Grants talk:APG/Proposals/2014-2015 round2/The Centre for Internet and Society/Proposal form
Thank you for this proposal formEdit
Hello, Visdaviva.Thank you for submitting this complete proposal form on time. If we have any urgent needs for clarification, we'll contact you right away. Otherwise, you can expect questions from FDC staff in the next week or so. Note that we had to update the number format in your proposal, as it makes analysis of the financial details in your proposal a bit easier. We hope you are OK with that minor change, but let us know if you have any concerns.
Are you able to provide us with a shorter, 200-word summary for the overview section? While we like what you've written, we need something a little shorter to facilitate community review. You can just provide that here on the talk page rather than changing the proposal for itself.
Finally, as usual, we ask that you do not make any changes to the proposal form now that the deadline has passed, without first contacting FDC staff. If a change is needed, you can put in a request here on this discussion page.
- Dear Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer), thank you for the quick revert! Here is the shorter summary. Please let me know if this is ok.
- One of the key mandates of the Access to Knowledge (A2K) program at the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is to work towards catalysing the growth of the free and open knowledge movement in South-Asia and in Indic languages. CIS has been a steward of the Wikimedia movement in India since December 2008. From September 2012, CIS-A2K has been actively involved in growing the Wikimedia movement in India through a grant received from the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) for the period September 2012 to June 2014 and through the FDC Grant received for the period July 2014 to June 2015. Based on the 29-month experience of working with various Indic Wikimedia communities, CIS-A2K has developed its Work Plan for July 2015 to June 2016. This work plan consists of 18 programs across 6 verticals. These are:
During the next year CIS-A2K would like to contribute to the qualitative and quantitative growth of 12 Wikimedia projects across 9 Indian languages and associated communities, in addition to providing need based support to other Indic communities. --Visdaviva (talk) 07:33, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
- Thanks for this, Visdaviva. This will work great. We may reformat the lists with links to make it take up a little less space on the page when we create the summary template later today. We'll see how it looks :) We really appreciate your doing this right away, as it helps us facilitate the review process. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 17:23, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Overspending in this yearEdit
Your anticipated expenses exceed your anticipated income in the current year by 15%, and by more than $100,000US. This dollar amount is larger than the budgets of most chapters and affiliates. How are you planning to find the money to balance your books this year? Risker (talk) 02:28, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I am finding the data provided to be confusing. Am I correct in understanding that the number of editors, number of active editors and number of articles have all decreased from January 2014 to January 2015? I cannot help but suspect that the data in the columns have been reversed. Risker (talk) 03:50, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
- Thank you వైజాసత్య garu for engaging with our Telugu Wikipedia plans. It was a productive discussion, which gave an opportunity for CIS-A2K to explain various queries the Telugu community members had. We will continue to engage with the Telugu Wikimedia community and will respond to some more questions there. Please feel free to summarize the discussion here, in English, for the benefit of the larger Wikimedia community.--Visdaviva (talk) 11:35, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
- See #Telugu Wikipedia Final Comments section for summary comments from the discussion on the language page of the proposal. --Arjunaraoc (talk) 10:19, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I am very excited to see a proposal that will help to address current trends in demographics. The Pew Center tell us that by 2050: "India replaces China as the world’s most populous country: India’s population is expected to increase by 400 million by 2050. Its projected population of 1.6 billion will be almost equal to the populations of the U.S. and China combined. China is projected to add only 25 million residents." Expanding our offerings in languages of South Asia, especially Indian languages is key. VanEman (talk) 01:46, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
- Dear VanEman, our work at CIS-A2K has always been guided by the philosophy of sustainable futuristic planning. It is true that India in particular and Asia in general are slated to witness a major transformation with respect to infrastructure, economics and (digital) knowledge ecology. We at CIS-A2K are working towards systems that shall be under operation long after the grant period closes and shall continue to produce knowledge ambassadors and further the cause of free and open knowledge in India and Indian languages. We are grateful for your observations and support.--Visdaviva (talk) 11:40, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Questions from FDC staffEdit
Thank you for submitting this proposal. We are grateful for your work and the plan you have developed. We ask these questions to help build our and the FDC’s understanding of your proposal, plan, and context. Thank you for your responses! KLove (WMF) (talk) 05:40, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
- Dear KLove (WMF), thank you very much for closely engaging with our proposal. Appreciate your questions on our plans, which give us an opportunity to clarify in more detail. We are sharing some responses below and aim to comprehensively address all the queries in a day or two.--Visdaviva (talk) 09:50, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
- Visdaviva, thank you for taking the time to respond in detail to our questions and provide some additional information about your financials and your programs. We appreciate this significant effort and look forward to reviewing your responses. Cheers, Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 19:25, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Questions about your financesEdit
We are requesting some additional information from you about your finances, to get a better picture of your A2K-specific spending, as well as your overall financial situation. We understand that the financial data in your proposal is complicated because we need to understand your A2K-specific financials as well as your organization’s financials overall. Thanks for your patience with these clarifications. We are happy to accept this data in any format that works well for you (e.g. you can share a spreadsheet, or post it here on the discussion page).
First, we would like you to provide your projected and actual amounts of spending against your current grant, similar to the information requested in Table 3, but for your A2K work specifically.
