Grants:APG/FDC recommendations/2016-2017 round 2

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Recommandations du Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC, comité de distribution des fonds) au conseil d’administration de la Wikimedia Foundation pour les demandes du 2nd tour 2016-2017.

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Le Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) s'est réuni à Varsovie en Pologne, du 12 au 14 mai 2017. Il a évalué les propositions du plan annuel (Annual Plan Grant, APG) et les documents connexes, présentées au deuxième tour du programme APG 2016-2017, afin de fournir des recommandations sur les allocations de fonds pour ces propositions au conseil d'administration de la WMF. Les recommandations du FDC pour chaque demande sont données ci-dessous.

Recommandations de financement

Les recommandations indivduelles sont données ci-dessous. Chaque recommandation de financement est dans la monnaie demandée, suivi du montant en dollars (USD) uniquement dans le but de permettre la comparaison. Les calculs et les références à ces subventions devraient toujours être effectués dans la monnaie demandée, et non sur les montants en dollars donnés pour information.

Demandeur Montant demandé Montant recommandé Recommandation indicative
en dollars américains (approx)
Changement dans l’affectation
par rapport à l’année dernière
Centre for Internet and Society INR 12 000 000 INR 12 000 000 USD 180 000 100% +14%
Wikimedia Armenia AMD 151 207 564 AMD 151 207 564 USD 302 000 100% +72%
Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimédia France EUR 686 000 EUR 343 000 USD 363 000 50% -40%
Wikimedia Norge NOK 1 850 000 NOK 1 850 000 USD 220 000 100% +15%
Total ~ USD 1 430 000 ~ USD 1 065 000

Les fonds globaux disponibles pour les entités du mouvement en ce qui concerne le plan annuel (FDC et APG simple) pour l'année 2016-17 sont 5 675 000 USD. 3 230 000 USD ont été attribué au premier tour, en laissant 2 445 000 USD disponible. 1 430 000 USD ont été demandé dans ce tour et 1 065 000 USD ont été recommandé. Les 1 380 000 USD restants peuvent être utilisé pour d'autres programmes de subventions, et ce qui n'est pas utilisé d'ici la fin de l'année retournera dans les réserves de la WMF. Le FDC fait des recommandations en différentes monnaies, les montants totaux en dollars américains sont donc des approximations basées sur les taux de change utilisés au moment de la soumission de la proposition de chaque cycle.

Commentaires propres à chaque organisation

The Centre for Internet and Society

Montant demandé : INR 12 000 000 (demande)
Allocation recommandée : INR 12 000 000

Le FDC recommande d'approuver la demande de financement du Centre for Internet and Society.

The CIS proposal is closely-aligned with the Wikimedia vision for a strategically important and potentially high-impact region. The organisation is clearly focused on increasing the number of new editors and readers of Wikimedia projects in four Indic languages through four programs – content enrichment, GLAM, skill-building, and institutional partnerships.

The organisation has demonstrated the capacity to support a range of languages within India through its focus on four language areas, combined across three thematic areas including work in other languages. The plan is targeted towards Indic language Wikimedia projects, focusing on the Kannada, Marathi, Odia and Telugu languages.

Portfolio strengths include: the flagship Train-the-Trainers program, which is showing good results; the gender gap reduction program, which has now been integrated across all activities; and a tailormade approach to each of the four focus languages instead of a "one-size-fits-all" model. Among the concerns, the Global Engagement Initiatives vertical looks more like a menu of ideas than a structured plan. It is unclear what this is trying to achieve or which of these items will be implemented.

The FDC recognises that CIS operates in a culturally diverse and logistically difficult area for programming, and CIS is doing this work well. It is appreciated that CIS seeks community opinion and responds to voiced concerns.

CIS is an effective organisation that consistently meets its targets and knows how to achieve them year after year, which is important for an organisation that has been through the FDC process for several rounds. Its grantee-defined 'footprint tracker' metric is informative. The value of bytes deleted metric shows a commitment to quality, but it may be difficult to interpret.

The budget that CIS has presented is cost-effective. The FDC appreciates the effort to significantly reduce the staffing costs despite the increased headcount. While the proposal that CIS has presented is comprehensive, its structure is hard to understand. We recommend that CIS simplify the structure of annual plans, using no more than two systems of classification and showing how these are linked to each other.

