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CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society - Access to Knowledge) is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape.
If you have a general proposal/suggestion for Access to Knowledge team you can write on the discussion page. If you have appreciations or feedback on our work, please share it on feedback page.

This page is intended for communication, collaboration and co-ordination of work with and for the community involving the India Program team. We welcome any and all input. Please add your thoughts to the Talk page. If you have a general proposal or suggestion of new work the India Program team should take on add it to the Suggestions page. If you have appreciations or feedback on the India Program team's work, please share it at Appreciations and Feedback.


India. How does one summarize its fascinating story? Maybe with some snippets:-

  • Over 1 billion people, with one of the globe's largest youth populations.
  • The world's largest democracy
  • Dozens of languages and hundreds of dialects
  • One of the fastest growing major economies of the world
  • Astonishing contradiction of extreme poverty and opulent wealth
  • Home of Mahatma Gandhi, Taj Mahal, Sachin Tendulkar , Bollywood and the number zero
  • ...arguably, the best food on the planet.

In summary, thousands of years of incredibly rich heritage of culture and architecture and religion and art and politics and sports and literature and music.[1]

In all this scale and diversity and vibrancy, it also presents a remarkable opportunity for Wikimedia/ Wikipedia. The current position could be summarized as follows

  • English Wikipedia has 3.5 million articles, but only about 82,000 are currently estimated to be on “India-centric” topics [2]
  • Indic languages are under-represented in reader, editor & article counts; editor base is low. Further, growth in editors and articles is still relatively low, even on a small base.[3] [4]

Anecdotal evidence suggests

  • Quality of articles for many Indic languages is low (borne out by exceptionally high articles per editor - potentially indicating high use of bots / auto-translation tools
  • Technical barriers exist for use of Indic languages, especially for editing
  • Internet penetration low (~100m) – though growing rapidly, and projected to double by 2015[5]
  • Mobile penetration is high (~750m), and continues to grow with the share of smartphones growing disproportionately

This page sets out to outline how the India Progams could potentially support the community. This is intended to be a living document that evolves through experience, evidence and discussion.

India Programs:Purpose[edit]

The following 5 purposes are proposed for India Programs.

  • Support the community to further Movement objectives (as stated in the the WMF Strategic Plan)
  • Provide & capacity-build (for the community) specific capabilities that might be required (e.g., communications design.)
  • Focus on programs that have scale & are adoptable/adaptable by the community. This would suggest that the programs focus on a few things, but do them well, and are initiatives that the community can adopt/adapt.
  • Support design & management of such programs (as program management is a significant requirement when managing complex tasks – in terms of scale or geographic distribution or multiple moving parts)
  • Identify and build relationships with telecommunications service providers to improve access (initially readership, but medium-term, editing)

India Programs: Key Milestones[edit]

Two sets of milestones are suggested, in the short-term and in the longer-term. The short-term milestones serve to establish the platform for the longer-term ones.

Key Milestones
Short Term (12 months) Long Term (potentially by 2015)
  • Support outreach activities to increase the number of new editors
  • Initiate pilot in top 10 Indic languages to improve article count and quality
  • Initiate pilots to identify population sub-segments for new editors (e.g., existing readers, students, senior citizens, etc.) - for both English and Indic Wikipedia
  • Finalize plan and relationships for mobile access to Wikimedia projects
  • Initiate offline pilot in 1 major concentration of schools/colleges/universities
  • Top 10 Indic languages have mature Wikipedias (>120K substantial articles) and Wiktionary enabling reach to 80% of Indian population
  • Top 10 projects sustain positive monthly growth in active editors with greater than 10% annual growth
  • Indian editors on English Wikipedia grow by 5% annually
  • 100m, unique visitors monthly to Wikimedia projects
  • Over 75% of schools in India have access to a Wikipedia and Wiktionary either via the Internet or offline

India Programs: Strategic Thinking[edit]

There are 5 major considerations that inform the strategic thinking for India Programs

Selection of Activities[edit]

Given that India Programs is intended to be a very lean operation (in terms of human and financial resources), its activities must be carefully determined to deliver maximum impact. In this context, 3 key questions serve as the filter for all direct activities by India Programs.

  • Does the activity have scale? ...not just in future, but indeed, immediately? While medium to long term scale is usually inevitable, it is essential that even in the short term activities (including pilots) are delivered to scale.
  • Does the activity represent capability support to the community, as compared to "capacity support"? This difference is that India Programs could never contribute more than a miniscule share of the volunteer time and effort in, for instance, conducting outreach. However, India Programs can and will provide support in aspects of capability that the community could access. For instance, aspects of outreach design and messaging would be prime candidates for India Programs.
  • Does the activity have sustainability through adoption/adaption by the community? It will be sub-optimal of the initiative ceases after the direct involvement of India Programs. All initiatives of India Programs must therefore be such that have sustainability at the heart. For instance, an education-based program should attempt to create an environment where Wikipedia editing is integrated into the classroom teaching module for years after any pilot is concluded.

