Grants:Conference/WikiConference India 2020
This Wikimedia Foundation grant has a fiscal sponsor. The Centre for Internet & Society administered the grant on behalf of User:KCVelaga and User:Pavan santhosh.s.
Purpose and vision
WikiConference India (WCI) aims to bring Wikimedia community members across India and/or working closely with Indic communities to improve cross-community connections and exchange knowledge and experience. Though there have been attempts for community growth at a community level, regional cooperation and nation-wide vision are necessary. The first WikiConference was held in 2011 in Mumbai, followed by 2016 in Chandigarh, and the next one is proposed to take 2020 in Hyderabad. Since 2016, communities in India have grown in various terms, such as the number of contributors, diversity of contributors, content on Wikimedia projects, governance, movement organisers, regional and national projects/events. All this has contributed to significant learning by various community members, communities and affiliates, which has to be brought together into a single platform and, share and learn from each other. WCI is the platform that we are proposing to connect and consolidate the links between a diversity of learning and sharing experiences.
The broad goals of WikiConference India 2020 are:
- to promote, develop, strengthen, and support the collaboration between Wikimedia users, projects, communities, affiliates, and stakeholders in the region.
- to support sharing the knowledge, experience and best practices among participants, and offer a space for them to improve their skills, discuss on persistent issues and cherish each other’s work.
- to support the growth of smaller communities by connecting them with experienced Wikimedians, established communities and affiliates.
- to document the learning from various activities, which include projects, campaigns, events etc. by various community members in the past four years, for later use.
The specific goals of WikiConference India 2020 are:
- to lay the foundation to make WCI a sustainable practice for Indic Wikimedians, which would take place at least bi-annually.
- to engage communities by conducting a content creation campaign, towards the conference months, focusing on producing quality local content rather than quantity.
- to initiate, facilitate, and materialise conversations that would help in the formation of a sustainable cross-community platform, which would serve as a support and advocacy group of Wikimedia in India.
- to well document A-Z of planning and execution of the entire project, to serve as a substantial resource for future organisers of WCI or any other major conference in the movement.
- to understand specific technical needs of Wikimedians contributing to Indic and other relevant multilingual projects, and post-prioritization, make sure that these are addressed through a robust hackathon plan.
- to introduce and welcome stakeholder groups aligned with Wikimedia's vision to the movement activities and communities in India, for further collaborations.
|Proposed date(s)||17 - 20 December 2020|
|Proposed location||Hyderabad, Telangana, India|
|Number of participants||250 – 300|
|Event page||wci.wikimedia.org[lower-alpha 1]|
|Primary contact person||User:KCVelaga|
Note: The Community Engagement Survey conducted has been quite beneficial to understand the state of communities in India, and their expectations from the conference. Keeping in view of its importance, with sponsorship from The Centre for Internet & Society - Access to Knowledge, professional research services were hired to interpret and report on the survey results. This provided us with a quite detailed 16-page report, which is available for reference at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/Report_of_Community_Engagement_Survey_for_WikiConference_India_2020.pdf. As the report is quite elaborate with specifics, this table should only be considered as a summary and for quick reading only. For broader understand, please read the original report.
What are the top issues affecting your community that need to be discussed in person?
Are there important skills that many people in your community need to learn?
Are there joint projects that need to be planned in person?
Are there other in-person activities are important for community building?
- 1. How many people did you send the survey to? How many people responded to the survey?
- A total of 114 community members participated in the survey, of which 92 (81%) were males and 21 (18%) were females, while one member identified themselves as a non-binary. All the respondents have answered all the quantitative questions. It is observed that very few have skipped open ended questions; however, such respondents are insignificant in number.
- 2. Did you see consensus around shared goals that this community wants to focus on in the next 12 months? What were the top 2 goals?
- Those who work on regional languages feel that there should be more emphasis on creating quality content on regional languages, rather quantity, which has been in practice for a long time now -- communities need to build mechanisms to strictly rectify the mistakes that come through Google Translate (often used by many editors) and even the Content Translation Tool before they go live. Use of Wikimedia projects in Education seems to be one of the important concerns of community members, reason being that mass production of articles without proper quality control measures and the respective 11 communities not being involved in the development and curation of the program and the articles respectively.
- Also, on-boarding new Wikipedians is important according to few, one respondent states “More outreach events should be planned because the number of users is less and more trained users are needed”. This is important in case of Wikipedians who contribute in regional languages as the number of contributors is less and the demand is huge due to rapid increase in people’s access to the Internet, and the need for the content in their native languages. One of the members has raised concerned of biased editing of articles saying that “Resisting communal bias and political agenda in editing of Wikipedia articles”.
- 3. Based on survey responses, what are the most important things your community should do at the conference to achieve those goals?
- Based on the survey, capacity development should be prioritised more than any other aspects during the conference. It was felt by many that, it would be good to learn such skills by meeting other Wikimedians and forming sustainable connections, which can later be followed up if needed. Apart from that, many editors who largely contribute content on Wikimedia projects, felt the need to improve their technical skills, such as using the Phabricator, and writing Lua-based templates on Wikis. Also, community members have reported various aspects of various problems they face, be it while contributing online or while organising outreach and being part of governing structures, the conference should be providing enough time and space for people to discuss more on these issues and brainstorm on potential solutions, which can later be materialised.
- 1. What inspired your community to begin planning this event?
