[Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

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[Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Asaf Bartov-2
Hello, everyone.

0. Meta

0.1. I do not respect the choice by Deryck -- an experienced Wikimedian --
to voice his (understandable) frustration in a letter full of wikidrama,
and to follow it with a direct accusation of our team of "foul play"[0].  I
think this should not go uncommented on.  All of us deserve civility and
courteous discussions.

0.2 I am starting this separate thread to address some of the legitimate
questions asked on that other thread.

0.2 Please note I speak in my capacity as head of the Wikimedia Grants
Program, since grants compliance has been a large issue in Deryck's
narrative, but I do not speak for the (all-volunteer) FDC nor for the FDC
staff, who can speak for themselves (though some are on vacation, so it may
take a while).

0.3. This is a long e-mail, but I would like to believe I am both concise
and direct.  I just have a number of different issues to respond to.  I
have also tried to be systematic, so you can skip sections you don't care
about.

1. Clarifications about "Eligibility"

1.1. WMHK _was eligible_ to apply for funding in FDC round 2, was informed
of this publicly, and proceeded to apply.  FDC eligibility is determined at
a specific point in time, and the eligibility table is not changed after
that point in time.

The effort was not "futile from the start", because at the time eligibility
was determined, it was not clear that WMHK is in fact non-compliant, and
the Finance team determined eligibility according to strictly
formal/technical rules -- the grant reports _were_ submitted, just before
the deadline, so WMHK was considered eligible.

1.2. After applying, WMHK has _fallen out of compliance_ with grant
requirements, when it emerged (and it was not known in advance) that WMHK
has in fact unilaterally re-purposed left-over funds from an old grant (a
fact only revealed at our insistence to account for all funds[1], one day
before the proposals were due) without consulting or even informing WMF.
 Some of the questions we have asked about those funds[2] have not been
answered to this day.  We require compliance in all existing grants before
additional funding is sent out (though funding _can_ be _approved_ while
some compliance issues are pending).

I would like to stress that this is not a minor point of slight tardiness
or some missing receipt -- this is actual mismanagement of funds (though
not necessarily mis-use of funds, and NO ONE IS SUGGESTING BAD FAITH here
-- we do not think WMHK has done anything illicit or ethically improper!),
and _does indeed_ reflect on WMHK's ability to handle large grants.

1.3. It is WMF grantmaking staff's duty, within the FDC Framework, to
provide a factual assessment of applying entities track record with
previous grants.  This we have done, and anyone may see our assessments[3]
and compare them to the facts on Meta, in the grant and grant report pages
and their respective talk pages.

WMHK was repeatedly encouraged to address this non-compliance, with
specific reference[2] to the FDC staff assessment deadline.  We would have
_liked_ to be able to report WMHK has addressed this issue and is in
compliance!

1.4. It is my understanding, from reading the FDC recommendation (and
without any "inside information" -- I was not part of the deliberations),
that the FDC has reviewed the WMHK application with all due care, and that
the proposal was _not_ rejected out of hand on ground of ineligibility, but
rather on ground of

"[concerns] about WMHK’s internal governance, financial management
capacity, and capacity of its volunteers to manage a plan of this size.
WMHK’s proposal and past activities do not sufficiently demonstrate a
record of, or potential for, high impact. It recommends that WMHK addresses
these issues before undertaking a plan of this extent."[4].

I think it is understood (and proper) that an entity's track record --
including not only compliance but also impact, community engagement and
more -- is taken into account in evaluating an FDC application, alongside
the merits of the program itself.

The FDC did note WMHK's falling out of compliance, and did -- I think
confusingly -- term it "ineligibility" in its recommendations; I think
"eligibility" should only be used in the limited sense described in 1.1
above.  They do correctly note that entities are expected to _remain in
compliance_ after attaining eligibility.  This would have meant, in this
case where a non-trivial compliance gap was discovered after eligibility
was determined, taking urgent action to resolve the gap and supply the
missing information.  WMHK did not do so, despite repeated public
requests[2] and several e-mail reminders.

It seems to me that had the FDC been presented with a compelling program
plan from WMHK, and had WMHK had a stronger record of success with its
previous program, the FDC would not have hesitated to recommend at least
partial funding for WMHK, and if the compliance gap were to be closed
reasonably soon, WMF would have been able to send WMHK that funding.  But
again, as far as I can tell, non-compliance was not the only weakness in
WMHK's application.

I trust the FDC can, if need be, further clarify their primary grounds for
recommending not to fund WMHK's plan.

1.5. In summary, I must protest against the narrative of Deryck's letter,
wherein WMHK's proposal was rejected by malevolent WMF staff with a secret
anti-WMHK agenda via "convenient" discoveries of trivial non-compliance
issues, whereas it would otherwise have been guaranteed to receive full
funding, and there was no possibility for the FDC to legitimately judge the
proposal to be weak.  The facts about WMHK's proposal, in all the different
aspects the FDC cares about, are different, and almost entirely public.

2. I would like to address the theory that not enough information is
available on either the Wikimedia Grants Program or the FDC process.

2.1. I am not convinced it is so.  I would like to note, quite simply, that
merely having information _available_ does not equal people _consuming_
that information.  If, as I think is the case, the problem is that existing
information is not sufficiently read or understood, we need to figure out
ways to communicate it better, or to create stronger incentives for reading
the information, but it is not at all clear that we need _more_ information.

2.2. Specifically, I know the FDC staff has diligently sought to have
dialogue with the proposing entities, and specifically attempted to close
information gaps and misconceptions some applicants have had.  FDC staff
can probably speak to this more directly if need be, but from the public
staff assessment, it is clear that with WMCZ, at least, this communication
did not change their minds.  That's WMCZ's choice, of course, but it does
mean lacking information was not the issue here.

3. Post-FDC follow-up

3.1. I would like to clarify that any entity that has not had a successful
FDC application in the current fiscal year -- that is, including entities
that have applied and were not funded -- is eligible for funding via the
Wikimedia Grants Program, according to that program's standard process.
 WMHK and WMCZ, therefore, are welcome to address their current
non-compliance and to then apply for additional funding for program work,
assuming it does not require full-time staff.

3.2. I will spell out (all this is in the program descriptions on Meta)
that the Wikimedia Grants Program _can and does_ support part-time staff or
_temporary_ full-time staff, _in the context of specific projects_.  I can
assert I have explained this in person to some members of WMCZ (at CEE 2012
in Belgrade) and WMHK (when I visited in late 2012).

4. Grants for growth

4.1. Nemo asserts: "It's very clear (to me) that the WMF grants system is
not designed to make Wikimedia entities grow, but only to reinforce those
which are already strong enough, keeping them at the same level they're
at."  -- this is incorrect:

4.2. The Grants system (i.e. including the Foundation's different
grantmaking programs[5]) is designed to promote impactful work towards the
Wikimedia Mission.  That is the ultimate goal.  Helping _impactful_
Wikimedia groups (chapters, thematic organizations, user groups) grow
_does_ serve the mission, and therefore _is_ supported by the Grants system:

4.3. Despite Tomasz's comments, the Wikimedia Grants Program has seen some
chapters seek and obtain progressively larger grants, and has specifically
seen the coordinated "professionalization" of at least two chapters (WMAR
and WMRS) via its grants.

Admittedly, the _final_ grant in each of these paths would _today_ only be
given by the FDC, as the FDC process was determined to be the appropriate
way to fund investments such as long term leases and non-temporary
full-time staff, but the _path_ towards that goes through successful and
_impactful_ spending of Wikimedia Grants Program funds.  The Grants Program
did indeed decline to fund several proposals that included staffing plans,
and anyone is welcome to review those declined grants[6] and read my
assessment and concerns on the talk pages.  You are welcome to ask
questions about them as well.

Helping impactful groups _grow_ is most definitely something I personally,
as head of one of the Foundations grants programs, have done.

4.4. I encourage any group that would like to discuss a possible path to
hiring staff through WMF grants to discuss this with me (I'm happy to have
the discussion in public on Meta, but will defer to each group's
preference), as WMRS has done, and we can work out a plan to achieve this,
given certain milestones.

5. Summary

I hope this helps our colleagues understand the context in which the FDC
recommendations were made, and I am sorry I was forced to dwell on points
of weakness, but it seems to me our public process and this public
discussion have left no other choice.  Like everyone else, I'd much rather
celebrate successes. :)

    Asaf

[0] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2013-April/125536.html

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Grants_talk%3AWM_HK%2FEducation_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies%2FReport&diff=5285395&oldid=5237667
[2]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:WM_HK/Education_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies/Report

[3] The assessment for WMHK's proposal is here:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2012-2013_round2/Wikimedia_Hong_Kong/Staff_proposal_assessment

[4]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/FDC_recommendations/2012-2013_round2

[5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Start

[6]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Index/Requests#Grant_submissions_not_approved
--
    Asaf Bartov
    Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

ENWP Pine
Asaf,

Thank you for sharing your perspective.

This situation is complicated. I think it should be reviewed by an uninvolved third party, probably the FDC ombudsperson. I think it would take significant time and a lot of emails in this thread to accomplish what a review by the ombudsperson could accomplish in a faster and more thorough manner.

Would you or someone else from the Grants staff please address the more broader questions that I raised earlier? I realize that these may have been easily overlooked due to the high volume of email on this list recently, so I'll repeat here.

"Several interesting comments have been made in this thread regarding the value of a more holistic evaluation of the FDC and GAC processes with regards to chapters especially regarding the hiring of a chapter's first full time employee. There have also been comments made regarding the "heavy" nature of the FDC grant application process. Would the WMF staff please indicate whether a review of these concerns is under consideration, if so, how they plan to conduct the review?"

I think you partially addressed these questions in your response but I would appreciate a more direct reply from you, Anasuya, Jessie, or anyone else in the Grantmaking and Programs group. Please feel free to fork into a separate thread if you like.
Thanks,

Pine
     
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Craig Franklin
In reply to this post by Asaf Bartov-2
Thankyou Asaf, points 1.1 and 1.2 pretty much answered all my questions on
this.

If I might offer a humble suggestion though, might I suggest for the
purposes of determining grant eligibility, rather than saying that it is
"Confirmed" or "Not Confirmed", a third status of "Conditional Eligibility"
is introduced.  This status would be used in situations like WMHK's, where
they are eligible at the beginning of the FDC process but have deliverables
due before the end of the FDC process that could potentially render them
ineligible.  This would make it very clear to the entity that while they
can proceed with their request, they also have to complete some other tasks
to receive an allocation.

