Grants talk:PEG/Grant Advisory Committee

Revised template for application talk pages?


Dear colleagues, Asaf has suggested that discussion be on this page.

I have a few questions about the "template", which is currently three level 2 threads:

==GAC members who abstain from comment/vote==

==GAC members who have read this request but had no comments==

==GAC members who have read this request but are waiting for more details==

May I suggest that this be changed to a level 2 heading followed by three level 3 headings, all inserted at the top of the talk page?

==GAC member status for this application==


===No objection==

===Waiting for more details===

Members' comments would be appreciated. Tony (talk) 04:16, 23 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

I like your suggestion, it makes it simpler to read and gets straight to the point. The Helpful One 09:23, 23 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
Seems fine for me as well. Béria Lima msg 18:09, 23 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

I like it too  Klaas|Z4␟V13:40, 22 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

Questions from Delphine




How does the process exactly work? Is there a vote at some point? If yes, when does it happen? If no, how do we exactly voice our OK/NO opinion on a grant being attributed? When is a grant request considered "closed"? Notafish

The GAC's role is described here. To your questions:
  • There is no vote, and GAC members are expected to voice their questions, concerns, evaluations, and recommendations on each grant proposal's talk page.
  • The aggregate feedback from the GAC is taken into consideration when we (WMF) make a decision about each proposal.
  • The timeline is flexible -- we like to approve grants within 30 days of their being submitted, but it ultimately depends on how clear the original proposal was, how quickly a reasonable number of GAC members weighed in on it, and how quickly the applicants addressed questions and concerns to reach the point where we consider the proposal complete and ready for a funding decision.
  • A grant is considered closed when the work it funds has been executed, and the grantee's report on the work has been accepted by the Foundation.

Let me know if something remains unclear. These questions help us gradually improve the information we present in the program description page. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:43, 30 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

Discussion space


I almost started a Grant:Café page, but then my intercultural worries took the better of me and I thought maybe people would want to have another name than "Café" ;). What do you all think about having a more "general discussion about grants" page, where we could talk to each other outside this email round? Notafish

Delphine: Café sounds fine from my cultural neck of the forest. Tony (talk) 12:11, 30 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
I'm happy to engage in any public space the GAC wants. Grant talk pages themselves for specific discussions, and the program's talk page (See below) or the GAC's own talk page (i.e. here) for general discussion about the program or the GAC, respectively. That said, if you feel you want a different page, go ahead and be bold, and I'll add it to my watchlist. :) Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:43, 30 August 2012 (UTC)Reply
So, now that we have the IdeaLab, let's designate that as the official discussion space for grant and projects ideas, whether half- or fully-baked. :) Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)Reply

Question from Tony1


As a new member I was thinking something very similar. It would be good to discuss how the application forms themselves – as well as the process that Delphine has mentioned – might be tightened up in the light of the GAC's experience so far. Tony (talk) 12:11, 30 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

I'd be very glad to discuss the forms and any other aspect of the process. I suggest we use the relevant talk pages, i.e. the Grants_talk:Index page (which could probably use archiving) for the forms, but have one request: because that page is localized into many languages already, let's not be as bold as we usually are, and hash things out on the talk page first, to minimize "noise" for the translators who labor to reflect changes in the English source. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:21, 30 August 2012 (UTC)Reply

CIS India ... here's a job brief


More detailed than required for most GAC purposes, but interesting from the perspective of transparency, openness, and accountability—just the issues the WMF board is keen to pursue.

[1] Tony (talk) 07:29, 1 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

GAC will now have to pay Chavez's cronies an inducement


I'm disappointed to see that the Venezuelan application is going through without a solution to the corrupt dual exchange-rate issue. This is clearly a system of bribery imposed on all foreign donations to Venezuelan charities, and has put the GAC in an awkward position. I want to see the chapter supported, but not under these circumstances.

