Grants talk:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Developing Free Knowledge in Georgia, 2023

Feedback from Regional Committee edit

@Mehman97 and MIKHEIL: Hello WM User Group Georgia, and thanks for your General Support Fund proposal for your work in 2023. I am writing to summarize some initial feedback from the CEE/Central Asia Committee on your proposed work and needs for next year:

  • The committee noted some areas of strength in their initial review. Specifically:
    • Your organization's focus on supporting content improvement both in Georgian as well as other regional languages
    • Creating several opportunities and platforms for community engagement, including work to help prepare your annual plan and current application.
    • Healthy partnership work and growth with government ministries and officials (including presidential administration) to bolster your programmatic work and advance movement-aligned policy changes.
  • One area where is clarity is needed is related to your staffing plan. The proposed budget details four positions (Project and Outreach Manager, WikiClubs Coordinator, Administrative assistant, and Accountant), whereas in question 7 Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?, the administrative assistant role is not clearly described. Could you clarify what your staffing needs will be around this role, and who (if known) would occupy this role? If it's someone that needs to be hired, this is not a problem, we just want to be aware of what roles need to be filled or not during the funding period.

On behalf of the Regional Committee, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 22:47, 3 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello @I JethroBT (WMF), thanks for providing feedback on our request and for your questions.
As for your question: yes, this position is first described in our annual plan, but the function for this position is not new. These functions are:
1. Supervises the staff of the UG.
2. Establish and ensure the stable work of staff.
3. Check monthly staff reports.
4. Collect monthly reports and prepare mid-term and final organization report for the Foundation.
5. Keep track of bank accounts and allocate finances within the organization.
6. Buy and cover all the needs of the organization.
7. Prepare an annual plan for the organization.
8. Follow the work of the organization.
Specifically, I perform all the functions for this position (as a Chairman of UG) in a volunteer capacity, but I unfortunately have another job and do not always have time to do everything on time. Therefore, we decided to make this position paid. I have not yet decided whether I will remain in this position and whether I will take this paid position (I will announce this by the end of November) or we will hire another person. But, in any case, we will have a person who will perform the above functions from January 1 next year.
I hope I was able to answer your question, if you have any other questions, please let me know. Kindly, – Mehman 97 21:28, 6 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

General Support Fund proposal approved in the amount of 131,260.25 GEL edit

@Mehman97 and MIKHEIL: Congratulations! Your grant is approved in the amount of 131,260.25 GEL (~47,731 USD) with a grant term starting 1 January 2023 and ending 31 December 2023.

The committee is pleased to continue supporting Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia’s programmatic work in the country and around the CEE Region generally. The committee noted several areas of strength in your proposal this year:

  • We appreciate your work to begin and complete a Friendly Space Policy and Code of Conduct that fits well with your community’s needs for next year. We hope this work will support better shared understanding around behavioral expectations and support more productive and collaborative environments for your participants.
  • The committee also recognizes your efforts to develop your projects and activities based on your learning from the past year, such as your observations around WikiClubs and how students are progressing and benefitting from these programs, or how WikiCamps are effective both for experienced editors wishing to learn additional skills.
  • Efforts to reduce financial risks related to inflation or currency exchange rates by requesting funding in USD is appreciated.
  • One other strength of your proposal is the breadth and clarity in your evaluation plan with respect to range of metrics and that they generally will help address many of your learning questions.

The committee also had some questions and comments on the current proposal for the following areas:

  • Could you provide any specific non-government project partners you plan to work with over the next year?
  • Could you provide more detail around how you are working together with other affiliates in the region? Are there programs, regional conferences, or areas of movement strategy you are working on with other affiliates?
  • Some clarification is needed over the number of independent activities / projects you plan to run, or how these are categorized. There was some confusion between 1) the evaluation section, where the targeted number of activities developed is 25 projects (Trainings, lectures, sessions, edit-a-thons, contests, meetings) and 2) the operational calendar,where there are 12 projects listed.
  • In the proposal, you’ve noted your community is relatively small. Based on this, the committee wanted to understand the importance of holding three larger community conferences / meetings (two seasonal camps + a general wiki conference) each year. Are these events fulfilling distinct needs or goals, or attracting different parts of your community?

