Grants talk:PEG/WM AR/Iberoconf 2014

Active discussions

Evaluation by the GACEdit

GAC members who support this requestEdit

  1. NLIGuy (talk) 23:48, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
  2. MADe (talk) 13:29, 3 August 2014 (UTC) would like to see a more detailed travel costs analysis, see my comments below
  3. I would really suggest to review in future the format of the Iberoconf. 20.000-30.000 USD per year is a huge cost, I would like to support a program and a project even if more expensive in South America than supporting cost travel. --Ilario (talk) 20:38, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
  4. I support this type of meetings. Expenditure looks appropriate. --Packa (talk) 22:44, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

GAC members who oppose this requestEdit

GAC members who abstain from voting/commentEdit

  1. I am in COI so I recuse myself--3BRBS (talk) 15:05, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  2. Recusing due I'm an active member of the initiative and I participate in the project. --ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 15:00, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

GAC commentsEdit

Hi Galileo and Anna, thank you for this very well prepared proposal. I have a question and two issues to raise:

  1. In your 2013 report you said you were affected by a financial situation of Wikimedia Mexico. I just want to ask if this might recur this year? (Since no one mentioned this, I assume it's not and moving on).
  2. I urge you to seek other sources of funding, such as ministries of culture from Spain, Latin America, etc. I know you've had sponsorship issues in 2013, but this should not make you hesitant to seek other sources of funding, and secure the sources with contracts stating who gets what (WMAR gets funding for X, and the sponsor gets publicity during Y, for example). There is still a lot of time ahead - I see this conference as having both a noble cause (so to speak) and a potential for companies and organizations to fund it. Why not try that?
  3. The last issue is with the costs of flights. I think that flying people from Italy and Spain to Argentia is reasonable. Flying people from Chile and Brazil might seem less so. If I remember correctly, there is train / bus access to Buenos Aires, Is there not? I just wish somehow travel budget were not so great.

Other than that, I have no more comments and support this. NLIGuy (talk) 23:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi, NLIGuy. Thanks for your support and comments. I'll reply following your points:
  1. The financial situation mentioned in the report for Iberoconf 2013 were a series of financial obstacles that meant great challenges for the organizers. Long story short, WMMX was unable to operate a bank acount on its own, and on top of that the funds were immobilized for a number of weeks during a random government financial inspection. Hopefully none of these situations will repeat this year. WMAR has been in charge of large sums of movement funds since we organized Wikimania back in 2009, and has been operating on annually funded budgets since 2012 —part of the FDC process since 2013. We are used to the process of receiving external funding and have the financial means to implement this grant. That said, it should be noted that the biggest problem for WMMX was that of booking the flights, which is understandable when they account for the biggest part of the grant and include relatively large transfers of money to external providers. While we did take this responsibility in the past (Iberoconf 2011, WikiWomenCamp 2012), we think that currency exchange regulations make it really really impractical to book flights from Argentina (prices would artificially/unnecessarily go up by at least +35%), and that is why we ask that as part of the proposal WMF accepts covering that task directly. This will also make it way less of a burden for us than it was for WMMX last year.
  2. We're on it —we got a superb venue for free! Believe us the photos don't make it justice, the venue is really great. While it may be something to be expected, not all Wikimedia-related conferences and meetings were able to secure a venue for free, so from our point of view it should be considered an alternate source of funding through sponsorship, in this case from the Buenos Aires City Goverment. We are also working with private sponsors for other WMAR activities —for instance, the winners of our annual photo contest for this year will be awarded with flight tickets provided by a very important regional airline. You can we sure that we will try to reduce costs for the movement as much as possible —yet, costs such as regular air travel or accommodation are much more difficult to cover through sponsorships.
  3. Unfortunately there are no trains anymore since the 1990s, but yes there are buses. However, considering how vast this part of the world is, traveling by bus can be extremely time consuming. Buses from Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires take 34 hours on the fastest services and up to 40 on others (versus two and a half by plane), with prices that are not that cheaper than air travel. For instance, a roundtrip from Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires is right now around ARS 3000, about 350 USD —one can even find air tickets for that money. Traveling from Santiago to Buenos Aires takes 20 hours (versus two by plane), with the roundtrip on around ARS 2000. The approximate airfare values we included on the grant proposal are based on current offers/estimates with a 20% overhead to compensate for future variations, but in any case actual tickets can be cheaper than budgeted. One thing is certain, the Uruguayans can easily come by ship or bus.
Best, Galio (talk) 03:13, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your replies. I remember long bus rides when visiting Argentina, but 30+ hours by bus does seem really unreasonable... NLIGuy (talk) 18:22, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Comments MADeEdit

Hey all, I read the proposal. I'm aware of the previous well run editions and I personally see it as a great opportunity.