I will strongly oppose the provision of any more WMF funds that have 60% creamed off them for the cronies of the regime. VE chapter, please find ways of raising funds within Venezuela. Tony (talk) 08:26, 12 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

Let's just make a point here: Isn't "all currencies" and isn't only for charities. The fixed rate is only to dollar (God only knows why they hate USA, right?) or any money coming from there (as in, if you send the money via USA-BRA-ARG-VEN would still be taxed because it come from USA).
Chavez is a dictator, that is fact and no one is discussing this. But, WMVE has nothing to do with this, and shouldn't be penalized because of the politics involved in the case. I am not happy as well to lost 60% of the money, but what can we do?
And as a side point: USA isn't the god american people have the illusion to be. No place is perfect in the world (and before you state, I'm from Brazil and I'm well aware of the corruption going on here.) Béria Lima msg 17:58, 12 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
Actually, our inquiries revealed it's not only for dollars. Other currencies can also be "translated" into dollars and then penalized in exactly the same way. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
Bribes are crimes, Tony, and I wish you had resisted the sensationalist urge and didn't accuse this committee of perpetrating a crime. The Venezuelan government's policy, unfair though it is, is law, and obeying it is not a crime. We all agree it would have been better if it could be avoided; we all agree WMVE is not to blame and deserves support; and we all agree the way forward is for WMVE to develop alternate means of support. Let's leave it at that. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:29, 12 September 2012 (UTC)Reply
Bribes are crimes only under certain circumstances; and the term has a relatively wide meaning. This scenario placed us all in a difficult position—I'm not blaming anyone for the outcome. Tony (talk) 00:46, 13 September 2012 (UTC) What I suggest is that at some point not too far off, the chapter approach the GAC about in-kind assistance (not cash) to set about finding internal sources of funding after this seed-funding runs out. The GAC might in turn seek advice from the foundation's experts concerning this task. Tony (talk) 01:49, 13 September 2012 (UTC)Reply

Improving the GAC 2012


This is a temporary zone for us to point out specific improvements or criticism we have of our processes and try to move forward in the next few weeks. --Solstag (talk) 21:15, 2 November 2012 (UTC)Reply


Application forms

  • Order of sections. How do GAC members and staff feel about relocating the "Budget breakdown" section to the bottom? (We know from the very opening what the total ask is.) I see that applicants fiddle with the location of the budget breakdown, putting it variously at the top (awful to be hit by it when you're wondering what it's all about), the middle, and the bottom. I'd like to see the goal, scope and activities, strategy, benefits, measures of success, etc, all contiguous and first in order—they are, after all, strongly interconnected and thematic. Then we can read the budget breakdown tables in full knowledge of the thematic aspects.
  • Expression of currencies. A few applications go down to the subunits of their own and US currencies. Given that exchange rates are likely to vary considerably more than whether an item costs $121.64 or $122, could I suggest that the guidelines ask for whole currency units, rounded up from half-way level, or down. It's particularly messy on our shiny new table. Many taxation and finance agencies explicitly refuse to deal with subunits of the currency on forms. Could we also have a declaration of the exchange rate used throughout against US$? And since the GAC's budget is expressed in US$, it seems unnecessary to allow euros or any other currency in the "Amount requested" slot at the top ... why not insist on US$, at least just there?

Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks! Tony (talk) 05:46, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

As for currencies, I would simply do a template that can do the conversion and the rounding, and recommend the use of that to get the $US values allowing the applicants to calculate in their preferred currency. This would be a tiny step towards making the application form easier to fill out for applicants - which should really be the goal (after all, the grants staff can worry about exchange rate fluctuations and rounding errors from 9-to-5, 5 days a week, while the applicants have limited time). –Bence (talk) 17:28, 11 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Agreed, it would be best if we could automate the currency conversion bit for applicants, and standardise to a specific level of precision. It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things if 1000 quatloos converts to $USD500 or $USD500.51. It would give applicants more time to concentrate on the more important parts of their grant request. Craig Franklin (talk) 04:57, 8 December 2012 (UTC).Reply
I agree on this point because the converted rate makes a lot of confusion. --Ilario (talk) 08:12, 8 December 2012 (UTC)Reply
We all agree, except I don't know that it can be done automatically. Certainly not by a simple template. What we can do is explicitly ask for the exchange rate used. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 22:09, 11 December 2012 (UTC)Reply
Exchange rates can be calculated through the in-built MediaWiki functions (it is basically division and rounding, or multiplication and rounding), but it would need a template guru to think it through and create it. One does still need to provide the exchange rate used, but that is really only for easier calculation and not really meant for precision and daily updating.(For example, there could be a simple template that given the amount in original currency and the exchange rate displays the amount in dollars, e.g. ${{formatnum:{{#expr:{{formatnum:{{divint|{{{1|{{{amountinoriginalcurrency}}}}}}|{{{2|{{{exchangerate}}}}}}}}|R}} round 2}}}}; but you could go further and build templates for the budget table and include the conversion template into it...) –Bence (talk)
It is our policy to allow applicants to request grants in any currency, taking into account most applicants are volunteers. WMF grants staff will undertake to perform conversions when necessary for the benefit of the GAC (also volunteers) and other observers. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 22:09, 11 December 2012 (UTC)Reply
That is really helpful. –Bence (talk) 23:40, 11 December 2012 (UTC)Reply
Regarding the order in the form, I'm happy to move the budget breakdown to the bottom. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 22:09, 11 December 2012 (UTC)Reply

