Jump to content

Grants talk:PEG/TMorshed/Bangla Wikipedia 10th anniversary

Add topic
From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Latest comment: 8 years ago by AWang (WMF) in topic Request for extension of grant term

Evaluation by the GAC


GAC members who support this request


GAC members who oppose this request

  1. --Ilario (talk) 10:32, 13 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

GAC members who abstain from voting/comment

  1. I totally second Ilario's comments. I would also prefer 10th anniversary celebrating more collaborative between various languages/regions/communities. Depending on the upcoming comments from submitters, I'll see on which side I will finally incline.
    Danny B. 02:39, 18 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

GAC comments


I explain my opposition


I would explain here my opposition. I am in the GAC and I am in the IEG and I am also in the chapters matters. I read several proposals from the Indian region and every time I have a strange feeling. I appreciate those proposals if I take them as a single project, but if I would have a general overview of those proposals I see a lot of proposals and sometimes dramatically increasing in their budget in order to help an Indian language that is supposed endangered but also spoken by a lot of people (and I read here an inconsistency) but without a clear program about the continuity of this support. Basically the Indian region has ten or more languages and every of those having a Wikipedia or a Wikisource or a Wiktionary with a linguistic community claiming support. This is a good news but the bad news is that my feeling is that those communities have no collaboration each other and probably the same local chapters are working in everything but not local languages. We evaluate the possibility to share experience and to share technology but this lesson is not learned within the Indian languages and I see "replicated" requests of something that has been done by another Indian community. I don't know why an Indian community does a project of digitization and after one year another one starts another project of digitization but from scratch... Here I see two different proposals for 10 years of a linguistic project done by two different communities and I don't understand this separation except than there is a cultural difference and a bias even if the two communities are working in the same language. The main result after 10 years would have been the joint organization of that event having one unique celebration with the support of the two chapters (Wikimedia India and Wikimedia Bangladesh) because the lesson learned from Wikipedia is mainly the "collaboration". I don't know if I have misunderstood, but it's my understanding of this proposal and of the other in Bengali. And please don't say that Indian region has a lot of languages because the use of English/Hindi is well established and all members of a linguistic community can communicate each other. I live in a country having 4 national languages and no one uses a "lingua franca" but we are trying to apply the lesson to collaborate and to don't harvest differences. So my vote is not about the budget but about a principle of "no collaboration". The proposal is in discussion and probably a compromise will be find, but I am trying to interpret an "uncomfortable" feeling which can be shared with other volunteers reading those two proposals. I hope that my vote is read as an invitation to collaborate and not as an opposition of your good and useful activity. I know the history and the cultural difference between Bangladesh and India, but you are Wikimedian communities. I have read that some approach has been done to have a joint event and I appreciate a lot but my vote is negative. --Ilario (talk) 10:31, 13 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hello Ilario! Thanks for your comment. Since the beginning of Bengali Wikipedia, both the communities have been collaborating to enrich it. And the current Bengali Wikipedia has contribution from the both communities though the amount of contribution from one community might not be the same with another due to size and population of community. The point you raised about collaboration is that why we are not organizing a single event to celebrate the anniversary. I'm explaining it from the Bangladeshi community part. IF we just organize one event in Dhaka or in Kolkata, not all the people from each community would be able to participate in that event, because traveling from Bangladesh to India (and vice versa) is not a very easy task at all, like traveling in EU. It involves getting the visa (which is troublesome nowadays and takes long time) and transportation. Furthermore, it's not possible to give scholarships to hundreds of people. That's why two programs are being organized, one in Kolkata and another in Dhaka. And for collaboration purposes, both the community is providing