Talk:Community Resources/Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021

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Grants Strategy Relaunch

2020-2021

Talk page feedback

Welcome! This space is for discussion about the Grants Strategy Relaunch. We have provided some questions below to help organize feedback, but you are welcome to start a new section with any open-ended feedback you would like to provide. Responses in any language are welcome. Please review the behavioral guidelines for discussion.


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Questions[edit]

What is your region?[edit]

Please respond with one of the following:

Region list
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • Eastern and South East Asia Pacific
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • India
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Northern/Western Europe
  • Oceania
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • United States/Canada
  • Prefer not to respond
  • Central and Eastern Europe--Strainu (talk) 15:19, 10 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • North America –SJ talk  20:08, 31 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • (Your response here)

Do you feel the new grants strategy is aligned with the strategic direction of the movement?[edit]

  • Partially, see below--Strainu (talk) 15:19, 10 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yes, also see below –SJ talk  20:08, 31 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • (Your response here)

Are we missing any other major needs or priorities?[edit]

  • I can't think of any--Strainu (talk) 15:19, 10 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strengthening self-similarity at different scales: Training the movement so that at every scale we have grantmaking and assessment capacity, and local communities are making connections with other knowledge-focused grantors in their regions. This advances equity, robustness to change, and depth of support for minority languages and local needs. It may also help strengthen our partnerships with the ecosystem supporting sources (GLAM + other) and audiences (schools, researchers) of our projects.
  • (Your response here)

What concerns do you have about this proposal? Are there any challenges in this structure that would affect your work as a volunteer?[edit]

  • The distribution principles are well-thought and aligned with the strategic direction, but the deeper we go, they tend to fade away into only minor changes and renaming of the current grant system. The fact that there is a 1:1 relation between the current grant programs and the future ones is concerning.
Despite the declared principles of Equity & Empowerment, I am sad to see further deterioration in the very small grants area. Not only is the $500 entry barrier kept, but the response time is further increased, from "same month" to "1-2 months". The artificial barrier, instituted due to limited Foundation bandwidth, does not make sense in a world of Participatory decision making throughout grants cycle. Instead, the decision making for extra-small grants should be deferred completely to regional committees (within a budget, of course). This would reopen the door for financially-challenged members of the community to experiment and learn without depending on a national or thematic organization which is able to create a larger plan to go over the bar. I specifically have in mind small foto-walks in Moldova, which had budgets of $150-200 and helped cover dozens, if not hundreds of villages in the country. I also have in mind transport grants for smaller conferences, gatherings etc. outside the Wikimedia world, which do not offer travel support.
I also fail to see any specific support for least developed communities. I understand that the potential of these communities is considered low, but without dedicated support chances are they will be unable to move forward from that area.--Strainu (talk) 15:19, 10 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • +1 to what Strainu said. In my experience, impactful grants can be well under $200, even in the US and Europe -- and a week's salary can be enormously impactful anywhere in the world. If we are to realize the stated vision, I would hope for 20-100x the current total disbursed in grants to less-developed communities, many of which never apply for or get grants at all. I expect most of this would be 1000s of grants under $200 made each year. The primary bottleneck to this seems to be the lack of available microgrants, the high barrier of engagement, and the 'pull + wait' nature of the grant process. Ideally, we would try some of the following:
    • Push awards + grants: identify good work, give out awards; invite them to get funding for future work.
    • Auto-fundable templates: Identify recurring types of work that should be reimbursable; provide simple forms for such reimbursement. Some of these could be billed directly to a central account (books) or centralized by a global program (WP Library Bundle, or event kits shipped from the store).
    • Comprehensive regional microgrant pools: Building on the successes of past affiliate-run efforts, help affiliates set up regional pools covering every part of the world. This limits WMF overhead by allowing a fixed number of annual grants, and delegates further process to the regional groups. [It also helps build regional experience in grantmaking and assessment]
    • Regional investment quotas: An expected minimum in microgrants used within a region, based on population, knowledgebase, and so on. If this is not reached through 'pull' grants, iterative push grants encouraging neighboring communities to visit + catalyze network building, or encouraging local editors to implement some of our community templates at their schools, town halls, and cultural institutions. This is the only sort of travel grant that I could see being auto-fundable.
    • Other regional delegation: Delegating some of the reporting / review for small grants to regional groups. E.g., the regional pools could directly be responsible for all aspects of running a pool for tiny grants, but also serve as the first point of review + contact for the next tier of grants, which are distributed by the WMF.
    • Sliding-scale paperwork: Currently the reporting + application overhead for small grants is high, for an internal movement grant to known active volunteers. Don't treat all regions the same in this regard; relax the requirements for groups + regions that have already done good work + have not gotten grants before. Perhaps the first grant in a region could, per tradition, be a gift to pass on.
    • SJ talk  20:08, 31 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • (Your response here)

Is there any other feedback you would like to give us?[edit]

  • I wasn't involved in the previous feedback rounds, so maybe this has been discussed there, but have you considered offloading part of the administrative burden (not the decision making, but the actual money sending/report checking) from the WMF to other entities?--Strainu (talk) 15:19, 10 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • Unpaid volunteers are asked to put in significant amounts of work for teams that are "strategic thought partners". It appears deliberate that no specific or measurable authority has been defined for these "strategic thought partners", especially that no funding decisions can ever be made by them. Is this a correct reading or not? -- (talk) 11:13, 22 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • (Your response here)

Additional feedback[edit]