- For a country like India, which has more than 20 language communities, cross-community collaborations are very crucial for skill sharing and thereby contributing to capacity building and community development. Though collaborations are made online, in a majority of the cases, cross-community connections are made during in-person events, which have Wikimedians from various languages and projects. The national conference for Wikimedia community in India, WikiConference India (WCI) is important to facilitate and forge cross-community links. Also, there is a need for community members from across the diversity we have, to come together in-person, learn, share and brainstorm on a range of topics. These discussions would not otherwise be possible given the communication barrier that on-Wiki conversations generally have. The last WCI happened in 2016, and there has been any national-level event of that scale since then. By the time, WCI 2020 takes place, it would have been more than four years since the last conference. Apart from laying a foundation for many cross-community connections, WCI 2016 also groomed several leaders in the community, who have later led several activities across the country.
- Initially, the idea had been discussed with other community members and language communities -- including the proposal that WCI 2020 to be hosted in Hyderabad, Telangana. To get a primary understanding of the community’s interest and opinion regarding the idea, the initial conversations were started. After substantial support, which includes 92 Wikimedians and 14 language communities (post having discussions on their respective village pumps) endorsing the idea, a national IRC was hosted in October 2019 to address concerns/doubts people might have had, which was followed by a formal resolution from Wikimedians of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to host the conference. All the above-mentioned discussions and proceedings are documented on this page and its talk page. Post conclusion of the initial conversations, which gave us the confidence that the community is quite interested and supportive of the idea, we have started proceeding with the actual planning of the event.
- 2. How does this event relate to other activities that your community is working on?
- The first WikiConference India took place in 2011 in Mumbai and the second WCI, and also the latest one took place in 2016 in Chandigarh, and we are proposing the next one to take place in 2020 in Hyderabad. As mentioned above, considering the period from 2016, there has been substantial growth in many communities. A large number of activities had been organised by communities and individual Wikimedians, at regional and national level. At regional and community level, we have witnessed annual community events such as Hindi Wikipedia Conference, Tamil Wikipedia Celebrations, Wiki-sangamotsavam etc. outreach and community development activities such as, Telugu Wikipedia Village Articles Project, Government of Odisha’s media donation, collaborations with organisations such as Gujarat Vishw Kosh Trust, Tamil Virtual Academy, Wikipedia Takes Kolkata, Alva's Wikipedia Student's Association, Wikimedian in Residence at SEABA School, VVIT WikiConnect, and national/cross-community activities such as Wiki Loves Monuments, Wikigraphists Bootcamp, Women Train the Trainer, SVG Translation Campaign, Wiki Women for Women Wellbeing, Independence Day Wikidata Label-a-thon, Wiki Loves Butterfly, to name a few, all of which have been organised by volunteers. There have also been activities as Asaf’s Wikidata Tour, in which Wikimedians and CIS-A2K took parts to organise multiple regional events across the country, which had a significant impact on the Wikidata community in India. Apart from the ones organised communities, CIS-A2K also had organised some notable activities such as Train the Trainer and Project Tiger (GLOW), by collaborating with communities wherever needed.
- All these events, projects, and campaigns, have helped the communities to grow, build their capacities, content on various Wikimedia projects, and further replicate ideas to contribute to the overall growth. Though there have been several national-level events and projects that happened post-2016, most of them have limited participation, and in a majority of the cases, they are theme/topic-specific. Also, in the past four years, the community (in India as a whole) and also individual language-based communities have witnessed notable growth in various aspects. There have been several new projects, campaigns and events community members explored over these years. All this collectively contributes to enormous amounts of skill, knowledge, learning, and experience, which are to be shared with others and simultaneously learn. To bring all of this together into a platform that would help to develop a dialogue at the national level, WikiConference India is the best way ahead.
- 3. Please list the priorities identified in the report from the last conference organized by this community. What progress have you made in those areas?
- Report of WikiConference India 2016 can be referred to Grants:PEG/Community of Wikimedians in India/WikiConference India 2016/Report. Though the report of WCI 2016, does not explicitly mention any priorities as such, it is important to discuss a few things that community members felt important during the WCI 2016, later pursued and made progress in those areas. Firstly, along with communities growing, the governance and the organizational structures of communities have made notable progress. By the time of WCI 2016, there were only two Wikimedia affiliates in India, Wikimedia India and Punjabi Wikimedians User Group, the latter hosted the 2016’s conference. Though the national chapter is not currently active, several other affiliates have come into play, today we have ten affiliates in India, several more in our neighbouring countries Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, which have active Wikimedians. Though there have been issues of governance and conflict resolution that came up with the growth of affiliates, it is better than having no form of governance at all. User Groups such as the West Bengal Wikimedians User Group have consistently executed annual plans with a pre-planning and allocated budget for several fiscal years now. This progress has not only made organising for Wikimedia easier and more structured, but they have also given a chance to Wikimedians to participate in international platforms such as the Wikimedia Summit and share their learning back with their home communities.
- Post-2016, we have also witnessed significant developments in terms of contributions to Wikimedia projects other than Wikipedia, to mention specifically Wikidata and Wikisource. The Wikidata community had a jump start after Asaf Bartov’s Wikidata Tour in India, several regional training events, national campaigns took place to post that. WikiProject India on Wikidata took shape and has been active ever since. Though we still do not have a huge community in numbers, the activity is significantly larger compared to 2016. Same is the case with Wikisource as well. Though we did not add many new languages to Wikisource, as many of them existed by 2016, there was significant growth in the activity.[lower-alpha 2]
- Also, the technical community in India had significant progress. Although again, we don’t have many contributors to MediaWiki and other Wikimedia technical spaces, in terms of numbers, consistent efforts have been put in to grow. These include, but not limited to, MWT and establishment of Indic-TechCom. The latter had helped several communities to resolve and fill long-standing technical gaps and challenges faced by communities across India. As mentioned in the above paras, there has been substantial progress in several areas, but simultaneously we have also been facing several challenges in our efforts to grow. WikiConference India 2020 will focus on these gaps and ensure that these persistent issues are discussed during the conference, and follow-up plans are laid.
