Grants:Project/MSIG/Building a CEE Hub

This Wikimedia Foundation grant has a fiscal sponsor. Stowarzyszenie Wikimedia Polska administered the grant on behalf of Wikimedia CEE Hub.

statusfunded
Greetings from the year 2030.png
Building a CEE Hub
Create a structure to formalise the network in the CEE region in alignment with the 2030 strategy recommendations and make it more durable, instead of only relying on individuals using their personal connections to bring everyone in the CEE region together.
targetplease add a target wiki
start date2022-07-01
start yearplease add a start year
end date2023-06-30
end yearplease add a end year
budget (USD)118301 122,520 USD
grant typeGroup of individuals not registered with an organization
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Applicant detailsEdit

Wikimedia username(s):

Organization:

Wikimedia CEE Hub

G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Applied previously and did receive a grant

H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?

No

H.1 Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?

N/A

M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?

Yes

M1. Fiscal organization name.

Stowarzyszenie Wikimedia Polska

Additional informationEdit

R. Where will this proposal be implemented?

Ukraine

S. Please indicate whether your work will be focused on one country (local), more than one or several countries in your region (regional) or has a cross-regional (global) scope:

Regional

S1. If you have answered regional or international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

This is a CEE-wide effort and therefore the proposal applies to all communities and affiliates based in this region (also includes Southeastern Europe, Malta and Cyprus).

T. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_CEE_Hub

M. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?

Yes

M1. Fiscal organization name.

Stowarzyszenie Wikimedia Polska

ProposalEdit

1. What is the overall vision of your organization and how does this proposal contribute to this? How does this proposal connect to past work and learning?

The main goal of the CEE Hub is to support the communities of the region in their work and help them grow. The list of challenges which need to be addressed comes from the communities themselves and have been discovered in a series of interviews in the hub-related research. The ones which are the most common and/or can be easily tackled in the initial phase of the hub work are :
  • Communities of the region (especially the small and midsize ones) are overburdened with different administrative tasks which limits their capacity to do programmatic work. The administrative tasks are related to grants, organising campaigns and events etc. It’s especially difficult for the communities which don’t have paid staff and rely solely on a small groups of volunteers
  • The CEE Hub will offer support and expertise in grants and reporting
  • Sharing examples of similar grant elements and programs from previous grants
  • Trainings and workshops on budget creation
  • Friendly pre-screening before application is submitted
  • Brainstorm sessions
  • Support in participating in joint projects will be offered
  • Many communities don’t have access to services which would help them in their work (fundraising support, graphic design technical support)
  • Access to those services via the CEE Hub and joint workforces
  • Communities of the region don’t have the capacity to follow important global discussions and to follow the work of other affiliates and learn from them
  • The Hub will support information exchange and networking between communities in the region
  • Challenges to unbiased content in some of the projects either due to desinformation actions or difficulties in writing about difficult to agree on fragments of history
  • Conduct assessments of the legal landscape and explore practical solutions on how to support communities where it is difficult to raise funds.
  • While there are many cross-country cooperation possibilities (including GLAM, education, engaging diasporas, writing campaigns etc.) there is no easy platform to support networking and organising joined projects
  • Communities need technical solutions for many problems. Some of those solutions need to be invented, some already exist in some communities and could be adopted by others
  • The Hub as a support platform either providing technical services or helping in adopting existing solutions in wider communities
  • Conflict resolution in the region, which have been difficult to resolve in the past by a global committees
  • Smaller communities rely on a small number of volunteers which creates a high risk of burnout and is not sustainable. Including the capacity to do successful outreach and gain more volunteers
  • Hub would help to take some of the workload from the volunteers protecting them from burnout and providing more capacity
  • Developing initiatives for capacity development of volunteers, affiliates and communities in general

The solutions for the challenges are described in more detail in the objective and output parts of the proposal.

The long term goals, that are NOT the focus of the first year, include the following points:

Decentralisation of processes towards regional and local processes (where this is feasible)

Creating a stabilising structure that institutionalises organisational knowledge in the region in order to not be overly reliant on individual efforts

Grant making

  • Facilitate conflict resolution between affiliates/within communities
  • Ongoing communication will also help identify issues earlier than is the case today when it only flares up once the Global Council or the grants team are involved
  • Stress and showcase: cultural issue with escalating issues to a higher authority
  • Trust & Safety function? [Lucas]
  • Fundraising
  • Fundraising within Wikimedia projects
  • Fundraising in general (maybe in cooperation with Wikimedia Europe)

2. What is the change that you are trying to bring about and why is this important?

The CEE Hub and this grant proposal are an undertaking that no one in the Wikimedia movement has tried before. The main objective is to create a structure to formalise the network in the CEE region in alignment with the 2030 strategy recommendations and make it more durable, instead of only relying on individuals using their personal connections to bring everyone in the CEE region together.