Cheers,
Craig Franklin


On 30 April 2013 13:04, Asaf Bartov <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello, everyone.
>
> 0. Meta
>
> 0.1. I do not respect the choice by Deryck -- an experienced Wikimedian --
> to voice his (understandable) frustration in a letter full of wikidrama,
> and to follow it with a direct accusation of our team of "foul play"[0].  I
> think this should not go uncommented on.  All of us deserve civility and
> courteous discussions.
>
> 0.2 I am starting this separate thread to address some of the legitimate
> questions asked on that other thread.
>
> 0.2 Please note I speak in my capacity as head of the Wikimedia Grants
> Program, since grants compliance has been a large issue in Deryck's
> narrative, but I do not speak for the (all-volunteer) FDC nor for the FDC
> staff, who can speak for themselves (though some are on vacation, so it may
> take a while).
>
> 0.3. This is a long e-mail, but I would like to believe I am both concise
> and direct.  I just have a number of different issues to respond to.  I
> have also tried to be systematic, so you can skip sections you don't care
> about.
>
> 1. Clarifications about "Eligibility"
>
> 1.1. WMHK _was eligible_ to apply for funding in FDC round 2, was informed
> of this publicly, and proceeded to apply.  FDC eligibility is determined at
> a specific point in time, and the eligibility table is not changed after
> that point in time.
>
> The effort was not "futile from the start", because at the time eligibility
> was determined, it was not clear that WMHK is in fact non-compliant, and
> the Finance team determined eligibility according to strictly
> formal/technical rules -- the grant reports _were_ submitted, just before
> the deadline, so WMHK was considered eligible.
>
> 1.2. After applying, WMHK has _fallen out of compliance_ with grant
> requirements, when it emerged (and it was not known in advance) that WMHK
> has in fact unilaterally re-purposed left-over funds from an old grant (a
> fact only revealed at our insistence to account for all funds[1], one day
> before the proposals were due) without consulting or even informing WMF.
>  Some of the questions we have asked about those funds[2] have not been
> answered to this day.  We require compliance in all existing grants before
> additional funding is sent out (though funding _can_ be _approved_ while
> some compliance issues are pending).
>
> I would like to stress that this is not a minor point of slight tardiness
> or some missing receipt -- this is actual mismanagement of funds (though
> not necessarily mis-use of funds, and NO ONE IS SUGGESTING BAD FAITH here
> -- we do not think WMHK has done anything illicit or ethically improper!),
> and _does indeed_ reflect on WMHK's ability to handle large grants.
>
> 1.3. It is WMF grantmaking staff's duty, within the FDC Framework, to
> provide a factual assessment of applying entities track record with
> previous grants.  This we have done, and anyone may see our assessments[3]
> and compare them to the facts on Meta, in the grant and grant report pages
> and their respective talk pages.
>
> WMHK was repeatedly encouraged to address this non-compliance, with
> specific reference[2] to the FDC staff assessment deadline.  We would have
> _liked_ to be able to report WMHK has addressed this issue and is in
> compliance!
>
> 1.4. It is my understanding, from reading the FDC recommendation (and
> without any "inside information" -- I was not part of the deliberations),
> that the FDC has reviewed the WMHK application with all due care, and that
> the proposal was _not_ rejected out of hand on ground of ineligibility, but
> rather on ground of
>
> "[concerns] about WMHK’s internal governance, financial management
> capacity, and capacity of its volunteers to manage a plan of this size.
> WMHK’s proposal and past activities do not sufficiently demonstrate a
> record of, or potential for, high impact. It recommends that WMHK addresses
> these issues before undertaking a plan of this extent."[4].
>
> I think it is understood (and proper) that an entity's track record --
> including not only compliance but also impact, community engagement and
> more -- is taken into account in evaluating an FDC application, alongside
> the merits of the program itself.
>
> The FDC did note WMHK's falling out of compliance, and did -- I think
> confusingly -- term it "ineligibility" in its recommendations; I think
> "eligibility" should only be used in the limited sense described in 1.1
> above.  They do correctly note that entities are expected to _remain in
> compliance_ after attaining eligibility.  This would have meant, in this
> case where a non-trivial compliance gap was discovered after eligibility
> was determined, taking urgent action to resolve the gap and supply the
> missing information.  WMHK did not do so, despite repeated public
> requests[2] and several e-mail reminders.
>
> It seems to me that had the FDC been presented with a compelling program
> plan from WMHK, and had WMHK had a stronger record of success with its
> previous program, the FDC would not have hesitated to recommend at least
> partial funding for WMHK, and if the compliance gap were to be closed
> reasonably soon, WMF would have been able to send WMHK that funding.  But
> again, as far as I can tell, non-compliance was not the only weakness in
> WMHK's application.
>
> I trust the FDC can, if need be, further clarify their primary grounds for
> recommending not to fund WMHK's plan.
>
> 1.5. In summary, I must protest against the narrative of Deryck's letter,
> wherein WMHK's proposal was rejected by malevolent WMF staff with a secret
> anti-WMHK agenda via "convenient" discoveries of trivial non-compliance
> issues, whereas it would otherwise have been guaranteed to receive full
> funding, and there was no possibility for the FDC to legitimately judge the
> proposal to be weak.  The facts about WMHK's proposal, in all the different
> aspects the FDC cares about, are different, and almost entirely public.
>
> 2. I would like to address the theory that not enough information is
> available on either the Wikimedia Grants Program or the FDC process.
>
> 2.1. I am not convinced it is so.  I would like to note, quite simply, that
> merely having information _available_ does not equal people _consuming_
> that information.  If, as I think is the case, the problem is that existing
> information is not sufficiently read or understood, we need to figure out
> ways to communicate it better, or to create stronger incentives for reading
> the information, but it is not at all clear that we need _more_
> information.
>
> 2.2. Specifically, I know the FDC staff has diligently sought to have
> dialogue with the proposing entities, and specifically attempted to close
> information gaps and misconceptions some applicants have had.  FDC staff
> can probably speak to this more directly if need be, but from the public
> staff assessment, it is clear that with WMCZ, at least, this communication
> did not change their minds.  That's WMCZ's choice, of course, but it does
> mean lacking information was not the issue here.
>
> 3. Post-FDC follow-up
>
> 3.1. I would like to clarify that any entity that has not had a successful
> FDC application in the current fiscal year -- that is, including entities
> that have applied and were not funded -- is eligible for funding via the
> Wikimedia Grants Program, according to that program's standard process.
>  WMHK and WMCZ, therefore, are welcome to address their current
> non-compliance and to then apply for additional funding for program work,
> assuming it does not require full-time staff.
>
> 3.2. I will spell out (all this is in the program descriptions on Meta)
> that the Wikimedia Grants Program _can and does_ support part-time staff or
> _temporary_ full-time staff, _in the context of specific projects_.  I can
> assert I have explained this in person to some members of WMCZ (at CEE 2012
> in Belgrade) and WMHK (when I visited in late 2012).
>
> 4. Grants for growth
>
> 4.1. Nemo asserts: "It's very clear (to me) that the WMF grants system is
> not designed to make Wikimedia entities grow, but only to reinforce those
> which are already strong enough, keeping them at the same level they're
> at."  -- this is incorrect:
>
> 4.2. The Grants system (i.e. including the Foundation's different
> grantmaking programs[5]) is designed to promote impactful work towards the
> Wikimedia Mission.  That is the ultimate goal.  Helping _impactful_
> Wikimedia groups (chapters, thematic organizations, user groups) grow
> _does_ serve the mission, and therefore _is_ supported by the Grants
> system:
>
> 4.3. Despite Tomasz's comments, the Wikimedia Grants Program has seen some
> chapters seek and obtain progressively larger grants, and has specifically
> seen the coordinated "professionalization" of at least two chapters (WMAR
> and WMRS) via its grants.
>
> Admittedly, the _final_ grant in each of these paths would _today_ only be
> given by the FDC, as the FDC process was determined to be the appropriate
> way to fund investments such as long term leases and non-temporary
> full-time staff, but the _path_ towards that goes through successful and
> _impactful_ spending of Wikimedia Grants Program funds.  The Grants Program
> did indeed decline to fund several proposals that included staffing plans,
> and anyone is welcome to review those declined grants[6] and read my
> assessment and concerns on the talk pages.  You are welcome to ask
> questions about them as well.
>
> Helping impactful groups _grow_ is most definitely something I personally,
> as head of one of the Foundations grants programs, have done.
>
> 4.4. I encourage any group that would like to discuss a possible path to
> hiring staff through WMF grants to discuss this with me (I'm happy to have
> the discussion in public on Meta, but will defer to each group's
> preference), as WMRS has done, and we can work out a plan to achieve this,
> given certain milestones.
>
> 5. Summary
>
> I hope this helps our colleagues understand the context in which the FDC
> recommendations were made, and I am sorry I was forced to dwell on points
> of weakness, but it seems to me our public process and this public
> discussion have left no other choice.  Like everyone else, I'd much rather
> celebrate successes. :)
>
>     Asaf
>
> [0]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2013-April/125536.html
>
> [1]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Grants_talk%3AWM_HK%2FEducation_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies%2FReport&diff=5285395&oldid=5237667
> [2]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:WM_HK/Education_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies/Report
>
> [3] The assessment for WMHK's proposal is here:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2012-2013_round2/Wikimedia_Hong_Kong/Staff_proposal_assessment
>
> [4]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/FDC_recommendations/2012-2013_round2
>
> [5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Start
>
> [6]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Index/Requests#Grant_submissions_not_approved
> --
>     Asaf Bartov
>     Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>
>
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
> sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
> https://donate.wikimedia.org
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
Craig - this is a very good idea!

best,

dariusz ("pundit")


