Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round1/Wikimedia CH/Proposal form

Latest comment: 9 years ago by FloNight in topic Offline Dissemination Program

Community review has ended. You are still welcome to comment on these proposals, but the FDC and the applicants may not be able to respond to your feedback or consider it during the deliberations.

Please do not edit this proposal form directly. If changes are needed, applicants can request them on the proposal form's discussion page. Thank you!

Proposal by Wikimedia CH to support its annual plan with ~US$545,000.

Program focus: Community support, Outreach (includes, offline, GLAM, education, and thematic programs), Movement and association sustainability

In 2013, Wikimedia CH started its professionalization process with the hiring of a CAO, followed by community liaisons for the German and Italian parts of Switzerland in 2013 and the French one this year. While this significantly impacts our operating costs, the community support team is now complete and we are able to support users and help grow content in each of our three national languages (see branches 1&2 of our Strategic plan). By intervening upstream, where volunteers often can not, WMCH's core ambition is to add significant value to volunteer work - not replace it.

With a Swiss population of 8 millions compared to the overall 280 million French, German and Italian speakers, we believe that the added value of Wikimedia CH resides in freeing content and retaining existing contributors (which we can support across national borders) rather than aim for a user recruitment strategy (except for fixing the gender gap challenge).

With the upcoming launch of projects such as Wikivillage in Western Switzerland and its expected national roll-out in the following years, we are focusing on long term projects that will feed Wikimedia projects with qualitative substance while aiming at economies of scale. In order to do so, half of the time from the community liaisons' schedule will be allocated to establishing valuable partnerships at an institutional level.

The incentive on keeping a strong chapter present in Switzerland also lies in the fact that the country is consistently forward thinking in terms of freeing content (launch of Open Government Data in September 2013; Open Research Platform kicking off end 2014): thus, the chapter's strength and opportunities rest on its ability to establish early on a sustainable flow of content for Wikimedia projects with institutional data. This is why we chose to also focus on Offline tools and Outreach initiatives (branches 3 & 4). This focus is materialized by a major step forward in the support of the Offline technology with the creation of a small software development team.

About the Public Domain Project


The Swiss Foundation Public Domain is a charitable organization under the supervision of the Federal Department of Home Affairs. The foundation is specialized in the conservation and utilization of public domain music and film material.

We see our mission as rescuing recordings from past decades, produced on sensitive and easily damaged materials, from deterioration and potential oblivion. Our first goal is to have gramophone records and motion pictures, which are an invaluable resource, transformed into longterm readable and usable data files by expert staff, using state of the art procedures (such as FLAC and Theora). Our second goal is the investigation of the copyright status, the cataloging of the description of any work in our database and the upload to Wikimedia Commons.

Under the working title "Public Domain Project" exists since 2009 our digitizing project which is supported by Wikimedia CH. This project, including the MediaWiki and the archives, is available to everyone.

Thanks to the support of Wikimedia CH


The Public Domain Project was able to acquire a music record cleaning machine which allows us to clean the old music records and digitize them afterwards. Furthermore it’s crucial for us to be consecutively supported by Wikimedia CH in order to make our digitization process more efficient. This is crucial due to the fact that our old and rare music records need to be digitized as soon as possible, in order to not let the music records be ruined due to the old age these records have.

Pdproject (talk) 12:42, 31 October 2014 (CET)

A small comment about Kiwix


I started using Kiwix a few years ago. I immediately realized the potential of this tool that many people could use without Internet access. In 2009 I conducted with a group of college friends the first tests on a small improvised cyber in a small town called Boqueron, on the island of Margarita, Venezuela. Only 6 computers with access to Kiwix, the response was incredible, the villagers queued to know the new information source, especially children and women.

At that point I started to distribute CDs Kiwix in any number of technological events in Schools and Universities Infocentros. Many people were interested. Many people were interested in collaborating, where I highlight Cesar Wilfredo Mejia, who managed to incorporate hundreds of schools Kiwix of Zulia, Venezuela state, including rural areas of Venezuela Alta Guajira.

I am currently working with a group of users in Brazil to incorporate Kiwix in schools, in the same way as was done in Venezuela.

Kiwix also been particularly used in areas dictatorships perhaps due to problems of access to reliable information, such as Cuba and Venezuela.

Kiwix has immeasurable value, is the best mechanism I know, to bring Wikipedia to places where there can be no Internet access for many reasons. In developed countries often underestimate the importance of Kiwix because Wikipedia is something we take for granted, always available just a click. With the support of organizations and individual activists Kiwix has gained ground in these places. However, it is necessary to go a little beyond expectations, Wikipedia could evolve in a decentralized knowledge base, similar to the current P2P and Kiwix might be the way.