Public feedback, questions, or comments on the Grants Strategy Relaunch are welcome here. Please feel free to start a new section below. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 20:11, 8 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Hello! I don't have a great deal of feedback yet, but I did want to note that the process you're following so far looks very sensible and I welcome the relatively high level of involvement so far. I will be interested to see the proposed solutions (which I imagine will get rather more feedback from people :) ) Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 19:05, 14 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
It is good if you think about the Grants and how they can be improved. I think there should be a possibility to get funding also for little amounts. At the old grants as far I understood the pages the program with the lowest possible amounts were the Microgrants and there it was possible to get funding of 500$ or more. This amount is much to high. In Germany there it is possible to get funding also for little amounts. This is something what is important for equity that this is also possible in countrys without a chapter or with a chapter with a lower budget. I think the funding of Wikimedia Germany is good. This could be a example of how the community can get support. I think there is not a big strategy needed. The criteria to get a funding should be that Free Knowledge and the Wikimedia Projects benefit from it directly. So I think there should be not too much time and money invested into the strategy. It is important to get support in different languages and there should be a clear explanation how the effects of the grants are measured. How the efficient use of money can be documented without too much time for the volunteers and for the staff is a interesting and important question. I think that if you want to support many volunteers then it is important to have efficient administration processes so that you can spend the most time on supporting the volunteers. --Hogü-456 (talk) 22:22, 5 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Hi there, Hogü-456, and thanks for your feedback on grant minimum, language support, and accountability. To respond to your feedback on grant minimums, our team is thinking about this question around minimum funding amounts. In terms of funding from our own grant programs, there are always going to be certain administrative needs around sending and receiving funds that must be fulfilled due to our obligations as a nonprofit in the United States, regardless how much funding is needed. For example, these requirements include things like confirming the nonprofit status of an organization and obtaining valid proof of identification for the grant recipient. These requirements, however, place some burdens on both grantees (who need to prepare this information and materials) and our team (to track and process proposals), and so it will be important for us to balance the need to support programmatic budgets of different levels with the minimum amount of work and time needed to process those requests. However, as you've noted, some affiliate organizations we fund already maintain effective microgrant programs, and can responsively support these kind of local needs. For affiliates interested in supporting similar programs in their region, we too want to make those funding opportunities more available. We are interested in supporting them to develop structures and capacity to prepare and maintain such grant programs. I also appreciate that you've encouraged us to think about situations where there is no affiliate present, which is a case we will need to consider in supporting a more equitable approach to funding. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:05, 10 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Hello Jethro! As $100 is a week's salary or more in parts of the world, I would like us to have an official page summarizing how to get costs under $500 covered or reimbursed -- a page that is always there, even as the details of how this is managed change, or vary by geography.

  • How can we frame this so such a page fits into the Community Resources framework? For starters, it could point to local microgrant pools, how to start one, and which commonly requested things you can get for free.
  • Where there are obstacles: is it worth discussing the specific challenges you mention (a receiving non-profit, proof of ID, tracking and processing) to see which can be simplified or relaxed or delegated?
  • If it is significantly easier to give out small prizes than grants, we might consider a steady flow of regional prizes for excellent work of different kinds, as directly in line with the broader goal here. –SJ talk  22:50, 31 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Sj: Thanks for these suggestions. It's a great idea to make a page providing clear instructions to community members about microgrants opportunities across the movement. I will discuss this with our team and see what capacity we have to develop such a page and when, because I know the need for "small" grants (which, as you say, are not actually small in local context) is nontrivial in many communities. We do see them requested in Rapid Grants on occasion as well. Some work that would be involved here would probably include:
  • Taking an inventory / meeting with affiliates about existing microgrant programs, including some overview details like amount, the kinds of activities they support, and eligibility (including where they can send funding).
  • Figuring out a space where it is easy to search and access this information. We currently have Grants#To_Wikimedia_volunteers on Meta, but it's not current and could be improved in a bunch of ways. More comprehensive translation should also be prepared for this kind of space as well.
  • Thinking more long-term, seeing what we and other Wikimedia Foundation teams can do to provide financial support, training, and practical guidance to affiliates who want to do microgrant programs themselves.
In terms of relaxing some of the constraints, we've been looking into what things are possible to relax when it comes to grants, and so yes, there is merit to discussing where this is possible. That said, there are going to be some requirements that cannot be avoided or relaxed if the arrangement is to send funding from the Wikimedia Foundation to some other entity. Nonprofits in the US have certain legal requirements that must be met whenever we do this, for any amount of funding. For example, I don't see a future where we would be able to forego some form of identification from applicants. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 22:28, 19 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks Jethro. Appointing a small-grants ombudsperson to start some of that coordinating work might be helpful. (perhaps starting with people who have coordinated one of the successful programs so far, if any are interested?) I have some personal experience with those requirements for gifts and grants, so I know that it isn't easy. Some ideas for relaxing constraints:
a) have a program for distributing books, or one for event kits, that ships anyone with 300 edits across the projects a book of their choice for an article they're working on (up to $40) or an event kit for a registered event, at no charge.
b) bundle smaller grants together. First ensure there are regional affiliates covering every jurisdiction in the world. Then bundles smaller grants into < $5k chunks, with further distribution and oversight delegated to the affiliate, along with a 10% overhead for that coordination work. That's slightly different from waiting for regional groups to define and organize a microgrant program. For instance, as soon as there is at least one promising microgrant from a region, a local affiliate could preemptively be offered a $1k bundle that they are encouraged to distribute, with pointers to successful models for hackathons and other collaborative brainstorming for projects to kickstart.
c) for regions where we (WMF) can't send funding directly or indirectly, face that head on: those regions are often direly in need of both better access to open knowledge and to funding. Find charitable partners that do work in those regions, and invite them to sign on to provide similar support for our isolated communities.
d) for constraints on the detail and frequency of reporting: I remember that for at least 4 years running the WMF auditors told us that we were being significantly more cautious than we needed to be in auditing modest movement-internal grants. The first small grant to a group or region could be more lenient than the recommended level of reporting, while taking the opportunity to provide training such as you suggest.
Warmly, –SJ talk  21:40, 20 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Classification of grant budgets[edit]

Thanks for starting this feedback process, and the changes look promising. I would like to highlight a problem with the current classification of the grant programs, particularly rapid and project grants. While the limit for rapid grants is $2,000, and anything above that goes into project grants. But since the budget range for project grants is quite wide, I feel there is no equity in the process for projects having budgets at the edges. In project grants, there are often proposals which have budgets around $5,000 and also $95,000 - both are pushed into the same process. Though a project with $5,000 might get funded, relatively easily, it is being through the same rigor as it is for a $95,000 proposal - application, time periods, committee reviews etc. It also the question of time period, projects which are only a little over $2,000 will have to wait for 6 months or an year, which I feel is not fair. I couldn't particularly see anything that addresses this in the current strategy, I might have missed something though. What I am trying to suggest is look at how the budgets are classified, and a process for projects which have budget are only a little over the rapid grant limit. KCVelaga (talk) 05:09, 22 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@KCVelaga: Hi Krishna, and thanks for these questions about the evaluation procedures around grants based on their budget. In terms of how we will evaluate proposals or ask applicants to describe projects, it seems likely to me that we will be looking at the overall scope of a project on a number of different factors. While applicants will naturally be asked about how much funding they need, the amount is not going to be the only factor that will determine the overall scope of the proposal. Funding amount sometimes implies a certain scope of work, but not always, and it is a rough indicator at best. While we do not have a finalized list of questions, a few things we could potentially ask about is if the project will support one program or multiple programs, if the work is local/national/international, if staff is needed, etc. We would ask these things before we get into the substance of the proposal (e.g. goals, activities, expected outcomes, etc.) Using this kind of approach, I think we will avoid cases where people who requested funding a few dollars above some threshold are having to go through a longer process than someone who goes under some arbitrary threshold. If a longer process is needed, it would be because the overall scope, complexity, or risks of the project merits a more substantive review process. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 17:01, 22 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Not sending receipts is a very bad idea[edit]

