Grants talk:Project/MSIG/Building a CEE Hub

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Questions from CEE/CA Regional CommitteeEdit

@Philip Kopetzky: Thanks for your proposal to support the initiation of the CEE Regional Hub. The Regional Committee has initially reviewed the proposal, and has some feedback and questions for your review:

Thank you for providing a summary of the prior research conducted by the CEE Hub group as well as the expanded research page, and detailing that this includes 21 affiliate/community interviews and survey responses from 11 individuals. Aside from this formal research, are there other sources of information or discussions (even informal or less structured ones) that helped inform the priorities for the CEE Hub?

Relatedly, we appreciate that the needs and priorities of the proposed Regional Hub are supported through direct research, and were designed to be aligned with a number of 2030 Movement Strategy principles. Our understanding is that there are two core purposes of the Regional Hub: to 1) to provide bureaucratic relief along several lines across CEE communities and 2) be a connecting force so that communities need not rely on incidental friendships and connections to work together and get support. Are there other strategic ideas or principles that helped inform your proposed activities or ideas?

We appreciate the outline of staffing needs for this initial foundation for the CEE Hub. It is understandable that the Regional Support staff role would need to be somewhat less-defined given the need for specific regional assessment around communications needs. Regarding the Administrative/Communications staff member, we would like to understand more about their role. The proposal has named a large number of important and complex communication/connecting roles it can play during the funding period, (e.g. trainings on budget creaton, information exchange, conflict resolution). What proposed areas will this staff member be involved in, and how will their work be prioritized to ensure the scope of their work is clear and manageable?

Please let us know if you need any clarifications around the questions above. Your responses are requested by 2 May 2022 to help support a formal decision from the Regional Committee. Thanks again for your hard work on the proposal, and we look forward to your responses. On behalf of the Regional Committee, MikyM (talk) 19:07, 20 April 2022 (UTC)

@MikyM: Thank you for the questions, they are very helpful in talking about areas that weren't highlighted enough yet. The interim steering committee will meet next Tuesday, after which we (probably me) will post the answers on this talk page. Philip Kopetzky (talk) 19:32, 20 April 2022 (UTC)

@MikyM: Please find the response below, they correspond with the first three paragraphs of your feedback. Please let us know if it's confusing or doesn't answer the questions you set out above :-)

Q1) Concerning your question as to how the CEE communities involved, there have been regular meetings with the CEE community over the last two years:

All of these meetings included discussion and feedback from the CEE community in terms of what might be a priority or what the concerns or other ideas might be in the proposal towards the end of the process. During the whole process it was also apparent that theoretical discussions didn’t garner much feedback because there is an issue with how much time and information most affiliates can process at one time, so we expect the feedback to become more specific and targeted once the first steps of the program will be rolled out.

Q2) In the short term, there is also an aim of capacity development which has been the focus of the CEE Meeting for the last 4 to 5 years, including sustainable work, diverse participation, board trainings (as has happened at previous CEE meetings in coordination with WMNL and WMDE) and better governance in general, building an organisational memory and enabling these communities to take part in trans-local and regional collaborations.

In the long term, we think regional hubs should ideally support most areas of movement strategy in their region (some are mentioned in our presentation to the CEE community on page 16, though the list is not meant to be exhaustive). The CEE Hub will look at these long-term goals regularly and determine the priorities of the hub together with the CEE community, so as to develop a clear prioritization for the longer term. We will do so taking into account the developing governance structures that will come into place over the next few years.

We also think that hubs need to grow into their role gradually, short-term plans and flexibility are preferable for that over long-term plans, and the initial focus should be on finding rapport with the local communities and affiliates. Thus, for the first year we want to focus on supporting the local groups with what we see as the most important pain points, and during that establishing channels of communication, building trust and raising capacity for movement-level work.

The short-term plans that fit best with this focus and with the limited initial capacity of the hub were bureaucratic relief, community capacity building and capacity exchange, and research into funding options for affiliates which cannot receive WMF funding.

To clarify, the work outlined in the paragraphs above will be conducted by staff and volunteers together with gradual steps towards staff members becoming more integral to the processes than the volunteers who have done this kind of work for the last few years.

Q3) The metrics from the proposal can be used as an indicator as to what the administrative/communications (A/C) person will be focussing on in the first year. This includes the administrative metrics around centralizing bureaucratic efforts as well as coordinating support efforts for writing grant applications and other potential funding. The same goes for the communication efforts, where the A/C staff member will be involved in establishing a more centralized communication platform for the region.

The A/C person will report to the CEE Coordinator and therefore will not be solely responsible for these tasks. While they will be directly working with affiliates in the region, the goal is not to just offer affiliates an administrative help, but to collect information on what the current landscape is and determine from that point onwards how to best support communities in this work.