Wikimedia Arménie

Montant demandé : AMD 151 207 564 (demande)
Allocation recommandée : AMD 151 207 564

Le FDC recommande d'approuver la demande de financement de Wikimedia Arménie.

Wikimedia Armenia has been growing and delivering in innovative ways and they have been responsive to the prior recommendations of the FDC. The new staffing plan (in particular hiring the new ED) is ambitious, is a large change for the organisation, and has some risk, but if it is implemented well it has the ability to significantly advance the organization and its impact.

The FDC appreciates that Wikimedia Armenia did a good job explaining programs and activities, including the context and rationale behind them. The connections between Wikipedia and education were thoughtful and there was a clear vision of how to incorporate Wikipedia into their society in a way that has a significantly increased depth compared to activities in other countries.

WikiCamps have proven to be a successful and inspiring program, but they are also resource-intensive and the proposed attempt to make them more financially sustainable is encouraged. We recommend that Wikimedia Armenia have clear objectives for each project and metrics to measure their success or areas of improvement. WikiClubs, for example, are a good example of an activity that is both low-cost and develops leadership and community engagement.

It was noted in the WMF staff report that the Chapter has inadequate financial systems and its ability to implement successful programs surpasses its ability to evaluate results. The FDC would like to reiterate these concerns and encourages Wikimedia Armenia to address them as soon as possible.

With this proposal, Wikimedia Armenia is setting high expectations for itself in the future in terms of execution of impactful programs and raising additional funds to support them. The FDC is basing this decision in part on the expectation that Wikimedia Armenia will not request an increase in funding in future years. Future growth should be covered by funding sources other than APG.

Wikimedia Foundation

Montant demandé : n.a. (demande)
Allocation recommandée : n.a.

The FDC appreciates the Wikimedia Foundation providing its Annual Plan for review. Rather than providing detailed feedback on each program, the focus in this review is on common themes that apply throughout the WMF proposal.

The primary FDC recommendations are that:

  • Activities with direct WMF interventions in local communities in the New Reader program or in the work plan of the Partnerships and Global Reach team should either be removed from the annual plan or go through significant revision and community consultation.
  • The WMF should develop a set of metrics and SMART goals they will use and report on for the duration of the new strategic plan.
  • Staffing allocations across different parts of the WMF should be reviewed to ensure that impactful programs have the staffing resources they need.

Travail avec les communautés

The New Reader Program and the work plan of the Partnerships and Global Reach team have expensive activities with direct interventions in local communities that the FDC recommend should either be removed from the annual plan or go through significant revision and community consultation. The FDC believes that these direct intervention activities pose a significant risk to the wellbeing of the Wikimedia movement as well as being a poor use of staff and financial resources. The WMF has not demonstrated an ability to do this type of work well and in some cases has significantly damaged local communities as a consequence. The FDC is concerned that failures from previous attempts in this type of work will be repeated in new ways. The FDC recommends the WMF focus on critical activities where it has a track record of success, such as formative research and facilitation of local communities.

It is important for the WMF to clearly coordinate work with active communities and affiliates, rather than running projects independently. Programs which have already proven highly successful with communities (e.g., Community Capacity & Development work with "emerging communities") are not being expanded, while those that are closely related to past unsuccessful work are given priority (e.g., aspects of the New Readers program).

The FDC notes that the Fundraising team's efforts are showing increased co-ordination with other movement organizations, and encourages further coordination and cooperation. This work would benefit from increased integration with the activities of other WMF departments.

Branding and marketing

The FDC is concerned that several parts of the WMF plan are focused on marketing and branding projects. Marketing is not a stand-alone activity and it needs to be connected with a community of volunteers that are ready and able to support a community of readers and editors. Moreover, some parts (e.g., brand review and marketing campaigns) appear to be pre-empting the movement strategy.

Objectifs SMART

Setting clear goals is key to defining what the organization is planning to achieve, providing a baseline for evaluating the results, and adjusting the direction as needed. Although this plan lists goals, objectives and milestones, in most cases these lack targets and overall are not SMART.

The FDC recommends that the WMF have a set of metrics and SMART goals they will use and report on for the duration of the new strategic plan so that year over year comparisons of progress will be possible, and to ensure that the work is continuously impactful.

