Grants:APG/FDC recommendations/2017-2018 Round 2

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Funds Dissemination Committee recommendation to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees for 2017-2018 round 2 applications.

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The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) met in Lisbon, Portugal, on 1–3 June 2018. It assessed the Annual Plan Grant (APG) proposals and related documents, submitted in round 2 of the 2017–2018 APG program, to provide recommendations on funding allocations to the WMF Board of Trustees. The FDC recommendations for each application appear below.

Funding recommendations


The individual recommendations are given below. Each funding recommendation is in the requested currency, with indicative amounts in US dollars for comparison purposes only. Calculations and references to these grants should always be in the requested currency, and not in the illustrative US dollars.

Applicant Amount requested Amount recommended Indicative recommendation
in USD (approx)
Percentage of request
Change in allocation
from last year
Centre for Internet and Society INR 14,888,963 INR 14,888,963 USD 223,334 100% +24.07%
Wikimedia Armenia AMD 133,727,000 AMD 133,727,000 USD 267,454 100% -11.56%
Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimédia France EUR 450,000 EUR 450,000 USD 549,000 100% -31.19%
Wikimedia Indonesia IDR 3,248,350,000 IDR 3,248,350,000 USD 227,385 100% +117.19%
Wikimedia Norge NOK 1,970,000 NOK 1,970,000 USD 250,190 100% +6.49%
Total ~ USD 1,517,363

The overall funds available for movement entities through the APG program (FDC and Simple APG) in the year 2017–18 is USD 5,675,000. Around USD 2,260,000 was allocated in round 1, leaving about USD 3,414,000 available. The equivalent of USD 1,517,363 was requested in this round, and USD 1,517,363 has been recommended. The remaining amounts in the budget may be used for other grants programs, and what is not used by the end of the year will be returned to the WMF's reserves. The FDC makes recommendations in different currencies, so these total amounts in US dollars are approximations based on the exchange rates used at the time of proposal submission in each respective round.



General remarks


The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) met in Lisbon, Portugal from 1 to 3 June 2018. It assessed the Annual Plan Grant (APG) proposals and related documents, submitted in round 2 of the 2017–2018 APG program, providing recommendations to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) Board of Trustees on funding allocations. The FDC recommendations for each application are given below. Additionally, the FDC has provided some comments on general themes that emerged during the review.

This round/cycle


The FDC was pleased to review the proposals submitted by organizations in this round, which built on those of previous years and presented the work of these organizations with coherence and clarity. We recognize the significant amount of time that staff and volunteers contribute to developing these proposals and appreciate how this informs their increased quality. We note a continuing improvement in the quality of proposals to the FDC. The FDC recommends funding all proposals in this round in the amounts requested.

Institutional expertise

We sincerely thank WMF staff for their dedicated work to support the APG process, including the deliberations. Their work with applicants has helped ensure their programs are increasingly effective and well-illustrated in proposals of improved quality.

The WMF Community Resources team has developed valuable expertise to support organizational capacity building across our movement. The FDC notes the strong correlation between increased effectiveness of the activities of organizations, and the allocation of WMF staff resources providing direct support to those organizations. This team, which has unique abilities and expertise in working with organizations in the Wikimedia movement and our communities, is crucial to the implementation of the strategic direction.

Consistent with our recommendations in previous APG rounds, we again urge the Foundation to recognise the value of this expertise and resource it appropriately for the future.

Wikimedia Foundation's annual plan

The FDC has not provided recommendations on the WMF annual plan for 2018/19 as the timeline for the Committee's deliberations fell after the deadline for consultation and publication of the WMF's plan. Nevertheless, the FDC once again encourages WMF to commit to an open, consultative approach to its annual planning. The Foundation is strongly encouraged to build into its annual planning process a way of effectively soliciting and responding to structured feedback from the Wikimedia movement.

Sharing lessons

Organizations in this APG round continue to demonstrate willingness and ability to learn from other movement organizations and share the results of their experience. This is a valuable activity; continuing to track and share this work though progress and impact reporting as well as participating in movement-wide events and the strategy implementation process should remain a movement priority.

The year ahead


The FDC will not be meeting for deliberations for the 2018/19 APG round in November as we have done in past years. Instead, and working with members of the Community Resources Team, FDC members will support a light-touch review process, considering impact and progress reports. Applicants will complete simplified proposal documents as a basis for continued funding. We very much look forward to continuing to hear and learn from funded organizations.

This change in process will allow committee members, staff and applicants to focus capacity, time and energy on actively participating in the movement strategy implementation phase.