Because this is a new form of Wikimedia organisation, we think it is important to write down the principles that have guided us in the CEE region so far. This list is not complete, but should cover what makes up the core of the CEE Hub:

While this grant proposal is more focused on the goals in the short-term, in order to demonstrate that this kind of organisation works within the Wikiverse, there are some long-term goals that need mentioning in order to not lose sight of them. This list is not complete and can change depending on future developments as well as current developments, especially the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The short term goals are at the heart of this proposal. They cover the areas that the CEE Hub wants to build up in the first year, based on the current assessment of the CEE region and especially the research conducted in the last 9 months.

Short term goals:

Administrative

  • Simplifying and enabling administrative processes that currently lie with the WMF
  • Especially relevant for areas of the region that have not been included in these processes so far
  • Supporting communities in writing applications for funds, be it WMF, EU or other funds
  • Proximity to the communities makes it easier to set up support structures for various endeavours in collaboration with the thematic hubs and affiliates (Education, GLAM, Wikidata, … )

Programmatic

  • Support structures for programmatic work, be it administrative, research, technological or outreach (graphic design, social media, texts, …)
  • Developing initiatives for capacity development of volunteers, affiliates and communities in general
  • Supporting and maintaining the participation of smaller communities in regional/global projects like CEE Spring, WLM and WLE, WikiScience Competition, …
  • Support the running of regional meetings, foremost the annual CEE Meeting, setting up meetings in areas where an annual meeting would help galvanize the local community
  • Facilitate the adoption of technical innovations and features (volunteer tools and those developed by WMF)
  • Caution: short term solution to WMF communication problem
  • Support region-wide efforts of topics that are of interest to volunteers that might not want to tackle these topics locally for various reasons

Communication

  • Establish and maintain connections between individuals, initiatives and communities within and outside of the CEE Hub
  • Support knowledge and information exchange between communities, be it by visiting other affiliates, using the Capacity Exchange platform (cXc), or connecting people with the right information on the Wikimedia projects
  • Support the information flow between wider global initiatives and interested people in the CEE communities, for example FKAGEU or Wikimedia Europe, but also beyond Wikimedia (especially in regional-local FLOSS and academic field)
  • The CEE Hub is here to enhance and enable connections, not to monopolise these connections
  • Support global conversations by providing information in a form that is easily understandable for volunteers and communities who may have limited previous overview, knowledge or capacity to follow all the global conversations in English
  • Streamline and structure communication channels in the CEE region
  • Onboarding and leadership training for volunteers, board members and staff within the CEE region

3. Describe your main approaches or strategies to achieve these changes and why you think they will be effective.

We have chosen to build an organization focused on providing support services, facilitating knowledge sharing and networking. Based on the research conducted in 2021 and early 2022, we have identified a set of services most useful to a large number of Wikimedia affiliates in the CEE region:
  • administrative support services,
  • centralized production & shipping (of contest prizes and Wikimedia apparel & gadgets),
  • grant-writing mentorship and support,
  • Facilitating information flow within the Wikimedia movement
  • [...]

See also the presentation from February 2022: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CEE_Hub_February_2022_presentation.pdf

4. What are the activities you will be developing and delivering as part of these approaches or strategies?

The activities revolving around the services will depend on the community we are interacting with and how much time they have to spare for interactions like this. This can range from workshops to work on specific support for certain communities, but can also just be paying for a translation of materials into the language(s) of the community in order to provide them with information that they can access when they find the time to do so.

5. Do you want to apply for multi-year funding?      

No

5.1 If yes, provide a brief overview of Year 2 and Year 3 of the proposed plan and how this relates to the current proposal and your strategic plan?

N/A

6. Please include a timeline (operational calendar) for your proposal.

Timeline:
  • End of July 2022: Recruitment and onboarding of CEE coordinator
  • Beginning of September 2022: Recruitment of other staff members complete
  • October 2022: Governance structure design published and voted upon at the CEE Meeting 2022
  • November 2022: New steering committee elected/selected by the CEE communities
  • December 2022: Application support established and already implemented for some pilot affiliates
  • January 2023: Programs announced together with the communities that are being supported
  • March 2023: Strategic plan for the upcoming years published, discussed and signed off on
  • March 2023: Based on the new strategic plan, write new grant application form.

7. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

The interim board-like structure will stay with the CEE Hub Group and more specifically the interim Steering committee. We are committed to creating an equitable and community-driven governance structure for the new hub. To this end, we plan to vest strategic decisions and oversight in a collective body, the Steering Committee. The first (interim) Steering Committee will be chosen from among the CEE Hub Group (the co-creators of this grant) and interested affiliate & community leaders from the region. A system of democratic selection of future Steering Committee members will be created within the first 12 months, aiming for the CEE Meeting 2022 if the hiring process goes as planned.

The interim steering committee currently consists of the following people:

  • Delphine Menard
  • Tisza Gergő
  • Kiril Simeonovski
  • Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska
  • Nikolai Pavlov
  • Philip Kopetzky
  • Reda Kerbouche

Vacant positions funded by this grant:

  • CEE Hub Coordinator – a great communicator and project manager, will manage other employees, help coordinate the work of volunteers, and support the Steering Committee
  • The coordinator will also be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the program pillars, ensuring that the short-term goals we have set are met
  • At the same time, the coordinator communicates the progress of the CEE Hub to the communities and also leads the discussions with the less well organised communities set out in question 22.

Administrative/Communications staff member – a well-organized person, efficiently dealing with multiple requests for help, both one-off and ongoing; will report to the CEE Hub Coordinator

The administrative/comms staff member will be involved in fulfilling the programs of the same name, working with communities to simplify the bureaucracy and supporting them in their applications with their expertise. Will most likely be located with one of the affiliates who already have staff to have direct access to one source of knowledge already.

Regional Support staff – this person will be a skilled communicator with language skills and cultural background strongly connected to a sub-region of CEE; will report to the CEE Hub Coordinator

This is probably the least defined role. It very much depends on what the coordinator and the steering committee see as the most urgent area to investigate and build capacity in. Due to the war in Ukraine the current expectations might change a lot in the next few months.

8. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified CONTENT knowledge gaps (Knowledge Inequity)? Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Not applicable

8.1 In a few sentences, explain how your work is specifically addressing this content gap (or Knowledge inequity) to ensure a greater representation of knowledge.

The CEE Hub is a meta-organisation of other affiliates and communities and is therefore not directly involved in generating the CONTENT side of things.

9. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or THEMATIC focus. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work and explain the rationale for identifying these themes.

Not applicable

10. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Please note, we had previously asked about inclusion and diversity in terms of CONTENTS, in this question we are asking about the diversity of PARTICIPANTS. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Geographic , Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Linguistic / Language, Socioeconomic status, Digital Access

11. What are your strategies for engaging participants, particularly those that currently are non-Wikimedia?

The CEE Hub is designed as a network for affiliates - participation is the core objective of this network. There are no specific requirements to participate, the steering committee has a mandate to present a governance model by the CEE Meeting 2022 that will aim for fair representation and access to the services the CEE Hub provides.

The research interviews we conducted showed that the communities expect the CEE Hub to meet their needs. Meeting this expectation is key to retaining affiliates within the network, since there is no mandatory participation in the hub. Affiliates are still free to seek support elsewhere, especially if the three pillars of the program don’t speak to their needs or they require funding outside the budget capabilities of the CEE Hub, but the CEE Hub would still support them with those efforts (see the administrative part of the program).

It is unclear what the term "non-Wikimedia" is supposed to mean in this context. It is not mentioned in the help. If it applies to communities that are not affiliates, one of the key goals of the CEE Hub is to enable and support those communities in their work and in the level of organising that they are comfortable with.

12. In what ways are you actively seeking to contribute towards creating a safer, supportive, more equitable environment for participants and promoting the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy, and/or equivalent local policies and processes?

Safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment is crucial for hubs (and the global Wikimedia movement as whole) to succeed in its mission and we are strongly dedicated to contributing to that. The CEE community has a longtime history of cooperation built on kindness, empathy and mutual respect. So incorporating these values in the CEE Hub will be very natural. All the future events - both online and in person - organised by and supported by the CEE Hub will have a Friendly Space Policy in place. Also all the hub-related communication channels will have moderators dedicated to make sure that the UCoC are followed. The hub will also support the CEE communities in providing safety and inclusion in their local context by connecting those looking for help and expertise in adopting good safety practices with the ones that already have a lot of experience in that.

13. Do you have plans to work with Wikimedia communities, groups, or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?

Yes

13.1 If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

CEE hub group work

Research https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_CEE_Hub/Research

14. Will you be working with other external, non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?

No

14.1 Please describe these partnerships and what motivates the potential partner to be part of the proposal and how they add value to your work.

