Grants talk:IdeaLab/A Consciousness Raising Repository

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Question re: administrators/facilitatorsEdit

First, I love this idea, and I think it's essential for several reasons (e.g., the act of sharing can help people who have been marginalized process their experiences and exercise control over their own stories; providing a repository would certainly give depth to many quantitative investigations, which are very "thin," of the gender gap)! One question: Who do you envision as the administrators/facilitators? Would they be Wikipedia admins? Would they be Wikipedia editors who are admins only for this project? How will they be trained and supported in their work? (Okay, that's more than 1 question!) --Mssemantics (talk) 16:23, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

@Mssemantics: I think the facilitators have to be as diverse a group as possible. The reason I say this is because I expect they will do as much recruiting of stories as editing, publishing, and curating and diverse recruiters are a prerequisite to unearthing and encouraging people to contribute these stories. Simultaneously, the diversity of the group (hopefully) will undermine marginalization within the repository. I wouldn't want the repository to silence intersectional marginalization (e.g. #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen) or marginalization within privileged categories (e.g. "First World Problems"). --Radfordj (talk) 12:14, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

connection with other Inspire campaign ideaEdit

@Radfordj: thanks for sharing this idea! I think it has tremendous potential and value. I also wondered if you had seen another idea submitted to the Inspire campaign regarding the creation of a community human resources staffperson? While it does not sound all that similar to your idea on the surface, there are actually quite a few overlapping ideas and shared approaches - namely the archiving and cataloguing of accounts from people who experience marginalization while participating on Wikipedia. I also realize there are quite a few differences between the two ideas and what they aim to accomplish - still, it might be worth getting in touch with User:Bluerasberry and discussing... -Thepwnco (talk) 00:16, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, the proposals are very similar. We should collaborate. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:26, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: This does seem to overlap a good bit. One wrinkle would be creating a process for collecting new stories as they occur versus collecting existing stories. I think the dedicated reporting service would help on both fronts, though collecting stories would probably not be its first prerogative. I'd be happy to collaborate in making both happen (together or separately). Thanks for the pointer @Thepwnco:! --Radfordj (talk) 11:35, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Anonymity and identityEdit

@Radfordj: In your proposal you write "the administrators will also help authors write their stories in a way that protects the identity of all involved". I think it's great that you're considering this, and it'll certainly be necessary to allow participants to have their stories anonymised, so as to prevent them being targeted for what they said. I'd like to see some more information on how you're planning to do this. Would all stories be anonymised? Would it be a choice on the part of the reporter? How would you protect the information submitted by reporters who wish to be anonymised?

Another thing I wondered about: you talk about "all involved" which presumably means that if someone was harassed by a particular wiki user, you would also protect that harasser's identity. I was wondering whether you have given any consideration to whether you would disclose a harasser's identity if the reporter wished to do so? --Skud (WMF) (talk) 00:45, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

@Skud (WMF): In general, I was thinking of starting the repository with complete anonymity (reporters, reported, and bystanders) to protect the process and the people reporting. I've been thinking that telling the stories and getting them out in a safe way would be priority number one. And publishing anything that may directly identify people may cause a strong backlash that could undermine institutional and community support (or at least institutional tolerance). However, I made Step 1 and 2 setting up a committee and figuring this stuff out because I see it as something that those who are leading (and protecting) the process should formulate according to what they believe is right.
I see anonymity as applying differently to two audiences: the people involved in the incident and the general Wikipedia community and public at large. I don't think there is a way to guarantee anonymity with the first audience because those people usually know enough to figure things out. That bar is too high to guarantee. But, for the latter, anonymity is a bit easier to create. My standard for anonymity would be that "an member of the community not involved in the incident would not be able to re-identify the people involved." I think restrictions against usernames, specific page names, and times of day may be enough to satisfy anonymity. But, I go back to steps 1 and 2 as where we figure it out. --Radfordj (talk) 11:58, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Definitely sounds like a good idea to spend some time figuring it out :) I have a feeling that there may be a subset of reporters for whom "citation needed" is a way of life, and who will feel like they are making a stronger statement if they can back it up with links to specific information showing what happened. I could be wrong though! I'll be interested to see how this plays out. --Skud (WMF) (talk) 12:02, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Developing the idea as a grant proposalEdit

@Radfordj: Hi there, I wanted to check in and see if you are interested in turning this into a grant proposal - and if not, whether you may have others in mind who may want to work on this or further develop the idea (either in collaboration with Bluerasberry or not) before the deadline on March 31. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 20:06, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi @AWang (WMF):, sorry for the delay. Life. I did create a grant proposal around this and have been talking with potential advisors/working group members, though we haven't come to any formal arrangement yet. This project relies on getting interested people together to set up the board and submission framework, so creating a collaboration and fleshing out specific plans are step number one.

Eligibility confirmed, Inspire CampaignEdit

This Inspire Grant proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for the Inspire Campaign review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review begins on 6 April 2015, and grants will be announced at the end of April. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us at grants(at)wikimedia.org.

feedback and comments from ThepwncoEdit

@Radfordj: hello and congrats on your grant proposal being confirmed as eligible for review! Given that web development & maintenance makes up over half of requested budget for this project, I wondered if you could tell me whether you've already looked into possible platforms that already exist that could be adapted for this project? Is the thinking here that a custom solution is necessary? Or will discussion and deliberation on the above wait until after the board is formed and started its work on outlining procedures and technical requirements? cheers. -Thepwnco (talk) 20:42, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

@Thepwnco: Thanks! The budget for web development is something of a worse-case scenario budget to make sure we have the money to get the stories published and make them accessible (our first measure of success). I'm hoping we don't have to pay that much, but we're looking for a public, scalable platform that multiple admins can use. I especially would love to work within Wikimedia, maybe through the [Research] section. Another fairly reasonable option would be a stand-alone wiki at Wikia. Both of these options could end up costing close to nothing.
The other aspect of this is that we will be figuring it out as we go and some of this budget is meant to ensure that we have the capacity to pay a developer to update and tweak the site as we go along. Again, it's something that might be done comparatively inexpensively if we can get a commitment of server space and support from Wikimedia or another easy-to-use platform. --Radfordj (talk) 23:39, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Comment from SuperzerocoolEdit

Hi @Radfordj:, thanks for your idea. As I see, the amount requested is too high without a clear "communicational campaign": the website is one way to publish the histories but, do you think other ways to spread or publish the stories? what is the public target?. Please, provide more details about the budget requested.

