A few things to add to this thread:
1. Achal has been a very helpful advisor (among several) to me as I've
launched WMF's work in India. In addition, he has been helpful in the
formation of the chapter in India, the chapter formation process in South
Africa and has shared some perspectives with ChapCom, where he was invited
to advise them by the committee. He has done so as a volunteer who has
dedicated valuable time (like all contributors to the movement) to support
our collective goals in India and around the world. He has not received nor
expected any special power or remuneration for this help. I, personally,
have found him to be an excellent advisor and not someone who expects
anything in return. As it relates to hiring in India, I invited him to
advise me (along with Bishakha) because I have come to value his
perspectives on the merits. We were clear that the role was advisory and
while I took some of his advice, we differed on some questions. Note: WMF
staff other than myself also interview candidates and ultimately the
decision is made based on the recommendation of the hiring manager with
Sue's approval (she meets all candidates).
2. I would not characterize the Fellowship as a staff position. Achal
proposed a very specific project for which he was provided a grant. He is
responsible for the successful completion of the task and will not have
other responsibilities or privileges associated with employment. This is
why it was handled like a grant, as the same expectations for carrying out
the proposed activities rest on all grantees - whether an individual,
chapter or other group. We evaluated the grant based on the potential for
contribution to the movement.
3. There is room for improvement in our processes at WMF as Erik suggests
earlier. For one, we have used the title of Fellowship for different types
of activities e.g., hiring someone on a contract for general staff-like
purposes, providing a grant to someone for a specific activity. We should
figure out how to distinguish between these (and other roles) more clearly.
In addition, I am planning on introducing a community input mechanism into
the grant process for 2011/12. We have piloted grantmaking over the past
two years and I think it is a valuable tool for the community to secure
funding for work that requires money. It will be valuable to have input
from the community on grants before we make decisions on them. This will
improve the quality of grantmaking across the board - expect to hear more
about this in the coming weeks.
P.S. Sorry if I don't respond to follow up questions quickly, I'm actually
on vacation ;)
On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 1:11 PM, MZMcBride <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Birgitte SB wrote:
> > This isn't the first time someone who perceived your tone negatively has
> > written about it seeking a remedy. Perhaps the fault is not with David's
> > Nathan's perception skills.
> > Perhaps you might find more success if you change your approach in the
> > following ways.
> > 1) Don't ask questions you already know the answer to. It seems as if
> > expect people to lie and is perceived as both insulting and insincere.
> There's a difference between knowing the answer and thinking I know the
> answer. It's generally better not to assume and to instead ask questions,
> my opinion. I could've easily formed an opinion about Achal's
> Wikimedia-related work in India without ever having posted to this list (or
> spoken to him), but I don't think that'd be a fair (or necessarily
> assessment. Asking questions allows me to gain information and insight (in
> theory, anyway).
> > 2) Do state what your concerns are point-blank. Are you concerned WMF
> > fellowships are too numerous or too generous? Are you concerned that Foo
> > is better qualified was not given the fellowship instead? Do you have a
> > grievance with this particular fellow or some work he has done in the
> > Are you concerned that the work being done as part of the fellowship is
> > useful? Or do do you think the fellowship itself turned out decently, but
> > concerned that your input was not solicited when it was in the proposal
> > After reading all your questions which seem to assume some general
> > that I don't have (i.e. what "people" have been saying), I haven't a clue
> > your concern actually is.
> I've tried both approaches. Being direct generally comes across as rude.
> Being leading or making casual suggestions generally comes across as ...
> indirect and rude. It seems like a no-win situation from where I'm sitting.
> I'm asking questions about people's motives and actions; people generally
> don't like that, even ones who say they like openness and transparency. As
> Nathan and others have said, nobody is obligated to answer my questions (or
> even read my posts). But when there are questions that I think need to be
> raised that aren't being raised, I'll take the time to write something
> With all due respect, you not understanding the questions I'm asking
> particularly concern me. The questions weren't directed toward you and I
> wasn't seeking your input, so it's natural for you not to really know what
> I'm talking about or understand my concerns. I don't mean that in any rude
> way, I really don't.
> Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it.
> foundation-l mailing list
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
Chief Global Development Officer
foundation-l mailing list