Editor "Glide-Path"[edit]

  • An important consideration is if and how to prioritise English and Indic languages, as similarly, if and how to prioritise between Indic readers and editors. While the following is not universally true, the major "glide-path" for Indic editors appears to be that people get aware of English Wikipedia, become English Wikipedia readers, a few of them then become English Wikipedia editors, some of who then become aware of Indic languages Wikipedias and become readers and almost simultaneously become editors once they observe the relatively low article count/quality. (Those who are aware of Indic languages but chose not to edit are often not adequately motivated by the low readership levels. Readers are not attracted to Indic Wikipedias because of low article count.) This points towards the following key insights.
  • Rather self-evident, but nevertheless: editors for English Wikipedia will come most commonly from the existing reader base of English Wikipedia. If the overall number of editors needs to increase for English Wikipedia, the existing reader base is the most promising starting point.
  • While the "natural course of events" is an option for Indic languages - where a small group of highly committed editors drive article count and quality and readers get attracted to this over time, some Indic Wikipedias with particularly high potential (i.e., number of native language speakers) or high promise (i.e., relatively high article count/quality and editor base) require a different solution - which attempts to catalyse the expansion of these Wikipedias more rapidly. Initiatives must therefore seek to drive both readers and editors to the respective Wikipedias.
  • Having said this, a significant component of Indic language editors (as evidenced by the existing editor base in India) originate as English Wikipedia readers. Therefore, attempts must first be made with existing English Wikipedia readers to convince them to start editing Indic languages.

Big Message: [Edit] India[edit]

There is a need to align and focus the messages of the Movement towards apparent insights, triggers and barriers in India. Multiple studies have revealed that the major barriers to recruiting new editors are awareness, apathy and diffidence. Awareness indicates where people are aware of Wikipedia and are reasonably regular readers - but are not aware of how content is generated or that they can edit. Apathy is where existing readers acknowledge the value of Wikipedia but don't feel the motivation to edit. Diffidence sets in when readers are aware and want to edit, but are not sure how to (partially because of the complexity of editing in general and technical constraints in Indic languages) but also because they are not so sure that they know enough about a particular topic to edit, or are unsure that they can edit appropriately. The awareness-apathy-diffidence gap is one that needs to be bridged systematically.

Having said this, there is also the need to create an over-arching campaignable message that serves to motivate and inspire and guide newbie editors. It is proposed that this message be "[Edit] India" and the call-to-action be "YOU can edit INDIA"

The rationale for this message is that it serves as an umbrella underwhich a whole host of contribution initiatives my be undertaken. For instance, "One Village, One Page" would tug at the identity that most people have with their native places. "Wiki Loves xyz town" would similarly provide an anchor for Wikimedia Commons contributions. This big message could also be adapted to "Edit Your State" - and serve as the umbrella for initiatives in Indic languages.

It is important to have such an overarching message because it affords a powerful opportunity to create momentum and inspiration. It also provides an answer to the question that many newbies have, which is, "I want to edit, but I don't know what to edit."

The potential and the implications of such a "big message" is that if everyone in "on-ground" outreach to PR to digital outreach convey the same message, it will serve to provide a multiplier effect of that message.

Bridging the Gender Gap[edit]

All outreach work done by the India Project must try and increase female participation. For instance, an education-based program must give proportionate emphasis on girls' colleges or girl students. Editing aids, such as videos, etc. must be equally comfortable to men and women.

Technical Solutions[edit]

A number of technical initiatives are already underway at the Foundation - from improving Indic language support to mobile offerings. While India Programs must feed into these, and must be engaged and aware of these initiatives, India Programs will not lead any of these and, to that extent, the involvement will be limited.

India Programs: Key Initiatives[edit]

In this section, the key initiatives are outlined. Rationale gives a justification of why the initiative has been conceived. Elements gives a 1 or 2 line summary of the initiative. Key Message(s) refers to the focused message that the particular initiative will seek to deliver. Hopefully, and if design and implementation are effective, this will be the message that recipients will take out. It ought to be mentioned that these key messages are currently preliminary and will evolve as research throws up richer insights. Also, these messages will evolve over time as initiatives are undertaken and results emerge. Implementation Outline gives some of the key activities that make up the particular initiative. This section is not intended to be exhaustive and every initiative will require considerable detailing out and planning. Other Factors are any other considerations that ought to be kept in mind.

The key initiatives under consideration are :

  • Improving Outreach Impact
  • Digital Outreach
  • Wikipedia India Education Program

More programs, such as Mobile plan, are under consideration and may be suggested.