Being a long time Wikimedia volunteer involved in multiple grants proposals in different ways, I personally think that this is a very bad idea to not ask for receipts. In an ideal world, this might be a very progressive idea, but we live in a world where people can very well exploit this decision. Without receipts, it is not at all difficult to submit a false report. I would like to request you to reconsider this decision. -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 03:30, 9 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • In my volunteer capacity, I agree with this observation. What problem it is trying to solve? I can understand when you deal with too many bills, or when it is a large event of several months a few bills may be unavailable or get lost. We have an option of marking those expenses as "bill not available/bill lost". But, why terminate the entire process? There are several other issues including country-specific auditing requirement. Before I go into details as of now, I'd like to better understand the planned process. One needs a to submit an expense statement (spreadsheet/Wikitable)>> No scanned bills submission required>> Report submitted — is it the process? Please clarify. Regards. -- টিটো দত্ত (কথা) 12:06, 9 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Bodhisattwa and Titodutta: Thanks for your feedback on these changes in our reporting requirements. I understand your concerns that these changes could make it easier for people to exploit the system and submit false reports about their spending. I want to respond to those concerns with a some considerations:
    • Grantees are still required to maintain receipts for four (4) years based on our grant agreements , and grantees would be required to present receipts to us when requested.. We would also require the grantee to follow any explicit local law in regards to receipts. For example, this request could be prompted by reasonable community concerns or if we find that a report is incomplete or lacking in some way. At the time of reporting, grantees will still be expected to provide a summary of how funding was spent, which would also be subject to review. This has often been provided through a table or a separate spreadsheet.
    • The vast majority of grantees do not have significant issues when it comes to financial reporting, and cases where grantees submit deliberately false reports are exceedingly rare. In some of those cases, we have learned about financial issues from community members before any reporting is sent to us. It is not helpful for our team to make requirements that address potential problems that we rarely encounter and are not relevant for grantees.
    • Maintaining the previous requirements disproportionately affects the reporting burden for grantees in emerging communities. The work of gathering, scanning, organizing, and sending receipts is challenging for several reasons, such as connectivity issues, access to equipment, norms around providing receipts, and other circumstances. In communities where there are different norms and infrastructure around receipts, grantees generally do not encounter these kinds of obstacles.
    • We plan to provide better capacity building support for grantees, which would certainly include training on financial management both for organizations and individuals. This could also include more general training materials and guidance we provide, and could be supplied together with the messaging we provide when making a funding decision, as well as funding to support communities to seek out training as needed.
We're open to suggestions about cases when a more rigorous review of receipts may be needed, so please let us know if you have ideas to consider, but we will no longer be requiring grantees to send us receipts by default. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 21:52, 19 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Transparency of actual spending[edit]

This is more of a question than feedback. If submitting the receipts of the spendings are not required, what will be the mechanism for ensuring the transparency of the actual spending amounts? How the grant report spending declaration will be justified? - Shabab Mustafa (talk) 12:26, 9 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

In light of developments involving our language community and an individual, now indeffed from bnwiki(source), who we conclude has misused the grant process, I am also interested in the answer to this question and a response to the concerns in the section above this one. (@I JethroBT (WMF): in particular, as someone who's aware of those developments.) Mahir256 (talk) 12:37, 9 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Tarunno and Mahir256: See my response in the above thread on these concerns about submitting receipts. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 21:53, 19 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Statement from Community Resources team regarding the participation in Regional Committees[edit]

Thank you everyone for engaging in this important discussion. The launch of the regional committees at its core is about decentralizing decision making and sharing of power. We want to include parts of the movement that have not been actively involved in decision making before. We hope that people who have previously served on boards, in leadership positions within affiliates or participated in other committees or working groups will apply and share their past experiences within these committees. At the same time we hope that by opening to regions around the world and without the language restrictions - people will feel inspired to take this opportunity to become more involved in their communities. We recognise that this has created some concerns around capacity and efficacy of the decision making process in the movement and we believe there are many ways that experience and insights of long serving Wikimedians can be shared with new committees and grantees (as advisors, mentors to the regional committees).

We will support current grantees through this transition by hosting regional office hours as well as transition meetings with regional program officers. For new grantees we are focusing on new proactive outreach strategies to invite more people in underrepresented communities to apply for the grant programs.

The Community Resources team is bringing to this process principles and initial ideas and will work with the regional committees to make final decisions. We see this as an important and necessary shift towards co-creation of the structures that will enable decision making for equitable resource allocation.

Specific answers to your questions will follow and we will try to add common questions to a growing list of FAQ so responses to common questions will be easier to find.

We look forward to the journey towards realising the strategic direction together. THasan (WMF) (talk) 10:40, 26 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Board members of affiliates ineligible to take part?[edit]

Hello - I welcome about 90% of this new direction and am very pleased to see the WMF taking on board the movement strategy recommendations in such a detailed way, and embracing the idea of multi-lingual regional decision-making. However I do have a serious reservation about making Board members of Wikimedia affiliates ineligible to take part in the committees. This is a change of direction from all previous grant-making committees, and also different from the other committees that deal with affiliates (e.g. Affcom). Previously people have recused themselves from applications relating to their own organisation, and to the best of my knowledge there has never been an issue with conflicts of interest in grantmaking that couldn't be dealt with that way. I am also somewhat sceptical that you will be able to populate the committees without the assistance of people involved in chapters and user groups, there aren't enough volunteers to go round! Thanks, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 08:56, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

