QW2021/Report

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The purpose of the Queering Wikipedia 2021 User Group Working Days was to develop our internal LGBT+ User Group organization, structures, and operations. We also kept time during the Working Days to develop updates and plan for the Queering Wikipedia 2022 Conference (delayed from 2020 and 2021 due to COVID travel restrictions).

These Working Days for the User Group occurred online via Zoom on May 14–16, 2021, from 14:00 UTC-17:30 UTC.

Outcomes and Impact[edit]

The Queering Wikipedia 2021 User Group Working Days outcomes and impact were what we hoped they would be. We had an average attendance of 20 people on each of the 3 days originating from five different continents. It was a global gathering of current members of our LGBT+ User Group, along with some people who are newer to the User Group with this being their first direct involvement. The stated purpose of this event was to develop our internal LGBT+ User Group organization, structures, and operations, and we did that over the 3 half-day sessions.

There were 3 innovative, meaning new to us, things we did during this event:

  1. This was the first grant-funded event we ever had, and while we meet monthly for live, Zoom-based meetings, this was the first time we were able to do this with enough time to begin to develop our internal organizational structure. In this way, we decided upon a leadership structure and User Group decision-making process. We have always worked in a more ad hoc manner before, and now we have some structure to speak and act more as a User Group itself, and not as simply a group of users.
  2. This was the first time we reached out for external support as we developed our structure. With the help of WMF Event funds, we were able to work with WMAT as a financial partner to help us with management and logistics, with a facilitation team to help us maintain focused discussions and break-outs, with a professional note-taker to help us record what we did and what we decided, and also with the opportunity for paid live language translation to allow us to move beyond the default English, we have been using. Professionals to help us given our identified lack of internal capacity for these aspects was a helpful step in our work.
  3. We used Zoom and were able to provide live language translation support in Spanish, which was the language that was requested by attendees. This was significant for us as we used professional translators and the Zoom license we purchased to help support this, the same technology used during the Movement Strategy global conversations. This allowed us to move beyond English as the only language and meaningfully supporting and engage with members globally.

There are no significant changes from the grant proposal that was updated and re-approved. Most aspects of the event went as planned, with few unexpected situations or needs for funding or planning alterations.

The long-term implications of this event involves our having a decision-making body with associated published governance policies, which will also lead us to a planned future User Group membership structure and elections for the leadership. This has been a complex issue we have faced since the start of our User Group, and we believe this will allow us to begin making decisions in a structured and formal manner, meaning in the future we can be much more intentional about planned events, seeking future funding, and advocate in a more cohesive manner than we have previously done ad hoc by relying on individual experience. This is exactly the type of capacity building we identified as a need.

Approximately half our attendees have not been active or very visible in our User Group before, though they may have had LGBTQ related experience across the Wikimedia Movement itself. About the other half of our attendees have been active in the User Group and Movement for some time, and as this was an explicit audience we sought to reach and serve, we are happy with this turnout.

Learning and next steps[edit]

The intended purpose of this event was to build and formalize our internal capacity actively to grow and structure the User Group.

The main learning we had is how much time and logistics this planning takes. We had extended our event due to the time and effort required to organize and manage a global, synchronous online event. Weekly meetings, clear project management and note-taking of decisions were required along the way.

As we have never conducted anything of this scope before, things that may seem simple on the outside, such as to ensure there is a clear Friendly Space Policy that includes robust privacy and security expectations along with a process to internally enforce these and to hire a note-taker or translator, require levels of additional effort that were not initially identified. As an example of what we learned, here with the language needs, is that we needed additional training and capacity building to ensure the Zoom platform had the language capacity needed, testing the technology, creating instructions for how people should be welcomed into the space, identifying a process for reviewing, finalizing, and then translating the notes, and other related tasks.

Doing this again, we benefit from a stronger understanding of some of these project-related tasks that are needed when holding a global event, something much more challenging than smaller events or those that are expected to be delivered in one language.

Financial documentation[edit]

This section describes the grant's use of funds

Budget table

Please list all project expenses in a table here, with descriptions. Review the instructions here. These expenses should be listed in the same format as the budget table in your approved submission so that anyone reading this report may be able to easily compare budgeted vs. actual expenses.

