CIS-A2K has been working with Wikimedians from the Kannada Community from 2012 and has always been thankful for their support, timely feedback and interventions regarding the health of the community. CIS-A2K, under its revamped work strategy, introduced the 'Program Associate' position during the last plan period in order to work closely with the community. For many reasons(lack of communication, the absence of trust among community members, etc.), this arrangement did not prove to be useful and CIS-A2K had to discontinue the role of Program Associate for Kannada language Wikimedia projects.
The discontinuation of the services of program staff did result in a dip in the total number of activities conducted for/by the Kannada community. However, the Kannada community on its own has been extremely active and has anchored diverse events such as edit-a-thons, photo-walks, gender gap bridging initiatives among others. It must also be noted that few active users of the Kannada community hailing from the coastal region of Karnataka have come together and formed a User Group for further outreach and community strengthening initiatives.
CIS-A2K looks forward to working with the Karavali Wikimedian User Group during the upcoming proposal year as it would be able to collaborate with Wikimedians from four languages (Kannada, Tulu, Konkani, and Malayalam). This opportunity provides CIS-A2K a chance to bridge idea platforms across Indic language communities and enable multilingual collaborative projects.
As explained above, due to the conflict that has arisen between the community members and Program Staff of A2K, many activities were rescheduled or canceled. This has definitely positively affected the growth of Kannada Wikimedia projects. To understand and to recover from the setback, A2K team decided to do a community consultation. A2K team circulated a questionnaire comprising of 11 questions framed in Kannada (the English version of these questions can be found here). The questions sought the opinion of active Kannada community members on topics ranging from the utilization of resources (financial and non-financial), conflict resolution, evaluation, learning methodologies and innovative practices. A2K team members also reached out to the community members by requesting a face-to-face meeting to discuss these issues and conduct the consultation.
The work plan for Kannada Wikimedia activities has been drafted after taking into consideration the feedback, suggestions, and criticism offered by the community members.
The current work plan for the Kannada Wikimedia projects has been drafted keeping in mind three factors:
Fractured relationship with community members: Due to a series of unfortunate events, Kannada community members had a disagreement with the A2K designated Community Advocate. These differences could not be sorted out easily and after the removal of CA A2K's intervention in Kannada community has come down drastically. This work plan primarily aims to restore the earlier camaraderie and collaborative trust that existed. A2K intends to support the newly formed Karavali Wikimedians Group in all aspects of their operation and would provide necessary help related to policy guidelines, admin activities, logistics and resources as and when required. A2K's effort is towards making this user group sustainable will contribute to a stable and focused Wikimedia movement in the Coastal region of Karnataka and may well become a best practice for other user groups.
Repeated requests for Skill Building initiatives: A2K considers these requests a healthy sign, indicative of the progress of the community. By requesting advance technical training sessions, Kannada and Tulu Wikimedians are emerging as strong leaders for their communities. A2K has also received requests for localizing and conducting need-based mini Train-The-Trainer and MediaWiki Training sessions. In our proposed work plan, focus will be given to conducting skill development activities at all levels.
Monitoring the quality of WEP initiative: It has been brought to A2K's notice that students taking part in the WEP initiative have often vandalised the landing page of Kannada Wikipedia and Kannada Wikisource. While the ever-vigilant community members have reverted the edits, it is a challenge and an unnecessary risk for the community members. The A2K team has devised a strategy to monitor the activities of student Wikipedians more closely to prevent such mishaps. The A2K team will be offering internships to committed and interested student Wikimedians to continue working with Wikimedia projects after the WEP engagement is over. During the internships, these student Wikimedians will ensure the quality of the content that shall be made live. The A2K team is also working towards increasing the Campus Ambassador to Students ratio for better communication and speedy troubleshooting.
CIS-A2K will be working with the Kannada community members to strengthen the existing activities that we have initiated during the last program period. As a strategy, A2K team will work in the following areas to increase reach and contribute to global metrics:
Skill Building Initiatives
GLAM related activities
Activities that will contribute to the Global movement and best practices.
Kannada community members have shown leadership skills and taken the initiative in conducting meet ups, sustaining the activities initiated earlier (after 13-anniversary celebrations) and also in cultivating institutional partnerships for continuing their work. The formation of the user group 'Karavali Wikimedians User Group' is definitely a strong step towards growing the community and providing support to community members.
As a catalyst organisation, A2K's role has always been to support community members and other organisations that work towards empowering the movement. A2K would like to extend all possible cooperation for the newly formed user group which will have in its fold Wikimedians from Kannada, Tulu, and Konkani as well. Providing logistical support, organizational contacts, institutional backing are areas in which A2K has always been active. A2K would like to extend support towards the writing of the grant applications, conducting of events (edit-a-thons, bridging gender gap events, photo walks, etc.), supporting in reporting and documentation. This will be in addition to conducting specialized training as per the requirements. A2K would not be reporting progress against these activities as they are essential for building the community for sustained growth. It is for the same reason that we have not mentioned the targets for this activity. These activities will be proposed and shaped by the Karavali Wikimedians User Group.