scholarships to a certain number of people. The Kolkata community is providing 15 scholarships and we are giving 10. So that in a program, we can have people and contributors from the the community, to share their experience and exchange ideas. Also, there are facilities for people who would be traveling at their own costs. And another significant issue that needs to be accounted is that, the two anniversary celebration programs format are totally different. The Kolkata community is focusing on the tenth anniversary conference that's going to be held from 9-10 January 2015 at Jadavpur University where as are are organizing (already started yesterday) two months long a series of programs. The program format of the two community is different because of the difference of context and entity organization. In Bangladesh, the program is being lead by Wikimedia Bangladesh, a chapter that just got the local registration this June from the government. And the tenth anniversary program is being celebrated in terms of outreach, quality enhancement activities, community growing and strengthening activities; it's not just a two or three days of celebration at a certain venue rather it's a series of program taking the opportunity of the tenth anniversary of Bangla Wikipedia. And this format of program has been strategically formulated taking inputs from community members, volunteers over the past few months. So the lacking of collaboration that you're saying about isn't exactly true. I'd like to request you to consider the difference of the two entities, context and background as well as program formats. Tanweer (talk) 09:20, 25 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Ilario. Thank you for your comments -- we appreciate your concern around collaboration. This issue has also been raised on both proposals by Tony and I have responded here. The West Bengal and Bangladesh communities have demonstrated good relations and collaboration, but as stated, it is difficult to coordinate shared offline activities. Both celebrations include funds for the inclusion of volunteers from the other country to attend and share experiences, learnings, and challenges. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 01:05, 29 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Tanweer -- Can you share anything online that demonstrates the two communities coming together? I know the two communities are running separate photo competitions. Is it possible to organize article writing or photo competitions where you combine efforts? Demonstration of collaboration online would be beneficial not only to the community, but also for the general public (and press!). Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 01:05, 29 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Regarding collaboration between distinct Indian languages, this is often very challenging due to size, scope, and different scripts. We will, however, continue to see where new projects can build off of or learn from previous projects, and encourage collaboration if possible. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 01:05, 29 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
True: it's not really relevant. What does concern me is that no one has responded to my suggestion at both application talkpages that one board member or officer of each affiliate be an official point of liaison with the other on matters concerning the single language community they serve. Tanweer has posted a quite long message that I don't find answers my concerns. Tony (talk) 07:03, 29 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
AWang (WMF) Tony1 These two communities speak the same language and use the same script. This is probably the only case in South Asia where there are two major investments 200 miles or 300 km away from each other, both to develop the same language Wikipedia, both to celebrate the same 10-year anniversary but in which there is very little collaboration between the program organizers. In my opinion, the two projects should share an outcome page. From the funding perspective since the events are in two cities they could be managed differently, but from the perspective of the public and the press, seeing all outcomes in one place would be most useful and make both events look bigger, plus force the public on both sides of the border to look at what is being done on the other side. Bengali people are very proud of their heritage and I think it would be nice to make everyone aware that the entire region shares a Wikipedia. Tony is right to say that it is strange that there cannot be partnership here; I am not sure what it should look like, but if it is not in inter-chapter planning, then dual reporting of outcomes to the press would be one step toward collaboration that I have not seen elsewhere. Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:16, 29 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Community comments