Improving Outreach Impact[edit]

  • One of the biggest constraints on existing outreach efforts is the availability of volunteer time. It is therefore imperative that every minute invested by the community in outreach has the maximum possible impact
  • Existing outreach tends to be designed on an individual basis – with duplication of effort / resources
  • Outreach is not easy. You're not trying to convey an idea or peddle a good; the task of convincing volunteers to, for instance, edit Wikipedia in their free time is massive. Outreach takes skill and effort.Outreach needs every bit of support that can be included.
  • Existing outreach efforts do not always include staying in touch with participants in a low-effort manner. This is often because of the numbers involved.
  • Standardized presentation deck & outreach plan – which may be adopted / adapted at will by community
  • Capability building for impactful outreach
  • Synchronising messages across "on-ground" outreach with digital outreach and PR. Please see "Big Message" sub-section in "Strategic Thinking" section.
  • Staying in touch with newbies, and hand-holding them as required
Key Message(s)
  • Welcome to Wikipedia!
  • You can edit Wikipedia! Here's how!
  • There are Indic language version of Wikipedia. Why don't you try them?
  • Did you know about Wikimedia Commons? Give it a try!
Implementation Outline
  • Curation of a standard presentation that can be accessed and used at will; translation/modification of this presentation into Indic languages. This will mean that the community can effortlessly access standard presentations, which they can choose to modify as they deem appropriate.
  • Capacity-building sessions for interested volunteers. This will be in the form of sessions that will be conducted at various locations where presentation skills are imparted It could include mock presentations, with video recording for feedback.
  • Expansion of on-ground volunteer efforts are of critical and grants will be encouraged to promote expansion of the India community, along the lines of a grant already provided in India.[6] Grants and other requests for support may be provided for English or Indic language wikipedias, or for other Wikimedia projects (e.g., Wikimedia Commons.)
  • Design of outreach sessions requires careful attention. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the most exciting, motivating and impactful parts of a session are the "live" edit. However, often, the edit is kept towards the end of the session and comes after much information has been imparted on the story, scale and success of wikipedia. By the time the edit part arrives, there is a risk that the audience's attention is no longer there
  • It is particularly useful to discipline the number of messages during outreach sessions. People attending such sessions are, typically, curious about wikipedia and are potentially open to becoming new editors. Anyone attending outreach sessions will have a limited capacity to absorb messages and, therefore, it is important that the number of messages are restricted, and reapeated during a session.
  • Use of digital outreach / PR / media / on-ground visibility to maximize participation. To illustrate, if an event is happening on a college campus, can the most popular social network pages for that college announce the event, and provide news after it's over. The digital outreach / PR initiatives will also serve to reinforce and motivate attendees of outreach sessions to edit.
  • Production of videos for Indian outreach that avoid existing issues with global videos where there is a risk of low comprehension (because of accents) or low involvement (because the context and tone are not adequately local.)
  • Immediate feedback from participants on key message(s) takeouts & overall session quality. It's not always easy, but it's hugely valuable to get this so that messages can be fine-tuned.
  • Staying in touch with 100% of participants every month for the next 6 months – ask them how the session was, what their takeouts were, have they started editing, asking if they needed any help & pointing them to the online / physical community
  • Link up of newbies to the the Wiki Guides [7] as well as the IRC channel for newbies to ask and receive online help. [8] As context, as of March 2011, the Wiki Guides project had 60 volunteers, of which nearly 1/2 were from India. They are projected to have 50 proteges each. Again, as context, as of March 2011, the IRC channel has nearly 40 newbies asking and receiving help every day.)
  • Explore "greenhouse" for new editors in some Indic languages - as is done in Russian and Hebrew wikipedias. This would be an area where contributions by newbies can be reviewed by existing editors, and feedback given so that saved edits are of an adequate level of quality. Needless to say, this ought not to be compulsory.
  • Giveaways to participants to thank them for attendance (e.g., stickers, badges, T-shirts, etc.)
  • Expenses on giveaways as well as travel to conduct outreach capacity-building sessions. Every attendee of any outreach session should be thanked using giveaways (3 sticker, 2 badges & 1 T-Shirt each.) The estimate being assumed for July 2011-June 2012 is that 5000 people will attend outreach sessions (through individual initiatives or other programs like the Wikipedia India Education Program.) Also, every attendee will be given a simple handout to encourage editing.
  • Explore low-cost options like video capacity-build sessions
  • Videos to be used for outreach need to be produced in Indian-speak
Other Factors
  • Presentation & outreach conducting skills are difficult and need to be built
  • Tone of outreach has to be brief, engaging & focused
  • Most effective if we can link up outreach session participation and edit usernames to track actual impact
  • Recognize participants in capacity-building sessions with a memento, maybe even a certificate of some sort

