Grants talk:PEG/WM IN/Program Grant Quarter 1 2013/Report

Latest comment: 10 years ago by SarahStierch in topic Questions

Incomplete form edit

Thank you for the report. You did not answer the question: Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grants at wikimedia dot org, according to the guidelines here? Answer "Yes" or "No". Please answer this question.

Expect detailed comments and questions on this discussion page soon.

Best, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 18:30, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

I have shared the expense documents and added the statement required TS-Sowmyan (talk) 19:10, 24 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Reallocation edit

The amount remaining is over the equivalent of US$500.00 and so a new grant request must be submitted if you would like to retain the funds for other mission-aligned activities. Please follow the instructions on the Grants:Index for submitting a new request. We will allow you to retain these funds at WMF's instruction for up to 21 days (until 11 July), but a new request must be submitted before that time or the funds returned to WMF. Regards, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 18:30, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hi, we plan to apply for a new grant for April to January [We plan to have FDC funds post January]. For now, we are concentrating on the acceptance of this grant report. We request you to please grant us an extension till this report has been accepted. ----Rsrikanth05 (talk) 07:25, 24 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
This grant report can be accepted as soon as you correct the financial totals as described in the Finance section below. I don't see how that prevents you (and your staff) from preparing -- indeed, from having prepared in advance -- a new grant proposal, especially if it is to pay for expenses already incurred, and therefore no extension is granted. You are welcome to submit this new grant, as usual, according to the instructions at Grants:Index, no later than July 11th.
Also, your mention of "April to January", at the end of June, suggests to me that WMIN may have once again been spending money it has not yet been authorized to spend. Is this the case? This grant's being named "Quarter 1 2013" certainly made us expect another grant proposal for Quarter 2; why wasn't one submitted before Q2, so that WMIN would have (at least) an approved grant before entering Q2? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 17:44, 26 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you, we will be putting in a new grant request by July 11 as requested by you. WMIN has never spent any money it hasn't been authorised to spend, so I request you to redact that statement. The delay was in receiving the money, which we received almost in May (for Q1), so payments were quite obviously made post Q1, though they were made for activities/requests in Q1 itself. We have not used any money for activities thereafter. The delay in application of the new grant is because there is a major planned activity which is still to be confirmed. What we will probably do is put in a request without taking that activity into consideration, then if that activity does come through, we will put in a special separate grant request for that particular activity. I believe Sowmyan has shared bills, Iv requested him to respond to your questions on the financials asap. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 06:05, 28 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
I'm glad to hear you haven't been spending money before it was granted to you. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:13, 28 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
It's fine that payments were made post Q1, of course. As for the date of disbursement -- let us remember the Q1 grant, despite its name, was only submitted at the very end of February, and was approved within two weeks, i.e. in mid-March. The information request toward a grant agreement was sent you March 25, but you completed the information only on April 16th (Q1 was over by then...). The contract was issued immediately. On April 22nd the wire went out from WMF. It seems to me that most of the delay was on the part of WMIN and its Indian bank. This only strengthens the need to seek funding well in advance of when you need to spend it. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:13, 28 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Oh, and the delay between approval and issuing the request for information is at WMIN's request (e-mailed Mar 19th) that no money be send before April. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:15, 28 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you. I was only making a factual statement about the money coming in post Q1 so being spent post Q1, not laying blames. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 11:53, 29 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Questions edit

Thank you for this report. I am thrilled to hear about the fresh beginnings in Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Chennai, and about the strengthened ties with like-minded organizations! I am also excited about the evaluation framework you are working on, and look forward to updates about it. I also encourage you to coordinate your efforts with our own (also nascent) efforts to that end, led by my colleague Frank Schulenburg.

Regarding the Telugu Mahotsavam expenses -- surely people can be reimbursed retroactively, so perhaps it's not too late to use the funds to support that event?