All of these proposals look fine but this is not one single project. Is it possible to break these activities into separate projects with separate budgets and reports? This proposal looks more like the annual budget for Wikimedia Bangladesh than like a grant for an individual project.

If this is going through the PEG process, then I think someone else should give opinions about how this should be reported. From first look, it seems like the inaugural conference, the photowalks, the school outreach, the photo judging event, and the 10th anniversary conference are all separate events which could be managed from separate project grants. Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:48, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Bluerasberry! Thanks for your opinion. It's true that at first look, the the proposal seems to cover many projects. But actually we, the Bangladeshi Wikimedia community are not just going to celebrate only the anniversary on the occasion. We have brainstormed and discussed for the past 2 months to find out ways to mark the anniversary through events that will strengthen and enlarge the community, addressing the strategic priorities of the movement. As you know, Wikimedia Bangladesh got the registration form the government on July this year, the series of programs would also mark the official public launch of the chapter, and we are not limiting it in just Dhaka (most of the past events were centered in Dhaka) but throughout the country. We already have some community members from different universities, and have initiated talks with the universities to hold programs through partnership. In further ways, we have set initiatives to reach out the programs to as many peoples as possible. That's why the proposal contains these projects. Please have a look at the endorsement by Ali Haidar at Endorsements section, he has described some of the aspects of the program. It's also true that, as a chapter we don't have experience about reporting grants. So we may find some difficulties in reporting and accounting related tasks. But we are looking for ways to accomplish the process correctly. Tanweer (talk) 05:38, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Bluerasberry, the planning of the 10th anniversary celebration took about two months time and at least three wikimeetups were held in this purpose (about 40+ volunteers took part in the discussion phase and final outcome is this plan). It's true that the plan includes different types of programs, but these programs are interconnected in terms of budget as well as execution. For example, the plan proposes to conduct school programs, workshops, photo walks etc in all 7 divisions of Bangladesh. Though local volunteers will be there for help, but we will also need to send some volunteers from Dhaka as well. So the plan interconnects the different programs (school program, workshops, photo walks etc) in such a way so that we don't need to send volunteers to a division twice. That means, volunteers will go from Dhaka to a division once and execute school programs, photo walks, workshops etc all together in subsequent days. It will save significant amount of money in travel, accommodation, fooding etc. Additionally, it will save lot of volunteer time by reducing traveling because volunteers will be required to travel to a division only once for all the programs. Similarly, there are other expenditure items that can be shared across different programs, which will save a significant amount of money. Considering all this, it was decided by community members to combine the different types of programs. - Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 12:41, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
Suppose that one part of this proposal fails to meet its goals. It is not fair, but in that case, some people who review this grant may say that this entire proposal is a failure. A strange part about the Wikimedia review process is that people in any country may review your outcomes. How much additional money would it cost to have separate budgets for all of these projects? It might be worth adding 10-20% in overhead if the projects can be considered individually, because if this large project gets a poor review after being 90% successful with problems in only one part of it, then that might impact the future of grants requests in Bangladesh.
I am more concerned about making sure that this project does not have problems than I am with it being successful. If you have boring so-so grant proposals which meet their goals and do not have problems, then that might be a safer and more steady outcome than having a complicated project which does some really interesting things but also raises some difficult problems. It is not necessary that you impress anyone more than you already have. This group in Bangladesh already has some international attention. Right now, I am more worried about making sure that nothing goes wrong than I am in making things be perfect and awesome. If there is any way that any part of this proposal can be split and managed as an independent smaller project, then I would recommend splitting that off so that all the pressure from this does not fall on this one project. If it is necessary that this be one project, then do it as proposed. It just seems like more risk, responsibility, and pressure on the people named to manage the grant. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:53, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hello Bluerasberry, it's good to see that you are concerned over the pressure that the proposed plan might put on the group. You will be happy to know that we expect to mobilize and engage around 100 volunteers all over the country for execution of the entire plan. However, the finances and the expenditures will be handled by a smaller group for cost control and to ensure that the records are maintained properly. The people named on the proposal are playing key roles in managing the funds, keeping the accounts and monitoring the program executions. So, it will not be a burden to the small group named on the proposal page because a large volunteer pool will be engaged so that it's not a burden for any particular person. As far as the programs are concerned, most of them are not new to the Bangladeshi Wikimedia Community. We have been doing these programs for a long time, even before we'd planned to have a local chapter. Though some other Wikimedia communities are also doing similar programs, we believe the results that we have here in Bangladesh are better than any other place as we have experienced so far. Now coming to the other point of yours related to splitting the plan. As you can see, most of the merchandise needed for the programs are common, outbound travel costs are common, fooding and accommodation costs are also common. What differs are some crests, prizes, some banners & x-stands for different programs. As a result, it is rather difficult if we not consider the different types of programs under same plan and budget. If we do not do that, then we will have to give additional effort to artificially separate the common cost items (which will also result in higher expenditure) and reporting them separately will also be very difficult. --Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 19:11, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
The "common item" expenses seem like things that Wikimedia Bangladesh ought to have on hand regardless of any planned projects. If you are uncomfortable splitting the budgets of the outreach events, then how would you feel about splitting these items into a separate budget for Wikimedia Bangladesh organizational infrastructure? The advantage of doing this is that these things are nearly half the total budget of this project, and if they are associated with the outreach events, then it will be more difficult to manage the accounting of the outreach events because the tallies of distribution of these promotional materials will have to be reported in the expense report for this project. If Wikimedia Bangladesh holds these things separately then the duty of the managers of this grant would only be to report financial expenses related to the event, so the accounting should be easier for Wikipedians in other places to review. I have doubts that it would be practical to report promotional distribution of swag in your final report. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:02, 8 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Time for hired staff?


There are 20 proposed photo hunts in 2 months. This is a large burden for volunteers, especially if in every photo hunt there will be a few new people. Is it time for Wikimedia Bangladesh to consider having staff support? How will so much be organized by volunteers? Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:48, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

10 Photowalks/Photo hunts have been proposed. Among them 4 will be in Dhaka and its surrounding and the rest will be in other 6 divisional cities. The photowalks outside Dhaka will be organized with help from local community members. Right after the local registration, we have started recruiting members for WMBD. So the new members are also involved in the tasks. Tanweer (talk) 06:02, 7 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Example budget from any previous event