As part of the research that will inform the forthcoming strategic planning implementation phase, the FDC recommends a formal evaluation of the Annual Plan Grant processes and structures that involves stakeholders across the movement. The FDC will outline a basis for this work, detailing its potential scope and the resources needed to undertake it.

Through both APG and Simple APG rounds in 2017/18 all funding set aside for community grant making was allocated. It represents the largest single-year allocation of APG funds to date and shows the growing need of organizations in our movement for financial resources and capacity development. This need should be considered in the strategy implementation process.

The Centre for Internet and Society


Amount requested: INR 14,888,963 (Proposal, Discussion, WMF staff assessment)
Recommended allocation: INR 14,888,963

The FDC recommends approving the Centre for Internet and Society's Access To Knowledge (CIS-A2K) funding request.

CIS-A2K has consistently achieved its targets. This proposal provides a coherent narrative that builds on existing delivery and continues to improve programme quality. The new focus on leadership development is welcomed as a way of capacity building within the existing Indic language Wikimedian communities.

The FDC welcomed detail provided about partnership work and how this is coordinated to complement program delivery. Success with programs such as "Train the Trainer" reflects good work to replicate programs developed elsewhere in the movement and make them work in CIS-A2K's complex context.

The FDC notes that proposals from previous years showed greater focus on gender gap work. In light of both the new movement strategy and real need for this work in India, it was regrettable that this is not included to the same degree this year. We would like to see that planned programs address gender gap issues in CIS-A2K's specific context.

We appreciated that CIS-A2K recognizes it needs to work on improving retention of existing editors as well as recruiting newly registered users. However, it is not clear from the proposal how this will be delivered through specific programs as described, or how this will be evaluated. The FDC would like to see more thoughtful grantee-defined metrics and evaluation, to make CIS-A2K's model more replicable. For example, the metric to measure community evaluation is a welcome attempt to provide qualitative community feedback. However, the process of selecting participants, structuring, or responding to their contributions is not described, and so it is unclear if it will be sufficiently rigorous to be useful to CIS-A2K or other movement organizations.

This is the fifth annual plan grant made to support CIS-A2K, which reflects confidence in their work and the value it holds for the Wikimedia movement.

Wikimedia Armenia


Amount requested: AMD 133,727,000 (Proposal, Discussion, WMF staff assessment)
Recommended allocation: AMD 133,727,000

The FDC recommends approving Wikimedia Armenia's funding request.

Wikimedia Armenia is a mature, stable organization that has presented a program built on continued development, expansion and adaptation of projects. There is clear evidence that they are a learning organization, and that they use this learning to make improvements to programming and organizational development that reflect their local opportunities and realities. Program expenses are directed appropriately toward projects that provide impact and previous FDC recommendations have been effectively implemented.

Wikimedia Armenia has built a consistent narrative in the past years, addressing the needs of its local community through projects of interest that ensure active participation and both organizational and community sustainability through its volunteers. Specifically, the FDC recognizes the major achievement of attaining an ISO code for the Western Armenian language, allowing for the development of Wikimedia projects written in that language.

During the course of the past year, Wikimedia Armenia went through complex organizational challenges. The FDC recognizes that Wikimedia Armenia acted in a timely and effective manner to reduce the impact of those challenges and to reach an effective resolution. The chapter has strengthened its organizational and administrative structures in a way that provides better support to programs.

Wikimedia Armenia has demonstrated significant skill in working within a volatile and complicated local political and social context. As Armenia goes through recently initiated major changes, we trust Wikimedia Armenia to successfully strengthen its relationships with new partners, and to remain an effective and independent organization.

The program presented includes some complex evaluation metrics that may be too narrow and specific for overall program evaluation. They may be relevant for internal monitoring but are in some cases not suited to high level evaluation. The FDC suggests that Wikimedia Armenia consider a more detailed evaluation of its flagship program, WikiCamps, to verify that it provides impact both in terms of immediate content creation and for sustainable long-term community building.

Wikimedia Foundation


Amount requested: n.a. (Proposal)
Recommended allocation: n.a.

Wikimédia France


Amount requested: 450,000 € (EUR) (Proposal, Discussion, WMF staff assessment)
Recommended allocation: 450,000 € (EUR)

The FDC recommends approving Wikimedia France's funding request.

In the last year Wikimedia France has undergone major governance changes. It has been a very challenging period for the organization, and the chapter board, staff, and members have worked hard to rebuild. This has been a complicated and painful process and so we wish to commend WMFR for its diligent work.

Overcoming a major crisis is a sign of strength in an organization, and Wikimedia France has been able to do that thanks not only to its leadership, but also its community, which is playing a vital role. The relationship between the community and Wikimedia France has been strengthened and improved through this process. By recommending the allocation of the requested grant we wish to express our confidence in the organization's increasing stability and ability to deliver programs with good results.