The big concern to me are the huge travel costs. In a project were 80% of the budget goes to travel costs, it would be interesting to look for some ways to keep this costs down (eg. changing the time to "off season", changing venue location, more detailed travel costs analysis). I would like to see more detail about this in the grant request. The environment counts, too. MADe (talk) 13:28, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi MADe, thanks for your comments. We at Wikimedia Argentina did everything possible to keep the costs down, including an exhaustive search for accommodation prices and, as has already been said, securing a wonderful venue for free thanks to our partnership with the City Government. The time is already in the "off season" —November is in the low season in both hemispheres.
It is true that 80% of the budget goes to travel costs, but that doesn't mean that travel costs are exorbitant or easy to avoid. They usually make the biggest part of the cost of our international meetings, and it's the cost of getting together people dispersed all over the world. In this case most people are already in the same region and flights from most of Latin America to Argentina are cheap or the cheapest by regional standards for international flight —from Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, for instance, not to mention Uruguay. I'd like to frame it differently: if 80% of the budget goes to travel costs, which are more or less a fixed item, it means that the rest of it was kept as limited as possible: a venue for free, cheap but decent accommodation with shared rooms, and costs for catering and transportation that are below what an event of the type would have costed in Europe or North America, for instance.
We can provide a more detailed flight cost analysis if needed, but we opted to give a big picture about that point because airfares are really difficult to predict in detail. For instance, the different groups haven't yet decided who would they sent as representatives, what means that the airports can differ. Even if we forced everyone to decide right now who would come and we provided an updated cost for each individual flight that could still go up (and even down, in some cases) by the point they actually get booked. We included a provision for Costa Rica that can either be cut off or streamlined according to the evaluators' best understanding (I'm mentioning this because Costa Rica hasn't yet started the application process with AffCom as a proposed group and travel tickets to San José are the most expensive). I'll provide some more information about flights and representatives on my reply to Ilario.
Best, Galio (talk) 09:47, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Comments from IlarioEdit

I supported a lot Iberocoop at the start, but now it is increasing and I understand that the costs of a meeting in presence are getting higher. I would like to ask to negotiate with an airline company a discount (I worked in an airline company and it's possible, probably with Iberia may be good). At the moment this budget is not recommended cause the high costs of travel.

If this solution is not applicable, my suggestion is to "be bold" and to reduce the number of participants to one per country (except the case where the chapter will pay for the other participant). In case of a Wikimedia Conference the participation of two members per chapter is accepted because there is a huge agenda with several concurrent meetings, but in this case I see that the plan has three concurrent sessions, probably extending the event with another day it would be possible to cut off the costs and to have all sessions in sequence. I have seen that a new location cannot save the costs, so I see only the solution in "1 per country".

Additional question. I have not seen an Iberocoop conference in connection with Wikimania but those of other linguistic groups [1]. Some topic may be explained better in London than in the Iberoconf, like the granting solutions provided by WMF. There will be two preconferences about that. Here there will be a good opportunity to have a look in all granting programs and not only in one (considering that a few chapters are eligible for FDC). --Ilario (talk) 15:51, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Ilario, thanks for your comments. I know and appreciate your support for Iberocoop. I don't think that the costs of meeting are getting higher: the groups are the same as last year, except for the inclusion of Costa Rica (see my response to MADe). In comparison with Iberoconf 2012 in Chile, we even excluded Peru —we had decided to invite a prominent Wikipedian who said she was eager to start working on the ground, but there hasn't been any progress ever since. What happens is that air travel to Argentina is slightly more expensive than it is to México (and I mean "slightly" only because most South American Iberocoop chapters are closer to Argentina than they are to México) and that local costs are also higher. In any case, when comparing flight prices please take into account the actual amount spent last year and not the budget provisions for Iberoconf 2013, for they were exceedingly optimistic and AFAIK actual values weren't so reduced as they could seem when compared to what we have budgeted for Argentina.
IMHO we must live with the fact that travel accounts for the greatest part of the cost of these meetings. I don't extend into discussing the reasons to have regional or international meetings because I think we agree about them and they have been already exposed. There are a series of other costs that we will be saving either directly or indirectly, from the venue to the experience WMAR has in organizing this kind of events. We can't do much about airlines' fares policy, but we can do about the rest, and that's why I insist that the fact that travel accounts for the biggest part of the budget is not necessarily something bad —quite on the contrary. In any case I think the discussion could be about whether the airfares we have budgeted are reasonable (as in realistic) or not.
About the concrete proposals. The "1 per country" idea was discussed on our meeting in Berlin during the Wikimedia Conference —so yes, we take profit from international meetings to advance our business, but on international meetings not everyone is present nor available to have a dedicated working meeting. Having a meeting on our own languages and with a program tailored to our own interests and needs, as discussed and evaluated, is a completely different thing. So we discussed this idea in Berlin and it was actually me who suggested it, as a way of keeping costs down in case attendance to Iberoconf was expected to increase year by year. There was an almost unanimous rejection of the idea. Most people find that two persons is the minimum number of representatives to ensure that they can be heard and that they can bring back effective knowledge to their countries. On another note, this year would be the first for Iberoconf that we'll be having parallel tracks during the schedule, so the two-people solution is more necessary than in previous editions. Extending the conference into a four or five-day run is not viable, I'd love to have everyone here for a few more days but people have to work and it would mean extending the meeting too much into the week.
Last year we had decided that informal user groups (there were still not approved WUGs), as was the case of Colombia for instance, would send just one representative. I found the idea viable and comprehensible, but people from said groups found it offensive and patronizing, and there was a strong consensus towards returning to the "two people per group" formula. In any case, I still think that we can fairly use the 1-people criterion to those groups that are still on their very beginnings and that obviously wouldn't be interested (or shouldn't be interested) in sessions such as how to apply for the FDC process. This would be the case for Costa Rica, that incidentally represents the highest cost of flights due to poor international connections. Another problem that the WMMX team had to face last year was that of very high prices for flights to Venezuela, and due to a series of incidents in the end it was financially impossible to pay for the two tickets, so the Venezuelans had to send one person. This was a really contemptuous case and the Venezuelans were very expressive (and I'm sure they can make their case here if needed) about having their two-people delegation secured. Costa Rica and Venezuela represent the only "unusually high" costs of travel, but it is a constant for those two countries and not a situation having to do with Argentina, this proposal or these dates in particular.
On securing a deal with an airline —good idea. The problem is that unlike in Europe, it is very difficult that a single carrier can reach most of the airports we need to serve. Regional airlines are smaller, air traffic is way more reduced and their destinations are fewer. For instance, even if we could try to find a deal with our flag carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas most destinations could not be served. We explored this alternative with LAN, with whom we have an actual agreement for another project, but nothing useful came out. The number of flights we are talking about is very reduced in business terms, and obtaining any kind of beneficial agreement becomes more difficult. On top of that, it should be noted that WMAR would not be in charge of the booking process.
Best, Galio (talk) 09:47, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I would consider anyway that one point of the discussion in this Iberoconf will be also the revision of the conference. We are discussing a similar question in a concurrent project here and we did the same for other conferences (Wiki Indaba for instance). --Ilario (talk) 20:48, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Question from PackaEdit