Next, it would be very helpful for us to have some additional information about your financials for the past several years, to understand your organization’s financial history a little better. We appreciate that you have provided your annual reports and audited statements to the movement on a regular basis. That said, it was difficult to understand all of your financial data from the reports.
For FY 2014-15 (budget), FY 2013-14 (report), FY 2012-13 (report):
- Total operating expenses (overall, and A2K)
- Total program expenses (overall, and A2K)
- Total staff expenses (overall, and A2K)
- Total revenues (overall, and A2K)
- Total operating reserves
- Please find below the details.
|Detail||Overall (CIS)||A2K (WMF)|
|Total operating expenses||7,461,227||175,561|
|Total program expenses||18,213,921||3,726,385|
|Total staff expenses||21,489,689||4,765,600|
|Total operating reserves||1,095,580||--|
* provisional figures subject to change.
- FY 2013-14
|Detail||Overall (CIS)||A2K (WMF)|
|Total operating expenses||8,893,825||689,144|
|Total program expenses||21,164,516||5,605,939|
|Total staff expenses||27,260,298||7,446,659|
|Total operating reserves||1,806,045||--|
- FY 2012-13
|Detail||Overall (CIS)||A2K (WMF)|
|Total operating expenses||5,191,470||616,330|
|Total program expenses||19,867,077||2,888,708|
|Total staff expenses||10,609,992||965,610|
|Total operating reserves||11,981,106||--|
- While you specifically refer to 18 programs across 6 axes, we only count 17 programs in this proposal. Would you please help us understand if we are missing something?
- In the targets for Odia Wikisource, we see a table with expected targets for December 2014. We presume it is for December 2015? If this is the case, will you kindly correct the table using strikethrough?
- The missing plan in the proposal is Publicity, Research and Documentation. Though we have given a link to it in the overview section, we have not included it in detailed proposal as this program does not have qualitative metrics (deliverables, impact ratio, dream target and so on) unlike others. Apologies if this cause any confusion.
- Thanks for pointing this out. We will correct this with strike-through.--Visdaviva (talk) 09:50, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Questions about your programs and approachesEdit
- For A2K, at least 17 programs are planned and these programs include many smaller projects. Please tell us more about your capacity to implement, monitor, and evaluate this large number of activities. How are you ensuring that you have the capacity to support your staff as needed?
- Which programs are top priorities for A2K this year? In which programs will staff invest the most time?
- How are volunteers involved in prioritizing A2K work? As your program activities continue to expand, how do you monitor your interactions with the community and ensure ongoing dialogue?
- We would like to know more about your needs assessments. Are you able to link to these assessments or descriptions of their methodologies? For example, how are your needs assessments distinct from other forms of community consultation?
- If you have been doing any work to assess specific content gaps on any of these projects, we would be interested in learning more.
- We would like to understand the context for your work with very small or dormant projects like Santali Wikipedia, Tulu Wikipedia and Hindi Wikisource. Given that the communities are very small, why do you think there is potential for success in jumpstarting these communities into viable editing communities? Why is this work valuable to the movement overall?
- Please tell us more about your vision for what a healthy wikimedia community is.
- Through your training-the-trainers work, are you intending to achieve any long term results, learning, or changes in attitude that you intend to track after the course? We would like to better understand how you will know if this work is successful.
- You intend to do awareness raising in many Indic language Wikipedias. What do you hope will be the long term gains after awareness is raised?
- You plan to create video tutorials and manuals in different Indic languages. Please tell us more about why you believe approaches materials like these turn viewers into editors, and tell us more about how they have been used by communities in the past.
- Dear KLove (WMF), we are sharing below responses in the same sequence as above.
- CIS-A2K because of being located within CIS has the advantage of delegating a lot of administrative tasks to the CIS admin team. This saves a lot of precious A2K staff time which goes towards programmatic activities. CIS-A2K has a specific staff to anchor each of the language area projects. Most of these language anchors are native speakers. This allows the language anchor to effectively collaborate with the language community. Being a catalyst program the focus is more towards channelizing community efforts. Thus the community is an equal partner in monitoring of the implementation of the various activities that have been listed in the plans. A2K is increasingly trying to groom leadership (outreach, technical, on-wiki mentoring) who could play a vital role in the successful implementation and monitoring of these activities. The progress of the programs is monitored through systematic documentation and we evaluate the progress through regular reports on a quarterly basis. Though we do a broad project level evaluation, we have not yet gone deeper into activity level evaluations. With the current size of the A2K staff, it will not be realistic to run micro level evaluations of each activity. Other than the administrative support that CIS extends to the A2K team all the CIS employees are readily available for any specific support that is required. This happens organically within the organization. For the new employees that join A2K, we have created a detailed orientation manual that brings the new employee to speed. Also our selection process itself ensures that the candidate knows the nature of work and some of the community members (as they are involved in the selection process) know the employee profile before they even join.
- The five language areas will be the top priorities for the A2K during this year. As it can be seen here bulk of the A2K staff time goes towards the language area plans. This is our core work. The rest of the programs are built around it.
