Grants talk:Project/Rapid/Krishna Chaitanya Velaga/OpenCon 2018 New Delhi

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Comments from I JethroBT (WMF)[edit]

@Krishna Chaitanya Velaga: Hi Krishna, thank for your proposal for this conference focused on topics related to open access, open data, and open education. Here are my comments on the proposal:

Based on the grant dates, it looks like the work for Wiki Loves Uniformed services (India) is generally done aside from the report, but the other projects are still ongoing. Can you explain you and your team's capacity to plan and prepare this event while also completing work for these other grants?
  • This project also involves a number of other organizers aside from yourself. What sort of work will these volunteers be doing, and have you identified who will be taking on those roles?
  • Thanks for providing some information about the schedule of the conference. One of the goals in this project is to recruit new editors. How do you plan to promote this conference for individuals who are not current contributors to our project? What sort of events during the conference will accommodate newer contributors (to Wikidata or other Wikimedia projects?)
  • In terms of keeping participants engaged after the event, I think more will need to be done than having sessions during the conference on promoting open concepts in India generally. What ideas do you have to check-in with conference participants after the event, and do you plan to support participants after the event who want to work with you, or a start a project or group on their own?

Let me know if there is anything unclear about my questions, and I can provide some more detail. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 16:27, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

@I JethroBT (WMF): Hi Chris, good to see you back. Here are my replies:
  • The first one, "Portable WiFi Hotspot" as you can see that it is for equipment, there isn't much planning involved in this. The equipment has been purchased, and is being used. It is also publicly listed for tracking and use by the community members. The same can be seen at VVIT WikiConnect/Equipment. Coming to "VVIT Edit-a-thon Part 2", the planning part has been done. We have finalized the participants and the dates (23 & 25 November). So we're just waiting for the day to come. So hopefully the reporting part for this will also be completed by the first week of December. Regarding Wiki Loves Uniformed services (India), the campaign was ended, the results were also out, and the reporting is 80% done. It will be submitted within 2–3 days. So I can say that we have enough time to plan for this project.
  • Coming to the roles of the organizers, I'll be coordinating with other organizers, in general make the all the plans, and serve as the point of contact regarding this project. As I've already mentioned, we'll have five organizers (including me). I've not fixed on who are these going to be, because as I am waiting for the approval before I go ahead with that part. But I've already decided the roles that they would take; 1->local coordination (venue, logistics, participants, speakers etc.), 2->framing the minute to minute program schedule (including the topics to be discussed, activities to be done)., 3->anchoring the session (may be taken up by me, in that case, he'll support me in doing so), 4->handling logistics, such as printing of ID cards, posters, requirements at the venue etc.
  • As New Delhi is the national capital, we have many organizations working on open access initiatives. They'd definitely be interested in this. We'll also reach out to educational institutions to send representatives. In the after session, we'll conduct a hackathon on Wikidata with brief introduction of Wikipedia (because teaching Wikidata to people who are not Wikimedia contributors may not work well, so introduction to Wikipedia will be given).
  • Back in time, New Delhi was one of the most active communities in India. But later the editors moved to other places, the community became thin, now we're left only 5–10 active contributors. I think this'll be a good kick start to form a community once again. We'll be in touch with the participants through the most feasible social media channels, and also as one of the organizers is based from Delhi, he can keep in touch with them, and even conduct a post-conference meetup after a couple of months.
I hope I've addressed your comments as far as I could. Please let me know if any other clarifications are required. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 03:42, 12 November 2017 (UTC)
@Krishna Chaitanya Velaga: Thanks for your responses and for the updates on your open grants; I am confident you have the capacity to prepare and run this conference as described. I have two other questions:
  • The proposal notes that you will be inviting professionals to teach about some of the concepts this conference is focused upon. Can you tell me a little more about what sort of individuals you are looking to invite? If you have some specific people in mind or have individuals confirmed, you can let me know. I'm primarily interested in their professional background whether that is in advocacy, education, public policy, technology, etc.
  • In terms of the travel/accomodation fees for the team of 5; is the ₹35,000 an estimate if you're not sure who is on the team? That is, someone outside of New Delhi may have higher travel/accomodation expenses than someone living within the city.
Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:02, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): Hi Chris, thanks for the support. Here are my replies:
  • As conference is primarily intended to let the people know about open access initiatives and their importance in India, the speakers will mostly (may be an exception for one speaker) be the people already working in the area. As far as I have planned till now, Speaker 1 would be Convener of Open Access India, Speaker 2 would be a person from the Academic Council of Indira Gandhi National Open University, Speaker 3 would be a data officer from Open Government Data Portal, Speaker 4 would be from Board of Centre for Internet & Society, and regarding the fifth speech, I am thinking of explaining about Wikipedia in Education program and about the how it has been going on in Christ University. I'll go for other speakers in case the above line up doesn't go as planned.
  • Of the 5 organizers, one is a local. So we have people travelling from outstation. I'll be travelling from Vijaywada, and the other three probables are Hyderabad, Chandigarh, and Bhuwaneswar. So I have proposed the budget based on these estimations, and we anyways have a contingency fund if the costs overshot.
--Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 01:52, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
@Krishna Chaitanya Velaga: The speaker line-up sounds great, and I think you have some good representation from different types of sectors and organizations. I have no concerns with the merits of the project, but I am concerned with estimates of funding that are not well defined yet. I wanted to ask if you would be open to receiving some of the grant upfront for costs that are known (e.g. food, videography, venue) and when you have more information about some of these other costs, we would send you the rest, or less if not all of it was actually needed. Would this be an acceptable arrangement? I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 00:07, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): Hi Chris, sure. That works. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 11:26, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
@Krishna Chaitanya Velaga: Thank you for your cooperation and for your thorough responses to my question. I'll be in touch over e-mail about the details of the grant agreement. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:32, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): Hi Chris, thanks for the approval. Actually I have a small concern at this point. I don't exactly remember why I put "15 January" as the start date. But I need to make some bookings and payments far prior to that. So, I wish to revise it to "20 November". But as the grant has been approved, I don't think I have the right to change the final proposal without prior notification. So if it sounds good, I request to change the start date accordingly. Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 02:13, 18 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi Krishna, I'm replying on behalf of Chris since I was just starting to work on the next steps to processing your grant. Per your request, your proposal's grant start date has been changed to 20 November 2017. -- Best, JTud (WMF), Grants Administrator (talk) 02:48, 18 November 2017 (UTC)