One of the key mandates of the Access to Knowledge (A2K) programme at the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is to work towards catalysing the growth of the open knowledge movement in South-Asia and in Indic languages. CIS has been a steward of the Wikimedia movement in India since December 2008 when Jimmy Wales visited Bangalore. From September 2012 it has been actively involved in growing the movement in India through a grant received from the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). Based on the 18-month experience of working with various Indic Wikimedia communities, CIS-A2K has developed its Work Plan for July 2014 to June 2015.
This work plan consists of 21 plans across 6 verticals. These are:
- 7 Language Area Plans: CIS-A2K has put in significant efforts in four focus language areas plans during the last year and has been successful in reaching most of its goals. In 2014-15 we will further deepen our engagement in these four language areas (Kannada, Konkani, Odia and Telugu). Further, this experience and the learnings from it will be leveraged to work on three more large Indic language Wikipedia projects, which are Bangla, Hindi and Marathi. We have developed a detailed plan for each of these language areas, which can be seen here.
- 3 Community Strengthening Initiatives: We propose community strengthening initiatives that will further grow the Indic Wikimedia projects and the associated community, both qualitatively and quantitatively. These initiatives, focussing on building capacity and nurturing leadership in the Indic communities, will ensure that growth is sustained beyond the CIS-A2K program. A detailed plan for each of these initiatives is available here.
- 8 Stand-alone Wikimedia Projects: These stand-alone projects will have clear deliverables in a limited span of time, and will help us understand how to take up bigger initiatives in the respective language. All the stand-alone projects are more fully described here.
- Creating Movement Resources: Once CIS-A2K began actively working with the Indic Wikimedia communities, it soon realized that unlike in English there were not many Wikimedia-related resources available in Indic languages. During the last year we produced some resources which were mostly unplanned outcomes. However, we feel there is an urgent need to create movement resources in Indic languages like a Creative Commons (CC) handbook; a Copyright handbook; training manuals; video tutorials, etc. See our plans for concerted efforts to create resources for strengthening the Wikimedia movement in India and in Indic languages here.
- Publicity, Research and Documentation: Many of the Indic Wikimedia projects in spite of being in existence for more than 10 years have not received adequate publicity. Also, the Wikimedia movement in India could benefit from more systematic research and documentation. CIS-A2K will put in more intensive efforts into Publicity, Research and Documentation of the Wikimedia movement in India during this year as per the plans discussed here.
- General Support and Service to the Movement: CIS-A2K deeply believes in extending support and service to the Wikimedia volunteer community in India. This has been one of the important aspects of our work so far. We have honoured up to 100 requests of all sizes that we received from the Wikimedia volunteer communities across all Indic languages. This page gives more details about the proposed work.
The work plan includes details of aims, objectives, programme activities and expected outcomes. Most of the language area plans were put together in active consultation with the respective Wikimedia language communities. Various inputs and ideas contributed, opportunities provided, and challenges thrown at the CIS-A2K program during the last year by the Wikimedia communities in India, our institutional partners, Executive Committee (EC) of Wikimedia India Chapter (WMIN) and the Wikimedia Foundation's Grantmaking Team have significantly informed our work plans.
Background to CIS-A2K Program
The Wikimedia Foundation approved a grant of ₹26,000,000 to CIS in Bangalore, India to expand their A2K programme in India. The grant was released over a three phase period - first in September 2012 (₹ 11,000,000), second in June 2013 (₹ 7,500,000) and third in December 2014(₹ 7,500,000). The purpose of the grant was to enable the A2K team to work with the Wikimedia community of volunteers in India to expand the Indic Wikimedia projects and associated communities. In addition, the grant was aimed at generating improvements in India-relevant free knowledge in Wikimedia’s English projects, and the wider distribution of Wikimedia’s free knowledge within India.