Accessible records, timelines


I wonder whether an on-wiki table could be created that provides the basic data for each grant the GAC has considered (starting, say, at the beginning of the current financial year, 1 July), such as:

  • Entity
  • Title of project [linked to application page]
  • Anticipated start/finish months
  • Date of submission / date of approval or rejection
  • Amount requested
  • Amount approved
  • Deadline for report
  • Amount remaining in GAC budget for the financial year

That would be a good step in allowing GAC members to grasp the bigger picture, both in terms of what type of grants are being approved and rejected (or, indeed, partially approved), how long the process is taking, and how the budget is panning out over the year. I think this would be useful for applicants too. This would also be consistent with the WMF board's strategic directions towards transparency and accountability.

If Asaf thinks this is a reasonable idea, and GAC members do too, I'm prepared to assist for a while with the clerical task of filling in the table, to get it going. Tony (talk) 09:41, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, Tony! I think this suggestion of an on-wiki grant tracking table is excellent, and despite the fact it would take some effort to implement and maintain, I am confident it is worth that effort, and would help the GAC and the wider community get a better idea of the scope and distribution of our grantmaking. I am asking Winifred, who maintains our internal grants tracking sheet (which has many columns irrelevant to this proposed tracking table (or containing private information), to come up with a proposed layout for the table, and then we can collaborate on structuring it. We at WMF will provide the current data, and we can all work to keep it up-to-date. Stay tuned! Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:35, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hi, Tony and Asaf: Thanks for the suggestion. I also agree this document could be a useful tool and will work on putting a draft together this week. Cheers, Wolliff (talk) 00:14, 7 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
I totally agree with this, there should be a centralized page, with the grants in a list, because they seem to me, hard to find, and to visualize as a whole. This could also contribute to keep a record.--3BRBS (talk) 01:11, 7 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Hi, all: I started some work on this here: Grants:Table. Regards, Wolliff (talk) 17:43, 7 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Very usefull indeed! Thanks a lot!--3BRBS (talk) 23:03, 8 December 2012 (UTC)Reply

Member availability


My apologies to the GAC for not being very active for the past month. Real-life workload is crushing at the moment. It should lighten to about half after this weekend. I'll be very restricted again from late January to early March.

This brings to mind the possibility that we might have a table on the page overleaf, or at least a list, in which we state what our availability is for the time being against our name. For example, we could move ourselves, as necessary, between ... "fully active" / "slightly restricted activity" / "restricted activity" / "temporarily inactive".

en.WP arbitrators do this, but mind you all but one are active at the moment because the election is underway <smile>. Tony (talk) 13:19, 29 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

The understanding could still be that if you're inactive for more than a certain period without reason, you should consider bowing out. Tony (talk) 13:19, 29 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Guidelines for applicants on the level and type of detail required


Can we urgently work on adding to the guidelines to applicants information that will save us all time and improve transparency: how much and what type of details applicants should provide? The guidelines should probably make a distinction between the amount of detail expected in a $200 budget line, a $2000 line, and a $10,000 budget line. A few examples could be provided.

