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Grants:APG/Proposals/2017-2018 round 1/Wikimedia Czech Republic/Staff proposal assessment

The staff proposal assessment is one of the inputs into the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) proposal review process, and is reviewed by the FDC in preparation for and during the in-person deliberations each round. The purpose of the staff proposal assessment is to offer the FDC an overview of the expert opinions of the FDC staff team about this annual plan grant proposal, and includes (1) A narrative assessment; (2) An assessment that scores each applicant according to specific criteria in program design, organizational effectiveness, and budgeting.

OverviewEdit

SummaryEdit

Current (projected)

Upcoming (proposed)

Proposed change (as a +/- percentage)

FDC or other relevant funding

$81,174 $136,038 67.59%

Budget

$86,944 $136,470 56.96%

Staff (FTE)

2.73 2.73 0%

OverviewEdit

This section summarizes the themes that emerged from the proposal, which are explained in the detailed narrative section of this assessment.

ThemesEdit

  • Balance of new ideas and proven approaches
  • Responsiveness to their communities
  • Stability and effectiveness
  • Long term strategy
  • Long term sustainability

This plan includes a good balance of proven approaches and new ideas, as do plans from years past. WMCZ has consistently generated new ideas, while at the same time limiting risk of failure. However, the organization overall, and some programs in particular, are reliant on individual volunteers or a handful of very active volunteers. This may mean that some programs are not sustainable in the long term, as volunteer availabilities and interests shift.

After several years in the SAPG process, WMCZ has built a stable and effective organization, and has given great care to developing their organization’s capacity. WMCZ is an agile organization that is responsive to expressed needs and interests, with strong roots in the community. Agility and responsiveness is healthy in an organization of this size, but WMCZ should also take care that new projects (such as the Commons App) fit within a coherent plan.

Staff proposal assessment narrativeEdit

This section takes an in-depth look at this organization's past performance and current plans.

Context and effectivenessEdit

This section takes a close look at this organization's context. Here are some questions we will consider:

EnvironmentEdit

How does this organization's environment (including its local context and its community) enable this plan to succeed and have impact?

WMCZ is an organization with strong community ties, that is highly responsive to the needs of the communities they work with. They adjusted their plans and focus areas over the years to better respond to the interests and needs of their community. One example is their shift of focus to Wikidata work at the request of their communities.

One benefit of this, is that they have maintained a lot of volunteer involvement in their organization, even as they have increased their organization’s capacity by hiring people with professional expertise in nonprofits and programs. Programs like their Media Acquisition program and their Education program have historical roots in the community, and involve volunteer leaders.

WMCZ is situated in a relatively small geographic area within central Europe. They seem to be taking advantage of opportunities to collaborate with neighboring groups, like WMAT, and have given some thought to how they may expand their community work to areas outside of Prague by supporting communities in Czechia’s second city, Brno. Their content focus has a larger geographic reach within Czechia, as they are documenting objects throughout the country through their Media Acquisition work.

Past performanceEdit

Will this organization's past performance with program implementation enable this plan to succeed?

WMCZ has several years experience implementing programs in their areas of focus, and has been achieving good results from year to year in terms of both qualitative and quantitative achievements. They have been pursuing their flagship Media Acquisition work since before 2010. This program consistently generates content and motivates their communities, and is leading to the extensive documentation of culturally and geographically relevant objects throughout Czechia. It has inspired similar programs in other regions.

Based on past results, it is likely that WMCZ’s programs will lead to more content being generated than they are projecting, due to setting low targets. For example, WMCZ had already achieved more than 25,000 content pages created or improved by the midpoint of 2017, with a target of 32,000 for the entire year.

Education work is generating results in terms of articles created or improved. WMCZ’s work with seniors has been an inspiration to the movement. It has generated encouraging results in terms of contributor retention, and is also a contribution toward age diversity within the CZ communities. This program relies on the dedication of volunteers and partner organizations, and is expanding to other areas of Czechia as new partner organizations become involved. This program seems to have the potential to scale and expand, with good results for years to come.

Wikidata is a newer work area for WMCZ, which was emphasized in the 2017 plan. After their first Wikidata workshop, 5,000 new items related to Czech cultural heritage were added. Work in Prague leading up to the Vienna Hackathon led to interest in collaborating more closely with the Wikimedia Commons App developer community. They achieved their goal of providing a map of "nearby unphotographed objects", and this map has been viewed 940 times since.

Organizational effectivenessEdit

Will this organization's overall effectiveness enable this plan to succeed?