  • Hi Chris, thanks for the question. I would like to explain our thinking around this. In line with the Movement Strategy recommendations we want to ensure the participation of several newcomers or people that usually do not contribute in decision making spaces. The idea with board members (affiliate board members) not being eligible is to make space for volunteers and individuals who are not already in positions of power. If the first round of applications doesn't bring to the committee a strong set of individuals, we will adjust and open the application to non-paid board members and advisors from affiliates as well. We want the committee to be an opportunity to have new voices in decision making spaces. Hence for the first round at least we want to encourage others to join. We have kept the option of bringing in experts/board members open in the next round of selection.THasan (WMF) (talk) 14:38, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I think you should adjust this now. Historically, there have barely been sufficient qualified candidates for these posts in the past, and you are now looking for at least three times the number of active participants as there were in the prior iterations that all permitted volunteer board members to participate with recusal on their own group. Eliminating this is not a good look, to be honest; it suggests that the WMF doesn't trust volunteer board members (who have already had experience in addressing conflict of interest situations) to make fair judgments. While it is always important to have previously uninvolved members on these committees, the lack of history of active participation in major decision-making is not a positive attribute for membership in a committee with such extensive fiduciary responsibility and deadlines. I am very much in favour of diversifying funding groups; I am not in favour of using them as entry-level leadership development projects. People should not be appointed to these groups *unless* they have a history (either on or off wiki) of working collaboratively, understanding basic finances, having some type of fiduciary responsibility in the past (this could include privacy-related wiki tools, etc), and a solid track record of meeting deadlines. Risker (talk) 19:33, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Risker, CR team definitely wants to have experienced members on the Regional Committees for Grants. We encourage people with past board experience, affiliate leadership and committee experience to apply whether that is on or off wiki. Every committee brings together a group of people who as a collective bring in the necessary experience. The Regional Committees will play a new role and we plan to do workshops together before the new grant rounds begin. The current conflict of interest policies have served the grants deliberations process well and will continue to do so if we need to expand the committees to include current board members and affiliate leadership.THasan (WMF) (talk) 06:17, 27 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I think perhaps an important point is being missed. In regions where the affiliates have existed for many years, there is a surfeit of appropriate candidates; however, in regions where affiliates are comparatively quite young, there simply is not that same pool of qualified candidates, if current leaders are excluded. Especially in these regions, affiliates may well have only had a handful of leaders over their entire existence. I don't have a problem with excluding people who are paid staff of either the WMF or of affiliates, but I do continue to have a problem with deliberately excluding current volunteer leaders, especially from emerging communities. Risker (talk) 06:28, 27 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
"I am very much in favour of diversifying funding groups; I am not in favour of using them as entry-level leadership development projects" <-- Nailed it. –SJ talk  20:13, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
This process has the potential to present an excellent opportunity for having the Regional Committees reflect Ensure Equity in Decision-making and Coordinate Across Stakeholders by having them actually selected by the volunteer communities in their own regions. Instead it appears these will all be appointments made centrally by the WMF, and that anyone who has the earned the trust of fellow volunteers in their region will actually be disqualified, which is in my opnion a step backwards.--Pharos (talk) 00:22, 23 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Pharos, CR team took both the Equity recommendation and principle of subsidiarity as primary objectives of the Grants strategy relaunch. As we have explained earlier, there is no restriction for volunteers (only current board members of affiliates are ineligible for the first round of selection) from User Groups, communities to participate in the regional committees. We hope past board members and also people who have participated in the movement strategy working groups and other community committees will bring their experience and want to participate in the regional committees. We wanted to ensure that there is space for volunteers and individuals who are not already in positions of power to become part of these committees. The Community Resources Team would be selecting the members of the regional committee only for the first round to kickstart the process. We would have to constitute another committee/process which would have taken much more time. For the upcoming rounds the regional committee along with the CR team members would be selecting the members. THasan (WMF) (talk) 10:40, 26 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed to the concern raised by Chris here and what Risker and Pharos said. The user group forms the majority of affiliates which are loosely organized as per the requirement of the structure. In global south communities, the most experienced volunteers are there in decision making committees or in boards. Excluding them altogether will risk losing experience and leadership in regional funding committees. Like Pharos, I feel also the same that this looks more like unilateral decision from WMF to appoint people in key positions excluding trusted volunteers from the regions. This goes against the decentralization model of Wikimedia Strategy 2030 where the regional communities are given more power instead of a central organization deciding the fate of regions. I would like to request CR team to seriously reconsider this decision. -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 05:21, 23 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Bodhi, thanks for the comment. CR team has taken time to discuss this particular point of participation. Our intention is not to exclude members of the User Groups from participating in the regional committees. On the contrary we want to encourage participation from members of User Groups and volunteers. We are referring to current board members of only those affiliates (chapters and user groups) who have constituted formal boards. In the instances where User Groups don't have a board (formally incorporated and legally recognised) the condition does not apply. THasan (WMF) (talk) 06:17, 27 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I think I understand how you have come up with this system, and it might be healthy for some affiliates to have some of their longstanding members stand down from boards to take part in these grant giving committees. Healthy in terms of making space on the affiliate board for new members. But it has some drawbacks as a system - one being that it creates unneeded geographic silos rather than finding ways to increase opportunities to share what works across the movement. One way to reduce the problem would be to allow affiliate board members to sit on committees other than the one that will determine their affiliates grants - and maybe require a one year gap between serving on the board of an affiliate and serving on the committee that determines that affiliates grants. Aside from spreading successful practice, I rather like the idea of having say an Indian and an Indonesian wikimedian assessing grants for Europe, I think such a system would increase the priority for digital restitution - accessing former Imperial archives and museum collections and making them digitally available to all. WereSpielChequers (talk) 21:16, 27 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Funding guidelines[edit]

Please, will all the previous criteria be re-evaluated (changed)? To be specific, the section "Funding guidelines" of : Grants:Project/Rapid/Learn. --Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 11:52, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Felipe da Fonseca: Some, but not all of the eligibility criteria and funding guidelines for Rapid Grants are being reevaluated and will likely change. For example, we will likely be increasing the 2,000 USD funding cap for individual requests and also revisiting the number of open proposals that an applicant can maintain at a given time. Some things that are not likely to change include the requirements that applicants must adhere to relevant behavioral expectations and that certain circumstances may cause applicants to become ineligible, such as overdue reports (though, as always, extensions can be requested where needed). With that said, we do not have a comprehensive list of changes confirmed or determined yet, but the basis for these changes extend from community feedback we gathered through the Grants Relaunch Strategy. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 16:13, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I JethroBT (WMF) May I ask you please not to change the page (name/url) as a whole, because we would have to translate everything back? Instead will be bether to use and reformulate the existing page, so that the translation work is not lost...--Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 16:18, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Felipe da Fonseca: Thank you for this request. Retaining translations will be valuable to the extent that guidelines will remain the same, and so we will do our best to maintain those depending on the changes needed. As for the pagename, if we need a new page in the future (and I expect we will), we can simply move the page to a new pagetitle which will also move over the associated translation pages. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 17:14, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Questions from Wikimedia-l mailing list[edit]

Questions from Florence Devouard[edit]

Thank you Florence for your questions, we have tried to explain our thinking below,

"All the current grant committees (both active and inactive) will cease to function with the implementation of the new grants strategy of the Community Resources Team effective from 1 July 2021. We strongly encourage current and former committee members to apply to be part of the regional committees."