Digital Outreach[edit]

  • Between 12-15m readership of English Wikipedia provide a strong base of potential new editors / readers of Indic-wp; existing readers are mostly Internet users, & are, quite probably, reasonably “active” Internet users. Please refer Glide-Path section.
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests low awareness of ability to edit, apathy towards editing & diffidence about editing
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests low awareness of Indic language edition
  • New editors require considerable hand-holding to help them become regular and active
  • Digital outreach is amongst the most effective and scaleable outreach vehicles - and can be reasonably sharply targeted
  • Geo-targeted banner ads providing awareness & (variously, in bursts) introduction to the content model of Wikipedia, invite to edit, call-to-action, awareness of Indic languages and awareness of other projects such as Wikimedia Commons.
  • Use of social networks such as facebook and twitter
  • Wiki Guides (i.e. buddies to tutor, mentor & guide new editors for the first 6 months of their “editorships”
Key Message(s)
  • You can edit Wikipedia. Here's how!
  • There are Indic language version of Wikipedia. Why don't you try them?
  • Build Wikipedia in your mother tongue
  • Need some help editing? ...Buddy at hand!
Implementation Outline
  • Geo-targeted banner ads (to India IP addresses only) that address the "awareness-apathy-diffidence" barriers, provide a call to action and inform/magnify/celebrate the "Edit India!!!" message
  • Banner ads lead into landing pages that address the barriers and provide education and information.
  • Pilot with 1-2 or Indic languages to begin with – and then roll-out to others
  • The messaging ought to be based on audience insights & in audience-speak – for which research is proposed, and include individual calls-to-action (i.e., it is not meant to merely inform readers but to invite them to become editors)
  • The tone of the communication (i.e., the look-and-feel, visuals and wordings of the banners) ought to be welcoming & aspirational
  • Links to Indic websites
  • Social networks such as facebook and twitter should be regarded as an integral and complimentary component of outreach activities. To that extent, they ought to shift from the existing function of being an in-community medium (informing about meet-ups and activities) and start reaching out to improve participation in outreach events, reinforce messaging in outreach and PR as well as serve as forums for newbies to ask for help.
  • Social networks should also serve to celebrate Wikimedia volunteers and projects. For instance, wherever permission is sought beforehand, profiles of editors could be shared. Also, images from Commons or interesting articles / statistics from Wikipedia should also be shared.
  • Designing an effective tracker of this initiative is essential so that it's impact can be measured, or for mid-course correction.
  • It is proposed that India Programs leverages the existing and future work of the Foundation's Community Department with Wiki Guides (in terms of recruitment, guidance, support, etc.) and not attempt to recreate or duplicate these efforts.
  • Relatively low expenses to design and display banner ads. Please refer subsequent section on "RfP: Digital Outreach Services." Invites and references are requested from the community for agencies with the requisite skills and experience.
  • Production costs for online editing tutorial videos.
  • Managing the social networks will require considerable volunteer time from those who help out on this aspect
  • Wiki Guides will involve considerable volunteer time on behalf of the Wiki Guides
RfP: Digital Outreach Services

Wikimedia invites proposals from communications agencies with proven capabilities and experience in digital outreach to support Wikimedia goals in India. Please refer http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_-_India_Programs for context and background.

  • The specific activities that the selected agency will cover are
  1. Creation of banner ads (in English and Indic languages) - numbering upto 24 per year
  2. Creation landing pages (in English and Indic languages)- numbering at least 3 per banner ad referenced above
  3. Creation of online editing video tutorial (in English and 10 Indic languages) - number 2 per year (the first being 60 seconds and the second being 180 seconds)
  • The agency will be selected on the basis of the expertise and credentials of the agency, the resume of specific named individuals (whose time committements must be stated and guaranteed for the period of 1 year at least), sample of work that will be done for Wikipedia as well as commercials (i.e. rate cards)
  • The selection process will be to provide 2 weeks from the date of issuance of the RfP for written responses and then presentations within the subsequent 2 weeks after receipt of proposals. It is estimated that contractual discussions will conclude within 2 weeks of selection. It is proposed to have only 1 agency selected.
  • The proposal that will be submitted should indicate the following
  1. Credentials and capabilities digital outreach and video production especially in behaviour change communication must be stated
  2. Expertise and capacities to be a truly integrated digital marketing agency (i.e., single shop for all India Programs requirements.) To this end, specific in-scope and out-of scope activities must be called out.
  3. Understanding of Wikimedia projects (especially Wikipedia), and their Indian context
  4. Appreciation and tangible manifestation of the philosophy and values of the Wikimedia community and the Wikimedia Foundation
  5. Outline of strategic plan for India Projects - with examples of specific deliverables
  6. Naming of 5 critical resources, with resumes
  7. Commercials
  8. Personal committment of the executive leadership team of the agency to the account
  • Strong preference will be given to agencies who already have existing Wikimedians in their teams - who can serve as subject-matter-experts on Wikimedia projects and, specifically, editing. Failing this, the response must include how the agency will rapidly and comprehensively learn about Wikimedia projects and editing. This learning must be extensive enough to be able create all the deliverables relatively independently. Having said that, the involvement of volunteers from the existing community will be sought to support the accuracy and comprehensiveness of deliverables.
  • On commercials, the following aspects should be kept in mind. The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property. In this context, commercials will be a central consideration in the selection of an agency. Responding agencies must consider the impact (social, and otherwise) of a potential partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation.
Other Factors
  • Reaction of existing editor community to new editors needs to be actively managed; it is not productive to invite tons of people to edit and have then overwhelm administrators.
  • While there are some concerns that such banners might be inconvenient, as long as they are not selling “products or services”, this is possibly a manageable risk
  • All execution must be unmistakeably Indian in look & feel
  • Banners should be in a mix of English & Indic languages
  • Ideally, Wiki Guides who help out Indian newbies ought to be conversant in Indic languages as well, and may be located anywhere