I have a few questions, below. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Regarding the Telegu event, we were told CIS A2K offered to fill in with the balance funding. We cannot expect community members to spend large sums and wait endlessly for reimbursement, we had no choice but to request them to go ahead. I understand Frank has been in touch with a few individual community members, but he has not approached the chapter in this regard. We would be happy to work with him should he contact us. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 09:29, 24 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
To be clear, my comment was advising WMIN to reach out to Frank's team to share plans and learn from each other. I'm not sure why you make a point about the lack of a formal approach to the chapter from Frank. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 17:20, 26 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
My point was that Frank has been in touch with individual community members but has not bothered to contact the chapter. We would love to work with Frank and his team on this matter, but we need to feel welcome. I can put on record, that an individual community member who had been invited to a recent PED workshop organised by Frank's team but could not make it, offered to request WMF to transfer their scholarship to someone from the chapter. It is important to note that this individual came to us in their own individual capacity and specifically mentioned that they would need to speak to the WMF and request this should we be interested. I spoke to Sowmyan in this regard, since I felt it would be best he attend this sort of workshop given we are working on transferring power and authority to him. However, there was not enough time to apply for a visa etc., hence Sowmyan expressed inability to take up the offer. Once again, its important to note we thought about it, without Frank or his team formally approaching us and had to turn down for practical reasons. On the other hand, we would have been really happy and could have possibly sent Sowmyan had Frank or his team officially invited us at the beginning. WMIN will always act in the best interests of the movement, what we request is the WMF show it is willing to work with us in action rather than words. We are grateful to the WMF for supporting us with grants etc., however we still feel a little alienated in some matters such as this. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 06:36, 28 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Your response puzzles me. What prevented you from "feeling welcome" in the open invitation extended by Frank's team to absolutely everyone in the movement? No chapter was "officially invited"; why did WMIN await such an invitation rather than respond to the invitation, or the reminder sent (and forwarded to the India lists) a week later? It seems to me you did have time to respond, as well as to arrange for Sowmyan to attend (I agree that would have been a very good idea).
I am told by Frank there would be additional such gatherings, so Sowmyan will have another chance. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 19:38, 28 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
I quote from Sarah's email: " *Who should apply?* Community members who play an *active role* in planning and executing programs & activities as described above in the Wikimedia community. Your experience and knowledge will make this workshop a success!". This clearly states community members not chapter staff. Anyways, as I said WMIN will always be ready to work for the betterment of the movement and I will request Sowmyan to let Frank know he would be interested in future workshops. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 11:57, 29 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
I followed the links and liked this initiative. Sarah had said in her mail,

"We will be filming our workshop, so don't fret if you cannot attend this first one, or aren't accepted to attend this time."

. I would like to have a link to that artefact. I like this subject of Program Evaluation and would like to follow the activities of the group. TS-Sowmyan (talk) 16:56, 29 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hi there! I just wanted to stop by as I was "pinged" about this discussion taking place about the recent Program Evaluation & Design Workshop. I'm sorry if the language confused you regarding "Community members." We define community members as anyone involved in well - the Wikimedia community - that includes staff. We actually had a very healthy mix of chapters staff and individuals who are not chapter associated. I will add that to the lesson learned list we are maintaining for evaluation of the workshop - confusion over the term "community members". We even had about 7-8 community members who identified as being involved with Wikimedia India, including three staff members (from CIS, so I assume WMIN?), apply to attend, and 3-4 accepted. Sadly, all of the accepted participants visas were declined and they were unable to attend. We do not have videos available yet - I have thousands of bytes of content and I'm not experienced with video editing, so, please be patient if it does not "pop up" online over night. We are in the process of building our Program Evaluation and Design Workshop on Meta and it won't be build over night - it will take the next few weeks. I can't wait to make the announcement, and of course, it will be a work in progress expanded by not only the PED team, but the community, like you! And that will house all of our resources about program evaluation and design.
And once we complete our self evaluation of this workshop, we will be brainstorming more - and I do hope that means India and related areas (again, I hope, I cannot make any promises of course, I am not the decision maker in these situations). We are also hoping to tag on workshops like Budapest to regional events taking place, so if you know of something coming up in India or related areas in the next six months or longer, please let me know so I can keep it on my radar and perhaps we can have a PED workshop involved in it (again, I am not the decision maker on this). Thanks for your passion and energy, and I'm so glad Wikimedia India has interest in Program Evaluation and Design, I think it will prove invaluable to all of the programs and activities that you take on - even beyond making reports for grants. And yes, this is not WMF forcing people to do PED, this is us putting the word out that we want to support community members and chapters in doing PED work and hopefully they will be receptive and want to get involved. All we can do is "spread the word" like we did for the workshop and hope people have positive responses and want to get involved. :) SarahStierch (talk) 14:48, 2 July 2013 (UTC)Reply

TESS content release edit

Is there anything you can link to regarding the TESS content release? Where can one see it? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Its not released yet. Its scheduled for release this September. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 05:35, 21 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Okay. Please update this report with an appropriate link once that's a reality. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:46, 21 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Creative Commons Affiliate? edit

Did Wikimedia India indeed become the CC affiliate in India? I don't see any announcements or evidence for that, on either or Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hello Asaf, we, along with CIS and Acharya Narendra Dev College from the University of Delhi are working on the documentation (road map) to become an affiliate. We believe that it should not take more than a month hereon, and shall keep you updated! -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 04:44, 21 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for this more accurate description of the current status. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:46, 21 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Tamil Nadu Government interest edit

You write that the Kanya Wizard event (in January) led to Tamil Nadu gov't interest in helping Wikipedia. Have you been able to follow up on that interest in the five months since? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Post that workshop, we forwarded a request asking the government to release several contents including archives in the public domain. What we have got to know so far is that they are considering it! We shall keep everyone updated when that comes true. -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 04:50, 21 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for these further details. Movement experience suggests no one releases archives on the strength of an e-mail; I would suggest WMIN proactively write again and propose an in-person presentation to the relevant authorities (assuming this can be arranged). The proposal for a meeting should also include some pointers to good case studies, such as the stellar endorsement by David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, at Wikimania 2012. (You can consult the cultural-partners list for more.) Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:46, 21 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Dear Asaf, thanks for the link and for the suggestion. We shall get in touch with them proactively and see what happens. Hunting for cultural partners will also help to enhance the relationship. Thanks again! -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 07:26, 22 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Privacy edit