A case in point is this apparently worthy application from a part of the Wikimedia world I believe we need to attend to: Africa. A little more detail has now been inserted, but originally the budget "breakdown" was simply "€1500*6 months = €9000", period.

We don't want unnecessary bureaucratic burdens on applicants, but on the other hand some applications require a time-consuming and convoluted series of questions by GAC members on the talk pages—questions that should largely be avoided by getting the instructions right in the first place. Tony (talk) 01:57, 5 January 2013 (UTC)Reply

On this theme, may I add that Asaf has posted excellent and very informative feedback on the Kyrgyz application, including advice on budget clarity, program rules, the role of volunteers, the total size of grants vs. the track record, and the viability of the community after, or in the absence of, the requested funding. Why can't we include some of this information in a more formalised, centralised place for applicants, to help them avoid pitfalls?

I also note that we have a page called Grant Advisory Committee/Learnings, and I'm unsure whether its purpose is to advise applicants or GAC reviewers or both. Could the purpose be clarified, please?

Could I suggest that we consider a concerted effort to construct more detailed guidelines for applicants and reviewers (but especially the former), so that the GAC is more likely to get the information it needs in the first place, rather than engaging in convoluted question–answer discourse on the talk pages of applications? This is vital, I believe, to streamline the process. My major principle for grant-application processes is to work towards two goals simultaneously:

*minimising the work for applicants (for which sufficient and clear instructions and advice is important to enable better targeting in their planning and writing); and

*maximising the ability of the GAC and WMF staff to easily judge the worthiness of an application, and indeed to assist applicants in improving the proposed activities and likely outcomes.

Both aims are achievable, but we need more textual infrastructure for this. Comments on the general thrust of what I'm saying would be welcome from GAC members, staff, and applicants. Tony (talk) 05:24, 19 April 2013 (UTC)Reply

Speaking as both a GAC member and a previous grant applicant, I think that having more explicit guidance on the various matters that applicants should address in their requests (and, by extension, the issues that the GAC will consider when evaluating those requests) would be very useful. At the moment, the only way for someone to discover what these issues are is to take part in one (or several!) grant application/evaluation cycles; while repeat applicants will eventually learn what's expected of them (although even this is problematic when applicant teams experience significant turnover, with the attendant loss of institutional memory), the issue is particularly detrimental for first-time applicants, who will typically have little knowledge of the factors GAC uses in evaluating there requests (especially in the absence of any published evaluation rubrics). Kirill Lokshin [talk] 12:37, 19 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
Well observed Tony, and I like the idea very much. It makes a lot of sense to give applicants a more concrete feel of what we need from them. We should only be careful with wording, so they don't feel discouraged when they don't feel capable of following the guidelines from the start, or in their entirety. Well, if such a document comes - unfortunately I don't have the time to start it right now - I could take some time to improve it in this direction. Again, thank you! :D --Solstag (talk) 18:59, 19 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
The current Wiki Loves Earth application, for a well-conceived project indeed, is all the same an ideal example of how GAC members have to work far too hard to extract the necessary information. Tony (talk) 14:24, 4 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

Criteria, Summary of opinion?


Our colleagues over at the Individual Engagement Grants (IEG) committee, advising the IEG program, have just posted their reviews of the first round of IEG requests (IEG, like the FDC, has two funding rounds a year), and I thought it would be interesting for us to take a look.

Here, take a look at an example. The others are all on the talk pages of the proposals.

See that nice table with criteria and scores? And that summary of opinion by the committee? Does it strike you as a stronger review and a better basis for a funding decision by WMF?

What would you say about adopting something like that for GAC reviews? Veteran GAC members may remember the survey I had run among GAC members about a year ago, where I had also proposed adopting a (non-exclusive) set of criteria for reviewing proposals, as well as (separate question) asked whether the GAC would like to form a "committee opinion".

Note that neither of these two ideas would mean individual GAC members would be barred (of course!) from adding personal opinions beyond the committee opinion or making other comments beyond the standard criteria.

At the time, the GAC was evenly split on the question, with some members feeling strongly that it would limit their freedom, and other supporting the idea.

Of course, a summary-of-opinion text requires a separate space for drafting, so a mailing list may be needed. That can be arranged.