Wikipedia India Education Program[edit]

This has been adapted from the Global University Program. [9]

  • Arguably, students represent the most promising group from which to recruit new editors. They are immersed in a mindspace of learning and documenting learning. There is therefore a reasonably high identification with the community's values and endeavors.
  • Incorporating Wikipedia in the teaching plans (even if not in formal syllabi) represents a major opportunity to create a sustainable and long-term channel to recruit new editors.
  • Comprehensive campus outreach program - with complimentary outreach to teachers and students
  • Campus Ambassadors to drive and support the program
  • Fellowships to catalyze and co-ordinate the program
  • Pilot in one town at large scale
Key Message(s)
  • Welcome to Wikipedia!
  • You can edit Wikipedia
  • Here's how! ...& it's Fun!
  • Wikipedia works in education
Implementation Outline
  • It is essential to learn from the similar initiatives. A prime case study is the Public Policy Initiative in the US.[10] Lessons from this provide important pointers.
  1. Teachers require significant efforts to convince them about the relevance, utility and practicality of Wikipedia in education.
  2. Teachers require peer validation for using Wikipedia in education, as well as support in designing teaching plans to incorporate Wikipedia.
  3. Campus Ambassadors play a central role to evangelise the program with teachers, support teaching plan re-design, outreach to students and hand-holding students on editing.
  4. It is important to ensure that selected subject areas must be as inclusive as possible - to broadbase participation.
  5. The gender gap can be reduced by the Wikipedia India Education program.
  6. Leaderboards serve to provide information as well as excitement around the program.
  7. Given the Indian context, a low-cost, high-scale model needs to be evolved. This should include minimising costs and time in travel.
  • While it is envisaged that the Wikipedia India Education Program has substantial potential for a national roll-out, it is prudent to establish proof-of-principle and to iron out the program in a geographical manageable area - but at high scale. It is therefore proposed to pilot this in Pune. Pune has been chosen because it has >200,000 students from across the country in >100 colleges and universities. It is reported to be have the largest number of colleges and universities of any city in the world.[11] Also, there is a relatively large and active community in Pune.
  • Given the scale of the program, there will be requirements of a large number of part and full time team members. This will include Campus Ambassadors and Fellowships, apart from staff members.
  • Campus Ambassadors need to be recruited and trained well in advance of the formal launch of the program, given the central link they represent to the program. [12] It is proposed to use geonotices to attract, recruit and motivate Campus Ambassadors. Campus Ambassadors require intensive training given the complex nature of their roles. India Programs will seek advice from the Foundation staff who have deep expertise in this aspect for all elements of Campus Ambassadors - from recruitment guidelines to training. Campus Ambassadors require training in outreach, teacher evangelising, editing, tutoring, teaching plan design. In addition to the training, they should be given recognition - in the form of acknowledgement, certification and cool gear.
  • It is essential to identify phase-wise shortlists of colleges and universities, especially given the sheer numbers involved. Eventually (i.e., within 3 months), efforts must be made to reach out to every major college and university in the Pune area.
  • Briefings ought to commence early (May 2011) with school/college authorities to inform them about Wikipedia as well as the Wikipedia India Education Program. This must be rapidly followed by engagements with teachers to understand their motivations and concerns regarding Wikipedia in their classrooms. An important consideration is to share experiences of professors from American universities who have adopted Wikipedia in their classrooms. This could be done in the form of written or video testimonials as well as potential video-conferencing during teacher meet-ups that would be conducted in Pune for interested teachers.
  • Student groups / bodies need to be identified and engaged with to inform them about Wikipedia as well as the Wikipedia India Education Program.
  • The dialogue with teachers and students should serve to identify particular areas of academic interest that might be contributed to by (potentially new) students editors. The objective ought to have a wide range of subject areas to foster participation. Given that students will also be outreached directly, these subject areas should include, but should not be limited to, purely academic subjects.
  • Given the scale of the pilot, and the ambitious timeframes, it is proposed to have have 4 Fellowships for 3 months each (full time) to co-ordinate and build the pilot. Invitations and references are requested from the Community for such Fellowships.[13]