- For A2K “community” comes first. We have made a decent amount of progress in collaboratively working with the various language communities. We have been involving the volunteers in discussing yearly plans, major events and activities that we undertake. Though earlier most of these discussions were happening off-wiki, we are increasingly getting these discussions on-wiki and actively documenting the off-wiki discussions on-wiki as well. While it’s true that we have improved our on-wiki documentation, we recognize that there is definitely more scope to improve. We also try to take part in the the various community meet-ups in person or remotely. Getting the discussion on-wiki more and more is the only way we ensure that we track the monitoring of all interactions with the community.
- Apart from the community consultations that play a very crucial role in identifying the ‘needs’, CIS-A2K has been fortunate enough to bring to the table concerns, requests, needs and other responses from its institutional partners and like minded individuals(academicians, researchers, artists and filmmakers) for its ‘needs assessment’ segment. So far we have not been successful in documenting these on-wiki. The ‘needs’ that are put forward by the institutions and like minded but non-community members provide us a comprehensive view of the gaps and the ways to address them. These discussions also allow us to explore possible partnerships, collaborations and resources that can be used to further the movement.
- Odia language is one of the six Indian classical languages, and it is spoken by more than 40 million people worldwide. After two long years of persistent effort by the community, the project finally went live on October 20, 2014. This online library project aims to archive text from early literature and old books now out of print, with a license that allows reproduction, even for commercial use. Odia Wikisource surpassed other conventional archives with its features: lightweight, completely text based and searchable — but accessible on computer and mobile devices. Texts from books are re-typed to make sure that they appear in search engines. With thousands of books printed so far in this language, Odia Wikisource opens up a whole new world to readers and book lovers. Similarly there is a significant gap and opportunity for the Indic Wikisource projects to make free and openly available historical print resources. CIS-A2K is more and more focussing on getting print content in Indian languages onto Wikimedia platforms.
- We would like to state that Santali and Tulu are opportunities that emerged as opportunities as CIS-A2K started working intensively in Odia and Kannada language areas. As these programmes are situated in the same linguistic universe, it made programmatic sense for us to take on these “small and dormant” projects. Further, as part of our work with institutional partners, Hindi Wikisource emerged as a potential opportunity, which we could not ignore. We believe that this is an optimal utilisation of resources for the CIS-A2K team, which also gives us an opportunity to learn about these language areas that are otherwise ignored.
- CIS-A2K is working on empowering Indian Wikimedia/Wikipedia communities. We are committed to support and encourage Indian Wikimedians (individuals and groups) to work and perform better so that they can take their projects to the next level. By a “healthy Wikimedia community” we understand a community that is a working “as a team” following Wikimedia Foundation’s principles and guidelines for the betterment of free and open knowledge and education. A “healthy Wikimedia community” is like a family where everyone does her or his work, and finally we win (or lose) as a team. According to CIS-A2K a healthy Wikimedia community is where:
- Quality is the top priority
- There is a lively debate
- Adherence to the five pillars of Wikipedia
- New Wikimedians co-exist with Senior Wikimedians
- Bridging Gender gap
- Collaborative efforts and movement partners work in tune with the community volunteers and continue to support them.
- We certainly believe that TTT will yield more long term results, as it is intended to groom leadership in small communities, which will ensure that a wider audience is reached. We believe that the Wikipedians who attend TTT can a) train and motivate dozens of other Wikipedians; b) act as A2K liaison with the community and better inform the needs of the community to A2K; c) form a multi-lingual network and take on multi-lingual projects on Wikimedia platforms; d) offer technical and mentor-ship support not just within their community but across other linguistic communities; e) better understand the global Wikimedia movement and various opportunities (community level grants, individual projects, travel scholarships) that are available to volunteers. Regarding the impact, we have been tracking, informally (as the group was small), the 2013 TTT participants' outreach activities. More than 50% of the participants have been doing outreach (on and off wiki). Some of them have become outreach champions in their respective communities. For example, Satdeep Gill was a participant of TTT 2013. Since then he has taken active lead in organizing offline and online outreach programs and was successful in making Punjabi Wikipedia an even more vibrant project. He is also able to leverage the network he created with other Indic Wikipedians. We would like to put in a more formal mechanism to track the impact on various parameters this time around.
- Though many educated people in India know and have used English Wikipedia, many people have not even heard of Wikimedia projects in their own languages. Awareness building about Wikimedia projects in Indian languages in this context is an essential measure. Over the past 2 years CIS-A2K has given significant visibility to Indic Wikimedia projects in the national and local media. We believe this is the stepping stone to get more users of which some could organically turn into contributors.
- In this digital age or new media age, videos or video tutorials play a very important role in education. Dinu Airinei and Daniel Homocianu discussed several advantages of video tutorials in their research paper “The Importance of Video Tutorials for Higher Education” . We have studied and found few YouTube channels (eg. Vsauce, MinutePhysics) where short video tutorials get more than a million views. Video tutorials are useful for people with shorter attention span. So we are eager to explore the best channels by creating manuals, resources, video tutorials, graphics, documents etc. which we believe will be beneficial to the community. In the Indian context ‘non internet’ based resources play an important role in motivating and sustaining the new editor base. It is based on this rationale that CIS-A2K invested time, monetary and human resources in producing video tutorials. Outreach activities and orientation programmes are normally one day activities with a hands-on-session. Though participants take part enthusiastically during the hands-on-session they might be left with some nagging doubts or may face a glitch that was not discussed during the orientation programme.Editing Wikipedia can be a challenge in the initial stage for newcomers irrespective of their discipline and age. CIS-A2K through video tutorials distributed via CD is attempting to make this transition easier for new editors. These video tutorials act as a personal tutor and will have detailed answers, descriptions, explanations and how to do techniques that will guide a new editor at every step. It is this assistance available at click of a button which has assured CIS that ‘viewers will turn editors’. These video tutorials are also a shareable resource and can be passed on from one individual to another thus maximising the utility quotient of the resource.