Do you have any example of any grant reporting from any previous event? Documenting receipts and doing accounting is usually what makes chapters have problems, and I do not want what has happened to so many other chapters with their accounting to happen in Bangladesh also. Budget for support from an accountant if you need to do so. Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:48, 6 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Bluerasberry, This is the first grant application from Bangladeshi Wikimedia community. We have organized a number of medium size events in the past like Bangla Wikipedia Unconference 2012, Bangla Wikipedia Workshop in UITS event with different educational institutes. However, those events were organized in collaboration or with sponsored fund. For those events, we had to manage funds and keep track of accounts but we didn't have to submit any formal grant report as there was no requirement of that. We also organize small outreach programs like Wikimeetup where some level of accounting is required. We think our previous experience will help us a lot in managing this grant. Since this grant is going to be bigger, we have given enough time to plan about the accounting and reporting. We'll maintain printed vouchers to record all the expenses at the time they occur. In addition to that, we will maintain separate ledger books for all programs and cost heads. For example, we will have different ledger books for different programs in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi etc as well as for printing expenditures and for equipment purchase. The final and master account will be maintained on google sheet which will be shared will all the stakeholders for transparency. We'll also maintain soft copies of all money receipts in cloud storage and share with WMF. Finally, grant execution report will be submitted on Meta and relevant links such as the master account on google sheet will be given on the report (unless WMF requires otherwise). We'll also store the receipts and documents for a specific time as per the requirement of WMF. I’m glad to let you know that we are getting advise and support relating to record keeping and reporting of the grant from Mr. Ali Haidar Khan. He is an experienced finance professional, a long time Wikimedian and a member of the FDC. So, we are confident that we will be able to handle the accounts well. Cheers! ~ Nahid Talk 18:43, 13 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
I'm sorry i've missed the previous individual grant application from our community member Belayet Hossain and the report there was properly executed. So we could use his experience as well. ~ Nahid Talk 21:20, 14 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Bengali Wikipedians from India


Do you have any plan for scholarships for Bengali Wikipedians from West Bengal to attend the event? -- Bodhisattwa (talk) 10:23, 13 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Actually we do have a plan but we just don't finalize it yet. After everything cheeks out (Transportation cost, hotel cost etc.), we'll update the budget and ask for self-nominations. ~ Nahid Talk 08:58, 14 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
I've been reviewing the live PEG application by Indian Wikimedians, including apparent support and funding from CIS and WMIN. Without realising that this draft existed, there I've been raising matters of coordination with WMBD, over what is the ideal logistical and symbolic opportunity to coordinate—given that both projects are serving the same language community. I'll be back here soon to read your draft. My warm regards. Tony (talk) 11:51, 14 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Tony, I had proposed to WM BD chapter ( assuming that WM BD will organize the program not "BD community") for common program at capital city Dhaka. But unfortunately the chapter hadn't reply their acceptance about our proposal about one month. After that we had started our arrangement.So the Kolkata community always trying developed commons platform for the same language Bengali, We will award 15 wikipedian from Bangladesh for our Kolkata conference. There are already 12 wikipedia have self nominated. Jayantanth (talk) 04:31, 9 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Questions and comments


I'm confused about the meaning of a post by your treasurer (and FDC member) at the parallel Indian-based PEG application. It claims that "because of some recent incidents near the border between India and Bangladesh, it has become very difficult to get visa from both sides". No supporting evidence is proffered. There's no issue purchasing direct flights from Kolkata to Dhakka and the reverse (I've just investigated online). The visa requirements don't appear to be a particular issue for either nationality.

In view of the fact that the WMF is being asked to fund two separate schemes for the same anniversary for the same language-group, I'd be alarmed if there were difficulties in having cross-visits and collaboration between the two chapters/groups.

I don't see explicit mention of collaboration in this application. This is disappointing.

@Ali Haidar Khan:

Tony (talk) 09:19, 15 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Tony, probably you didn't notice the news that earlier this month, there was a bomb blast in Burdwan District of West Bengal (which is near India-Bangladesh border) where few terrorists were killed when they were making bombs. You can find related news regarding the blast here and here. Following the blast, reports started to come on Bangladeshi newspapers that Bangladesh-West Bengal border has been closed by India, related link from a Bangladeshi newspaper is here. Initially we had thought of inviting volunteers from West Bengal. However, given the current situation, it will not be wise to invite Indian volunteers here or send our volunteers to India. Traveling to and from either of the countries does not depend on purchasing air tickets only. In the South Asian region, when ever there is any incident like the recent blast, the authorities tend to become over cautious and cross-border traveling during such time can end up in a nightmare. So, we don't want any such thing happen to a volunteer from any side. On top of that, Bangladeshi citizens are not getting Indian visa appointments recently. There is no declaration that issuing visa has been stopped. But I know many people who have been trying to get an appointment for several weeks but the on-line visa portal is showing 'no appointment date available'. We have considered all these things before finalizing our plan. There is no lack of collaboration between the Bangladeshi community and West Bengal Community, we do excellent work online. So, don't worry. This is just the present situation that does not suit for cross-border travel by volunteers. Cheers. --Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 15:12, 15 October 2014 (UTC)Reply
Tonmoy, thanks. We need to sort this out as a matter of priority. As I've said here, "this becomes a systemic problem if it persists, whereas we need to know that this huge language community is being effectively and efficiently served by both organisations—that can only really happen with some collaboration, I believe." Tony (talk) 05:03, 22 October 2014 (UTC)Reply

Systemic inter-chapter liaison on improving shared WMF language sites


The Bangla/Bengali WP is an extremely important instrument for shared knowledge, and I suspect the WMF is very keen to support improvements in the quality and expansion of that project. You have my strong support, too, in your efforts in relation to the site we want to celebrate in this proposal.

