[Wikimedia-l] FDC recommendations on funds allocation, Round 1, 2012-13

Jan-bart de Vreede jdevreede at wikimedia.org
Fri Nov 16 09:48:16 UTC 2012

On 16 nov. 2012, at 10:18, Lodewijk <lodewijk at effeietsanders.org> wrote:

> Hi Jan-Bart,
> I definitely hold a personal opinion indeed. Opinions indeed tend to be
> subjective - and I found it so obvious that it was my personal opinion (who
> else's would it be?) that I didn't state this. I couldn't imagine that
> anyone would mistake me for an opinion poller :) I am sorry that you
> experienced my feedback in such negative way.


So no its not obvious that you were stating your own opinion, you often formulate things in such as way that they are not presented as your personal opinion but attempt instead to somehow come across as the "general" opinion. Thats at least how I read them.

> But similarly, I wouldn't want to mistake the opinion of individual FDC
> members for the reasoning of the committee as a whole. The comments made on
> the talk pages are made by individuals (sometimes not even members), and
> not by the committee - that is why I dont want to assume that they are
> shared by the committee as a whole.

You don't have to :)

> As I understand the process, there was a big preperation - that preperation
> is well documented. Also, the way the process has been followed (in all
> it's abstractism) has been well documented - this is helpful for
> understanding the process better next time of course and valuable. However,
> then there is this 4 day meeting. And suddenly, all information available
> seems to be missing - unless I'm overlooking something. I know you have
> been present at the meeting, so you might read things differently than I
> do. But from the arguments given I really have a hard time understanding
> what the reasons have been regarding the different decisions. This is not a
> simple general hunger for more details (which is there as well, I'll agree
> on that), but it is just not being able to understand.

So in the build up to the meeting on the 26th of October there was a lot of public part to the process. The meeting was completed 2 weeks ago and it took two weeks to finalize the recommendations in writing, come to common language etc. This is a 2 week period... how can "all information suddenly be missing"? And again. Getting the FDC to agree on wording etc. is essential, and the FDC decided to agree on the "main" issues per application (and in some case that might prove not to be enough

> I do not disagree that the time spent asking questions publicly was worth
> while - but this is all (as far as I understand it) before the 4 day
> retreat. Before actual committee decisions started.

the reason why the deadline for the recommendations was set for the 15th of November was to allow the FDC members to document their decisions and their reasoning. That takes time (and it not a lack of information, it is taking the time needed to carefully go through everything). This is the information level they decided on, if you feel that more is needed, that is your opinion but please realize that a team working across different time zones only has so much time to work together (and that all these people are volunteers who took time to travel to san francisco to spend four days in a stuffy meeting room...) But I will let them answer for themselves if they feel they want to.

> Now I can indeed go to the talk pages and proposals, combine it with some
> general comments made by Dariusz and probably come to an 80% understanding
> by guessing. However, call me silly but I wouldn't like to rely on the
> quality of my own guesswork to understand the committee's decision.

You don't have to , I think that the proposals + Questions asked + staff assesments + FDC comments will get you there in 95% of the cases. But then again, I might be wrong, and in some cases the FDC does need to share more information. As you know we have entered a 7 day period in which the chapters can comment on the recommendations, and we can see if the board requires more information before being able to approve the FDC recommendations (in which case the board will publicly ask for that information and the FDC will publicly share that information (if not limited by some confidentiality)

Finally: just to warn you: the FDC has now posted its recommendations, there are seven days during which participants can comment/object... and the board decides by December 15th. While that decision might take place before the 15th of december, it is likely to be two or three weeks away from today.... THIS IS NOT AN INFORMATION BLACKOUT! It is not a lack of transparency... its just the time we need to read through and discuss and finally vote. 