- 4. If your community has hosted a similar conference in the past, what key lessons were learned, and what would you like to improve on?
- We have been in constant contact with the organisers of WCI 2016, to learn and try not to repeat things that did not go well during the last conference, also minimize the risks. One of the key learning was that it isn’t a feasible choice to organise such a huge conference at educational institutions. Though institutions can be good partners and act as stakeholders, having them as a venue often leads to last-minute complications that arise to multi-layered hierarchy, especially for events having huge participation. In this regard, we would like to host at a hotel only, though it might increase the budget a bit. Also, in Hyderabad, as there are many other places across India when accommodation and food are contracted with a hotel, banquet halls and other conference facilities are provided free of charge. This will also make things easy from an organising point of view.
- Also, for this conference, we would like to support at least three Wikimedians internationally who are deeply associated with one or more Indian communities and are actively taking part in helping communities to grow and thrive. This has not been possible during the last conference, but we have included a budget item for their participation in this conference. Several other improvements include being aware and getting started with the processes of informing respective government agencies, having maximum required budget to avoid financial strain in the last minute, planning well in advance for external sponsorship to increase participation, promotion of the event well in advance before the dates to attract registrations, capping the maximum number of participants to be hosted, having formal processes to build the organising team and structure, and paid outsourcing of certain tedious tasks of organising to avoid overload and burnout of volunteers post-conference.
- 1. What is your plan for the Conference program?
- The Conference program will be designed by the Program Committee, which will comprise of both Wikimedia volunteers, certain staff members of WMF or CIS-A2K (in their volunteer capacity), and a couple of external experts from related groups. The Program will be having the three major components -- before the conference, during the conference and after the conference. We would like a program to be developed not just for the conference days, but something that will start engaging the potential participants 1-2 months before the conference. This will take care on how the planned content-creation campaign, Mini - Hackathon, community conversations etc. lead up to the actual Conference.
- For time during the conference, there are two major components again, a day of pre-conference and three days of main conference. Pre-conference will include sessions such as the learning days, photowalks, thematic edit-a-thons, and any other sessions depending on the need. The main conference is expected to have 4-5 parallel tracks running, with everything being well-documented. Though we haven’t finalised a theme for the main conference program, we are exploring “Quality content and contextual knowledge”, which came up after analysing the results of the Community Engagement Survey. Along with the general sessions, hackathon will be running parallely right from the pre-conference day, and is expected to conclude on the second day of the main conference, followed by a showcase on the last day. A plan/program for engaging the participants post conference would be devised in advance, so as to design the main conference program in way it would lay the initial steps to continue engaging later.
- 2. Please explain your Program Design process
- Design of the Conference program will initially kickstart with a detailed survey simultaneously completed with a qualitative research across communities and groups with potential participants. All this will be synthesized and passed on to the Program committee -- we planning to seek the help of Learning and Evaluation at WMF in this regard. As suggested by one of our advisers, Cornelius Kibelka, it will always be kept in consideration that the conference should be treated as a point of peak engagement where people come with a clear agenda and continue upon something that they have started before the conference, and then with significant progress made during the conference, this has to be taken forward post-conference, that is to continue to engage. The Program will be designed to facilitate a connection between these three phases of participation of a participant.
Venue and Logistics
- 1. If the venue is more than 1 hour away from a major airport or transportation hub, how will participants travel to the event venue?
- The venue city is going be Hyderabad, and major transportation hub from which we are expecting the majority of the participants to arrive from is the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. For arrivals, we will be hiring cab/bus service depending on the need to shuttle between the hotel and the airport or transportation hubs such as the bus and railway station. If any participant doesn’t arrive within a certain period, they can opt for private cabs which are available 24/7 in the city to reach the hotel. A similar practise would be followed during the day of departures as well. This will help to move people in batches, reducing the logistical efforts and the costs incurred on airport transfers.
- 2. Is the event venue within walking distance from the hotel? If not, how will people travel between the two locations?
- As mentioned in one of the above sections, we would like to have the venue and the accommodation at the same place, as learning from the previous conference. This would minimize the commutation during the conference days. Also, in Hyderabad, as it is in many of the major Indian cities if both the accommodation and the food are booked with the hotel, banquet halls/conference rooms are provided at free of cost.
- Though we initially thought of having institutional partners for venue support, the idea has later been dropped after learning from the organisers of WCI 2016, regarding complicated bureaucratic procedures organisations have and also since we will be getting banquet halls/conference rooms at free of cost, there is no point in opting for a different venue. However, we would be extensively looking for institutional partners in other aspects of the conference, such as sponsorships, subject matter expertise (ex: sustainable practices) etc.
- 3. Is the event venue and hotel accessible for people with physical disabilities?
- Yes, we will make sure that the hotel, which includes the accommodation and the venue is accessible for people with physical disabilities. Different teams are being formed in the organisation structure, which will also include the Diversity & Inclusion team, which will make sure the necessary arrangements for such things are in place for the conference.
- 4. Do you anticipate any challenges with using the space for the event you are planning?
- We are trying to have everything at one place i.e. venue, accommodation, food and other requirements, through which we expect to minimize the majority of the problems that arise with complicated logistic arrangements. However, we do anticipate challenges in the event space in two aspects.
- Firstly, since everything would be at the same place proper arrangements to guide the participants to respective spots, such session rooms, main hall, food hall, washrooms etc. to avoid participants being overwhelmed and have a smooth experience of participating in the conference.
