Grants talk:PEG/Grant Advisory Committee/Self-assessment 2011

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The GAC has been operating since June 2011, and this is a good time to take a moment to reflect on its work and offer some self-assessment (non-GAC members are welcome to add their own assessments as well!) on the GAC and its work (and my own!), with the goal of improving our functioning. It is also clear that some of the GAC members have participated very little, or not at all (some of those have flagged their temporarily limited availability in advance, and I appreciate that). I would like us to also discuss an internally agreed-upon standard of participation we should all commit to (barring forces majeures etc.).

Please share your thoughts on the following questions (intersperse your responses under each question, so we get a collation of question-and-answers groups). Thanks! Ijon 21:06, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

How well is the GAC doing its job? What could be done to improve?Edit

  • We're doing a good job, I think. Of course, we are learning about, but in future we will do a very nice job (almost I have all my hopes on it XD). For improve this job we need a little more coordination, I mean: some grants have a good GAC members' participation, but not anothers -I'm the first sinner :-(, of course---Marctaltor 22:54, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I hope that the summer months activity, due to the holidays and student exams/vacations, is not representative of our normal level of participation. I know this is self-assessment but it’s up to WMF and grant applicants to decide whether we are doing a good job. Judging by the result - the eventual decision about funding broadly correlates with our recommendations - we are not completely useless. The improvement would be to increase participation.Victoria 14:57, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, is too soon to say something. We are still "learning" how to do this. The coordination thing is a good idea (see Marctaltor answer) but I think we could ask some members to opine when there are a grant who is related with then (by language or culture). Béria Lima msg 13:29, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
  • In fact, the whole process of reviewing has fasten, so I must say that a really god job is done. But there is always a way how to improve it, and a further coordination could be nice to do it.--Kiril Simeonovski 08:42, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I think GAC members are doing good job as every request drew attention of a GAC member.But we can keep a further assesment for GAC by deciding many common factors, every GAC member should give his assesment for these factors-Mayur (talkEmail) 02:37, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

What is a reasonable internal standard of participation we could commit to?Edit

  • It's hard to answer this, I think...really I don't know. Some grants probably needs more participation than anothers, but i don't know how we calculate the neccesary number of GAC members' in each one...I will be happy to read proposal on it.--Marctaltor 22:58, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
  • If we want to do a more thorough job it’s better to have opinions of at least three committee members per grant. May be there is a point in suggesting three members from the alphabetical list for each grant?Victoria 14:57, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, I tend to agree with Marctaltor. Each grant is different, some need extensive discussion, some don't need that much. I think that "force" a certain number of members to answer a grant is not the best policy, and assign grants to someone is trick, because we can end up with a GAC member who does not know anything about the subject, when we had other with lots of knowledge who "can't talk" because is not his/her grant. Béria Lima msg 13:19, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with the comments above. Some grants are simply open-and-shut affairs, and I don't think that all sixteen of us need to comment on those. This can make it look like we're neglecting those grants, when in actual fact we might just not have any criticism or comments to make. We could come up with a standardised template that we stick on the talk page to indicate that we've read the application and have no objections, but that might bring in the spectre of "voting" on grants. Craig Franklin 07:07, 17 September 2011 (UTC).
  • Most of the grants can be reviewed easily, so I don't think that we need any internal standard. The most difficult part probably is to star participating in discussion lately after it has been started. This usually costs too much time and I'd rather prefer every GAC member to follow all the applications carefully and to participate as soon as the discussion begins.--Kiril Simeonovski 08:47, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I think every GAC member should commit his time for atleast 2-3 grant requests in a month. GAC may be extended to bring some new potential members-Mayur (talkEmail) 02:44, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

In light of the upcoming heavier reliance on the Grants program and the increase of its budget, do we need to expand the GAC? If so, by how much, and how should we structure it?Edit

  • No, I think not. I think there're enough people now. Perhaps in the future we need more people, but not yet I think. And more people, more problems...Napoleon says: "When I wish that a work should not be done, I name a Committee to study it"...Few people -but good workers- can do much.--Marctaltor 23:03, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I am worried a bit about somewhat ad hoc nature of our committee: we are all volunteers and have not been in any way approved by the community. When the Chapters and individuals will have to depend on our opinion, sooner or later this self-appointment could be questioned.
Additionally, the problem with volunteers is that we are relatively unreliable and certainly didn’t so far have too many members expressing their opinions in one discussion. I think adding an elected representative from each of the 10 major language projects may improve the Committee. Being elected = "awarded" responsibility will increase chances of steady participation and add weight to the opinions.Victoria 14:57, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with Marctaltor opinion. So far, we are good. In the future, we can discuss changes if they are needed. Béria Lima msg 13:24, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I concur with the comments above. Most of the work done is made by the number of people included now, and the main goals in the terms of the time and decision-making seem to be appropriately reached. We lack a coordination, as many noted above, so any further expansion could be made if needed in the future.--Kiril Simeonovski 08:51, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I think if it required we can expand GAC, if the involvement of current GAC member is less we should expand this Committee-Mayur (talkEmail) 11:51, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

What can be improved in communication with the WMF?Edit

  • Oh...are there a communication with WMF?...XD XD...seriously: I think all communcation it's good. More communication, best job.--Marctaltor 23:05, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I like a lot how Ijon have organized our work but it would be nice to be informed about major grant policy changes ASAP. And to receive an answer to question N1 :)Victoria 14:57, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Oh...are there a communication with WMF?2 ;) ;) Well, so far we only know when a grant start (that communication could be faster) and when they are funded / rejected. I agree with Victoria that we should have more communication about grant policy changes (better when they are in the discussion phase) and when something change in a grant. Béria Lima msg 13:22, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
  • With regards to GAC, I think it's pretty good. Asaf's semi-regular roundups are informative and helpful to me. I can't see any massive flaws in the current communication model that need fixing. Craig Franklin 07:08, 17 September 2011 (UTC).
  • This is surely a very good question. I'm pleased to say that the people working in the Foundation really lean on the reviews made by the GAC members to make the ultimate decisions. However, we can improve the communication to find out who are the people responsible for the decision-making, and as noted above, Ijon has done a really good job in organization of the work within the GAC and the relations with the Foundation.--Kiril Simeonovski 08:59, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I think communication with WMF is already good-Mayur (talkEmail) 11:56, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
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