Small question only: how can I understand Ibero(conf) and two participants from Italy? --Packa (talk) 22:49, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for your support. Initially Iberocoop was conceived as a network of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking chapters and groups, but at our very first meeting —in Gdansk, during Wikimania 2010— Wikimedia Italia asked to join and everyone agreed it was great to have them on board. Italian is fairly close to Spanish and Portuguese and they are mutually intelligible to an extent that allows us to conduct our meetings with everyone speaking their own native language. Our cultures are also farily close, especially when considering that some Latin American countries —Argentina, Uruguay and to a lesser extent Brazil— have strong historical ties with Italy. So in any case it's the Ibero- thing that's misleading, and not that Italy is out of place :). Best, Galio (talk) 10:10, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Comments from the Wikimedia communityEdit


In principle this looks well worth supporting. It's pleasing to find a draft schedule presented, and it's great that the start-date isn't next week; but a start-date of 21 November means you won't be spending until then, right?

  1. Themes. Could I ask applicants and grantmaking staff at this point whether this is an appropriate forum in which to toss ideas about making the themes more specific? To me, our conferences suffer from a lack of preliminary discourse among intending participants. Without such prelim, it's hard for the meetup itself to be productive. Can it be the culmination of discussions rather than the start? But preliminary discussion is hard to get going unless specific questions/aims are raised. If investing this kind of money in a big meetup, I'd like to know that the sessions won't turn out the way some of them did in Berlin: pasting stickers on whiteboards, mixing from table to table to toss around ideas for the first time, all soon forgotten with little sense of new strategies and timelines and collaborative arrangements coming out of the event. A conference is not a good place to identify problems; that should be largely done now and over the next few months. By the time of the conference, there should already be options on the table, agreements and disagreements expressed, and dynamic agendas that pose specific questions.

    Let's take the training morning, then. May I ask staff whether the pages current under development on Meta on project management and evaluation, and metrics, will be translated into Spanish and Portuguese as a priority so that those conference delegates might use them as a starting point or reference point? What do they and don't they like in them? How do they relate to the Spanish- and Portuguese-language environments? What are the specific challenges in those environments?

    45 minutes is not long, for example, for a plenary session on project management training. To what extent will it focus narrowly so that I'd come out of there with a solid feeling of being more prepared to run movement-related projects?

    The cross-jurisdictional opportunities for GLAM collaboration seem to be an exciting area. Are you targeting specific cases? Logistically, how do you, the organisers, get the right people talking with each other before they get to BA? (This was a big problem for Berlin. A big fat nothing, I believe. Very disappointing.)

    I have a lot more questions about the other themes in the draft schedule, but will leave them until later.

  2. Who did the logo? It's just great (visually, even if I don't see the symbolism of groups of three, and the splash of yellow). Beautiful work. I want this designer.
  3. I don't understand the total emphasis on chapters over user groups. Looks like user groups are shut out.
  4. I'm struggling to know what R1, OVI, SVI, etc mean.