CIS-A2K created an Annual Work Plan (2013-2014) that is being successfully implemented. Most of the projected outcomes against the plans have already been met. There have also been many unplanned outcomes. CIS-A2K has periodically been sharing its work openly with the Wikimedia community in India, WMIN and WMF's Grantmaking team. See all our reports and newsletters here.
The objective of the CIS-A2K is to catalyse the growth of open knowledge movement in South Asia and in Indic languages. Within the Wikimedia universe CIS-A2K specifically strives to further grow the Indic and English Wikimedia projects and communities by a) supporting and serving the Wikimedia communities; b) building institutional partnerships; c) bringing more content under free license; d) designing and executing projects with community participation; e) strengthening the Wikimedia volunteers; and f) fostering and enabling an appropriate legal and technological ecosystem.
It is important to understand the two broader contexts in which CIS-A2K program operates, which underpins the implementation of this work plan.
- Linguistic Diversity of India: India is known for its linguistic diversity. India is home to several dominant languages and also several small languages which are facing extinction. Due to the large number of languages that exist in India, the country has more than 20 different language Wikipedias. Each Indic Wikimedia language project is different from the others in terms of community structure, speaker base, literacy level, technical knowledge, existing documentation, language corpora and challenges in the cyberspace, etc. Hence, each Indian language has its own strengths and challenges which are quite different from each other.
Since each Indian language is so distinct, we cannot apply a ‘one-size fits all’ approach; hence CIS-A2K early on adopted the strategy of creating a detailed plan for each language. During 2013-14 we chose five (of which only four could be executed) Indic languages for focussed intervention and developed granular plans. This strategy did pay off and we have now decided to work on seven languages. It is important to note that we are cautious about not massively scaling up this strategy and our choice to work on seven language areas is well informed. However, we have planned to execute some stand-alone projects in other Indic languages and will provide need based support to other Indic Wikimedia communities.
- Institutional Context: The A2K program is housed at CIS Bangalore. CIS is an almost 6 year old non-profit organisation [with offices in Bengaluru and New Delhi] focussing on interdisciplinary policy and academic research. CIS conducts policy research in the following areas - accessibility, access for knowledge [including free/open source software, open content, open standards, open access and open data], internet governance [including privacy and freedom of speech and expression], telecom [limited to shared backhaul and shared spectrum]. CIS produces academic research focusing on digital natives and digital humanities.
CIS shares the same values as Wikimedia and the free and open source software community. CIS believes Wikimedia's objectives of disseminating free knowledge to each and every individual.
There are certain advantages the A2K program has because of its location within CIS. Some of these include: a) opportunity to leverage the strong network CIS has developed with various free culture / openness movement stakeholders in the past 6 years of its existence; b) the advantage of having an office space in a city which is the hub of the openness movement in India; c) readily available administrative and support staff and systems that saves a lot of A2K staff's time; d) cross-pollination of ideas and work done in other CIS programs and vice-versa; e) organisational principles like subsidiarity, war on meta-work, post-facto accountability, and amorphous institutional boundaries give the A2K team members amazing programmatic agility; and f) the right kind of ecosystem for free knowledge work There are also some disadvantages: a) CIS being a non-chapter or Wikimedia volunteer-driven entity faces very valid questions about legitimacy, representation and "voluntary sector" vs. "volunteer" dichotomy; b) a section of the community view CIS-A2K as a competitor to WMIN for financial resources which undermines trust-building and consequently threatens synergies between WMIN and A2K c) CIS has to be conservative about attributing Wikimedia growth and community growth to A2K initiatives as it can be misconstrued as credit-grabbing.
This work plan is put together based on an extensive engagement with various stakeholders of Wikimedia movement in India. These include a) some Wikimedia volunteers across Indic Wikimedia projects; b) WMIN Executive Committee; d) Institutional Partners of CIS-A2K; e) a few like-minded advocates of free knowledge; f) A2K Program Adviser Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana; and g) a few of the Wikimedia Foundation staff. Some of the language area plans were shared with that particular language Wikimedia community for feedback over the Wikipedia village pumps, mailing lists and social media groups. Each plan document has a list of contributors who have contributed in developing the plan.