N/A

15. How do you hope to sustain or expand the work carried out in this proposal after the grant?

This grant proposal would cover the first step of establishing a regional network of affiliates that is able to organise itself and is set up in a way that adding new pillars or programmes would be easy to achieve. Scalability will mostly depend on other areas of the 2030 recommendations being implemented, i.e. fundraising, decentralisation and new governance structures coming into existence.

Depending on the results of the first year, the CEE coordinator will formulate a plan that will focus on what avenues of the programmes outlined above are working and which areas need a different approach. Having a war between two big countries in the region definitely doesn’t make this easier to predict.

Nonetheless, it will be important to also design a process to communicate and develop organisational capacities in the communities that have been left behind or even left out so far, which will probably be a long-term project because of the distrust of WMF processes or the lack of volunteers currently involved in certain languages (foremost Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Lithuania).

16. What kind of risks do you anticipate and how would you mitigate these. This can include factors such as external/contextual issues that may affect implementation, as well as internal issues, such as governance/leadership changes.

A lot of things can go wrong when building a new structure. The war in Ukraine makes risk assessment a bit of a moving target, which is difficult to cover in 3000 characters. Depending on the length of the war and if it might spread to other countries of the CEE region, the repercussions for our work will be signifcant. Mitigating a war is a bit difficult, the only question really is what the rebuilding effort will look like after the war is over, if it is even over during the timeframe of this proposal.

The main risks associated with this endeavour revolve around the recruitment of a suitable person in a reasonable amount of time. The risk of this taking longer than expected is very real - that is why there will be discussions with external partners on how to recruit a CEE coordinator with the appropriate qualifications and vision. Building from there, emphasis will be put on onboarding the coordinator in an efficient manner and connecting them to as many people as possible before the CEE Meeting in October 2022.

17. In what ways do you think your proposal most contributes to the Movement Strategy 2030 recommendations. Select a maximum of three options that most apply.

Increase the Sustainability of Our Movement, Provide for Safety and Inclusion, Ensure Equity in Decision-making, Coordinate Across Stakeholders, Invest in Skills and Leadership Development, Manage Internal Knowledge, Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt

18. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.  

No

Learning, Sharing, and EvaluationEdit

19. What do you hope to learn from your work in this fund proposal?

The CEE Hub is designed to be owned by the communities of the region. It is therefore inherently designed to be a network to exchange knowledge, pool resources to work on shared issues and design processes that could potentially benefit communities across the globe.

On a fundamental level, the most important questions will revolve around the feasibility, scalability and equality of such a regional network. Can this be sustained with this level of funding? Does it need more personnel, or less? How can the CEE Hub avoid becoming too distant from the communities it was created by?

Because this network has existed informally since 2011 it is unlikely for the fundamental questions to fail spectacularly - the main mission of the CEE Hub focuses on the communities left behind or left out, which should also show ways of supporting these communities in a sustainable manner, that doesn’t overburden them with bureaucracy and enables them to enjoy a sense of progress and attention that has been lacking until now. These findings can then in theory also be used in other regions to establish similar programs.

On the meta organisational level, the CEE Hub aims to be an example of how a regional network can function and what a regional network requires in order to function within the Wikimedia context, how regional networks can be used to tackle some of the issues that have been hounding the Wikimedia communities in the past and these networks can interact with other regional networks, to support and learn from each other.

20. Based on these learning questions, what is the information or data you need to collect to answer these questions? Please register this information (as metric description) in the following space provided.

Main Metrics Description Target
Grade of bureaucratic relief Output: The CEE Hub provides services that centralise bureaucratic efforts in order to free up volunteer time

Metric: Affiliates assess their administrative burden with x/10 in regular intervals (every 6 months) (1 being very easy to handle, 10 being very high)

Target for grant: A decrease by at least 2 points for the majority of affiliates in the region.

Support in grant writing Output: The CEE Hub provides support in the writing of WMF annual grant applications and for other funds.

Metric: Number of grant applications supported

Target: at least 4 grant applications supported by Hub volunteers & staff

4
Participation in international campaigns Output: The CEE Hub has a knowledge and expertise base in order to help communities take part in international contests

Metric: A higher percentage of communities take part in international contests

Target: Increase in number of CEE communities in international contests by 10%

10
Satisfaction rate of CEE communities Metrics: Satisfaction rate of the people/communities that use the services of the CEE Hub (include this in an annual planning survey)

Target: none, first year: just measure

N/A
Connecting communities and inidviduals across CEE and outside of CEE Output: Connecting communities across the CEE region and connecting individuals interested in the same challenge or topic that helps improve the work in the community and/or on the Wikimedia projects

Metric: Number of connections established as a result of regional meeting (based post-event on survey) and the day-to-day work of the hub (based on the survey every 6 months)

Target: none, first year: just measure

N/A

Here are some additional metrics that you can use if they are relevant to your work. Please note that this is just an optional list, mostly of quantitative metrics. They may complement the qualitative metrics you have defined in the previous boxes.