Annual planning

The FDC requests that the WMF complete the entire FDC application form for its deliberations in order to have sufficient detail to understand the annual plan and budget. In addition, significantly more background information on each project, clear budget breakdowns, and annual plan narratives for each program would be useful.


Last year the FDC recommended that the WMF Board undertake a governance review, given the situation it was in at the time. The FDC understands that this work will be starting soon, and looks forward to reading the results.

Staffing allocations

Staffing allocation across the different parts of the WMF does not appear to be commensurate with impact. In particular, Community Engagement seems to be understaffed relative to the impact it can, and does, make. It is not clear whether staffing changes are being consistently assessed across the different departments.


The FDC would like to single out the cross-departmental "Anti-harassment program" for particular praise. Harassment in Wikimedia projects is a well known but poorly understood issue. Addressing this - both culturally and technically - is a key priority set by the WMF Board and the FDC wishes to lend its weight to supporting this prioritisation. The FDC wishes to thank the Community Tech, Research and especially the Support & Safety teams for their work in this area. Not only is tackling the complex issues of online harassment important for the health of the Wikimedia movement, but also for online communities in general. Just as Wikimedia is seen as a beacon for free-culture and fact-based civil discourse, the Wikimedia Foundation is now in a position to become a leader in responding to this critical issue of online harassment.

Without diminishing the good work of the other WMF teams, the FDC would also like to particularly praise those involved in "Privacy, Security, and Data Management" activities, the "Structured Data" project, the "Community Wishlist" and those working on the new "Movement Strategy". Respectively: while other major websites suffered from highly visible security breaches, leaks and outages over the last year, the Wikimedia Foundation has not - thanks to its good security planning and prevention measures, and prudent data centre management and software maintenance. The Structured Data project is important not only for how it will integrate two powerful projects so that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, but also for creating a best-practice model obtaining restricted-grant funding. The work with the Community Wishlist is particularly noteworthy, as it directly and responsively addresses the technical improvements that the community itself thinks are most important. And finally, the FDC acknowledges the work done to deliver a new Movement Strategy that is simultaneously widely consultative yet targeted, bold yet inclusive.

Wikimédia France

Montant demandé : 686 000 € (EUR) (demande)
Allocation recommandée : 343 000 € (EUR)

Le FDC recommande de pourvoir à la demande de financement de Wikimédia France à hauteur de 50 %, pour les raisons suivantes :

  • Les résultats qu’a obtenus Wikimédia France ne sont pas à la hauteur des fonds reçus, comme expliqué dans les deux précédentes recommandations du FDC ;
  • Le potentiel en matière de retombées significatives, nettes et mesurables de la demande de cette année n’est pas suffisant pour prétendre au financement demandé ;
  • La gouvernance et la structure organisationnelle actuelles de WMFr ne semblent pas à même de poursuivre et d'atteindre les résultats recherchés efficacement.

Le FDC reconnaît le travail qu’a exigé la soumission de cette demande de la part de Wikimédia France et l’en remercie. WMFr est parvenue à développer des programmes solides, qu’ils soient centraux ou novateurs, qui ont abouti à des projets de valeur et pourraient être amenés à avoir des retombées encore plus significatives à l'avenir. Cependant, les résultats obtenus n’ont pas, dans l’ensemble, répondu aux attentes. Wikimédia France n’obtient pas des résultats à la hauteur des fonds reçus, comme cela a été expliqué dans les recommandations du FDC de 2015–16 et 2014–15 ainsi que dans l’évaluation des salariés 2016–17, et comme on peut le voir dans le rapport de progression 2015–16 de Wikimédia France. Les objectifs inclus dans la demande de cette année ne sont pas à la hauteur des fonds demandés. Il n’y a également pas de lien direct entre les effectifs salariés de Wikimédia France et les programmes abordés dans la demande.

Le FDC encourage Wikimédia France à modifier ses indicateurs et à remanier ce qui peut l’être pour la période de financement de la présente recommandation. Malgré les explications fournies, nous ne pensons pas qu’un indicateur tel que le nombre de mentions d’un programme dans la presse soit propre à évaluer la réussite ou la valeur de ces programmes aussi bien que le faisaient les indicateurs utilisés auparavant par Wikimédia France et qu’il aurait été judicieux, de l’avis du FDC, de conserver.

