Grants:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round2/Wikimedia Norge/Staff proposal assessment
Applicants should read this document to familiarise themselves with the assessment criteria; however, it should be edited only by FDC-related staff. The staff will use the document to set out their objective assessment of each funding request from eligible entities – specifically, to determine the extent to which plans align with the mission goals of the Wikimedia movement, and the extent to which the entity is well-placed to execute those plans effectively. The staff will base this report on proposals from entities and input from the community and other stakeholders (including, where required, deeper due-diligence on the entity's previous track record within the Wikimedia movement). The staff will provide completed reports to the FDC, which will then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on funding allocations.
|Date of submission [mm/dd/yy]||03/01/13|
|Adherence to proposal process [yes/no]||yes|
|Adherence to legal, regulatory, and policy regulations [yes/no]||yes|
|Adherence to US anti-terrorism laws [yes/no]||yes|
|Currency requested (e.g., EUR, GBP, INR)||NOK|
|Exchange rate used (currency requested to $US) and date accessed (mm/dd/yy)||5.60 NOK|
|Total amount proposed to the FDC for the upcoming year annual plan [in $US]||US$ 235,715|
|Total amount proposed to the FDC for the upcoming year annual plan [in currency requested]||1,320,000 NOK|
|Summary staff assessment [substantial concerns: none/some/many]||some|
Table I: Financial summary
|FDC funds allocated last year ($US)||FDC funds proposed this year ($US)||Change from what was allocated last year (as a +/− %)||Proposed change in staff costs (USD and % increase or decrease)|
|US$ 0||US$ 235,715||NA||NA|
To what extent does the plan address the strategic goals and priorities of the movement (one to two paragraphs)?
- It is clear that careful thought went into developing Wikimedia Norge’s Strategic Plan 2011-2015’s well-identified and achievable targets. This focused plan addresses the strategic priorities of “increasing reach” and “increasing participation”; however, there is no clear link between Wikimedia Norge’s strategy as expressed in its strategic plan and the strategic priorities it articulates in its proposal to the FDC. Metrics are included for each program in the proposal, but do not always match the strategic targets of each program. We acknowledge that annual plans may change direction because of context and do not always remain clearly aligned with earlier strategic plans, but a rationale for this shift would have strengthened Wikimedia Norge’s proposal.
- Wikimedia Norge’s GLAM work (Wikimedia-focused work with galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) considers long-term impact (sustainability) and the potential for programs to grow significantly (scalability) in its design of course material and tutorial packages, which includes a train-the-trainers methodology. If successful, these approaches could be adapted by other movement groups.
- Wikimedia Norge focuses on developing local language Wikipedias: Bokmål Wikipedia, Nynorsk Wikipedia, and Northern Sami Wikipedia. In fact, the bulk of its program budget (its budget excluding staff and administrative expenses) supports work on the Northern Sami Wikipedia, which it hopes to grow to 8 active editors. This work is primarily supported by a funding source outside the Wikimedia movement and may have indirect positive impact on the Norwegian Wikimedian community, but this link is not clear in the proposal. The proposal to create a Wikipedians in Residence program (a program that supports individual Wikipedians working directly with cultural institutions over several months or years) is not directly linked with any of the strategic priorities.
Context of the entity and community
- To what extent does the context of the entity (e.g., community participation, fundraising context, sociopolitical environment) enable or inhibit the entity's potential for impact?
- To what extent does the entity's experience or maturity enable or inhibit the entity's potential for impact?
- Wikimedia Norge is well-supported by its relationships with well-established institutional partners like Arts Council Norway within Norway and neighboring chapters in Sweden and Denmark. Along with Wikimedia Sverige, Wikimedia Danmark and Wikimedia Suomi, it is working to increase collaboration and learning among entities within that region. Until recently, Wikimedia Norge has not been deeply involved in conversations with movement groups beyond chapters in its region, but we hope Wikimedia Norge will begin to share learning and participate in conversations that benefit the wider movement.