There are 21 diverse plans within this plan. During the work planning exercise we realized that this diversity is both a good feature and a potential bug. We were concerned about making these plans intelligible. So we have worked very hard to come up with a standard template for all plans. Thus a cursory glance may give the impression that some plans look similar, but they are not. However, you may see repetitions in strategies across plans. Also in some plans we had to deviate from the template. Moreover, it is less productive to compare one sub-plan with another sub-plan as each plan was developed taking into consideration a) specific strengths and opportunities that CIS-A2K program could build on; b) particular needs for support to which we could respond; and c) specific challenges that require localized solutions.
This plan is not set in stone and will be periodically (right now quarterly) reviewed and revised if required. The intention of this work plan is to continually ensure better design and better engagement. Thus this "plans within the plan" structure was essential to evolve a sense of granularity of the CIS-A2K team’s work along with micro-level outcome and impact metrics. This will give us the flexibility to amputate a plan, if it fails, without affecting the rest of the plans. We also believe that this granularity in plans will give a focussed direction for the CIS-A2K team and the volunteers who will collaborate with us in the implementation.
- Mapping Plan to Budget/Mission Level Transparency
Each plan has an independent budget and is closely mapped on to the implementation plan. An attempt is made to correlate why we are spending a certain amount on a certain activity. Thus all these budgets are very optimally planned and the overall budget is an assimilation. CIS-A2K believes that this will give mission level transparency to our work and provide a clear structure of accountability to the movement.
Annual Work Plan July 2014-June 2015
Language Area Work Plans
CIS-A2K has put in significant efforts in four focus language areas plans during the last year and has been successful in reaching most of the proposed goals. In 2014-15 we will further deepen our engagement in these four language areas (Kannada, Konkani, Odia and Telugu). Further, this experience and the learnings from it will be leveraged to work on three more large Indic Wikipedia projects, which are Bangla, Hindi and Marathi. We have developed a detailed plan for each of these language areas, which is given below.
Some of the key factors that determined the selection of languages areas have included:
- Deepening the work. We have decided to continue our work in the language areas chosen last year as we believe that we need to deepen our work to ensure that the momentum we have built will be sustained even after our exit.
- Networking of institutions and groups. The A2K team has put together a list of knowledge institutions, groups and individuals with whom it has some connections and believes that it can bring them into the Wikimedia movement. These collaborations will not only result in significant quality-content contributions, but will lead to the diversification and expansion of that particular language Wikimedia community.
- Willingness of that particular language community to interact and engage with the A2K team. Though we tried approaching other language communities informally, we were given to understand that they would like to consider engaging with us at a later stage. We respect the community's decision and express our willingness to work with newer language areas in a subsequent phase.
- Familiarity of the A2K team members with the language. Each of us are editors/can edit or at least read the discussions in most of the above language Wikipedias. This will give us an insider's perspective of what is happening in that particular language community and the Wikimedia projects.
Community Strengthening Initiatives
CIS-A2K proposes to undertake three community strengthening initiatives that will further grow the Indic Wikimedia projects and the associated community, both qualitatively and quantitatively. These initiatives, focussing on building capacity and nurturing leadership in the Indic communities, will ensure that growth is sustained beyond the CIS-A2K program.
- Nurturing Mediawiki and Tech Talent in Indic Communities: Through this initiative CIS-A2K aims to make the Indic Wikimedia communities relatively more self-reliant in addressing minor technical issues through nurturing and building community level technical leadership. This could go a long way in reducing excessive dependency on the Engineering resources and will help the Indic communities in building strong technical liaison with the Media Wiki global community and the WMF Engineer team. The detailed plan is available here.