OTRS System and OTRS personal compensationEdit
I think, Wikimedia can invest to OTRS administrators and new OTRS System. Now the system have more documents just next in turn without movement! Wery difficult question and need more time for reseach and analysis. And not enough administrators in russian Wikipedia: Ru OTRS. Please help improve it and speed up Wikipedia illustration development! Thank you for your attention. Niklitov (talk) 08:24, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
17 or 18 programs is a lot to read through, but in my brief look I did not see anything relating to directly improving the English-language Wikipedia. Am I correct in assuming that all of your efforts are focused on improving the various Indic language Wikis, and your use of English Wikipedia is limited to translating its content to other languages? Wbm1058 (talk) 14:04, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
- Wbm1058 yes, our current focus is only on Indian language Wikimedia projects. Some of the editors we train, events and activities we undertake, do contribute to English Wikipedia. But so far we did not have a focussed plan for English Wikipedia or associated community in India.--Visdaviva (talk) 12:07, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
What are these all about?Edit
All I see is a huge pile of Indian articles to be created. Where are proposals for the rest of the world? 220.127.116.11 11:27, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Train-the-Trainer program and follow-upEdit
Hi all! Thanks for your proposal. I've noticed there is a strong emphasis in TTT activities, which seems a good idea considering it is a good way to increase the impact in a country with the size of India. However, I don't see if there is any way to follow the impact of those workshops and verify how effective they have been. Do you have any list of the activities done by those volunteers that attended the TTT program and the impact of those activities? What do you expect the participants of the TTT activities can do after? Also, was there any survey to the participants in the workshops so you can understand if it was helpful for them? Thanks for your answer. --Osmar Valdebenito, B1mbo (talk) 04:53, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
- Thank you for recognizing the importance of TTT, Osmar Valdebenito, B1mbo. Regarding the impact, we have been tracking, informally (as the group was small), the 2013 TTT participants' outreach activities. More than 50% of the participants have been doing outreach (on and off wiki). Some of them have become outreach champions in their respective communities. We would like to put in a formal mechanism to track the impact this time around. The expectations from the TTT participants are clearly stated here. Yes we took face to face feedback (video documented) at the end of the TTT 2015 and conducted an online survey on the effectiveness of the overall program and each of the sessions. Should you have more suggestions to better this, we will be glad to take them on board.--Visdaviva (talk) 11:59, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Choice of focus languagesEdit
I would like to understand the rationale behind the selection of the Kannada, Konkani, Odia, Marathi and Telugu languages. Although all of these languages have millions of speakers and three of them are in the Top Ten of most spoken languages in India, I would like to understand why you choose them over other languages. Also, why you have focused on Konkani Wikipedia as one of the core languages, considering its Wikipedia is still in the Incubator? --Osmar Valdebenito, B1mbo (talk) 05:05, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
- Dear Osmar Valdebenito, B1mbo, thank you for engaging with our plans. Some of the key factors that determined the selection of languages areas include:
- Deepening the work. We have decided to continue our work in the language areas chosen last year as we believe that we need to deepen our work to ensure that the momentum we have built will be sustained even after our exit.
- Networking of institutions and groups. The A2K team has put together a list of knowledge institutions, groups and individuals with whom it has some connections and believes that it can bring them into the Wikimedia movement. These collaborations will not only result in significant quality-content contributions, but will lead to the diversification and expansion of that particular language Wikimedia community.
- Willingness of that particular language community to interact and engage with the A2K team. Though we tried approaching other language communities informally, we were given to understand that they would like to consider engaging with us at a later stage. We respect the community's decision and express our willingness to work with newer language areas in a subsequent phase.
- Familiarity of the A2K team members with the language. Each of us are editors/can edit or at least read the discussions in most of the above language Wikipedias. This will give us an insider's perspective of what is happening in that particular language community and the Wikimedia projects.
- Konkani Wikipedia was in incubation for more than 6 years before we started focussing on it. We were asked by the WMIN to take up one incubation project and Konkani Wikipedia was suggested. We are happy to inform that soon it is going to go live and we have been part of building an active editor community of about 30 editors.--Visdaviva (talk) 11:51, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Telugu Wikisource Final CommentsEdit
Telugu wikisource plan was discussed thoroughly on its language page. People who do not know Telugu, can get a sense of the discussion by visiting the page with Google Chrome browser and opting for automated translated version of the page. The manual translation of final comments section of that page is given below for a quick summary.
PS: Comments made here are nearly summary of the thorough discussions made in discussion page of telugu wikisource. As the community notification period is completed on 30th of april and an overwhelming discussion taken place already in telugu, we are not making further comments on program director comments here. Every comment pointed out by him has already been discussed in telugu wikisource. One can understand context and get further details by visiting the above said page and making a quick machine translations.