Tony (talk) 10:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi Tony, thanks for your comments and support. I'll try to reply to your points having to do with the general concept of the conference and logistics. I'll leave more concrete details of the Agenda and the whole metrics thing to Anna, our ED. She's currently on honeymoon leave, so I ask the GAC to be patient if our answers get delayed a while :).
  1. Themes: I'll leave this to Anna. Yet I'd like to point out that both WMAR and the general Iberocoop community share your worries. We know of the problem of getting stuck on circular, philosophical debate during conferences because we too have suffered from that in the past —even if Iberoconf 2013 was a step forward in terms of getting concrete results out of the meeting. That is why we proposed within Iberoconf (and are now proposing as part of the grant) having the conference strongly focused towards training and practical experience sharing. This decision does not solve everything, of course, but certainly comes from preliminary discussions and identifying problems before the conference.
  2. Logo: The logo was made by Iván Martínez from Wikimedia México (ProtoplasmaKid). He's great and has made amazing graphical pieces in the past. The logo is in fact an interation of the standard Iberoconf logo that has been in use since 2012, with the colors mirroring those of the host country —see the versions for Santiago 2012 and México City 2013—. Neither I do understand the symbolism of the groups of three, but I can reply about the splash of yellow: it stands for the Sun of May from the Argentine flag —check for instance the official fried egg logo for the Argentine Bicentennial—.
  3. User groups: It is possible that large chunks of the grant proposal were written refering only to chapters, but that has more to do with inertia (speaking of WMAR as the chapter, most of Iberocoop members being Wikimedia chapters, and being still used to the chapters being equivalent to everyone) than a concious decision against WUGs. If the text gives that impression, it is certainly our mistake, but you can be sure that it is not the spirit of Iberocoop nor the idea behind the conference. Quite the contrary. Since its creation in 2010, Iberocoop has included not only WUGs —they didn't exist back then, sure— but also informal groups which were making work on the ground and didn't have any kind of recognition or contact within the organized Wikimedia movement. Iberocoop helped consolidate those groups, many of which organized into chapters or WUGs, and aims to continue doing so. In fact, the grant proposal even includes a provision for Costa Rica, where we know there exists a working group but until the moment has not even applied before AffCom for recognition —we expect them to do so before the conference, but even if they didn't it is part of Iberoconf's aim to include and help strenghtening these groups—. So you can be sure Iberoconf is about chapters, WUGs and even informal working groups. We have a track record of three previous editions of Iberoconf to prove it!
  4. Those strange acronyms: They have to do with the Logical Framework Aproach methodology our ED uses. They have to do with primary and secondary challenges, goals and expected results. Anna will surely be able to explain them better.
  5. Dates and spending: There wouldn't be local spending (i.e. by WMAR) save for bookings and minor expenses (stationary) before the attendees' arrival for the conference. In any case, if this proposal is approved WMAR can support said minor expenses expenses from its financial reserves until the grant gets wired. However, it should be noted that air tickets should be issued as soon as possible once (and if) the proposal gets approved to prevent higher costs —we are asking WMF to take care of that in light of the reasons we explain in the proposal, so it is part of the grant but not of its execution by WMAR—.
Best, Galio (talk) 00:51, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Brief rejoinder

  • 3. Perhaps you could update the word "chapter" in the application to an inclusive term, like "affiliate"? (AffCom is named using this word.) Any new affiliate now has to be a user group for at least two years, and it would be good to encourage formation of UGs on the basis of jurisdictions, cities, regions, and themes, without necessarily the hassle of immediate incorporation. The Brazilian user group is a case in point.
  • 4. I wonder whether you'd mind expanding the abbreviations on first occurrence in the application itself, for the benefit of subsequent readers.
  • 5. Just for correctness and clarity, you could adjust the start-date forward. One option: "21 November, with minor expenses in the two months before this." But this is a minor point. More important is to organise discourse with participants and preparation around the themes. Tony (talk) 05:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • 3. I think we didn't use the world affiliate because it is framed from the point of view of WMF —it just doesn't come natural when you think of your own organization to be defined in such a relational term! In any case I'll be reviewing the application text shortly to ensure that there are no mentions to chapters alone. I favor using groups or organizations as indefinite plurals for all participating chapters, WUGs and informal groups.
  • 4. Will do.
  • 5. Will do. Thanks again for your comments. Even if one would like his application to be bullet-proof, constructive comments allow us to strengthen the proposal and ultimately to reflect on how to make our proposed meeting more productive and useful for the movement. Anna will be replying to your other contributions soon. --Galio (talk) 02:44, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm re-arranging Anna's reply following for the sake of readability. --Galio (talk) 01:42, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  1. Metrics: That will be great for us. WMAR has already developed its own monitoring reports regarding its projects and activities. The follow-up reports have been shared with all our colleagues of Iberocoop. In this sense, the design of regional common reports should be a main target to reach in Iberconf this year.
  2. Program: Thanks for your question again. Maybe if you analyze the project management training as just 45 minutes it may seem short time. But we put it on the schedule at first as a way of analyzing, finding out and pointing which are the chapters and user groups best prepared in this matter. This first training will be an introductory one. After the attendees presentation, during 45 minutes, we will count with the presence of a specialist in project design to assist the needs of the participants, as well as conducting the meeting to the point of a better developmen ,in terms of project management through a collaborative way. We believe that relevant projects are being done in the region and we all have so much to learn from each other. This 45 first minutes will be about concrete items, as how to define the main targets and how to define the main results for them. The project management strategy will be cross-cutting during all the rest of trainings and workshops.
  3. On getting people talk to each other before the conference: Before designing the temptative agenda we surveyed among the chapter and user groups, which GLAM activities have been notable regarding their activities. The ones chosen to be on the panel, are those who the attendees considered have had an oustanding performance. In the case of WMAR, all the actors, public, private and Civil Society Associations, that we may work with, are aware of the meeting, and keeping in mind that above all, we want to share best practices to design stronger and common programs among the LATAM region, we have invited those we consider that they can make the difference. At this moment, all the actors involved confirmed their participation.
  4. User groups: Sorry if it gives this impression. For WMAR and Iberocoop, chapters and user groups are equally important.
  5. Logo: WMMX did the logo for us. Another example of our co-operation.
  6. Acronyms: Following the Logical Framework methodology, all the projects response to the following items: 1. Overall Objective: which will be the action that will contribute to the main impact we want to reach. 2. Project Purpose: Which will be the outcome at the end of the project. 3. Results (R):Which are the results that will be implemented to achieve the specific objective. 4. Objetive Verificable Indicator (OVI): Which indicators show that the results have been achieved. 5. Sources of Verification: What are the sources of information for these indicators.
    — Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 01:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Brief rejoinder to Anna