Keep the whole basis of the stored human knowledge is not enough. You need to rethink our resonsabilidad, I talk about the mission and vision of WMF, able to bring this knowledge to those who need it most. Mainly those without Internet access. --Wilfredor (talk) 14:28, 2 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Kiwix is one of the most important projects in the Wikimedia community. I support Wikimedia CH having whatever support they request to develop this tool based on the years of good comments on the work they already put into this tool. I am happy to see this developed in a multilingual multicultural country like Switzerland. The tool has to be made more workable eventually and it would be better for this to happen as soon as it is reasonably possible to present it. If anyone from Wikimedia CH needs further comment from me about the tool then keep by name and ask for it when needed. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:11, 19 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Kiwix enables many more people to access Wikimedia contents globally


I see tremendous value in increasing the development and project management support for Kiwix as part of the offline deployment program. Six months ago I participated in the Wikimedia hackathon in Zürich where I had to good fortune to meet the three main volunteers for Kiwix and work along side them to learn how to work with the code base. I wanted to find out how easy it would be to contribute to the codebase as part of my voluntary support for the project as I'd already started to discover it's potential to bring Wikimedia content to many people in the world who don't have reliable, inexpensive, or fast Internet connectivity. The codebase was in pretty good shape for a voluntary opensource project however it still took several hours to get the build scripts working on my machine as there were various rough spots in the process that needed a combination of explaining, refining, and fixing. Improving the build process is one of the goals of the professional software development team Wikimedia CH want to hire and will make it easier for more people, including the current volunteers, to contribute to the Kiwix app.

Experiences from deploying an using Kiwix on 3 continents


I've both launched and supported various projects to provide 'digital education' in schools on 3 continents so far: S. America (Chile), E. Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Zambia), and Asia (India). Each deployment includes Kiwix, both as a client app on Android tablets, and as a web server on Raspberry Pi's. The apps enable end users (pupils and teachers) to use and learn from Wikipedia sites in their language(s) without needing an Internet connection. And the zim file format (which is part of the overall project) enables us to deploy contents relatively easily that fits on memory sticks, memory cards, and on internal storage on the Android Tablets. It wouldn't be practical to deliver the contents in many cases without having the optimised zim file format.

With all my praise for what we already have, why do I think sponsoring a professional team is relevant? There are several reasons:

  • Some key bugs and feature requests need to have significant time dedicated to working on them. Sometimes the volunteers haven't got the time and the bug languishes, to the detriment of end users e.g. the text reflow problem now affects up to 40% of the user base on Android. There isn't a clear or simple workaround, someone needs to invest enough time to address the issue so we can help users, particularly when the problem affects their ability to read the text easily.
  • More frequent and regular releases from the various mainstream app stores. Apple users have become used to using the app store to find and download apps. Kiwix for OSX isn't currently in the app store, so isn't easy to find, and users have to be willing to download it from an internet site instead and possibly update their security settings to even be able to use the app. Kiwix for Android had a gap of about 6 months between releases. The volunteer team were waiting to address some blocking issues, and some of these slipped month by month for various reasons. The Android app is about to have a minor update in the app store because we cannot complete the work on the features that would deserve the app being considered 'significantly better'. A professional developer could and should have worked through both the bugs more rapidly (as they're dedicated to doing so) and also implementing (or helping to implement together with the volunteer developers) new features such as full-text search. End users have come to expect frequent releases and some consider a project defunct if it hasn't been updated for a long period.
  • Additional continuity: Emmanuel is the project lead for Kiwix and is doing a tremendous job of running the project, including the project management, dealing with feedback and input from the many users, etc. He's a volunteer and also has other commitments, needs time offline from the project, etc. The proposed team can help provide additional continuity. Both Emmanuel and I would like and appreciate this extra help for the kiwix project.
  • Support for community events: I ran a hackathon in Bangalore, India on 5th and 6th September, where 400 participants at the Selenium (Opensource test automation tool) Conference helped test Kiwix, find and report bugs, and even develop some automated tests for the Android app. They did a great job and reported 117 bugs during just over 24 hours of the Bug Fest (similar to a hackathon in concept). We'd have been able to capitalise more on the opportunity and the contributions of the community if a Kiwix developer had been available to respond immediately to reported issues, e.g. to answer questions, triage bugs, and fix some of the reported issues. Unfortunately neither of the 2 main volunteer developers were able to be online during the bug fest, so we lost some of the impetus (the event was still a very positive contribution to the project and several participants have continued to contribute to Kiwix e.g. with translations).

Julianharty (talk) 17:21, 10 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Wow 117 bug reports, thanks Julianharty. I think this comment from you should be highly considered. --Nemo 09:48, 29 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

offline deficiencies


Offline technology is valuable. Currently only for a a very restricted use case: somebody creating a file and put it somewhere, see wilfredors comment above. But the "everyday user experience" is terrible. E.g. the following: When i travel mobile costs are too expensive in the country where i go, so i try to take along the information on a phone. Easy to dump a city or country with OSM to have a map. But try to select a couple of articles in wikipedia and wikivoyage to take them along with you: no interface from an android browser or app to mark and save. Without user interface then people where counting usages. Of course it is close to zero. I'd be glad if this gets addressed. --ThurnerRupert (talk) 15:21, 3 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Request for modification


Hi FDC support team, I would like to make the following corrections on our proposal:

  • fixing the typo "Festicable » in « Festicabale"
  • removing the name of one volunteer to be coherent with the rest of the document where no volunteers name are used
  • replacing « support at least three projects in the Italian speaking area aimed to revitalize IT.Wikibooks » by « support at least three projects in the Italian speaking area aimed to revitalize IT.Wikibooks/Wikisource »

and I forget to answer to the question 6.1, am I authorized to add the following pictures?