- Secondly, though we have an estimate of certain groups of participants that we would be hosting, such as scholarship recipients, organisers, WMF staff, additional invitees etc. we are not very sure how many registrations we would be attracting, as there would be an open call for registrations to participate in the conference. There is a risk where we might have registrations more than the count that can be handled by venue -- to minimise this we would be having been promoting registration and close them as early as possible. However, a buffer for last-minute additions will be present.
Friendly space policy
- As of the date of submitting the grant proposal, we would like to adopt Wikimedia Foundation’s Friendly Space Policy for the conference proceedings and the larger project activities. However, after forming a Trust & Safety team post-funding decision, they will work drafting a more detailed version, adding points of regional relevance wherever needed. We will be in touch with WMF before finalising the policy.
- 1. Please describe the target audience for this conference or event.
- The target audience we are thinking of as now could be primarily be divided into three broad categories -- participants from the Wikimedia movement, participants from other stakeholder groups aligned with the mission of Wikimedia, and participants who do not fit in the first two groups but are interested to participate in the conference. Though there would attempt to accommodate the participation of the third group as well, the conference program and the budgetary expenses would primarily focus on the participation for the first two groups.
- The first group—participants from the Wikimedia movement—include, but not limited to, Wikimedians and staffers of WMF + affiliates/partners. The second group—participants from other stakeholder groups aligned with the mission of Wikimedia—include, but not limited to, people from open-source communities such as Creative Commons, Mozilla, internet-based organisations companies such as Google, Quora, and cultural and educational organisations such as GLAMs and NGOs working on access to education. The Program Committee will strongly consider designing a program that would blend these two groups well for sustainable growth of the movement in India. All these groups would largely have people from India, connected or have/had closely worked with Indian Wikimedia communities, or in the larger settings of open access, access to knowledge or the internet.
- 2. If your conference has an outreach component, how will you ensure engagement with these participants after the conference, and what impact do you see them having on the projects?
- The outreach component of the conference could be observed majorly in two aspects -- a content creation campaign that is to be organised leading the conference, and designing a program that would be quite welcoming and engaging to other stakeholder groups of Wikimedia.
- The first component, a content generation campaign, will be based on the model of Punjab Edit-a-thon conducted during WCI 2016. However, the campaign for 2020 will encourage quality content by focusing on well-curated lists/categories for the campaign. For the second component, various stakeholders would be identified and the Program Committee will ensure that there would be at least a few sessions for people from these groups to participate in the conference. Besides, the Program Committee will include one or two experts from those groups to maintain a balance of opinion.
- Regarding the post-conference plan, the content-generation campaign would be analysed and reported upon. The option regular IRCs (at least three iterations until six months of the conference) is being considered to engage the participants' post-conference to understand how connections made during the conference are impacting their work. This would simultaneously be combined with two extensive surveys which are conducted two months and five months after the conference. These IRCs may also be kept open to other stakeholder groups so that they continue to engage with the movement.
- Also, as mentioned above, one of the key goals of this conference is to facilitate the formation of a national platform/body, which would support and advocate for communities in India. If we are successful in achieving this, this group would be tasked to proactive follow up with ideas and projects that took birth as a result of this conference and support respective individuals in materialising those plans.
- 3. Are you thinking about inviting WMF staff to attend or participate in the event? If yes, please list individuals or teams who you may want to invite, or describe how you would like WMF staff to be involved in the event.
- We would like all the WMF staffers (technical and non-technical) residing in India to participate in the conference. Many of the staff members in India especially the ones on the technical front are largely disconnected with the community, but their expertise will greatly benefit the community members’ work. We would like to bridge that gap.
- Apart from the above mentioned, we would like to invite the following staff members. In areas where do not have specific individuals, we have mentioned the team names.
- Teams (apart from the above mentioned)
- 1-2 members from Community Resources
- 2-3 members from Community Programs (distributed over GLAM, TWL, and Education)
- 1-2 member from Communications
- 1 member from Legal
- 1 member from Learning and Evaluation
- 3-4 members from Product/Technology (expertise on mobile platforms, tools.wmflabs.org, community wishlist
- 1. How many scholarships would you like to offer?
- The scholarships would be giving the following categories;
S.No. Description Number of units 1. Wikimedians residing in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana[lower-alpha 3] 20 2. Wikimedians residing in India 90 3. Wikimedians residing in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka 10 4. Wikimedians closely associated with the Indian community, but not residing in any of the above mentioned regions 3
- Apart from the scholarships awarded to Wikimedians, depending on the needs of the Program and upon consultation with the Program Committee, 5-10 individuals (experts, facilitators etc.) nationally and internationally may be invited. This will also depend upon the budgetary constraints.
- 2. What expenses will the scholarship cover?
- Travel fare (Flight/Train/Bus)
- Airport transfers (home city and venue city)
- Visa charges (for participants from outside India, if applicable)
- Accommodation (on twin-sharing basis)
- Meals and refreshments during the conference days
- Other incidentals incurred in relation with the conference (such as food during travel)
- 3. How will scholarship recipients be selected?
- As answered the first question in this section, we will be awarding scholarships in four different categories -- decisions regarding the award of scholarships will be made by the volunteer-driven Scholarships Committee, after duly reviewing the quantitative and qualitative contributions, participation goals, and potential future engagement, of an individual to the movement. Due consideration will also be given to the Diversity & Inclusion criteria laid out on beforehand. This will include criteria over, languages, gender, home Wikimedia project, new vs experienced etc. These will be decided before the call for scholarships is sent out. Final decisions will be made post discussion and approval from respective Program Officer at WMF.