Anna, thanks for your detailed responses. I'm going to take a few points you make and ask about possible preparatory strategy. Uppermost in my mind is avoiding the lack of prep by participants that I believe was a reason that it's hard to point to anything concrete that came out of Berlin, aside from people meeting each other. May I ask whether any concrete questions were resolved, strategies developed, at Iberoconf 2012? These are rare and expensive opportunities to make real progress on specific questions, and I see none expressed in the application. In short, I don't yet find a centre of gravity in the schedule, the grit, the interesting detail that is likely to make it dynamic.

The first challenge is to frame those questions as specifically as possible (the more general, the less likely the meetings will be focused). Just framing them is likely to prompt the kinds of exchanges among affiliates and individual participants that could be very productive—especially if they're controversial. Controversy is a sure-fire way of generating interest, and if controversies can be ironed out somewhat, distilled down to the essential commonalities and differences, several different views, several options for moving forward, I can see people coming to the conference ready to engage with each other in valuable ways.

But controversy, I concede, might be hard to find. Another way of sparking input in the planning stage is to simply suggest what the big challenges are for the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking movement, and to write down possible solutions: that is bound to get people criticising them, cutting them down, and there lies the germ for developing talking points at the conference.

The WMDE organisers of Berlin said that they tried to get input on a noticeboard: no takers. Is there a way to advertise talking points on es.WP and pt.WP?

I'm a hard-to-please old man, so forgive my comment about the "introductory 45 mins" in the training session: I think the time for introductions should come before the conference; that's why we have wikis and email and skype. I can't imagine anything useful will come from a hello and brief oral summary of their situation by each affiliate, unless presenters are asked to address specific questions, like ... um ... please name up to three things—skills, knowledge—you want your people to gain from the training sessions; what do you want to do better than you can do right now? Or ... please introduce one interesting thing that you think is different about your situation, that would be useful for the others to know about. (It would be better to distribute a page with the basic information about each affiliate so that they don't have to spend most of the time explaining that orally—it is a training session, after all, and there's hardly any time. I'm still asking myself what you all find the hardest about project management, and where you've achieved successes; isn't that prep, so that the conference itself can summarise this and focus down on the hard stuff it has already learned from prep?

Fit to strategy. As I keep saying, this section never yields anything useful and costs participants a few hours to puff up. The fault lies in the application form, not with the applicants. But I want to take issue, for example, with: "Encourage Innovation: a group of different countries, with local and specific contexts, working under the same roof and aiming the same targets within the movement, is considered a big innovated step." I don't find this convincing: it's just too vague: coming together to meet and talk is not innovation. Developing new and clever projects/designs/methods ... yes, that could be innovative. So the problem lies in discouraging applicants from paying lip-service to the language of the WMF's strategic priorities ("innovation" comes from there, I suppose) without the slightest evidence that anything innovative will emerge. I'd start to believe it if I saw just a little detail the conference might grapple with. I know zero about South America, but ... "Developing a detailed grid of likely GLAMs in each country to target in cross-national projects, including any specific dos and don'ts for appproaching and dealing with GLAM officials in each country." That would be interesting, and might be a great talking point in a session. Could cross-national teams of participants interested in or knowledgeable in art galleries, libraries, photo archives, etc, be established at the conference, each with a plan for the next six months? Perhaps then we're talking innovation, but only if we read the results and think: that's a really good way to go about this. How to deal with differences in copyright law in the es/pt WM world? Could we see a guideline come out of the conference? Are there any technical requirements the conference might agree on for communication to the WMF's Engineering and Products division? You'd need to start discussion beforehand with some prelim. proposals.