Final comments by ArjunaraocEdit
As a contributor to last years Telugu Wikisource work, and as a person who has analysed last year's CIS work and their plan for next year, I give my final comments below.
- CIS took up low hanging fruit kind of work during last year. Based on community work of one book, Indu Gnana vedika came forward to release some of their publications under CC-BY-SA. Syed Naseer Ahmed has already distributed his books to over 3000 people by email. As part of Andhra Loyola project, Sri veeresalingam books, 1000 pages have been added .As a result of these, better awareness of Telugu Wikisource is a positive development. Though the need for better unicode conversion software tool was identified, CIS-A2K did not develop it. Moreover, their work is marked by poor quality as highlighted in the previous sections, which impacted the Wikisource brand adversely.This resulted in lot of undesirable workload on community,
- Volunteer wikisourcers work is hidden by CIS-A2K approach of presenting total wikisource statistics. Though the mistakes were identified clearly, CIS-A2K is not in a position to accept the same.
- Gaps were identified in project discussions, reports and dealing with challenges.
- CIS-A2K provides break up of funds from WMF/FDC and others in their detailed plans, but its unwillingness to share the same level of detail for actuals may indicate the poor quality of proposal.
- The projects identified for the next year include, release of Telugu books under copyleft licenses, Adding more pages of Kandukuri Veeresa lingam book and Annamacharya compositions. Without improving Unicode conversion software, quality work can not be expected for books in digital code format. Kandukuri Veeresalingam books are typed manually and as a beginning is made, there is not much that is needed from CIS-A2K. There are already 1553 compositions of Annamacharya (వర్గం:అన్నమయ్య పాటలు) on Telugu wikisource.Enhancing this will be useful only for small group of people . For Institutional projects, it may be better to target works that will be of interest to large number of people .
- Due to the above, the proposed project is not largely useful for Telugu Wikisource. Hence I object to the proposal. --అర్జున (చర్చ) 05:42, 29 ఏప్రిల్ 2015 (UTC)
- Dear Arjuna, at the outset we thank you for your time and suggestions regarding the proposed workplan for Telugu Wikisource. CIS-A2K while valuing the merit of your suggestions, would also like to point out that these suggestions are all being given to us in the proverbial ‘eleventh hour’ and there is no scope for us to act on these suggestions but during the next plan year. We would like to answer/discuss the questions in detail for the benefit of the Wikimedia communities.
- While it is true that Mr. Syed Naseer Ahmed had already distributed his books via email, CIS-A2K was able to convince him about the merit of releasing his books under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license so that it becomes part of the Free and Open Knowledge Resources. This re-release under CC license becomes important as these books can serve as potential references for articles that can be written regarding a range of topics.
- It gives CIS-A2K great pleasure to inform you that CIS-A2K has shared an improvised version of the conversion tool ‘Unigateway Convertor’ with the Telugu community during the monthly meetup held at Hyderabad on 19 April, 2015. With the implementation of this tool, CIS-A2K has already shared better quality unicode text converter with the community on Telugu Wikisource.
- CIS-A2K has always worked to facilitate and reduce community’s work wherever possible by technical, institutional and volunteer based interventions. CIS-A2K with its various institutional partnerships is committed to bring quality content on Telugu Wikimedia projects and would like the Telugu community to share a list of stub/incomplete articles for it to work on.
- CIS-A2K firmly believes in the core principle of Wikimedia Movement that community driven initiatives always take the top priority. As A2K has always maintained, we function as a catalyst programme and provide support to the community led initiatives wherever necessary. Our statistics are always an indication of the programmes that we have achieved in tandem with the community. It is unfortunate that you feel that the community initiatives have not been highlighted.
- CIS-A2K takes into account all the feedback and acknowledges its growth as a programme to the constructive feedback that it has been fortunate to have received over the last two years.
- CIS-A2K has been unable to share the micro details of the funding as it does not have a dedicated accounts/administrative staff team to provide these figures on a periodical basis. A2K team works with the CIS admin team who coordinate all the seven programmes housed under CIS Banner. The inability to provide micro details should not be considered as non willingness. A2K team as a part of the CIS objective has allowed for public inspection of accounts during its 5 Year anniversary celebrations and continues to the same practice. Also may we reiterate that CIS-A2K maintains one of the best transparency measures in terms of its accountability to the Wikimedia movement. We would not like to repeat the various transparency measures that we undertook since February 2013. It is very much in the public domain for the Wikimedia community to see.
- CIS-A2K is extremely pleased to know that the Annamacharya project and Kandukuri Veeresalingam projects have attained the critical mass to continue on its own. This is precisely the result that CIS-A2K had intended to achieve to get the community take over the project and successfully complete it. CIS-A2K’s success lies not in finishing the projects on its own but to work with the community and introduce volunteers towards successful engagement. An improved unicode converter has been introduced to the Telugu community for ensuring quality work on Wikisource related activities. We hope to achieve positive results from this converter.