Le budget prévisionnel de WMFr dépend plus que jamais d'une éventuelle augmentation de la subvention du FDC par rapport à 2015–16, bien que le budget global de l'association n'ait que légèrement augmenté. Cela va à l'encontre de la recommandation du FDC en 2015–16, qui demandait à WMFr de chercher plus activement de nouvelles sources de financement.

La gouvernance de WMFr suscite également notre inquiétude. En effet, elle peut influer significativement sur la capacité de Wikimédia France à atteindre ses objectifs et à mener à bien le large éventail de programmes évoqués dans cette demande. Entre février et mai 2017, quatre membres du Conseil d’Administration de Wikimédia France élus par l’assemblée générale ont démissionné, ce qui représente près de la moitié des neuf sièges. L’explication fournie est plus préoccupante encore en ce qu’elle pourrait nuire au recrutement et au maintien de bénévoles comme administrateurs. Il est difficile de comprendre comment un conseil d’administration bénévole peut « fonctionner normalement » après le départ de 44 % de ses membres, surtout sur un laps de temps aussi court.

Le FDC s’inquiète également de la récente révision de l’organigramme de Wikimédia France, où les neuf salariés sont placés sous l’autorité d’un secrétaire général (directeur exécutif adjoint), qui est le seul poste relevant directement de la directrice exécutive. Aucune motivation n’est apportée pour justifier la nécessité pour WMFr d’avoir deux cadres pour un si petit nombre de salariés. On note également que l’équipe salariée de Wikimédia France a connu six démissions depuis la demande 2015–16 ; si une explication a été donnée, un tel niveau de rotation du personnel n'en met pas moins en doute la capacité de l’association à remplir ses objectifs de l’année et à exercer l’influence attendue. Ces questions seraient soulevées dans tout contexte où la rotation du personnel et l’organigramme mettraient en question la capacité de l’association à atteindre les objectifs et résultats définis auparavant.

Au vu de ces préoccupations, le FDC recommande que Wikimédia France subisse une évaluation de sa gouvernance. Celle-ci comprendra une révision des procédures d'orientation et de rétention des membres du conseil d'administration, une révision des règles du conseil d'administration et de l'association, notamment en ce qui concerne le renvoi de membres du conseil d'administration et la gestion des conflits d'intérêt, ainsi qu'une évaluation de la pertinence de l'organigramme. Le FDC est d'avis qu'il y a un lien entre la gouvernance de l'association et la capacité de cette dernière à produire les résultats attendus, ainsi qu'à retenir et faire vivre une communauté de bénévoles solide. Le FDC reconnait que Wikimédia France est un élément très important et apprécié du mouvement Wikimédia. C'est pourquoi le FDC recommande à la Wikimedia Foundation de prodiguer le soutien nécessaire à une telle évaluation, comme elle l'a fait pour d'autres organisations du mouvement dans le passé, et qu'elle travaille directement avec Wikimédia France pour définir la meilleure façon d'apporter un tel soutien.

Tous les programmes présentés dans cette demande sont soutenus par des bénévoles et salarié·e·s engagé·e·s et motivé·e·s dont le FDC apprécie les contributions à leur juste valeur. Le comité espère sincèrement que la mise en œuvre de ces recommandations permettra à Wikimédia France de fournir à l'équipe salariée et aux bénévoles le soutien qui leur permettra d'exprimer tout leur potentiel et d'obtenir les meilleurs résultats possibles pour le travail effectué.

Wikimédia Norvège

Montant demandé : NOK 1 850 000 (demande)
Allocation recommandée : NOK 1 850 000

Le FDC recommande d'approuver la demande de financement de Wikimedia Norvège.

The FDC appreciates how clearly WMNO has responded over the last year to the specific concerns mentioned in our previous grant recommendation, both in this application and the progress report. WMNO has acknowledged these points and adjusted its work as a direct result by consolidating staff positions and, most importantly, proactively engaging with the existing local community at all levels of its program design and implementation.

