Grants talk:Project/Jagseer S Sidhu/Punjabi Audiobooks Project

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Proposal Clinics[edit]

Hello Jagseer,

Thanks for submitting your proposal for the Project Grants open call! I wanted to make sure you are aware that our Project Grants process involves ongoing feedback. We want to inform you that we are hosting proposal clinics for applicants to ask questions and get feedback. If you would like to attend, you can find the dates, times, and videoconference links posted on this page https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project. These are optional opportunities to get support improving your proposal. Let me know if you have any questions! Good luck with finishing your proposal for the February 10 deadline!

Warm regards,

--MCasoValdes (WMF) (talk) 02:06, 9 February 2021 (UTC)[]

A question from Ruslik0[edit]

I have one question. Why is it not possible to use just some text-to-speech software to create audiobooks? Why are human speakers necessary? Ruslik (talk) 18:57, 10 February 2021 (UTC)[]

Hi @Ruslik0:, We considered text-to-speech to create audiobooks as it is a decent technology but a machine can not add emotions into the voice. A book may contains number of emotions and that can only feel by a human. Thanks. --Jagseer S Sidhu (talk) 04:11, 25 February 2021 (UTC)[]

Eligibility confirmed, Round 1 2021 - Community Organizing proposal[edit]

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This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for review in Round 1 2021 for Community Organizing projects. This decision is contingent upon compliance with our COVID-19 guidelines. Proposals that include travel and/or offline events must ensure that all of the following are true:

  • You must review and can comply with the guidelines linked above.
  • If necessary because of COVID-19 safety risks, you must be able to complete the core components of your proposed work plan _without_ offline events or travel.
  • You must be able to postpone any planned offline events or travel until the Wikimedia Foundation’s guidelines allow for them, without significant harm to the goals of your project.
  • You must include a COVID-19 planning section in your activities plan. In this section, you should provide a brief summary of how your project plan will meet COVID-19 guidelines, and how it would impact your project if travel and offline events prove unfeasible throughout the entire life of your project. If you have not already included this in your proposal, you have until March 3rd to add it.

The Community review period is now underway, from February 20-March 4. We encourage you to make sure that stakeholders, volunteers, and/or communities impacted by your proposed project are aware of your proposal and invite them to give feedback on your talkpage. This is a great way to make sure that you are meeting the needs of the people you plan to work with and it can help you improve your project.

  • If you are applying for funds in a region where there is a Wikimedia Affiliate working, we encourage you to let them know about your project, too.
  • If you _are_ a Wikimedia Affiliate applying for a Project Grant: A special reminder that our guidelines and criteria require you to announce your Project Grant requests on your official user group page on Meta and a local language forum that is recognized by your group, to allow adequate space for objections and support to be voiced).

Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during the community review period. By March 4, make sure that your proposal has incorporated any revisions you want to make and complies with all of our guidelines. If you have not already done so, you can make use of our project planning resources to improve your proposal further, too.

The Project Grant committee's formal review for round 1 2020 will occur March 5 through March 20, 2021. We ask that you refrain from making any further changes to your proposal during the committee review period, so we can be sure that all committee members are scoring the same version of the proposal.

Grantees will be announced Friday, April 22, 2021. Sometimes we have to make some changes to the round schedule. If that happens, it will be reflected on the round schedule on the Project Grants start page.

We look forward to engaging with you in this Round!

Questions? Contact us at projectgrants (_AT_) wikimedia  · org.

--Mercedes Caso (platícame) 17:37, 26 February 2021 (UTC)[]

Comment from Wikimedia Foundation GLAM & Culture team[edit]

Dear Jagseer,

This is a really valuable experiment. Will you be able to track use of the audio books?

I’d like to know more about how the audio files will be connected to the source files on Wikisource, e.g. via Wikidata?

It’s good to see that you plan to make the equipment available to the community after the pilot. Can you explain how the equipment will be accessible to them?

Could you make a tutorial available (translated to English too, if possible) at the end of the project?

All best,

FRomeo (WMF) (talk) 11:04, 3 March 2021 (UTC)[]

Dear @FRomeo (WMF):,

We will track the use with this tool. The audio files can be linked to the Wikisource files with this built in tool. You can see the example here. We will put the equipment on the on our community Meta wiki page, open for Community to access and request after the project is over. Yes we can make the tutorial available in English and Punjabi after the project as the outcome of this project. Thank you for your feedback and sorry for late reply. Regards --Jagseer S Sidhu (talk) 07:14, 7 March 2021 (UTC).[]

Thank you for addressing my questions, Jagseer. FRomeo (WMF) (talk) 12:00, 15 March 2021 (UTC)[]

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Jagseer S Sidhu/Punjabi Audiobooks Project[edit]