  • Considerable expertise has been built in the Public Policy Initiative. India Programs will seek advice from the Foundation staff to leverage this learning. To this end, 2-3 staff members will visit Pune in the 2nd half of May 2011 to provide assistance in onboarding/training of Campus Ambassadors/Fellows, outreach with teachers and influencers, PR and kicking off the program.
  • An important distinction for the proposed Wikipedia India Education Program pilot in Pune is that it will simultaneously outreach teachers, as well as directly to students. Given that some teachers might take longer than others to adopt Wikipedia, it is important that the opportunity of the pilot is fully realized by attempting new editor recruitment directly with students.
  • Deliberate efforts must be made to reach out to female students and colleges.
  • Given the language of education is increasingly English, it is recommended that the Wikipedia India Education Program is based on English. Having said this, opportunities in Marathi, Hindi or any other Indic language (which might have a willing student body) should not be ignored. Also, specific opportunities for Indic language editing, such as at language courses / colleges should also be considered.
  • In terms of timelines, it's proposed to kick of the recruitment of Campus Ambassadors and Fellows ASAP- starting with geonotices commencing April 12, 2011. It is planned to commence the recruitments before May 15th, 2011 such that training can commence in the second half of May. While different courses / colleges / universities have different start dates for their semesters (between June and August), the early onboarding of the team is important because there will be a huge amount of time and effort required for logistics and preparatory work with teachers. It is proposed that classroom editing of Wikipedia commences with the new education year.
  • In all of this, it is essential that the "fun" element of contributing to Wikimedia projects is celebrated. This is proposed through a series of initiatives.
  1. Existing school/college social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, influential bloggers) as well as local media should be used to publicise the program and catalyse participation of both teachers and students. Social networks could be used to celebrate participating colleges/universities, subjects, participating students & teachers, Campus Ambassadors, interesting contributions, etc.
  2. Start and publicize leaderboards (including potentially using local print/TV/radio for additional PR for the program)
  3. Conduct outreach sessions every month for 3 months on each campus and repeat these annually
  4. Conduct Wiki Loves... for Wikimedia Commons to generate excitement. This could be done either for the respective college/university or for Pune and surrounding areas.
  • Given the importance of peer validation, information must be regularly shared with participating and interested teachers/authorities on the program. This could be in the form of written updates or through PR.
  • It is worthwhile reiterating that Pune is proposed as the pilot for a more ambitious national roll-out. Based on the experiences and lessons of the pilot in Pune, this roll-out is initiated through at least 1 more major city before June 2012.
  • Dedicated resources will be required to plan & execute this activity. It is proposed to have 4 Fellowships for the Pune pilot given the scale of the program it's nascent stage. In addition, the program will be the single biggest initiative of India Programs and will therefore receive proportionate focus, effort and resources.
  • Expenses on giveaways will be substantial. It is planned to give every participant of any outreach / participating class 3 stickers / 2 badges and 1 T-shirt as acknowledgement.
  • Expenses to train Campus Ambassadors, as well as gear for them (e.g., hoodies, etc.) It is proposed to have at least 2 Campus Ambassadors per major sub-section in participating colleges and universities. Assuming a level of 25 participating colleges/universities (and assuming 2 teachers per college/university), it is estimated that 100 Campus Ambassadors will be needed. Needless to say, as the program rolls-out, these numbers will increase dramatically.
Other Factors
  • If teachers can be convinced to include Wikipedia articles as part of the teaching program, that would be a wonderful bonus
  • Participation of teachers will be particularly useful, even if Wikipedia articles are not included in syllabi (as changes in syllabus tend to take considerable time.)

Campus Ambassador Recruitment[edit]

We intend to use GeoNotices and geo-targeted CentralNotices to call for Campus Recruitements. This landing page from these will be to Campus Ambassador - which used to be used mainly for the US but has been edited to make it more relevant to Pune/India as well.

The wording is proposed to be "We're launching a college campus program in Pune and are looking for Wikipedia Campus Ambassadors. Click here to find out more." It's useful to minimise wording in banners to reduce clutter and to make them as clear and concise as possible. There will also be the Wikipedia Ambassador logo.