Another comment is related to the "board": you write about its constitution, but is there any mechanism to ensure that all (or a great part of) members come from the community?.

Thanks in advance. Regards Superzerocool (talk) 17:48, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi @Superzerocool:. These are great questions. To your first one, I actually hadn't thought far enough ahead to how to spread the word once the repository is created. The first goal has been to make it public and findable to the people who are looking for it. But reaching out to those who could benefit from it, but don't know it's there is a different thing, we should consider. The funding for the communication campaign is for recruiting board members and stories. In my experience, setting aside some money for advertising has always been helpful, whether to create a nice email/flier or to place ads.
To your second question, I actually had not thought to engage people outside of the Wikipedia ecology. My assumption has been that people who are not involved in Wikipedia wouldn't be able to recruit stories, protect our writers, or contribute to the board as well as people who are involved in Wikipedia. Though, now that I think about it, new users, users at the fringes, and former users may be more likely to have experienced marginalization. So, it may be important to reach out to those people as well. I know this is not your point. But this goes to my stance that I don't feel comfortable making promises or rules about the demographics of the board without broader input from people like you. I really appreciate this question! --Radfordj (talk) 10:49, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Community notificationEdit

I'd love for you to ping the Gendergap mailing list and the Research mailing list. Doing so would not only provide community notification but may also help you to find potential board members and volunteers. --Mssemantics (talk) 00:04, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for these suggestions. I emailed the Gendergap list last week and will email the Research list today. If you know of other groups I should be reaching out to, I'd love to hear!--Radfordj (talk) 10:52, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
I see now where I should be logging the groups contacted. Thanks! --Radfordj (talk) 11:40, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Just doing my rounds to remind folks about community notifications, and happy to see you've done a fair but already! Thanks Radfordj, PEarley (WMF) (talk) 16:53, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Aggregated feedback from the committee for A Consciousness Raising RepositoryEdit

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
7.3
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
6.0
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
4.8
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
5.7
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • The archive may provide a lot of value for researchers interested in better understanding patterns of isolation, harassment, and intimidation (and how to prevent them). Sounds like the processes can be sustained (or changed, as outlined in the proposal) and that the resulting platform/code can be adapted elsewhere for community archives.
  • This is a fantastic idea for documenting stories of micro-aggressions and abuse. This kind of repository would also, in the long term, relieve volunteers of "asks" to be interviewed and surveyed re: their experiences with the gender gap.
  • See a significant impact on the community and how the woman are represented in the stories from other woman, but not sure how this project could continue when ends the grant.
  • While the project would not necessarily produce a direct increase in diversity, the research outcomes produced by the proposed approach would likely be useful in guiding future diversity improvement programs.
  • The proposal would not directly increase the diversity of contributors or content in the Wikimedia movement. There is a possibility that it could indirectly but it would need to have a specific additional plan to address it. Right now that is lacking.
  • Moderate community support.
  • There is general awareness of the need to engage with the target community but doesn't provide much information as to how this will be achieved. I do like the idea of providing honoraria to the board though in recognizing some of the barriers to participation of marginalized communities (and the burden of having to educate others to the oppression they face)
  • The budget appears excessive for the proposed program. In particular, the proposal for board member honoraria, which constitute a significant portion of the budget, does not have a compelling rationale and is not in keeping with Wikimedia movement best practices with regard to volunteer governance boards.
  • There needs to be a more specific timeline and detailed budget for the tool development and collection of stories. There is a plan to put together a team of advisers but at this point their skills and experience are unclear.
  • The measures of success do not appear to have been adequately quantified, although a number of suggestions have been made as part of the community feedback that could be taken into account.
  • Ultimately I think the greatest measure of success will be whether individuals feel comfortable and trust the initiative enough to share their stories.
  • An interesting idea but will likely not be a real catalyst for positive change. Stories are already out there but those that disagree say that they're not representative. I don't think that gathering more stories would likely be useful. In fact, a large collection of negative stories might just turn women off from contributing altogether and do more harm than good.
  • Would like to see more details about community notification/support/engagement, and a very experienced advisor on this project.
  • The general idea is interesting. But I have concerns that the framing of the people as marginalized is not the best method to address the issues in the Wikimedia movement. And there is a lack of measures to create diversity.

Inspire funding decisionEdit

This project has not been selected for an Inspire Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding, but we hope you'll continue to engage in the program. Please drop by the IdeaLab to share and refine future ideas!


Next steps:

  1. Review the feedback provided on your proposal and to ask for any clarifications you need using this talk page.
  2. Visit the IdeaLab to continue developing this idea and share any new ideas you may have.
  3. To reapply with this project in the future, please make updates based on the feedback provided in this round before resubmitting it for review in a new round.
  4. Check the Individual Engagement Grant schedule for the next open call to submit proposals or the Project and Event Grant pages if your idea is to support expenses for offline events - we look forward to helping you apply for a grant in the future.
Questions? Contact us at grants wikimedia.org


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