Thanks a lot for your understanding

--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 07:58, 3 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Charles Andrès--You don't need to worry about typos, but go ahead and make these changes. KLove (WMF) (talk) 16:21, 3 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Your huge proposed increase


I have problem understanding your figures and would like you to expand on these. This year you receieved Sfr 362000. And this year you request Sfr 544000. I calculate this to be an increase of more then 50% which I can not understand, as you are well aware that the Board has required a cap on FDC funding.. And your are a mature organisation, and while having many good activities in your proposal, I can not find anything motivating such a huge increase. You also state you will use 45000 from reserve that would then put the spending even higher, or are you meaning 45000 of he FDC fundings will go into your reserves, in that case I would like your rationale for this, especially in the context of the FDC fund cap.Anders Wennersten (talk) 09:14, 3 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Anders, thank you for your question,
You actually mixed up the amounts in CHF and USD: last year, we received CHF 362,000 and we are asking for CHF 500,000 this year. This means a 38% increase, a number still high but quite far from the 50% figure you mentioned. As indicated in our proposal, the Movement is now at a point where Offline technologies need to move forward. Investing in software development does not come cheap, and in this case cannot reasonably be done without hiring at least two persons (1.2 Full Time Equivalent, as we need a developer and a project manager). Please note that we committed to fund only 50% of the developer costs out of the FDC funds.
It is true that we plan to use around 38'000 CHF from our own operating reserves in order to finance our activities in 2015. We intend to shoulder an important part of the risks implied by our strategy, and want to put our money where our mouth is.
As you may have noticed, we are applying for a two-years funding, with the rationale that we do not plan for a budget growth in 2016. We expect to ask for the same amount, or even less, during the 2016 round. If we had applied a growth rate of 20% each year for the next two years, we would have asked for CHF 434k this year, and then 521k CHF the next, meaning a total of CHF 955k; with the two years funding plan we are asking for CHF 500k the first year, then most likely around CHF 450k the next - roughly the same total amount, or even a little bit less.
In the context of the FDC fund cap, we believe it to be our duty to decrease our impact on the Movement's budget and we aim at creating a sustainable financial model for our chapter. But in order to do so, some initial investments need to be done at a key moment: we believe we are currently at this juncture.--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 07:49, 4 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Currency requested?


I guess that you're requesting an allocation in CHF, but I can't spot where you have specified this? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 23:23, 3 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for question Mike,you're right, the proposal form lack a dedicated question about that this year and we forget to emphasize it. While we find a way to fix that with the FDC staff, I update the table 1 and add the currency in the budget page--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 07:47, 4 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Request of support from WMCH to WMIT and my position


Hi everybody, as an FDC member and a member of the board of WMIT I would like to put forward the fact that WMCH has requested to WMIT to issue a statement of support acknowledging the activities and projects that WMCH is bringing forward on Italian Wikipedia and in the north of Italy. I am going to abstain from the discussion within WMIT's since it would, to my judgement, automatically imply the need for me to recuse from evaluating WMCH's proposal to the FDC. Given this, I will not participate in any discussion within WMIT. -- CristianCantoro (talk) 12:28, 8 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Questions from FDC staff


Thank you for submitting this proposal for an Annual Plan Grant to the FDC! As the FDC staff, we have enjoyed reviewing it and learning more about the work you’ve done to date, and the plans you have for 2015. At this time, we’d like to know a bit more. Some questions have come up as part of our review, and we have a few requests for clarifications. Please let us know if any of this is unclear.

Thank you for your hard work! KLove (WMF) (talk) 00:15, 11 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Confirming your financial information


Based on your budgeted spend for 2014 your proposed growth rate is 15% and based on your projected spend for 2014 your growth rate is 19.72% because you expect to spend 80.46% of the total budgeted. WMCH is requesting a 38.12% increase in FDC funding. This analysis is based on the following numbers:

  • Budgeted spend 2014: CHF757,600
  • Projected spend 2014: CHF663,573
  • FDC funds granted 2014: CHF362,000
  • Proposed budget 2015: CHF794,424
  • FDC funds requested 2015: CHF500,000

We have been analyzing your historical financial statements and budgets, and see that your budget has been supplemented by your reserves (from previous year of payment processing) for the last few years. This is not sustainable, of course, in the long run, and would require an increasing reliance on APG funds to sustain a budget of this size. Can you explain your organization's long term thinking here?