All of these tasks will not be the responsibility of the A/C person alone, but will be undertaken together with the other staff members, especially the CEE Coordinator, and the volunteers of the CEE Hub. Ideally all of these tasks would be fulfilled at the end of the year, but there will be regular evaluation every three months to see what the progress is on the tasks. Depending on that evaluation there can be changes to which tasks we cover and it might also change the priorities of the hub as well.


That's our response so far, thanks for the feedback, I'm sure the strategy team will be able to incorporate it into their evaluation :-) Philip Kopetzky (talk) 17:49, 2 May 2022 (UTC)

Request for grant extension / budgetary inflation adjustmentEdit

Hello!

Based on yesterday's meeting with the WMF strategy team, we would like to request an extension to this grant.

The main reasons for this lie in the fact that the hiring process of the first employee, the CEE Coordinator, was delayed at various times during the summer. Initially we planned to be supported by a staff member of WMPL to faciliate this process, but unfortunately that staff member became unavailable at the end of July. Therefore the CEE Hub Steering Committee needed to run this process themselves, having to work around summer holidays, setting up the interview panel (including the involvement of members and partners of the CEE region to participate as panelists) and coordinating the interviews with the candidates. We are currently in the process of conducting the secound round of interviews.

This means in terms of our timeline we are about 2 months behind schedule and at the current speed will probably take 3-4 months before the coordinator can start work (depending on when they would be able to leave their current employment). We would therefore like to request an extension by at least this amount of time, ideally extending the grant period until the end of 2023. There is also the option of a rolling start, based on when the coordinator will start, but we are not sure that is easily manageable from the WMF side.

Considering the extension of the grant period, another aspect is the current inflation rate - we would also like to request a budget adjustment in line with the average inflation rate in Poland in recent months and what is projected for the following few months, although not all budget items will not be equally affected by a rising inflation rate.

I think that is all that is relevant to the actual grant, there are other topics from yesterday's meeting (like a regular meeting between the CEE Hub group and the WMF strategy team and a clearer separation of roles between the CEE Hub Steering Committee role and the WMPL fiscal sponsor role) that we will need to follow up on as well. (CC @YPam (WMF):)

On behalf of the CEE Hub Steering Committee and with kind regards, Philip Kopetzky (talk) 18:54, 17 September 2022 (UTC)

Hello @Philip Kopetzky!
This request for a grant extension is duly noted, and as we work through the process, some clarity is needed.
Regarding the project timelines and the extension requested. Is this an immediate request for a specific extension period (i.e. 6 months), based on the explanation provided? Or are you requesting to fix project implementation timelines, with the activator being the start date the CEE coordinator you are in the process of hiring?
Regarding the budget adjustment requested. The inflation considerations are the sad reality of our world today, and this is a reasonable request. Considering that project timelines will be shifting, does the team envisage that this could further impact inflation projections? If so, is the request for the adjustments to be made immediately or following full project kick-off?
Just to reiterate appreciation to the CEE Hubs Piloting for team proactively learning and sharing throughout the process and we are excited about being a continued thought partner-in-progress. YPam (WMF) (talk) 10:55, 26 September 2022 (UTC)
Hi @YPam (WMF),
regarding the two points you raise:
  • Regarding the project timelines and the extension requested: If we extend it to the end of 2023, would this also include an increase in the budget for the extra months (for example if the grant starts in November, will the grant budget include 14 months of the same funding?), or would it be set to a 12 month period?
  • Regarding the budget adjustment requested, it would be great if the WMF could earmark the funds necessary to adjust the grant budget to the 12.7% salary inflation in Poland that has happened over the last year (stat.gov.pl). This inflation adjustment would affect all budget items aside from the travel item.
Since these two points are not very urgent if the WMF agrees to the extension and inflation adjustment in principle, it might make sense to revisit this in our monthly meeting after the CEE Meeting?
BR, Philip Kopetzky (talk) 12:18, 29 September 2022 (UTC)
Hello @Philip Kopetzky
On the project timelines, I guess we are asking the same questions :). If project timelines are not fixed, then the extension is on the overall project. This also means that some argument might be made regarding any work (extra or unplanned initially) that happened in the initial months, bringing us to the need for a project extension. Given that this will likely impact the budget adjustments as well, I will look forward to our next monthly meeting to dive into the details.
Thank you YPam (WMF) (talk) 09:39, 5 October 2022 (UTC)

Permission to regrant part of the project grantEdit

Hi @YPam (WMF)!

Following up on our conversation today, the CEE Hub would like to ask permission to regrant up to 25,000 € of the CEE Hub project grant to Shared Knowledge to pay for the second employee's salary of the CEE Hub. We are currently in the process of setting up the legal framework for this and calculating the exact amount for the grant.

Kind regards, Braveheart (talk) 16:07, 12 January 2023 (UTC)

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