- While we respect your decision, we are unable to understand the urgency with which you would like to either dismiss CIS-A2K's work or the plans for Telugu Wikisource. This is very unlike of the other four active Telugu Wikisource contributors who have supported the proposed (first dedicated work plan for Telugu Wikisource in the work plan page. Also CIS-A2K believes that for Telugu Wikisource to be critically examined it needs to reach a level of critical mass and sustainability and for that to happen community must adopt a policy of inclusiveness and not create boundaries deterring other community members.--Visdaviva (talk) 18:06, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Final comments by Pavan santhoshEdit
# Last year CIS A2K contributed their efforts to re-releasing Books of Indu gnana vedika in CC BY SA. CIS conducted a meeting celebrating the event of re-release but the irony is the books are not even notable to have an article in telugu wikipedia. So, these books couldn't help other wiki-projects anymore and even program also couldn't get good reception from telugu literature field. There is no good coverage in media too. Now coming to this plan, It has been written that they will be making same efforts towards 50 other authors to make their books re-release. I could see CIS not being learnt from the above failure and even supporting their stand on the program. So, I could see same mistakes(considering not so useful books) are going to happen in a large scale, It may not add value to wikisource, Even some of those authors may turn against to the project just like Indu gnana vedika people.
- CIS A2K didn't contact and consider the suggestions of wiki-community when they've taken up large scale typing program by students of Andhra loyola college (institutional partner with A2K). In this background, Now by my initiative and the efforts of community we made a priority list for books to be considered for typing and CIS A2K didn't responded & they didn't announce that they'll consider it. Re-releasing Naseer ahmad's books into CC BY SA is a good initiative by CIS A2K. These books will be useful as references, in citations for tewiki articles. But these books are having lots of errors upon which tewiki community is striving to maintain quality.
- Tewiki community is refusing to correct the mistakes arose in the books re-released, celebrated and added to wikisource without prior discussion and considering views of wikimedians. Wikisource community is concerned towards declining quality due to addition of the uncleared books by CIS professionals. Community is said to support the new wikipedian Praveen G.Rao, but later Arjunarao questioned and confirmed he is not just volunteer and is a intern of CIS.
- In the telugu discussion page, Arjuna rao challenged the graph produced in the proposal by results of SQL query. It seems CIS graph is manipulating facts. CIS unilaterally arguing that the query is wrong without supporting it by any data. It reflects their attitude towards the whole concept of developing through analysing mistakes. This may stand an example on how the actual ground reality is varying from reports.
- By analysing the performance, present work plan and discussions taken place I conclude that this plan may not helpful to telugu wiksource. So, I oppose this proposal.--Pavan santhosh.s (చర్చ) 18:14, 30 ఏప్రిల్ 2015 (UTC)
- Dear Pavan santhosh.s, CIS-A2K requests you to understand the ‘Indu Gnana Vedika’ program not as a notability related issue but as a pioneer project which was not yet attempted in Telugu Wikimedia community. This particular programme was to create awareness about the Wikimedia movement, content donation programme and an introduction to the volunteer community that sustains the movement. In a response to Mr. Arjuna we have clearly explained why there were no articles about the books released by ‘Indu Gnana Vedike’ on Telugu Wikipedia. CIS-A2K would like to bring to your notice that we have maintained high standards of quality in introducing and uploading any book on Telugu Wikisource. CIS-A2K has been on many occasions approached by individuals and institutions alike to host their works on Wikisource (thanks to the Indu Gnana Vedika project) but as they would not satisfy the Wikisource quality parameters we have not encouraged any of those initiatives. We would like to know the quotient that the Telugu community has agreed upon the object of ‘notability’ for our future reference and do all the articles on Telugu Wikipedia subscribe and satisfy these standards of notability? CIS-A2K does not consider the “Indu Gnana Vedika” project as a failure as it has been able to attract numerous content donation drives across its focus language areas (Kannada, Konkani, Odia) using this project as a case study. We have made an initial list after active consultation with the community and Telugu Literary personalities of the authors whom we shall approach regarding the content donation drive and will share the details of the project in the near future. Some replies to specific points in the same order.
- All the Wikisource work done at ALC was happening on-wiki. Most of the active Telugu Wikisource editors knew the work happening on Telugu Wikisource by ALC students. If you would have had any specific suggestions you could have raised it 4 months ago than wait until now. That said we will certainly increase on-wiki consultations with the community about the future work on Telugu Wikisource. The notability listing idea is as nascent as 7 days. It is important for the community to discuss this. CIS-A2K in the discussion on Telugu Wikisource plan has already expressed that it will welcome such a listing. CIS-A2K shall devote its major chunk of time in proofreading and prepping Mr. Syed Naseer Ahmed’s books to be used for various Wikimedia projects.
- Firstly some of the actively Telugu Wikisource contributors are already working on correcting the errors in Mr. Syed Naseer Ahmed’s books. CIS-A2K has already clarified that it will support the community with this activity. Regarding Praveen G Rao, we have stated that he was an intern (who did internal technical tasks for some months) but also took interest to contributing to Telugu Wikimedia projects in a voluntary capacity. In spite of giving this clarification you and Arjunarao insist that he has contributed to Telugu Wikisource not as a volunteer but as a CIS-A2K intern. What we can do is to probably share his internship letter. Would that help?
