[Osmf-talk] Membership fee waiver

Jonathan Witcoski jwitcoski at gmail.com
Thu Nov 15 18:00:45 UTC 2018


Hello all,

During the MWG discussions the subject of determining fee waiver based on
hardship (lack of funding) was determined to be to arbitrary/controversial
and secondary to the more pressing issue which was the ability to pay the
membership fee through current means such as paypal, to the british bank
account, or other means.  We have a half a dozen cases of folks in African
and Asian countries who cannot pay due to high transaction fees to british
banks (the transaction fees higher than the cost of membership) or where
paypal will not function (Pay Pal restricted country list
<https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/bigcommerce/security/prohibited-countries>).


The proposed waiver program wording can be found here:
https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/OSMF_Fee_Waiver_Program

The most important point being that the Fee Waiver Program would be for "an
active contributor"? (as defined here:
https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Licence/Contributor_Terms) "a natural
person (whether using a single or multiple accounts)
who has edited the Project in any three calendar months from the last 12
months (i.e. there is a demonstrated interest over time)

Jonathan
On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 12:43 PM nicolas chavent <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hey John,
>
> I agree with you and see the fees waver only a short term option for this
> immediate election, even if we came up with a low fees, we need to have
> some sort of fees mechanism and not make an OSMF membership something
> automatic and 100% granted based on the location in a "South" country.
> There's a lot of talk and thought to find a solution here, interested
> about the outcomes of such a conversation during the election, at the
> membership and membershipwg levels after the election.
> It has only be surfaced here.
>
> Le jeu. 15 nov. 2018 à 18:26, John Whelan <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> a
> écrit :
>
>> However allowing the whole of Africa to join and vote for free would
>> seriously unbalance the representation of other mappers especially if they
>> were organised to join.  The current percentage of active mappers who are
>> also members of OSMF isn't that high.
>>
>> Just an idle thought.
>>
>> Cheerio John
>>
>> Blake Girardot wrote on 2018-11-15 12:08 PM:
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>> Considering that 80% of the world lives on less than USD $2.00 per
>> day, a pretty long list of countries' residents should just be
>> automatically eligible for the fee waiver.
>>
>> There are various groupings of countries based on average daily living
>> funds used or other economic indicators, I would suggest selecting a
>> list of countries that applicants from automatically are eligible for
>> the waiver to reduce the overhead on the decision process and reduce
>> the burden for those applying.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Blake
>> On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 11:37 AM Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at gmail.com> <mikel.maron at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Essentially that's my understanding, yes. Since we don't have a form link ready, email with the same information is still fine. Not sure if requests will be directly decided on by the Membership Working Group or the Board yet.
>>
>> * Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron
>>
>>
>> On Thursday, November 15, 2018, 11:29:37 AM EST, nicolas chavent <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com> <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>> Thanks Mikel. So to be 100% clear, by filling a form (URL yet to be retrieved  or emailing the OSMF) a mapper is asking not pay any of the whole 15£ yearly OSMF registration fees and shall an OSMF committee of some sort assess afterwards this demand as relevant, he/she becomes an OSMF member eligible to vote, is this correct ?
>>
>> Le jeu. 15 nov. 2018 à 17:08, Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at gmail.com> <mikel.maron at gmail.com> a écrit :
>>
>> The fee waiver is not structured as a reimbursement, but rather as a submitted request to have an exemption to paying the fee.
>>
>>
>> * Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron
>>
>>
>> On Thursday, November 15, 2018, 11:02:44 AM EST, nicolas chavent <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com> <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>> Thanks Mikel and Steve,
>>
>> It's good to hear that there's a process in place for fee waiver and that mappers submitting a request can be re-imbursed shall their claim has some ground and it's equally good to hear that time extension for registration will be discussed.
>> Aside of fee waiver for cost additional to Paypal, we may consider to base the yearly 15£ OSMF membership to the cost of living for those of us living in "Developing" or "Least Developed" countries where this amount weight is way more than in the "Developed" world.
>> Similarly a "social" rate for not rich folks from "Developed" countries could be also discussed.
>>
>> Outside of a couple of days extension of the deadline for registration as an OSMF member in the position of being eligible for vote at our next Board election, I fear given low internet access and web presence, that this will have a very limited effect for mappers of the "South". Unfortunately, the same goes for non Paypal extra fees only reimbursement mechanism.
>>
>> Best,
>> Nicolas
>>
>>
>>
>> Le jeu. 15 nov. 2018 à 16:31, Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at gmail.com> <mikel.maron at gmail.com> a écrit :
>>
>> I think what Simon pointed out is that the OSMF as an organization has legally decided in 2014 that we must accept requests for fee waivers in situations where the fee is an unreasonable burden.
>>
>> The MWG was charged with coming up with a fee waiver process for this and also for situations where money transfer was impossible. The latter is done, and the former is still ongoing.
>>
>> My understanding is that a lack of a process doesn't change the situation that the OSMF must act on these requests when we receive them.
>>
>> * Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron
>>
>>
>> On Thursday, November 15, 2018, 10:26:51 AM EST, Steve Friedl <steve at unixwiz.net> <steve at unixwiz.net> wrote:
>>
>>