A. So... is it to understand that absolutely ALL grants provided by the Wikimedia Foundation will go through those yet uncreated committees ?

  • We want to ensure that grants are going through community committees for decision making. For global decisions or non-regional projects we would like to plan to ask a subset or regional committee members to come together and participate in the review.

B. Does that mean all current recipients of APG grants will have to address their annual request to those yet unknown teams in the future ? (september in some cases)

  • Yes, the APG applications also will be decided by the regional committees. If necessary there will be an extension of deadline and other mechanisms of support offered to APG organisations.

C. To whom will grants requests have to be addressed to for those groups who are not related to a specific region ? Do they have to pick up a region of their choice and consider themselves attached to it, or will they be appointed a region by default ?

  • We are still discussing this point. Our current thinking is that the grant requests that span more than one specific region should enter the process to the committee where the applicant is based. The decision will be taken in conjunction with the regional committee or members of the regional committee where the project will be implemented. For eg: If an Indian Wikimedian applies for a grant for outreach activity in the Middle East, the application will be discussed by the SAARC regional committee with support from members of Africa and MENA regional committee.

D. I am trying to understand and measure how much unstable our current situation is as grantees so that we can anticipate…

  • We hope that there would be no difficulty for the current grantees either in transitioning into the new scheme of grants or for new grantees participating. If there are specific areas which you think can create uncertainty and lead to instability, please let us know and we will be happy to help. We plan to reach out to each current APG, SAPG and Project grantee throughout the month of June and July to come up with a comprehensive transition plan.

E. I am trying to evaluate the responsibilities that will be on the shoulders of those new regional committee members

  • Responsibilities that the members of the regional committee can be found here. This is however an indicative list and the responsibilities will evolve as per the needs and requirements of the respective regions.

F. Do candidates have to propose themselves to join the committee only in the region where they live, or are they allowed to candidate to be on the committee of other regions ?

  • We expect that committees will be represented by people primarily working in that region. However, the regional committees should have a healthy mixture of local and global Wikimedians. Expertise of Wikimedians and emerging opportunities will determine representation. For eg: Wikimedian currently living in the USA but interested in initiatives and ideas in India is encouraged to apply to the SAARC regional committee.
    Hi @THasan (WMF): this looks like the answer to point C, not the question here (which is about who can be a member of a regional committee). Could someone living in Greenland be a member of an Australasian committee? What about a board member of the Greenland Wikimedians? –SJ talk  00:23, 23 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
    • Hi@Sj:, thanks for the ping, I have updated the response and attempted to explain our thinking. THasan (WMF) (talk) 09:10, 23 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Questions from User:Titodutta[edit]

A. Decision Making procedure

  • Who will be in the decision-making position? Does the committee recommend, and the Wikimedia Foundation team decide? Or is the committee going to make a decision with inputs from Wikimedia Foundation?
    • The regional committee will be making the final decision, these decisions will be processed and operationalised (communication, disbursement of the grant, review, follow-up…) by the CR team.
  • Is the process going to be the same for a) all types of grant support? and b) across all regions such as Europe, Africa etc?
    • The process will be customised by the regional committees as per the requirements of the region. For eg: SAARC regional committee might have two rounds of reviews whereas other regional committees might have one or more rounds of review. However the core principle of decision making will be the same (regional committees will be making the final decision along with the support provided by the CR team member.

B. Selection of committee members

  • How are the committee members going to be selected? "Following initial nominations, there will be a review process to confirm the members of the committees." — who will be in the review committee?
    • CR team will be selecting the committee members in this initial round and the first iteration of the regional committees. We hope that for the next iterations of the committee the responsibility will be shared between CR team members and the existing committee members. This is consistent with the way that current grants committees are bring selected today.
  • What is the importance of voting/discussion around a nomination? (however as nominations can be sent over email also, I don't think we are going to focus on voting/community discussion. Please confirm.)
    • We want to present multiple options for community members to engage with the process. We have learnt from earlier consultations that some community members prefer to use email communication and hence this option has also been presented. We are not going to be focusing/relying only on voting or nomination for selection of committee members.

C. Eligibility "Anyone receiving compensation through a Wikimedia affiliate or current grant project." Kindly explain what is a "compensation"?

  • Is it a remuneration/salary component received from a grant?
    • Compensation in this case would be monetary benefit other than project expenses. Eg: Salary, remuneration, payment for service, consultancy agreement with WMF.
  • Is it a remuneration/salary component received from a grant?
    • Yes, any financial component coming from a grant that is not a direct reimbursement of actual costs would be considered as remuneration/salary.
  • Does it include grants with "project expense only" (eg, a $2,000 rapid grant where 100% was project expense, and no salary and other component)?
    • No. In this case there is no salary as the complete grant amount was utilised for expenses incurred in the project.
  • Does it include support received from an affiliate program?
    • Yes. The current eligibility criteria includes WMF and Wikimedia affiliates as well.
  • Does it include short-term past/recent past involvement?
    • No. it does not include recent/past involvement. If a volunteer is not currently (at the time of applying to the membership of the regional committee) engaged in any activity as explained above, they can apply to be a member of the regional committee.
  • Can a WMF contractor (not staff) apply to become a member?
    • No. If they are a contractor with WMF while applying for the committee they will be ineligible.
  • Can a user group senior member, who is not a user group contact person or a grant signatory, apply to become a committee member?
    • Yes, Members of User Groups can certainly apply to be members of the regional committees. At this point only current board members of affiliates are not eligible to apply.

D. Conflict of Interest policy

  • Conflict of Interest guidelines is not linked in the current version https://w.wiki/3MtG It would be good to know about the Conflict of Interest policy applicable here.
    • We are currently discussing this. As we are unsure about the composition of the regional committees as of now, we have not prepared a policy around this. Regional committee members would work on CoI policy that suits their composition and mandate before they begin deliberations.

E. Financial support " Committee members will have all costs related to participation covered, including data costs, transportation, caregiving / childcare, and meals. Additional stipends are to be determined"

  • Is it going to be similar to a staff/contractor position?
    • All the reimbursable costs that have been mentioned will be based on actuals or a maximum allowed limit. It is not the same as a staff or contractor position.
  • Will there be any contract?
    • For the committee members there would be no professional contract as they are not employees of WMF.