- Wikimedia Norge’s leadership is strong despite transitions and we appreciate that the chapter has presented a proposal of this quality amidst these changes; however, the extent to which the chapter’s membership is active is not clear. We are still not certain that its proposal is supported by deep community and volunteer involvement.
Feasibility and risks for the annual plan
How feasible is the annual plan (one to four paragraphs)? Specifically:
- To what extent are the budget, staffing, availability of volunteers, and other resources realistic for achieving the anticipated outcomes?
- Are the timelines realistic for the proposed initiatives and associated activities?
- Are there acknowledged and/or unacknowledged risks in the proposal?
- Wikimedia Norge’s proposed budget growth rate is 365% (from last year’s budget of US$ 65,625 to the proposed US$ 305,357) and the proposed growth rate of movement resources allocated to Wikimedia Norge is 951% (from the US$ 22,430 in grants awarded by Wikimedia Foundation for activities in 2012 to the proposed request from the FDC of US$ 235,715).
- Wikimedia Norge’s FDC proposal does not coincide with its 2013 budget because Wikimedia Norge’s proposal to the FDC is not aligned with its January - December fiscal year. In the FDC proposal, an equivalent of about US$ 171,428 or about 56% of Wikimedia Norge’s total budget for 2013-2014 is devoted to staffing expenses. Of the remaining US$ 133,930 devoted to its programs and administration (and excluding staff expenses), administrative costs are 21% (or 9% of its total proposed budget). About US$ 35,720 is for the Saami Project, representing 27% of its proposed budget excluding staff (or 12% of its total proposed budget). About US$ 28,570, which is 21% of its budget excluding staff (or 9% of its total budget), supports meetups and chapter events. Remaining funds are devoted to GLAM activities, conferences and the Wikipedian in Residence program. The staffing expense is very high with respect to the total proposed budget and emphasizes the Saami Project (funded by an external donor).
- The staffing plan to grow from no staff to two full-time staff seems unrealistic for an organization that has no prior experience managing programs on this scale. A growth rate of movement resources of 951% is very inconsistent with the FDC’s guidelines, even considering that a transition from an all-volunteer group to one with paid staff may require a significant increase in budget. A more measured and thoughtful growth may be more appropriate for Wikimedia Norge.
- Wikimedia Norge’s record with grants presents some concerns. The entity has sometimes requested funding for its activities shortly before or even after beginning these activities (see Nordic chapter meeting and Christmas seminar grants) and has not always articulated significant impact. Inconsistencies in planning within the proposal itself support these concerns: for example, Wikimedia Norge acknowledges the Saami Project is time-consuming, yet seems to devote limited amounts of staff time to that project in its proposal. We were not able to determine the efficacy of Wikimedia Norge’s management of its grant for the Saami Project. Furthermore, Wikimedia Norge is applying for a funding period that does not align with its fiscal year instead of waiting for an FDC application round that is better aligned with its fiscal year, and Wikimedia Norge did not publish its annual plan in time for FDC staff to consider it as part of this assessment.
- While this proposal may demonstrate Wikimedia Norge’s development over the past year and shows that Wikimedia Norge is building positively on its existing program work, this proposal is unlikely to succeed as articulated. The potential impact of this plan does not justify the movement resources requested.
Summary of expert opinions and/or community commentary
- Summary of the opinions of subject-matter experts on the plan
- Summary of community commentary on the plan
- For detailed comments from the community, the FDC and FDC staff, please visit the proposal form discussion page. The summary is not an endorsement of the views expressed on the proposal form discussion page.
- Commenters disagree about the costs proposed by Wikimedia Norge. Discussions emerge around high staffing expenses that are excessive according to some and appropriate according to others. Wikimedia Norge’s ambitious staffing plan is also discussed. Some commenters suggest reducing the number of employees requested and others support the proposed hiring of two staff people. Commenters also discuss what types of qualifications and tasks may be appropriate for staff.