>> Hey Lodewijk,
>> So a few points, first of all you have a very subjective view of the
>> situation and present it as the "general view". You cite a bad precedent
>> and lack of sufficient detail. Lets be clear: this is bad in YOUR view and
>> YOU feel that there should be more detail, that does not mean that this is
>> true. A movement like ours always hungers for more details, and we do
>> always manage to discuss a lot of the details (even if a discussion on one
>> detail does not affect the overall picture). In this case the FDC has
>> decided to give a headlines recommendation because they felt that this was
>> the right level of detail. The chapters who wrote the proposals can
>> indicate if they feel that they have enough information. You are free to
>> indicate that as well, but please don't present it as the general opinion.
>> And at the same time, if you hunger for more details I do want to refer
>> you to the plans and the discussion on the talk pages. We have asked a lot
>> of time of FDC members in making these decisions. Coming to a common
>> decision was a thorough process during which a lot opinions had to be
>> discussed (and assuming that there is limited time I would guess that this
>> time is better spend making the deliberations rather than working on
>> detailed reporting). A specific chapter will know the details of their
>> application (as will you when you visit their proposal and talk pages) and
>> can hopefully move forward with the comments received. Its not the FDC's
>> job to make all details of an application and their opinion available to
>> you in a nice summary document because you don't want to read the plans...
>> The decisions do NOT stand on their own and are part of the FDC portal,
>> which provides more transparency than you have ever seen in any funds
>> distribution of this size anywhere in the world I would guess.
>> And for what its worth: as an observer during the process I think that a
>> funding decision for a specific chapter did come down to a few major
>> factors, and not many details. These factors are different in some cases,
>> but there are never "10s" of factors...
>> The FDC might choose to provide more details next time around, but if they
>> don't that is still their choice, and it depends on the feedback we ALL
>> give during this round.
>> Jan-Bart
>> On 15 Nov 2012, at 23:28, Lodewijk <lodewijk at effeietsanders.org> wrote:
>>> Hi Dariusz,
>>> I do not doubt the seriousness and dedication of the committee. I do
>> regret
>>> the bad precedent set here (as a movement member) that the committee
>>> doesn't specify in sufficient detail the reasons how these major budget
>>> decisions have been made. If the 120% played a role, please specify that.
>>> If there are confidential reasons (which will be sent to the board & the
>>> applicant?), state so. Etc.
>>> Some people told me that the other reasons were obvious if I would have
>>> read the plans. I strongly disagree that reading the proposals should be
>>> necessary to understand the decision of the FDC.
>>> I sincerely hope for improvement in this area. It would be sad if the FDC
>>> would not be as transparent in its arguments as it could be. If you're
>>> unwilling to make this improvement at this point (since all FDC members
>>> would probably have to agree) I at least hope you take this as feedback
>> for
>>> the next round.
>>> Kind regards,
>>> Lodewijk
>>> 2012/11/15 Dariusz Jemielniak <darekj at alk.edu.pl>
>>>> hi Lodewijk,
>>>> I think it is clear that "not trusting them with the money" was not the
>>>> case with any of the chapters. We have not been relying just on one
>>>> technicality of 120%, but also taking into account the size of the
>>>> organization, the actual project (specifically, if the growth was
>> justified
>>>> either by extraordinary circumstances or  by the early stage of
>>>> development, which we considered more valid than just rapid growth,
>> which
>>>> is often considered as as dangerous as a wind-down), the financial
>>>> reserves, etc.
>>>> In case of budget reductions, we've been very careful to make sure that
>>>> chapters do not have to close shop, and in the cases where it seemed
>>>> appropriate, we suggested making an exception and going for Round 2.
>> When
>>>> larger cuts were considered, we always had the previous annual budget in
>>>> mind as a reference point (sometimes pro-rated per month).
>>>> best,
>>>> dj
>>>> On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 9:29 PM, Lodewijk <lodewijk at effeietsanders.org
>>> wrote:
>>>>> Hi Dariusz,
>>>>> it would probably be helpful if it were indicated when the 120% cap was
>>>>> used as the sole reason to reduce the amount. Could you still add that
>> to
>>>>> the arguments? That would make it much more insightful. I was
>> personally
>>>>> under the impression the maximum was 150% by the way, but that
>> information
>>>>> might have been outdated. Then it is at least clear that a
>> technicality is
>>>>> the sole cause for your rejection of part of their budget (and could
>>>>> potentially form ground for the chapter to ask the board to make an
