The following implementation plan is envisaged by CIS-A2K for the Marathi language community. The activities are designed to increase quality content, improve existing articles, strengthen volunteer capacity, and to establish institutional partnerships. Meanwhile, CIS-A2K will also focus on developing various Wikimedia projects in the Marathi community through innovative programs. Efforts will be made to build cohesive and meaningful relationships between the Wikimedian community and the local society.
As the Community Advocate for Marathi community was not in place for three to four months, the activities only took off after a new CA was assigned in December 2016. Since then, intensive outreach activities, discussion, and meetings have been held to establish partnership with reputable institutions and organisations with the aim of developing quality content. These The partners include institutions in Kolhapur, Pune, Sangli, Satara, and Aurangabad districts, as well as several environmentalist organizations. Until February 2017, CIS-A2K has successfully collaborated with Shivaji University, Willingdon College, Jnana Prabodhini, Jalbiradari, Yashada, Rajya Marathi Vikas Sanstha, MKCL and Vigyan Ashram. We expect long-term partnership to be built between the community and these institutions. In total, 7 Edit-a-thons, 3 Thematic workshops, 1 Wikisource workshop, and Digitisation activities were held from December 2016 to February 2017. Additionally, Wikipedia Stall in state level exhibition and two radio broadcast interviews were conducted to raise public awareness.
Prior to the drafting of the work plan, CIS-A2K conducted community consultation with experienced Wikipedians, admins, active editors, and Institutional representatives in Marathi community. By responding to set of questions regarding the program expectations, the community members had provided valuable feedback through telephonic discussions, personal meetings, and mail communication. The major suggestions and concerns are summarised below:
Involve educational institutions with Marathi-run courses
Public awareness should be raised through mass media to increase Wikimedia projects' exposure to the public
Collaborate with institutions of different disciplines (such as Law, Social Work, Engineering) as WEP partners to expand Wikipedia content coverage and receive technical support
Decentralised approach should be taken for outreach and capacity building programs
There is a large content gap on science, agriculture, environment, women, and rural development issuess
Regular meetings of new editors with subject experts and experienced Wikipedians should be conducted
Digitisation and Wikisource project should be replicated in a larger number of libraries and museums.
Email and social media communication should be more active to encourage interactions between editors.
In collaboration with a variety of institutions, CIS-A2K has designed programs to bring in enthusiastic students and scholars of diverse disciplines to Marathi Wikipedia. The focus will be on developing Wikipedia catalysts within the institutions for continual contribution.
The collaborations with Law colleges and Social work colleges can help bridge the Wikipedia content gap in legal subjects and development issues. On the other hand, inviting students and faculty from Engineering colleges to join Wikipedia can enrich the project with technical support and expertise.These programs would be developed in the form of Edit-a-thons, Photothons and Internships under Wikipedia Education Program.
On the occasion of Marathi Language month in January and Language day on 27th February 2017, Government of Maharashtra has taken various initiatives to build content on Wikipedia. It has issued resolution to promote writing on Wikipedia for the educational institutes. In Marathi Litfest, appeal was made by Culture Minister Vinod Tawade to write good articles on Wikipedia. On 27th February, a big event was organised on Gateway of India. CIS-A2K has collaborated with the Government Language departments like Rajya Marathi Vikas Sanstha & Marathi Vishwakosh Mandal as a capacity building agency.
Its official network with institutions in Maharashtra can be helpful to introduce Wikimedia projects as a long term program to a large variety of institutes
Introducing Wikimedia projects to institutions in different cities of Maharashtra, such as Pune, Kolhapur, and Aurangabad with the aim to generate content on different subjects and to enroll students in partner institutions to Wikipedia Educational Programs
Smartphones in action
Introduce different Wikimedia projects to different institutions
Initiate dialogue and follow-up with interested faculty members and school aurthority
Involve experienced Wikipedians in the discussion
Organize Wikipedia workshops at the institutions
Sign MoUs based on feedback during the workshop and follow-up discussions regarding potential projects
Collaborate with local Wikipedians, designing training programs, and carrying out follow-up workshops
Periodic review of the content created by program participants
Monitor program progress
Two institutional Edit-a-thons per month (24 in a year in total)
Due to the rise of internet connectivity and computer literacy, 'Digital Divide' in rural Maharashtra is slowly vanishing. However there is still a 'Knowledge Divide' on of scarcity of knowledge that are related to the rural concern and interest, such as agriculture, environment, and rural development issues in the local language Wikipedia. Proposed Wikimedia projects can play an instrumental role in bridging this content gap. Moreover, the focus on women and gender issues can help bridge the content gender gap in Wikipedia.