- Concerns about Wikimedia Norge as a perceived competitor of the Store norske leksikon are discussed. At least one community member voices concerns around Wikimedia Norge’s management of past projects, including the Saami Project, as well as the strategic trajectory of this chapter.
Table II: Scores, comments and feedback
Scores provide only a preliminary assessment for consideration by the FDC. The rubric for scoring is in table III.
|Dimensions||Criteria||Score (1–5)||Comments and feedback|
|Potential for impact against strategic priorities||(A) The plan addresses the Wikimedia movement global targets||3||WMNO's strategic plan addresses several targets such as "Increasing reach" and "Increasing participation," but there is no clear link between that plan and this proposal.|
|(B) The initiatives in the plan have the potential to lead to the global targets, if executed well||2.5||Even if executed well, it is not clear that these programs will lead to significant impact against the global targets.|
|(C) The initiatives in the plan have the potential to lead to significant impact, given context and amount of funds proposed||2||The initiatives proposed may have a significant impact in the local community, given context and amount of funds proposed, but the funding requested is too high.|
|Ability to execute||(D) The entity has the resources, skills, and capacity (staff, volunteer, non-staff) for the plan to succeed||3||The entity has some relevant capacity, but may be under-resourced for some initiatives. Strong leadership is in place and the entity is supported by partnerships, but the depth of volunteer engagement has not yet been proven.|
|(E) The entity has a record of success in similar initiatives||3||The entity has mostly succeeded with similar initiatives in the past, but on a much smaller scale.|
|(F) The entity's leadership is effective, committed, and relatively stable||3.5||Current leadership is committed to the entity; some concerns exist around board engagement.|
|Efficient use of funds||(G) The funding requested is reasonable given the proposed initiatives||2||Budgeting is not appropriate: this staffing plan is excessive for the activities proposed.|
|(H) The entity has a record of using funds efficiently and staying on budget||3.5||This entity has demonstrated some ability to spend on target.|
|Quality of proposed measures of success||(I) Clear indicators of success are outlined in the plan||3||This entity is developing metrics to track success. Though indicators and targets are often clear, they are not always strongly tied to the strategic priorities addressed by each program. Some programs do not have strong metrics.|
|(J) A plan is in place to track the proposed metrics||3||A proposal to track progress against indicators exists.|
|(K) The entity has a feasible plan in place to track the proposed metrics||3||There is some overall capacity to track and monitor metrics, but the entity does not appear to have the relevant skills to do this.|
|Potential to add knowledge and/or other benefits to the movement||(L) The initiatives in the plan, if successful, could be helpful and/or productively replicated elsewhere in the movement||3||Some initiatives may be relevant to other movement groups, such as this entity's work with local partners and the sustainable design of some of its programs.|
|(M) The entity is ready to share with the movement the lessons learned from the initiatives||3||The entity is somewhat active within the movement, and is developing more relationships with other movement entities with which it could share lessons learned.|
Table III: Scoring rubric
|Dimensions||Evaluation criteria||1 = Weak or no alignment with criterion||3 = Moderate alignment with criterion||5 = Strong alignment with criterion|
|Potential for impact against strategic priorities||(A) The plan addresses the Wikimedia movement global targets||The plan will not directly address any global targets||The plan will partially address global targets or other goals that are closely related to the global targets||The plan will directly address several global targets|
|(B) The initiatives have the potential to lead to the targets, if executed well||The initiatives have no clear connection to global targets||Some or all of the initiatives have an unclear relationship to global targets||The initiatives have been shown (by the entity or the movement) to lead to global targets|
|(C) The initiatives have the potential to lead to significant impact, given context and amount of funds proposed||The initiatives will have marginal impact in the local community and the broader Wikimedia community, given context and amount of funds proposed||The initiatives proposed may have a significant impact in the local community, given context and amount of funds proposed||The initiatives could have significant impact at scale, both in the entity's local community and in the broader movement, given context and amount of funds proposed|