On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:20 AM, Craig Franklin
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Thankyou Asaf, points 1.1 and 1.2 pretty much answered all my questions on
> this.
>
> If I might offer a humble suggestion though, might I suggest for the
> purposes of determining grant eligibility, rather than saying that it is
> "Confirmed" or "Not Confirmed", a third status of "Conditional Eligibility"
> is introduced.  This status would be used in situations like WMHK's, where
> they are eligible at the beginning of the FDC process but have deliverables
> due before the end of the FDC process that could potentially render them
> ineligible.  This would make it very clear to the entity that while they
> can proceed with their request, they also have to complete some other tasks
> to receive an allocation.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig Franklin
>
>
> On 30 April 2013 13:04, Asaf Bartov <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hello, everyone.
> >
> > 0. Meta
> >
> > 0.1. I do not respect the choice by Deryck -- an experienced Wikimedian
> --
> > to voice his (understandable) frustration in a letter full of wikidrama,
> > and to follow it with a direct accusation of our team of "foul play"[0].
>  I
> > think this should not go uncommented on.  All of us deserve civility and
> > courteous discussions.
> >
> > 0.2 I am starting this separate thread to address some of the legitimate
> > questions asked on that other thread.
> >
> > 0.2 Please note I speak in my capacity as head of the Wikimedia Grants
> > Program, since grants compliance has been a large issue in Deryck's
> > narrative, but I do not speak for the (all-volunteer) FDC nor for the FDC
> > staff, who can speak for themselves (though some are on vacation, so it
> may
> > take a while).
> >
> > 0.3. This is a long e-mail, but I would like to believe I am both concise
> > and direct.  I just have a number of different issues to respond to.  I
> > have also tried to be systematic, so you can skip sections you don't care
> > about.
> >
> > 1. Clarifications about "Eligibility"
> >
> > 1.1. WMHK _was eligible_ to apply for funding in FDC round 2, was
> informed
> > of this publicly, and proceeded to apply.  FDC eligibility is determined
> at
> > a specific point in time, and the eligibility table is not changed after
> > that point in time.
> >
> > The effort was not "futile from the start", because at the time
> eligibility
> > was determined, it was not clear that WMHK is in fact non-compliant, and
> > the Finance team determined eligibility according to strictly
> > formal/technical rules -- the grant reports _were_ submitted, just before
> > the deadline, so WMHK was considered eligible.
> >
> > 1.2. After applying, WMHK has _fallen out of compliance_ with grant
> > requirements, when it emerged (and it was not known in advance) that WMHK
> > has in fact unilaterally re-purposed left-over funds from an old grant (a
> > fact only revealed at our insistence to account for all funds[1], one day
> > before the proposals were due) without consulting or even informing WMF.
> >  Some of the questions we have asked about those funds[2] have not been
> > answered to this day.  We require compliance in all existing grants
> before
> > additional funding is sent out (though funding _can_ be _approved_ while
> > some compliance issues are pending).
> >
> > I would like to stress that this is not a minor point of slight tardiness
> > or some missing receipt -- this is actual mismanagement of funds (though
> > not necessarily mis-use of funds, and NO ONE IS SUGGESTING BAD FAITH here
> > -- we do not think WMHK has done anything illicit or ethically
> improper!),
> > and _does indeed_ reflect on WMHK's ability to handle large grants.
> >
> > 1.3. It is WMF grantmaking staff's duty, within the FDC Framework, to
> > provide a factual assessment of applying entities track record with
> > previous grants.  This we have done, and anyone may see our
> assessments[3]
> > and compare them to the facts on Meta, in the grant and grant report
> pages
> > and their respective talk pages.
> >
> > WMHK was repeatedly encouraged to address this non-compliance, with
> > specific reference[2] to the FDC staff assessment deadline.  We would
> have
> > _liked_ to be able to report WMHK has addressed this issue and is in
> > compliance!
> >
> > 1.4. It is my understanding, from reading the FDC recommendation (and
> > without any "inside information" -- I was not part of the deliberations),
> > that the FDC has reviewed the WMHK application with all due care, and
> that
> > the proposal was _not_ rejected out of hand on ground of ineligibility,
> but
> > rather on ground of
> >
> > "[concerns] about WMHK's internal governance, financial management
> > capacity, and capacity of its volunteers to manage a plan of this size.
> > WMHK's proposal and past activities do not sufficiently demonstrate a
> > record of, or potential for, high impact. It recommends that WMHK
> addresses
> > these issues before undertaking a plan of this extent."[4].
> >
> > I think it is understood (and proper) that an entity's track record --
> > including not only compliance but also impact, community engagement and
> > more -- is taken into account in evaluating an FDC application, alongside
> > the merits of the program itself.
> >
> > The FDC did note WMHK's falling out of compliance, and did -- I think
> > confusingly -- term it "ineligibility" in its recommendations; I think
> > "eligibility" should only be used in the limited sense described in 1.1
> > above.  They do correctly note that entities are expected to _remain in
> > compliance_ after attaining eligibility.  This would have meant, in this
> > case where a non-trivial compliance gap was discovered after eligibility
> > was determined, taking urgent action to resolve the gap and supply the
> > missing information.  WMHK did not do so, despite repeated public
> > requests[2] and several e-mail reminders.
> >
> > It seems to me that had the FDC been presented with a compelling program
> > plan from WMHK, and had WMHK had a stronger record of success with its
> > previous program, the FDC would not have hesitated to recommend at least
> > partial funding for WMHK, and if the compliance gap were to be closed
> > reasonably soon, WMF would have been able to send WMHK that funding.  But
> > again, as far as I can tell, non-compliance was not the only weakness in
> > WMHK's application.
> >
> > I trust the FDC can, if need be, further clarify their primary grounds
> for
> > recommending not to fund WMHK's plan.
> >
> > 1.5. In summary, I must protest against the narrative of Deryck's letter,
> > wherein WMHK's proposal was rejected by malevolent WMF staff with a
> secret
> > anti-WMHK agenda via "convenient" discoveries of trivial non-compliance
> > issues, whereas it would otherwise have been guaranteed to receive full
> > funding, and there was no possibility for the FDC to legitimately judge
> the
> > proposal to be weak.  The facts about WMHK's proposal, in all the
> different
> > aspects the FDC cares about, are different, and almost entirely public.
> >
> > 2. I would like to address the theory that not enough information is
> > available on either the Wikimedia Grants Program or the FDC process.
> >
> > 2.1. I am not convinced it is so.  I would like to note, quite simply,
> that
> > merely having information _available_ does not equal people _consuming_
> > that information.  If, as I think is the case, the problem is that
> existing
> > information is not sufficiently read or understood, we need to figure out
> > ways to communicate it better, or to create stronger incentives for
> reading
> > the information, but it is not at all clear that we need _more_
> > information.
> >
> > 2.2. Specifically, I know the FDC staff has diligently sought to have
> > dialogue with the proposing entities, and specifically attempted to close
> > information gaps and misconceptions some applicants have had.  FDC staff
> > can probably speak to this more directly if need be, but from the public
> > staff assessment, it is clear that with WMCZ, at least, this
> communication
> > did not change their minds.  That's WMCZ's choice, of course, but it does
> > mean lacking information was not the issue here.
> >
> > 3. Post-FDC follow-up
> >
> > 3.1. I would like to clarify that any entity that has not had a
> successful
> > FDC application in the current fiscal year -- that is, including entities
> > that have applied and were not funded -- is eligible for funding via the
> > Wikimedia Grants Program, according to that program's standard process.
> >  WMHK and WMCZ, therefore, are welcome to address their current
> > non-compliance and to then apply for additional funding for program work,
> > assuming it does not require full-time staff.
> >
> > 3.2. I will spell out (all this is in the program descriptions on Meta)
> > that the Wikimedia Grants Program _can and does_ support part-time staff
> or
> > _temporary_ full-time staff, _in the context of specific projects_.  I
> can
> > assert I have explained this in person to some members of WMCZ (at CEE
> 2012
> > in Belgrade) and WMHK (when I visited in late 2012).
> >
> > 4. Grants for growth
> >
> > 4.1. Nemo asserts: "It's very clear (to me) that the WMF grants system is
> > not designed to make Wikimedia entities grow, but only to reinforce those
> > which are already strong enough, keeping them at the same level they're
> > at."  -- this is incorrect:
> >
> > 4.2. The Grants system (i.e. including the Foundation's different
> > grantmaking programs[5]) is designed to promote impactful work towards
> the
> > Wikimedia Mission.  That is the ultimate goal.  Helping _impactful_
> > Wikimedia groups (chapters, thematic organizations, user groups) grow
> > _does_ serve the mission, and therefore _is_ supported by the Grants
> > system:
> >
> > 4.3. Despite Tomasz's comments, the Wikimedia Grants Program has seen
> some
> > chapters seek and obtain progressively larger grants, and has
> specifically
> > seen the coordinated "professionalization" of at least two chapters (WMAR
> > and WMRS) via its grants.
> >
> > Admittedly, the _final_ grant in each of these paths would _today_ only
> be
> > given by the FDC, as the FDC process was determined to be the appropriate
> > way to fund investments such as long term leases and non-temporary
> > full-time staff, but the _path_ towards that goes through successful and
> > _impactful_ spending of Wikimedia Grants Program funds.  The Grants
> Program
> > did indeed decline to fund several proposals that included staffing
> plans,
> > and anyone is welcome to review those declined grants[6] and read my
> > assessment and concerns on the talk pages.  You are welcome to ask
> > questions about them as well.
> >
> > Helping impactful groups _grow_ is most definitely something I
> personally,
> > as head of one of the Foundations grants programs, have done.
> >
> > 4.4. I encourage any group that would like to discuss a possible path to
> > hiring staff through WMF grants to discuss this with me (I'm happy to
> have
> > the discussion in public on Meta, but will defer to each group's
> > preference), as WMRS has done, and we can work out a plan to achieve
> this,
> > given certain milestones.
> >
> > 5. Summary
> >
> > I hope this helps our colleagues understand the context in which the FDC
> > recommendations were made, and I am sorry I was forced to dwell on points
> > of weakness, but it seems to me our public process and this public
> > discussion have left no other choice.  Like everyone else, I'd much
> rather
> > celebrate successes. :)
> >
> >     Asaf
> >
> > [0]
> > http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2013-April/125536.html
> >
> > [1]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Grants_talk%3AWM_HK%2FEducation_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies%2FReport&diff=5285395&oldid=5237667
> > [2]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:WM_HK/Education_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies/Report
> >
> > [3] The assessment for WMHK's proposal is here:
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2012-2013_round2/Wikimedia_Hong_Kong/Staff_proposal_assessment
> >
> > [4]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/FDC_recommendations/2012-2013_round2
> >
> > [5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Start
> >
> > [6]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Index/Requests#Grant_submissions_not_approved
> > --
> >     Asaf Bartov
> >     Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>
> >
> > Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
> > sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
> > https://donate.wikimedia.org
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
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>



--

__________________________
dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
profesor zarządzania
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i centrum badawczego CROW
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
In reply to this post by Asaf Bartov-2
hi Asaf,

a short comment on two things:


On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 5:04 AM, Asaf Bartov <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 1.4. It is my understanding, from reading the FDC recommendation (and
> without any "inside information" -- I was not part of the deliberations),
> that the FDC has reviewed the WMHK application with all due care, and that
> the proposal was _not_ rejected out of hand on ground of ineligibility, but
> rather on ground of
>

it is difficult to speculate what decision would have been made if falling
out of compliance was the only issue, but you are definitely right that it
was not the only one. We spent quite a while discussing the project and the
chapter's ability to tackle larger grants at the moment, eligibility was
only a minor point in terms of time spent on discussing it.