The Measures of success do contain a few numbers, but most of the bulleted items I don't think belong there: workshop slides are a measure of success? Interviews (unsure what that means)? Photographies? Attendance lists? I don't know how, from such items, we could construct a benchmark for passing or failing your reasonable expectations. These would be better removed from the application so we can see the bare bones of what you can measure. This is not yet a good example for the "Metrics development for project evaluation" session. Again, I'd like to know whether you'll bounce off the relevant pages on Meta, which before long should be translated. This is a two-way thing.

Sorry it's so long, but I fervently want WM conferences to achieve more than they have in the past, and it's not easy. Tony (talk) 05:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Thanks for your questions. Let me answer you as better as possible.
  1. Strategies developed at Iberoconf 2013 : Iberoconf 2013 enabled us to agree on different points and to start working on future projects. For instance, many of us found the WLM contest model to be exhausted for the Latin American context, and talked about possible alternatives with the common goal of increasing free contents in Commons. Wikimedia Chile came up with a proposal (WikiTour) we discussed among the different groups and this year Wikimedia Argentina is implementing its own variant of WikiTour. That's a practical outcome of face to face and project-framed communication within the conference. On another note, we agreed to create the figure of a "whip" who would keep track of common projects --being honest this didn't result as we expected, but it was a first step and one to be polished. The "whip" would also create a periodic joint journal of activities by Iberocoop chapters and groups, something that Carmen Alcázar from WMMX has been maintaining since then. And we also agreed some things having to do with internal dynamics within Iberocoop, such as defining an admission rule (or, better said, a series of criteria for admission) that was pending since we started this journey in 2010.
  2. Talking point es.WP pt.WP: Iberoconf is strongly focused towards organizational stuff, and from our experience organizational stuff is only of interest to a rather small group of people that are mostly already involved in "offline" Wikimedia activities. We aim to identify previously to the conference the different needs and interests of the participating chapters and groups, and to design both the agenda and the participation of external professionals (including, in this definition, specific WMF staff) according to those needs and interests. We Latin people love controversy, but at the very same time we want to make an effort to shift away from the kind of debate that won't produce a useful outcome --we expect each group to have something of their interest in the program, to be able both to contribute with their success stories and to learn or receive valuable advice by others on the fields they may want to reinforce. There is an important disparity within Iberocoop between some chapters that have been running for years and have staff, chapters who make a lot of activities without staff, recently recognized WUGs and informal group. So, assuming horizontality as one of our key values, still we acknowledge that being able to transfer knowledge in a friendly environment and using our own language(s) is one of the main assets of this conference.
  3. What do we want to do better: Iberoconf 2014 points its target on designing different projects and programs regarding the different local contexts but under a similar development. This particular outcome, isn't a reality nowadays, but as cooperative working group is what we believe we have to walk to. What you describe as basic information is one of the most important things for us. Giving the same opportunity to all the attendees to be able to present themselves, the work developed by their chapters or groups, as well as, their strengths and weaknesses, give us a rough description and help us to define strategies to work with during all the meeting. This is meant to be a very short introductory session. We take your recommendation --it goes in the same line we were thinking about when discussing the conference proposal on the Iberocoop mailing list and producing the kind of surveys we sent to the different groups to design the big lines of the proposed agenda.
  4. Innovation: What you describe as "innovation" is what we meant on "fit to strategy" but was expressed in a more metaphorical way. We aim to design and implement Education and Glam programs and that's how is presented on the grant proposal. We don't think is useful to ask for a six-month planning GLAM program in advance, as we want to work the design of both programs with all the involved and taking into account all the possible voices. If we ask, as you say, for different programs form an individual way, what we got is just the same that we have today: individual and specifics ways of doing and implementing projects on each country. It's a great idea to develop a guideline of the conference, maybe explaining the work processes and other relevant outcomes. Our goal is to end the conference with something akin to what you say, common action lines in the different fields and ways to keep track of their implementation. Thanks again for your questions.
  5. Measures of success: When we talk about metrics we do it about the measures of success that we will apply to Iberoconf 2014 as a meeting. We are not talking about programs' and projects' possible success. In this case, and as we will define what we are going to work at as a group and we plan to design programs and concrete collaborative projects, we will define the proper metrics of each product according to their specifications. "Photographies" has to do with photos from the different activities and the attendees' participation being one of the elements program evaluators will have readily at hand to evaluate how did Iberoconf 2014 went out. Surveys, for instance, have a more direct relationship with qualitative analysis; what we say is that we will document the attendees' reactions and reflections on the conference's outcome.
    --Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 01:22, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Response to changesEdit

Anna et al. – thank you for your amendments to the application text. As far as what Asaf says below ... +1, including his suggestions about the Catalan issue.