|Ability to execute||(D) The entity has the resources, skills, and capacity (staff, volunteer, non-staff) for the plan to succeed||The entity has neither the number nor the amount of resources, skills, and capacity needed for success.||The entity has some relevant staff and volunteer capacity, but may be under-resourced for some initiatives||The entity is well-resourced with the relevant skills and capacity for success|
|(E) The entity has a record of success in similar initiatives||The entity has had trouble succeeding in similar initiatives||The entity has not engaged in similar initiatives in the past||The entity has conducted similar initiatives in the past and has been successful in achieving desired results|
|(F) The entity's leadership is effective, committed, and relatively stable||Leadership has been unstable (e.g., changing on an annual basis)||Current leadership is committed to the entity; some concerns exist around stability or effectiveness of leadership||Current and past leaders have demonstrated the ability to develop and execute on strategic plans; leadership team has been stable and transitions have been smooth|
|Efficient use of funds||(G) The funding requested is reasonable given the proposed initiatives||Based on FDC experience and relative to other proposals, the plan contains significant over- or under-budgeting, and/or has not thoroughly accounted for costs||Based on FDC experience and relative to other proposals, the budget is generally consistent with the initiatives; some initiatives are likely to be over- or under-budgeted||Based on FDC experience and relative to other proposals, the budget is reasonable, and rigorous cost projections have been presented|
|(H) The entity has a record of using funds efficiently and staying on budget||The entity has a poor record of budgetary management: e.g., consistently and significantly below budget (such as 50% underspending), and drawing on organizational reserves due to overspending||The entity has a middling record of budgetary management; e.g., generally on-budget for its biggest initiatives and cost items, properly recording any over- and under-spending, and with plans in place for improvements||The entity has consistently strong record of financial management; e.g., consistently staying on or below budget (within ~5% of budget), and putting surplus funds towards the entity's and/or movement's goals|
|Quality of proposed measures of success||(I) Clear indicators of success are outlined in the plan||Initiatives have no associated indicators of success, or the proposed indicators are unrealistic and/or unmeasurable||Each initiative has indicators of success, but at least some indicators are unrealistic or are not clearly connected to the initiative||Each initiative has a realistic and carefully framed set of indicators of success associated with them, which are rigorous and time-bound|
|(J) A system is in place to track the proposed metrics||The plan does not include methodology or timing for tracking and collecting metrics to measure progress against proposed indicators of success||A proposal to track progress against indicators exists, but has flawed methodology or unrealistic timelines and initiatives||The plan includes timing and tracking of proposed metrics, and additional initiatives (e.g., surveys, research) to track indicators|
|(K) The entity has a feasible system to track the proposed metrics||No systems are in place to track metrics, or staff or volunteer capacity to manage metrics tracking||There is some overall capacity (e.g., staff, volunteers) to track and monitor metrics, but the entity does not clearly have the relevant skills to do this||High-quality systems, and the necessary skills and capacity to manage these systems, are in place|
|Potential to add knowledge and/or other benefits to the movement||(L) The initiatives, if successful, could be helpful and/or productively replicated elsewhere in the movement||The initiatives would not be relevant to other movement groups||Some initiatives may be relevant to other movement groups||Many initiatives proposed are new or have seldom been tried elsewhere in the movement; if successful, other movement entities would benefit from doing similar initiatives|
|(M) The entity is ready to share with the movement the lessons learned from the initiatives||The entity is isolated from other movement groups and rarely shares information; the entity's leaders and members seldom participate in movement-wide functions||The entity is somewhat active within the movement, and is developing more relationships with other movement entities with which it could share lessons learned||The entity has regular communication with other movement entities, is a regular participant in Wikimedia events, and has a track record of sharing with others|