>>>>> exception - it would be quite different if the reasons were because you
>>>>> didn't trust them with the money etc).
>>>>> But for example in the case of Wikimedia France I guess the 120% cap
>> was
>>>>> not the reason you only allocated 10% of the amount they requested. I
>> find
>>>>> the reasoning in their case quite poor for such a major decision which
>>>>> could potentially mean that people get fired and the organization has
>> to
>>>>> scale down significantly. I'm confident that you had very good and in
>> depth
>>>>> discussions about this, but this is not reflected in the
>> recommendation in
>>>>> their specific case. I guess this might be the case for a few more
>>>>> applications.
>>>>> I don't want to go to a specific case here, but just want to illustrate
>>>>> why I feel the arguments are poorly presented. Since you did go into
>> such
>>>>> great discussion, I feel it would be a waste of your efforts if the
>>>>> arguments are so shallow.
>>>>> I am still hopeful you will change your mind, and add more reasoning to
>>>>> the cases.
>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>> Lodewijk
>>>>> 2012/11/15 Dariusz Jemielniak <darekj at alk.edu.pl>
>>>>>> hi Lodewijk,
>>>>>> first, this is basically a recommendation for the Board, not the final
>>>>>> allocation. However, regarding your specific question: We are not
>> planning
>>>>>> on providing further detailed responses - we have already offered a
>> great
>>>>>> many details in our overall recommendations in terms of process and
>>>>>> methodology.
>>>>>> Per the fact that some organizations "got so much less than they
>>>>>> requested": please, keep in mind that there was a suggested 120%
>> maximum
>>>>>> budget growth capping, and also that WCA membership fees have been
>> deducted
>>>>>> for everyone (but not other WCA-related costs), as WCA may apply for
>> FDC
>>>>>> funding directly (or choose a different model, once it is decided,
>> and the
>>>>>> organization incorporated).
>>>>>> Also, our recommendations make it very clear that smaller entities,
>>>>>> which were making significant leaps in maturity tended to get most of
>> what
>>>>>> they asked for, while entities which are medium to large, staffed and
>>>>>> already on a clear growth path, were looked at with even greater
>> rigor in
>>>>>> terms of sustainable and appropriate plans (also because of the budget
>>>>>> sizes). Small entities are often going from no/part-time staff to a
>>>>>> full-staff position, which can increase the budget (as compared to the
>>>>>> previous year) significantly, but cannot be avoided. Larger entities
>> can
>>>>>> grow more harmoniously.
>>>>>> best,
>>>>>> dariusz
>>>>>> On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 8:05 PM, Lodewijk <
>> lodewijk at effeietsanders.org>wrote:
>>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>>> From the arguments, I had a hard time to understand why some
>>>>>>> organizations got so much less than they requested, and some got
>> every
>>>>>>> single dollar. I assume more detailed arguments will follow?
>>>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>>>> Lodewijk
>>>>>>> 2012/11/15 Jan-Bart de Vreede <jdevreede at wikimedia.org>
>>>>>>>> Hi Everyone
>>>>>>>> Rather than repeat everything I would like to point you to a blog
>> post
>>>>>>>> created earlier today.
>> http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/11/15/fdc-process-milestone-sharing-wikimedia-movement-funds/
>>>>>>>> I do want to take the opportunity to once again thank all those
>>>>>>>> involved in this first round, including all the participating
>> chapters. As
>>>>>>>> expressed earlier: this is the future of our funds dissemination
>> and we
>>>>>>>> will refine the process, but this first round has exceeded my
>> expectations
>>>>>>>> on all levels. Thanks everyone!
>>>>>>>> Jan-Bart
>>>>>>>> (who now goes digging in the attic for some barn stars....)
>>>>>>>> On 15 Nov 2012, at 19:38, Dariusz Jemielniak <darekj at alk.edu.pl>
>>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>>>>>>> From: Dariusz Jemielniak <darekj at alk.edu.pl>
>>>>>>>>> Date: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 7:25 PM
>>>>>>>>> Subject: FDC recommendations on funds allocation, Round 1, 2012-13
>>>>>>>>> To: wikimediaannounce-l at lists.wikimedia.org
>>>>>>>>> The inaugural Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) is pleased to
>>>>>>>> announce
>>>>>>>>> recommendations [1] on Round 1 of funds allocations for the year
>>>>>>>> 2012-13.
>>>>>>>>> The WMF Board of Trustees will make a decision on these
>>>>>>>> recommendations by
>>>>>>>>> December 15, 2012.
>>>>>>>>> The FDC received proposals from 12 movement entities for Round 1
>> for
>>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>>>> total requested amount of 10.4 million USD. These proposals were
>>>>>>>> from 11
>>>>>>>>> Wikimedia chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation. Three proposals
>> were
>>>>>>>>> received after the deadline of 1 October had passed, but the FDC
>>>>>>>> decided
>>>>>>>>> that since it was the first time for the process, the late
>> proposals
>>>>>>>> would