- Wikimedia Train the Trainer Program, CIS-A2K: The program will help build capacity and enable community members to conduct outreach sessions independently or with minimal support to introduce Wikipedia to prospective editors in their respective Indian languages. See here for a detailed design of this initiative.
- Wiki-Data India Marathon: Wikidata India Marathon will be a month long travelling event (or a set of events) across India. The primary objective of this marathon will be to introduce Wikidata to various Indic Wikimedia communities and show how it can be used and what benefits it has. For more details see here.
Stand-alone Wikimedia Projects
Many project ideas came up as potential opportunities and as unplanned outcomes of our work during the last year. Based on an internal evaluation and thorough due-diligence we have short-listed some projects that could have high rate of success and learning. We propose to take up 8 such projects as stand-alone Wikimedia projects during this work plan period. These stand-alone projects will have clear deliverables in a limited span of time, and will help us understand how to take up bigger initiatives in the respective language.
- Med GLAM Project at Calicut Medical College: The main objective of this project is to create, curate and make openly available images from the Department of Pathology, Calicut Medical College (CMC) for the benefit of medical and para-medical students and staff of CMC specifically and for the larger medical fraternity across the world, using free/open knowledge database Wikimedia Commons.
- Wiki Loves Public Art (India): This is a photography competition that seeks to get photographs of works of public art on Wikipedia. The competition is modelled on Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) which has been running successfully since 2010. We plan to execute this in active collaboration with WMIN GLAM SIG.
- 100 Books on Gujarati Wikisource: The main objective of this project is to add significant content to Gujarati Wikisource using OCR. This project will be executed in collaboration with Gujarati Wikimedia community, WMIN Chapter, Forbes Gujarati Sabha (which will provide access to copyright free Gujarati content to be put up on Gujarati Wikisource) and The Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda.
- Urdu Wikipedia Education Program at MANUU: This project aims to roll out Wikipedia Educational Programme aimed at the students of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad.
- Odia Wikisource as OER: This project aims to make Odia Wikisource a live project. Towards this three things will be done by CIS-A2K. First, to get a major Odia author's (Dr. Jagannath Mohanty) content re-released under CC-BY-SA 3.0 and to host it on Odia Wikisource. Second, with the help of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences undertake a project whereby the students will type and proof read the books on Odia Wikisource, which could be used as OER across various educational institutions. Third, the digitized children's literature in Odia will be freely distributed across the government schools in an offline form. This project is inspired by the Malayalam Wikimedia community's efforts of introducing Wikisource in schools as part of the IT at Schools program in Kerala.
- Making the Tulu Wikipedia Live
- Making the Santali Wikipedia Live
- Telugu Wiki Bus: This pilot project aims to create massive awareness about Indic Wikimedia projects in smaller cities and towns. This is modelled on the Google bus program and will be implemented in the Telugu speaking region of Andhra Pradesh.
Once CIS-A2K began actively working with the Indic Wikimedia communities, it soon realized that unlike English there are not many Wikimedia related resources available in Indic languages. During the last year we produced some resources, which were mostly unplanned outcomes. However, we feel that there is an urgent need for concerted efforts to create resources to strengthen the Wikimedia movement in India and in Indic languages. We strongly believe that creating these movement resources will go a long way in growing and strengthening the Wikimedia volunteers beyond the limits of CIS-A2K program. Some of the activities in this plan have a larger fit with the larger institutional work of CIS in the domain of Intellectual Property Rights and Openness. We will collaborate with the legal expertise within CIS in executing some of these activities. A detailed plan of activities under this initiative along with a budget can be seen here.
Many of the Indic Wikimedia projects in spite of being in existence for more than 10 years have not received adequate publicity. Many of the long time Indic Wikimedia volunteers have, during our interactions, expressed the need to increase the publicity about the Indic Wikimedia projects so that there is increased public awareness. CIS-A2K has left no stone unturned to get print and electronic media publicity for Indic Wikimedia projects and communities duirng 2013-14. Because of our efforts there were about 100 news items the print media and about 10 programs on electronic media in the last year.