Additional Metrics Description Target
Number of editors that continue to participate/retained after activities Output: Provide information and news on new WMF features so that CEE communities can participate in the implementation and deployment of new technical features, including localisation and building community consensus

Metric: Based on the same survey as above, how satisfied are CEE communities with the implementation of new WMF or non-WMF features and how well informed are they about them?

Target: none, first year: just measure (maybe also measuring the adoption rate of features?)

N/A
Number of organizers that continue to participate/retained after activities Output: Established a structured single point of information about international and trans-regional Wikimedia movement participatory processes (updated regularly)

Metric: Number of people / page visits on the central CEE Hub website/forum (wherever it may be)

Target: none, measure first (new destination so no baseline)

N/A
Number of strategic partnerships that contribute to longer term growth, diversity and sustainability Output: Provide onboarding for newly interested volunteers and staff members involved in international Wikimedia work

Metric: Onboarding directory created & at least X people went through international onboarding

Target: Documentation and onboarding process set up for at least 2 types of program roles (e.g. GLAM, Community Support)

2
Feedback from participants on effective strategies for attracting and retaining contributors N/A N/A
Diversity of participants brought in by grantees N/A N/A
Number of people reached through social media publications N/A N/A
Number of activities developed N/A N/A
Number of volunteer hours N/A N/A

21. Additional core quantitative metrics. These core metrics will not tell the whole story about your work, but they are important for measuring some Movement-wide changes. Please try to include these core metrics if they are relevant to your work. If they are not, please use the space provided to explain why they are not relevant or why you can not capture this data. Your explanation will help us review our core metrics and make sure we are using the best ones for the movement as a whole.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of participants N/A N/A
Number of editors N/A N/A
Number of organizers N/A N/A
Number of new content contributions per Wikimedia project
Wikimedia Project Description Target
N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A
N/A N/A N/A

21.1 If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation.

The CEE Hub is a meta-organisation of other affiliates and communities and is therefore not directly involved in generating the core metrics, therefore we have our own set of metrics that we think will yield tangible results. These proposed metrics are detailed above, and because of a lack of space have also been put into the "additional metrics" section.

22. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

Since the CEE Hub is not directly involved in the generation of core metrics, the usual tools will probably be not feasible to collect the metrics we propose. The feedback we get will be collected via surveys, interviews and indirectly by the results of the community grant applications supported by the CEE Hub as well as the metrics generated by CEE communities participating in international campaigns.

Financial ProposalEdit

23. & 23.1 What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency. If you are thinking about a multi-year fund, please provide the amount for the first year.

519116 PLN

23.2 What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

118301 USD

23.3 Please upload your budget for this proposal or indicate the link to it.

Budget: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KPZD0VVs9w57717DcnuI1FLoTsVU4CiSSKYAorKDDTM/edit?usp=sharing

The budget contains a 30% contingency for funds that might be required to cover the salary of a CEE coordinator if that salary exceeds the originally planned limit, and is also meant as funding for the program activities that need to be determined by the CEE coordinator. Since there are no points of reference in terms of what kind of costs a Wikimedia hub might have, it is difficult to make educated estimates.

23.4 Please include any additional observations or comments you would like to include about your budget.

The CEE Hub concept was developed by board and staff members of all major affiliates of the region, namely Wikimedia Poland, Wikimedia Czechia, Wikimedia Austria, Wikimedia Hungary, Wikimedia Serbia, Shared Knowledge, Wikimedia Ukraine and Wikimedia Armenia. The funds and the good management will be guaranteed by the fiscal sponsor, Wikimedia Poland.

Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.

Other public document(s): CEE Hub Research report: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_CEE_Hub/Research

Because of the change in format to this application we have also supplied the old application form. This is not supposed to be used as the final application and should only be used to be able to reference the original context that the answers were written in, in case the questions in this new grant application format don't make sense.

Final MessageEdit

By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.

Yes

Completing your applicationEdit

Once you have completed the application, please do the following:

  • Change the application status from status=draft to status=proposed in the {{Probox}} template.
  • Contact strategy2030 wikimedia.org to confirm your submission, as well as to request any support around your application.

EndorsementsEdit

An endorsement from community members (especially from outside your community) will be part of the considerations when reviewing your application. Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!

See Wikimedia_CEE_Hub#Endorsements.