure healthy and transparent governance processes in the chapter?
  • In addition to bi-monthly board meetings where all chapter actives and governance is discussed we take minuets of these meetings and make them publicly aviable on the chapter Wiki. At least two weeks before the annual general meeting an activity and budget report is sent out to the chapter membership and these details are also discussed at the annual general meeting, the minutes of which are also available on the chapter wiki. We are always open to suggestions on how to make the chapter leadership and staff more transparent and accountable. All cost decisions are passed by the board and expenses have to be approved by at least one member of the treasury committee (with all other members included in the approval) before the bookkeeper can action payments. Building a strong board though good communication through frequent meetings (although not too frequent that it tiers people out) is very important to us. As is building community health through community events like digital meetups and other community events.--Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Aside from running editing training and offering reference materials to community members, will you carry out any capacity building activities for the community members?
  • Currently we have no plans to do so however we are very open to changing that plan should such capacity building training opportunities be made available to us.--Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
  • In the sAPG application, please add the targets for the Lib1Ref project.
  • Sure thing, I just want to consult the 1Lib1Ref volunteer organisers first to get the appropriate targets from them. Apologies for the delay here.--Discott (talk) 19:48, 16 May 2021 (UTC)

Thanks again for your contributions to the Wikimedia Movement. I was glad to learn more about your planned activities for the upcoming year. Looking forward to your responses. Best regards, DSaroyan (WMF) (talk) 10:37, 11 May 2021 (UTC)

Simple APG Committee recommendation[edit]

We recommend that Wikimedia South Africa, receives funding for the amount of US$31,000 / ZAR 419,330.49 for 12 months. We recognize the alignment of your programs to the strategic plan of the chapter and also see that you have included new programs that are innovative and look to engage existing and new communities. The programs proposed including; Wiki Loves Science South Africa, African Language Outreach (championship programme), African language writing competition, Afrikaans training workshop, University and School digital roadshow, Lib1Ref, Wikipedia banner awareness campaign, Wikipedia bookshelf and Wiki Loves Fynbos demonstrate how you continue to engage on relevant programming based on the needs of the community.

We also recognize the need for the request made on increase in capacity and hope that the role identified supports in the achievement of the set goals. We recommend putting in place documentation structures on the current staff process to support you in future growth in capacity needs.

Thank you for all the work you do and we look forward to seeing you bring more change to your community.

For the committee, Anass Sedrati (talk) 21:04, 8 June 2021 (UTC)

APG approved in the amount of ZAR 419,330.49[edit]

Congratulations! Your grant is approved in the amount of ZAR 419,330.49 (US$31,000), with a grant term starting 1 July 2021 and ending 30 June 2022.

Wikimedia South Africa’s proposed projects are presented through two programmatic areas: Outreach and Chapter Support. The goal of the Outreach program is to expand public awareness and increase interactions with people outside of the Wikimedia Movement. The Chapter Support program seeks to strengthen the chapter and its membership. We appreciate Wikimedia ZA’s work on creating a detailed theory of change with comprehensive objectives and measures of success. We also commend you on your planned activities to contribute to Knowledge Equity.

In terms of capacity, we acknowledge your need for having staff members, and we completely endorse the committee's recommendation in this regard. We also understand the challenges you faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic that hindered the onboarding processes for staff.

We hope that the new staff member will help to reduce volunteer burnout in the chapter and bring even more success for the upcoming year. We look forward to closely working with you in 2021-2022.

Best regards from the SAPG Committee and Staff--VThamaini (WMF) (talk) 16:13, 16 June 2021 (UTC)