>>>>>>>>> be accepted and discussed. Since the proposal deadline, the FDC and
>>>>>>>> FDC
>>>>>>>>> support staff have spent many hours reviewing and assessing these
>>>>>>>> proposals
>>>>>>>>> to determine a set of allocations that would best support movement
>>>>>>>> goals.
>>>>>>>>> This assessment included a 4-day in-person deliberation session in
>>>>>>>> San
>>>>>>>>> Francisco over the period October 28-31, where the FDC members
>>>>>>>> discussed
>>>>>>>>> the proposals in depth and determined allocation amounts for each
>>>>>>>> applying
>>>>>>>>> entity.
>>>>>>>>> The FDC recognizes that this is not a perfect process, and that the
>>>>>>>> process
>>>>>>>>> and the outcome will improve over time as we learn more about what
>>>>>>>> works in
>>>>>>>>> the movement and what drives impact. We invite the community to
>>>>>>>> provide
>>>>>>>>> overall feedback on these recommendations on the talk page for
>> these
>>>>>>>>> recommendations [2] and to provide feedback about the FDC process
>>>>>>>> on-wiki
>>>>>>>>> to the Ombudsperson [3], who will collect this feedback and use it
>>>>>>>> in our
>>>>>>>>> continuous improvement process. For formal complaints about the
>>>>>>>>> recommendations, there is a separate process, outlined below.
>>>>>>>>> If any entity has a complaint about the FDC's recommendation, it
>>>>>>>> should be
>>>>>>>>> submitted by 23:59 UTC on 22 November 2012 in accordance with the
>>>>>>>> complaint
>>>>>>>>> process outlined in the Framework for the Creation and Initial
>>>>>>>> Operation of
>>>>>>>>> the FDC [4]:
>>>>>>>>> - The complaint should be in the form of a 500-or-fewer word
>>>>>>>> summary
>>>>>>>>> directed to the two non-voting WMF Board representatives on the
>> FDC
>>>>>>>>> (Jan-Bart and Patricio)
>>>>>>>>> - The complaint should be submitted on-wiki, through the FDC
>>>>>>>> portal page
>>>>>>>>> designated for this purpose [5]
>>>>>>>>> - These board representatives will present the complaint to the
>> WMF
>>>>>>>>> Board at the same time it considers the FDC recommendation.
>>>>>>>>> - Formal complaints can be submitted only by the Board Chair of a
>>>>>>>>> funding-seeking entity.
>>>>>>>>> - Formal complaints must be filed within seven days of the
>>>>>>>> submission of
>>>>>>>>> the FDC slate of recommendations to the WMF Board (by end of day
>>>>>>>> UTC
>>>>>>>>> November 22)
>>>>>>>>> - Any planned or approved disbursements to the organization filing
>>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>>>> complaint will be put on hold until the complaint is resolved.
>>>>>>>>> - If the WMF Board's consideration of the complaint results in an
>>>>>>>>> amendment of the FDC's recommendations (which is expected only in
>>>>>>>>> extraordinary circumstances), the WMF Board may choose to release
>>>>>>>> extra
>>>>>>>>> funds from the WMF reserves to provide additional funds not
>>>>>>>> allocated by
>>>>>>>>> the FDC's initial recommendation.
>>>>>>>>> - Other members of the WMF Board may participate in the
>>>>>>>> investigation if
>>>>>>>>> approved by the Chair of the WMF Board.
>>>>>>>>> on behalf of the FDC
>>>>>>>>> Dariusz Jemielniak (Chair)
>>>>>>>>> [1]
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/FDC_recommendations/2012-2013_round1
>>>>>>>>> [2]
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:FDC_portal/FDC_recommendations/2012-2013_round1
>>>>>>>>> [3]
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Appeals_regarding_FDC_process
>>>>>>>>> [4]
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Framework_for_the_Creation_and_Initial_Operation_of_the_FDC#Complaint_submission_process
>>>>>>>>> [5]
>> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FDC_portal/Complaints_regarding_FDC_recommendations_to_the_board
>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>> __________________________
>>>>>>>>> dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
>>>>>>>>> profesor zarządzania
>>>>>>>>> kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
>>>>>>>>> i centrum badawczego CROW
>>>>>>>>> Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
>>>>>>>>> http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>>>>>>>>> Wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
>>>>>>>>> Unsubscribe:
>>>>>>>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>>>>>>>> Wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
>>>>>>>> Unsubscribe:
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>>>>>> --
>>>>>> __________________________
>>>>>> dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
>>>>>> profesor zarządzania
>>>>>> kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
>>>>>> i centrum badawczego CROW
>>>>>> Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
>>>>>> http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl
>>>> --
>>>> __________________________
>>>> dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
>>>> profesor zarządzania
>>>> kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
>>>> i centrum badawczego CROW
>>>> Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
>>>> http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl
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