Thank you, Dariusz, for your explanations. I did not imagine the decision
to be formed that way. I would have assumed that you look at individual
proposals / budgets, discuss them, identify potential weaknessess, and then
go through that list of potential weaknesses and discuss their budgetary
implications. (Incidentally, someone points out at the German Wikipedia's
Kurier talk page right now that the FDC's cut to WMCH's proposal is roughly
equal to the cost of the additional staff intended for the Kiwix project,
which at least re-assures me that I'm not the only person with that view on
the process.) Hmm. Well, in this case, of course, the process in
unaccountable by design, in the sense that if the Committee reports "We
felt that A," then nobody can ever know how that feeling (as opposed to 10
other feelings by FDC members) impacted the recommended amount.

I'm not saying this approach is generally "wrong" or anything, I just have
doubts it is a good one. I personally would fear that such a design fosters
budget decisions that are based too much on gut feeling as opposed to the
actual deficiencies of the proposal. And for the affected chapters it's
basically impossible to make a substantiated appeal, just as it is
basically impossible for the public to criticize a decision in a
substantiated way, since I can only criticize your reported findings, but
never ever know how each of them relates to the actual outcome of the
process (which, of course, is what matters).


On 23 November 2014 at 16:28, Dariusz Jemielniak <> wrote:

> >
> >
> > I'm not quite sure I understand that. Can you maybe explain how the
> > Committee does currently determine the recommended amount? I mean,
> > practically speaking. I would have guessed that you do discuss indiviual
> > aspects and quantify the impact on your recommended allocation.
> >
> >
> >
> Practically, before our meeting we work on reading the proposals and
> evaluations, as well as community's feedback, and request additional
> information, if necessary. Then we make anonymous initial allocations. Then
> we meet and discuss each case in rounds (at least two per proposal, more or
> longer if necessary - e.g. we spent definitely more time discussing WMDE
> proposal than any other one this round). In each round we go into
> discussing the details of the project. In the first round we typically
> would end with additional anonymous allocation (each time we also see the
> results - how they are clustered, the mean, the median, deviation, etc.).
> After seeing the allocations we discuss WHY each of us proposes a
> cut/increase/full funding and have a free exchange of arguments. We repeat
> this process, then we move to "gradients of agreement" tool (allowing to
> express 7 different shades of agreement/disagreement for a proposed
> amount). We continue discussions and arguments, including considerations of
> what will need to be cut in terms of budgetary items, whether there may be
> need to make staff cuts (which we really try to treat responsibly, we know
> that people's lives are involved), until we have agreement on a certain
> allocation. In absolutely most cases the consensus is really high
> eventually.
> dariusz "pundit"
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