The recruitment process will be based on applications shortlists, preliminary skype/phone interviews and a more detailed skype/phone/face-to-face interview. This will be conducted by India Programs.

Additional Support[edit]

There are a number of activities which the community is best placed to conduct without the direct involvement of the Foundation. Even in some of these, it is proposed to deliver the following additional services to compliment the community's efforts.

Additional Support: Public Relations[edit]

Over the past few months, and especially coinciding with the 10th Anniversary, there has been significant media coverage of Wikipedia. Continued visibility will be a powerful reinforcement to outreach efforts and serves as an acknowledgment to existing editors. India Programs recommends that the "Edit India" campaign be magnified and reinforced and that the media discourse specifically drives 3 key messages

  • Want to know something about anything? ...try Wikipedia!
  • You can edit Wikipedia. Here's how!
  • There are Indic language version of Wikipedia. Build Wikipedia in your mother tongue

The specific reason these potential messages are being highlighted is that a lot of the past media coverage has been about the global story and scale of Wikipedia. While that's certainly a compelling storyline and makes for great copy, it doesn't necessarily further the objectives in India. While all news might be regarded as good news, focused news is smart news. Public Relations can help inspire new editors and introduce Indic languages if appropriate messages are prioritized.

As part of "Edit India" it is also proposed that public relations is attempted to share significant milestones in Indic languages or to support specific initiatives such as the leaderboard in the Wikipedia India Education Program. In addition, public relations would play a substantial role if initiatives to accelerate content creation are attempted. A potential idea could be "One Village; One Page" - where everyone is encouraged to contribute to a page dedicated to their respective hometowns / villages. Given that there are more than half a million villages, the potential for such a campaign is massive - but so is the reach that will be required to realize it's potential.

In all of this, the public face ought still to be firmly remain individual volunteers from the community, and India Programs will work closely and collaboratively to facilitate this.

Additional Support: Wikimedia Commons: Wiki Loves...[edit]

Given the rapid growth of photography and online sharing of photos, as evidenced by the massive image numbers on sites like flickr and facebook, as well as the growth in camera-enabled mobile phones, image sharing is potentially at the cusp of a major opportunity. Wiki Loves ... is an initiative which could dramatically increase participation, especially of those who might initially not do so on Wikipedia.

In the digital outreach campaing that is proposed, one phase could be a photo contest (potentially in partnership with interested organisations.) This would be conducted at a national level. Under the overall aegis of the overall "Edit India" campaign, it is proposed to have a a national level photography contest of Indian sights (monuments, landmarks, etc.) This would not attempt to duplicate GLAM as this initiative would focus on outdoor photography.

Based on the success and lessons of this first campaign, multiple campaign could be considered such as "Sights of India" (regular day-to-day sights) or "People of India" or "Festivals of India" or "India at Work" or "India at Play" would be planned.

Each activity would be run for a period of 4 weeks and would largely publicised using digital outreach and PR.

Existing community members' involvement will be supported by providing a ready-reckoner on copyright laws so that participants can be informed about these.

Additional Support: Mobile Plan[edit]

The mobile opportunity is massive in India. India Programs believes that the first priority has to be to expand mobile access to readership, to begin with. In this context, even if adequate editing solutions do not exist, readership on basic (i.e., through SMS) and 2G smartphones should be the priority. Further, it is currently proposed that emphasis be given on English Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons in terms of speed of roll-out - primarily because these represent the lowest hanging fruit. This priority awaits validation from the proposed mobile study being conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

The mobile initiative will require 2 key elements. The first is the technical solutions for access and editing (for English as well as Indic languages) to integrate with mobile service providor systems. The second is contractual arrangements with mobile service providors. India Programs may choose to support the Foundation's activities, especially in the context of any on-ground assistance that might be required. As stated earlier, this mobile initiative will be driven by the Foundation primarily with resources outside India.

Additional Support: Offline Plan[edit]

Similar to mobile, given the technical, editorial and logistics challenges, India Programs may choose to work with the Foundation, but not lead the Offline intiatives.

The potential for offline is significant given the relatively low Internet access and bandwidths. It is proposed to support these initatives given the extensive travel and communication costs involved. Also, partnerships with NGOs who are involved in education and computer access would be explored to drive offline. Given the scale of the task, it is currently thought that such partnerships are the most viable manner of driving offline.


The following high-level timelines are proposed, and are subject to refining based on unfolding of initiatives and Community feedback.

