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The Access to Knowledge program of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS-A2K) is committed to promoting the Wikimedia Movement and the free knowledge movement in the Indian sub-continent. Over the past few years, CIS-A2K has gradually developed and improved our program structure, and our work model to reflect and cater to the needs articulated by the community. CIS-A2K works closely with the Indic Wikimedians and has always been thankful for their support and encouragement, timely feedback and their interventions. CIS-A2K has been able to facilitate idea exchange and idea incubation amongst Indic Wikimedia communities. These ideas have resulted in the growth of the community and have played a crucial role in the emergence of community leaders.
As is our best practice, CIS-A2K conducts an extensive community consultation before writing a work-plan. This year we have spoken to over 50 Indic Wikimedians from 8 different Indic Wikimedia communities and, based on their suggestions and our analysis, we propose this work-plan to the Wikimedia Foundation and FDC. The questionnaire included questions on CIS-A2K's performance, goals to for the future, strategic priorities for Indic Wikimedia communities, opportunities for collaboration, utilisation of resources (financial and non financial), etc. The questionnaire was translated into 3 Indian languages (Kannada, Telugu, Marathi). The English language questionnaire is here.
CIS-A2K strongly believes in the value of the Wikimedia movement that the community is "the biggest asset" and has always undertaken the 'Community First' approach while conducting workshops, edit-a-thons and seeking suggestions for improvement. The primary objectives of CIS-A2K's proposed work-plan will be:
- Cultivating new editors (see Exploring new communities of interest (Marathi), Reach out wider Telugu community etc.),
- Supporting and strengthening existing community members via skill building initiatives and content enrichment programs (see supporting community leadership, Skill-building initiatives (Kannada), Capacity building events (Telugu) etc.)
- and editor retention (see WikiTungi)
A2K has taken care to develop synergy across ideas proposed in the work plan among these themes.
The activities listed below are some of the most important initiatives that A2K would be investing resources in during the proposed plan period. We have brief detailed the nature of the activity here. For detailed plan verticals, please take a look at the individual work-plan pages.
|Area||Mode of Engagement/Rationale||Activity|
|Skill Building Initiatives||CIS-A2K will conduct and support skill-building initiatives such as Train-the-Trainer, Wiki Technical Training, and other need-based workshops requested by Indic Wikimedia communities||Skill Building Initiatives|
|Institutional Partnerships||CIS-A2K would work with different institutional partners in India to a) bring in new editors from enthusiastic students and scholars community, b) get more free encyclopedic content and c) increase reach of Indic WIkimedia projects||Institutional partnership (Marathi)|
|Working closely with Wikimedia User Groups||Over the last year, we have seen new Wikimedia User Groups emerging in India. CIS-A2K has already worked closely with Punjabi Wikimedians User Group during WikiConference India 2016 and collaborated with the West Bengal Wikimedians User Group during Mini TTT and MWT Kolkata 2017. CIS-A2K would also be collaborating with the newly formed Karavali Wikimedians User Group. CIS-A2K would like to closely work with the Indic Wikimedia User Groups during this proposal period and provide necessary support towards conducting activities and establishing institutional partnerships.||Different initiatives under Skill Building Initiatives, Global Engagement, and Bridging Gender Gap|
|Wikipedia Education Program||CIS-A2K is currently running Wikipedia Education Program in India at Christ University, Bangalore, Andhra Loyola College, Vijaywada The WEP program at the Christ University is the largest in India with approximately 1200 students participating every academic year. CIS-A2K proposes to work on Wikipedia in Education Programs with increased focus on the quality of content. CIS-A2K thanks all the community members who have provided valuable feedback to improve the WEP program in India.||Wikipedia Education Program|
|City-based communities||CIS-A2K has been successful in forming city-based Wikimedia communities in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. The community members meet, conduct or participate in Wiki-events (workshops) on a regular basis. One of the best examples of such communities is WikiTungi in Odisha. CIS-A2K will continue to provide support (logistical, financial and resource) to these communities.||WikiTungi (Odisha)|
