Global Development/India strategic plan

Context for the program edit

India is among the fastest growing nations on the Internet. More than 80 million Indians have Internet access, and by 2015 that number is expected to increase to 237 million. Correspondingly, between 400 - 700 million Indians have mobile phones, and the number that have mobile data access to the Internet is increasing exponentially. It is a country with tremendous knowledge resources to contribute to humankind and where hundreds of millions, who live in information-poor environments, should be able to freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

For Wikimedia, India represents a largely untapped opportunity to dramatically expand our impact and move toward our vision of a world where everyone can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Today, India represents only 2.0% of global page views and 1.6% of global page edits on Wikimedia's sites, even though India accounts for 4.7% of global Internet users and about 20% of humanity. English Wikipedia, our flagship project, ranks in the top ten of all websites in India. We also have Wikipedia projects in 20 Indic languages, which will become increasingly important because the next 100 million Indians to come onto the Internet will be less proficient in English than the current user base. Demographically, Indic languages represents a massive opportunity because only about 150 million of a total Indian population of 1.2 billion are estimated to be comfortable in English.

In 2010, the Wikimedia movement developed its first strategic plan and set India as a priority geography for growth and investment. At the conclusion of the strategy process, the Wikimedia Foundation created a Global Development team that immediately started laying the ground work for the India Program.

Impact goals edit

Our targets for our work between now and June 2015 are:

  • Expand the Indian editing community to 5,000 active editors by June 2015, with at least 1,000 active editors in the Indic language projects.
  • Create high-quality Wikipedia projects (and sister projects such as Wiktionary and Wikisource) with 5 Indic languages reaching 50,000 articles and 5 more with more than 25,000 articles - of a reasonable quality - through community building of editor communities. By June 2015, we want 5 Indic communities to have 100 active editors and 5 more with 50 active editors.
  • Expand Wikipedia readership to 100 million unique visitors per month by June 2015.
  • Ensure Wikipedia is accessible to all literate Indians via widely available mobile and/or offline platforms.
  • Expand the base of articles on English Wikipedia of an Indian context from 115,000 to 165,000 by June 2015 reducing stubs from 68,000 to 34,000 based on Wiki Project India assessment stats.

Program goals edit

Catalyst Project Approach

The India Program is a partnership with the Indian Wikimedia community. The initiative is intended as a means through which the Wikimedia Foundation can help the community grow and improve and expand the projects. This is an experimental effort as the Wikimedia movement does not have a set of proven programs that can guarantee the growth of a community or project - and this is the first catalyst project being undertaken by the movement. The India Program (like the other catalyst projects) aims to identify pilots that work in achieving impact goals. This will be useful for sustaining the long-term success of the projects and will provide guidance for the development of other languages.

Specifically, the India Program will focus on testing pilots that tackle the following challenges:

  • How to build communities of sufficient critical size to accelerate and sustain growth in high-quality educational knowledge available in Indic languages?
  • How to encourage the recruitment and effective integration of new English language editors from India into the English Wikipedia (EN:WP) community?
  • How to strengthen coverage of India-relevant topics in EN:WP?
  • How to connect the Wikimedia community into new networks, build awareness of the Wikimedia project and how they work to encourage contribution?
  • How to build partnerships with educational and other groups to encourage new users to join the community as content contributors?
  • How to reach communities with limited Internet connectivity to provide access to Wikipedia's educational content?

The India Program will answer the following general questions in its pilot work that will help inform program design in India and in other geographies where the Wikimedia movement is active:

  1. Impact on editor: Are there certain types of proactive programming that work well in garnishing editorship in India?
  2. Program evaluation: Why are the programs in India successes or failures?
  3. Community partnership: What is the best way to partner with the community in the individual pilots and the overall program?
  4. Ability to replicate: What is replicable from the India experience? What are the cultural factors that should be accounted for before expanding?
  5. Capacity: Is it possible to maintain the program's activities within the volunteer community or is staff capacity needed?
  6. Return on Investment: Is the financial investment justified by the results of the program?
  7. Scale: Are pilots that are being tested scalable within a particular community, and adoptable by other language communities?

Results to date edit

The India Program has been in existence for just over a year, but at full team strength since March 2012. The initial priorities were to establish the organisation and infrastructure for the team and to build the team. A considerable amount of effort was required to explore the various organisation options - and the proposed model of a partner organisation was eventually decided upon. An office has been set up in Delhi - and the 5-member consultancy team has been recruited and inducted.

