FAQ India Programs/FAQ Wikimedia India Program Trust
Wikimedia India Program Trust Q&A
Can you give some more background of the Trustees?
Sunil Abraham is the Executive Director of the Centre for Internet and Society. He founded Mahiti in 1998 which aims to reduce the cost and complexity of Information and Communication Technology for the Voluntary Sector by using Free Software. Between June 2004 and June 2007, Sunil also managed the International Open Source Network a project of United Nations Development Programme's Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme serving 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Sunil is not an editor but supports the Wikimedia community and movement. (Community & Chapter meetings in Bangalore for instance are regularly held at CIS's office.)
Rahul Matthan is a founding partner and heads up the technology practice at Trilegal, a leading law firm in India. He has advised Government of India departments on policy matters including on the framework for the national spatial data infrastructure and data protection. He has advised on bringing e-governance solutions to various municipalities around the country. Rahul [User:Rahul] is not an active editor, but he is a long time user of Wikipedia and his username was created way back in 2003.
How many people will work as part of the Trust in India? What will they do?
The India team will be a small, agile group currently planned to be 5 people strong. Team members will support a number of things - all focused on increasing the number of people who edit Wikipedia and improving the availability of Wikipedia on mobile and offline devices. The team will work to grow the communities who work on English and Indic language editions of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. A series of important programs have been planned by the India team - such as the India Education Program. In addition, a digital outreach plan is proposed to support community outreach efforts to encourage, recruit and nurture new editors.
What is the Wikimedia India Community and the Wikimedia India Chapter and how are they different from the Wikimedia India Program Trust?
The Wikimedia community in India can be described in two parts: self-organizing Wikimedia volunteers and the Wikimedia India Chapter. Both parts work in support of the common movement, but do so in varying ways.
Wikimedia India volunteers consist of Wikimedians or Wikipedians living in all parts of the India who self-organize by the project or activity that they work on. Project groups can be based on a particular language or subject; for instance, there are projects dedicated to contributing to Hindi Wikipedia, or groups conducting activities in certain geographic regions of India such as the Bangalore community. The primary activity of volunteers is editing Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects. They actually create and manage projects like Wikipedia.
Wikimedia India Chapter refers to the volunteer-led, independent nonprofit organisation based in Bangalore that is affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation. It is registered as a society in Karnataka.
Wikimedia India Program Trust is an independent public trust functioning to catalyze the growth of the Wikimedia community in India. The Trust will focus its activities on the Wikimedia movement’s strategy and will have a prescribed strategy that it follows. The Trust will cooperate with the Wikimedia India Chapter and will not seek to take on roles that the Chapter is well positioned to fulfill. It is expected that the Trust will operate until such a time as the Chapter and/or other groups in the community can provide sustainable support for the Wikimedia community in India.
Wikimedia Foundation Q&A
How will the Wikimedia Foundation support programs in India?
Currently, a few independent consultants have been engaged to develop and manage a series of program activities that will support the growth of the Wikimedia editing community in India.
WMF is committed to supporting the Wikimedia India Chapter. There are individual community members in India and abroad that can assist the Trust in its mission, and the independent contractors will engage to support the mission in India and globally.
What is the central goal of the Wikimedia movement’s efforts in India?
Our number one goal in India is to encourage more people in India to edit and use Wikipedia. We hope to encourage Indians to join the Wikimedia movement, and focus on creating information resources that are truly a product of the local language and culture. Ultimately, we imagine a world where Indians contribute and share the information they know with both English and Indic language communities in India and around the world.
Why is the Wikimedia Foundation and the Trust focusing on India?
The Wikimedia Foundation recently completed an open, strategic planning process with our community of volunteers which resulted in a five-year roadmap for the Wikimedia movement and the Foundation. One of the top priorities was the need to help volunteers to self-organize and increase readers and contributors in the Global South. From there, we saw India as a priority.
There were a number of reasons for this priority, including the large number of Internet users coming online every day; the fact that Wikipedia is already used actively; and the local community of active volunteers is growing. The Foundation and the Trust also see India as a great place to learn more about supporting and growing smaller language projects, as well as mobile and offline product development.
The work in India will be an important pilot and will really help the Foundation determine the path for other, broader global work. We also see opportunities to develop global capabilities around mobile and offline products, since India is at the forefront of innovations in these areas.
What is Wikimedia and the Wikimedia Movement?
Wikimedia is a global, volunteer-driven movement shaped by a mutual vision and a set of core values shared by millions of people all over the world. Together, we “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge” and as a community, we are focused on this goal. This goal is realized by the creation of a number of important projects including Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wiktionary and many others. Wikimedia is a decentralized movement comprised of readers, editors, the Wikimedia Foundation, 35 national chapters, advisers and like-minded organizations - each playing different formal and informal leadership and support roles.
We believe that knowledge should be free and shared with everyone because that access to information empowers people to make important decisions about the world around them. We strive to provide the most reliable, unbiased and complete information available and prioritize efforts that empower disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.
What is the Wikimedia Foundation?
The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organisation that operates Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, based in the United States in San Francisco, California and led by Executive Director, Sue Gardner. The Foundation staff supports the work of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who contribute information to the Wikimedia projects. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees articulates the mission and vision of the Wikimedia Foundation and is the ultimate organizational authority of the Wikimedia Foundation.
The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the largest of several free knowledge projects supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. A full list of our projects can be found here: http://www.wikimedia.org/