Hi Katy, we will confirm the numbers by the end of the week with the last figures from our accounting. The overall answer is that, as indicated, we are investing (and pulling) from our reserves so as to quickly build the resources that will allow for our future sustainability. As we plan to move towards being service providers (see below), we first need to have the adequate manpower for the tasks we envision.--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 16:29, 14 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hello Katy, I can confirm all numbers but the "projected spend 2014". The reason is due to invoices that we have not received yet and also some invoices that we received after submitting the APG application. I was not aware that there was those amounts of money. As of today, I would say that the number will change to around CHF 680'000 by end of the year (GLAM and Offline dissemination program). Please let me know if you wish to have a number at end of November that might reflect a bit better the financial situation at that time. --Anh Chung (WMCH) (talk) 15:20, 21 October 2014 (UTC)Reply


  1. You identify freeing content as an important part of its role, but there are few targets in this proposal related to the acquisition of content. For example, you explain that the GLAM and Education work you are planning will lead to Increased quality, but there are no targets presented here that measure increased or improved content on the Wikimedia projects. Would you be able to provide us with a sense of how much content will be supported by WMCH altogether in the upcoming year through your proposed programs? This will give us a better idea of the impact you plan to achieve.
  2. You write about the significant investment supporting volunteers is in terms of staff time and money, and note the impact is very difficult to measure. You also note that community support is a core program of WMCH. Given the difficulties why have you chosen to invest in this staff-intensive approach to community support moving forward?
  3. Since you understand one of your key roles to be focused on retaining existing contributors and supporting them in their work to contribute content to the WIkimedia projects, rather than drawing in new contributors, what are your plans to better understand and measure editor retention in the communities you work with over time?
  4. You plan to charge GLAM institutions for GLAM Wiki Toolset services. Can you explain the service and associated charges in more detail? As you move to a model where you charge for this support, how will you ensure that the GLAM organizations that can provide the best quality content will be able to access the Toolset?
  5. You mention that to “Develop a sustainable approach to distribute wikipedia to those who have no access” is the goal of your Offline Dissemination Program. How will you know if your approach is sustainable? What do you hope the impact of the program will be?
  6. While you plan to support at least 10 volunteers through helping with equipment, press accreditations and a space to upload photographs in your office, you have set a target of only 50 photographs uploaded. This would be that each volunteer only uploaded, on average, only 5 photographs. How did you determine this target? Will you measure quality and usage?

