Wikimedia Foundation elections/FDC Ombudsperson elections/2015/Questions/1
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What do you hope to accomplish as the FDC ombudsperson?
However, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I think the FDC Ombudsperson can accomplish more than simply being a vehicle to gather and synthesize complaints. My goal as an Ombudsperson would be to support a continuous improvement model for the FDC process, including gathering more detailed and broad-spectrum feedback and suggestions for improvement (by way of, for example, participant surveys and direct requests for feedback from key participants and stakeholders), and then establishing a mechanism through which this feedback could be analyzed, reviewed by stakeholders and decision-makers, and ultimately implemented as improvements to the process. —Kirill Lokshin [talk] 22:54, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
As the FDC ombudsperson, I am planning to focus on the following two axes:
- Dealing with complaints affecting one particular participant of the process each. These complaints are addressed to the FDC ombudsperson, and I will collect points of view and evidence from all involved parties and will analyse and provide further investigation if needed. As this would be my direct responsibility, I have no other expectation than processing all these complaints in the required timeframe.
- Dealing with concerns and suggestions regarding the process in general. Here I hope to regularly collect feedback from participants of the process and make suggestions on how the FDC process can be improved. I have already seen some interesting suggestions from the FDC candidates in this election as well as I am aware of some concerns raised by board members and staff of other Wikimedia chapters, so I do hope to improve the FDC process by implementing some of these suggestions — NickK (talk) 06:39, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Your experience with funding disputes
In my day job, I am closely involved in US government contract and subcontract administration, a role that has given me exposure to a variety of funding-related disputes, including both disputes over strictly financial elements (such as disputes over the appropriateness of subcontractors' accounting and record-keeping practices, disputes over allocation of different costs to particular budget line items, and so forth) as well as more general disputes over different areas of programs and project that touched on matters of funding (such as disputes over whether particular projects were worth funding, disputes over funding allocations between different agencies or companies, and so forth). I've played different roles in these disputes: sometimes that of a party to the dispute itself, sometimes that of a mediator between the parties, and sometimes merely that of an observer. —Kirill Lokshin [talk] 22:54, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your question. Although I do agree that experience in handling funding disputes is important, there are few formal funding disputes within Wikimedia movement, and most of them happen between APG grant seekers, FDC and board involving the FDC Ombudsperson. Personally I tend to resolve funding-related conflicts without reaching the stage of formal dispute, so for most of my experiences I would use softer words like "disagreements", "discussions" or "debates".
- As the treasurer of Wikimedia Ukraine, I am involved in our annual budget planning and preparation of grant requests. We happened to have debates around some proposals where board members have doubts whether they are worth including or not. In these cases I generally tried to find mutually acceptable solutions, like trial funding of a smaller-skale activity if we have doubts about the impact, finding a better timing for a project if we believe it is not doable within the grant period or suggesting to seek (partial) external funding if we believe the project is not (completely) within a scope of Wikimedia grantmaking
- At the stage of submitting grant applications, we had quite a lot of discussions with WMF staff, and although we happened to have disagreements those were resolved by constructive discussions where we exchanged arguments (such as expected impact and results based on our past experience, ressources and plans) instead of real disputes
- While organising Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2014, I was involved in attribution of travel scholarships. The nature of the conflict was that we could not find the expenses of all applicants and we had to determine applicants whom we will politely refuse (perfectly knowing that they will not attend without a scholarship).
- Additionally, I have some experience with funding-related disputes when I used to deal with funding for activities of student associations, but it is of little importance as the total volume of funding I was dealing with was lower than any APG grant submission — NickK (talk) 20:58, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Your experience working in diverse multinational environments
I also have considerable experience with multinational environments in my day job, having worked with numerous multinational and international space missions, both as a member of a multinational engineering team and as a contract and export administrator. The former role has given me some degree of insight into typical organizational cultures and practices across the various nations with whose representatives I've worked; the latter, insight into legal and financial aspects, although I hope that the legal intricacies of international space technology transfers will not be something the FDC must ever deal with. —Kirill Lokshin [talk] 22:54, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I have quite a lot of experience working in multinational environments, particularly because I have lived in three different countries (Ukraine, France and the UK) and currently work in a multinational company (present in some 50 countries). The main experiences I have are the following:
- Organisational cultures. Wikimedia movement is probably the best opportunity for me to learn about that. As one of organisers of the international part of Wiki Loves Earth, I worked with local organising teams from 15 countries, each having their own approach, structure and culture as the contest is organised un a federative manner. This was a challenge and an interesting experience at the same time.
- Different sets of laws. As a part of my daytime job, I work in a multinational financial company, and in my position I have to deal with regulatory requirements of different countries — NickK (talk) 21:21, 6 May 2015 (UTC)