Also the Wikimedia movement in India could benefit with more systematic research and documentation. It should be noted that CIS has been doing research about the Wikimedia movement way before the Access to Knowledge program got a grant from Wikimedia Foundation. Researching on various elements of the Wikimedia movement is not something new for CIS and the team will continue its efforts in this direction. In addition to action research, we undertook systematic documentation of the movement during the last year. More intensive efforts will be put in Publicity, Research and Documentation of the Wikimedia movement in India during this year as per the plans discussed here.
CIS-A2K deeply believes in extending support and service to the Wikimedia volunteer community in India. This has been one of the important aspects of our work. We have honoured up to 100 requests of all sizes that we received from the Wikimedia volunteer communities across all Indic languages. Most of these requests are listed here and here. CIS-A2K also receives requests over e-mail and some community members do reach out to us over mobile phones to place requests. In general the quick response time of CIS-A2K to these requests has been appreciated by many of the community members. We would like to continue with our efforts in supporting and serving the Wikimedia community in India and maintain the quick response time. CIS-A2K has actively consulted with the Wikimedia India Chapter (WMIN) before supporting most of the community requests, especially when it involved allocating funds for large community events like Tamil Wikipedia 10th anniversary celebrations. We also ensure that supporting community events is done in a transparent manner. However, we would need to review our methods and further streamline systems of support, which will be worked up on during this year. This page will give more details about the proposed work.
Learning and Evaluation
Based on discussions with the Wikimedia India Chapter EC and with some members of the Wikimeda community, the A2K programme had put together some evaluation tools to assess the impact of its work during the last year. We have included some more metrics for evaluation this year.
- Quarterly growth of no. of articles
- Quarterly growth of no. of total editors
- Quarterly growth of no. of new editors
- Quarterly growth of no. of active editors
- Quarterly growth of no. of very active editors
- No. of page views
- No. of articles < 2 KB < 5 KB
- No. of new tools/gadgets made available during a time-slice
- No. of mentoring interactions
- No. of bugs filed and resolved
- No. of edits (Article, Other mainspace edits)
- Print and electronic media mentions
We will undertake quarterly and annually review of its work using the above evaluation tools. The team will also report the successes and learnings to the Wikimedia India & the global community. In addition to this the A2K team will actively review progress of each language area plan in collaboration with the respective Wikimedia community. Based on this feedback we will undertake mid-course corrections, should there be a need. This will be openly shared on the respective plan discussion pages on Meta. In addition to this, A2K will continue to publish monthly newsletter informing the larger community of the various activities A2K has undertaken in a certain month and is planning to undertake in the upcoming month. Towards the the end of the grant, A2K will share an impact report encompassing analysis of all year long work done by A2K. To summarize following reports will be published in the year of 2014 - 2015:
- Quarterly Report 1 (July 2014 - October 2014)
- Quarterly Report 2 (November 2014 - February 2015)
- Quarterly Report 3 (March 2015 - June 2015)
- Impact Report (July 2014 - June 2015)
- Monthly Newsletters
Monthly Review and Learning Sessions
CIS-A2K conducted many weekly learning sessions to critically reflect on the successes and failures of our work internally. We had also used these weekly sessions to learn about new developments (tools, policies, etc) in the Wikimedia universe. However, this could not be sustained for a long period. We will take measures to revive this and make it a monthly exercise, which we will try to record or screen cast on CIS website. Simultaneously we will use this to do a monthly review of the progress of the various plans and discuss about the upcoming month's events.