|Creating Movement Resources||CIS-A2K believes that movement resources (such as handbooks, DVDs, cheat-sheets, etc.) are important for communities to achieve greater reach and improve the quality of the Wikimedia projects. These movement resources have been distributed at WCI 2016, various outreach events conducted by CIS-A2K and have been favorably received. CIS-A2K will prepare movement resources based on the communities to need. A2K will also work towards localising resources, documents and other reports that have been prepared by the global community members and have proved useful in organising events and conducting outreach. We would also be creating movement resources such as 'Gender Sensitisation Tool Kit' and 'Code of Conduct' for bridging gender gap initiatives and encouraging participation of women in Indic Wikimedia projects.||Movement resources plan (Telugu)|
|Bridging gender gap:||CIS-A2K has been working to understand and bridge the gender gap in the Indic language Wikipedia communities. While Indic Wikimedia communities are aware of the acute gender gap on their Wikimedia projects, an independent and focused plan with measurable impact to bridge this gap has been missing. The A2K team since July 2016, has made a few attempts to work in this area and has conducted/powered 10 gender gap bridging initiatives. It is the aim of CIS-A2K to scale up these activities and conduct, support different events, workshops and initiatives in an effort to bridge the gender gap across Indic Wikimedia's.||Bridging gender gap initiatives|
|Global engagement initiatives||CIS-A2K has been attempting to try and engage Indic Wikimedia communities with the global Wikimedia movement. A2K is of the firm belief that such partnerships can be mutually beneficial and some of the activities, ideas, and initiatives run by Indic Wikimedia communities can be picked up by the global communities as well. To provide a platform for such interaction and learning opportunities, the A2K team is proposing a Global Engagement strategy for the proposed work plan.
During our current work plan, CIS-A2K has promoted 100wikidays in India, partnered with Wikipedia Asian Month. This year CIS-A2K would attempt to promote several global events among Indic Wikimedians, encourage and provide necessary support to them to participate.
|CIS-A2K request page||CIS-A2K provides support (both financial and non-fianncial) to Indic-language Wikimedia communities to conduct various events to improve their projects. These requests are put forth on the CIS-A2K request page. Over the last year, we have seen increased number of requests submitted to our request page. We expect to support over 24 such events/requests this year||Request page|
In the work-plan year, CIS-A2K worked with five focused language areas or FLAs (Kannada, Odia, Marathi, Konkani and Telugu), and supported other Indic communities. Some of the areas CIS-A2K mainly focused on were skill-development initiatives, content relicensing, conducting and supporting edit-a-thons like Odisha Rathayatra edit-a-thon, Punjab-edit-a-thon. During this work-plan year, CIS-A2K actively worked to bridge the gender gap in Indian Wikimedia communities. A Research Intern from the University of Toronto joined us in July 2016 to lead the project and would be engaged in conducting gender gap bridging activities till June 2017. This year a mini version of Train-the-Trainer and MediaWiki Training was successfully conducted outside our FLA communities. The successful completion of this event with a non-FLA community is a boost in the arm for the A2K team as the event was planned, proposed and conducted by Wikimedians from West Bengal.
Between July and September 2016, 4 of our team members moved out of the team. Some of the team members took additional responsibilities, one program officer was hired, and Tanveer Hasan was promoted to a Program Manager's post in the team.
TTT and MWT
CIS-A2K conducted this year's Train-the-Trainer on 20-22 February and MediaWiki Training 24-26 February 2017. During this year's TTT, CIS-A2K implemented a few changes. We have reintroduced the field trip component which we tried in 2015 but discontinued in 2016. We felt that this space was needed for the Wikimedians to socialize and know more about each other's work and find ways of integrating daily life activities with their Wikimedia projects. We believe that the TTT is not only a training workshop, but also an idea exchange and learning platform, and for the same reason this year we kept the venue and the accommodation at the same place so that the participants get maximum time to interact with each other. The most important change we invited a senior Indic Wikimedia User:AshLin as a resource person and external evaluator. He stayed with us during the workshop and submitted a detailed audit report suggesting the areas improve. Indic Wikimedia and biodiversity expert User:Shyamal lead the Wikimedia's walk on the second day of TTT.