F. Question on Exclusion I agree with the sentiment expressed already.

  • Affiliate chairs, individuals or groups receiving grants, have been in the ecosystem, proving their eligibility. By completely excluding all such community leaders, possibly we are losing out a lot of experience from the nominations and the committee.
    • We want to reiterate that the CR team does not want to exclude affiliate groups or board members of affiliates. In alignment with the Movement Strategy recommendations we want to ensure the participation of several newcomers or people that usually do not contribute in decision making spaces. The idea with board members (current board members) not being eligible is to make space for volunteers and individuals who are not already in positions of power. After the first round of applications, we will adjust and open the application to non-paid board members and advisors from affiliates as well. THasan (WMF) (talk) 10:40, 26 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for answering the questions above. A lot of things are easier to understand from the answers above. I have a second set of questions:

G: Clarification on workload: When I first read the proposal I felt, and I still have a feeling that possibly it is too much work. That's why I'd like to know:

  • How many hours are expected from a committee member a week and/or month?
  • We can also get an idea if we get this statistics: how many total grant requests have been put per quarter from each mentioned region? Can this data be added on the page? I am trying to have a basic understanding of how many grant requests are generally handled.

H. We have asked questions from the committee's perspective. From a grantee's perspective, how do we deal a situation when a grantee finds difficulty in a decision? Regards. -- টিটো দত্ত (কথা) 20:02, 31 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Continuity, capacity-building, and starting w/ smaller grants[edit]

Given all of the changes in the air, it might help clarify things if the largest grants (APGs and large project grants) continued to be handled by an existing process for the first year of this new framework, while it takes shape. That both lowers the burden and pressure on the new groups, lets the process of a new framework take shape, and lets a new pool of participants gain experience with proposal review.

A possible role mentioned above for regional grant groups is reviewing smaller grants -- which can be the most impactful and replicable. This is something that the current (more centralized) grants framework has had a hard time with, and seems both better-suited to regional review and a way for a new grantmaking body to get started. It is also healthy context for a new group to recognize the long tail of amazing projects that just need a small amount of reimbursement or technical unblocking to scale.

This could still fit snugly with a focus on capacity-building in the movement, engagement of community committees in the process, and a firm commitment to transitioning the larger grants to going through a community process in the future. –SJ talk  00:23, 23 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Hi SJ, thanks for your feedback. We (CR team) discussed various possibilities of rolling out the regional committees (region wise, grant size wise…). Our internal discussions and the feedback that we received during our community engagement made it clear that it is essential that all discussions related to grants (big and small, simple and complex) should be taken up by the regional committees. If we were to exclude big grants from their scope then it would only be notional in responsibility and we would never be able to achieve equity and radical reallocation of resources across the movement.
We acknowledge the question of the capacity of the regional committees and the possible burden that these committees will have to bear in the first few rounds. CR team is fully committed to work with these committees, arrange training, orientation and facilitate the discussions. We are also committed to work with all the grantees to ensure that there is a smooth transition into the new process. THasan (WMF) (talk) 10:40, 26 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I appreciate this answer, THasan. And I don't exactly disagree with this view! I was a strong proponent of the original FDC concept, which was a first attempt at building community review into how we think about dissemination of resources and support across our networks. But consider why the FDC was quietly shut down: among other things, a natural tension arose there, which we still need to address -- how do we discuss the largest budgets in our movement, which get their funding via direct donations, and which dictate how much is available for distribution through such committees?
The FDC support framework did not account for the risk that the entire committee depended on the political and financial support of some of its participants. Please just bear this in mind when developing a new plan, and make the new equilibrium one that can persist through all changes. –SJ talk  16:45, 30 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion with existing grant committees and the relevant communities[edit]

Hello. I could probably be wrong, but why was there no information about relaunch or anything similar for existing grant committees? I was part of IEG, then PEG for a long time but I had no chance to participate here or even see that changes are coming. I am disappointed by the transparency of WMF’s actions and decisions taken without proper community involvement. How could other editors know about it? Was it published in any newsletters that were delivered to local village pumps? rubin16 (talk) 19:06, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Rubin16, thanks for your question around the process of the relaunch. The CR team started the relaunch process in August 2020. The relaunch was communicated to the larger Wikimedia movement and feedback was requested in two phases. January 2021 and March 2021. CR team has also organised office hours by regions, by grant types and with other stakeholders to discuss the relaunching of the grant strategy. More details about the process and timeline can be found here.

Projects that not related to any specific region and other questions[edit]

As a follow-up to Florence's questions and Tanveer's response above, I have a few follow-up questions.

  • There are often proposals where the applicants or the team is evenly distributed across many regions, how will the review process take place in such situations?
    • Hi Krishna, thanks for bringing up these questions. As explained above, our current thinking is that the grant requests that span more than one specific region should enter the process to the committee where the primary applicant/s is based. The decision will be taken in conjunction with the regional committee or members of the regional committees where the project will be implemented.
  • From my experience, I am able to think of at least three areas where proposals often don't have a specific target region - technical, research and campaigns. I am not very sure if reviewing exclusively based on the grantee's geographic location is appropriate. Is there any plan to form a theme-based committee or ad-hoc committees drawing people proportionally from regional committees? Also, another factor is reviewing proposals in these categories, at least technical and research, might need expertise/experience in those areas.
    • We are thinking along the same lines of having an internal ad-hoc or sub committee with the right expertise to discuss proposals that do not fit into the regional identification factor. We are proposing that technical and software grants will have separate committees.
  • How will the region be determined for expats?
    • Interesting question, that has baffled us as well. Wikimedia Movement’s strength is in the opportunity that it provides to be able to contribute to projects from anywhere in the world. We want to celebrate this aspect. As of now grantees current residence is the primary factor to determine the region for applying of grants (as this would help in disbursal of funds). We are imagining that there would be active cooperation among the grantees to discuss and decide grant applications of expats, multiple region spanning activities.
  • Are Rapid Grants and Conference & Event Grants also merged with this? I couldn't find a specific mention of these in the proposal, so just wanted to check.
    • Yes. Our initial proposal applies to current Project Grants, SAPG, and APG. These grants will come under the purview of the regional committees. We will ask regional committees to review the rapid grant criteria for their region,to ensure that we are able to continue to quickly disburse funds. The conference grants committee will remain in place as we launch, and will work with the regional committees to receive their input. THasan (WMF) (talk) 10:40, 26 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