Should you be successful in gaining funding, it will be most important for us to read your advice in the report as to how your greater emphasis on pre-conference prep has panned out – in particular, your opinions of the strengths and weaknesses, in retrospect. How to improve the impact of WM conferences is a challenge for everyone, and we want to learn from your experiences.

May I also suggest that you be in contact with grantmaking staff at key points during the preparations if you want their advice or feedback concerning the prep. I look forward to a conference event that really makes a difference to the Spanish-, Catalan-, and Portuguese-speaking parts of the WM movement; I'm convinced you can do this, by gathering people's wish-list of impact-goals and working backwards as to how to achieve this through further communications with participants, and targeted structuring of the event. Tony (talk) 09:01, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Comments from WMFEdit

Thank you, WMAR, for the significant reworking of this proposal, and for bearing with the process of clarifying the funding procedure for this proposal.

I'd like to add two concerns. With them addressed, we would be ready to make a decision. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 04:12, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

The road to the eventEdit

I would like to echo one of Tony1's comments above, regarding the preparation to the conference, and stress again (as I have done in person at IberoConf 2013) that I regard adequate online preparation before the event to be essential for maximizing the chances of success and the utility of the in-person event itself. It is indeed an expensive opportunity to create, and we should be sure we are doing everything possible -- including significant preparation before the event, e.g. in beginning discussion of some of the weaknesses of the 2013 decisions/plans, or in beginning the mapping of needs and opportunities (perhaps using a SWOT model?) per entity, in advance. I acknowledge and appreciate the steps already taken, notably the surveys already carried out and feeding into the tentative agenda.

Please confirm that, if funded, WMAR will undertake to intensively drive such pre-conference online engagement in the time left until the event. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 04:12, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Dear Asaf, thanks for your questions.
Iberoconf 2014 will be focused on action rather than discussion. In this sense, we find necessary to advance important discussions before the event takes place: we need to know what the attendees expect from the conference, what do they need from from it, and to imagine what we can do together to transform it in facts. Iberoconf is only a three-day meeting, and if we want to point out the results we expect we have to analyze in advance our past and current strengths and weaknesses. In this sense, WMAR willingly accepts to drive pre-conference online engagement.
Taking these considerations into account, if the grant proposal is finally approved, and in order to adjust the content of the trainings and the “good practices” workshops to the real needs of the attendees, the following steps will be taken:
  • Mapping the needs and expectations of Iberocoop affiliates regarding common projects and regional programs: where we are, where do we want to go and how do we imagine we can achieve it.
    • Survey to be conducted among the attendees.
    • Results to be published in Meta.
  • Evaluating the status of Iberoconf 2013 agreements and their implementation
    • Survey conducted among the attendees.
    • SWOT analysis conducted
    • Results published in Meta.
  • Evaluating the different GLAM projects carried out by Iberocoop affiliates, their results, good practices, lessons learned and weaknesses.
    • GLAM projects summarized in Meta with main results from all the chapters and users groups.
    • Identification of common traits for discussion
  • Education: Analyzing the attendees’ projects regarding education, their results and measures of impact.
    • Education projects summarized in Meta with main results from all affiliates
    • Identification of different publics reached
    • Evaluation of the impact of different projects
    • Identification of common traits for discussion
  • Discussion about enhancing Iberocoop’s organization to keep track and coordinate common projects and regional programs. WMAR believes it is necessary to make a step forward from last year and transform the whip figure (which has been as successful as powers enabled it) into something more akin to a Secretary-General. This discussion would involve not only acceptance of such post but first of all its purpose, role and powers with regard to common projects and regional programs vis-à-vis Iberocoop affiliates.
    • Informal discussion already in place among WMAR and some fellow Iberocoop organizations
    • Formal discussion to be launched in Iberocoop closed mailing list this week
    • Formal conclussions of pre-conference discussion to be posted on Meta two-weeks before conference
    • Formal decision on the matter to be taken during Iberoconf
Best regards --Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 23:49, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Exclusion of the Catalan CommunityEdit

On a separate matter, and recognizing it is a larger question than this event, I would like to publicly inquire regarding the reason for the Catalan community, and its official organ the Amical Wikimedia, not being included in Iberocoop now. Let me state up front I am well aware of the tempestuous history of the Catalan community's struggle for formal recognition, including both its justified frustrations at the movement's lack of suitable vessel until the creation of ThOrgs and the serious misbehavior of some individuals from that community toward other community members, both of which may well have contributed to impracticality of or reluctance to include them, previously. As far as I am aware, though, this is all in the (by now, in Wikimedia terms, distant) past, and I cannot think of any good reason to exclude this group from Iberocoop other than either inertia or personal grudge; both of those reasons are not good ones, of course.