However, when funding is being requested for essentially the same purpose from both sides of the post-colonial border, it seems like a good time to ask a fundamental question that has wider implications for the sometimes awkward fit between national chapers and language communities:

Will we see the designation of one board member or employee from the Indian chapter and one from the Bangladesh chapter as liaison officer to organise, promote, oversee, and report on collaboration between the two chapters on improving WMF sites for this single language community?

I'm posing the same question at the parallel funding proposal, which is closely connected with the Indian chapter (see their list of team members.

It's a question I'm going to be putting over the next few months to other sets of chapters that appear to be serving a single language community, notably the German–Austrian–Swiss chapters, and the Canadian–French chapters (we'll get to others in due time, including the Spanish- and Portuguese-language affiliates in relation to whether Iberoconf is achieving sufficient collaboraration).

Where value for money is at issue, setting up enduring systemic structures for officially coordinating the hard work and talent of both chapters in relation to this language community would almost certainly be met with the approval of millions of donors around the world.

I look forward to your response.

Tony (talk) 10:18, 8 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

So, not a word of response. Without official points of contact for Bangla/Bengali-language collaboration, cooperation, or coordination, I'm going to recommend reduced or no funding for proposed activities on these WMF language sites. Tony (talk) 02:28, 12 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hello Tony, volunteers from Bangladesh and India (especially West Bengal) who are working on Bangla Wikipedia have long standing on-line collaboration. We have regular interaction on Wikipedia, Facebook and mailing list. However, the existing number of contributors in Bangla Wikipedia is still very small, the volunteer base for conducting off-line outreach events is even smaller. And the number goes down to only 2-3 people if you talk about doing administrative works such as sending emails to community members, contacting newspapers and media for news coverage, managing community pages, printing banners, arranging logistics, keeping records, reporting community/chapter activities online etc (and these people are also contributing on Wiki-sites and conducting off-line activities at the same time!).
So, it is not possible for us to do anything more at this point (and in near future) which involves engaging someone to 'officially' organise, promote, oversee, and report on collaboration between the two chapters. We often get it hard to even communicate amongst ourselves within the community because everyone is very busy with their personal and professional life and yet we have been putting significant amount of our time and energy on organizing the community and conducting outreach events since 2009. And essentially, we are conducting our activities without any money. Yet we have been able to almost double the article count in last two years without any BOT.
You are around the Wikimedia Movement for quite a long and I think you know the context and situation of these smaller communities well. You may expect such 'official' engagement of an 'officer' on cross-border collaboration from larger communities and matured chapters (however, you haven't raised any such question to any larger chapter or community yet!). But for a small community/entity like ours, doing what you suggested will burnout a significant amount of the precious volunteer energy/time we have, which will negatively affect our budding community. Yet, I am very sorry to hear such blatant comment like - "I'm going to recommend reduced or no funding for proposed activities on these WMF language sites" from you.
Our prime focus, at present, is to organize and increase our volunteer base for both on-line and off-line activities. We definitely want to have more cross-border collaboration in future but for that we need sufficient number of volunteers which is lacking at present. However, it is good to see that you are interested in the growth of our community. We appreciate your interest and welcome your constructive suggestions in future. --Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 09:40, 12 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
I am very much agreed with Tonmoy. The two chapter are in their organization level developing stage. although both the community members are working together very much in organized way. So please don't demotivated us with comments like "I'm going to recommend reduced or no funding for proposed activities on these WMF language sites". we will think later 'official' engagement of an 'officer' on cross-border collaboration. although few community member/chapter from Bangladesh will come to our Kolkata program from Bangladesh, on the other hand, our few community member will go to Bangladesh from Kolkata/West Bangla. So this the first time , when both community member will meet each other.Jayantanth (talk) 16:50, 12 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Please note we have replied to this issue here and are supportive of holding two separate events. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:59, 14 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

WMF comments


Hi Tanweer and Nahid. Thank you for this grant proposal and your engagement in the discussion so far. We are happy to support the Bengali Wikipedia 10th anniversary celebrations for the Wikimedian community in Bangladesh. We appreciate the time and effort put into planning these events and preparing this proposal. However, as mentioned in our previous communications, we have significant concerns with the current grant request in terms of costs, capacity, goals, potential outcomes and impact. We cannot approve the proposal as it currently stands.