- It is also to note that the scholarships process for Wikimedians outside India (categories 1, 3, & 4) may be initiated earlier than the call for the Wikimedians residing in India -- also, decision making for the former will be prioritised, as we would be needing to reach out to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, and Cyberabad Metropolitan Police, for obtaining necessary permissions for foreigners to participate in the conference.
Resources and risks
- Organizing team
Team/Role Name(s) WMF Liaison and Project Lead Krishna Chaitanya Velaga Conference Chair Pavan Santhosh S Conference Program Satdeep Gill Scholarships tbd Communications Nivas Ramisetty Trust & Safety tbd Logistics and Local Organising Pranayraj Vangari Finance Gopala Krishna A Technical Support Jay Prakash Advisory & Support Tanveer Hasan A K
Sirish Kumar Tummala
Praveen Das (WMF)
Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE)
- What is your plan to build the organising team for the WCI?
- Currently, we only have gotten a few individuals on board to help us draft the grant application, the above-listed individuals do not constitute the entire organising team. Post the grant funding decision, there will be a call for organisers for Wikimedians from various language communities across the country to take part in organising the conference. This will take into consideration of people’s interest and area of expertise. As it is a national conference, this will make sure all the communities actively take part in its development. However, the Logistics and Local Organising team will be limited to individuals residing in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, because this would require to physically travel and make on-ground arrangements. Also, in addition to the above-listed teams, an external fundraising/sponsorship team will be formed and any other teams, as the need be.
|Anticipated Risk||Probable measures to minimise the risks|
|Participation of foreign nationals which includes, scholarship recipients from neighbouring countries, Wikimedians living internationally, WMF staff, and other invitees, is not allowed by default by the Government of India. There is a mechanism to obtain necessary permissions to allow their participation, however, it involves some uncertainty which could hinder their participation in the conference.||Making necessary decisions to build a consolidated list of all such individuals along with their details on priority (as early as June 2020) and forwarding it to the respective government ministries to seek permissions. Early action can greatly minimise and even eliminate this risk.|
|Members of the organising team backing out at the last moment or delaying tasks to be finished, causing overload and strain on other organisers, and thereby leading to burning out of volunteers involved.||In addition to making the time commitment per week clear to a person who signs up to be an organiser, making sure that the organising structure is robust enough in terms of teams, numbers, workflows and diversity so that none of the organisers feels a burnout. Also, outsource (paid) tedious tasks for event management services which would reduce a significant amount of load on volunteers.|
|The Conference program not being welcoming to newcomers and external stakeholders[lower-alpha 4] of Wikimedia.||By including at least 1-2 members with expertise from external stakeholders groups in the Program Committee to plan collaborative sessions and making at least 30% of the sessions are good for newcomers.|
|Participants not engaged enough before the conference, which would waste a lot of time during the conference days to align themselves with the goals WCI is trying to achieve.||Early scholarship decisions and finalisation of participants to at least two months before the conference, combined with interacting and engaging with them via instant messaging groups such as Telegram, creating discussions on Wikimedia Space, and also through the content-creation campaign that being planned as leading towards the conference.|
|The conference proceedings, including the sessions’ resource material, discussions and brainstorming conversations etc. not well documented for later use and synthesizing -- which will, in turn, affect the sustainability of WCI.||For the conversations/discussions part, professional facilitators and note makers will be hired. Regarding sessions, it will be ensured that we have at least two volunteers for each room where the sessions are going on, where one would be tasked to record the sessions and the other to transcribe the talks. We are planning to partner with an educational organisation in Hyderabad for volunteers, who would be put through formal training for their tasks at the conference. Also, we will start gathering sessions’ resource material such as slides and readings before the conference dates.|
|The Diversity & Inclusion criteria decided for the conference may be at risk due to lack of applications for scholarships or participation, from certain groups. We have already witnessed a similar situation for the Community Engagement Survey.||The Scholarships Committee will also be tasked to proactively tasked to reach out to from groups who are underrepresented by regularly monitoring the received applications. The Communications team will make sure all the communities and diversity of groups are informed about the conference and its updates.|
|The larger community feeling disconnected with the ongoings of organising the conference, which might lead to concerns and further into scepticism. We have witnessed slightly during the process of drafting the grant proposal as well.||By forming the complete organising structure at the earliest possible after the grant funding decision from WMF, and exclusively assign the tasks of sending out of monthly updates to the community and answer any questions in that regard to two individuals from the communications team.|
1 INR = 0.0139 USD (1 USD = 71.44 INR); as on 1 February 2020 via https://www1.oanda.com/currency/converter/
Detailed budget table
|Serial||Item description||Cost per unit||No. of units||Total cost (INR)||Total cost (USD)||Notes|
|A1||Bus/train/flight charges for Wikimedians (scholarship recipients) residing in India||₹8,000.00||90||₹720,000.00||$10,008.00|
|A2||Flight fare for Wikimedians (scholarship recipients) residing in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka||₹25,000.00||10||₹250,000.00||$3,475.00|
|A3||Flight fare for Wikimedians (scholarship recipients) residing in regions not mentioned above - international||₹70,000.00||3||₹210,000.00||$2,919.00|