Quite apart from the normative aspect of excluding the Catalans -- and I think I need not spend too many words describing how exclusion is a serious matter in our movement -- there is also the pragmatic aspect of the net loss to the movement by their exclusion: not only do the Catalans not profit from the various benefits offered by the Iberocoop network, but the rest of Iberocoop do not benefit from the (significant!) experience and inspiration the Amical has to offer the movement, as an active and successful community and organization.

Let me clarify that I expect this question to be addressed by Iberocoop (and not just WMAR), and I recognize this may take some time; I do think the question has relevance to the WMF's continued support for Iberocoop, so I encourage Iberocoop to discuss this swiftly. A satisfactory answer to the question is what I seek here, even if any change in the status quo it may announce would only happen in due course. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 04:12, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Hi Asaf. I would aware you about the use of word "exclusion", because that implies bad willing and mistrust. Ibercoop initiative was born and grown up in a background where the WMF, it's staff and the rest of the movement didn't include many Spanish-world (and Romance-world) criteria, and scarcerly a couple of years we have seen a new spin in such attitude. So, that first attitude was exclusion? I choose to think that it was a lack of vision that is being overtaken due we all are on maturation as organization. Setting conditions out only create stress and diminish spontaneity. Let's Iberocoop mature in it's own pace. :)
Finally, where you talk about "exclusion" I say "specialization" or "focus". Iberocoop has profile to include their members to give them better and personalized help. It can be missunderstand as exclusion but it is not that way. Anyway, the discussion that you ask for is in progress and with the best attitude ;)
Sorry If I was nosy doing this comment. Regards to all. Salvador (talk) 04:39, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Salvador. I certainly meant it in a neutral, description of the fact of non-inclusion, way, not implying deliberate spurning. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 19:08, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The 2011 resolution was public and clear about the reasons for rejection. Naturally, it also states that "However, this position can be reconsidered in the future if Amical shows good will in its relationship with other movement organizations, and especially with Wikimedia chapters". Three years is a lot of time by Wikimedia standards, indeed. Since then, Amical has changed its leadership, has been recognized as a thematic organization, and has been working with other Wikimedia affiliates. The reason why Amical is not included in Iberocoop now is because after the events you recall Amical showed no further interest in taking part of it —and, sure, there was some inertia on our part. In Iberoconf 2013 we agreed an admission rule under which Amical could request inclusion again under a well-defined and different procedure.
That said, you may be interested to know that even before receiving these comments from WMF there was discussion within Iberocoop about the possibility of inviting Amical to participate as a guest organization in Iberoconf 2014. This wouldn't imply automatic inclusion in Iberocoop until and unless Amical asks for it, but surely it would be a first step towards mutual understanding. WMAR supports this idea, and we believe it's time to overcome past misunderstandings that have no reason to continue in time. For obvious reasons this is being discussed in the private mailing list, though all opinions until the moment have been positive about that opportunity. I believe we could give a definitive answer some time soon. We do not know if Amical has financial resources to send a person on their own —would WMF be willing to cover it?
Finally, allow me to clarify that Iberocoop never excluded the Catalan community. We decided not to include an organization whose leadership had attitudes we didn't deem acceptable. Wikimedia España has members who are also part of Amical, and other Catalan-speaking members who edit the Catalan projects as well. It's current Vice-President is a native speaker of Catalan and editor of Catalan Wikipedia, as a matter of fact. We have never excluded a language or an editing community, because first and foremost we acknowledge that Wikimedia affiliates do not aim and can not pretend to embody or represent the broader editing community. --Galio (talk) 05:24, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, this is a satisfactory answer. If Amical is interested, I would recommend inviting them to the event, and WMF is happy to fund the extra delegates if needed (update the budget if necessary).
Could you address the previous section? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 19:07, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. Anna has already addressed the previous section. We expect to be able to contact Amical soon —no later than this week. We can update the budget at that point if needed. However, it should be noted that flight prices were consulted back in July, when we presented this proposal. Logically, current airfare prices might vary, even if we calculated an overhead of 20% to compensate for future increases while the proposal was processed. Would WMF require us to provide an updated estimation of all flight costs, or just to add a flight from Barcelona if confirmed? Best, Galio (talk) 00:06, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
No, that won't be necessary. We will be updating the grant total amount, though, once the actual amount spent from WMF's side on airfare is deteremined. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 17:33, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I have updated the flights detail adding one flight from Barcelona. I'll be sending the invitation letter to Amical over the next hours. I have also changed the two slots for Costa Rica into one for Costa Rica and another one from Ecuador —this was already discussed within Iberocoop, in order to facilitate the participation of a volunteer from Ecuador. We believe it is a fair solution, for Costa Rica and Ecuador are in similar stages of organization. This way we can maximize participation without affecting the budget. The flight from Ecuador can be expected to be significantly cheaper than from Costa Rica. However, I have left the previous value in order not to modify the grant totals —except for the Amical flight. I leave it up to WMF staff to consider further modifications on the grant page. Best, Galio (talk) 21:03, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Galio. If representatives from Amical would like to participate we can reconsider the budget. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 21:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Return to "PEG/WM AR/Iberoconf 2014" page.