We recognize you are on a tight schedule. In the interest of time, we would suggest you submit a grant request containing the items we are currently comfortable funding, including the photo contest, wikipedian award, and conference. We can then take the necessary time to discuss the other events, including the school program, workshops/editathons, and photowalks without such time constraints. We realize that ideally these events would take place leading up to the conference, but do not think the general outreach events necessarily need to be so closely tied to the celebration for the existing Wikimedia community (who should be the focus of the conference).

To make this easier, we have drafted a pared down grant request here: Grants:PEG/Bangla_Wikipedia_10th_anniversary.

We have a few questions regarding these items:

  1. How will you cover food for the conference? It looks like the scholarship recipients have food budgeted as do the "volunteers". Are these volunteers the organizers or all attendees?
  2. Prizes: What is the Best Wikipedian Award -- a certificate or statue/memento for 1,000 BDT each?
  3. Metrics: These will need to be updated based on a smaller scope.

Please let us know if you are comfortable with this proposal for moving forward. We are happy to support the growth of the community, but feel that a proposal of this size needs significantly more time for discussion and review than your current timeline. If you are comfortable with the new draft request, please update as needed and submit. Best, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:22, 7 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks Alex for your comment. What we intended from the beginning of planning the anniversary programs- is to organize such events that would have impact in terms of growth of the Bangla Wikimedia community as well as make outreach throughout the country (not just in the capital, that happens very often). That's why we have included the workshops and edit-a-thons, so that people (especially university students) will be given hands-on training on contributing to Wikipedia. And we will organize all these taking the opportunity of anniversary. We would have planned/proposed about organizing just a one or two day long conference to celebrate the anniversary, which would not have needed such months of planning and organizing efforts.

I would like to have your attention on what you stated here. You suggested the Indian community to organize a series of training workshops leading up to the event, using the anniversary as an opportunity to promote Wikimedia projects to the general. That's one of the intentions that we have been considering in organizing the anniversary programs. The series of workshops and edit-a-thons we've planned will lead up to the tenth anniversary conference. The occasion is same for both the Indian community and Bangladeshi Wikimedia community. So why you are discouraging us about the workshops and edit-a-thons. Also, the Telugu community did organize 8 workshops on the occasion of tenth anniversary of the Telugu Wikipedia. The Bangladeshi Wikimedia community is much larger than the Telugu community and Bangla speaking people are even more in number than Telugu speaking people. Now, we are going to organize the tenth anniversary of Bangla Wikipedia, so why we won't be funded for organizing ten workshops and edit-a-thons? Could you please explain? Tanweer (talk) 09:00, 9 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Tanweer. We are are happy to continue to discuss and revise the complete proposal until we're happy with it, but that it may take several more weeks. We are not refusing to fund the school and university programs, but we need a better rationale and explanation of their intended impact, supported with more realistic planning and budgets. It might be better for you to split it into two prosposals, one we can approve now (with the conference) and one that we can continue working on together with the GAC. If you don't want to split the grant proposal, we need to set realistic expectations that you will most likely will not have a decision for a few weeks. Please let me know what you would like to do. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 01:24, 11 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Alex. Okay, so we are going to split the proposal into two. One with the conference and the one with the workshops and edit-a-thons. But for the grant request that you've drafted, we need to include the Inaugural Press Conference. We will be announcing the launch of workshops/edit-a-thons and school programs as follow-up programs of the Tenth Anniversary Conference. We also need some adjustment and updating-work on it so that it is suitable with our planning. We are going to update it soon. Is that alright? And for the workshops and edit-a-thons, we shall have discussion later on. Tanweer (talk) 05:59, 11 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Tanweer. We're happy to hear you'd like to move forward with this idea. In terms of the press conference, we understand Grameenphone helped with the press conference for Wikipedia Zero and would like to continue to support your activities. Have you discussed with them the possibility of donating space for the press conference? It would be good to check. Let us know when the updated request is ready for final review. It would also be great to set up a time to talk about the school program/workshops/editathons. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 01:07, 13 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Alex, who told you that Grameenphone helped WMBD with the Wikipedia Zero press conference? Where did you get that information from? WMBD organized the entire press conference on its own; logistics, expenses, venue, media contacts, press notes - everything. WMBD invited representatives of Grameenphone, Banglalink and Robi to the press conference as Wikipedia Zero involves the mobile operators and they just attended the event just as the journalists and others. Please don't assume anything and validate before giving any information. --Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (talk) 19:11, 15 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Alex, I am also fully agree with Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy). WMBD organized the press conference & everything. Don't know who inform you & where did you get information that GrameenPhone helped with the press conference. Personally i am involve with this press conference with all activities. So i know details about this press conference. As Tonmoy already mention WMBD invited representatives of Grameenphone, Banglalink and Robi to the press conference as Wikipedia Zero involves the mobile operators and they just attended the event just as the journalists and others. Hope you understand. --Nurunnaby Chowdhury Hasivetalk 08:39, 19 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Hi Nurunnaby Chowdhury Hasive and Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy). Apologies if I had the wrong information. My understanding was that they are supporting some activities in this program and was wondering if they were supporting the press conference as well (or had been asked to). Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:06, 19 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Next Steps


