Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2015-2016 round1/Wikimedia UK/Proposal form

Latest comment: 8 years ago by Daria Cybulska (WMUK) in topic Questions from FDC members

Comments and praise edit

This is the fourth time I study an APG proposal from WMUK, and this is by far the most satisfactory. I like your targets, your consolidation you have been through and the good focus. I am a bit bewildered by the namnes of the programs and why you have put an internal one (G2b) among the otehrwise external oriented ones. I would also liked a cleraer writing focus on activities for community support than what I find in G2a. But these are just minor issues and in general I would only want to congratulate you on a good plan and wish you a successful implemention of it.Anders Wennersten (talk) 06:33, 8 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks Anders, that's very good to hear - we have certainly worked hard on it. Sorry the programme names are confusing - perhaps it's because we use our strategic goals as the programme names. They could be summarised as G1 - content, G2a - community, G3 - access, G4 - technology, G5 - international community.

The internal focus of one of the goals indeed is different than the others. But as an organisation we value internal governance and improving the chapter, so we still have that goal included. Thanks again for the comments! Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 10:02, 12 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Correcting a couple of typos edit

Hi, could we please edit the proposal to change the following typos:

  • "not able to collect into on this in 2014-15" -> "not able to collect info on this in 2014-15"
  • "The later links to the partnership approach" -> "The latter links to the partnership approach"

Thanks, Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:51, 12 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Richard Nevell (WMUK)! I'm noting this for historical sake. We ask applicants to not make adjustments, including typos, after the proposal submission deadline (Oct 1). However given the first sentence might be slightly misleading or misunderstood, I'm approving these small changes. KLove (WMF) (talk) 15:50, 13 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

questions from FDC staff edit

Hi there, colleagues and friends at WMUK! Thank you for submitting this proposal. It's been reviewed by the FDC staff in detail, and we have some questions for you. IF any of them are unclear, please let me know! Many thanks, KLove (WMF) (talk) 22:21, 13 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Questions about programs edit

  • Please explain more about how and why the minority language program was created.
Thank you for picking up on a new area we want to explore in the upcoming activity year. To clarify, we are aiming to run a pilot minority languages project in 2016 - 17, with the idea currently at the concept stage.
Why. There is an acknowledged geographical and language bias on Wikipedia, with languages such as Somali having only around 4000 articles, Amharic about 12,000 and Swahili less than 30,000; compared to the 4.8 million articles on the English Wikipedia. We feel that WMUK has a role to play in helping to address this, given factors such as the collections of our cultural institutions - which have often been drawn, historically, from across the British Empire; and the diversity of our population. London, where the UK chapter is based, is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, and home to people from a huge variety of minority groups. With around half of all residents coming from backgrounds other than White British, there are millions of Londoners - and even more nationally - who speak English as an Additional Language (to varying degrees of fluency). There is, for example, a large African diaspora community in the UK, many of whom have minority languages such as Somali and Swahili as their first or main language, and some of whom – particularly the older generation – have little or poor English, and therefore poorer access to knowledge through Wikipedia. We are therefore exploring the possibility of a pilot minority languages project that focuses on African languages.
How. As highlighted above, we are planning to develop a pilot project focusing on African languages, and have so far had a number of helpful conversations within the Wikimedia community and beyond which are supporting our thinking with regards to this project. We are currently considering a number of approaches, including the expansion of Africa-related content on Wikidata which would provide a structural basis for improving content about the global south on Wikipedia, and working with community organisations and other partners that are well connected with specific communities to engage new potential editors from African backgrounds. Our current research has involved communicating with projects such as WikiAfrica, development organisations, research organisation Chatham House, and looking at past attempts at similar projects.
Once our proposals have been worked up they will be considered by our volunteer evaluation panel members for their input, comments and questions, which will further shape the project.

  • Can you please share more about the technical tools work you are planning? What technological innovation do you have in mind, beyond QRpedia and VLE?
We recognise that the technology work proposed in G4 brings fewer concrete proposals than the other programmes in our plan.
Recognising the FDC feedback from our previous plan, we are not proposing high-level technological developments. Instead, we will encourage and work with volunteers to put forward ideas for technological projects which improve open knowledge. For this reason, it may be hard to specify the projects at the moment, as it depends on our volunteer community.
The ideas that have been put forward in the late part of the current year, which may be developed, are (an outreach tool to encourage people to pursue development projects) and develop patches to mediawiki to allow the software to handle 3D object files.