So far, the team's single biggest priority has been building community. This is the essential ingredient to all the work that will be done. The team has worked with several communities to nurture them into cohesive, collaborative communities rather than a disparate collection of editors. The Assamese community has more than doubled, from 10 to 26, in just 5 months between November 2011 and March 2012. The Kannada community has grown from 10 in September 2011 to 27 in March 2012 - and this has been partially achieved by encouraging retired community members to return to the movement. The Gujarati Wikisource community has grown from 0 to 7 in the 3 months leading to March 2012.

A massive effort was also put into outreach across the country - for both English and Indic languages. Between January and March 2012, 24 outreach events were conducted across India, which were attended by 820 people - nearly 50 of whom are estimated to have become first-time editors. These activities were conducted with 3 equally important objectives: To get new editors; to fine-tune outreach programs that had earlier been disparate and inconsistent; and to build the capacity of community members to independently conduct outreach events, for which many lacked the confidence and capability. This work has been documented in the form of handbooks for Wikipedia outreach as well as well for Wikimedia Commons outreach, and the translating of these across languages is being encouraged.

A large pilot was undertaken in Pune in the second half of 2011 to encourage nearly 1,000 students to contribute content. While this pilot was unsuccessful, it prompted an estimated 35 students to become active editors, and some took over responsibilities for larger community activities after the pilot ended in November 2011.

The team has also started exploring the potential of using social media and other digital outreach to drive participation, and to establish support groups for new editors through Student Clubs or adopt-a-user buddy systems.

See recent blog posts on India work for more information:

Current year plan - July 2012-June 2013 edit

Each year the India Program conducts a review of programs and sets specific plans for the coming fiscal year and sets specific goals that build toward the longer-term goals. For the coming year, the goals are:

  • Contribute to the growth of Indian EN:WP active editors from 1,500 to 1,750
  • Support five Indic language projects to expand their communities by at least 50% and add at least 200 new editors on Indic language projects

The current year's plan involves five major areas of activity:

A. Indic language community building edit

The India Program began work on Indic language community building in October 2011. This area is a top priority of the India Program, as Wikimedia's reach in India will always be limited by language barriers. The Indic language projects remain small, with the most successful having fewer than 50,000 articles and fewer than 100 active editors on a monthly basis. The primary challenge is to strengthen communities to build and sustain each Indic language project.

Community building is done by:

  1. Encouraging communication between editors through establishing connections between editors, facilitating meet-ups and encouraging on-wiki discussions on talk pages or forums such as village pumps.
  2. Organising collaboration amongst editors through Wikiprojects that are either subject-specific or task-specific. To this end, a Wikiproject to create and improve articles of the 80 most-read medical topics on English Wikipedia is now active in 5 different Indic languages - Assamese, Bangla, Odia, Telugu and Marathi.
  3. Cross-pollinating ideas across communities by sharing experiences and success (or otherwise) stories in relevant forums such as the various village pumps, as illustrated in this example for Hindi.
  4. Supporting ambitious community events such as the national conference of Wikimedians in India, Wikiconference, held at Mumbai in November 2011 and attended by 700 people, and the Malayalam conference, Sangamothsavam, held at Kollam in May 2012.

To date, community building has focused on working closely with some really small but promising project communities (some with fewer than five editors) to take the initial steps to expand their communities. This has entailed helping to organize outreach events, design of projects for the community to catalyze activity, and pilots with Facebook as a social organizing tool. See Indic Language projects for more info on recent and current activities.

Over the next year, Indic community building will continue to focus on deep engagement with 7-10 Indic project communities, with the addition of systematic digital outreach pilots focused on encouraging new editor engagement. Digital outreach represents a powerful channel to invite and train new editors - especially given the increasing readership of various projects in India. The current reader base is the most logical place to foster new editors. A combination of geo-targeted banners, linking to online tutorials and other training material, supported by online help points such as the Teahouse, will be piloted in an Indic language and then rolled out to other languages as well as the English Wikipedia community in India. Digital outreach will be conducted in partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation's newly established Editor Growth and Contribution Program.

B. English education pilot and expansion edit

The India Program in partnership with the Global Education Program conducted a pilot project between June–November 2011 with three universities in Pune. The pilot aimed to generate useful content for English Wikipedia and provide lessons for the future growth of education programs within India. The pilot failed to generate useful content and created significant costs, as a majority of students in the pilot plagiarized content in their contributions, which required a substantial clean-up effort on the part of Wikipedia editors. The pilot did generate important lessons that will be put into effect in the second round of pilot work. A thorough evaluation of the pilot was conducted and reported on publicly. As noted earlier, notwithstanding the issues in the pilot, 35 students remained active on Wikipedia and indeed advanced as editors - indicating the fundamental potential of an initiative of this nature.

