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Over the past couple of years, CIS-A2K has made fledgling attempts to try and engage Indic Wikimedia communities with the global Wikimedia movement. We have encouraged communities to apply for the IEG and PEG- grants that are sure to throw greater light on some of the industrious efforts made by the Indic Wikimedia communities. These connections ensure that the volunteers are motivated to be a part of the global Wikimedia movement. This year, we attempt to take this further and facilitate the knowledge transfer and collaboration between the Indic Wikimedia communities and the global movement. In directing our communities towards these ideas and concepts, they may then choose to localise them to suit the needs of their respective communities. Engaging with a wide variety of communities, cultures, and sensibilities helps develop a more holistic perspective which may then be reflected in the quality of content. Such localisation of content helps inform Wikimedia policies and guidelines at the community level as well. CIS-A2K plans to take up the global engagement component with more vigour in the upcoming plan year by incorporating it across languages and activities. We believe that openly available global lessons from Wikimedia chapters and affiliates must be studied, understood and used to help communities in India. CIS-A2K will aim to leverage its access to these lessons, organisations and peoples to bring the best of technical and content related components to Indian Wikipedia communities. CIS-A2K hopes that the global engagement initiative changes from passive learning to that of active collaboration. CIS-A2K's plan to create an engagement between Indic Wikimedia communities and global entities and global Wikimedians is in line with our strategic plan June 2016 - July 2018:
- Building Leadership: While the Indic language Wikimedia communities successfully continue their efforts in contributing to Wikipedia, there is a need for more community leaders to emerge. Identifying community leaders and grooming them is essential for the long term stability of the communities. CIS-A2K will endeavour to close the gap between these community leaders and global best practices.
- Optimization of Opportunities: In engaging with global Wikimedia chapters and affiliates, CIS-A2K will attempt to leverage its access to these networks to catalyze the growth of Indian Wikimedia communities. By making these connections possible, CIS-A2K hopes to enable communities to also optimize the inter-regional opportunities available to them in India as well as the world at large.
- Idea Exchange platform for Indian Wikimedia Communities: CIS-A2K will attempt to bring Indic Wikimedians closer to the global movement. However, not every idea is of a completely transferable nature. In order to localise it to more than one Indic language community, discussions will take place around the different aspects of a project.
In our endeavour to engage the Indic Wikimedians globally, we hope to achieve four aims:
- Learning: CIS-A2K believes there is a lot to be learnt from the global Wikimedia movement for the organisation as well as the communities. While global interactions have happened in isolation among Wikimedians in the Indian context, we believe that by formulating a process of global interactions made available to Indic Wikimedians will enable CIS-A2K to learn important lessons on how best to serve the Indic Wikimedia communities and their specific needs.
- Global best practices: While the work of Indic Wikimedias have grown rapidly over the years, we believe that helping communities adapt global best practices and enabling the communities to localise them will give the work universally recognisable structure and context.
- Performance auditing: CIS-A2K has always maintained open channels of communications at various levels. Having engaged with several Wikimedia communities and organisations, we believe in upping the level of scrutiny of our work, performance, plans, ideas and suggestions through discussions, deliberations and feedback. Engaging globally will further enable the team to scaled up the level of accountability and openness to our evaluation.
- Exploring new avenues: The global engagement plan is also an effort to reorient the work of CIS-A2K to the changing landscape of Wikipedia around the world. By charting unfamiliar courses and exploring new territories, CIS-A2K hopes to find new avenues for collaboration, both with Wikimedia chapters and affiliates as well as external organisations that express an interest to work with the free knowledge movement.
In introducing our work plan, we would like to state our thanks to the global Wikimedia chapters and affiliates whose work we have drawn inspiration from. While we believe that sharing of resources is important, the meticulous documentation of their success stories has helped us frame our Global Engagement work plan. The work plan table below details the Global Engagement initiatives proposed by CIS-A2K for the upcoming grant period. The table lists:
- the theme based activities that will be undertaken,
- the Wikimedia projects that the activity will take place on,
- the nature of the activity,
- the challenges that these activities are likely to face,
- the expected takeaways from these activities and
- the rationale behind conducting them.