Facilitating creation of necessary templates and policy pages by conducting editing sprints
Conducting regular follow-up meetings and introducing Global best practices
Promoting participation in global events and strategy discussion meetings
Skill Building Initiatives
A2K, as per the feedback received by participants and community members, has decided to focus on mini versions of TTT and MWT across its focus language areas. The Community Advocate for the Kannada language community will be undertaking one Mini Skill building session per month (these sessions will be a combination of MWT and TTT aspects). The sessions will be curated/moderated by an active Wikimedian from the community. A2K also has the ambitious plan of involving at least one global community member as an invitee/guest speaker for these sessions.
Mini TTT MWT participants at Mangalore, Karnataka
The needs assessment for these activities will be done by employing both qualitative and quantitative metrics. A2K will also align the training sessions to match and contribute to the global activities and best practices.
With an aim to sustaining the interest generated during WEP, A2K team will be organizing focused internships. These internships will allow the students to work with Wikimedia projects comprehensively. The internship provided to the students will also be employed as a quality ensuring mechanism to prevent acts of vandalism on Wikimedia projects. A2K hopes that these internships will provide an opportunity for editors and contributors recruited via WEP to interact with the community members and thus be part of the larger community. These internships will be hosted in the institution where WEP will be conducted and at CIS, Bangalore jointly. A2K will also be conducting intensive orientation programs for the faculty coordinators and student ambassadors where WEP initiatives are being implemented.
2 Day Orientation Session for the WEP Faculty in May 2017
3 Day Orientation session for the WEP Student participants in June 2017
Mini TTT and MWT Sessions at Various parts of Karnataka (One per quarter)
Content re-licensing and digitisation sprints at WEP institutions and like-minded organisations (Mangalore Central Library, Sanchi Foundation, Bangalore)
Train a Wikimedian session as per the requests received
Wikipedia Education Program(WEP)
National Wikipedia Education Program Review at Christ University, Bangalore
It must be noted that the A2K team has been improving its learning curve with every semester of the WEP implementation. However, it is also true that there are some serious challenges that A2K team needs to address before the A2K WEP program can be considered as a best practice.
The A2K team has been able to better monitor the activities of the students while taking part in WEP assignments during the last program period. There were, however, few instances of vandalism and due to the prompt action of the community members, these were identified and rectified. To reduce the challenges of vandalism and editor interest retention, A2K team has come up with a two-pronged strategy for this program period:
Invite an experienced Wikimedian as a Wikimedian in Residence (at the educational institution) to help A2K design, roll out, implement and evaluate the activity.
To increase the number of Campus Ambassadors who interact with their peers and explain WEP activities so that the ratio of Campus Ambassador to Students will come down (as per 2016-17 WEP activities the ratio was 1:40) and thus become more manageable.
The A2K team also intends to revive the Annual National Level Review of the WEP Program in India as this provided a platform for various partner/participant institutions to participate and exchange ideas for better implementation of WEP and a comprehensive analysis of the benefits, challenges and opportunities that were created out of WEP activities.
The A2K team would like to partner with institutions and Wikimedians who have successfully launched WEP activities in their own capacity (St. Aloysius College, Mangalore) and collaborate with them in identifying the challenges and their strategies to overcoming these challenges. A2K would also attempt to translate and localize the resources that have been aggregated on outreach.wikimedia.org for the benefit of Indic community volunteers in organising and conducting WEP activities.
Wikimedian in Residence program to ensure quality of the content created and reducing the number of vandal editors
Open assessment with the support of community members regarding the nature and quality of activities completed by the students of WEP program
Evaluation of WEP assignments by faculty of the institution and A2K team members
National Level Review Workshop regarding practice of WEP in India (March 2018)
Internships to interested students after completing WEP to further improve the quality of WEP assignments
Feedback collection and review meeting to strategise for upcoming academic year (June 2018-April 2019)
Content Enrichment Activities
A2K will continue the consultation with DSERT and organise periodic edit-a-thons that have proven to be very useful as a pedagogic resource. The challenge, however, is the availability of teachers for the DSERT sponsored edit-a-thons as they would be bound by the academic calendar as mandated by the state government.
Faculty training program at DSERT, Bangalore.
To overcome this problem, A2K team would be involving localizing edit-a-thons and will be conducting edit-a-thons not from Bangalore (central training location of DSERT), but from various taluk headquarters of Karnataka. The A2K team is aware that the non-availability of infrastructure might play a big issue in the success of these edit-a-thons.
The A2K team would like to make use of features such as Kwix to work despite these odds.