- Please note we have clearly stated that the graph is based on certain manual calculation of number of pages created. We have pointed to the inaccurate data thrown up by Quary SQL query run by Arjuna. It would be useful if you engage with the issue without getting into a baseless accusatory mode, as it does not help resolve the issue.--Visdaviva (talk) 20:43, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Telugu Wikipedia Final CommentsEdit
Telugu wikipedia plan was discussed thoroughly on its language page. People who do not know Telugu, can get a sense of the discussion by visiting the page with Google Chrome browser and opting for automated translated version of the page. The manual translation of final comments section of that page is given below for a quick summary.
PS: Two other active and senior wikipedians(Viswanadh B.K. and C.Chandrakanth Rao) made their final comments on discussion page of proposed plan in telugu wikipedia. Here is the quick insight of their comments as they are not translated and pasted here, Viswanadh opposed the plan if it is going to be executed as it is and Chandrakanth rao completely gone against the work plan saying it is not going to yield good results.
Comments given here are nearly summary of the thorough discussions made in discussion page of telugu wikipedia. As the given arguments by vishnu are already discussed in telugu wikipedia earlier and the community discussion period also been closed we are not going to repeat the earlier discussions here. If one has to check them out or understand the context please go through the above said page of tewiki, and learn it by machine translations.
Final comments by ArjunaraocEdit
As a contributor to Wikipedia for more than 5 years and as a person who supported, observed and analysed CIS-A2K work and their proposal closely , I give my final comments below.
- If one observes the needs identified two and half years back and their present status , CIS-A2K has worked primarily on physical meetings, Wiki Academies and partnerships. Due to this, Telugu wikipedia awareness has improved, which is a positive development. Though these are claimed as successful, this is not based on surveys,statistical analysis,detailed reports of shortcomings and how they are addressed, and plans for sustaining the same. The shortcomings have been surfaced on Village pump and proposal discussion pages. Offline meeting s have become dominant over online discussions. As offline meetings are not well documented and timely communicated, community has weakened. There has not been much work on policy definition and deployment support, open source culture and technical help.
- Due to better awareness among wikipedians, Telugu wikipedians have attended physical meetings, TTT programs. Two wikipedians have receieved IEG grants. I congratulate CIS-A2K for their work and support extended.
- As institutional partnerships were not handled well, there is not even one sustainable partnership. Selection of institutions, gaps in work identied in MOU and their implementation has impacted the Wikipedia and Wikisource quality. There is a possibility of using resources for work not connected with Wikipedia in future.
- Annual Wikipedia meets management has not gained strength despite attempting for third time.
- As the focus is on total articles and total editors of wikipedia, the work done impacted Telugu wikipedia adversely from a quality perspective. This has increased the workload on the small community to fix the quality issues.
- Volunteer wikipedians are not being appropriately credited for their work, as CIS-A2K is using the overall project level metrics and is not providing detailed analysis of the project. Therefore, some wikipedian s are reducing their contributions thereby weakening the community.
- Project management is inefficient. Even the best practices followed by volunteer Wikipedians have not been used by CIS-A2K for its projects. Discussions, reports with detailed analysis of statistics and shortcomings and cooperation with community were not given the necessary importance.
- CIS-A2K provides break up of funds from WMF/FDC and others in their detailed plans, but its unwillingness to share the same level of detail for actuals may indicate the poor quality of proposal.If there is a cut in budget, the priorities are decided with out consultation.
- The new proposal contains projects which can be done individually by Wikipedians, without much need for institutional help. There are no risky and creative initiatives.
- Overall, though there has been increase in Telugu wiki awarenes, adverse impact on the quality of Wikipedia and Wikisource and also on community has been felt. As the new proposal does not address the shortcomings and is similar to the past proposals, this will no longer be beneficial to Wikipedia, I oppose the proposal. --అర్జున (చర్చ) 10:10, 29 ఏప్రిల్ 2015 (UTC)
- Dear Arjunaraoc at the outset we thank you for your time and suggestions regarding the proposed Telugu Wikipedia plan. CIS-A2K while valuing the merit of your suggestions, would also like to point out that these suggestions are all being given to us in the proverbial ‘eleventh hour’ and there is no scope for us to act on these suggestions but during the next plan year. We would have appreciated that such suggestions were given on a continuous basis as and when these activities are happening. We would like to answer/discuss the questions in detail for the benefit of the Wikimedia communities.
- CIS-A2K upon its introduction to the Telugu Wikipedia context identified as rightly pointed out by you the “Physical meetup” component missing. It was for this reason and to complement the active online conversations (it must be noted that online conversations were not attended by a big part of community) that A2K invested in arranging physical meetups for the community members and these meetings were used to pass on the importance of "on-wiki discussions". We are very pleased to inform that the combination ‘physical meetups’ and ‘on-wiki disccussions’ have resulted in the emergence of some of the very active contemporary Telugu Wikimedians. It is counter-intuitive to undermine the importance of these community meet-ups, especially when the Telugu community was small in size and dwindling two years ago.
- Thank you very much for acknowledging CIS-A2K’s role. CIS-A2K will continue to work closely with the community and help them explore any other opportunities that might be utilised for the gain of the community.