This year the theme of MediaWiki Training was Wiki Technical Audit. This was conceptualized by Marathi Wikipedia admin User:Rahuldeshmukh101. He suggested that once in a year or so the members of a community should sit together and make an analysis of issues of their projects, such as dead-end pages, broken redirects, scrip errors, long-pending pages tagged with deletion tag, reference errors, module error (Lua error), unresolved bug reports at Phabriactor. This year we invited Malayalam Wikimedia User:Viswaprabha as a resource person.
Monthly call with WMF
In the work-plan year 2015-2016, WMF employees and CIS-A2K team used to conduct a monthly Skype/Hangout meeting to discuss that month's work and progress. This process was missing in the first half of this work-plan year. We contacted Delphine in November, and resumed the monthly call process from November 2017 (note: as of 21 March 2017, the month's call meeting has not been conducted). A2K team would like to acknowledge that these calls have been very helpful in planning and evaluating our activities. A2K team's conversations with the WMF team and global Wikimedians has offered insights into new learning and evaluation methods adopted and implemented by other organisations.
The CIS-A2K team is committed to the Strategic Document to improve and contribute to the overall development of the Wikimedia movement. Along with these broad themes, the A2K team would also like to achieve these objectives during the proposed work plan:
- Increase the reach of Wikimedia projects across Indic language speakers and create conditions for involving with these projects
- Strengthen Indic Wikimedians and Indic Wiki communities by establishing structures of support, protocols of communication and methods for documentation
- CIS-A2K would aim to partner with institutions (educational, cultural, social and entertainment)to bring resources and provide platforms for the use of Indic WIkimedians
- Localise and customise global best practices to align with the ideas and projects developed by Indic Wikimedians
- Create a robust Global South network of like-minded organisations from Wikimedia movement, FOSS, and other Free Knowledge Organisations to discuss a collaborative strategy
With the introduction of smartphones and availability of cheap/free internet in India, there has been a significant rise of data consumers. While most of these users browse the internet using Indian languages for purposes of entertainment, infotainment, and information, there has also been a steady rise in the number of people who look for content that can be termed as knowledge, facts and verifiable information. It is unfortunate that there are very few services, portals, websites catering knowledge-based content. The immense addiction that can be seen in almost any city, town and village is a testimonial that there is enough and more content out in the digital world and cloud services for people to indulge and gossip about.
CIS-A2K aims to use the smartphone penetration, increased availability of the internet, growing familiarity with technology to its advantage and introduce Wikimedia movement to passive seekers of Knowledge to active producers of Knowledge. The A2K team is well aware that it will not only be facing structural and infrastructural impediments but also will be up against stereotypes, reluctance, and plain bad luck while implementing this proposal.
The CIS-A2K team would like to champion the idea of Wikimedia Projects being Free and Credible across Indic language users both digital and nondigital. In another strategy, A2K team has identified through the current work plan, active consultation with the community and strategic discussions with like-minded organisations areas where in editors can be cultivated, groomed and content can be produced and curated. The proposal plan is a reflection of the conditions in Indian languages and communities where technology is both seen as an enabler (for communication, commerce, and social interactions) but is also seen as an impediment (for areas such as education, heritage and erosion of cultural values). It is in this context that CIS-A2K has drafted this proposal plan assimilating the learning from our previous work and cautious about our challenges in the future.
For the drafting of the proposal plan, conducting needs assessments for A2K team's activities:
- Consult the community (Village pump, IRC, Mailing lists and talk pages)
- Rolling out of Surveys
- Focused discussion and unpacking of the survey responses with the help of experienced Wikimedians and subject experts.
For implementing program activities:
- Community consultation
- Needs assessment
- Pilot activities
- Learning and evaluation strategies are implemented
- Program audit with lessons learnt and changes to be made are recorded
- Feedback from the participants and partner institutions
- Comprehensive reports including failures and areas of improvement
Performance against plans and projected targets
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Work plan verticals
Detailed work plan for each of the verticals may be seen here (in alphabetical order):
CIS-A2K appreciates your valuable feedback and comments. 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 verticals, please write on the discussion page of the respective language plan.
- Alternatively you could also share your feedback over e-mail at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the subject line "Feedback on Work Plan 2017-2018".
- If you feel that there is a need to discuss any aspect of the plan before sharing your feedback, please write to us and we can set up a Hangout/Skype/telephone call.