A2K would like to contribute to the trend of Kannada Wikimedians taking active part in global and national events (WAM, WLM, GI Edit-a-thon and Punjab Edit-a-thon). These activities have helped community members participate and contribute articles/content that has been recognized globally. A2K would be curating and facilitating the participation of Kannada Wikimedians during this plan period as well. Events such as WAM, Women’s History Month and Dalit History Month will be taken up by A2K and help Kannada Wikimedians participate, coordinate and contribute to these events.
As a program that has the unique privilege of establishing institutional partnerships, A2K will be scouting for opportunities that can be utilized by Kannada Wikimedians to conduct edit-a-thons, photo walks, scan-a-thon or adding of references.
Kannada community members have shown an incredible level of commitment and organizational skills towards successfully conducting edit-a-thons that have contributed articles on science-related topics and bridging gender gap on Kannada Wikipedia. A2K will be collaborating with these initiatives. A2K’s participation in these events during the last program year has been minimal due to a clash of events. Another learning for A2K team has been that Kannada community holds a unique advantage of both contributing and enriching other language Wikipedias (many Karavali Wikimedians/Kannada Wikipedians can contribute to Tulu and Konkani Wikimedia projects) as well. A2K will organize events that will facilitate cross-pollination of ideas/content and resources across these language Wikimedia projects.
The A2K team is also engaged in re-licensing of the content under CC license and bringing the material on Wikisource. In the last project period, Kannada community members have digitized, proof read and published a few books of eminent Kannada writer Niranjana.
DSERT Edit-a-thons at Nodal Centers across Karnataka
Wikisource Digitisation Sprints
Collaboration with Wiki Womens Mangalore for conducting Thematic edit-a-thons
Content re-licensing and content creation sprints with The White Swan Foundation, Bangalore and other like-minded organisations
Involving and supporting Kannada community members to take part in global activities such as WAM, WLM, Women in Red
Leveraging institutional partnerships to bring multimedia content under free license and facilitate the use of such content to improve Wikimedia projects
GLAM Related Activities
Kannada community members have shown interest in contributing to GLAM events during the last program period. Multiple photo walks have been conducted in Mangalore and Bangalore. These photo walks have resulted in uploading of images on Commons and their subsequent use in enriching articles. A2K would like to facilitate the Kannada community members towards conducting these activities.
St. Francis Xavier's photograph, taken during a GLAM project at Mangaluru, Karnataka
During this project year, A2K will be conducting ‘Wikimedians Walk’ where Wikimedians will interact with a subject expert and use the information, images, references to enrich the articles. A few shortlisted areas for such walks are Biodiversity, Historical tour, Institutional tour, Open Day celebrations of Museums and research organizations. These walks will provide Wikimedians an opportunity to identify the gaps existing on Wikipedia and other projects and later contribute to bridging them.
A2K will also be partnering with like-minded organizations such as Neenasam, Sanchi Foundation, Ladai Prakashana and Photographic Society of Bangalore in sourcing and uploading of the free licensed content on Commons. The content A2K plans to acquire will mainly be in two forms: images and text. While the images have the primary use of being included in the article and thus improving its quality, the text will be used as a reference/citation for an article that has been created earlier. Many of these organizations have in their archives collections of interviews of writers, theater and cultural personalities and performance artists. These resources are invaluable as pedagogic tools and can be used by institutions all over the world discussing similar topics or engaged in similar debates. A2K will be actively working with these organizations to secure the archival footage and upload it onto Commons.
A2K will also be working with organizations such as The White Swan Foundation, Bangalore and Kannada Lekhakiyara Sangha, Bangalore in localizing their archival content to Kannada and populate articles related to mental health and women writers of Kannada and Karnataka respectively.
Conducting Wikimedians Walk in association with GLAM institutions
Wikimedian in Residence
Partnering with organisations such as Sanchi Foundation who have been documenting local cultural practices and integrate the material into Wikimedia projects
Photo upload sprints (during the current plan, A2K has been able to generate a lot of leads that will result in re-licensing of images)
Along with the above-mentioned activities, A2K would also be taking active part in the global GLAM events such as WLM, WLE and WLF and providing necessary support to Kannada Wikimedia community members.
Collaborating and Contributing with Global Best Practices: As a new initiative A2K has charted a Global Engagement plan and Kannada community will also be taking part in this initiative.
CIS-A2K team would like to establish that the Community Advocate hired to implement Kannada Wikimedia project work plan shall be directly reporting to the Kannada community regarding all activities, initiatives, and programs. It would be the responsibility of the A2K team to provide necessary support (financial, nonfinancial, logistics, institutional support among others)to the Community Advocate in order to make these events successful and for them to have a long-term impact for the community members.
CIS-A2K would be requesting a senior community member from the Kannada Wikimedia Projects to supervise the activities of the Kannada Community Advocate. In addition to a quarterly audit of the CA's work, she/he is expected to submit a monthly report on the Village Pump for the benefit of the community.
CIS-A2K team would also like to support activities that will be conducted by the Karavali Wikimedians User Group.