Grants talk:PEG/Grant Advisory Committee/Revamp

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Please see GAC Revamp Discussion for an outline and comments on GAC Revamp discussion topics.

Growing complexity[edit]

It seems to me that the two most recently launched applications—Indigenous knowledge, by an individual applicant, and Continuing office rental, by WMEE—are among the most challenging GAC applications we've been asked to review. Both raise systemic issues: the first might well collide with en.WP's fundamental policies and practices on verification through oral evidence—a complicated issue yet to be resolved; the second cannot be seen in isolation from the chapter's track-record, global budget, and medium-term planning, including its stated rationale of prepping for an FDC application. In the review page for the second, I have inter alia questioned the status of the entity in relation to the new type of affiliate—thematic organisation; this seems a not-inappropriate issue to raise when the bid is for a fundamental ongoing operating cost that suggests expansion, including already much-increased employment and plans to go to the next round of the FDC in October. Tony (talk) 03:25, 27 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Didn't like survey[edit]

I regret to say that I didn't like it.

Key problem: for a number of questions I was presented with a list of options, none of which reflected what I think. I can't gain access to the questions now that I've submitted it (which in one way is a good thing, I suppose). But I'm inclined to ask that my responses not be counted, since to move through and complete the questionnaire, the mechanism forced me to make choices I didn't want to.

I thought more use could have been made of Lickert scales (e.g. 0 is strongly agree; 5 is strongly agree); and more questions could have had boxes for comments. In several cases there should have been more alternatives; I remember one question (2?) towards the start that forced a yes or a no; I wasn't at all happy with either. Tony (talk) 14:16, 2 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have to agree with Tony on this. There were a couple of questions where it asked you to select the options you liked, but didn't let you select none of the above, and only had a small window for freeform text responses. There was at least one question where my scored answer is meaningless because I only selected it because I had to select something. In the future, especially for surveys aimed at small groups of diverse people, I would suggest heavy use of freeform responses, and little/no use of required answers on questions where people may not agree with any of the options. When I helped Sarah some years ago run the women in wikimedia survey, we found that a significant portion of useful information from the survey was from the freeforms, and that there was essentially no benefit to requiring a small self-selected survey group to pick one out of a given number of opinionated options. Kevin (talk) 03:11, 3 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Tony and Kevin for the feedback. I can understand how you found the survey limiting. I do think it addresses some of the key issues we're hoping to discuss and laid out a few (but not all) options for moving forward. Next time we will definitely include more free form response options. Please remember it is just one avenue for gathering input and our discussion below will be the main focus of the revamp. We'll add more topics for review below shortly. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 04:46, 3 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Draft layout for GAC revamp discussion in June[edit]

As I wrote overleaf, perhaps we might list some broad areas that could help to structure input in stage 4 ("Discussion on meta by GAC members and any other interested volunteers – June").

It's such a complicated task to revamp GAC that creating a tentative structure for members' and staff comments/exchanges might be of assistance. But this is not a one-person job. I'm hoping that other members and staff will come in and ruthlessly edit, remove, insert, as a group effort.

I'm assuming that at this stage it is too early to start inserting actual comments within these sections and subsections. My suggestion is that we structure the big-picture possibilities first. Please add meta-comments on this proposal in this section, right here (e.g. if it's a pre-emptive, inappropriate concept). Please add comments or sub-themes and issues within those subsections below. While the first section is a high-level Foundation issue, what GAC members think in terms of their fine-grained experience as reviewers might be at least worth noting. Tony (talk) 14:58, 2 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just as one good example of the blurring you talk about below in action: I've been talking with the internet archives for a while about a project involving linkrot and another involving our video formatting issues. Unless my memory is wrong (which is always a possibility on things like this,) when I was trying to figure out what grant program it would fit in to, the answer was PEG if I was applying myself for expenses only and no compensation, IEG if I was applying myself and requesting compensation, and PEG again if the actual application was being filed by the Internet Archives even if it requested compensation. I don't see much of a difference between choices #2 and #3, and it seems like they should probably fall under the same reviewing body's mandate (I can understand #1 being different.) Kevin (talk) 03:14, 3 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The draft layout for discussion has been moved to GAC Revamp Discussion.

PEG pages revamp[edit]

Please note that we are also currently doing a revamp of the PEG pages on meta. This is directly related to a number of the sections above, especially regarding the application layout and supporting textual infrastructure. Below are the pages we are currently revising/creating. We plan to launch the new pages by the end of May.

  • PEG home page
  • About the PEG program (and information regarding other WMF grant programs)
  • Clear guide to the PEG pages and grantmaking process
  • Proposal Guidelines
  • Budget Guidelines
  • Program resources for major program areas: Edit-a-thons, on-wiki writing competitions, photo competitions and events, education programs, GLAM. Each of these kits include suggested metrics, tools, case studies, learning patterns, recent grants/reports, and sample proposals/budgets/reports.
  • Revised application and report layouts (to be created)

Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 20:59, 5 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Survey of GAC members' contributions[edit]

The data cover an arbitrary window: the past two months (12 March – 11 May 2014). This does cause a few distortions; for example, Aegis Maelstrom was quite active until February, but is now inactive; and it was a high-activity period for me, after several months of low activity because of real-work demands (as I noted on the GAC talkpage).