In the coming year, a second pilot initiative will be launched based on the lessons from the first. The second pilot will identify scalable approaches to working with professors and students while taking into account the limitations that were evident in the first attempt. This will include shifting the design away from direct editing of established articles on English Wikipedia toward an approach where students generate contributions in areas that aren't well-covered yet in English Wikipedia - specifically topics of an Indian context and (by extension) in the arts and humanities categories. Student work will only be added to English Wikipedia if it is of an acceptable quality. Other changes include making the students' training more rigorous and providing greater support from Campus Ambassadors.

Over the coming months, the India Program team will work with the community in India and partner with educational institutions to design a strong project that runs from November 2012 to June 2013 and works with about 250 students. During the term, the pilot will be closely monitored and adjusted. After two semesters (November 2012 - March 2013; April - June 2013), the pilot will be reviewed and adjustments will be made to roll out a complete program at a larger scale.

C. Social media-based community building edit

Indians have adopted social media rapidly as they continue coming online at a fast pace. India is one of Facebook's top five markets globally and it appears that the Indian Wikimedia community is very active. The India Program team began two small pilots on Facebook in April focused on supporting new editors in English and cultivating community connections and new editors in Odia.

Social media represents a very scalable model for community engagement of potential new editors. It also affords a vehicle for teaching new editors about Wikipedia in a medium where they are more comfortable and where the conversation is more casual. However, social media does require considerable efforts in planning out any initiative or else it runs the risk of being chaotic and ineffective. To this end, the team has developed a very detailed methodology for using social media that brings a campaign-style plan to the initiative - which includes disciplined messaging, guidelines on tone and tips on engagement. This is being developed through rigorous testing of innovative approaches in partnership with community members. This is an iterative process that will require continuous improvement. As ideas prove effective based on performance data they will be included in the methodology. The next stage will be to share and train existing community members, who will ideally manage these initiatives independently.

The social media approach will be expanded to support various communities within India (and beyond) for English and Indic languages in partnership with the existing communities.

D. New editor cultivation with campaigns on Indian topic areas edit

English Wikipedia is a global resource of nearly 4 million articles. However, only around 115,000 articles (or less than 2.9%) of all articles directly cover topics of relevance in India. There is a tremendous opportunity to deepen contributions on India-related topics including areas such as Indian history, geography, law, public policy, politics, art, culture, contributions to the sciences, popular culture, etc.

Over the coming year, in partnership with the Indian Wikipedia community and appropriate national or regional institutions, the India Program plans to develop campaigns to promote contribution to Wikipedia on specific topic areas. The initial campaigns will involve focused pilots to develop approaches to supporting and cultivating new editors with strong content knowledge. Partnerships will be explored with interest groups outside the existing Wikimedia community to document and celebrate these interests, which could be anything Indian - from handicrafts to movies to cricket to history, etc.

E. General community support and communications edit

The India Program team provides support to the Indian Wikimedia community on various community-led activities, including outreach events across the country, meetups, contests, conferences, and connections to Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (or GLAMs) and other institutions. Community initiatives are expected to be an important source of innovation in India, and the team will provide limited support on an ongoing basis, with increased support based on the size of the opportunity for impact. In addition, community groups may access funding directly from the Wikimedia Foundation through the Grants Program

The India Program team will also provide advisory services to the community with regard to intra- and inter-community communications - most visibly through the quarterly India community newsletter, Wikipatrika, but also through direct efforts to cross-polinate ideas and make connects between projects. For example, the team recently helped Telugu Wiktionary adopt a Word of the Day initiative in which a Kannada community member provided technical assistance. The team supports the community to tell its story on the global Wikimedia blog and through The team also will build a formal public relations plan that will advocate the values of the movement and encourage new editors.

Overview of direction for 2013-14 and 2014-15 edit

The current plan for the India Program extends for three more fiscal years, with a strategy review during 2014-15. 2012-13 is a year that the Program will focus on pilot initiatives that have potential for wide-scale deployment in subsequent years; 2013–14 and 2014-15 are years that will likely blend roll-out of major program initiatives and selected areas of new pilot work.