All in all, the model looks great. Thank you, KCVelaga (talk) 13:47, 22 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@THasan (WMF): Thanks Tanveer, these answer all my doubts :) KCVelaga (talk) 16:22, 26 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

About internationalization[edit]

Hello I JethroBT, Should the user statements be translatable, or this is not useful? --Pols12 (talk) 15:45, 24 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Pols12: Good question. I would advise against adding it in unless the applicant specifically wants or requests it. I am also a bit wary because excessive translation markup tends to complicated editing the page. For example, in the past, it has resulted in weird bugs where you can't edit by section. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 15:39, 25 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
OK thanks, probably better this way.
About translation markup, it is often a balance between simplifying editing or simplifying translating… We should follow official recommandations. Lastly, if section is not editable, it is probably because there is a translate tag on the same line than the heading syntax. -- Pols12 (talk) 19:14, 25 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Some funny regions[edit]

You've put some funny regions together. What you all ""Middle East" ist basically Western Asia, and I do not see any relationship between Iran or Azerbaidshan or even Sudia-Arabia with any African Country. Another ill-fated combination ist "Caribbean" und "Latin America because of the only spanish-language talking country in the Caribbeean is Cuba. All other Caribbean cuntries tend to Northern America and/or to some part Europe, as some areas are even part of the European Union, most ot them to France and the Netherlands. Needless to sayy, that Central Europe has a zillion of definitions, mostly accepted the CIA Factbook and the Ständiger Ausschuss. --Matthiasb (talk) 18:45, 25 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

There could be infinite debate about what the 'right' regions would be. In the long term, it can only really be solved by organic development of collaborative entities - and indeed there are existing Wikimedia collaborations covering CEE and ESEAP. But there is no reason to wait for the perfect answer to get started with this kind of initiative. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 19:28, 25 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Suggestion[edit]

I would like to suggest that the Wikimedist's time spent engaging with the external community to organize, train, and bring them into the Wikimedia projects should be granted. For example: in the case of edith-a-thons, the time spent by the volunteer teaching the community should be granted (I understand granted here by: paid directly for their time), as well as the time spent organizing events and contests.

The situation today is of the most ridiculous and absurd, because the experienced user who works hours as a volunteer can't ask for a grant to teach the community and bring new people, can't be grant to organize an event... but a person who participates in a photo contest (or other hired professionals), who have never seen and may never see the Wikimedia projects again, can receive granted (receive the money directly for his time).

This is very wrong: WMF should value its regular volunteer editors, granting them preference in grants over any third party for their activities, if not those of direct administration, at least those that involve training and organizing the external community.

It is obvious that this complete neglect of the volunteer community is one, if not the greatest, of WMF's legitimacy problems, as it refuses to subsidize its greatest asset: the volunteer editors and administrators, those who know how to work the platform and already do so voluntarily. --Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 08:52, 26 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

PS: Taking into consideration one of the four themes to be developed by the new strategy, namely: Centering equity in all aspects of the relaunch process and the grants program itself. Including a substantial increase of funding to emerging communities. (see Community Resources/Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021/Proposed programs) it is necessary to remember that: grants that do not directly remunerate the working hours of the grantees are extremely unfair (inequitable), in that they enable only those who have significant income elsewhere to participate in the grants. For there to be equity, value must be placed on volunteers who do not have such financial stability.--Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 13:05, 27 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Felipe da Fonseca: Hello Felipe, and thanks for this suggestion to support trainers through compensation for their time through Rapid Grants. I understand that there is substantive work involved in preparing and delivering training at movement events, and can see why this may be important to support through compensation. The main reason we could not support this need in Rapid Grants is because it was not designed primarily to broadly support compensation for a potentially large number of movement volunteers. With that said, because we are transitioning to participatory grantmaking through regional committees and that we expect to continue providing Rapid Grants in this system, these committees will be able to decide on how to set priorities on what kinds of needs are important to fund within their region. Regional Committees, having better knowledge and understanding of local needs, may very well decide to generally support this kind of compensation at their discretion. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 05:38, 3 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Dear I JethroBT (WMF) great, that will be really possitive. Thanks for the reply, I do ask, however, that you reply to the main topic on Wikimedia Forum, where you have been directly quoted by me: note that, as we have already discussed, the document (Grants:Project/Rapid/Learn) with the fundamental guidelines will remain valid, so changing it is important. Thanks, --Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 09:14, 3 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Invitation to June 6 Strategic Wikimedia Affiliates Network meeting[edit]

We would like to invite the team to join June 6 Strategic Wikimedia Affiliates Network meeting. It could be a good opportunity to talk out the next stages of Regional Committees and recruitment for them.--Pharos (talk) 15:46, 27 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you we are excited to join the conversation. We will reach out by email for my detail on timing and agenda. Thanks again. KEchavarriqueen (WMF) (talk) 17:24, 2 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Private candidacies[edit]

Reading again the page, I noticed that candidacies can be made publicly (on the wiki page) or privately (by email). This is a bit unusual in our space in particular when the call is being made to applications by community members. Is there a moment when the community will be able to comment on the candidates before they are chosen by WMF ? I am not suggesting a voting mecanism of any sort. I am just suggesting a mean to possibly debunk some problematic candicacies ? Anthere (talk) 16:18, 27 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@I JethroBT (WMF): Some count of total number of candidates per region (or total number of candidates in general if per region number is very low) would be good so that there would be some understanding if there is applicants or not. --Zache (talk) 06:29, 29 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Hi @Anthere: thanks for the suggestion! We added the names of people who have applied via email to the candidates page, and we'll continue adding them periodically. --DSaroyan (WMF) (talk) 16:25, 14 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Incomprehensible sentence[edit]

The following sentence is not understandable, at least for me: "Clear pathways to growth focus on scale of impact, Strategic Direction alignment not structure".--Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 17:11, 5 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Merge SAARC with ESEAP[edit]

SAARC is a small region compared to the other regions defined fpr the regional committee. At least 3 out of the 8 SAARC countries have no organized local community. It makes little sense why there should be a separate regional committee for only 5 countries. I propose to merge this region with ESEAP which is far more organized than SAARC and can provide better support to the SAARC communities when needed. -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 07:13, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