Thank you for answering these questions. Warm regards, KLove (WMF) (talk) 00:15, 11 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for the question Katy.
  1. We do not set quantitative targets for content release because we are talking here of long term programs aimed at changing the way GLAMs and Education actors are considering Wikimedia projects. To make a long story short, GLAMs use Commons to get short term visibility and Education partners do not even know they can use Wikipedia in the classroom as a teaching tool. WMCH's aim is to change this, i.e. that GLAMs start including Commons in their regular content distribution strategy, and convince Education actors to use Wikipedia in their classroom, year after year (rather than a one-off stunt). As an exemple, we may set a target of 386 articles improved by at least 20% bytes added for Wikivillage, but we all know that fixing targets changes the way a project is managed, and we believe that focusing on this target may affect our abilities to reach our long term objective of having this contest with a different topic each year.
    Another point is that Swiss GLAMs are, by and large, already convinced of the need to release as much content as they can, but still lack the know-how - hence our moving into charging them for a service they demand. This however depends a lot on the development of the GLAM wikitoolset, which we do not control: this is why we want to use 2015 to test the waters, see the needs and, since we plan to hire a developer anyway to support Kiwix (another program we see with a potential for fundraising), use this resource to eventually develop extensions that will suit our local needs. We see no reason why this should not work, as there is both demand on the GLAM side and expertise on ours. But since we're starting and there are so many externalities, we do not want to bind ourselves to immediate quantitative objectives, and feel the multiyear grant system is well adapted to this. See also our reply to Question #4 ;
  2. Communities are the core of the movement, and therefore Community Support Programs cannot be neglected. What is worse than the absence of community support is to have a bad community support. Because the four most important communities in Switzerland are DE, FR, IT and EN, community support is in our case structurally staff-intensive, as we not only need to operate in four languages, but also mind needs and customs that are fundamentally different between communities. With our current organisation, each community liaison may exchange and interact with the others and coordinate the centralised information with the CSO. With this system, we are able to provide our volunteers with a tailored service to each community so that they feel heard and supported throughout the projects. Over the last two years, we have refined the definition of a chapter, we decided to keep Wikimedians as a point of focus but act, as a chapter, more in a supporting rather than leading capacity. We will therefore publicize heavily the kind of support we are able to bring to community members who want to organize events or projects by themselves (e.g. Festicabales and Züritreff, which are volunteer-led but WMCH-supported), and expect a bit of work at the beginning to prepare relevant materials and get it translated (brochure, cheatsheets, etc. if anyone wants to organize an editathon for instance: a good example would be the female-oriented workshops whose organization is managed by our partner FemWiss); but once this is done the rest should be fairly light in terms of staff time and allow us to focus on other programs. Culturally, networking is an essential element in the Swiss landscape, it takes time to access institutions to open up project possibilities, and it's often impossible for volunteers if they are not "insiders". The role of WMCH staff, therefore, is to help WMCH gain weight and strength in the relevant networks such as with school directors in secondary education, universities’ staff, archive directors, as well as cantonal and national libraries professionals;
  3. We'll include a satisfaction survey along with the needs assessment that is scheduled to be completed over Q1 and Q2. Based on the results, we will have a better baseline to analyse editor behavior in the country (or, as we predict, respective linguistic areas). This is also the role of our Community Liaison, we know by experience that the answer rate to this type of survey do not allow to have a deep view of the community needs (see the results of the WMF Editors Survey). In the past year our Community Liaison have been in touch with community members who do not want to left their confort zone in wikipedia, but they have needs, it's just that using Meta or the Meta page in wikipedia is not the way they like, it's a paradigm shift, because Wikimedians really active at the Meta level tend to forget that hundreds of Wikipedians are not confident with online tools, they struggle to learn to use Mediawiki to edit in the Main Space, and they do not want to go in the Meta space.
  4. We are thinking of 1-2 days training sessions to help GLAMs master the GWtoolset, adjustable depending on needs but definitely not something as intensive as a Wikipedian in Residence. We are also consideringd one-time batch releases which we would manage. Our early assessment is that there is a real demand for that kind of expertise as GLAM staff are very willing but not really "wiki-literate". Since GLAMs have a vested interest in bringing quality content, what is needed is adequate training for that new material to be properly annotated and retrieved. We have an existing network of top-level GLAMs (such as the Federal Archives), we are looking forward to working with these;
  5. The Kiwix technology is here and is mature. There is a solid demand and partnerships that are already in place (e.g. WM France's Afripedia, or the current discussions to roll it out in 20'000 Indian schools). These efforts will only be sustainable, however, if we have the means to keep up with updates. Whenever iOS or Android or Windows is upgraded, Kiwix, like any other software, has to be updated. This is tedious work and unappealing to volunteers (the current model) who tend to prefer the "fun" part of writing new extensions and upgrades. If we want to extend the reach of our offline distribution and keep it sustainable as we engage with external partners, we will need to respond to updates in a more professional manner than "whenever someone has time to do it". As for "What do you hope the impact of the program will be?", we think that "unrestricted and universal access to knowledge for those on the wrong side of the digital divide" is a desirable impact;
  6. The target actually is 50 pictures per event per people supported, and at least 10 different Wikimedians over the year. Those objectives were discussed with current volunteers - we do not want to encourage the uploading of poor, blurry or redundant images just for the sake of quantity and, for better or worse, the only objective quality measurement for images are featured, valued and quality labels. We are realistic in that the granting of these labels sometimes relies more on Commons' internal dynamics than on absolute quality measurements (e.g. "Wow factor"). We have therefore tried to strike a balance between our ambition to support volunteers and need to quantify the benefit derived from that support, and some of our volunteers' own reluctance to sometimes play into local politics.--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 16:38, 14 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Gender gap and diversity

Wikipedia in regional and minority languages in Europe, WMCH works in Switzerland and North of Italy, in what we may call a "Diversity center"

Hello, and thank you for all the work that you all do for the wikimedia movement. I enjoyed reading about your past and proposed projects.