> I think it is understood (and proper) that an entity's track record --
> including not only compliance but also impact, community engagement and
> more -- is taken into account in evaluating an FDC application, alongside
> the merits of the program itself.
>

Yes, it is my personal view, probably shared by many other FDC members,
that possible impact is crucial (and definitely more important than just
some technical prowess in grant writing). I could see an innovative,
brilliant project with huge impact funded, in spite of minor slips in
paperwork, while I cannot imagine supporting a bureaucracy-only oriented
project, with poor impact, even if it was very professionally written.

This example, of course, is not related to the WMHK proposal.


> 2. I would like to address the theory that not enough information is
> available on either the Wikimedia Grants Program or the FDC process.
>
> 2.1. I am not convinced it is so.  I would like to note, quite simply, that
> merely having information _available_ does not equal people _consuming_
> that information.  If, as I think is the case, the problem is that existing
> information is not sufficiently read or understood, we need to figure out
> ways to communicate it better, or to create stronger incentives for reading
> the information, but it is not at all clear that we need _more_
> information.
>

Sorry, but for me this is just a rhetorical game here - down to business we
have a problem with a clear presentation of what kind of projects can be
funded through the FDC and GAC. It is irrelevant if information is lacking,
or just poorly or confusingly presented.

Many members of the community (as it was confirmed in the discussions on
Milan conference) are e.g. uncertain about part-time employment
possibilities through GAC, as well as about professionalization efforts
being funded through GAC scheme (both possible to some extent). I believe
that it is imperative that a clear guideline is prepared.

best,

dariusz ("pundit")
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

K. Peachey-2
In reply to this post by Asaf Bartov-2
On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 1:04 PM, Asaf Bartov <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ...
> I would like to stress that this is not a minor point of slight tardiness
> or some missing receipt -- this is actual mismanagement of funds (though
> not necessarily mis-use of funds, and NO ONE IS SUGGESTING BAD FAITH here
> -- we do not think WMHK has done anything illicit or ethically improper!),
> and _does indeed_ reflect on WMHK's ability to handle large grants.

Was this ever formally audited, and if so, is there a link to this
report? Just your implication using the word "mismanagement" sounds
like "Bad faith" to me...

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Asaf Bartov-2
Just a couple personal points:

Asaf Bartov, 30/04/2013 05:04:
> [...]
> 1.5. In summary, I must protest against the narrative of Deryck's letter,
> wherein WMHK's proposal was rejected by malevolent WMF staff with a secret
> anti-WMHK agenda [...]

I didn't read anything like that in Deryck's letter.

> [...]
> 4. Grants for growth
>
> 4.1. Nemo asserts: "It's very clear (to me) that the WMF grants system is
> not designed to make Wikimedia entities grow, but only to reinforce those
> which are already strong enough, keeping them at the same level they're
> at."  -- this is incorrect:

As you mention me directly: that's just my opinion, I know it's not the
official interpretation (see also Anthere's message).

>
> 4.2. The Grants system (i.e. including the Foundation's different
> grantmaking programs[5]) is designed to promote impactful work towards the
> Wikimedia Mission.  That is the ultimate goal.  Helping _impactful_
> Wikimedia groups (chapters, thematic organizations, user groups) grow
> _does_ serve the mission, and therefore _is_ supported by the Grants system:

This is the same I said, just in a different way: you say you require
the groups to _first_ be "impactful" enough; I say «first you develop
your own strengths and then you go to the negotiations [with WMF] if you
need to and have something to gain».
        There's nothing special with this, the WMF has the money and decides
how to spend it. Grants are just a different way for the WMF to buy
services they already want but can't execute directly, see the indian
education program example. The WMF opens a call for bids on some
services, entities present offers with prices detailing all the costs,
the FDC ensures the cost of each pencil was calculated correctly, then
the staff decides what to buy. If there are no good offers, the WMF may
eventually just hire someone directly to act locally.
        The problem is that the WMF constantly (by design) abusing words and
rhetoric makes us waste a lot of time because of the misunderstandings
it produces. I agree that more information is probably not needed, but a
glossary from "official WMF speak" to "concrete clear language" may help.

>
> 4.3. Despite Tomasz's comments, the Wikimedia Grants Program has seen some
> chapters seek and obtain progressively larger grants, and has specifically
> seen the coordinated "professionalization" of at least two chapters (WMAR
> and WMRS) via its grants.  [...]

This doesn't seem to contradict what Tomasz said.

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
hi Federico,


On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 11:24 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> 1.5. In summary, I must protest against the narrative of Deryck's letter,
>> wherein WMHK's proposal was rejected by malevolent WMF staff with a secret
>> anti-WMHK agenda [...]
>>
> I didn't read anything like that in Deryck's letter.
>


well, I think that this part does not leave much for good faith
interpretations:

On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 5:38 PM, Deryck Chan <[hidden email]>
 wrote:

> (cc. Patricio and Jan-Bart as the official contacts for FDC complaints.
> Yes, I'm accusing WMF grants staff of foul play with the FDC rules.)


best,

dariusz ("pundit")
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Tomasz Ganicz
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
2013/4/30 Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>:

> Many members of the community (as it was confirmed in the discussions on
> Milan conference) are e.g. uncertain about part-time employment
> possibilities through GAC, as well as about professionalization efforts
> being funded through GAC scheme (both possible to some extent). I believe
> that it is imperative that a clear guideline is prepared.
>

Actually it is here:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Index/Eligibility_requirements

"Grants through this program do not fund full-time permanent staff
salaries and other recurring operating expenses, such as the rent of
an office. In some cases, WMF Grants Program grants may fund part-time
positions or full-time temporary positions with a limited focus and
scope of work related specifically to the activities of the funded
project. Requests for part-time staff will be accompanied by an
assessment of the applicant's ability to effectively manage staff, and
may require necessary infrastructure to support staff (such as
policies around travel reimbursements, and hiring). Full-time staff
and recurring operating expenses will only be funded via the Funds
Dissemination Committee (FDC) process. Note that entities receiving
funds through the FDC process may not receive funds through the WMF
Grants Program during the same fiscal year."


although it is a bit misleading, as in several cases (WM AR, WM SR, WM
IN, WM DC) it was accepted to pay for renting an office.

I wonder if it will be accepted to apply to GAC for temporary position
for the person responsible for preparation of FDC application :-)


--
Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz
http://pl.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Polimerek
http://www.ganicz.pl/poli/
http://www.cbmm.lodz.pl/work.php?id=29&title=tomasz-ganicz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Craig Franklin
I wonder if it will be accepted to apply to GAC for temporary position
> for the person responsible for preparation of FDC application :-)


That's probably not as silly an idea as it sounds - having a local person
on the ground with relevant expertise who can assist the chapter not just
in preparing their application, but also help them set realistic goals on
what could be achieved would no doubt increase the quality of FDC
applications and also focus chapters on delivering useful programme work,
without causing any bitterness about the Foundation at the same time.

Cheers,
Craig Franklin


On 30 April 2013 20:42, Tomasz Ganicz <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2013/4/30 Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>:
>
> > Many members of the community (as it was confirmed in the discussions on
> > Milan conference) are e.g. uncertain about part-time employment
> > possibilities through GAC, as well as about professionalization efforts
> > being funded through GAC scheme (both possible to some extent). I believe
> > that it is imperative that a clear guideline is prepared.
> >
>
> Actually it is here:
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Index/Eligibility_requirements
>
> "Grants through this program do not fund full-time permanent staff
> salaries and other recurring operating expenses, such as the rent of
> an office. In some cases, WMF Grants Program grants may fund part-time
> positions or full-time temporary positions with a limited focus and
> scope of work related specifically to the activities of the funded
> project. Requests for part-time staff will be accompanied by an
> assessment of the applicant's ability to effectively manage staff, and
> may require necessary infrastructure to support staff (such as
> policies around travel reimbursements, and hiring). Full-time staff
> and recurring operating expenses will only be funded via the Funds
> Dissemination Committee (FDC) process. Note that entities receiving
> funds through the FDC process may not receive funds through the WMF
> Grants Program during the same fiscal year."
>
>
> although it is a bit misleading, as in several cases (WM AR, WM SR, WM
> IN, WM DC) it was accepted to pay for renting an office.
>
> I wonder if it will be accepted to apply to GAC for temporary position
> for the person responsible for preparation of FDC application :-)
>
>
> --
> Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz
> http://pl.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Polimerek
> http://www.ganicz.pl/poli/
> http://www.cbmm.lodz.pl/work.php?id=29&title=tomasz-ganicz
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
Dariusz Jemielniak, 30/04/2013 11:34:

>> 1.5. In summary, I must protest against the narrative of Deryck's letter,
>>> wherein WMHK's proposal was rejected by malevolent WMF staff with a secret
>>> anti-WMHK agenda [...]
>>>
>> I didn't read anything like that in Deryck's letter.
>>
>
>
> well, I think that this part does not leave much for good faith
> interpretations:
>
> On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 5:38 PM, Deryck Chan
>   wrote:
>
>> (cc. Patricio and Jan-Bart as the official contacts for FDC complaints.
>> Yes, I'm accusing WMF grants staff of foul play with the FDC rules.)

That wasn't in the original letter. :) Also, "foul play" doesn't seem to
require a "secret anti-WMHK agenda". It was just a convenient way to
close a controversial discussion, as you confirm.

Moreover, it's well known that the FDC decisions are based also on
"context" i.e. private information not part of the proposals or
discussions thereof.
It's normal for people outside WMF not to understand them fully, and
after all if the rules were so easy to apply you wouldn't need a "double
track" decision with FDC+staff with final rubberstamping by the WMF
board. It's quite obvious that there will always be room for
interpretation, or in other words what made Jan-Bart «impressed with the
level of [...] flexibility of the FDC members».