Budget questions edit

  • We will need a more detailed budget with expenses by line items. You may submit a copy of this privately, if you can’t share the details at that level publicly.

This is our internal budget system, with lines relating to particular activities. However, in most cases they map directly to the programmes (e.g. G1 content), which is explained below. Where an area doesn't have a programme goal indicated, it's an internal spend (like the Governance, Management and Admin area). Staff costs are not broken down in relation to programme goals in this budget, however, we have provided this information elsewhere in terms of % spend on various goals.

Provisional budget 2016-17  
Draft budget
Grant from FDC 310,000
UK DD income 228,000
Gift Aid and other income 14,000
Major fundraising 70,000
Totals 622,000
Volunteer Support (G2a)
project grants 2000
volunteer equipment 1000
volunteer strategy sessions 4000
general support 1000
AGM 1000
Train the trainer / skills development 16000
Development 1,000
Programmes (G1)
major partnership packages (see G1 for further breakdown of activities here. Happy to expand if needed) 40000
minor partnership packages (as above) 5000
general programme support 5000
Fundraising costs 18,000
External Relations
Open coalition (G5) 12000
UK advocacy work - conferences, meetings (G3) 1500
FKAGEU general costs (G3) 500
FKAGEU - contribution to salary (G3) 5000
International Chapter Support (G5) -
Accountancy 1,000
Statutory audit 9,000
Governance, Management and Admin
Rent 41,280
Office 11,800
IT 13,000
Board 11,000
Depreciation 3,200
Legal 9,000
Insurance 3,500
Communications & Publications (part G3) 11,000
Staff travel 2,000
Staff training 3,000
Payroll & recruitment 1,000
Salaries 351,701
Contingency 10,000
Totals 594,481
Surplus/-Deficit (for reserves) 27,519
  • We would like some more details about how staff time is allocated for each program. Would you be able to provide some estimates for how much time will be spent on each program?
Absolutely - apart from a direct costs budget, we also create a staff time allocation ‘budget’ every year. Below is a table which indicates the breakdowns we have planned at this stage. This shows how the time will be spent by the programme-related staff members - 6 people in total. The other team members are focusing on finance, administration and executive functions. We are happy to provide details on time breakdown for these as well as needed.
Staff member G1 content G2a community G3 access G4 technology G5 international Total out of 100 (remainder spent on areas such as fundraising, FDC, admin - separate from core programme activities)
Project Coordinator 50 20 5 5 15 95
Project Coordinator 50 20 10 5 10 95
Project Coordinator - Wales 65 20 0 0 5 90
Head of programmes 50 10 5 0 5 70
Admin Assistant 20 20 5 0 5 50
Head of external relations 10 10 20 0 5 45

  • Why does WMUK cover the cost of salary for Wikimedians in Residence, rather than the host institutions? Do you have plans for how your WiR program will be sustained by the host institutions after your involvement, and do you have any examples of that from the past?
Each residency is set up individually with the host institution, and financial arrangements are negotiated on a case by case basis. We have previously used a range of models including WMUK funding the project in its entirety, a mixed model with contributions from both partners, an external grant or the host institution covering the cost.
Often WMUK will offer some of the funding as it helps to kick start the project. Big institutions have complex and very slow budgeting processes that can take years, so such initial support can be key to making the project happen. While the project is taking place, we are in talks with the institutions to see whether they could cover continuation of the project, or perhaps work with us to seek external funding.
At the same time, it is common that the host institutions at least part fund the salaries of their Wikimedian in Residence, which you will see presented as ‘gifts in kind’ in our accounts.
We are also currently setting up two residencies, to be delivered in 2016-17, that will be fully funded by the host institutions. Whilst at the Bodleian Libraries, where Martin Poulter is halfway through his residency, the communications team are putting together an internal application to the University’s Diversity Fund to extend the residency by a year - reflecting on the impact that the residency is having and Martin’s focus on addressing historical gender and geographic bias.
To summarise, the funding model established could be:
  • fully funded by WMUK (eg Tyne and Wear Museum)
  • seed funding by WMUK, with an extension funded by the institution (National Library of Scotland, York Museums Trust)
  • fully funded by an external funder who isn't WMUK or the org the WIR is based at (e.g. British Library, Cancer Research UK)
  • match funded by WMUK and partner (e.g. Jisc)
  • There can even be combinations of the above.
Regarding sustainability and funding, again there are several models we have delivered over the past few years, depending on individual negotiations.
  • Host institution funds extension of the project (e.g. National Library of Scotland) being encouraged by the results.
  • External grants are sought to cover the extension (some are in the works currently).
  • Wikimedia work is built into an existing staff member’s role as the management of the organisation has been convinced that this is a valuable area of work
  • New post is proposed within the institution’s staff structure which will be covering Wikimedia work
  • Processes and policies introduced by the Wikimedian outlast the post and are being used after the intense part of the project has ended.
In the coming year we are planning to continue with this mixed model approach to funding residencies; however ultimately, as the profile of the programme grows in the UK, we hope that more institutions will see this as an important investment of their own resources.
On a general note of why a salary is offered at all, we believe that the level of skills and experience required and the amount of work expected though our WIR projects requires a salary.
(Here is a template job description for reference:

  • What is the likelihood of receiving the grants you have projected? What is your plan if you do not receive the expected grants?
There are a number of factors which we feel put us in a good position to fundraise for external grants in the coming year. As described in our proposal, we are moving to a project-based model of working that should enable us to ‘package up’ our activities for fundraising applications to trusts and foundations. Also, our new CEO was recruited partly due to her extensive grants fundraising experience in the arts sector, and developing a comprehensive fundraising strategy which includes the identification of short to medium term funding prospects is high on her agenda.
Having said that, whilst diversifying our income streams is a key priority going forward, building relationships with potential funders and successfully securing new sources of funding is both time-consuming and unpredictable. We will therefore be managing our budget very carefully and ensuring regular reviews of fundraising progress during the year, scaling back activities as necessary or indeed, growing our projects and programmes if new funding opportunities emerge that enable us to deliver over and above our initial plans.

Questions from FDC members edit

  • If I understand the "activity unit" metric correctly, the goals for Table G2a.1 say that there will be 500 separate individuals participating in Chapter events 1800 times. That is, that you're expecting that on average, each individual will participate in three-and-a-bit events? Do I understand the metric correctly? If so, then that's quite a clever way to measure activity :-) Wittylama (talk) 23:13, 23 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Yes that’s right - have a look at our published definitions here

      The idea behind it is exactly what you’re talking about - to see how engaged people are in our programmes, not just to capture raw numbers of participants.

      At the same time, we are aware that it’s not immediately obvious what this metric is, which means it’s not easy to engage with. Additionally, when we consider activities other than participation in events, it’s more difficult to quantify a “unit”. For these reasons we are currently considering the best way forward on these volunteering metrics. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 09:43, 29 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Your plan refers to "WMUK volunteers" (rather than "volunteers", or "wikimedians" etc) throughout. For example, your goal for G2a is "190 active editors involved" under the heading of "Develop, involve and engage WMUK volunteers". Does this mean you are only counting chapter members in these metrics, rather than all Wikimedians the chapter might 'touch' as part of a project? If so, would that explain why you're expecting to involve a total of 500 individuals in all activities (global metric #3 at that same link), because you're referring to Chapter members? I'm not saying that defining the metric this way is good or bad but it is clearly defined differently from, say, Amical which is targeting 10 thousand people in their "community" projects, but that is because they also include social media in that metric (see my 2nd question here). Neither is "wrong", but I'm trying to get a comparison. Wittylama (talk) 23:13, 23 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Good question. A couple of clarification points first:

      In general, we want to capture people who directly engage in ‘’’WMUK programmes’’’ (so we wouldn’t count activities on Wikimedia projects if we had no involvement with them as a chapter). The participants could be Wikimedians, but there ways of being involved other than editing. We are capturing some on-wiki activity particularly through the active/new users metric, but we also recognise that delivery on our programmes (such as advocacy, creating content, generating partnerships) need not happen on Wikimedia projects directly.

      So the best way to describe this group is WMUK volunteers.

      The other criterion for capturing people is depth of engagement. Individuals need to attend an event, run a grant project, engage in a partnership, etc - essentially take part in WMUK activities in a participatory, active way, to be counted as a WMUK volunteer.