The committee also had some recommendations and requests to improve your next General Support Fund proposal:

  • In future budgeting for Wikimania travel, we wanted to note that we may generally only be able to support attendance for two (2) affiliate representatives. However, the current budget can be maintained for this year.
  • In terms of thematic gaps you have identified (e.g. gender gap, language), can you describe more concretely what activities will address these gaps? We would also like you to incorporate metrics that help evaluate your impact in some of these gaps in future General Support Fund proposals.
  • Finally, we encourage your user group to consider applying for multiyear funding for your next General Support Fund application if you are interested, as you have maintained a thorough strategic plan that outlines your organizational purpose and priorities for the future. Importantly, an updated strategic plan would be required to be eligible for multiyear funding for next year.

The committee looks forward to Wikimedia Community User Group Georgia’s work over the next year, and is pleased to continue supporting your contributions to the Wikimedia movement and its communities.

On behalf of the Regional Committee, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 17:47, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello @I JethroBT (WMF), thanks for the feedback and questions, and also thanks to the regional committee for the work.
We are grateful that you noted the strengths of our proposal. We will continue to improve our work and hope that next year we will be able to provide you with new and strong ideas.
As for the questions:
  • At the moment, we definitely know that we will have two (non-governmental) organizations with which we will officially begin to cooperate next year. This is – the "" organization that developed the spellchecker for the Georgian language, and we are going to introduce this spellchecker to the Georgian Wikipedia to provide the editors of the Georgian Wikipedia tool in writing grammatically correct articles; and also our second partner will be the Tbilisi State University, together with which we are going to hold various events for the development of the Wikimedia Movement in Georgia, and the first such meeting will be the CEE meeting in Tbilisi in 2023. We also plan to start cooperating with the Georgian chapter of the Internet Society, which is a global network and its mission is to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.
  • Wikimedia UG Georgia actively cooperates with regional affiliates and conducts joint projects. For example, Wikimedia UG Georgia, in cooperation with Wikimedia UG Azerbaijan, WM Russia, and WM Turkey, holds an annual contest of articles "Wiki Loves Caucasus". WMGE also participates in regional meetings organized by other affiliates of the region (eg. Wikimania 2022/WMTurkic and Wikidata Trainings For Turkic Wikimedians 2022). Next year, the CEE meeting will be held in the capital of Georgia – Tbilisi, and Wikimedia UG Georgia plans to give regional affiliates additional seats to participate in the conference (due to geographic proximity, this will not require large costs).
  • Everything is correct here. It's just that the following confused you: on this page, events are grouped. For example, under one event, there is a series of several events (for example: "ტრენინგების სერია ვიკიმონაცემებსა და ვიკიწყაროზე" from Georgian series of trainings on Wikidata and Wikisource here are many trainings and meetings). So in total, we will have many individual events.
  • There are three main reasons why we have such big events, and they are: capacity building, outreach, and accountability.
    • As you know, we already have more than 5 WikiClubs that have their own moderators who provide control over the work of the Clubs. With WikiCamps try to provide an opportunity to develop skills and work on Wikimedia projects for members of the Clubs. We host camps every year for club members, as well as for all interested individuals who want to learn how to work on Wikimedia projects. On top of that, we're going to be running camps for teachers who have a direct relations with students, and students are the main resource for Wikimedia projects. In this way, we ensure the capacity building of the community through WikiCamps.
    • The annual conference serves two purposes where we want to increase awareness of the Wikimedia projects and movement, and provide the public more information about us, as well as present our work as Wikimedia UG Georgia to the public. In this way, as Wikimedia UG Georgia we ensure accountability to the public.
Also, you and the committee have provided us with very important and really useful advice for the future, and be sure that we will implement it diligently near future.
I hope I was able to clearly answer all the questions, if you have more questions or want to clarify something, please, let me know. Kindly, – Mehman 97 09:28, 19 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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