Talk:WikiCite/e-scholarship

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A commonly asked question about this program is whether it constitutes paid editing – or to be more accurate: whether it is paying for things which should be done on a voluntary basis?
In the Wikimedia movement we have a longstanding tradition of offering scholarships to community members to go to events - conferences and hackathons in particular – to do volunteering activities. Usually these will fund travel, food, accommodation, event-fees, and sometimes a living allowance and can easily be valued at thousands of dollars. This form of financial subsidy is uncontroversial in the sense of it being compatible with volunteerism. Equally, there are many grant programs which allow for the purchase of goods - buying technical equipment or catering for a meetup... Meanwhile, as a movement, it has always been difficult to support volunteers who do not have specific project-based expenses or (for whatever reason) are unable to travel. Moreover, the Wikimedia movement is attempting to reduce travel for sustainability reasons.
Scholarship-based travel itself is also often inequitable, as it works against those people who have less privileged personal circumstances: A less 'powerful' passport, disability, caregiving responsibilities for family, inflexible work or school commitments, and other demographic restrictions such as age or gender which might make independent travel less safe. Moreover, the scholarship recipient must be in a financially secure enough situation to be able to take up to a week away from their normal life in order to be a volunteer.
This sense of being on the wrong side of 'travel privilege' has become near-universal in the last months, due to COVID-19.

The "e-scholarship" program is an attempt to find a way to support volunteers to do the kinds of things which they might previously have been able to apply for a travel scholarship to do as a volunteer - while staying safe at home. The funds are provided as a living allowance equivalent (as well as an 'invitation letter' or 'participation certificate' if requested), to give the volunteer the ability to be a volunteer on a particular project they normally wouldn't be able to do.

Obviously there is no clear definition line between what kind of Wikimedia contribution is something that only a volunteer can do, and something that benefits from financial subsidy. Moreover, this will change greately by the circumstances... it is probably true that for every potential e-scholarship proposed project there is someone out there who could do the project faster, better, and without needing a scholarship. Just because "someone else might be able to do it better than me" is not a valid critique against a normal travel scholarship, it should also not be one for e-scolarships. Equally, if someone else receives a e-scholarship for something that you personally could have done that is not meant as a slight or critique against your own volunteer contributions. The financial value of e-scholarships is for 2-4 days at 75% of US State Department's "meals and incidentals" rate for the scholarship recipient's nearest city. That is: the amounts of money are meant to be helpful, and supportive, but are not equivalent to a salary.

All that said, the e-scholarship application criteria do still say that the applicant does need to propose a specific project, and they have to explain how that project is more/different/above than their own daily editing volunteer activities:

"Tell us about your proposed project. What will you get achieved with this time?
Describe why you think this project is important, and how the project is different from your normal volunteer contributions."

All e-scholarship applications are public here on Meta and anyone can ask questions, provide endorsements, and review the short report provided after the project is concluded. We hope this will provide a helpful and flexible financial support to volunteers, while still being true to the 'wiki-way' of doing things. LWyatt (WMF) (talk) 19:09, 18 August 2020 (UTC)[]

Can one apply multiple times?Edit

I'm wondering if one user can apply for more than one project. --BamLifa (talk) 10:27, 22 September 2020 (UTC)[]

Than you for notifying me of this question on my talkpage BamLifa. You CAN apply for more than one e-scholarships. Assuming that more than one is accepted, the first project would need to be completed successfully - including report - before the second one could begin. This is because one of the criteria is that there are "no overdue obligations to previously received grants from the WMF". So, the second (etc.) e-scholarship could only be approved "in principle" until the first one was completed. Therefore the proposed dates for the different projects would need to be spread apart, not right next to each other. LWyatt (WMF) (talk) 22:02, 23 September 2020 (UTC)[]
How will this be done, because using the username, the URL that points to the second e-scholarship will not always be the same?
Using this Wikicite/e-scholarship/YOUR_USERNAME, how to differentiate the e-scholarship title? --Yves Madika (talk) 12:02, 24 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Based on the applications that I can see, there are two which have overlapping participants (and therefore recipients of the eScholarship funds): Wikicite/e-scholarship/Yves Madika (for Nov 3 - 6, 2020) and Wikicite/e-scholarship/VALENTIN NVJ (for Dec 7 - 9, 2020). The overlapping names are user:VALENTIN NVJ, user:BamLifa and user:Yves Madika. These are proposed to take place a month apart from each other, which is a reasonable time for any outcomes, documentation, and reporting to occur. Assuming both are approved by the committee, the second one would not be allowed to be funded until after the first had been 'closed' with a report received. Does that make sense? It is possible that only one would be approved by the committee, in which case it could be funded immediately. LWyatt (WMF) (talk) 13:48, 24 September 2020 (UTC)[]
If I can allow myself with this understanding, in the case where we have two or three approved e-scholarships, it can't be funded simultaneously. Tell me, how long after the first e-scholarship is funded (if the projects are accepted), must the report be submitted? --Yves Madika (talk) 16:02, 24 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Because the e-scholarship program is designed to be "simple" and "low-complexity" [I hope], the report for the projects should also be simple and low complexity. It would not need to be a big document! Most e-scholarship projects will have their own project homepage on Wikidata (or a single Wikipedia), and that project page can BE the report if it shows the work done and has an explanation of the outcomes.
In the case of these two projects you are applying for - one is in 3-6 November, and the other is 7-9 December. So, it should be possible to have the project page for the first one "finished", "submitted" as the report and confirmed by me within 10 days of the end of the project. At THAT point the funds for the second project could be sent. [This is assuming that both projects are approved, of course]. LWyatt (WMF) (talk) 16:52, 24 September 2020 (UTC)[]
Thank you for these answers. --Yves Madika (talk) 07:27, 25 September 2020 (UTC)[]
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