[Wikimedia-l] Comments on compliance and the FDC Round 2 decisions

Jessie Wild jwild at wikimedia.org
Thu May 9 00:21:39 UTC 2013

Following-up with a few more pieces of material:

*FDC Frequently Asked Questions: Process of Continuous Improvement[1]
*2012-13 FDC Round 1 survey results[2]


On Wed, May 8, 2013 at 3:43 PM, Anasuya Sengupta <asengupta at wikimedia.org>wrote:

> Hi Pine,
> My apologies for the tardiness of this reply; I've been away in India with
> family and am only just back.
> It's an important question to ask, because the Grantmaking team's programs
> - including the FDC process - have and are being set up with a strong
> self-evaluation component. We exist to support our movement through grants
> and shared knowledge as key resources, and we can only do this well if
> we're good at listening and learning ourselves.
> Overall, we're looking at multiple feedback mechanisms (including surveys
> and discussion groups at conferences like WMConf, Wikimania). As an
> example, we did a survey of the FDC Round 1 process which we shared in
> Milan, and used as a way to get more face-to-face feedback. This helps us
> know both broad and specific areas that we need to improve on and to do so
> quickly and appropriately. One thing to keep in mind with grantmaking
> programs is that process feedback is easily and quickly incorporated (like
> wiki-tables that made life miserable for FDC Round 1 applicants and we
> could improve for Round 2 applicants). However, substantive feedback (like
> the nature of questions, or entirely new sections of inquiry) need to be
> incorporated at the end of the year for the new year, so that the nature of
> the proposal doesn't change dramatically over the year, or from one round
> to the next: it's not fair on either the new folks applying, or the
> committee reviewing the proposals. We intend to do surveys of all our major
> grantmaking programs over the next few months, so that we have a good
> baseline against which to measure our progress as a team.
> Again, it's useful to remember that our proposal processes might seem
> 'heavy' to many in the movement, but they're pretty light-weight (with the
> possible exception of wiki-tables) in comparison to other grantmaking
> processes that are far more demanding for far smaller grant amounts. As a
> comparison, in the human rights and social justice grantmaking world, most
> grants are in the range of 5,000-50,000 USD.
> For the FDC in particular, the FDC Advisory Group will assess the first
> year, and towards the end of the second year (March 2014), give the Board a
> recommendation on whether the mechanism works (or not) and should continue
> (or not).  The FDC Ombudsperson also gives an annual report which is
> independent and autonomous on the FDC process.[1] With these various
> inputs, the staff and FDC will create a report for Year 1 which we hope
> will be shared back with the community at Wikimania.
> Other forms of external or independent assessments will also be part of our
> process: Kevin Gorman's retrospective of the grants program so far, for
> instance, was really useful and we've already incorporated several of his
> recommendations.[2] With the Program Evaluation team, we're also going to
> get much better at sharing the good and best practices that already exist
> in the movement, and at pointing out work that's relevant from other
> movements.
> Finally, we're planning some internal and external research to better
> provide guidance to grant applicants on issues like potential growth
> trajectories and useful ways of thinking about moving from entirely
> volunteer to staffed groups. We're obviously not working on this in
> isolation - there has already been some good thinking within the movement
> on this - and we'd be glad to be in conversation with anyone who wants to
> work with us on these issues.
> The Grantmaking team is a work in progress - we didn't exist in our present
> form last year, we've essentially restructured and reconfigured ourselves
> over the past few months, set up the FDC and IEG processes, and learnt
> rapidly about what works (and what might not) - and we're always open to
> feedback. If people are uncertain about who to reach out to, please do get
> in touch with me: as the person who heads the Grantmaking team, (some
> element of) the buck does stop with me. :-)
> thanks,
> Anasuya
> [1]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Framework_for_the_Creation_and_Initial_Operation_of_the_FDC#FDC_Ombudsperson
> [2]https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Retrospective_2009-2012
> On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 9:34 PM, ENWP Pine <deyntestiss at hotmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Asaf,
> >
> > Thank you for sharing your perspective.
> >
> > This situation is complicated. I think it should be reviewed by an
> > uninvolved third party, probably the FDC ombudsperson. I think it would
> > take significant time and a lot of emails in this thread to accomplish
> what
> > a review by the ombudsperson could accomplish in a faster and more
> thorough
> > manner.
> >
> > Would you or someone else from the Grants staff please address the more
> > broader questions that I raised earlier? I realize that these may have
> been
> > easily overlooked due to the high volume of email on this list recently,
> so
> > I'll repeat here.
> >
> > "Several interesting comments have been made in this thread regarding the
> > value of a more holistic evaluation of the FDC and GAC processes with
> > regards to chapters especially regarding the hiring of a chapter's first
> > full time employee. There have also been comments made regarding the
> > "heavy" nature of the FDC grant application process. Would the WMF staff
> > please indicate whether a review of these concerns is under
> consideration,
> > if so, how they plan to conduct the review?"
> >
> > I think you partially addressed these questions in your response but I
> > would appreciate a more direct reply from you, Anasuya, Jessie, or anyone
> > else in the Grantmaking and Programs group. Please feel free to fork
> into a
> > separate thread if you like.
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Pine
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> > Wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
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> >
> --
> ***Anasuya Sengupta
> Senior Director of Grantmaking
> Wikimedia Foundation*
> *
> *
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*Jessie Wild
Learning & Evaluation *
*Wikimedia Foundation*
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!
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