Also, it's much easier to come up with committee opinions when all the data is known and some discussion has taken place (as in IEG and FDC), whereas our program handles applications on a rolling basis and coordinating a time to form that committee opinion can be difficult. One approach to that might be "task forces" of 2-4 members taking on the responsibility for a committee opinion for a given grant (again, any other member [and non-member!] can always comment as well).

In light of the turnover in membership and the live example of the IEG committee, I would like to bring it up for discussion again. What do you think?

Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 01:23, 8 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

The idea is sound to me and the example from the IEG looks fine, but there are still too many open questions that should be answered before adopting such tool.
First of all, the requests we evaluate in the grantmaking process differ in size and scope than those classified as individual grants. This is important with respect to the scoring criteria that will be used in the reviewing process. We need to start by defining a set of criteria that suits mostly within the grantmaking process as driven by the GAC. Then, important note is to define what are the people that can participate by giving their scores to these criteria (it won't be a good idea someone who haven't participated in the discussion to have the right to give his scores). Even if we manage to do this properly, the set of criteria that is used might not comply suitably with the discussion that was carried out about the request in question (there are different issues related to each request that is difficult to be captured in a handful set of criteria).
The next important note is that the grantmaking process we're working on doesn't depend on any time restrictions. It means that we'll have to define subjectively the time when the scoring should start and end. More importantly, we deal with requests that are difficult to evaluate and we don't know when a staled discussion will continue or end. Even though we predict it properly, another issue is the variety of requests in size and scope that merits implementing a prudent approach for every single grant request.
If we agree on to introduce this tool, we have to think carefully about the decision-making as well. I suppose that the final decision will rely on the averaged score over the set of criteria that is used, but we have to agree on whether to use weighted averages (to separate the more important and less important criteria by assigning them different coefficients) and what is the minimum score of confidence to the project that the average score derived from the scoring table should surpass in order to support the project. The use of a minimum score of confidence doesn't solve the problem completely, but differentiates the low-scoring from high-scoring requests and thus implying that those exhibiting an averaged score that barely exceeds the minimum score of confidence should be taken more seriously when monitoring.
Finally, the last important issue is the feedback from the whole process. Some of the projects will likely not meet the expectations by the scores assigned to them, implying that we have to think about how to use this information in order to improve the scoring by reducing the subjectivity and increasing its reliability at the same time. This is not an easy task and may be costly in terms of time and resources. On the other hand, the fact we don't use any specific timeframe means that changes in the process will have to be carried out all the time.
--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 12:21, 9 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
I don't think the IEG process works at all. It basically paves the way for manipulation through numerology. And I don't even understand why these projects are not submitted to the GAC, since it has been established that we do fund temporary full time positions. Although I'm not saying that, as I can see the history that brought it about, it does make it seem like the only explanation is that some people would rather have part of WMF's grants budget beyond the public scrutiny of ideas, so they created a committee that never engages proponents, or exposes their biases, preferences or points of view. Just let a bunch of entitled people assign numbers and final-word one-liners to projects and get away with it.
I have looked at evaluations of IEG proposals and for many of them I have absolutely no idea what were those committee people thinking. Not to mention that averaging opinions from a committee that deliberates in secrecy while also having an open membership makes no sense at all in terms of balancing points of views, respecting diversity and understanding local issues. They are doing it wrong even from a private charity point of view. Unfortunately, these are already part of issues I openly criticized in the past, when that program was being run under a different name (I think it was "Fellowships Program"). They did improve one very significant thing though, that now a grant's value is public, which shows how even more bizarre the previous program was.
But, getting back to our productive business, I strongly oppose any such numerology within the GAC. Our process should focus on real issues and in helping projects improve to a point anyone can feel secure when looking at them, informed by data such as previous reports from similar projects. Good grant-making on the specific project level is not about filling out spreadsheets, it is entirely about engaging and understanding. Once you label something it becomes dead weight. We should never label projects like that, it is uncooperative and unproductive. Also, our project evaluation guidelines are already very clear and useful, and much better worded than those of the IEG.
However, there is a point for us to improve in what I just said: we should more systematically gather data about the projects we fund and relate them to new proposals. Perhaps we must start asking proponents to relate their plans and budgets to past experiences, while we properly categorize them to assist in that task. Also, but perhaps that is not an issue as we might be still in excess, one piece of data we have not been discussing is how much money is still left unallocated for grants. When that becomes an issue spreadsheets will come handy, but still only on an aggregate level, as a tool for the big picture, not for specific projects.
Well, I fell I might not have provided a very useful comment, but that is because I feel the IEG process is backwards and unproductive and the IEG should be extinct, as they basically add secrecy and numerology to do a job redundant to ours, while we idle here with a drastically better procedure and no more than two open requests.
--Solstag (talk) 06:22, 11 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
I have to say that you're right. But let's wait for any other who may be able to demonstrate that there is a way this tool could be adopted by answering all of my concerns raised above and the fair points you have in your comment.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 00:34, 13 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
I am member also of the IEG and the formality of IEG seems good but I don't appreciate the lack of flexibility. The IEG sessions are two per year, so the workflow may be complex with a lot of reviews and discussions, but I don't think that it can be used "as is" for GAC. Anyway some good practices may be adapted. --Ilario (talk) 10:10, 14 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
I'm inclined to look favourably on a numerical system of judging publicly ... in principle, at this stage. Good for focusing everyone's minds. And it's just fine if there are tighter deadlines on this process. Tony (talk) 14:21, 4 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

