[Wikimedia-l] The transition of the WMF Brazil catalyst project to a partnership grant with Ação Educativa

Anasuya Sengupta asengupta at wikimedia.org
Thu Jan 16 22:50:52 UTC 2014

Hello, everyone.


I am pleased to announce that we have completed the transition of the
Foundation's contractor-based efforts in Brazil to a 10-month ~$500k
partnership grant to a Brazilian non-profit named Ação Educativa.


As announced in the "Narrowing Focus" plan approved by the Wikimedia
Foundation Board of Trustees in October 2012,[1] the Foundation has been
moving away from the model of catalyzing growth in the developing world via
teams of contractors working for the Foundation, toward a model of
partnering with local non-profit organizations interested in carrying out
mission-aligned work, with funding from WMF via a partnership grant.

This was done in India, where the partner chosen was the Centre for
Internet and Society (CIS). While this was, and continues to be, the best
possible choice we could have made, the process did not have the extensive
community consultation we would have otherwise preferred.

With the WMF Brazil team led by Oona Castro, we took care to be much more
thoughtful and measured, with a full community consultation process.  After
several months of initial mapping of potential and likely local partners,
we identified two organizations in February 2013[2], one of which was Ação
Educativa[3] (literally: educational action), an established and respected
Brazilian non-profit dedicated to promoting education -- including the right
to education -- and youth in Brazil.

After a series of discussions over March and April between the WMF team,
and Ação, some of which were also attended by Brazilian editing community
representatives,[4][5] Ação was determined to be the most promising local
partner, and work began on designing a vision and a work plan to be
presented to the WMF as a basis for a partnership grant.

The plan was developed, alongside the Brazil team's ongoing work (primarily
on the Education Program and data analytics and research), over the next
few months, and in late August was ready for community review (in
English[6] and later in Portuguese[7]).

Starting September 20th 2013, community feedback was officially solicited
on-wiki at the Portuguese Wikipedia, on mailing lists, and on Meta.[8]
 Much feedback had been given in the preceding months, in face-to-face or
verbal conversations via teleconferences, and has not been captured
on-wiki, but has been worked into successive revisions of the proposal.[9]

In mid-October 2013, taking into account community feedback and WMF's own
review of the proposal (itself carried out on several successive drafts of
the proposal), WMF decided to award the grant to Ação, which agreed to hire
the Brazil contractors.[10]  The grant period is 10 months, from November
1st 2013 to August 31st 2014.  The team at Ação will be reporting publicly
every three months for a total of three quarterly reports, and at the end
of the grant period, will provide a final impact report.  The grant does
not carry a promise of future funding, although under the partnership grant
model, Ação could apply for another year’s grant before entering into the
FDC process for annual plans.  From the Wikimedia Foundation's side, the
grant and the relationship with Ação will be managed by Asaf Bartov, who is
also managing the partnership with CIS in India.

The Brazil team -- Oona Castro, Henrique Andrade, Celio Filho, and Rodrigo
Padula de Oliveira -- are no longer WMF contractors, and have been working
for Ação Educativa since the beginning of November. Oona has shared a draft
of a retrospective report about the team's activities in the past year.[11]
 As of this writing, some of it is still only in Portuguese.

I’d like to thank the team (including Everton Zanella Alvarenga, the former
Education Coordinator) for their continued commitment to the Brazil
community and to the Wikimedia movement. I’d particularly like to
appreciate Oona, for her skilful and transparent leadership throughout the
transition, and her dedication to Wikimedia principles and goals.

We are very excited about the prospects of this partnership with Ação
Educativa, a truly like-minded organization dedicated to spreading
knowledge, and look forward to a fruitful relationship with excellent
impact on our strategic goals.

Please join me in congratulating the team on their successful transition,
and wishing them, Ação Educativa, and the Brazil Wikimedia community the
very best.


[1] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus


[3] http://www.acaoeducativa.org.br/







[11] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Brazil_Program/Reports/2012-2013/draft


*Anasuya SenguptaSenior Director of GrantmakingWikimedia Foundation*

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