Updated budget for reporting[edit]

See the approved budget for comparison
Category Item description Unit Qty EUR/unit EUR total USD total* Act. Qty Act. EUR/unit Act. EUR total Act. USD total Notes
1. 2020 spend** Costs from postponed conference - 1 € 4,845.56 € 4,845.56 $5,880.23 1 € 4,845.56 € 4,845.56 $5,880.23 -
2. 2020 spend** Translation NDA - 1 € 144.00 € 144.00 $174.75 1 € 144.00 € 144.00 $174.75 NDA for volunteers on scholarship committee to gurantee saftey of participants
3. 2020 spend** Project management (QW2020) - 1 € 2,000.00 € 2,000.00 $2,427.06 1 € 2,000.00 € 2,000.00 $2,427.06 -
4. 2020 spend** Overhead Wikimedia Austria (QW2020) - 1 € 1,500.00 € 1,500.00 $1,820.30 1 € 1,500.00 € 1,500.00 $1,820.30 -
5. Technology Zoom Business licence 1 year licence 1 € 200.00 € 200.00 $242.71 1 € 212.28 € 212.28 $257.61 -
6. Technology Online collaboration tools licence 2 € 250.00 € 500.00 $606.77 - - - - Everything needed was provided by facilitators.
7. Technology Security advice (counterhack etc) allowance 1 € 500.00 € 500.00 $606.77 - - - - Did not happen due to a lack of time to find the right expertise
8. Program Networking/“fun” event budget - 1 € 500.00 € 500.00 $606.77 1 various € 150.78 $182,98 Food expenses
9. Facilitation & docs Conference facilitators ½ day 3 € 400.00 € 1,200.00 $1,456.24 3 - € 1,563.69 $1,890,50 A bit above budget for additional support to prepare and design the event
10. Facilitation & docs Note taking and analysis ½ day 3 € 400.00 € 1,200.00 $1,456.24 3 € 400.00 € 1,200.00 $1,456.24 -
11. Facilitation & docs Interpreters / bilingual breakout room facilitators allowance 1 € 2,000.00 € 2,000.00 $2,427.06 1 € 2,000.00 € 2,000.00 $2,427.0 -
12. Facilitation & docs Safe space reporting support training*** allowance 1 € 100.00 € 100.00 $121.35 - - - - In-kind support by Cornelius Kibelka
13. Facilitation & docs Technical support for Zoom & Telegram*** allowance 0 Nil Nil Nil 0 Nil Nil Nil
14. Facilitation & docs Volunteer honoraria allowance 1 € 1,000.00 € 1,000.00 $1,213.53 4 € 100 € 400 485.41 Fewer people than expected needed/accepted to be reimbursed
15. Facilitation & docs Technical facilitation € 1,000.00 € 1,000.00 $1,213.53 - € 1,563.69 € 1,563.69 $1,890,50 We underestimatd this budget item
16. Project management Overhead WMAT and Wiki Loves Pride support - 1 € 3,500.00 € 3,500.00 $4,247.36 1 € 3,500.00 € 3,500.00 $4,247.36 Wiki Loves Pride prices will be distributed later this year by WMAT
17. Project management Project management (QW2021) - 2 € 1,000.00 € 2,000.00 $2,427.06 2 € 1,000.00 € 2,000.00 $2,427.06 -
18. Project management QW2022 proposal prep 2 € 1,000.00 € 2,000.00 $2,427.06 2 € 1,000.00 € 2,000.00 $2,427.06 The new project managers will be reimbursed by WMAT later this year, once their job is done
19. Attendee support Broadband allowance per participant 20 € 20.00 € 400.00 $485.41 2 var. € 26.60 $31.42 Only few people needed support
20. Attendee support Caregiver allowance per partic, ½ d 15 € 40.00 € 600.00 $728.12 0 0 0 0 No demand this time, but still important to offer it
21. Attendee support Attendee gifts per participant 20 € 15.00 € 300.00 $364.06 - € 214.78 € 214.78 $260.64 Stickers, postage
22. Unforeseen Contingency budget - 1 € 1,000.00 € 1,000.00 $1,213.53 1 var. € 115.24 $136.14 Bank fees, currency conversions (see also explanation below)
23. Facilitation & docs NEW: Translations of event documentation per language - - - - 8 var. € 2,706.00 $3,283.81 Use of remaining/unused funds for multi-lingual event participants and outreach (see also explanation below)
€ 26,489.56 $32,145.88 € 26,142.62 $31,706.07