>> Unless I misremember all the meetings, the fee waiver, at least in its introductory form, is intended to address money transfer issues only (where there’s no reasonable money transfer facility), not to address needs-based waivers of the type you suggest.  In places that don’t have Paypal, or the wire transfer fees would overwhelm the transaction costs: those were the things I believe we had in mind.
>>
>>
>>
>> My understanding is that sticking with objective tests, rather than subjective assessments, was a safer way to start.
>>
>>
>>
>> If somebody else on the MWG remembers it differently, I’m happy to be corrected.
>>
>>
>>
>> Steve
>>
>>
>>
>> From: nicolas chavent <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com> <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com>
>> Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:05 AM
>> To: Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at gmail.com> <mikel.maron at gmail.com>
>> Cc: OSMF Talk <osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org> <osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org>
>> Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] Membership fee waiver
>>
>>
>>
>> Hi all,
>>
>>
>>
>> Quickly, if this possibility for active mappers in developing and least developed countries to be eligible for fee waiver and be reimbursed be known up-stream of the election process, a significant amount of mappers (at least from Haiti and Africa) would have joined.
>>
>> The 15£ yearly contribution being way too much for their level of resources.
>>
>>
>>
>> Reflecting upon diversity of OSMF membership, now that this info is known when it's no longer possible to sign for membership, can we pause and assess teh relevance/feasibility of shifting teh election process of a week and give time for this information to spread and OSMF to have a more diverse and geographically more widespread membership ? Can this be put as a talk item for the OSMF board meeting ?
>>
>>
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Nicolas
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Le jeu. 15 nov. 2018 à 15:36, Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at gmail.com> <mikel.maron at gmail.com> a écrit :
>>
>> Very good to note that people can simply apply for a waiver now. The resolution states
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> In order to be eligible for the membership fee waiver, the applicant may be required to contribute something else of value (e.g: time, …) to the Foundation, for example write a paragraph on mapping in their region
>>
>>
>>
>> So if this holds, an interested potential member emails the board (board at osmfoundation.org) and MWG (mwg at osmfoundation.org), with the details required for associate membership (name, OSM id, country) and a paragraph describing their need and some details on their contribution to OSM, we'll need to vote on it.
>>
>>
>>
>> We'll be discussing this in the OSMF Board meeting later today.
>>
>>
>>
>> On a more systematic solution. I joined the Board a year after the 2014 resolution, and have not seen any requests for a fee waiver in that time (well before this thread started yesterday). I've been a strong proponent of addressing the fee waiver, and Joost's telling is accurate -- there's simply been too little volunteer help available. The Foundation welcomes more -- I think this could be sorted out with a short amount of determined work by just a couple people. Please consider it.
>>
>>
>>
>> -Mikel
>>
>>
>>
>> * Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thursday, November 15, 2018, 1:53:12 AM EST, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Only the board would know (and I don't remember seeing anything in the minutes).
>>
>> Simon
>>
>> Am 14.11.2018 um 23:53 schrieb Rob Nickerson:
>>
>> Any idea if that has happened yet Simon?
>>
>>
>>
>> Thank you,
>>
>> Rob
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, 14 Nov 2018, 22:20 Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch wrote:
>>
>> Forgetting all about making it easy and so on, there is currently IMHO no reason a potential member couldn't apply for a waiver, it would simply need to be decided on a case by case base.
>>
>> Simon
>>
>> Am 14.11.2018 um 23:08 schrieb joost schouppe:
>>
>> Hi Rob,
>>
>>
>>
>> I can't give an account for the first three years, but I can share my perspective about the last. I specifically joined the MWG a year ago to help push forward the waiver fee program.
>>
>>
>>
>> Over the last year, most of the volunteer time has gone to keeping the engine running. There were deep problems with the management software for membership (civicrm), which made it easy to lose members. There was a weird problem with reminders about lapsing membership. Since we do not have a self service area, people depend on these reminders. It was a hard problem to fix, which involved a lot of cooperation between people, as well as a lot if discussion about whether or not to hire consultancy to fix it; or even to make sure they could actually work if hired.
>>
>>
>>
>> At all the meetings I attended, I brought up the waiver fee. There always seemed to be new barriers to just start with it. A form, a procedure, default lettres, membership classes. Since the meetings were rather spread out, you also lose time with bringing back to mind all the details. Since a lot of the work required knowledge about the inner workings of the software, there wasn't a lot of work I could do as a not so technical newbie. When there were things I could do myself, my own time constraints came in the way - as well as recently finding out a lot of thinking work we did together was lost because we used an exotic open source tool that disappeared from the internet.
>>
>>
>>
>> So my analysis if the last year would be: too little volunteers to do the actual work, and a lack of efficient workflows.
>>
>>
>>
>> IIRC we did get several board checkups on the waiver fee and the occasional call to think bigger.
>>
>> I don't think there is anyone to blame, except maybe if you start looking for the root causes of our lack of volunteers. Since I don't want to turn this into my position statement for the Board elections, I'll hold that thought for now. I will say that this experience is what led me to try and revive the local chapters group as a community building group. This group would try to work in and with the other working groups to support and push relevant projects forward. Unfortunately that try has not really resulted in much just yet.
>>
>>
>>
>> All the best,
>>
>> Joost
>>
>>
>>
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