There are a few well-known organizations working on social, cultural and environmental issues in Maharashtra. Working at the grassroots level, these organizations possess materials and resources that are crucial to reserve as knowledge in Marathi. CIS-A2K will attempt to carry out thematic workshops on subjects regarding women, water, and environment to bring this information on Wikipedia to achieve networking among the communities. As a result, specific 'Communities of Interest' would be formed. These activities should be rolled out as part of a social campaign to raise exposure and awareness on both the local issues and the Wikimedia projects.
Proposed Thematic areas
Locality of partner organizations
Western Maharashtra region
To hold events and create pages on Marathi Wikipedia on specific themes that are aligned with local NGOs' work, and to combine the strength of grassroots organizations with the free knowledge movement
Create content on issues regarding rural issues and other themes covered by the organizational partners
Help new editors generate content with a model framework and simplify the categorisation process. This practice can be included in online training material for organizational partners
Sharing the collaboration experience across partners and with the public
Involving local community in social campaigns on the occasions of various global celebration, sucha s the World Environment Day, World Water Day, and International Women's Day.
To spread awareness about Marathi Wikipedia in new localities across Maharashtra (including Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Satara, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri, and Aurangabad) , Goa and Karnataka, where internet connectivity is good and active community is available.
Hold basic orientation and training sessions for people in various regions who work in different fields, such as education, journalism, literature, and social movements.
Expand the program to more regions in and outside of Maharashtra
Encourage people with different interest and background to create diversified content
To equip citizens with the skills to create Wikipedia pages ducumenting current affairs in a neutral way. The collaborative and participatory knowledge creation process would promote the concept of Citizen Science.
Total 8 events in a year to reach at least 1500 people
Regular events will be planned and carried out for needs assessment, troubleshooting, and event idea brainstorming to nurture active and skillful community members. Participants will also receive technical training in Mediawiki tools. Platforms on social media and other contact application will be formed to encourage more interactions and communication among community members.
Stimulate higher editor retention rate and article quality improvement through strengthening community members' skills and bonding
Provide opportunities for bonding, technical support, personal development, and incentives to contribute to Wikimedia projects
Wikipedian monthly meetups would be organized at different places
Form locality-wise email/social media groups
Develop decentralized mechanisms and platforms to address community needs
2 Mini TTTs and 2 mini MWTs would be organized in 4 regions in Maharashtra.
Include targets for each of the three shared measures for each program, and overall. If one or more of these required metrics are not relevant to any of your programs, please consult your program officer.
Also choose at least two grantee-defined metrics to highlight in this section, and include targets for each of these grantee-defined metrics for each program, and overall. (Other program-specific metrics may be included in your program objectives, in the detailed program sections below.)
Number of newly registered users
Number of content pages created or improved, across all Wikimedia projects
Identify programs which community can continue with minimum support from CIS-A2K
To create a community tool hub/resource library where editors can retrieve materials from for their local activities and events. These hubs would be located in various educational institutes, voluntary organisations, public libraries and communities of interest.
To train community members and develop a grant-application consultation group within the community
Connect the Wikimedia projects to projects on social and environmental issues that local NGOs work on
Wikipedia editing skills are included in the syllabus of MS-CIT Course, recognised by Maharashtra Government. Such initiatives will be taken with the community participation to accommodate Wikimedia projects in educational courses and training institutes like Yashada.