Dear Pine,

Just as a thought experiment try to think through how your proposal would
work for an all-volunteer organisation:
A small group of volunteers starts some programme, and at the same time
they hire a contractor (issue an ad, check CVs, hold interviews, draw up a
contract, monitor and pay invoices, pay any applicable taxes and social
security contributions) whose job it is to keep track of the hours and
money the volunteers spend on the programme and on the administration of it
(including the resources spent on hiring, managing and overseeing the
contractor), plus the global metrics. (The situation is not much better if
the contractor is hired at the end of the project and his job is to
interview everyone, and for the volunteers they need to keep records in
order to be able to reply to the questions.)

In the end, you have to retain proportionality of invested resources vs.
level of reporting burden.

Best regards,
Bence

On Fri, 30 Nov 2018, 01:12 Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:

> I'm going to respond to both Chris and Gerard in one email.
>
> Gerard:
>
> * I agree that it's possible to over-bureaucratize projects, including
> small projects. This is one of the reasons that I think that performance
> analysis should mostly be done with staff or contractor time rather than
> volunteer time. I don't want small projects to get exempted from
> accountability, but I also don't want small projects to be weighed down
> with unreasonable administrative overhead.
>
> * I agree that WMF Community Resources has room for improvement. I may have
> accidentally implied that I think that WMF always does things well and
> always makes good decisions. I too have had experiences of WMF Community
> Resources staff taking far too long to respond to inquiries. However, WMF
> has the money for grants for Wikimedia activities, and there are few
> alternatives to WMF for financial support of Wikimedia affiliate and
> individual projects. If WMF Community Resources' level of responsiveness is
> going to improve then WMF will need to choose to make changes.
>
> Chris:
>
> * I make a distinction between the formation of a user group, and that user
> group running programs. If a user group runs a single small program, and
> correspondingly has little money, then there should be little to report. A
> user group which runs multiple programs and is handling many thousands of
> dollars' worth of funds will have more extensive reporting requirements. I
> think that staff or contractors should complete most of the reporting and
> analysis so that volunteers are not burdened with that work. I would like
> volunteers to be able to focus on mission, on the creation and execution of
> programs, on developing supportive relationships, and on the strategic
> decision-making for their user group, rather than spending significant time
> and effort on administrative activities like writing reports.
>
> * I don't see a way to get out of having multiple reporting systems, such
> as for national tax authorities and for grantmakers such as WMF. Many
> charities deal with this. I think that most of the reporting work can be
> done with staff or contractor time rather than volunteer time.
>
> * Regarding "There is no consensus around what metrics actually matter.
> Global Metrics were only ever presented as a first draft of an answer, and
> for many projects they are simply poor metrics. The movement's focus for
> the last 3-4 years has been on movement entities developing their own
> metrics that are relevant to their own activities. Standardising on naive
> metrics would be a step backwards.", I partly agree and partly disagree. I
> think that we should have ways to compare performance of programs
> affiliates, so that everyone can learn which affiliates and programs tend
> to be especially good or problematic. Over time, as affiliates learn from
> each other, ideally this should lead to more efficient uses of resources,
> and to more effective programs and affiliates. Having common metrics goes a
> long way toward determining which practices are most effective and which
> should be changed or discontinued. I agree that custom metrics may in
> various cases be good to have in addition to Global Metrics. Maybe a way to
> think about this is that Global Metrics are necessary but not always
> sufficient.
>
> * I have very mixed feelings about WMF and Affcom issuing edicts to
> affiliates. I want affiliates and WMF to make good use of money and
> volunteers' time. For better and for worse WMF owns the trademarks and is
> the most significant source of funds for Wikimedia affiliates. Also, Affcom
> currently sets the reporting requirements for affiliates' annual reports.
> So WMF and Affcom have significant ability to use their authorities for
> good purposes. In the longer term, I would like to see more peer leadership
> from affiliates and less reliance on WMF for both grantmaking and
> trademarks. Perhaps in the course of the strategy work there will be some
> good developments. But I don't think that the ongoing development of
> long-term strategy is a reason to wait to require standardized financial
> and performance information in affiliates' annual reports, or to wait to
> provide staff or contractor time to produce and analyze financial and
> performance information. Ideally, affiliates and WMF will both benefit from
> these enhanced requirements by using the information to make decisions
> about what types of programs to run, so that volunteers make good use of
> their time and so that everyone makes good use of funds. In my unpaid
> capacity, one of the most demoralizing and frustrating experiences that I
> have is my time being wasted, which has happened on too many occasions. I
> am hoping that the actions that I am proposing here will lead to improved
> effectiveness of volunteers' time, and more effective use of WMF and
> affiliate financial resources.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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