Notes:

* EUR/USD conversion rate below
** Costs already incurred from 2020 conference planning
*** Includes donations-in-kind
USD conversion rate on 1 February 2021
1 EUR = 1,21353 USD
Summary of funding

It was a bit challenging to switch from planning and budgeting an offline event to an online event. We wanted to make up a little bit for the lost opportunity to attend an in-person event by providing some food vouchers and swag to interested participants - things that are fairly standard for offline but not necessarily online events. In addition we offered care support and data packages. However, we did not take into account the banking fees for all the small reimbursements, a budget line that we always have for e.g. competitions where we send prices to the winners, but not for classical conferences (as most expenses are being paid by the grant directly). Luckily, we had funds for unexpected costs and could cover it this way.

Another line item that was not on our radar were costs for translations. Once you offer a mulit-lingual event (which we did and budgeted for), the documentation and correspondence should also be in those languages, it is not enough to only have live interpretation during the event itself. We could solve this with the help of volunteer translators (although we believe this should not always be up to the volunteers and should be adequately resourced) and the use of some left-over funds from the grant. Another challenge is to decide which languages to offer and how much to budget for it, as this only becomes clear during the registration. One solution is to have a survey within your community / target group beforehand, to get a feeling for how many and which languages would make sense for this particular event. As we had some unused funds, we decided to issue translations in even more languages, we chose those with the biggest numbers of LGBTQ+ volunteers. The idea is to use the documentation for outreach to get more diverse people interested in the UG activites and future conferences.

Total project budget (from your approved grant submission):

  • EUR 39.720 for the original offline conference in May 2020
  • EUR 26,489.56 for the 2021 online working days, this amount includes 8,489.56 EUR expenses from the 2020 conference (e.g. flights that couldn’t be cancelled, project management and overhead)

Total amount requested from WMF (from your approved grant submission): Same as total project budget.

Total amount spent on this project (this total should be the total calculated from the table above): EUR 26,142.62

Total amount of WMF grant funds spent on this project: EUR 26,142.62

Are there additional sources of revenue that funded any part of this project?

For the original offline conference we had major in-kind donations from the City of Linz (complete venue, social program, organisational support from staff) worth several thousands of Euros. In addition, we got a public subsidy for Green Events worth 500 EUR (to support sustainable food and travel schemes at the event).

The in-kind contributions for 2021 were mainly from volunteers who waived their honoraria. The City of Linz offered their Zoom licenses for the event, but we decided that the 1 year license is a good investment in the User Group infrastructure even past this event and decided to pay for it with this grant.

Remaining funds

Are there any grant funds remaining?

Answer YES

Please list the total amount (specify currency) remaining here. (This is the amount you did not use, or the amount you still have after completing your grant.)

  • EUR 13,577.38

Evaluation[edit]

We provided an anonymous QW 2021 User Group Working Days Feedback survey each day, allowing us to collect feedback and make any needed changes in an ongoing manner. We received 9, 9, and 6 responses across the 3 days.

The questions, asked in both English and Spanish (the language supported through live translation across the 3 days of the event) included questions similar to these, with changes for each day to list the actual sessions for that day:

  • Please select the sessions you attended: Introduction, What is Membership?, How do we decide things? Create operating procedures? What does our leadership structure look like? ALL SESSIONS
  • Why did you decide to join us today?
  • What did you personally hope to gain from participating in today’s event(s)?
  • How did this event meet your expectations?
  • After participating in Day One’s events, how likely are you to attend on Saturday and Sunday? (score of 1-5)
  • What other feedback do you want to share about today’s session (timing of the sessions, support provided for attendees, impact of the events, facilitation, or anything else)?

The survey was shared within the Zoom session and also in the QW 2021 Telegram chat and then was analyzed and reviewed by the project team 30 minutes before the next day’s session. It was overwhelmingly positive and did not alert us to anything that needed to shift during the event itself.

Anything else[edit]

Working with the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Austria was significantly improved by establishing a small and agile governance team with specific points of contact and recognizing and empowering those within our volunteer group with interest and with the skills to take on negotiating partnering decisions, budget reporting and communications to ensure we maintained transparency with our wider community. This organizational experience delivering better teamwork and reliable communication methods will underpin the maturing of the User Group to be a better stakeholder within the movement and to the outside world.