I'm looking at the parts of your past and proposed plans that address the gender gap. And I was wondering if you have gathered information about your current gender gap, the success of past projects to address the gender gap? Also I see that you indicate you want to "Increase Diversity by organizing 6 Editing Ateliers focused on Women". It would be great to see more specific measures and metrics created around diversity. Do you have any projections as to the amount of content that this would create or the increase in women participants at the events, and the overall increase in active editors who are women? And do you have any idea about the amount of funds that will be directed towards increasing participation of a broader group of people. Or looking at it another way, how much money is targeted towards creating more diverse content? FloNight (talk) 22:26, 13 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks a lot FloNight for this question!
Our knowledge about our current gender gap is multiple; first we have the data about our association member, among our 471 member we have today 124 women. This first information is really important for us to evaluate the internal potential we have to address Gender Gap issue. In 2015 we will communicate more with our female members to promote our activities in this domain, and most of all gather new ideas and initiatives. We are not a "small association", but we think that we will be more efficient if we work with other association focus on the gender gap issue,it is our strategy to establish a strong network with "women-association", we are already in touch with FemWiss and Swonet, two really big female networks in the German part, and Girl Geeks Dinner in Ticino. About the metrics, it's true that we haven't put a lot of quantitive targets in the proposal, but we will track them a lot. Like for the GLAM part, we are aiming to change the things work in Switzerland. Actually 6 Editing ateliers is only the milestone fixed for September 1st in the scope of the multi year funding request, our target for 2015 is 12 in the German part. We are really eager to reach this number, but we are even more eager to create a dynamic where Femwiss and other swiss association decide to do regular writing atelier about gender gap. The first Edit-a-thon hosted in collaboration with FemWiss on September 13 proved the success of collaborating with partner institutions targeting women: 20 women attended. For 2015, its our target to introduce regular "writing ateliers/edit-a-thons" (1 per month -> 12 per year) in order to provide a platform for women to collaboratively work on Wikipedia articles offline & online. From the project "Womenedit", initiated by Silvia Stienecker and Wikimedia Deutschland, we know that this model of regular meetings has proven very successful. Due to these reasons stated above, we believe that this approach of hosting regular editing-sessions for female-audiences, in collaboration with partner institutions, will have a long-term impact on improving the gender-diversity among Wikipedia-authors in Switzerland. And if we take the numbers of the first pilot workshop, we end up with the following calculation for the sole German-speaking program: 12 workshops x average of 15 attendants working each on one article during one workshop = 180 articles being edited and 100 new authors recruited (considering the fact that several women are attending more than one time). The minimum amount of funds we will dedicate to diversity is 20% of the community liaison time and 10 000 CHF of expense. I emphasize on minimum because we know it's underestimate, as an exemple when I'm discussing with GLAM and Education actors I always emphasize Gender Gap issue and promote activities target toward it, like an Education program when librarian student have as assignment to create a bibliography about the Swiss women in Sport and create 16 new articles in wikipedia (one main articles "Swiss women" and 15 biographies). We also have in the pipeline the project to promote Wikipedia in nurse schools because the percentage of women is higher. In this last case we are targeting first the improvement of articles in medical field, but by focusing on nurse school we give us the chance to have a broader audience of women. Talking about "diverse content" you may have notice that we aim to promote several volunteers-lead project about local content or "small language" like Raetho-rumantsch wikisource, this is also diversity and so the funds dedicated to the global diversity question are even bigger. --Charles Andrès (WMCH) 11:15, 16 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
It is good to see that you are giving support in small language wikis. Also, I like your approach of thinking and talking about gender issues broadly across many of your programs like education and GLAM. It would be great if you could get creative and experiment with ways to capture that work around gender that you all integrate into these programs so we can see if it is working to educate and motivate people about the gender gap. :-) Again, thanks for your thoughtful answer, and all the work that you are doing for the wikimedia movement. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 16:03, 5 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Good start, but more can be taken advantage of...


I agree with the initiative to maintain the development of support for existing contributors involved with the various wiki projects (esp. the smaller ones, ie not Wikipedia), as well as the creation of an offline software development team, all being necessary to further the goals of the project. It is necessary however to maintain efforts to attract new editors to contribute seeing as the project's success, but more importantly growth and maintenance, depends on new "recruits". While perhaps on the surface a request for $500,000+ seems unreasonably high given the relatively small population of Switzerland, I can understand the rationale with the aforementioned goals in mind. Another aspect that should be considered is the utility of the Swiss population, being essentially trilingual; To this end, the development of inter-lingual aspects of the project, which would help integrate the multilingual population of Switzerland to more efficiently work on the various wikis, will act as a good precedent for other nations to follow, seeing as Wikipedia is of course not provided exclusively for English-speaking peoples! Perhaps the US division will find use in collaborating with more Spanish speakers to tailor to the growing spanish-speaking American population, for example. Schuy B. (talk) 21:12, 19 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Subject-matter expert feedback regarding offline programs


Wikimedia Switzerland has requested subject-matter expert input on this proposal, specifically with an eye to the Offline Dissemination Program. Through my work leading product and engineering initiatives at WMF, I have had direct and indirect involvement with Kiwix and other offline initiatives over the years, and most recently helped organize work on the offline content generator (OCG) service (with initial focus on replacing our aging PDF infrastructure). The developers of the Parsoid and OCG services have also contributed to this response.