The FDC appreciates that WMNO's Community Liaison work is showing success in terms of ensuring the Chapter's responsiveness to community needs. The FDC thinks that there is still work to be done to improve the impact of WMNO's work and that the increased investment in Community Liaison activities is an effective way of directing funds toward impactful activities.

The FDC feels that WMNO's Grantee defined metrics - diversity and community hours - are very relevant to its local circumstances and most of its proposed programs, and they are measurable. This represents a significant improvement on previous years.

Work to build a community on Northern Sami language projects (and increasing the content about Sami culture on other Wikimedia language projects) is consistent with local requests, the WMNO strategic plan, and the wider Wikimedia trend towards supporting local minority/traditional languages. This project has interesting potential for future external funding support. We appreciate the iterative three-phase program schedule, with a focus that goes beyond Wikipedia, and the effort to learn from other Wikimedia affiliates also working with minority/traditional language groups.

Nevertheless, the FDC is sceptical about the likelihood of success in building the Northern Sami Wikipedia which currently has no very active editors. The Norwegian community has highlighted the importance of the Northern Sami project, but it is not clear whether they intend to contribute to it. In order to clearly determine whether the project is viable and sustainable in the longer term, the FDC recommends that WMNO performs a project assessment after phase 1. If the results are not what WMNO is expecting, the FDC recommends that WMNO re-assesses whether to continue this project.


Five proposals for this round were submitted on 1 April 2017. In preparation for their deliberations, the FDC reviewed the community commentary on each proposal as well as the responses from applicants on the discussion pages of the proposal forms and the staff proposal assessments. The FDC received a number of additional inputs, including staff assessments and analysis on impact and finances from FDC staff. This round, the FDC reviewed the past performance of each organization based on the 2014–15 impact reports and 2015-2016 progress reports. Before the face-to-face meeting, the FDC held a call on the 30th April to discuss each member's initial assessment of all proposals. After the call, but prior to the meeting, the FDC members shared an initial allocation in dollars for each proposal (excluding the WMF), as a point for beginning their discussions.

At the in-person deliberations, FDC staff presented an overview of their findings and summarized financial and programmatic themes. After these brief presentations, the FDC followed up with points of clarification and questions, before delving into discussions of each proposal in significant depth. Strengths, concerns, and general themes were recorded for all proposals, to assist later in writing the recommendation text. At the end of these initial discussions, FDC members prepared an individual and anonymous second allocation for each organization. Prior to beginning the next round of discussions about each proposal, the spread of member allocations was shown, with some basic analysis of the spread to understand the range of agreement or disagreement among the allocated amounts. From there, and following more extensive discussion, the group attained consensus for each allocation using the gradients of agreement tool. The committee next prepared a brief written summary of its analysis of each proposal, including significant factors and observations made during the decision-making process.

The text regarding the Wikimedia Foundation was written solely by FDC members, without the involvement of WMF staff.

À propos du FDC

The FDC at the November 2016 deliberations meeting.

Le Funds Dissemination Committe (FDC) pour le mouvement Wikimedia est un comité de membres de la communauté qui fait des recommandations au conseil d’administration de la Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) sur la façon d’allouer des fonds aux organisations du mouvement. Le FDC a été créé en 2012. Maintenant dans sa cinquième itération, le comité comprend neuf membres bénévoles :

Pour ce tour, aucun membre du FDC n'était en position de conflit d'intérêt et il n'y eu aucune récusation.

The WMF Board representatives to the FDC this round are Dariusz Jemielniak and Christophe Henner. At least one WMF Board representative was present at all points throughout the deliberations; Christophe Henner arrived on Saturday and was not present for any discussions relating to WMFR, while Dariusz Jemielniak was present on Friday and left on Saturday before all decisions were made. Itzik Edri was not present on Sunday for final review and drafting of the recommendations. The Ombudsperson to the APG process is Kirill Lokshin, who was not present for any part of the deliberations.

The FDC was supported by WMF staff throughout the deliberations. These staff included: Delphine Ménard, Winifred Olliff, Morgan Jue, and Chris Schilling. WMF staff present at the deliberations offered analysis, helped facilitate, took notes, and responded to any additional queries by the FDC, but did not participate in deliberations about specific proposals. Delphine Ménard was not present for a portion of the discussions related to WMFR. Not all staff were present for all portions of the deliberations.