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
6.7
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
6.0
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
6.9
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
4.9
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • This project potentially aligns with both strategic directions (knowledge as a service and knowledge equity) by addressing access issues to Punjabi content through audio recordings, however it’s less clear what will be the long-term impact with regards to expanding reach and relevance of Wikimedia projects for Punjabi speakers. Most of the budget is for start-up expenses like equipment and training so it seems like the activity could be sustained with fairly minimal support after the pilot.
  • Audiobooks are not an innovative technology, but the language may be dapt to this solution.
  • The project undoubtedly fits with Wikimedia's strategic priorities by seeking to promote the existing Wikisource content. The project results will be obviously sustained upon grant completion and can probably be upscaled further by using the purchased equipment to record new audiobooks.
  • Proposal is in direct relation with knowledge equity priority.
  • The project aims to increase free content on the Wiki projects and it's sustainable as a large part of the grant is used to buy equipment that can be used in a similar project in the future.
  • I suggest that the project team communicate this project to the UG Wiki Blind as the audio book can be used by blind Punjabi people in India and Pakistan.
  • I see some projects with the same ideas. In this case I see a new way to preserve the Punjabi language and the possible impact seems high related with the invest to develop. The risks are medium, because needs a lot of time to record and upload audiobooks and the amount seems too ambitious,
  • Interesting pilot project that proposes a fairly unique approach to increasing the value and accessibility of existing content. Risks are quite low. There is potential for learning but as there are already individuals/organizations experienced in the work of producing audiobooks (accessibility consultants, librarians) as well as open culture communities like LibriVox involved in this area, the greatest potential lies in engagement around Wikimedia projects rather than the actual work involved with audio recordings.
  • The approach is innovative and risks are relatively low. There is a reasonable evaluation plan and measures of success.
  • Accessibility is worth the investment. The point about machine-readable text is actually not sufficiently addressed, as in some cases there have been documented accounts of people preferring machine-read content over a more theatrical reading.
  • The project has realistic measures of success and clear targets.
  • The project team seems capable and the pilot is reasonably scoped.
  • The project can be accomplished in 12 months and the budget seems to be realistic. The participants have necessary skills.
  • The project can be accomplished in 12 months, has a realistic/efficient budget and the participants have the necessary skills
  • There is a low level of endorsement and I don't read if the grantee will use the same voice to do all tasks or use distinct people to do the tasks.
  • There are plans for community engagement at various points (e.g. selection of which books to record). There is a lack of endorsements though.
  • There is some community engagement.
  • The project has a specific target community and plans to engage it. I recommend that the equipment that will be bought for this project will be made available for other members of the community for a future use.
  • I suggest writing about the equipment usage after the grant ends. Travels are hard to be executed in COVID context and Social Media is not explained in the project.
  • There is potential here but the overall value has not been totally established for me - besides completing the recordings, *I would like to know how making them available will contribute to increased reach and relevance of Wikimedia projects for Punjabi speakers. I am not very familiar with similar projects exploring audio recordings of content, but assuming this is a fairly unique approach, it makes sense to me to fund as a small pilot and experimentation. I would also like to see the project team connecting with other organizations/communities operating in this space (e.g. LibriVox) to see if they can build from and remix their existing resources rather than create from scratch.
  • Considering the budget, the relation costs/benefits is reasonable. The audiobooks are an old technology so the solution cannot be replicated or is not innovative.
  • This relatively small grant is worthy of support, in my opinion.
  • There is an assumption that I believe is problematic: the idea that people prefer human read documents over machine-read documents. There is research literature that indicates the contrary. This project could actually become an interesting experiment to make sense of how these two different types of audio products are assessed by people who consume them. This is especially interesting as this proposal is for a pilot. I would recommend that only half of the audiobooks are human read, and the other half is made available through automated screen reading services. This might even lead to improving how these services are connected to our projects. Then, a survey could be run to check ones that were preferred and why. Budget and metrics would need to be reviewed accordingly.


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This proposal has been recommended for due diligence review.

The Project Grants Committee has conducted a preliminary assessment of your proposal and recommended it for due diligence review. This means that a majority of the committee reviewers favorably assessed this proposal and have requested further investigation by Wikimedia Foundation staff.


Next steps:

  1. Aggregated committee comments from the committee are posted above. Note that these comments may vary, or even contradict each other, since they reflect the conclusions of multiple individual committee members who independently reviewed this proposal. We recommend that you review all the feedback and post any responses, clarifications or questions on this talk page.
  2. Following due diligence review, a final funding decision will be announced on Friday, April 22, 2021.

Questions? Contact us.

Marti (WMF) (talk) 05:24, 24 March 2021 (UTC)[]

Round 1 2021 decision[edit]

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Congratulations! Your proposal has been selected for a Project Grant.

The committee has recommended this proposal and WMF has approved funding for the full amount of your request, $3,700

Comments regarding this decision:
The committee is pleased to support this thoughtfully planned pilot project. They value that there are several experienced users involved in the project. The committee appreciates the willingness of the grantee to consult with UG Wiki Blind to make the project more useful to people with visual impairments.

NOTE: Funding of any offline activities (e.g. travel and in-person events) is contingent upon compliance with the Wikimedia Foundation's COVID-19 guidelines. We require that you complete the Risk Assessment Tool:

  • 14 days before any travel and/or gathering event
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Offline events may only proceed if the tool results continue to be green or yellow.

Next steps:

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