Requirement of per line dollar amount?


I find it extremely difficult to assess the pertinence of single budget lines in Grant requests when they are only expressed in the local currency. As a matter of fact, especially in the case of currencies which exchange rate make the totals extremely high (in the thousands when the dollar value is really in the hundreds), I find it has a chilling effect on the way I look at the grant request. Let's say it takes me a while to adjust to the 1:100 ratio or so (where a 1:100 ratio is easy to figure out, but a 1:376 ratio much more complicated). So my question to you all is: would making the dollar value per budget line a requirement be asking for too much? (ie. you'd have local currency/USD value for each budget line). I think it would make things clearer from the beginning (and for the record, I think in Euros, but I have a pretty good idea of the EUR:USD rate at all times, which I think might be true for many of us in our local currencies). Your thoughts? notafish }<';> 09:42, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

Or simpler, just ask that they choose either US dollars or euros throughout, with the exchange rate into the local currency at the top, once. Simplicity is very important for all parties. Tony (talk) 09:47, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply
I find this suggestion useful. For instance, in our Mediagrant reports, we use both CZK and USD amounts by every important entry. --Packa (talk) 11:41, 20 May 2013 (UTC)Reply
I see Delphine's point and think this is a very helpful suggestion, but think we could phrase this as a strong suggestion in the submission form rather than a strict requirement (and add a column to our financial table template to strengthen the suggestion even more).
Don't prefer Tony's approach, for the reason that submitting a grant in US dollars when the expenses are in another currency and when grant funds are received in another currency can sometimes make it more complicated to resolve the total amounts received, spent, and remaining because of differences in exchange rates at the time the request is submitted, at the time installments are sent, and at the time of reporting.
Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 23:58, 12 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
It is very helpful, so that no one has to run a mental computation or resort to a calculator just to figure out how much an item costs.-- Roel (talk) 00:04, 13 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Introducing the dollar amounts as requirement is a good idea, but I prefer to keep the line with the amounts in the original currency along with the one in US dollars.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 00:38, 13 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

On the note on attitude


Awesome section, thanks.[2] --Nemo 17:40, 6 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

+ Alice Wiegand (talk) 21:07, 6 September 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you! :) Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:32, 6 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

Guidelines for timing and applicant attention to queries


Dear colleagues, comments by Frieda and others here remind us again that applicants should know beforehand that if GAC members and staff put work into reviewing and providing advice or asking questions, this should be responded to without unreasonable delay during the process. Tony (talk) 20:35, 17 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

Indeed. We always advise applicants, in the e-mail acknowledging their proposal, about monitoring the talk page. I have now sent the applicant another reminder by e-mail, urging him to respond on the talk page. Thanks! Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 00:39, 18 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

Two requests concerning the structure of application talk pages


If the sections concerning GAC members' status and support/oppose were positioned at the top, we could simply click on "Add topic" to write our comments and queries under a personal section title. At the moment, you can't do this, and have to jump through hoops to add your new section above the members' section that is currently at the bottom.