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Osmar Valdebenito
In reply to this post by Craig Franklin
I think it is important to remember what is the main premise behind the
FDC: give resources to established chapter in some sort of "long term"
capacity. We are dealing with proposals of over 100k to more than 4m. I've
heard several times about how hard is to apply for the FDC, how terrible it
is... I know it is not an easy task applying nor reporting (we are doing
this right now) but it is not the hell that has been pictured. It is a much
easier, simple and transparent process than most of the ways any other
organization (for profit or not) does to get the level of money we are
requesting, or at least that has been my experience. Not because the
chapters have nice goals about disseminating free knowledge on local level,
we should be treated especially and not being requested to be as serious
and professional as possible. I think even the FDC is already taken in
consideration the level of professionality of each institution and probably
evaluates differently WMAR than WMDE,  but both should be able to at least
comply with the basics (like clearity in the proposals and goals of the
organization, a set of programs, etc.)

But, seriously, if we are not able to write a estructured long report or
reply answers about usage of funds, is it possible that we are able to hire
effectively and efficiently an Executive Director or run an office? The
problem of growth is not much about were to get funds but how this growth
is sustainable and makes sense. Although there is no clear path towards
professionalization (it would be great to have at least some sort of
recommendations and it is something that should be improved), most of the
successful cases happened through a smooth transition with some sort of
temporary hiring via GAC and then consolidation via FDC. And that makes
sense, because moving from a volunteer-driven association to a professional
NGO is not easy: it is not easy to find the right employee (probably all
the cases hired someone and to fire him/her a few months after), to
establish the balance between what should the Board do and what the staff,
to solve all the belated paperwork that nobody was able to do before, etc,
etc. After going through all of that, then you can think of a more
structured way to request funds like the FDC.

I think this is an interesting topic that would have been great to work
with in the past Wikimedia Conference, too bad the idea came too late.
Maybe a panel for Wikimania?

Osmar Valdebenito G.


2013/4/30 Craig Franklin <[hidden email]>

> I wonder if it will be accepted to apply to GAC for temporary position
> > for the person responsible for preparation of FDC application :-)
>
>
> That's probably not as silly an idea as it sounds - having a local person
> on the ground with relevant expertise who can assist the chapter not just
> in preparing their application, but also help them set realistic goals on
> what could be achieved would no doubt increase the quality of FDC
> applications and also focus chapters on delivering useful programme work,
> without causing any bitterness about the Foundation at the same time.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig Franklin
>
>
> On 30 April 2013 20:42, Tomasz Ganicz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > 2013/4/30 Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > Many members of the community (as it was confirmed in the discussions
> on
> > > Milan conference) are e.g. uncertain about part-time employment
> > > possibilities through GAC, as well as about professionalization efforts
> > > being funded through GAC scheme (both possible to some extent). I
> believe
> > > that it is imperative that a clear guideline is prepared.
> > >
> >
> > Actually it is here:
> >
> > http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Index/Eligibility_requirements
> >
> > "Grants through this program do not fund full-time permanent staff
> > salaries and other recurring operating expenses, such as the rent of
> > an office. In some cases, WMF Grants Program grants may fund part-time
> > positions or full-time temporary positions with a limited focus and
> > scope of work related specifically to the activities of the funded
> > project. Requests for part-time staff will be accompanied by an
> > assessment of the applicant's ability to effectively manage staff, and
> > may require necessary infrastructure to support staff (such as
> > policies around travel reimbursements, and hiring). Full-time staff
> > and recurring operating expenses will only be funded via the Funds
> > Dissemination Committee (FDC) process. Note that entities receiving
> > funds through the FDC process may not receive funds through the WMF
> > Grants Program during the same fiscal year."
> >
> >
> > although it is a bit misleading, as in several cases (WM AR, WM SR, WM
> > IN, WM DC) it was accepted to pay for renting an office.
> >
> > I wonder if it will be accepted to apply to GAC for temporary position
> > for the person responsible for preparation of FDC application :-)
> >
> >
> > --
> > Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz
> > http://pl.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Polimerek
> > http://www.ganicz.pl/poli/
> > http://www.cbmm.lodz.pl/work.php?id=29&title=tomasz-ganicz
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)
On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 1:10 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Moreover, it's well known that the FDC decisions are based also on
> "context" i.e. private information not part of the proposals or discussions
> thereof.
> It's normal for people outside WMF not to understand them fully, and after
> all if the rules were so easy to apply you wouldn't need a "double track"
> decision with FDC+staff with final rubberstamping by the WMF board. It's
> quite obvious that there will always be room for interpretation, or in
> other words what made Jan-Bart «impressed with the level of [...]
> flexibility of the FDC members».


I'm not sure what you mean by that and how/why it is "well known" (it is
not well known to me, we make efforts to make sure that applicants are
treated fairly, equally, and not depending on snippets of some private
information, although naturally depending on the correspondence, dialogue
etc. with the chapter, which to some extent is also not entirely public for
obvious reasons).


Tomasz: as I wrote, it is imperative that a CLEAR and UNDERSTANDABLE
guideline is prepared :)

best,

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Josh Lim
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
Odd that we're making this suggestion, when in fact "conditional eligibility" already exists.  Wikimedia Philippines, for example, is conditionally eligible for FDC funding contingent on the completion of our deliverables (a grant report), which I believe was already delivered.

Regards,


Josh

 
JAMES JOSHUA G. LIM
Block I1, AB Political Science
Major in Global Politics, Minor in Chinese Studies
Class of 2013, Ateneo de Manila University
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Trustee (2010-2013), Wikimedia Philippines
Member, Ateneo Debate Society
Member, The Assembly

[hidden email] | +63 (927) 531-8301
Friendster/Facebook/Twitter: akiestar | Wikimedia: Sky Harbor
http://akira123323.livejournal.com



________________________________
 From: Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
To: [hidden email]; Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:26 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions
 

Craig - this is a very good idea!

best,

dariusz ("pundit")


