Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round2/Wikimedia Norge/Staff proposal assessment

Staff assessment - factual feedback from WMNO


After reading the very thorough Staff Assessment, and after being mandated by the April 17 board meeting of WMNO, I take the liberty of adding some factual feedback to the assessment:

  • The Assessment says that Wikimedia Norway does not have a budget cycle that covers the program period, but only does budgeting within the calendre year of 2013. This is not correct, our budget - ratified by the Annual Assembly - runs all the way till July 1, 2014 and covers the whole program period. You will find the budget here, with a similar english version here. You will see that there are both a calendric 2013 budget (column 2) and a summer-summer budget (column 1). These are adjusted and timed to match actually planned activity distributed between the right termins. The budget is final and binding.
  • The Assessment says that: Wikimedia Norge focuses on developing local language Wikipedias: Bokmål Wikipedia, Nynorsk Wikipedia, and Northern Sami Wikipedia. In fact, the bulk of its program budget (its budget excluding staff and administrative expenses) supports work on the Northern Sami Wikipedia, which it hopes to grow to 8 active editors. This work is primarily supported by a funding source outside the Wikimedia movement and may have indirect positive impact on the Norwegian Wikimedian community, but this link is not clear in the proposal. We would like to add that the reason why the link is not clarified in the proposal, is that the proposal is not covering or addressing the Northern Saami activities. We would find it strange to explain in the proposal the strategic rationale of projects that are not parts of the proposal.
  • The Assessment says: Inconsistencies in planning within the proposal itself support these concerns: for example, Wikimedia Norge acknowledges the Saami Project is time-consuming, yet seems to devote limited amounts of staff time to that project in its proposal. We would like to comment that this assessment must rely on a gross misunderstanding. Again, the reason why limited amounts of staff time in the proposal is devoted to the time-consuming Saami project, is that the proposal does not cover or address the Saami Project. Additional external funds for the Saami Project will have to cover staffing in order to be of any attraction to us. I.e., we will seek external funding for the project including funds for a part-time staff to run the project, outside of the scope of the FDC proposal. So, when the Assessment is worried that the time-consuming Saami project is not covered in the proposal staffing level, the explanation is simply that it was never the idea to be so. The proposal staffing plan regards the programs listed in the proposal, of which the Saami project is not a part. You will see this reflected in the budget. If we get the Saami project funds, that will be spent mainly on paying some part-time staff to do the most time-consuming parts of the Saami project.
  • The Assessment says: Furthermore, Wikimedia Norge is applying for a funding period that does not align with its fiscal year instead of waiting for an FDC application round that is better aligned with its fiscal year, and Wikimedia Norge did not publish its annual plan in time for FDC staff to consider it as part of this assessment. Again, the first part is not correct - the funding period applied for is fully consistent with the fiscal year. As regards the Annual plan, that was ratified by the Annual Assembly late on April 7th, a few hours before the Staff Assessment deadline, so it is fully understandable that this was not part of the assessment. However, the 2011-15 Strategy takes precedence and guides the annual plan.
  • On criteria C, the Assessment says: The initiatives proposed may have a significant impact in the local community, given context and amount of funds proposed, but the funding requested is too high. We understand that this assessment also draws on the community feedback, focusing on the seemingly high staff salary costs. We would like to comment that this assessment is unfortunate, insofar as it might relate to salary levels. We can not wish for a lower cost level than the actual one. Yes, Norway is probably the most high-cost country in the world, but it would be highly problematic to rule the country out as a candidate for staff funding from the WMF, for that reason. In that case, the FDC would have to formerly state beforehand that extreme high-cost nations cannot apply for the funds. We have documented this thoroughly during the community feedbach session. A normal staring salary is USD 60.000+, while a Big Mac with a soda costs USD 15. The other side of the story, is the fact that an unproportionally high percentage of donations come from Norway, reflecting the record-high income level of the country. The GDP per capita is about double that of the United States, which is also seen as reflected in the donation statistics.
  • On criteria G, the Assessment says: Budgeting is not appropriate: this staffing plan is excessive for the activities proposed. SImilarly to C, we would like to express concern over the Assessment. If the number of staff is the regarded as excessive, that is a valid point for discussion. But if the staffing salary costs are the issue, the conerns from criteria C apply equally under criteria G.
  • Kind regards, Bjoertvedt (talk) 21:18, 23 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for your comments. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (Grants Administrator) talk 22:43, 24 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
+1: thank you for sharing these comments. KLove (WMF) (talk) 18:54, 29 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
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