Could there be a link at the top of each talk page to the category page for live applications, so members can more conveniently move from one to another? Tony (talk) 17:30, 20 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

Not much available for a few weeks


Sorry to say my real-life work commitments are crushing at the moment (it's to do with the yearly cycle of deadlines for competitive research funding—I'm consulting on about 30 applications). I can only drop in briefly at the moment.

I wonder whether the new table of members‚ which is nice, could include a column on the right where we could insert predicted/actual low-activity periods? If so, I'd mark mine 27 January – 20 March. Tony (talk) 13:34, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply



(1) There seems to be no system to indicate when a report is "finished" onwiki and ready for review; (2) due date not included—I'd like to know that they're on time; (3) no links to the category for other reports, so it's hard to navigate through them when you do a sesssion reviewing.

Could there be more explicit instructions about nailing "Impact" and providing possible solutions to "Lessons learned"? I'm encountering vagueness. Tony (talk) 02:26, 15 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Esperanto kaj Libera Scio


As this discussion might be of interest for all Grant Advisory Committee members:

German Wikipedia's Kurier reported in a front page article on May 4, 2014 on GAC's earlier (April 2013) rejection of a grant application aimed at improving the Esperanto Wikipedia and a statement by Asaf Bartov (the existence, cultivation, and growth of the Esperanto Wikipedia does not advance our educational mission. No one needs free knowledge in Esperanto). The article has generated a discussion on the newsletter's talkpage, which spread even onto the Dutch, French, and Ukrainian village pumps, revived the talk page of the rejected grant application and invaded even Asaf Bartov's talk page on Meta.

quoted from Talk:Esperanto kaj Libera Scio (thanks to Blahma), rephrased and supplemented:)

--Holder (talk) 19:35, 6 May 2014 (UTC)Reply

As I think the question, which languages are "the mission of WMF", should be discussed by worldwide community I've informed all wikipedias on their village pump about the discussion on meta. Please have a look also at these statements:

Thanks. --Holder (talk) 11:04, 8 May 2014 (UTC)Reply

Calling on Alleycat80 to resign from GAC

  1. Clearly is unwilling or unable to put much time or effort into reviewing.
  2. Abusive to a community reviewer.

It's offensive behaviour. Tony (talk) 12:05, 5 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

"Abusive"? What can I say on it? Only that I support Ido. --Packa (talk) 12:29, 5 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Then you too should resign. You're not fit for anything to do with grant reviewing. Tony (talk) 16:40, 5 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Tony: Cut it out. -Pete F (talk) 16:44, 5 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Butt out, Forsyth. Someone has called me a troll as an insult. It's out of order. Tony (talk) 02:24, 6 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Good point. On that note, I stubbed my toe this morning, and it hurt like hell. -Pete F (talk) 02:56, 6 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Maybe I shouldn't make light of this, I don't know. But you are a former GAC member, and somebody who's engaged with PEG for a long time; so I don't see much point in my telling you things that you already know. What is your purpose here? The GAC exists to advise WMF staff. If WMF staff are dissatisfied with their efforts (and I see no reason to think they should be), they have a lot of avenues they can pursue short of rudely and publicly calling for resignations. It's neither your role to call for resignations, nor is it helpful for you to do so. So I repeat my request: cut it out. -Pete F (talk) 03:04, 6 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
I'm not accepting personal insults from GAC members—especially gratuitous insults. Calling someone a "troll" on a review page is disgusting, and I'm surprised to see you side with the insult brigade. No apology or withdrawal yet from this Alleycat person—that is telling. Tony (talk) 03:59, 6 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
  • More on this. I see here that a GAC member has posted negative opinions about another community reviewer, in very strong terms. I really didn't want to have my views of whatever that reviewer has written about the application tainted by this. There could be a case for private warnings by email to other community reviewers, but only with special justification, and with the knowledge of WMF staff I think. But generally, GAC members should stay out of such matters and focus on the application. Tony (talk) 06:16, 12 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
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