SAARC has 15 AffCom-recognized Affiliates (not even including CIS-A2K), while ESEAP has 12. It's not feasible to combine them, the magnitude of work and geogaphic coverage would be just too huge. RamzyM (talk) 07:21, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Ramzy Muliawan:, but when it comes to organized funding through APG, there is only one, which is CIS-A2K, which is not even an affiliate. Currently, all the other affiliates including the only chapter in the SAARC region i.e. Wikimedia Bangladesh do not get funds in a organized way for legal regions of the law of the land. Only sporadic rapid or project grants help them to sustain some of their projects, that too, through personal accountability of volunteers. There may be more affiliates in SAARC than ESEAP, but SAARC affialiates are financially not that powerful as it seems. -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 07:30, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Even I think ESEAP is too big of a region (should've been split into East Asia and Southeast Asia & Oceania, but that's for another discussion). I think having a separate RegCom for SAARC could benefit the Affiliates in that region immensely, in terms of participating in WMF grantmaking processes and building institutional knowledge for community leaders and members there. RamzyM (talk) 07:49, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Include people who are receiving compensation through a Wikimedia affiliate or current grant project.[edit]

@THasan (WMF):, The Regional Grants Committee position is a volunteer position and anyone in the committee is not getting any compensation or salary unlike WMF or affiliate staffs. In this regard, it is to be noted, that

  • All persons who are receiving compensation through a Wikimedia affiliate might not be in the position of decision making in that affiliate and can not always influence grant approval or rejection decisions. If you must, you can exclude persons who are in the decision making positions in affiliates, but it is not wise to reject everyone in this category as ineligible persons for this committee.
  • Also, it is a standard practice, if not a mandatory policy, to recuse him/herself to decide while when a committee member asks for grant. Then why can not a person who has received current grant position be included in the team? Just make a policy of mandatory recusing and let them in.

Please let us understand why can not those people become part of this committee as volunteers wearing different hats? -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 07:25, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Hierarchy of grievance redressal and conflict resolution system[edit]

This model gives ultimate power to the regional committee to decide any grant proposals. In this model, there is no grievance redressal and conflict resolution system. If a decision taken by this committee is not acceptable to any grant applicants or community volunteers, in this current model, he/she can not go anywhere to ask for remedy. A hierarchy is thus required. I propose a Global Funds Review Committee independent of WMF to be formed to address any grievances and arising form these regional committee decisions, who can overrule regional committee decisions after due consideration if and when seems fit. -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 08:36, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I would like to see WMF answer that question. Thanks Anthere (talk)
@Bodhisattwa: Thanks for your comments and concerns here regarding grievances and conflict resolution needs. I expect our team will be working with Regional Committees to determine a process for conflict resolution in those situations, as well as providing direct support where needed. It is also worth noting that in our current grant programs, applicants have normally contacted the Community Resources team or the respective committee in cases where a funding decision is problematic or unexpected, and we have worked to understand and address those concerns. For example, see the discussion around this decision in the Simple Annual Plan Grants program. In relation to your suggestion, it is possible that the Global Council could be designed to serve some of these needs as they have a role regarding resource allocation in the movement, but the day-to-day, routine functions of this group have not yet been firmly established. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:48, 24 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Eligibility[edit]

@I JethroBT (WMF): I think it would be helpful for everyone involved to check eligibility criteria as soon as possible and notify candidates, for example if you require them to step down from their board membership or user group involvement if they want to take part in the regional committees. Right now it seems as if some aren't aware of the eligibility criteria and would be surprised if they got removed after the deadline. Best, Braveheart (talk · contribs) 22:18, 18 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I would like to see WMF react to that point. There are several candidates on the list that actually should not be there based on current criterias. Either beneficiaries, or board members. I hope the criterias will be respected strictly and those people will not be retained because it would be seriously unfair toward all those who decided to follow the criterais. If WMF changes its opinion with regards to criterias and decide to relax them (which I think many of us would support...), it should reopen the vote with the new criterias to allow currently non-eligible to be considered. Thanks Anthere (talk)
@Braveheart and Anthere: I can confirm the Community Resources team is actively reviewing the candidates individually and will notify candidates if they are not eligible based on the current criteria. If there are changes in the criteria for candidates, that will also be reflected on the main page and we will do our best to announce those changes to other channels. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:39, 24 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I would like to say that in no uncertain terms. The deadline for submission is today. So should the criterias be changed, they should lead to a re-opening of candidacies so that all those who could have applied and instead chose to respect the rules, can indeed apply. I think... sincerely... that another faux-pas can not be made. Thanks Anthere (talk) 20:01, 24 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@I JethroBT (WMF): Thanks for that clarification - I admire what you are trying to do with the regional committees, I just would like to urge you to be more clear and stringent on who is eligible and who is not. Considering what lies ahead and the clear cut that is being undertaken from the previous arrangements (at least in terms of simpleAPG), I think it would be helpful for everyone involved if the goals behind certain criteria were explained so that we can all work towards achieving those goals. Braveheart (talk) 20:13, 24 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Let the regions choose themselves[edit]

As was mentioned in the calls, we should be applying Wikimedia Strategy 2030 and the principle of subsidiarity and letting the regions choose their owm people, rather than centralized apointments by the Wikimedia Foundation.--Pharos (talk) 16:22, 21 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I would like to see WMF react to that point. Thanks Anthere (talk)
Yes check.svg agree--Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 12:40, 24 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I sent an E-mail for Regional Committee application on July 7, and nothing happaned[edit]

Hi User:I JethroBT (WMF), I saw that you opened this page, so I am asking you: I sent an E-mail for Regional Committee application on July 7, and nothing happaned. I did not even receive a confirmation informing me that my request had arrived. My name was also not added to the list of requests sent by email in the "Applications received via email" section. Can you check please? Thanks. Hanay (talk) 02:15, 10 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@Hanay: Thanks for your application! I can confirm we've received it. Much of our team is on vacation this week and will be adding the remaining applications next week, but I've added your name to the list to confirm. With thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 04:01, 10 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Announcement of the committee members[edit]

Hi, do we have any clue on when the committee members are going to be announced with the updated timeline (it was originally planned June)? Or is another deadline extension planned?--Ferdi2005[Mail] 15:43, 14 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Hi User:I JethroBT (WMF), I would greatly appreciate if you could answer the question asked by User:Ferdi2005. Thanks. Hanay (talk) 17:28, 20 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Ferdi2005 and Hanay, thanks for your question. You can find the answer here. As mentioned on that page, "The application period for Regional Committees has ended, and we received 98 applications across the seven regions! We are currently going through the eligibility review process and will announce the new committee members by the beginning of August 2021". Thanks again and sorry for the delayed response. --DSaroyan (WMF) (talk) 18:44, 20 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you DSaroyan (WMF). Hanay (talk) 12:04, 23 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]