Area Action Point Timeline
Improving Outreach Impact
  • Standard presentation deck
  • Arrange giveaways (e.g., T-shirts, etc.)
  • Recommendations for outreach design
  • Capacity building sessions for Community volunteers
  • Design and roll-out of CRM option for outreach attendees
  • April 15th 2011
  • May 15th 2011
  • April 31st 2011
  • Ongoing, from April 30th 2011
  • May 15th 2011 onwards
Digital Outreach
  • Agency selection
  • Digital campaign creatives & roll-out schedule
  • Production of editing tutorial videos
  • Activate social networking plan
  • Activate geo-targeted banners / online videos
  • May 30th 2011
  • July 31st 2011
  • August 31st 2011
  • April 31st 2011 onwards
  • August 15th 2011 onwards
Wikipedia India Education Program
  • Campus Ambassador selection
  • Fellowship selection
  • Campus Ambassador/Fellowship Training
  • Teacher/student outreach
  • Development of roll-out plan
  • May 15th 2011
  • May 15th 2011
  • May 31st 2011
  • Commencing May 25th 2011
  • December 2011
  • Recruitment of 1 team members
  • Recruitment of remaining 3 team members
  • Recruitment of Campus Ambassadors (for Pune Pilot)
  • Recruitment of Fellows (4 for Wikipedia India Education Program Pilot)
  • Recruitment of Fellows (4 for Wikipedia India Education Program Roll-Out)
  • Recruitment of Fellows (2 for Community Initiatives)
  • May 31st 2011
  • June 31st 2011
  • May 15th 2011
  • May 15th 2011
  • January 31st 2012
  • Based on Community Proposals

Team Structure[edit]

India Programs will have a lean team of five folks, officially engaged by the Wikimedia Foundation that work closely and extensively with the Community. It is suggested that there be an additional 10 Fellowships. The designations are indicative of the focus of the people's expertise. In all cases, strong preference will be given to existing Community members. Applications (and references) from the Community are eagerly sought. No staff will be employed by the Wikimedia Foundation. Instead the group shall consist of independent contrators who operate as independent contractors of the Wikimedia Foundation.

India Programs - Team
Role Responsibility
Independent Consultant, India Programs
  • Advise Foundation on the strategic direction to the program and program design, management & evaluation
  • Team coordination
  • Identification and relationship development
  • Advise and consult Foundation on proper Communications, messaging & PR
Independent Consultant, Participation
  • Design, pilot & roll-out Wikipedia India Education Program Pilot (in Pune)
  • Co-ordination of Online/Campus Ambassadors (en-wk)
  • Knowledge, information management and tracking of Wikipedia India Education Program
  • Documentation of lessons of Pilot
  • Development of national roll-out of Wikipedia India Education Program
Independent Consultant, Indic Projects
  • Design & roll-out PR/on-ground outreach plan to promote Indic language awareness & editors
  • Support on-ground outreach for Indic languages
  • Co-ordination of online ambassadors (Indic-wk) & support for greenhouse
  • Support recently incubated new languages (until languages reach 100,000 articles min 5KB)
  • Co-ordinate with Foundation to provide technical solutions to resolve current (& potential) issues on Indic languages
Independent Consultant, Communications
  • Design, pilot & roll-out digital outreach campaign (overall responsibility)
  • Design and develop online video editing tutorial(s)
  • Manage social network pages (facebook, twitter, etc.)
  • Design & roll-out PR plan to promote English Wikipedia awareness & editors
  • Digital agency oversight
Independent Consultant, Coordination
  • Support community in event planning/logistics
  • Ensure that merchandise/materials are available and widely disseminated to support outreach
  • Travel arrangements
Fellowships - Wikipedia India Education Program - Pilot
  • Pilot program in Pune for Wikipedia in Education, student outreach “Wiki Loves...”
  • Responsibility for on-ground and digital outreach on campuses
  • Oversight and training of Campus Ambassadors
  • Teacher / Education Institute relationships
  • 4 Fellowships (3 months each)
Fellowships - Wikipedia India Education Program - Roll-Out
  • Roll-out of Wikipedia India Education Program - including planning and initiation
  • Responsibility for on-ground and digital outreach on campuses
  • Management of Campus Ambassadors
  • Locations to be determined closer to date, and after lessons from Pune Pilot
  • 4 Fellowships (3 months each)
Fellowships - Others
  • Projects as proposed by Community
  • 2 Fellowships (3 months each)



CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society - Access to Knowledge) is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape.
If you have a general proposal/suggestion for Access to Knowledge team you can write on the discussion page. If you have appreciations or feedback on our work, please share it on feedback page.

The log of the community meetings on IRC will be included here.




See Also[edit]


  1. [1] India
  2. [2] India Project
  3. [3] India Report Card
  4. [4] Mapping Geographies of Wikipedia
  5. [5] Internet Users
  6. [6] India Community Expansion Grant
  7. [7] Wiki Guides
  8. [8] Newbie Support IRC Channel
  9. [9] Global University Program
  10. [10] Public Policy Initiative
  11. [11] Pune Education
  12. [12] Campus Ambassadors
  13. [13] Fellowships