It's great that you collect usernames in outreach activities. I am a bit concerned about making the collection of names mandatory as well. This seems contrary to our privacy norms. Could you explain? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Asaf, it might be contradicting the privacy norms of WMF, but the information we ask them for is always optional. That means they can give, or ignore giving their username. Just for an example, from the Women's workshop in Mumbai, me and few other editors were able to track all those who had signed up, as we helped them at the early stage. I remember I did help one editor as she created a DYK within the first month she started editing. Yes, we understand privacy is a concern, but we will neither make them public, nor we will use them for harming purposes. -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 04:44, 21 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Optionally collecting names is fine, but please note your report said it is mandatory, and that was the aspect I was alarmed by. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 18:46, 21 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for pointing that to us Asaf. We shall look on to it, and make it Optional as soon as possible. Thanks again! -- ♪Karthik♫ ♪Nadar♫ 07:03, 22 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Role of executive director edit

Since the executive director's salary was a significant component of this grant, and his roles and responsibilities were insufficiently clear to my mind during the pre-approval discussion, I would like to see some more details about his contribution to WMIN's work, in particular in the executive capacity. The report currently states:

day to day running and planning of activities at WMIN. He has been in charge of managing micro-grants and accounting as well as supporting community led events and initiatives. We have also begun involving him in discussions with WMF as well as taking his input on important matters and having him present when we deliberated future plans of action during our February Board Meeting (non-confidential parts of the meeting).

I find it hard to see a decision-making, executive role in the above description. What you describe seems like a project manager; where is the strategic leadership? In previous discussions the EC has stated that an executive, strategic executive director is what it aims for, and that it would take a few months to evolve there. Has progress been made to that end?

I am also puzzled by the notion that the executive director would not be privy to the confidential parts of board meetings (unless and except if his own performance is being discussed, which would be understandable).

Could you clarify the executive director's roles and the evolution of those, up to this moment? Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Well, in terms of decision-making, all grants now need to first go to the Executive Manager. He reviews it and gives the EC his opinion. Based on this opinion EC takes a call. He was also a part of the decision-making at our last board meeting. The parts he was asked to leave was when we needed to vote on resolutions, one of which as you mentioned was retaining him further. By law, only EC members must be present when that takes place. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 05:38, 21 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
WMIN is free to set up whatever decision-making structure it deems best. However, when WMIN has asked WMF to (retroactively) fund an "executive manager", our expectation has been that, as was the case in other movement organizations, the position would be one of leadership and capacity-building, leaving the EC to focus on steering, oversight, and volunteer participation in activities such as events. I am still puzzled by WMIN's choices in this matter, but I accept its preference. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 17:20, 26 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
We agree with the sentiment that the Executive Manager (EM) should takeover the leadership and capacity building, however the ground realities are slightly different. The EM is the single employee we have and works for us Part Time only. Therefore, a lot of admin and other tasks fall upon his shoulders currently. Our strategy has been to involve him in all decisions and seek his opinion, thus gradually involving him in with everything. He has also been interacting with volunteers and been steering various WMIN events and representing us in official capacity at outreach events. Our movement works very differently to a normal corporate or NGO structure and it takes time for someone from outside to understand how things work. I think Sowmyan now has a pretty good understanding of this, having been with us since last October, whereafter we have begun slowly involving him in all matters with the idea that he takes over in the longterm future. We do not see this happening without FDC support as we would need to set up an office and hire more staff members in order to have a proper professional structure to run the organisation. We are planning to apply for the October round of FDC funding and have made our intention clear publicly in that regard. Sowmyan is pretty much involved in that process and is part of the taskforce (some EC members+Executive Manager) we have set up for the same, where he is expected to take a leading role. When that does happen, the EC will focus on steering, oversight and volunteer participation in activities. AroundTheGlobe (talk) 06:19, 28 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Finance edit

Also, the grant amount was wired to WMIN in its entirety. WMIN should report about the entire sum, even if some of it was immediately consumed by local bank fees before the rest of the funds were available in WMIN's account. Just say that, and include documentation for that expense as well. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 21:26, 20 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

I reiterate that resolution of this small detail is the only thing preventing us from accepting this grant report. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 20:15, 28 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
I have spoken to our bank. They have told me this is a RTGS transaction they received from Citibank. As such they have credited the entire amount and there is no commission / service charges for an inward RTGS transaction. They can not say what the forex amount was or what the exchange rate was, and have suggested that WMF should be able to get this from Citibank. The transfer in April 2012 cost us about INR 563 (close to USD 10.50) in bank charges for a total transfer of USD 12600. I give below the details of the current transaction-
Txn date: 30 April 2013
Value date: 30 April 2013
Ref No / Cheque Number: TRANSFER FROM 99826044309 /
Branch code: 4430
Credit: INR 267,941.57 TS-Sowmyan (talk) 16:14, 29 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you. The report is now accepted. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 16:43, 1 July 2013 (UTC)Reply
TY! AroundTheGlobe (talk) 08:56, 2 July 2013 (UTC)Reply
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