On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:20 AM, Craig Franklin
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Thankyou Asaf, points 1.1 and 1.2 pretty much answered all my questions on
> this.
>
> If I might offer a humble suggestion though, might I suggest for the
> purposes of determining grant eligibility, rather than saying that it is
> "Confirmed" or "Not Confirmed", a third status of "Conditional Eligibility"
> is introduced.  This status would be used in situations like WMHK's, where
> they are eligible at the beginning of the FDC process but have deliverables
> due before the end of the FDC process that could potentially render them
> ineligible.  This would make it very clear to the entity that while they
> can proceed with their request, they also have to complete some other tasks
> to receive an allocation.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig Franklin
>
>
> On 30 April 2013 13:04, Asaf Bartov <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hello, everyone.
> >
> > 0. Meta
> >
> > 0.1. I do not respect the choice by Deryck -- an experienced Wikimedian
> --
> > to voice his (understandable) frustration in a letter full of wikidrama,
> > and to follow it with a direct accusation of our team of "foul play"[0].
>  I
> > think this should not go uncommented on.  All of us deserve civility and
> > courteous discussions.
> >
> > 0.2 I am starting this separate thread to address some of the legitimate
> > questions asked on that other thread.
> >
> > 0.2 Please note I speak in my capacity as head of the Wikimedia Grants
> > Program, since grants compliance has been a large issue in Deryck's
> > narrative, but I do not speak for the (all-volunteer) FDC nor for the FDC
> > staff, who can speak for themselves (though some are on vacation, so it
> may
> > take a while).
> >
> > 0.3. This is a long e-mail, but I would like to believe I am both concise
> > and direct.  I just have a number of different issues to respond to.  I
> > have also tried to be systematic, so you can skip sections you don't care
> > about.
> >
> > 1. Clarifications about "Eligibility"
> >
> > 1.1. WMHK _was eligible_ to apply for funding in FDC round 2, was
> informed
> > of this publicly, and proceeded to apply.  FDC eligibility is determined
> at
> > a specific point in time, and the eligibility table is not changed after
> > that point in time.
> >
> > The effort was not "futile from the start", because at the time
> eligibility
> > was determined, it was not clear that WMHK is in fact non-compliant, and
> > the Finance team determined eligibility according to strictly
> > formal/technical rules -- the grant reports _were_ submitted, just before
> > the deadline, so WMHK was considered eligible.
> >
> > 1.2. After applying, WMHK has _fallen out of compliance_ with grant
> > requirements, when it emerged (and it was not known in advance) that WMHK
> > has in fact unilaterally re-purposed left-over funds from an old grant (a
> > fact only revealed at our insistence to account for all funds[1], one day
> > before the proposals were due) without consulting or even informing WMF.
> >  Some of the questions we have asked about those funds[2] have not been
> > answered to this day.  We require compliance in all existing grants
> before
> > additional funding is sent out (though funding _can_ be _approved_ while
> > some compliance issues are pending).
> >
> > I would like to stress that this is not a minor point of slight tardiness
> > or some missing receipt -- this is actual mismanagement of funds (though
> > not necessarily mis-use of funds, and NO ONE IS SUGGESTING BAD FAITH here
> > -- we do not think WMHK has done anything illicit or ethically
> improper!),
> > and _does indeed_ reflect on WMHK's ability to handle large grants.
> >
> > 1.3. It is WMF grantmaking staff's duty, within the FDC Framework, to
> > provide a factual assessment of applying entities track record with
> > previous grants.  This we have done, and anyone may see our
> assessments[3]
> > and compare them to the facts on Meta, in the grant and grant report
> pages
> > and their respective talk pages.
> >
> > WMHK was repeatedly encouraged to address this non-compliance, with
> > specific reference[2] to the FDC staff assessment deadline.  We would
> have
> > _liked_ to be able to report WMHK has addressed this issue and is in
> > compliance!
> >
> > 1.4. It is my understanding, from reading the FDC recommendation (and
> > without any "inside information" -- I was not part of the deliberations),
> > that the FDC has reviewed the WMHK application with all due care, and
> that
> > the proposal was _not_ rejected out of hand on ground of ineligibility,
> but
> > rather on ground of
> >
> > "[concerns] about WMHK's internal governance, financial management
> > capacity, and capacity of its volunteers to manage a plan of this size.
> > WMHK's proposal and past activities do not sufficiently demonstrate a
> > record of, or potential for, high impact. It recommends that WMHK
> addresses
> > these issues before undertaking a plan of this extent."[4].
> >
> > I think it is understood (and proper) that an entity's track record --
> > including not only compliance but also impact, community engagement and
> > more -- is taken into account in evaluating an FDC application, alongside
> > the merits of the program itself.
> >
> > The FDC did note WMHK's falling out of compliance, and did -- I think
> > confusingly -- term it "ineligibility" in its recommendations; I think
> > "eligibility" should only be used in the limited sense described in 1.1
> > above.  They do correctly note that entities are expected to _remain in
> > compliance_ after attaining eligibility.  This would have meant, in this
> > case where a non-trivial compliance gap was discovered after eligibility
> > was determined, taking urgent action to resolve the gap and supply the
> > missing information.  WMHK did not do so, despite repeated public
> > requests[2] and several e-mail reminders.
> >
> > It seems to me that had the FDC been presented with a compelling program
> > plan from WMHK, and had WMHK had a stronger record of success with its
> > previous program, the FDC would not have hesitated to recommend at least
> > partial funding for WMHK, and if the compliance gap were to be closed
> > reasonably soon, WMF would have been able to send WMHK that funding.  But
> > again, as far as I can tell, non-compliance was not the only weakness in
> > WMHK's application.
> >
> > I trust the FDC can, if need be, further clarify their primary grounds
> for
> > recommending not to fund WMHK's plan.
> >
> > 1.5. In summary, I must protest against the narrative of Deryck's letter,
> > wherein WMHK's proposal was rejected by malevolent WMF staff with a
> secret
> > anti-WMHK agenda via "convenient" discoveries of trivial non-compliance
> > issues, whereas it would otherwise have been guaranteed to receive full
> > funding, and there was no possibility for the FDC to legitimately judge
> the
> > proposal to be weak.  The facts about WMHK's proposal, in all the
> different
> > aspects the FDC cares about, are different, and almost entirely public.
> >
> > 2. I would like to address the theory that not enough information is
> > available on either the Wikimedia Grants Program or the FDC process.
> >
> > 2.1. I am not convinced it is so.  I would like to note, quite simply,
> that
> > merely having information _available_ does not equal people _consuming_
> > that information.  If, as I think is the case, the problem is that
> existing
> > information is not sufficiently read or understood, we need to figure out
> > ways to communicate it better, or to create stronger incentives for
> reading
> > the information, but it is not at all clear that we need _more_
> > information.
> >
> > 2.2. Specifically, I know the FDC staff has diligently sought to have
> > dialogue with the proposing entities, and specifically attempted to close
> > information gaps and misconceptions some applicants have had.  FDC staff
> > can probably speak to this more directly if need be, but from the public
> > staff assessment, it is clear that with WMCZ, at least, this
> communication
> > did not change their minds.  That's WMCZ's choice, of course, but it does
> > mean lacking information was not the issue here.
> >
> > 3. Post-FDC follow-up
> >
> > 3.1. I would like to clarify that any entity that has not had a
> successful
> > FDC application in the current fiscal year -- that is, including entities
> > that have applied and were not funded -- is eligible for funding via the
> > Wikimedia Grants Program, according to that program's standard process.
> >  WMHK and WMCZ, therefore, are welcome to address their current
> > non-compliance and to then apply for additional funding for program work,
> > assuming it does not require full-time staff.
> >
> > 3.2. I will spell out (all this is in the program descriptions on Meta)
> > that the Wikimedia Grants Program _can and does_ support part-time staff
> or
> > _temporary_ full-time staff, _in the context of specific projects_.  I
> can
> > assert I have explained this in person to some members of WMCZ (at CEE
> 2012
> > in Belgrade) and WMHK (when I visited in late 2012).
> >
> > 4. Grants for growth
> >
> > 4.1. Nemo asserts: "It's very clear (to me) that the WMF grants system is
> > not designed to make Wikimedia entities grow, but only to reinforce those
> > which are already strong enough, keeping them at the same level they're
> > at."  -- this is incorrect:
> >
> > 4.2. The Grants system (i.e. including the Foundation's different
> > grantmaking programs[5]) is designed to promote impactful work towards
> the
> > Wikimedia Mission.  That is the ultimate goal.  Helping _impactful_
> > Wikimedia groups (chapters, thematic organizations, user groups) grow
> > _does_ serve the mission, and therefore _is_ supported by the Grants
> > system:
> >
> > 4.3. Despite Tomasz's comments, the Wikimedia Grants Program has seen
> some
> > chapters seek and obtain progressively larger grants, and has
> specifically
> > seen the coordinated "professionalization" of at least two chapters (WMAR
> > and WMRS) via its grants.
> >
> > Admittedly, the _final_ grant in each of these paths would _today_ only
> be
> > given by the FDC, as the FDC process was determined to be the appropriate
> > way to fund investments such as long term leases and non-temporary
> > full-time staff, but the _path_ towards that goes through successful and
> > _impactful_ spending of Wikimedia Grants Program funds.  The Grants
> Program
> > did indeed decline to fund several proposals that included staffing
> plans,
> > and anyone is welcome to review those declined grants[6] and read my
> > assessment and concerns on the talk pages.  You are welcome to ask
> > questions about them as well.
> >
> > Helping impactful groups _grow_ is most definitely something I
> personally,
> > as head of one of the Foundations grants programs, have done.
> >
> > 4.4. I encourage any group that would like to discuss a possible path to
> > hiring staff through WMF grants to discuss this with me (I'm happy to
> have
> > the discussion in public on Meta, but will defer to each group's
> > preference), as WMRS has done, and we can work out a plan to achieve
> this,
> > given certain milestones.
> >
> > 5. Summary
> >
> > I hope this helps our colleagues understand the context in which the FDC
> > recommendations were made, and I am sorry I was forced to dwell on points
> > of weakness, but it seems to me our public process and this public
> > discussion have left no other choice.  Like everyone else, I'd much
> rather
> > celebrate successes. :)
> >
> >     Asaf
> >
> > [0]
> > http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2013-April/125536.html
> >
> > [1]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Grants_talk%3AWM_HK%2FEducation_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies%2FReport&diff=5285395&oldid=5237667
> > [2]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:WM_HK/Education_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies/Report
> >
> > [3] The assessment for WMHK's proposal is here:
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2012-2013_round2/Wikimedia_Hong_Kong/Staff_proposal_assessment
> >
> > [4]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/FDC_recommendations/2012-2013_round2
> >
> > [5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Start
> >
> > [6]
> >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Index/Requests#Grant_submissions_not_approved
> > --
> >     Asaf Bartov
> >     Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>
> >
> > Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
> > sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
> > https://donate.wikimedia.org
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
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--

__________________________
dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
profesor zarządzania
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i centrum badawczego CROW
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Anasuya Sengupta
In reply to this post by ENWP Pine
Hi Pine,

My apologies for the tardiness of this reply; I've been away in India with
family and am only just back.

It's an important question to ask, because the Grantmaking team's programs
- including the FDC process - have and are being set up with a strong
self-evaluation component. We exist to support our movement through grants
and shared knowledge as key resources, and we can only do this well if
we're good at listening and learning ourselves.

Overall, we're looking at multiple feedback mechanisms (including surveys
and discussion groups at conferences like WMConf, Wikimania). As an
example, we did a survey of the FDC Round 1 process which we shared in
Milan, and used as a way to get more face-to-face feedback. This helps us
know both broad and specific areas that we need to improve on and to do so
quickly and appropriately. One thing to keep in mind with grantmaking
programs is that process feedback is easily and quickly incorporated (like
wiki-tables that made life miserable for FDC Round 1 applicants and we
could improve for Round 2 applicants). However, substantive feedback (like
the nature of questions, or entirely new sections of inquiry) need to be
incorporated at the end of the year for the new year, so that the nature of
the proposal doesn't change dramatically over the year, or from one round
to the next: it's not fair on either the new folks applying, or the
committee reviewing the proposals. We intend to do surveys of all our major
grantmaking programs over the next few months, so that we have a good
baseline against which to measure our progress as a team.

Again, it's useful to remember that our proposal processes might seem
'heavy' to many in the movement, but they're pretty light-weight (with the
possible exception of wiki-tables) in comparison to other grantmaking
processes that are far more demanding for far smaller grant amounts. As a
comparison, in the human rights and social justice grantmaking world, most
grants are in the range of 5,000-50,000 USD.

For the FDC in particular, the FDC Advisory Group will assess the first
year, and towards the end of the second year (March 2014), give the Board a
recommendation on whether the mechanism works (or not) and should continue
(or not).  The FDC Ombudsperson also gives an annual report which is
independent and autonomous on the FDC process.[1] With these various
inputs, the staff and FDC will create a report for Year 1 which we hope
will be shared back with the community at Wikimania.

Other forms of external or independent assessments will also be part of our
process: Kevin Gorman's retrospective of the grants program so far, for
instance, was really useful and we've already incorporated several of his
recommendations.[2] With the Program Evaluation team, we're also going to
get much better at sharing the good and best practices that already exist
in the movement, and at pointing out work that's relevant from other
movements.

Finally, we're planning some internal and external research to better
provide guidance to grant applicants on issues like potential growth
trajectories and useful ways of thinking about moving from entirely
volunteer to staffed groups. We're obviously not working on this in
isolation - there has already been some good thinking within the movement
on this - and we'd be glad to be in conversation with anyone who wants to
work with us on these issues.