Hi Tanweer and team. I wanted to check in regarding the outstanding issues we discussed. Due to the upcoming holiday season and our team's travel schedules, it would be great to have the following items addressed in the next week so we can make a decision on this request. Here are the outstanding items we discussed:

  1. Confirm Grameenphone's level of support -- how they will be involved, what will they pay for, are you comfortable with the partnership?
  2. Decrease the # of schools involved to a more "pilot" program so you can really show success and then we can consider additional programs/funding. For example, 10 school programs instead of 20.
  3. Revise the measures of success to focus on conversion of rates of non-reader to reader, reader to contributor, and contributor to offline volunteer.


  1. Do you have a draft program for the anniversary conference? I could not find one on this page.
  2. To respond to the concerns of the GAC/community, it would be great if you could build into your conference program a session specifically aimed at collaboration between the Indian and Bangladeshi communities. It will be a great opportunity to discuss share experiences and challenges and have concrete outcomes around how the communities will collaborate going forward and potential joint projects.

Thanks, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 05:36, 5 December 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Alex, It's been a bit of delay to check-back your queries due to my exams. However, based on what we've discussed, I've amended the budget table and included a 'Participant retention expectancy' table that lists number of participants in each programs and other related figures. We've reduced the number of school programs to 10 (previously 20).

Regarding Grameenphone's level support: GRameenphone is currently sponsoring ongoing 8 university workshops and edit-a-thons. The rest 2 workshops will be conducted upon receiving the grant. Currently Grameenphone is sponsoring accommodation and transportation costs of the volunteers and providing banners, posters in the workshops. In the 10th Anniversary Conference, they will provide the cost of venue and decoration. But we will need volunteer support to make the program successful, that's why volunteers' food and local transportation costs have been included in the budget. We are not completely comfortable with the partnership with Grameenphone, as we have seen that Grameenphone conducts 2 sessions in the university workshops which are more related to their agenda than to Wikipedia. As a consequence, It would have been far better if the programs could be organized fully by Wikimedia Bangladesh, in partnership with respective universities.

The program outline of the 10th Anniversary Conference has not been completed yet. We will do this soon. And yes, We already have planned about holding a session aimed at collaboration between Indian and Bangladeshi Wikimedians. Let me know whether anything more needs to be addressed. Thanks. Tanweer (talk) 21:32, 11 December 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hi Tanweer. Thank you for this update and the additional metrics, which are very helpful. We understand that the partnership with Grameenphone is already underway. Please do let us know if we can help guide the relationship so that it is more beneficial to the community -- either while this project is underway or for future projects. We are happy to work with the Wikipedia Zero team to make sure the collaboration is a positive one. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:35, 23 December 2014 (UTC)Reply
Regarding the program, we understand you are working with Grameenphone on developing this. We are interested to know more how the team is soliciting input on the program from the community in order to address their interests and needs. Is there a discussion on meta or survey? Thanks, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:35, 23 December 2014 (UTC)Reply

One queries


I have a one queries about grants applicants[ and [User:AWang (WMF)]], Is this applied as "GROUP" or organization "WMBD"? As you state that applied as "GROUP" but the page was created at "PEG/WM BD/" sub page. It should be like that,PEG/Tanweer Morshed/Bangla Wikipedia 10th anniversary. Thank you.Jayantanth (talk) 03:53, 10 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Jayantada, Your ans has already been explained here :) ~ Nahid Talk 08:41, 10 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks Nahid, for this clarification. Keep it up. Jayantanth (talk) 00:46, 11 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Yes, the title of the grant request should have "TMorshed" instead of WMBD to be consistent with our policies. I will move the page now. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 01:26, 11 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Grant Approved