We are pleased to see that the Chapter has created a new GLAM strategy and will be placing attention on this as a core element of its first programmatic area. While we appreciate that the French community has a healthy decentralized GLAM liaison network, we commend the Chapter's renewed focus on this area to simultaneously reach targets in partnerships and content improvement. LinguaLibre and the Chapter's MOOC projects also have great potential for continued success within France and French-speaking communities, as well as adoption in other parts of the movement. We appreciate the strength and diversity of the programmatic areas WMFR has built over the years, in close collaboration with a network of regional groups – which are logically connected to the chosen metrics of ‘volunteer hours' and ‘partner satisfaction'.

Wikimedia France is planning to significantly reduce its expenses compared to last year. This indicates a thoughtful review of priorities.

Wikimédia Indonesia


Amount requested: 3,248,350,000 IDR (Proposal, Discussion, WMF staff assessment)
Recommended allocation: 3,248,350,000 IDR

The FDC recommends approving Wikimedia Indonesia's funding request.

Wikimedia Indonesia enters the APG process with a well-considered application and a proven track record of programmatic work and funds management. Their proposal reflects a well-defined strategy, weaving a thread of integration among the chapter's four umbrella programs. The budget follows logically from the proposed activities.

The FDC appreciates the locally contextual work of the Chapter, deeply founded on the involvement of volunteers.

The application presents a set of both proven and novel ideas. The WikiLatih training program is interesting and relevant. The content creation program takes the opportunity to bring the local culture to Wikimedia and besides competitions it involves two innovative tech projects: ‘Bridging the semantic gap on Wikidata' and the Javanese script OCR recognition. The FDC recognizes the relevance of these projects and the partnerships established by Wikimedia Indonesia to take on these ambitious challenges. We appreciate that both the Wikidata work and the OCR initiative are well aligned with the needs of the users of non-Wikipedia projects (Wikidata, Wikisource). The work to increase coverage of Indonesian cultures and languages on Wikimedia projects is valuable.

The FDC was particularly interested in the unique organizational structure of Wikimedia Indonesia, composed of a separate Board of Trustees and an Executive Committee, as well as its staffing model. We believe it allows Wikimedia Indonesia to foster and retain a wide, healthy community sharing the learned experience and various perspectives. The FDC encourages Wikimedia Indonesia to present their lessons from this governance model more broadly.

Wikimedia Indonesia has followed a unique pathway in the Wikimedia movement, raising and managing funds from external sources for many years. The FDC is pleased to see a strong organization from Asia join the FDC process and wishes WMID continuing success in fulfilling its mandate.

Wikimedia Norge


Amount requested: NOK 1,970,000 (Proposal, Discussion, WMF staff assessment)
Recommended allocation: NOK 1,970,000

The FDC recommends approving Wikimedia Norge's funding request.

The FDC appreciates Wikimedia Norge's alignment with elements of the movement strategy, through their engagement with small languages and the chapter's continued progress on their gender gap work.

This proposal illustrates steady, incremental improvements in the programs and outcomes of Wikimedia Norge. Wikimedia Norge is a reliable movement partner that needs to find ways of deepening and accelerating its impact as a chapter.

We are pleased to see and support funding for an increased investment in their GLAM program as it is a significant step in its partnership with the National Library and adding content about women authors. We also appreciate WMNO's thematic focus on diversity and its use of a grantee-defined metric to measure diversity in its programmatic work.

We recommend that Wikimedia Norge continue to strengthen its partnership relationships and outcomes, as this is seen by the FDC as an important area for the chapter. We encourage the chapter to continue to look at ways of increasing its impact through more shared engagements such as the new GLAM position and expanding its volunteer base.



Five proposals for this round were submitted on 1 April 2018. 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 11th May 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.

About the FDC

The FDC at the June 2018 deliberations meeting.

The Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) for the Wikimedia movement is a committee of community members that makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) about how to allocate funds to movement organisations. The FDC was established in 2012. Now in its fifth iteration, the committee comprises nine volunteer members:

This round, no FDC member had perceived or possible conflicts of interest and there were no recusals. Candelaria Laspeñas gave apologies as she was unable to be present for this round of deliberations.

The WMF Board representatives to the FDC this round are Dariusz Jemielniak and Nataliia Tymkiv. At least one WMF Board representative was present at all points throughout the deliberations; Natalia was present 1st – 3rd June, while Dariusz Jemielniak was present on 3rd June. 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, Lauren Miranda, 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. Not all staff were present for all portions of the deliberations.