WMCZ is an organization that achieves balance in many aspects of their work. For example, WMCZ has developed a number of unique or interesting program ideas over the years, from the Mediagrant tracker to their successful work with seniors to their community-focused Wikidata work. While they are eager to innovate, they also balance this with steady improvement of proven program approaches year over year. This results in a consistently balanced portfolio of activities.

WMCZ is also balanced in their approach to organizational development. They have made some bold strides to professionalize their organization while showing a great deal of attention to building their organization’s capacity to support this growth in staff and budget along the way. Furthermore, they have balanced this growth in staff with the cultivation of volunteer leaders, who work with staff in a collaborative way to run each of WMCZ’s programs.

Here are just a few examples of ways in which WMCZ has incorporated feedback from the SAPG committee and staff in past years to build a strong foundation for their current FDC application: (1) the successful recruitment, onboarding, and hiring of their ED; (2) steady growth in their capacity to create and manage an accurate and sensible budget; (3) the codevelopment of staff and volunteer leadership roles that work hand in hand; (4) increased definition in their program planning and goal-setting; (5) development of a strategic plan.

As a result of these good practices, WMCZ now has a capable organization that will be a good foundation for their future work. Work is still needed in taking care to foster volunteer leadership, and ensure there is a pipeline of volunteers who are interested in and capable of serving on the organization’s board in future years and capable of taking on critical roles in the organization’s program work in order to make programs more sustainable in the long term. Work also needs to be done to ensure that the composition of the board reflects the diversity of the communities WMCZ would like to serve in the future.

Strategy and programsEdit

This section takes a close look at this organization's programs. Here are some questions we will consider:

StrategyEdit

Does this organization have a high-quality strategic plan in place, and are programs well-aligned with this strategic plan?

WMCZ has produced a strategy document that covers the period 2017–2020. This strategy’s emphasis is highly operational. While this may make sense at WMCZ’s current stage of development, because WMCZ has had a lot of work to do in creating a stable and effective organization, it may not scale and serve them well as they grow. The new strategic direction might be an opportunity for WMCZ to revise and refine their own strategy.

ProgramsEdit

Do proposed programs have specific, measurable, time-bound objectives with clear targets, and are program activities and results logically linked? Are there specific programs with a high potential for impact?

WMCZ has included some relevant grantee-defined metrics that tell us more about what they hope to achieve through their programs, and especially their media acquisition work. It is very good to see them setting a target for both the number of objects covered and files used, rather than simply focusing on numbers of images generated. It is also helpful to understand the geographical coverage they are aiming for, and what they want to achieve for each program. This helps to give us a better sense of the value they are bringing in terms of covering geographically relevant content. These three metrics taken together give a good picture of the impact their mediagrant program has.

Education work continues to be a high potential area for WMCZ. Through this, they are generating articles, but are also increasing the diversity of contributors to Czech Wikipedia by targeting groups like seniors and younger students. Aspects of their senior-focused program are unique, including the targeting of seniors and their success with retaining contributors through this program. It is nice to see them developing this successful program by attempting to expand it through partnerships in multiple cities, and to strategize about ways to get participating seniors more involved with other chapter activities. This makes a connection between this program’s benefits for seniors and the chapter’s long term needs to attract more volunteers to leadership positions. Very smart!

The Wikidata program is well-placed, since they are taking advantage of existing momentum around this topic in their community. This is something they developed in 2017 and are expanding significantly in this proposal. It’s a good long term strategy, as Wikidata is an up and coming theme in the Wikimedia movement. It’s also good to see some technical work with GLAMs moving forward as part of this.

BudgetEdit

Is this plan and budget focused on the programs with the highest potential for online impact?

WMCZ is requesting an increase largely to cover their existing staffing expenses, which increased in the second half of 2017. Other than this, their organization and program plan remains stable.

Most importantly, with unrestricted funding, they can finally buy their inflatable tent.

Summary of expert opinions (if applicable)Edit

This section will summarize any expert opinions or other research.

N/A

Staff proposal assessment frameworkEdit

This framework assesses annual plan grant proposals across the three dimensions of (1) Program design, (2) Organizational effectiveness, and (3) Budgeting. To complete the assessment, we identify whether each criterion is a strength or a concern:

  • Major strength
  • Strength
  • Neither a strength nor a concern
  • Concern
  • Major concern

Criterion

Assessment

Description

Program design

P1. Strategy

Neither We appreciate that WMCZ developed a strategic plan prior to entering the FDC process, and also that it will provide some concrete direction for their organizational development; however, we find that operational emphasis of this plan does not provide a clear enough road map for prioritizing program activities and this may be reflected in the plan, where some activities fit better than others.