As stated above in the methodology section, each of the 21 plans have an independent budget, which is closely mapped on to the implementation plan. Below we have give a concise picture of the budget requirements against the 6 verticals. As part of the WMF's grant to CIS, we have received Rs. 15,000,000.00 or US$242,178.00 during the last year. The proposed budget of Rs. 18,406,454.00 or US$297.831.00 is about 23 per cent more than the previous year's grant.
|Sl. No.||Budget Item||FDC (INR)||FDC (US$)||Other Sources and in kind support (INR)||Other Sources and in kind support (US$)|
|1||Language Area Plans||Rs. 7,466,440.00||120,813.05338||Rs. 2,100,000.00||33,979.70279|
|2||Community Strengthening Initiatives||Rs. 2,610,400.00||42,238.38865||Rs. 200,000.00||3,236.16217|
|3||Stand Alone Wikimedia Projects||Rs. 2,584,300.00||41,816.06949||Rs. 2,495,000.00||40,371.12308|
|4||Creating Movement Resources||Rs. 1,188,000.00||19,222.80329||Rs. 2,400,000.00||38,833.94605|
|5||Publicity, Research & Documentation||Rs. 780,000.00||12,621.03247||Rs. 0.00||0.00000|
|6||General Support and Service to the Movement||Rs. 636,000.00||10,290.99570||Rs. 0.00||0.00000|
|7||Other Expenses||Rs. 1,468,000.00||23,753.43033||Rs. 2,964,000.00||47,959.92337|
|Total before Institutional Development||Rs. 16,733,140.00||270,755.77331||Rs. 10,159,000.00||164,380.85745|
|8||Institutional Development (10%)||Rs. 1,673,314.00||27,075.57733||Rs. 0.00||0.00000|
|TOTAL BUDGET||Rs. 18,406,454.00||297,831.35064||Rs. 10,159,000.00||164,380.85745|
Other than item no. 7 and 8 the entire budget will go towards the programmatic implementation of the plans. The staff costs are not separately listed here as we see the CIS-A2K team as a programmatic investment and each of the team member's time is budgeted against a specific activity or plan. We propose to raise Rs. 10,159,000.00 or US$163,380.00 other sources and in-kind support towards executing this work plan. A detailed budget analysis is available here. Please See this google spreadsheet which gives a micro level picture of the Budget against each of the planned activity.
We appreciate your valuable feedback. However, for the sake of structured engagement by everyone, we request you to consider the following before you share your feedback.
- For feedback on the overall A2K Work Plan you can write here.
- For feedback on respective Language area plans, please write on the discussion page of the respective language plan.
- For feedback on Community Strengthening initiatives, please write on discussion page of the respective project page.
- For feedback on Stand-alone Wikimedia Projects, please write on discussion page of the respective project page.
- For feedback on Creating Movement Resources, please write here.
- For feedback on Publicity, Research and Documentation, please write here.
- For feedback on General Support and Service to the Movement, please write here.
- Alternatively you could also share your feedback over e-mail at vishnu at cis-india.org. Please use the subject line Feedback on Work Plan.
- Should you feel the need to discuss any aspect of the plan before sharing your feedback, please write to us and we can set up a telephone/Skype call.
- CIS supports the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University through a fellowship and participation on the advisory board; CIS supports the open data community through support for the founders of Data Meet; CIS is supporting venue costs for some of Cyber Security and Privacy Foundation's outreach programmes; CIS has supported the last edition of the Goa Project; CIS allows various groups to use its Bangalore and Delhi offices for meetings such as Null Con Bangalore, Bitcoin Delhi, Arduino, Dojo, Crypto Party and Maker Party communities. In the past, CIS has hosted Inclusive Planet India and Has Geek at its Bangalore office.
- See the discussion in this TechCrunch article. Also see this blog which inspired TechCrunch to do a feature about the growth of Indic Wikipedia projects.
- Openness initiative at CIS
- All the four foucs language areas during the last year's plan received significant print media coverage because of CIS-A2K's efforts. In addition, even the mainstream English print media did stories on indic Wikimedia projects, which was unprecedented.
- There were 6 television programs and 1 radio program on Telugu Wikipedia and 2 television programs and 1 radio interview on Kannada Wikipedia.