Hi Tanweer and Nahid. We appreciate your engagement in the discussion with the GAC, community members, and WMF staff. We realize the grant review process has been long and sometimes complicated, and we thank you for your patience. We are excited to hear about the university workshops, school programs, and 10th anniversary celebrations. The potential for growing the Wikimedia projects in Bangladesh is huge and we see this grant is a big push towards increasing awareness and engaging new users. It is also an experiment in partnering with Grameenphone. We will definitely be interested in hearing your feedback on the partnership and what learnings can be used for both Bangladesh and other communities. A couple of detailed comments upon approval of this grant:

  1. Conference program: From our conversation we understand you are working with the community on getting feedback on the program, and will also be gathering input from Grameenphone. We look forward to seeing the developed program in a couple weeks.
  2. Bangla Wikipedia collaboration: We are very interested in how the 10th anniversary celebrations can catalyze collaboration between the two main Bengali/Bangla Wikipedia communities. We hope the conversations in Kolkata can be developed further at the meeting in Dhaka, with concrete points of cooperation and contacts decided.
  3. Equipment: Please be sure to have Wikimedia Bangladesh set up a tracking page like this one for all equipment.
  4. Swag: There is a large amount of merchandise included in this grant request. We understand the scale for events in Bangladesh are considerably higher than other communities. However, please note that we encourage giving away merchandise strategically. For example, to the top participants in an edit-a-thon, people that come to multiple workshops, volunteer project managers, etc.
  5. Measures of success: We will connect you with the Program Evaluation & Design team for support with your impact measurement.

Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 29 December 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thanks Alex for your cooperation in the process. Also thanks to other community members and WMF staffs for their concern about this grant application. We believe that the grant will help in implementing the specified activities on the occasion of 10th anniversary of Bangla Wikipedia in Bangladesh in a positive way. We are also confident that we'd be able to accomplish the reporting as per requirement. Tanweer (talk) 12:21, 30 December 2014 (UTC)Reply

Request for extension of grant term


Request for a change to the completion date


We are requesting an extension of the project completion date for Bangla Wikipedia 10th anniversary.

  1. The new proposed completion date will be 30 March 2015. The start date will be unchanged (24 November 2014).
  2. The reason for our extension is because the school authorities (where we would host the School Programs) informed us that, in January, they are busy with admission exams of new students and admission related activities. As a result, it is better for them to have school programs in February – March. On the other hand, we have planned to organize the Anniversary Conference in February. So, we think that having all the school programs, some photowalks and the Anniversary Conference in February won’t be a good idea in terms of outcome/effectiveness and will put a lot of pressure on our volunteers. Therefore, we have decided to extend the grant end date from 28 February 2015 to 30 March 2015.
  3. We do intend to accomplish the programs with a view to achieving best possible outcome. As it'd be convenient for the schools to host the programs later than January, we might organize the Anniversary Conference in late February, followed by rest of the programs in March.

Thanks. Tanweer (talk) 06:42, 8 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Tanweer. Thank you for this clear explanation. The request is approved. The new end date is March 30, 2015 and the final report will be due May 29, 2015. Cheers, Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 22:20, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Request for extension of grant term


Request for a change to the completion date


We are requesting an extension of the project completion date for Bangla Wikipedia 10th anniversary due to some unavoidable reasons.

  1. The new proposed completion date will be 31 May 2015.
  2. The reason for our extension is that, the fund was released on our joint account on 18 March. According to the existing grant term we are supposed to accomplish all the specified programs within 30 March, but as we have received the fund just a few days ago, it's quite impossible to organize all the programs within 30 March. We have already placed order for some merchandise as per the grant budget. Therefore an extension of the grant term is necessary.
  3. It may be noted that, political instability in the country for the past few months have caused problems in organizing our activities. Considering the safety of the Wikipedians from India, who were invited to participate at the 10th Anniversary Conference as well as scholarship recipient Wikipedians from across Bangladesh, we had to postpone the program. We are working on fixing a suitable date for holding the program.

Thanks. Tanweer (talk) 17:39, 25 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Tanweer. Thank you for the update. The extension is approved. Please be sure to post an updated program schedule once you have a better sense of what it will be. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:34, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply

Request for a change to the completion date


We are requesting an extension of the project completion date for Bangla Wikipedia 10th anniversary for this following reason:

  • We would like to inform you that we have accomplished all the events execpt severall school programs. We could organize just one school program. The holy month of Ramadan has just come to an end. Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country and schools remain closed for most of the time during the Ramadan month. So we could not organize all the school programs. We hope that we can organize the remaining programs within August and we'd be able to submit the report by August 31.

Best regards, Tanweer (talk) 04:53, 22 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Tanweer. Thanks for this update. The request is approved and we'll expect the report by August 31, 2015. Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 16:39, 22 July 2015 (UTC)Reply