[Wikimedia-l] Board vote on narrowing focus

Ilario Valdelli valdelli at gmail.com
Fri Nov 2 16:31:48 UTC 2012

Yes, there is a misunderstandings.

I am not speaking about how the FDC committee is judging, but about the
overall process which is the same for an organization asking 30 MUSD and an
organization asking 100K USD.

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:25 PM, Anders Wennersten
<mail at anderswennersten.se>wrote:

> the evaluation (coming also
> from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
> spend a lot.
> This must be a misunderstanding. There is now just two weeks until the FDC
> recommendation for the 12 proposals for round 1 2012 will be official where
> you can judge yourself
> Anders W
> Ilario Valdelli skrev 2012-11-02 17:14:
>  In general I agree with the narrowing focus, but what seems really strange
>> to me is that the strategies and in generale the evaluation (coming also
>> from FDC) are focused to promote bigger organizations which are able to
>> spend a lot.
>> Basically there is a weak evaluation costs/benefits. An organization
>> spending 30 millions of USD should produce benefits for 30 millions of USD
>> and should be evaluated as an organization spending 30 millions of USD.
>> Big
>> budget -> stronger evaluation and stronger measures.
>> An organization (for instance a small chapter) spending 500K USD should be
>> evaluated as an organization spending 500K USD and this organization
>> should
>> produce benefits for 500K USD. Small budget -> weak evaluation and
>> flexible
>> measures.
>> Basically if a small chapter, spending 500K USD, is evaluated using the
>> same parameters of WMF, it should spent an additional amount of 500K USD
>> to
>> create an organization and a paid staff in order to be able to be
>> evaluated
>> at the same level of WMF and to receive the 500K USD for their projects
>> (total = 1 million of USD).
>> The criteria to evaluate chapters/organizations using the same parameters
>> of WMF basically imposes to all applicants a model and this would be a
>> good
>> model, but it means that they should hire more people and should spent
>> more
>> money.
>> Basically the idea to use the grantmaking or the idea to setup a FDC are
>> not bad ideas, but these ideas are not supported by a "flexible" system of
>> evaluation. The request would impose the same standards of WMF to all
>> Wikimedia's organizations, but WMF is spending 30 MUSD plus a percentage
>> of
>> the 11,4 MUSD, at the back there is WM DE spending 1,8 MUSD (5% compared
>> with the budget of WMF) and WM UK and WM FR (2% compared with the budget
>> of
>> WMF), but they are evaluated using the same parameters of WMF.
>> My concern is linked to this point. The grantmaking (I include also the
>> FDC) may bar the access to the funds for smaller entities.
>> This may be a benefit because the control is perfect, but it may be also a
>> big damage for the movement because the control may be stifling. There is
>> not a "proportionate" control.
>> I remember that we discussed a lot during the meetings with WMF about how
>> people should manage the changes. The better solution to manage the
>> changes
>> is to have a differentiation because the changes may block a lot some
>> kinds
>> of organizations and may promote a lot some others. The changes make a
>> selection and if all of them are clones, the changes may kill all clones.
>> To impose a single model or to impose stronger rules would reduce a lot
>> the
>> possibility to have a differentiation and would produce a group of
>> organizations which seems to be stronger and better, but essentially it
>> will lose the capacity to react to the changes.
>> I am not speaking about anarchy, in general I defend a lot the systems of
>> control, but a system of control and a system of evaluation should be
>> "flexible".
>> On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM, Anders Wennersten <
>> mail at anderswennersten.se
>>> wrote:
>>> The Board has earlier decided to give WMF an budget for 2012-2013 for
>>> 30,3
>>> MUSD for core activities, up from 26,2 the earlier year, mainly
>>> engineering
>>> and thing like fundraising support.
>>> The Board has also set a budget of 11,4 MUSD for activities partly to be
>>> disseminated to chapters and to a part to WMF, where Grants make up big
>>> part. The total of 11,4 is an increase.
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Ilario Valdelli
Wikimedia CH
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Tel: +41764821371

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