  • What is your overall reaction to the plan as proposed? I'm glad to see offline dissemination reflected as one of the chapter's outreach priorities. This is an area where we need more clear ownership within the Wikimedia movement to make systematic progress, especially since WMF is primarily focused on online access through programs like Wikipedia Zero.
  • Do you believe Wikimedia CH is qualified to undertake this? WMCH is qualified to build this into a core competency given its previous experience in the field. The plan is ambitious, and I recommend clearly identifying must-have goals and stretch goals.
  • What are the major strengths of the plan, from your perspective? The plan correctly identifies some of the main challenges with offline dissemination in general, and with Kiwix development in particular.
  • What are the major weaknesses of the plan, from your perspective?
    • In young/growing volunteer-driven organizations, there is often a tendency to over-estimate what can be done with a full-time dedicated resource (or even with a 1/5th dedicated resource, as the case is with one of the allocated staffers). In order to truly build offline dissemination into a core competency, additional staffing is likely required, potentially at the expense of other programmatic work.
    • At minimum, I recommend more clearly defining very conservative must-have deliverables for the full-time developer, and formulating additional stretch goals.
    • Testing infrastructure as a primary deliverable makes sense to me. My recommendation would be to make either Android app development or improvements of and integration with the OCG service the secondary focus.
    • "By the end of 2015 the Wikimedia project ZIM files will be generated in the Wikimedia datacenter." In spite of the above note, I would prefer not to commit to a specific deliverable here yet since there are inter-organizational dependencies here that we need to reason through. I recommend focusing on the collaboration with end users first, to identify ZIM bundle configurations which will be useful to specific existing offline users. Once a user group has been identified, the specific timelines can be worked out with WMF in inter-organizational planning. I am principally supportive of WMF generating larger ZIM format downloads, but it's a substantial undertaking that we probably want to chunk into smaller milestones. In addition, there are some open questions, including exactly what bundle configurations will be most useful to the community and what thumbnails or media formats should be included. It is important to ensure that we are creating bundles which have demonstrable value.
    • After concentrating on offline support in 2011-2012, WMF finally concluded (in early 2013) that the primary obstacle to scaling this work is distribution costs (manufacturing; shipping; logistics; trainings; etc.). Since WMF does not have on-the-ground resources where those deployments are needed, it is not well positioned to invest in offline deployments. In our opinion, this conclusion holds equally true for WMCH, and so we are glad to see it positioning itself as a tech expertise center, including consultancy services for those external actors, rather than committing Wikimedia funds to actual specific deployments in countries it has no particular leverage in. We recommend maintaining this focus clearly. That said, the actual impact will only occur via deployments by these external actors. We hope that Wikimedia CH will be able to build bidirectional relationships, so that development is responsive to need.
  • If the plan were executed, what if any suggestions would you have for the Wikimedia CH, that you feel would increase their likelihood of success?
    • Communicate early & often. Make sure any new staff / contractors are visible on relevant mailing lists, wikis, etc.
    • Work in public and use Wikimedia's standard code review / project management / bug tracking tooling to the greatest extent possible
    • Prepare to iterate - review your high level goals / priorities on an ongoing basis (WMF uses quarterly)
    • Android app development and server-side ZIM generation require different skill sets. Since you only have a single hire, you may need to choose a primary focus, which will also drive the job description for the hire.
    • Develop lightweight offline deployments dashboard or self-reporting tool. WMF used to dedicate effort to tracking deployments; picking this up again would help make visible the impact of the work.
  • If the plan were executed, do you think it would make a small, medium or large contribution to the goals of the Wikimedia movement, and to its ability to achieve global impact?
    • I would qualify the direct contribution to our offline dissemination efforts as small-to-medium right now -- there's just not quite enough focus here to really scale up offline outreach (yet!), but it's a good start. The potential impact of offline tooling and deployments is large (and Kiwix has already proven to be the most sustainable open source project serving these efforts), but WMF is not in a good position to directly quantify this since it is not in close contact with the target users. The proposers should be encouraged to collect metrics and quantify their current user base to the greatest extent feasible.
  • Does the plan propose to break new ground in ways that could create important learnings for the global Wikimedia movement? In other words, if the plan is executed, will the Wikimedia movement have learned anything new and important that could be applied outside this plan, that would help it achieve its global goals? Would that learning be a small, medium or large contribution?
    • Having more chapters engaged in paid software engineering work is by definition breaking new ground, and I'm glad to see it. Offline uses of Wikimedia content could reach millions of additional users in the Global South, although significant progress here will require sustained partnerships with organizations managing deployments.
  • Do you believe the budget (for the area that you are particularly evaluating) is feasible?
    • As noted above, it's a very modest initial investment in paid staffing, and the expectations for what can be achieved should be carefully calibrated accordingly.

Sincerely,--Erik Moeller (WMF) (talk) 07:33, 22 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thank you, Erik, as a member of the FDC I find your comments helpful.
I'm very interested in CH's support of Kiwix since there seems to be need for a sustained effort to work on it. I have more questions around how we judge the impact of the movement money when successful deployment is so key, and it requires sustained partnerships with organizations to manage the deployments. If WMF (who has a pretty big reach around the world) struggles with developing and sustaining these type of partners, I have significant concerns about about an organization with smaller capacity is going to do it well. Working with the target user base is key to understanding their needs.
Right now the proposal doesn't gauge success by capturing feedback from partners and end users. I suggest including this type of evaluation, too, rather just counting the number of partners or events, or whether an aspect of the project was completed in a specific timeframe or the number of deployments or number of bugs fixed.
That's all for now, but I'm interested in learning more from Wikimedia CH about how we can judge the success and impact. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 18:21, 31 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Offline Dissemination Program


(Context: I've been working on Kiwix, the Book tool and other offline initiatives like DVDs for WMIT since 2008.) I think the ODP proposal is very sensible and should definitely be funded.

