Concerns for how broad categorisation could impact the effectiveness of challenge teams
Using broader categorisations will make the role of challenges team members more generic rather than specialised. This could make challenge teams less effective in being able to effectively support a wide range of proposal types.
Relevance to funding categorisation
Challenge teams attach groups of people to the funding categorisations and help to moderate a few parts of the funding process. Contributors who are working to support Catalyst do not need to be attached to the funding categorisations to perform the tasks that challenge teams are currently helping with. People working on funding process issues is not relevant for funding categorisation. It is a choice that the process is currently attaching a team of people to the categorisations.
An alternative model to challenge teams could be to separate some of the responsibilities of existing challenge teams into two layers. The first layer could be handled by Catalyst contributors that would deal with the functional process and requirements for proposals that are trying to seek funding in the Catalyst process. The second layer would be more focussed on community input around specific topic areas. There could be either experts or a topic or interest based communities that form which would be able to help provide their expertise, insights, guidance and networking connections to support, review and audit the proposals that are focussed on a specific area in the ecosystem.
Catalyst contributors offers a simplification of the challenge team process by allowing a group of full time contributors to support proposers who are going through the Catalyst funding process. This can mean helping to make sure proposal teams have the information and support they need to create accurate and quality proposals for the community that experts and community groups can then review. Some of the things that Catalyst Contributors could support in the funding process is:
Proposal feedback - Proposal improvements suggestions, support and feedback to proposers such as providing information on similar existing funded proposals in that category to consider.
Requirement verification - Verifying proposers are meeting requirements in their proposals or fulfilling obligations if they are funded.
Auditability - Improving the process for auditability of funded proposals by taking learnings from existing efforts and results.
Flagging teams - Flagging submitted proposals that are of concern and flagging funded proposal teams for lack of execution or for any concerning behaviours.
Topic & interest communities and experts
Experts or communities can form around different topic areas and interests that could be of high value to the ecosystem. If there is an expert or community group that lives and breathes a given topic then they become very well suited to supporting proposals emerging in that area of the ecosystem. Communities could receive funding to fulfil this role and support the ecosystem could request funding from the community & outreach category. Some of the things that experts or a community focussing on specialised areas could help with are:
Insights and data - Researching and analysing data and trends in that area of the ecosystem that can help generate reports on what will benefit or improve the ecosystem. This information can then be used by proposers and voters in the funding process. We mention this idea of community based reports in the analysis on approaches to direct funding.
Auditability - Specialised community groups or experts would be well suited to understanding what KPIs and metrics are important for their given focus area and this expertise could lead to setting suitable metric benchmarks for the proposals that go through the funding process. Metrics could be suggested by these groups and voted on by the community to be official recommendations or could just be suggestions. Experts and communities could also be effective at identifying certain issues with funded proposals that is worth flagging to the community as they may likely be collaborating more closely with the teams involved.
Collaboration efforts - Topic or interest focussed communities and experts could be a collaborative glue that brings together similar funded proposal types and existing projects in the ecosystem. This could have tremendous value in removing duplicated efforts and strengthening the collaboration between projects. This could be especially useful for proposals being submitted as these groups would be well placed to introduce those teams to the right projects in the community to give feedback and collaborate with. These collaborations could also lead to partnerships and integrations that strengthen proposals and existing projects.