The Grantmaking team is a work in progress - we didn't exist in our present
form last year, we've essentially restructured and reconfigured ourselves
over the past few months, set up the FDC and IEG processes, and learnt
rapidly about what works (and what might not) - and we're always open to
feedback. If people are uncertain about who to reach out to, please do get
in touch with me: as the person who heads the Grantmaking team, (some
element of) the buck does stop with me. :-)

thanks,
Anasuya

[1]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Framework_for_the_Creation_and_Initial_Operation_of_the_FDC#FDC_Ombudsperson
[2]https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Retrospective_2009-2012


On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 9:34 PM, ENWP Pine <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Asaf,
>
> Thank you for sharing your perspective.
>
> This situation is complicated. I think it should be reviewed by an
> uninvolved third party, probably the FDC ombudsperson. I think it would
> take significant time and a lot of emails in this thread to accomplish what
> a review by the ombudsperson could accomplish in a faster and more thorough
> manner.
>
> Would you or someone else from the Grants staff please address the more
> broader questions that I raised earlier? I realize that these may have been
> easily overlooked due to the high volume of email on this list recently, so
> I'll repeat here.
>
> "Several interesting comments have been made in this thread regarding the
> value of a more holistic evaluation of the FDC and GAC processes with
> regards to chapters especially regarding the hiring of a chapter's first
> full time employee. There have also been comments made regarding the
> "heavy" nature of the FDC grant application process. Would the WMF staff
> please indicate whether a review of these concerns is under consideration,
> if so, how they plan to conduct the review?"
>
> I think you partially addressed these questions in your response but I
> would appreciate a more direct reply from you, Anasuya, Jessie, or anyone
> else in the Grantmaking and Programs group. Please feel free to fork into a
> separate thread if you like.
> Thanks,
>
> Pine
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
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>



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Senior Director of Grantmaking
Wikimedia Foundation*
*
*
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!
Support Wikimedia <https://donate.wikimedia.org/>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Jessie Wild
Following-up with a few more pieces of material:

*FDC Frequently Asked Questions: Process of Continuous Improvement[1]
*2012-13 FDC Round 1 survey results[2]


[1]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Frequently_asked_questions#FDC_Process_Continuous_Improvement
[2]
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Feedback_and_continuous_improvement_of_the_FDC_process/Process_Survey/2012-13_Round_1



On Wed, May 8, 2013 at 3:43 PM, Anasuya Sengupta <[hidden email]>wrote:

> Hi Pine,
>
> My apologies for the tardiness of this reply; I've been away in India with
> family and am only just back.
>
> It's an important question to ask, because the Grantmaking team's programs
> - including the FDC process - have and are being set up with a strong
> self-evaluation component. We exist to support our movement through grants
> and shared knowledge as key resources, and we can only do this well if
> we're good at listening and learning ourselves.
>
> Overall, we're looking at multiple feedback mechanisms (including surveys
> and discussion groups at conferences like WMConf, Wikimania). As an
> example, we did a survey of the FDC Round 1 process which we shared in
> Milan, and used as a way to get more face-to-face feedback. This helps us
> know both broad and specific areas that we need to improve on and to do so
> quickly and appropriately. One thing to keep in mind with grantmaking
> programs is that process feedback is easily and quickly incorporated (like
> wiki-tables that made life miserable for FDC Round 1 applicants and we
> could improve for Round 2 applicants). However, substantive feedback (like
> the nature of questions, or entirely new sections of inquiry) need to be
> incorporated at the end of the year for the new year, so that the nature of
> the proposal doesn't change dramatically over the year, or from one round
> to the next: it's not fair on either the new folks applying, or the
> committee reviewing the proposals. We intend to do surveys of all our major
> grantmaking programs over the next few months, so that we have a good
> baseline against which to measure our progress as a team.
>
> Again, it's useful to remember that our proposal processes might seem
> 'heavy' to many in the movement, but they're pretty light-weight (with the
> possible exception of wiki-tables) in comparison to other grantmaking
> processes that are far more demanding for far smaller grant amounts. As a
> comparison, in the human rights and social justice grantmaking world, most
> grants are in the range of 5,000-50,000 USD.
>
> For the FDC in particular, the FDC Advisory Group will assess the first
> year, and towards the end of the second year (March 2014), give the Board a
> recommendation on whether the mechanism works (or not) and should continue
> (or not).  The FDC Ombudsperson also gives an annual report which is
> independent and autonomous on the FDC process.[1] With these various
> inputs, the staff and FDC will create a report for Year 1 which we hope
> will be shared back with the community at Wikimania.
>
> Other forms of external or independent assessments will also be part of our
> process: Kevin Gorman's retrospective of the grants program so far, for
> instance, was really useful and we've already incorporated several of his
> recommendations.[2] With the Program Evaluation team, we're also going to
> get much better at sharing the good and best practices that already exist
> in the movement, and at pointing out work that's relevant from other
> movements.
>
> Finally, we're planning some internal and external research to better
> provide guidance to grant applicants on issues like potential growth
> trajectories and useful ways of thinking about moving from entirely
> volunteer to staffed groups. We're obviously not working on this in
> isolation - there has already been some good thinking within the movement
> on this - and we'd be glad to be in conversation with anyone who wants to
> work with us on these issues.
>
> The Grantmaking team is a work in progress - we didn't exist in our present
> form last year, we've essentially restructured and reconfigured ourselves
> over the past few months, set up the FDC and IEG processes, and learnt
> rapidly about what works (and what might not) - and we're always open to
> feedback. If people are uncertain about who to reach out to, please do get
> in touch with me: as the person who heads the Grantmaking team, (some
> element of) the buck does stop with me. :-)
>
> thanks,
> Anasuya
>
> [1]
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Framework_for_the_Creation_and_Initial_Operation_of_the_FDC#FDC_Ombudsperson
> [2]https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Retrospective_2009-2012
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 9:34 PM, ENWP Pine <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Asaf,
> >
> > Thank you for sharing your perspective.
> >
> > This situation is complicated. I think it should be reviewed by an
> > uninvolved third party, probably the FDC ombudsperson. I think it would
> > take significant time and a lot of emails in this thread to accomplish
> what
> > a review by the ombudsperson could accomplish in a faster and more
> thorough
> > manner.
> >
> > Would you or someone else from the Grants staff please address the more
> > broader questions that I raised earlier? I realize that these may have
> been
> > easily overlooked due to the high volume of email on this list recently,
> so
> > I'll repeat here.
> >
> > "Several interesting comments have been made in this thread regarding the
> > value of a more holistic evaluation of the FDC and GAC processes with
> > regards to chapters especially regarding the hiring of a chapter's first
> > full time employee. There have also been comments made regarding the
> > "heavy" nature of the FDC grant application process. Would the WMF staff
> > please indicate whether a review of these concerns is under
> consideration,
> > if so, how they plan to conduct the review?"
> >
> > I think you partially addressed these questions in your response but I
> > would appreciate a more direct reply from you, Anasuya, Jessie, or anyone
> > else in the Grantmaking and Programs group. Please feel free to fork
> into a
> > separate thread if you like.
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Pine
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
>
>
>
> --
> ***Anasuya Sengupta
> Senior Director of Grantmaking
> Wikimedia Foundation*
> *
> *
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
> the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!
> Support Wikimedia <https://donate.wikimedia.org/>
> _______________________________________________
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>



--
*Jessie Wild
Learning & Evaluation *
*Wikimedia Foundation*
*
*
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

ENWP Pine
In reply to this post by Asaf Bartov-2
Thanks a lot for the replies, Anasuya and Jessie. It will be interesting to see the evolution and impact of WMF grantmaking in the months and years ahead.

Pine


> Date: Wed, 8 May 2013 15:43:15 -0700
> From: Anasuya Sengupta <[hidden email]>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2
> decisions
> Message-ID:
> <CAKK0PRxtmW8tyq=O_bCyCA696H8ObvCtgBTm==[hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> Hi Pine,
>
> My apologies for the tardiness of this reply; I've been away in India with
> family and am only just back.
>
> It's an important question to ask, because the Grantmaking team's programs
> - including the FDC process - have and are being set up with a strong
> self-evaluation component. We exist to support our movement through grants
> and shared knowledge as key resources, and we can only do this well if
> we're good at listening and learning ourselves.
>
> Overall, we're looking at multiple feedback mechanisms (including surveys
> and discussion groups at conferences like WMConf, Wikimania). As an
> example, we did a survey of the FDC Round 1 process which we shared in
> Milan, and used as a way to get more face-to-face feedback. This helps us
> know both broad and specific areas that we need to improve on and to do so
> quickly and appropriately. One thing to keep in mind with grantmaking
> programs is that process feedback is easily and quickly incorporated (like
> wiki-tables that made life miserable for FDC Round 1 applicants and we
> could improve for Round 2 applicants). However, substantive feedback (like
> the nature of questions, or entirely new sections of inquiry) need to be
> incorporated at the end of the year for the new year, so that the nature of
> the proposal doesn't change dramatically over the year, or from one round
> to the next: it's not fair on either the new folks applying, or the
> committee reviewing the proposals. We intend to do surveys of all our major
> grantmaking programs over the next few months, so that we have a good
> baseline against which to measure our progress as a team.
>
> Again, it's useful to remember that our proposal processes might seem
> 'heavy' to many in the movement, but they're pretty light-weight (with the
> possible exception of wiki-tables) in comparison to other grantmaking
> processes that are far more demanding for far smaller grant amounts. As a
> comparison, in the human rights and social justice grantmaking world, most
> grants are in the range of 5,000-50,000 USD.
>
> For the FDC in particular, the FDC Advisory Group will assess the first
> year, and towards the end of the second year (March 2014), give the Board a
> recommendation on whether the mechanism works (or not) and should continue
> (or not).  The FDC Ombudsperson also gives an annual report which is
> independent and autonomous on the FDC process.[1] With these various
> inputs, the staff and FDC will create a report for Year 1 which we hope
> will be shared back with the community at Wikimania.
>
> Other forms of external or independent assessments will also be part of our
> process: Kevin Gorman's retrospective of the grants program so far, for
> instance, was really useful and we've already incorporated several of his
> recommendations.[2] With the Program Evaluation team, we're also going to
> get much better at sharing the good and best practices that already exist
> in the movement, and at pointing out work that's relevant from other
> movements.
>
> Finally, we're planning some internal and external research to better
> provide guidance to grant applicants on issues like potential growth
> trajectories and useful ways of thinking about moving from entirely
> volunteer to staffed groups. We're obviously not working on this in
> isolation - there has already been some good thinking within the movement
> on this - and we'd be glad to be in conversation with anyone who wants to
> work with us on these issues.
>
> The Grantmaking team is a work in progress - we didn't exist in our present
> form last year, we've essentially restructured and reconfigured ourselves
> over the past few months, set up the FDC and IEG processes, and learnt
> rapidly about what works (and what might not) - and we're always open to
> feedback. If people are uncertain about who to reach out to, please do get
> in touch with me: as the person who heads the Grantmaking team, (some
> element of) the buck does stop with me. :-)
>
> thanks,
> Anasuya
>
> [1]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Framework_for_the_Creation_and_Initial_Operation_of_the_FDC#FDC_Ombudsperson
> [2]https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Retrospective_2009-2012
>
>
     
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Milos Rancic-2
In reply to this post by Asaf Bartov-2
I have one general appeal to all new global Wikimedia bodies, including FDC:

Wikimedia movement structure is becoming more complex and it will
become just more and more complex. That's very good, as it signals
that proper steps have been made regarding our organizational growth.

Presently, we are experiencing problems of increasing complexity. In
relation to grants, the structure has been moved from communication
with one person to communication with a body, which is still in the
process of formation. I suppose that it will be just more complex in
the future: FDC will likely create sub-committees at appropriate time
and interested groups will have just one more level of communication.