In 2013-14, the India Program can be expected to focus on:

  • Continued work with 7-10 Indic language projects on more aggressive programs of editor growth and core educational content generation with the goal of reaching critical size levels
  • Monthly editing campaigns that deepen India-relevant content on English Wikipedia via long-term partnerships with media and key institutions
  • Pilot programs focused on new editor cultivation and orientation in support of English Wikipedia
  • Expansion of the education pilots into a major program with learning focused on requirements for national roll-out
  • Deeper integration of social media cultivation into community process, with strong community leadership and participation in major language projects
  • Pilot programs focused on distribution of Wikipedia to communities with limited Internet access

In 2014-15, the India Program will focus on scaling up programs that prove effective, with an orientation toward codification of programs into replicable models that can be volunteer-led and require progressively phased-down staff support. Staff can then be free to conduct new pilots to demonstrate additional effective programs.

Program timeline and milestones [1] edit

Jul-Dec 2012 Jan-Jun 2013 Jul-Dec 2013 Jan-Jun 2014
A. Indic Languages
  • Community building - including improved communication and collaboration - focused on 2-3 Indic communities
  • Outreach - focused on 2-3 Indic communities
  • Digital - Build new editor engagement pilot (e.g., Teahouse) in 1 Indic language
  • Community building - including improved communication and collaboration - focused on 4-6 Indic communities
  • Outreach - focused on 4-6 Indic communities
  • Digital - Roll out new editor engagement model to 2 more Indic languages
  • Community building - including improved communication and collaboration - focused on 7-10 Indic communities
  • Outreach - focused on 7-10 Indic communities
  • Digital - Roll out new editor engagement model to 4 more Indic languages
  • Community building - including improved communication and collaboration - focused on 7-10 Indic communities
  • Outreach - focused on 7-10 Indic communities
  • Digital - Progressively transition off active staff support on new editor engagement model
  • 2 Wikiprojects each in 2-3 Indic languages
  • 2 outreach sessions each in 2-3 Indic languages
  • 1 Digital new editor engagement pilot
  • Editor count in 2 projects: 100 each; Editor count in 3 projects: 50 each
  • Article count in 2 projects: 50,000 each; Article count in 3 projects: 25,000 each
  • 2 Wikiprojects each in 4-6 Indic languages
  • 2 outreach sessions each in 4-6 Indic languages
  • 3 Digital Indic language new editor engagement pilots
  • Editor count in 3 projects: 100 each; Editor count in 5 projects: 50 each
  • Article count in 3 projects: 50,000 each; Article count in 5 projects: 25,000 each
  • 2 Wikiprojects each in 4-6 Indic languages
  • 2 outreach sessions each in 4-6 Indic languages
  • 5-7 Digital Indic language new editor engagement programs launched
  • Editor count in 4 projects: 100 each; Editor count in 6 projects: 50 each
  • Article count in 4 projects: 50,000 each; Article count in 6 projects: 25,000 each
  • 4 Wikiprojects each in 7-10 Indic languages
  • 4 outreach sessions each in 7-10 Indic languages
  • 7+ Digital Indic language new editor engagement programs launched; 4 community run
  • Editor count in 5 projects: 100 each; Editor count in 5 projects: 50 each
  • Article count in 5 projects: 50,000 each; Article count in 5 projects: 25,000 each
B. Education
  • Conduct detailed pilot planning with community support
  • Build and implement 1 education pilot on English Wikipedia
  • Develop Campus and Online Ambassador program to support pilot
  • Expand the first pilot and establish 1 additional pilot on English Wikipedia
  • Strengthen Campus and Online Ambassador program
  • Expand both pilots on English Wikipedia
  • Develop feasibility study for 1 education pilot on an Indic Wikipedia (decision to be taken)
  • Transition pilots to full program on English Wikipedia with increased geography scope
  • Strengthen Campus and Online Ambassador program with new program coordination roles
  • Expand education pilot on Indic Wikipedias (depending on feasibility study)
  • Students: 50-100
  • Retained editors after the project: 5
  • Students: 250
  • Retained editors after the project: 25
  • Students: 500
  • Retained editors after the project: 50
  • Students:1000
  • Retained editors after the project: 100
C. Social Media
  • Build 2 pilots for using social media for outreach on English & 1 Indic language - including on-going community capacity building for social media
  • Roll-out model to 5 Indic communities, and sustain in English - including on-going community capacity building for social media
  • Roll-out model to 7 Indic communities, and sustain in English - including on-going community capacity building for social media
  • Transition out of active involvement and supervision on all social media operations - while ensuring that model works on English & 7 Indic communities
  • New active editors: 50
  • Community members actively supporting initiative: 5
  • New active editors: 100
  • Community members actively supporting initiative: 20
  • New active editors: 200
  • Community members actively supporting initiative: 40
  • New active editors: 300
  • Community members independently managing initiative: 40
D. India Content Campaigns
  • Develop contribution campaign pilot focused on 1 English topic area
  • Design 2 Wikipedia club pilots in English and 1 Indic language
  • Pilot 1 institutional partnership in English or Indic language
  • Develop contribution campaign pilot focused on 3 English topic areas and 3 Indic pilots; codify approach
  • Expand to 5 Wikipedia clubs or English or Indic languages
  • Expand to 3 institutional partnerships in English or Indic language
  • Roll-out contribution campaign program across Indian community with monthly campaigns in English and 2+ Indic projects
  • Expand to 10 Wikipedia clubs or English or Indic languages
  • Expand to 5 institutional partnerships in English or Indic language
  • Sustain contribution campaign program across Indian community with monthly campaigns in English and 4+ Indic projects
  • Expand to 25 Wikipedia clubs or English or Indic languages
  • Expand to 10 institutional partnerships in English or Indic language
  • Editors: 25
  • New or improved articles: 100
  • Editors: 50
  • New or improved articles: 200
  • Editors: 150
  • New or improved articles: 500
  • Editors 300
  • New or improved articles: 1,000
E. Community Support
  • On-going community support
  • Selective news media articles on Wikimedia's projects in India
  • Community communications through Wikipatrika, blogs and village pumps
  • On-going community support
  • Selective news media articles on Wikimedia's projects in India
  • Community communications through Wikipatrika, blogs and village pumps
  • On-going community support
  • Selective news media articles on Wikimedia's projects in India
  • Community communications through Wikipatrika, blogs and village pumps
  • On-going community support
  • Selective news media articles on Wikimedia's projects in India
  • Community communications through Wikipatrika, blogs and village pumps
  • 1 edition of Wikipatrika
  • 3 blog posts
  • 2 editions of Wikipatrika
  • 6 blog posts
  • 2 editions of Wikipatrika
  • 12 blog posts
  • 2 editions of Wikipatrika
  • 24 blog posts