      Participants can be chapter members, and indeed many of our active volunteers support the chapter by joining, but they don’t have to be.

      Also, we would only capture someone in these metrics if we have contact details for them, so they can be uniquely recorded on our database.

      So now to look at our volunteer metrics, we are capturing:

      • Number of individuals involved (global participation metric). This is everyone that we are aiming to involve, however, as you note our criteria for who we count is quite conservative.
      • Number of active editors involved (global metric). Again, only counting people we captured as involved directly in our activities.
      • Number of newly registered users (global metric) - as above.
      • Number of leading volunteers (WMUK measure of volunteer engagement). These are individuals involved, but people who lead on activities, i.e. without whom a project would not take place. These could be trainers leading events, grant applicants, people driving projects. It allows us to see how many people are there in our community that engage deeply with the chapter.
    • There is an argument for developing a metric that includes our entire reach - for example, attendees at a conference where a member of staff or volunteer gives a presentation, or our followers on social media, and we are currently looking at this.
  • In targeting both increased quantity of multimedia (as measured by number of uploads) and quality of multimedia (as measured by % of those uploads being used in WP articles), in your develop open knowledge goals, I think you're setting yourself up for a hard time to succeed because these are almost mutually opposed goals! Both are worthy but I know from personal experience with GLAMwiki, that the larger the upload the harder it is to maintain a good % of that batch being actually used. The total number of images being used might increase at a linear pace, but the proportion being used becomes exponentially harder and harder to maintain. Equally, it is easier to game the system of having a high proportion of images in use, if you cherry-pick the upload to only the things you know you can use. Personally, I would not consider it "failing" if you do not reach the multimedia targets for quality and quantity simultaneously - I think it's basically impossible to do so. I'm just curious as to whether you were conscious of the conflicting priorities that arise among your stated goals? Wittylama (talk) 23:23, 23 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Yes, absolutely. We have been running these KPIs for a couple of years, so have a track record of reporting on these and reflecting on the tensions between the two. Our recent progress report reflects on this as well: .

      We feel that setting the metrics in this way encourages us to balance out various activities, and not push for a particular metric for its own sake. A similar approach can be seen in our volunteering metrics, where we do capture the participants numbers, but we also focus on ‘leading volunteers’, which indicates depth and quality of engagement with the chapter.

  • The "language minorities" project is interesting - and a noble goal. But I can't really think of a precedent where Chapter that has successfully built a relationship with minority language/ethnicity communities in their geography. The proposal states that "We are aiming to produce content in languages underrepresented on Wikipedia" - Do you have a particular language group that you want to target and do you have anyone involved in the Chapter who can be a 'bridge' to that community? My concern here is not the value or the good intentions of this project, but whether you might risk talking "at" a minority language community rather than "with" them. Wittylama (talk) 23:36, 23 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Our research indicates there isn’t a successful language minority project yet. Though we have looked at work from Wikimedia Sweden and Wikimedia France, as well as had conversations with WikiAfrica for context, we are trying to find what the key challenges are.

      We haven’t made a final decision about this, although we are currently exploring the potential for a project focused on East African languages and Swahili in particular. We will focus on where enthusiasm is strongest, and where organic growth is most likely.

      We don’t have a ‘bridge’ contact, and this point has been a key consideration from day one. We don’t want to make assumptions, dictate or take a top-down approach with this. Our eagerness to find a good partner organisation with strong community links is part of being aware of knowing what we don’t know, and helping us find that “bridge”.

      We are still yet to find the “super volunteer(s)” which will be a key to any success. Though often we find some of these people work in organisations we partner with.

      Once we have settled on which language project we would be able to contribute most to, we would naturally reach out to the existing editing community first (wherever they are located) to ask them what they wanted/needed.

      (We haven’t done so yet because we don’t want to make promises to a specific Wikimedian language community and then find that we can’t follow through.)

      Additionally, we are looking at ways we can make this initiative cross-project and to have greater structural impact. i.e, integrate Wikidata and the local Wikidata expertise to aid with improvement of content across wikis, with a focus on specific relevance to language communities. e.g for Swahili Wikipedia - creation/expansion of articles about towns in Tanzania/Kenya.

Return to "APG/Proposals/2015-2016 round1/Wikimedia UK/Proposal form" page.