Making that process acceptable and non-frustrating means that the
whole structure has to function much more precise, much more clear,
with much more responsibility. Otherwise, we'll finish into deadend of
unclear and frustrating relations.

I want to say that there will be just more and more situations where a
person in the position of power (which could be a WMF employee while
handling application of one chapter) doesn't see something as a big
deal, as it could be reasonably treated as nothing important from the
position of that person, creates at the other side a lot of troubles.

That could be solved by increased empathy: put yourself in the
position of someone who asks for grant and think what could they feel
if something is worded in some way, or if no options would be given at
appropriate point of time. That means that passive decision-making
process is not enough; the active approach is necessary; and that
makes difference between good and productive relations on one side,
and bureaucratic, unclear and frustrating relations on the other one.



On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 5:04 AM, Asaf Bartov <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello, everyone.
>
> 0. Meta
>
> 0.1. I do not respect the choice by Deryck -- an experienced Wikimedian --
> to voice his (understandable) frustration in a letter full of wikidrama,
> and to follow it with a direct accusation of our team of "foul play"[0].  I
> think this should not go uncommented on.  All of us deserve civility and
> courteous discussions.
>
> 0.2 I am starting this separate thread to address some of the legitimate
> questions asked on that other thread.
>
> 0.2 Please note I speak in my capacity as head of the Wikimedia Grants
> Program, since grants compliance has been a large issue in Deryck's
> narrative, but I do not speak for the (all-volunteer) FDC nor for the FDC
> staff, who can speak for themselves (though some are on vacation, so it may
> take a while).
>
> 0.3. This is a long e-mail, but I would like to believe I am both concise
> and direct.  I just have a number of different issues to respond to.  I
> have also tried to be systematic, so you can skip sections you don't care
> about.
>
> 1. Clarifications about "Eligibility"
>
> 1.1. WMHK _was eligible_ to apply for funding in FDC round 2, was informed
> of this publicly, and proceeded to apply.  FDC eligibility is determined at
> a specific point in time, and the eligibility table is not changed after
> that point in time.
>
> The effort was not "futile from the start", because at the time eligibility
> was determined, it was not clear that WMHK is in fact non-compliant, and
> the Finance team determined eligibility according to strictly
> formal/technical rules -- the grant reports _were_ submitted, just before
> the deadline, so WMHK was considered eligible.
>
> 1.2. After applying, WMHK has _fallen out of compliance_ with grant
> requirements, when it emerged (and it was not known in advance) that WMHK
> has in fact unilaterally re-purposed left-over funds from an old grant (a
> fact only revealed at our insistence to account for all funds[1], one day
> before the proposals were due) without consulting or even informing WMF.
>  Some of the questions we have asked about those funds[2] have not been
> answered to this day.  We require compliance in all existing grants before
> additional funding is sent out (though funding _can_ be _approved_ while
> some compliance issues are pending).
>
> I would like to stress that this is not a minor point of slight tardiness
> or some missing receipt -- this is actual mismanagement of funds (though
> not necessarily mis-use of funds, and NO ONE IS SUGGESTING BAD FAITH here
> -- we do not think WMHK has done anything illicit or ethically improper!),
> and _does indeed_ reflect on WMHK's ability to handle large grants.
>
> 1.3. It is WMF grantmaking staff's duty, within the FDC Framework, to
> provide a factual assessment of applying entities track record with
> previous grants.  This we have done, and anyone may see our assessments[3]
> and compare them to the facts on Meta, in the grant and grant report pages
> and their respective talk pages.
>
> WMHK was repeatedly encouraged to address this non-compliance, with
> specific reference[2] to the FDC staff assessment deadline.  We would have
> _liked_ to be able to report WMHK has addressed this issue and is in
> compliance!
>
> 1.4. It is my understanding, from reading the FDC recommendation (and
> without any "inside information" -- I was not part of the deliberations),
> that the FDC has reviewed the WMHK application with all due care, and that
> the proposal was _not_ rejected out of hand on ground of ineligibility, but
> rather on ground of
>
> "[concerns] about WMHK’s internal governance, financial management
> capacity, and capacity of its volunteers to manage a plan of this size.
> WMHK’s proposal and past activities do not sufficiently demonstrate a
> record of, or potential for, high impact. It recommends that WMHK addresses
> these issues before undertaking a plan of this extent."[4].
>
> I think it is understood (and proper) that an entity's track record --
> including not only compliance but also impact, community engagement and
> more -- is taken into account in evaluating an FDC application, alongside
> the merits of the program itself.
>
> The FDC did note WMHK's falling out of compliance, and did -- I think
> confusingly -- term it "ineligibility" in its recommendations; I think
> "eligibility" should only be used in the limited sense described in 1.1
> above.  They do correctly note that entities are expected to _remain in
> compliance_ after attaining eligibility.  This would have meant, in this
> case where a non-trivial compliance gap was discovered after eligibility
> was determined, taking urgent action to resolve the gap and supply the
> missing information.  WMHK did not do so, despite repeated public
> requests[2] and several e-mail reminders.
>
> It seems to me that had the FDC been presented with a compelling program
> plan from WMHK, and had WMHK had a stronger record of success with its
> previous program, the FDC would not have hesitated to recommend at least
> partial funding for WMHK, and if the compliance gap were to be closed
> reasonably soon, WMF would have been able to send WMHK that funding.  But
> again, as far as I can tell, non-compliance was not the only weakness in
> WMHK's application.
>
> I trust the FDC can, if need be, further clarify their primary grounds for
> recommending not to fund WMHK's plan.
>
> 1.5. In summary, I must protest against the narrative of Deryck's letter,
> wherein WMHK's proposal was rejected by malevolent WMF staff with a secret
> anti-WMHK agenda via "convenient" discoveries of trivial non-compliance
> issues, whereas it would otherwise have been guaranteed to receive full
> funding, and there was no possibility for the FDC to legitimately judge the
> proposal to be weak.  The facts about WMHK's proposal, in all the different
> aspects the FDC cares about, are different, and almost entirely public.
>
> 2. I would like to address the theory that not enough information is
> available on either the Wikimedia Grants Program or the FDC process.
>
> 2.1. I am not convinced it is so.  I would like to note, quite simply, that
> merely having information _available_ does not equal people _consuming_
> that information.  If, as I think is the case, the problem is that existing
> information is not sufficiently read or understood, we need to figure out
> ways to communicate it better, or to create stronger incentives for reading
> the information, but it is not at all clear that we need _more_ information.
>
> 2.2. Specifically, I know the FDC staff has diligently sought to have
> dialogue with the proposing entities, and specifically attempted to close
> information gaps and misconceptions some applicants have had.  FDC staff
> can probably speak to this more directly if need be, but from the public
> staff assessment, it is clear that with WMCZ, at least, this communication
> did not change their minds.  That's WMCZ's choice, of course, but it does
> mean lacking information was not the issue here.
>
> 3. Post-FDC follow-up
>
> 3.1. I would like to clarify that any entity that has not had a successful
> FDC application in the current fiscal year -- that is, including entities
> that have applied and were not funded -- is eligible for funding via the
> Wikimedia Grants Program, according to that program's standard process.
>  WMHK and WMCZ, therefore, are welcome to address their current
> non-compliance and to then apply for additional funding for program work,
> assuming it does not require full-time staff.
>
> 3.2. I will spell out (all this is in the program descriptions on Meta)
> that the Wikimedia Grants Program _can and does_ support part-time staff or
> _temporary_ full-time staff, _in the context of specific projects_.  I can
> assert I have explained this in person to some members of WMCZ (at CEE 2012
> in Belgrade) and WMHK (when I visited in late 2012).
>
> 4. Grants for growth
>
> 4.1. Nemo asserts: "It's very clear (to me) that the WMF grants system is
> not designed to make Wikimedia entities grow, but only to reinforce those
> which are already strong enough, keeping them at the same level they're
> at."  -- this is incorrect:
>
> 4.2. The Grants system (i.e. including the Foundation's different
> grantmaking programs[5]) is designed to promote impactful work towards the
> Wikimedia Mission.  That is the ultimate goal.  Helping _impactful_
> Wikimedia groups (chapters, thematic organizations, user groups) grow
> _does_ serve the mission, and therefore _is_ supported by the Grants system:
>
> 4.3. Despite Tomasz's comments, the Wikimedia Grants Program has seen some
> chapters seek and obtain progressively larger grants, and has specifically
> seen the coordinated "professionalization" of at least two chapters (WMAR
> and WMRS) via its grants.
>
> Admittedly, the _final_ grant in each of these paths would _today_ only be
> given by the FDC, as the FDC process was determined to be the appropriate
> way to fund investments such as long term leases and non-temporary
> full-time staff, but the _path_ towards that goes through successful and
> _impactful_ spending of Wikimedia Grants Program funds.  The Grants Program
> did indeed decline to fund several proposals that included staffing plans,
> and anyone is welcome to review those declined grants[6] and read my
> assessment and concerns on the talk pages.  You are welcome to ask
> questions about them as well.
>
> Helping impactful groups _grow_ is most definitely something I personally,
> as head of one of the Foundations grants programs, have done.
>
> 4.4. I encourage any group that would like to discuss a possible path to
> hiring staff through WMF grants to discuss this with me (I'm happy to have
> the discussion in public on Meta, but will defer to each group's
> preference), as WMRS has done, and we can work out a plan to achieve this,
> given certain milestones.
>
> 5. Summary
>
> I hope this helps our colleagues understand the context in which the FDC
> recommendations were made, and I am sorry I was forced to dwell on points
> of weakness, but it seems to me our public process and this public
> discussion have left no other choice.  Like everyone else, I'd much rather
> celebrate successes. :)
>
>     Asaf
>
> [0] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2013-April/125536.html
>
> [1]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Grants_talk%3AWM_HK%2FEducation_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies%2FReport&diff=5285395&oldid=5237667
> [2]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:WM_HK/Education_Toolkits_For_Liberal_Studies/Report
>
> [3] The assessment for WMHK's proposal is here:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Proposals/2012-2013_round2/Wikimedia_Hong_Kong/Staff_proposal_assessment
>
> [4]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/FDC_recommendations/2012-2013_round2
>
> [5] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Start
>
> [6]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Index/Requests#Grant_submissions_not_approved
> --
>     Asaf Bartov
>     Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>
>
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
> sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
> https://donate.wikimedia.org
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