|A4||Bus/train/flight charges for additional invitees from across India||₹7,500.00||10||₹75,000.00||$1,042.50|
|A5||Bus/train/flight charges for members of the organising team||₹7,500.00||20||₹150,000.00||$2,085.00|
|A6||Bus/van/car rental (for airport transfers in the venue city, and other necessary local commutation in groups)||₹10,000.00||10||₹100,000.00||$1,390.00|
|A7||Other incidentals for scholarship recipients & organisers (local travel, food during travel etc.) -- India||₹2,500.00||140||₹350,000.00||$4,865.00|
|A8||Other incidentals for scholarship recipients & organisers (local travel, food during travel etc.) -- international||₹7,500.00||13||₹97,500.00||$1,355.25|
|A9||Visa charges for international scholarship recipients/invitees||₹4,500.00||13||₹58,500.00||$813.15|
|B1||Accommodation on twin-sharing basis (for 5 nights) + 3 meals & refreshments twice a day for all the three days of the conference and one day of pre-conference||₹20,000.00||153||₹3,060,000.00||$42,534.00||Total 153 units include 90 scholarship recipients from India, 20 from Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, 10 Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, 3 international recipients, 10 national invitees and 20 organisers.|
|B2||Water dispensers and supply||₹6,000.00||5||₹30,000.00||$417.00|
|B3||Food and refreshments for volunteers from Hyderbad||₹4,000.00||25||₹100,000.00||$1,390.00||25 volunteers fron the venue city Hyderabad to help guiding participants, assisting session leaders etc.|
|B4||Subidisation of food expenses for early bird and special registrations||₹3,000.00||50||₹150,000.00||$2,085.00|
|C1||Rental of audiovisual devices (projectors, mikes, speakers etc.)||₹2,500.00||20||₹50,000.00||$695.00|
|C2||Stationary (pens, charts, papers, printing etc.)||₹5,000.00||n/a||₹5,000.00||$69.50|
|C3||Internet + WiFi Routers||₹15,000.00||n/a||₹15,000.00||$208.50||Though the hotel is expected to provide the internet, the participant count and number of active devices on the venue may overload the network and slow it down. To avoid this, as the internet is quite crucial for many sessions, additional network support would be required for a smooth experience.|
|C4||Posters (for display by community members around the venue)||₹200.00||20||₹4,000.00||$55.60|
|C5||Souvenirs for presenters of cultural event and other related expenses||₹10,000.00||n/a||₹10,000.00||$139.00|
|C6||Standees (for poster session)||₹1,000.00||25||₹25,000.00||$347.50|
|C7||Cameras, session recording & live streaming devices||₹30,000.00||5||₹150,000.00||$2,085.00||We are expecting to have five session rooms; cost per unit is the rental of camera and recorders for 4-5 days, including a technical assistant|
|D1||Salary for a professional Event Management personnel||₹35,000.00||6||₹210,000.00||$2,919.00||We would like to hire an event manager for a period of 6 months (4.5 months before the conference, and until 1.5 months after the conference) -- especially to handle specific logistics and also make the travel and accommodations for required participants|
|D2||Press Conference a month before the main conference; for the purpose of media coverage of the event||₹10,000.00||n/a||₹10,000.00||$139.00|
|D3||Walkie Talkies; for quick communication between key volunteers and organisers||₹500.00||10||₹5,000.00||$69.50|
|D4||Team meeting of some organisers post-formation of the whole structure, from across the country||₹337,500.00||n/a||₹337,500.00||$4,691.25||Since it is a huge conference, there is a need for some of the key organisers to at least meet once midway of planning and conference dates. It would be a 2-day meetup with around 15-20 people.|
|D5||Expenditure for volunteer training||₹1,250.00||25||₹31,250.00||$434.38||Formal training event will be conducted for volunteers before they are asked with their respective tasks. This will include their orientation towards Wikimedia and the conference.|
|D7||Emergency Services and Support (law enforcement, medical etc.)||₹30,000.00||n/a||₹30,000.00||$417.00|
|D8||Site visits (travel, local commutation, food and other expenses)||₹10,000.00||3||₹30,000.00||$417.00|
|D9||Fundraising (including material printing, travel as necessary to meet potential sponsors)||₹50,000.00||n/a||₹50,000.00||$695.00|
|D10||Organising expenses close to the conference dates (extensive local travel, accommodation for a few organisers to be on ground etc.)||₹50,000.00||n/a||₹50,000.00||$695.00|
|D11||Professional facilitation & note-making services(several sessions may potentially include conversations that are crucial for Wikimedia movement in India, this would good facilitators)||₹25,000.00||n/a||₹25,000.00||$347.50||A key goal of the conference to have strategic conversations for the Wikimedia movement in India, this will require quite an extensive facilitation for productive conversations.|
|E3||Printouts (flyers) of the Conference program||₹10.00||300||₹3,000.00||$41.70|
|F1||Unforeseen expenses||₹329,087.50||n/a||₹329,087.50||$4,574.32||5% of the sum all the preceding categories (A+B+C+D+E)|
|G1||Bus/train fare for Wikimedians (scholarship recipients) residing in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana||₹2,000.00||20||₹40,000.00||$556.00|
|G2||Mini Hack-a-thon before the conference||₹150,000.00||n/a||₹150,000.00||$2,085.00||We would like the hackathon of the conference to deliver concrete outputs, which would be based on a survey of technical needs with the community. As 3-4 wouldn't be good enough to develop something, the tool/feature/application development process would begin at least six weeks before the conference, and will lead to the conference.|
|G2||Content generation campaign||₹100,000.00||n/a||₹100,000.00||$1,390.00||This will include certain prizes and also several onsite events which will have time for both, editing online and discussions related to the goals of WCI.|
|Serial||Category||Amount (INR)||Amount (USD)||Notes|
|B||Accomodation & Food||₹3,340,000.00||$46,426.00|
|X||Institutional Development Fee||₹689,823.75||$9,588.55||Charges (10% of T1) by the Fiscal Sponsor - The Centre for Internet & Society|
|T2||Grand Total (for WMF)||₹7,588,061.25||$105,474.05||T1 + X|
|G||Sponsorship from CIS-A2K||₹290,000.00||$4,031.00|
|T3||Total Budget for the Conference||₹7,878,061.25||$109,505.05||T2 + G|
- Total cost of event
- ₹78,78,061.25 ($109,505.05)
- Total amount requested from the Conference and Event Grants program
- ₹75,88,061.25 ($105,474.05)
- Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this event, and amounts funded
- ₹2,90,000.00 ($4,031.00) from CIS-A2K
- Please confirm that you are aware that changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.