  • The impact Kiwix has already had can't be overstated.
  • I trust WMCH to deliver what it promises in this area. But don't force WMCH to promise things they're not comfortable promising!
    • The "By improving the content offer and the dissemination network" bullet are things they already manage to do.
    • The full-scale ZIM generation/bugzilla:15017 is now within reach and I'm confident it's possible. As a fallback in the case WMF doesn't manage to host the service, I suggest adding more funds to the request in order to pay another hosted server able to do the work and host the files. This way, we can eliminate interdependency risks but still leave room for sinergies.
    • OCG integration and tests are surely a good thing which WMCH is able to deliver in one year.
    • Incremental updates and Android are sorely needed, Emmanuel already got most work done but an additional push is needed now to wrap up and harvest the results. I can imagine this to end up requiring more FTE than the proposed 1.2, though, e.g. if the bullets above take more time or if a good Java dev (IIRC required) is not found.
  • If you consider how much bug 15017 is craved for, and the fact that WMF needed to put several devs at work on mw:OCG (though not full time, sadly) for over a year to deliver, 43 k$ is a ridiculously low price to pay even if they didn't manage to deliver anything else.

--Nemo 09:45, 29 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Perhaps my first bullet was too optimistic, the impact of Kiwix might be non-obvious to some. Is there really a need to state that providing (static) dumps of Wikimedia projects will have a tremendous global impact, increasing by one or two orders of magnitude the already huge impact Kiwix had worldwide? Perhaps yes; or perhaps the proposal should have stated more clearly what added value the WMCH work is going to add and how to evaluate it.
Some quick stats from, available for everyone to see, were perhaps missed:
  • Kiwix (and ZIM files) have some 30-40k downloads per month, with peaks of 80-100k; not counting downloads from other places such as Android markets and direct torrent downloads. Compare:
    Kiwix main downloads, 2012-2014
    • the Wikipedia android app has only one order of magnitude more downloads at a cost of several millions dollars;
    • XOWA, a very important volunteer project, "only" managed to achieve some 2000 downloads top.
  • Kiwix downloads are so popular that they require a bandwidth of up to several Gb/s, involving not only Kiwix servers but also a consistent chunk of's bandwidth (so they said; and that's a huge mirror) and some dozens reseeders.
    • Compare less than 300 Mb/s average for, or one order of magnitude less data served (for a cost of? several hundreds thousands dollars for sure).
  • Kiwix reaches substantial downloads in dozens countries, most of them in the southern emisphere or in areas otherwise served little by other movement organisations (such as China). And this doesn't consider the copies made offline by several partnering orgs, of course.
    World map of downloads in one month
    --Nemo 17:43, 24 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • I Entirely agree that Kiwix is a good program and I support investing more funds into it. In no way did the recommended reduction in funds to WMCH intend to stop the focus on Kiwix. If I had my preference, I would have given dedicated funds to WMCH for Kiwix. But the FDC gives unrestricted funds so WMCH itself needs to decide how to use the funds. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 18:28, 24 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Other software work


In fact, I think WMCH would be able and really should do some more software development, and be funded accordingly. Think of w:de:Wikipedia:Umfragen/Technische Wünsche/Top 20, several of those requests are definitely feasible (for instance performance improvements for CatScan, which is now offline). --Nemo 09:45, 29 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Questions from Risker about participant metrics


I realise that the chapters and affiliates have not really been asked to produce consistent participant metrics to date, so it is understandable if you have to give estimates for some of these metrics. When responding, please identify if the data you are providing is verified (e.g., a maintained membership database) or estimated.

  1. How many members do you have? If you have different categories of membership, please give subtotals for each category.
  2. How many individuals volunteered for/participated in an activity sponsored by your organization so far this year, excluding special events like WMF-related conferences/Wikimania? (Please let me know what kinds of activities you're including.) Approximately what percentage of these volunteers are also chapter/affiliate members?
  3. What percentage of the individuals who have volunteered for or participated in your organization's activities in the past year are also active Wikimedians, or became active Wikimedians after participation? (Activity could include content contributions or administrative contributions on any project, developer contributions, committee membership, etc.)

Thanks for any information you are able to provide. Risker (talk) 04:38, 30 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for this question, I must admit that I was surprised to see that this question disappear from the proposal template. Thanks to our CRM we have verified and reliable data about our membership:
As of 30 September 2014, Wikimedia CH had 474 members, an increase of about 3,55% during the last quarter only and 68% since a year.
  • 133 are supportive members and 23 members represent legal entities.
  • 275 (58,02%) are primarily German-speakers, 112 French-speakers (23,63%), 24 Italian-speakers (5,06%), 37 (7,80%) English speakers and 1 Romansh-speaker (0.2%).
  • A little bit less than 72,15% (342) identified as males, but since providing information about gender is not mandatory, this figure may not match the exact reality.
concerning the two other figures, we are currently collecting them and we should be able to communicate it next week.--Charles Andrès (WMCH) 13:08, 31 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Volunteer supporters Network


I just want to point and highlight the launch of the meta page of the Volunteer Supporters Network, an initiative of WMCH, DE and AT. --Charles Andrès (WMCH) 16:23, 14 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

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