Members have been appointed in four tranches: eight inaugural members, appointed 3 June 2011, are still listed as members; eight current members were appointed 24 July 2012; and eight were appointed 31 August 2013 (of whom two have yet to make a single edit). The six new members in the most recent tranche were appointed last month, and are excluded from the survey.1

Total character counts in members’ edits are restricted to GAC application talkpages; the numbers are adjusted to exclude the characters in each member’s signature.

The data exclude edits by a GAC member on the talkpage of any application in which they themselves were a named applicant or otherwise directly involved. Numbers might be out by a few percent if there were counting errors; but not more.

I added two extra windows: the number of edits during the last 3 and 6 months up to 11th of May. This gives a better overview of the activity level of the GAC committee members. MADe (talk) 21:13, 1 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've reworded the character column so that it's not misleading after this change. I presume the edit counts exclude edits to pages related to a member's own application. Is that the case? Tony (talk) 14:52, 2 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User name Edits (2/3/6 months) Total characters (past 2 months,
Application for funding
during the period?
Affiliation GAC member since
Beria 0/ 0/ 0 0 Yes WMPT 2011-06-03
Packa Packa 0/ 0/ 2 0 No WMCZ 2011-06-03
Namayan 0/ 2/ 8 0 Yes WMPH 2012-07-24
Nasir8891 0/ 0/ 2 0 No WMBD 2012-07-24
Viswaprabha 0/ 4/ 23 0 No WMIN 2012-07-24
Thuvak 0/ 0/ 0 0 Yes WMZA 2012-07-24
MikyM 0/ 1/ 15 0 Yes WMRS 2012-07-24
80686 0/ 0/ 12 0 Yes WMAT 2013-08-31
Steven Zhang 0/ 0/ 1 0 No WMAU 2013-08-31
MADe 0/ 6/ 28 0 Yes WMZA 2013-08-31
Aegis Maelstrom 0/ 4/ 20 0 No WMPL 2013-08-31
Danny B 0/ 0/ 3 0 No cs & sk sister projects 2013-08-31
Ilya 0/ 0/ 0 0 Yes WMUA 2013-08-31
My76Strat 0/ 0/ 0 0 No ENWP 2013-08-31
Mayur 2/ 2/ 5 0 No HIWP 2011-06-03
ProtoplasmaKid 1/ 1/ 5 134 No WMMX 2012-07-24
Lankiveil 2/ 3/ 8 170 No WMAU 2011-06-03
Kiril Simeonovski 3/ 13/ 43 717 Yes WMMK 2011-06-03
3BRBS 5/ 5/ 10 1029 No WMCL 2012-07-24
Solstag 1/ 11/ 12 1955 No MCL 2011-06-03
Polimerek 8/ 10/ 18 2034 No WMPL 2011-06-03
Ilario 13/ 13/ 29 2196 No WMCH 2011-06-03
Kevin Gorman 15/ 15/ 38 18,189 No ENWP 2013-08-31
Tony1 67/ 69/ 137 48,186 No Meta 2012-07-24

1Three of those six have since edited the talkpages of GAC applications—two of them minor contributions, and one more substantial, excluding the the page in which he is currently involved as an applicant; one of the three who has not edited GAC application talkpages has just launched his own application for funding via GAC. A high proportion of all members have applied for WMF funding via the GAC.

Tony (talk) 05:00, 20 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's surprising that I didn't edit at all at Grant proposals... I must have been dreaming, I guess. Also, the affiliation shown here is kind of arbitrary. I am active as a volunteer in three different chapters but not holding any position at neither one. --Manuel Schneider(bla) (+/-) 16:21, 20 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The affiliations are exactly as at the table at the main GAC page. You may wish to change yours, but please do that in both tables. Tony (talk) 03:30, 23 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Role of the GAC[edit]

Hi you all, I wrote this in the discussion on the email list, but I prefer to bring this point of view here, because I believe it will help in the process to revamp the GAC.

I think that the issue of a lack of participation has roots that I hope we could find and explore: Maybe if we adress this issue: finding out why people does not participate, then, people willing to do so, will.

I believe that one of the main points towards this, is defining "ourselves" within the context of the Wikimedia enviroment. This is the subject I truly think we need to discuss: Define the role of the GAC.

I also believe there is some confussion about the latter. Some GAC members believe they are "approving" grants, others, that they are giving advise, others, that they are validating the community opinion, others that are guarding the correct use of money, and many other things that build a big etc. This reveals, let me call it -for now- (and give me space here), confussion. This, can be read from the answers shown in the results of the survey.

What is truly the role of the GAC and it's members? and most important... What is the GAC needed for?

Therefore, I think that if the roles of the GAC are defined in a clear way, and we can discuss what is the GAC needed for, then people will know better if they want to belong to the GAC and participate and be active.

If we understand our role as GAC, and as GAC volunteers, then we can adress subjects of participation, motivation, steping in, and out, call for volunteers, and probably any other subject that we do not have clarity on how to answer now.

I hope this issue resonates within other members. Cheers!--3BRBS (talk) 05:06, 2 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moved moved to GAC Revamp Discussion.--3BRBS (talk) 05:45, 2 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]