- 1. Why is the conference’s total budget significantly high, and also quite varying the WCI 2016’s budget?
- As one can observe form the budget table and specific budget items, there are a lot of factors that went into calculation of the budget as a whole. Also, there are several notable differences in the organisations of these two conferences -- the ones which substantial affect on the budget are detailed below;
S.No Category WCI 2016 WCI 2020 Remarks 1 Total number of people directly supported from the conference budget 100 153 Entire cost of participation for a person from this category will be from the conference budget. It includes full scholarship recipients, organisers and additional invitees. 2 Number of days of the event Three Four The proposed conference will have one pre-conference day, which will include activities such as Learning Days, Hackathon, Thematic edit-a-thons etc. followed by a 3-day main conference. 3 Accommodation & Venue Educational institute Hotel WCI 2016 was hosted in an educational organization, and several community members, including the first IRC conducted for WCI 2020, have mentioned that they had faced difficulties with accommodation and related logistics. To address this, WCI 2020 will be hosted in a hotel, however, we will have partners in other areas. Previous organisers have also strictly recommended against partnering with organisations for venue, as it created a lot strain on volunteer organising and also for a huge conference such as this, the on-ground needs are highly dynamic. 4 Event Management partially paid Outsource completely Post-2016's conference, several of the organsiers had gone through a burn-out, which was caused by strain caused due to several aspects of organising such as huge amount of tedious tasks, low budget, complicated bureaucracy of the educational institute etc. To avoid such things, as one of the goals is to make WCI a sustainable practice, a professional event management personnel will be hired for a period of six months, who will take of travel and accommodation arrangements on ground, working with fiscal sponsor to complete necessary payments etc. This will let volunteers to invest more time in programmatic and planning aspects, and also get off any potential overload that this entire exercise poses. 5 Total number of participants ~200 ~300 This includes all the participants mentioned for Serial 1; in addition to those, there are components such as subsidised registrations, expenditure on volunteers etc.
- Apart from the above mentioned differences, other quite important points to note are;
- ₹6,898,237.50 is the budget of the conference that goes into its actual organising expenditure from this grant. Since it is a huge sum of money, it can't be taken into individual accounts, and also since it is a foreign fund, organisations handling the fund should be having FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) license, which is The Centre for Internet and Society in this case. As an organisation, for their administrative expenses and related tabs, they charge 10% of the budget, which is ₹689,823.75. It is referred to as Fiscal sponsorship is a general practice for grants from the Wikimedia Foundation.
- In the report of WCI 2016, the organisers have explicitly stated that the budget they had was insufficient and caused strain on the organisers, leading to burn out of volunteers. So the amount of ₹33 lac may not be considered as a sufficient budget for the 2016's conference as well. Finally and most obviously, there is inflation from 2016 to 2020, which makes certain budget items to have higher costs, irrespective of other factors.
- Apart from the above mentioned differences, other quite important points to note are;
- 2. How will the budget be spent over the proposed project plan and programmatic activities ?
- It is to emphasize that the budget is just for a 4-day conference, but for a larger engagement under the umbrella of WCI. The plan and the respective budget have three significant and deliberate components, which are pre-conference engagement, conference, and post-conference engagement. Pre-conference engagement includes, but not limited to, having strategic conversations at community events that would lead up to conversations for the conference, organising satellite events as needed, organisers meetup, content creation campaign, and mini-hackathon. The main conference four days as explained above, will proceed according the conference program. The post-engagement activities include meetings with fiscal sponsor to secure the financial and the narrative reports, synthesising notes from strategic conversations, and follow-up with community members to materialise plans as required.
- 3. How much of the proposed budget will actually be spent?
- Wikimedia movement thrives on donations -- keeping in view of that fact, external sponsorship are being considered minimally spend the movement’s money. For many of the budget items, the maximum possible costs have been assumed. This purely to avoid last-minute strains and be on a safer side -- securing funds at a later stage, even if the need be, will only complicate things for all stakeholders involved, including the organisers, WMF, and CIS-A2K. However, only modest amounts will be spent, which ensures that everyone participating in the conference has a smooth experience. The remainder will either be sent back to WMF or reallocated to other community activities, post-approval from WMF.
- 4. How will the transparency of spending be maintained?
- As transparency is one of the core values of the Wikimedia movement, especially when it comes to finances it is the key. In this regard, all bills worth valuing more than ₹30,000.00 will be publicly published (unless there is any confidential information) and linked to the final report on expenditure. In addition, with the help of the Centre for Internet & Society, the fiscal sponsor for the project, after all the transactions are over with respective bills/receipts received, an audit will be conducted by a registered auditor, who will certify the accounts. This report will be publicly published.
- ↑ This currently a placeholder only. Post funding decision, we are planning to create an exclusive Wiki for WikiConference India, which can be used for further conferences.
- ↑ c:File:Indic_Wikisource_Proofread_Stats.png
- ↑ Hyderabad - the venue city, is the joint capital for the two states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Wikimedians from these two states would largely comprise the host community
- ↑ For example, CC promoters, Mozilla developers, OSM volunteers etc.
Do you think this project should be selected for a Conference Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.
