[Wikimedia-l] Funds Dissemination Committee first progress reports

Craig Franklin cfranklin at halonetwork.net
Sat Jun 15 03:43:35 UTC 2013

Thanks SJ for these thoughts, it's gratifying and encouraging that we have
a WMF trustee on the case :-)

While getting chapter staff to likewise review reports is a good idea,
there are two potential problems that I can see with it:

1.  Chapter staff may be unwilling to criticise the reports of other
chapters that they're hoping to embark on joint projects with, and;
2.  The various funding programs available through the WMF (FDC, GAC) make
no secret of the fact that they want staff to be doing programme work,
*not* administrative or overhead work.  It would be difficult for most
chapters to spare the resources to do this properly.

Perhaps the movement could look at getting an external firm in to do the
assessment?  It would probably be costly, but if the firm is properly
chosen it should at least minimise any COI concerns.  Of course, their
reporting can and should be supported by vigourous assessment by the


On 15 June 2013 12:02, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:

> > On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM, Manuel Merz <manuel.merz at wikimedia.de
> >wrote:
> >> > I am a little disappointed at the focus by WMF staff on quantitative
> I find it distracting, though currently accurate, that this is framed
> as a "WMF staff" focus.  The report makes a point of taling about "FDC
> staff" instead.
> How can we set up FDC support, from across the movement, so that we
> stop talking about "WMF staff" and start talking about "staff
> supporting the FDC"?
> In my view, this should be a mix of [staff] from across the movement.
> This does not get away from the COI problem of having movement
> entities reviewing how well they are doing, but it adds some of the
> natural checks and balances of peer review.  (I put [staff] in
> brackets because this could also include FDC support that are not
> staff.  Indeed some aspects of COI suggest that any evaluation group
> should include non-staff as well.)
> On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 8:24 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <darekj at alk.edu.pl>
> wrote:
> > On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM, Manuel Merz <manuel.merz at wikimedia.de
> >wrote:
> >> < [focusing on] quantitative metrics over everything else...
> >> > may have the unfortunate
> >> > side-effect of encouraging entities to go after easily measurable
> >> > activities rather than the most effective and worthwhile activities.
> >>
> >> instead of setting the focus on "easily measurable" means, I would
> personally
> >> prefer a focus on building up the movement's knowledge about sustainable
> >> outcomes and on how to get there.
> I agree with Manuel here: we should focus on how to build the
> movement's knowledge about the most helpful, generative, and
> sustainable outcomes.  And how to expand this knowledge: experiments
> that will help us learn more about what is possible.  (This is
> important exploration, even if the result of an experiment is not
> immediately impactful)
> Dariusz is also right to note that most ideas have some outcomes that
> can be quantified, and some that cannot: and it is useful to identify
> each group of outcome.
> > I personally believe that there may be some confusion about the goals
> here.
> > What is important is to seek quantitative metrics WHEN APPLICABLE...
> <
> > Typically, all good ideas have some outcomes that can be quantified, as
> > well as some that can't (or shouldn't).
> Regards,
> Sam
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