These activities have been inspired by the works of global Wikimedia chapters and affiliates. These engagements will ideally take place in collaboration with the Wikimedia chapters and affiliates that have become globally renowned for these projects and best practices. We have received positive responses from the chapters we have approached. We are looking forward to receiving more replies over the coming days and weeks and formulate a structured proposal for these collaborations. While active collaboration is the ideal scenario, the priority would be to conduct these events in a manner that the communities envision.
|Thematic Activity||Inspired By||Wikimedia Project Involved||Nature of Activity||Rationale||Takeaway||Challenges|
|Indi Spring 2017||CEE Spring 2016||Wikipedia||Online and offline edit-a-thons||To adopt a pan-Indian approach to our activities||Inter-community understanding/ collaboration Quantity and quality of articles||Cultivating community interest|
|Hyperlocal QRpedia||Wikimedia UK||Wikipedia, Wikidata||Reach||Building of local communities and creating Wiki-friendly neighbourhoods||Awareness of local knowledge||Since the event is hyperlocal, there may notability issues|
|Wikimedian in Residence||Wikimedia UK||Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons||In-house community strengthening||To strengthen community participation in institutional initiatives and introduce external institutions to the Wikimedia movement||Communities learning the essentials of institutional collaboration Institution would get exposure to and can partake in the free knowledge movement||Aligning the missions of the Wikimedian and the organisation|
|Wikipedia Asian Month||Wikipedia Asian Month||Wikipedia||Article creation, online and offline edit-a-thons||Increasing diversity of content related to Asia||Awareness of Asia-related topics and content||Since the activity involves countries that are not the volunteers’ own, it could prove challenging to find references and citations for the same. We intend to overcome this by conducting the event at libraries or other well-stocked resource centres|
|Wikispeech||Wikimedia Sverige||Wikispeech||Creating text to speech resources||Taking Wikipedia’s information resources in Indic languages to people who have not received formal education or are unable to read for different reasons||Text to speech accessibility could be useful for several schools and colleges that work with differently abled students.||Lack of availability of dedicated resource persons across languages as this is a time consuming activity|
|Wiki Loves Libraries||Wiki Loves Initiatives||Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia||Online photo contest||Exploring and understanding the role of libraries in helping Wikipedia||Using physical libraries to help the work of Wikimedians, especially with regard to resources for references and citations||Availability and accessibility of background information on the libraries approached|
|WikiMOOC||French WikiMOOC||Wikipedia, MediaWiki platform||Article and policy creation||Introducing the concept of MOOC to Indic Wikipedias and especially to students who would be able to make use of these resources to contribute to Wikipedia||Students introduced and integrated to Wikipedia activities||Integrating the program with WEP|
|Technical Wishes||Wikimedia Deutschland||MediaWiki et al||Workshops||Resolving the technical challenges faced by Indic Wikimedians||Enabling Indic Wikimedians to conduct technical troubleshoot within their communities||The ratio of requests received and resolved may be skewed due to the absence of a dedicated technical team|
|Women in Red||Wiki Project Women in Red||Wikipedia||Article creation, online and offline edit-a-thons||To channel the global efforts made during Women's History Month onto Indic Wikimedia communities||Enabling women's voices and "herstories" to be told on Wikipedia||Availability and accessibility of resources for offline edit-a-thons|
|Dalit History Month||Whose Knowledge||Wikipedia||Article creation, edit-a-thons||To create global and national awareness on the celebration of subaltern cultures and populations||Learning how best to increase and represent the voices of minorities and vulnerable populations||Given the delicate nature of the topic, we expect extensive community review in attempting to conduct the event|
|Facts Matter||Wikimedia Foundation||Wikipedia||Offline edit-a-thons||Exploring the relationship between the fact-based Indic Wikimedia communities and the media||Throwing light on fact-based Wikipedia policies that are being glossed over today||Editor retention post event|
|Heritage Month||Wikimedia Sverige and Wikimedia Argentina||Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons||Photo walks, article creation||Building of local communities and creating Wiki-friendly neighbourhoods||Understanding local heritage and creating global awareness||Receiving necessary permissions from local authorities and municipal corporations|
Indi Spring 2017
Wikimedian in Residence
Wiki Loves Libraries
Wikipedia Asian Month
Women in Red
Dalit History Month
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|Metric||Desi Spring||Hyperlocal QRpedia||Wikimedian in Residence||Wiki Loves Libraries||Wikipedia Asian Month||Wikispeech||WikiMOOC||Technical Wishes||Women in Red||Dalit History Month||Facts Matter||Heritage Month|
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