P2. Potential for impact at scale

Neither WMCZ's programs are posed to have good local impact, proportionate with the funds they are requesting. Work on the Commons app may have broader impact if implemented successfully.

P3. Objectives and evaluation methods

Strength WMCZ has created a clear plan with precise SMART objectives and relevant targets. Based on their capacity, it is likely that they will implement the evaluation plan described. Their metrics of number objects is particularly interesting in documenting the content gap.

P4. Diversity

Neither WMCZ runs a successful and interesting program with seniors (age diversity), but other than this, we don't see diversity much emphasized.

Organizational effectiveness

O1. Past results

Strength For the most part (with the exception of the Commons app), WMCZ has experience implementing similar programs successfully in the past. Past results indicate that they are likely to achieve on target.

O2. Learning

Strength WMCZ was applicant to the APG-FDC process and did not have success before. This proposal is proof that WMCZ has shown a willingness to learn and incorporate feedback, while at the same they time have done an effective job documenting their achievements and failures to share with others.

O3. Improving movement practices

Strength For an organization of their size, WMCZ is doing well in this area. They coordinate very actively with other groups in Central Europe, such as WMAT and contribute actively to the CEE collective. They are developing and sharing program practices, such as their work with seniors, that are being adopted by others. They are also aiming to make some modest contributions on an international scale through the introduction of their work with the Commons app.

O4. Community engagement

Strength WMCZ is a grassroots volunteer-led organization. Despite the hiring of professional staff in recent years, they have maintained their volunteer orientation and volunteers and staff are actively involved in all of their program activities.

O5. Capacity

Strength WMCZ has grown their organization gradually through several years in Simple APG and now have stabilized their staffing structure to include and ED and several program-focused staff. Staff and board work effectively together to implement programs, and also collaborate with volunteer leaders. In line with this, WMCZ has produced a clear plan that will also be reasonable for the organization to implement with the expertise they have.

Budget

B1. Past budgeting and spending

Strength WMCZ has grown their organization gradually through several years in Simple APG and now have stabilized their staffing structure to include and ED and several program-focused staff. Staff and board work effectively together to implement programs, and also collaborate with volunteer leaders. In line with this, WMCZ has produced a clear plan that will also be reasonable for the organization to implement with the expertise they have.

B2. Budget is focused on impact

Strength It seems likely that funds will result in proportionate impact and that staff resources are dedicated to areas with good potential.

This staff proposal assessment is the work of FDC staff and is submitted by: Morgan Jue (WMF) (talk) 00:12, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Staff proposal assessment frameworkEdit

  • Major strength. This is something the organization does very well, and this is a strong indicator of future success.
  • Strength. This is something that the organization does well, and this could indicate future success.
  • Neither a strength nor a concern. This is something that does not indicate future success or make funding the application a risk, or aspects of this criterion conflict.
  • Concern. This is something that the organization does not do well, and this could make funding the application a risk.
  • Major concern. This is an area where the organization is not strong, and this could make funding the application a serious risk.

Criterion

Description

Program design

P1. Strategy

The organization has a quality strategic plan in place, programs are aligned with this strategy, and this strategy is aligned with online impact.

P2. Potential for impact at scale

Programs could lead to significant online impact at scale, and corresponding to the amount of funds requested

P3. Evaluation methods

Programs include a plan for measuring results and ensuring learning, and employ effective evaluation tools and systems. Programs include SMART objectives, targets, and logic models.

P4. Diversity

Programs will expand the participation in and reach of the Wikimedia movement, especially in parts of the world or among groups that are not currently well-served.

Organizational effectiveness

O1. Past results

This organization has had success with similar programs or approaches in the past, and has effectively measured and documented the results of its past work.

O2. Learning

This organization is addressing risks and challenges effectively, is learning from and documenting its experiences, and is applying learning to improve its programs.

O3. Improving movement practices

This organization effectively shares learning about its work with the broader movement and beyond, and helps others in the movement achieve more impact.

O4. Community engagement

This organization effectively engages communities and volunteers in the planning and implementation of its work.

O5. Capacity

This organization has the resources and ability (for example, leadership, expertise, staff, experience managing funds) to do the plan proposed.

Budget

B1. Past budgeting and spending

This organization has a history of budgeting realistically and managing funds effectively in the past.

B2. Budget is focused on programmatic impact

Based on past performance and current plans, funds are allocated to programs and activities with corresponding potential for programmatic impact.