Approach to measuring results and evaluation edit

As the work that is being done by the India Program team is of an experimental nature, it is critical that there are clear objectives, robust program design, strong measurement techniques, rigorous documentation, ongoing performance improvement, constant community capacity building and periodic rigorous outside evaluation. These will serve to achieve five objectives:

  1. Discipline of detailed program design - to improve the odds of success, especially in the context of the uncharted waters of virtually everything the India Program will be undertaking
  2. Increased transparency with the community - so that there is both visibility as well as ownership (and more active involvement of as wide a cross-section of community members as possible)
  3. Facilitation of transfer of capability and best practices - within a community, across Indic languages as well as with communities beyond the India-centric ones.
  4. Accountability to community and donors - so that a prudent balance is maintained between impact and resources.
  5. Fostering of a spirit of learning and continuous improvement - which can only happen if there is detailed and public documentation, communication and training.

Every substantive initiative of the India Program team will have associated pilot designs - which will be publicly and regularly reported back to the community.

Team resources edit

The India Program is supported by a team of five consultants at this time. The Wikimedia Foundation is in discussions potential partners in India about potential support for Wikimedia's goals in India.

Role Responsibility
India Program Coordination
  • Help set Strategic direction of the India Program
  • Lead individual project design, management & evaluation
  • Team coordination
  • Wikimedia community relationship management
  • Support external relationship development with Indian partner organizations
  • Advise the Wikimedia Foundation on India-related issues
  • Design, pilot & roll out Wikipedia India Education Program Pilot
  • Design, pilot & roll out more effective physical outreach
  • Design, pilot & roll out India content campaigns and partnerships (overall responsibility)
Indic Projects
  • Community building for Indic language communities
  • Support recently incubated new languages / projects
  • Support on-ground and digital outreach for Indic languages
  • Co-ordinate with Foundation to provide technical solutions to resolve current (& potential) issues on Indic languages
  • Design and develop online video editing tutorial(s)
  • Manage social network pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Design & roll out communications plan to promote EN-WP awareness & editors
  • Digital agency oversight
Community & Team Support
  • Support community in event planning
  • Support program implementation
  • Support data analysis and project tracking
  • Ensure that merchandise/materials are available and widely disseminated to support outreach
  • Travel arrangements

Notes edit

  1. Please note that milestone achievement is dependent on the success of experimental pilots. Given the experimental nature of the India Program and catalysts in general, the results can only be achieved if the pilots actually work. We expect a solid proportion of pilots to work, but not all. Also, some milestones are over-lapping, as it is likely that a new editor is touched by the India Program team through more than 1 initiative.