- Strong support I am happy with this proposal and strongly Recommend it for the grant, based on the below observations from the above comparison table:
- Number of days is increased by 33.3% from 2016.
- Number of direct beneficiaries is up by 53%
- Total number of expected participants is up by 50%
- The above increases show that the expenses are likely to be far higher than the 2016 estimates and further higher than the actual expenses (considering that the 2016 event was short of funds, as stated above). I think 2020 organising team is well justified in their estimates of funds requirement.
- Small note: A markup of 10% for fiscal sponsorship will take the total required support from WMF to $110,909.8 and not $109,800.74. __Chaduvari (talk) 06:25, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support I went through the proposal beside everything else I feel holding an event after three years is a courageous idea and effort I have strong support for this event R Ashwani Banjan Murmu (talk) 05:18, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support- As the Program Coordinator for WikiConferenceIndia 2016, I have the experience of planning and organizing a conference of this scale. Considering the gender gap in organizing committee, I extend my support and assistance to the organizing committee. I have proposed WikiWomenCamp, that has a completely different agenda, theme and focus, but there are certain tasks that doesn't require much additional work, so I would like to extend my support to the organizing committee. -Manavpreet Kaur (talk) 17:44, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support- This is a great proposal and much needed for the indic wikimedia communities. I strongly support this proposal and would like to assist the WCI team too for the conference activities. --Chinmayee Mishra (talk) 16:27, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support- This is much needed for Indic Communities.-Raju Jangid (talk) 07:07, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support -J. Ansari Talk 14:56, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support -Mohammed Galib Hasan (talk) 15:27, 12 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support --Ashok Talk 15:41, 13 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support-I strongly support this grant proposal and recommend to get it accepted, here are my few observations.
- One of a kind of grant application where every sections and sub-sections are well explained and even organizers are ready to further give explanations.
- The conference organizers has chosen " capacity building & community development" as strategic priority other than any other aspects for the conference.
- It's been four years or so the last WCI happened in India, so definitely a conference as such is the need of the hour.
- One of the biggest conference till date is going to happen in India, in all aspects giving more opportunities for local communities to participate, explore and together we can set knowledge free.
- Lastly, I like to thank Krishna and Pavan for planning such an event which was due, I also express my willingness to work with the organizers in my capacity as a volunteer as I am doing it with WikiWomenCamp. Rajeeb (talk!) 09:12, 14 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support- As a volunteer from the community, I believe Indic Wikimedia community has grown up and makes some major positive changes in the Wikimedia projects during the last years. WikiConference India is a good platform and has the potential to bring up the ideas of the volunteers of the community for its growth. It helps to improve the community connections, exchange of the knowledge and sharing their experience. I truly believe this Wiki conference can make the difference by applying the values such as sustainability or social innovations.-❙❚❚❙❙ JinOy ❚❙❚❙❙ ✉ 17:22, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support to the event. WikiConference India will be the only place where indic wikimedians can share their ideas, experience, and strategy. We should not missed this 4 year opporunity. We should not miss this 4-year opportunity. Everything is well defined as category wise. Increment of the budget as compared to WCI 2016 can be understand by User:Chaduvari's comment. So budget is very reasonable. Also I would like to mention here that organizers have very much experience in conducting the event.-Jayprakash >>> Talk 19:45, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
- Support- খাঁ শুভেন্দু (talk) 01:03, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support--Info-farmer (talk) 01:05, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support-- NehalDaveND (talk) 02:04, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support--आर्यावर्त (talk) 04:18, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Support--Atudu (talk) 04:47, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support I hope this conference will be great opportunity for Indic Communities. --Nirajan pant (talk) 04:58, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong supportRadhadwibedi (talk) 06:30, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support--Janak Bhatta (talk) 06:37, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Support Sidheeq (talk) 07:08, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Support Definitely Soni (talk) 08:20, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support --Lokesha kunchadka (talk) 09:38, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support As an emerging volunteer I am very curious to see the works of many Wiki volunteers in one place and also I think this is the right place for sharing and learning more on the tech side of Wiki in an Indian community aspect. --Bhuvana Meenakshi (talk) 10:00, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support -- N Sanu / എന് സാനു / एन सानू (talk) 10:58, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support -- User:Hibayathullah (talk)15:52, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support --Ranjithsiji (talk) 09:55, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support--BALA. RTalk 16:05, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support--IM3847 (talk) 03:05, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support Longing for this sort of events, wher can share, learn, teach, discuss & meet to enhance the community knowledge bank. Cudos to Velaga ji for arranging the same with a great responsibility.--Ashish Bhatnagartalk 06:28, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support --Sushant savla (talk) 05:52, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support Maina Tudu (talk) 07:37, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support This sounds good, definitely be supported.--Ramjit Tudu (talk) 15:04, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support --Selsharbaty (WMF) (talk) 13:08, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support-- MNavya (talk) 04:58, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
- Support It looks great! thanks for the detailed proposal. Satpal Dandiwal (talk) 07:05, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support -- After three years, this program is going to happen again. This is a good proposal for attending and sharing different community members from South Asia. I strongly Recommend for the Program. -- Anup Sadi (talk) 06:12, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support Stalinjeet Brar (talk) 06:02, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support-- Very good event. The event will share experiences of different communities. Best of luck.--Dolon Prova (talk) 16:09, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support - The most awaited conference where we can meet and discuss wonderful people who are devoting their time, efforts and wonderful ideas to thrive the movement. -- Suyash Dwivedi (talk) 17:18, 4 March 2020 (UTC)
- Strong support - Sangram Keshari Senapati (talk) 18:14, 8 March 2020 (UTC)