- As you are fully aware establishing a functional institutional partnership is extremely difficult with all sorts of changes (political, financial and management) reflecting on the outcome of the partnerships. CIS-A2K during its time of engagement has been very particular about the quality of work that would emerge from such partnerships. It is for this reason that A2K has been extremely cautious in approaching institutions for long term engagements and looks for an extremely productive ROI in any partnership employed and the for the period of engagement as well. We would like to bring to your notice that A2K team has raised money from other sources to fund and take forward few of our programs. CIS-A2K would never let mis-utilisation of funds for any non wikipedia purpose. CIS-A2K has identified few such institutional partnerships that are going to be long term allies and who share the same goals as the Wikimedia movement and intends to continue partnering with them. Also with specific regard to the partnerships in the Telugu language area, it is important to recognize the political uncertainty in the region due to the bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Even after the bifurcation there is an administrative chaos. On Telugu Wikipedia in the discussion, we have given you specific examples of how though we have in-principle approval to collaborate we are not able to proceed due to the administrative chaos in both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
- Telugu Wiki Anniversary that was recently conducted at Tirupati during 14,15 February, 2015 was a very successful event with all the sessions having captive audience, followed by lively discussions and spirited participation. CIS-A2K was responsible towards sponsoring the event and providing logistical support and this role was appreciated by one and all. The programme and the proceedings were coordinated by the Telugu community entirely and was received very well. The support extended by the Tirupati Writer’s Association was an added achievement and provided a boost to the Telugu Wikimedia operations. CIS-A2K has been privileged to be associated with Ugadi Celebrations, Te Wiki 10th and Te Wiki 11th Anniversary celebrations and is happy to note that the community has been displaying strong leadership and has conducted the event with professional fervour.
- CIS-A2K has always worked towards increasing the quality of the content and in the process has introduced many new volunteers to the Wikimedia world. The new volunteers might have a slow learning curve compared to the existing wikimedians but the new wikimedians are very essential to carry on the good work started by the exisiting Wikimedians. CIS-A2K has come up with a range of resources such as a) Video tutorials b) Print resources c) Online support groups for maintaining the quality of the content added by the new volunteers. CIS-A2K respectfully requests the support and guidance from the senior wikimedians in grooming the new wikimedians and is sure that the initial stub articles and incomplete articles will result into noteworthy articles over a period of time.
- As CIS-A2K believes that Wikimedia projects reflect the strengths and tribulations of a community, it does not engage in providing or showcasing individual level contribution metrics. We have always acknowledged the community input and the volunteer contribution as a primary reason of our success across all our languages and have learnt from their experiences to run an effective programme. It is indeed sad to know that some wikipedians are reducing their contributions and CIS-A2K shall give more importance in its newsletter and other reports to the community contributions to rid them of this anxiety.
- CIS-A2K programme implemented 12 projects during the last plan year and has met most of its dream target due to the support of the community members and the internal team work. We have periodically consulted community members both via online and offline modes to take stock of the progress and adapt course correction measures if needed. We have been fortunate enough to be guided by many experienced volunteers and Telugu wikimedians in assimilating their best practices. The above mentioned reports of detailed statistics and shortcomings have influenced our proposed work plan and CIS-A2K has taken note of these shortcomings on which it would act swiftly, while revising the plans later.
- This is the same comment as in Telugu Wikisource above. Please see the response we have given above.
- CIS-A2K as a policy does not intend to enter into risky initiatives as it believes to have a obligation of productivity against the grant it receives. The grant CIS-A2K receives goes out in sustaining the necessary and feasible efforts that shall go a long way and make a huge impact on the Wikimedia community than risking it against an idea that might not provide the best ROI on both monetary and human resources count.--Visdaviva (talk) 18:39, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
- To address #6, it would probably be best to only quantify the results which are directly attributable to your activities, or to exclude those which are probably not. I don't know context, but if for example one wanted to say that project X got Y % more edits in time B compared to time A one could for a start exclude all the editors who were already active before time A. --Nemo 14:45, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Based on the on-wiki discussions and my observations of various activities going on in Telugu Wikipedia, I am summerizing my comments about CIS-A2K plan for Telugu Wikipedia.
- There has been some progress in off-wiki interaction of Wikipedia community due to the efforts of CIS-A2K
- CIS-A2K helped increased the awareness of Telugu Wikipedia due to institutional partnerships. But it could not fully capitalize such partnerships
- Training seemed to be effective only in the area of organizing events and identifying funding opportunities and securing funds for such events (Ex: Anniversary events and IEG grants). Conversely wiki training has been poor because after two and half years of training activities, most of the users did not realize the need for verifiable sources in Wikipedia (Ex: Indu Gnana Vedika related articles)
- CIS-A2K doesn't need to be taking up content creation activities which can be driven by community itself. Most of these current activities seems to driven by metric driven reportable items, thus can be easily worked up as successes.
- CIS-A2K seems to be promoting the initiatives that seems to fit into their plan and ignoring any advice to the contrary
- Example 1:Total article number goals like 66,666 are being promoted as community approved goals, when it traces back to one user's proposal. It was accepted to be an issue only after going tooth and nail explaining why it is not a good goal on several occasions
- Example 2:As a wikipedian actively involved in Telugu Wikipedia since 2005, I have been tracking stub ratio for almost 8 years and recently CIS-A2K representative pasted a bunch of empty sections and Infobox Template using bot account without any on-wiki consensus, to decrease the stubs. The representative himself admitted this on Village Pump.
- Example 3:Currently there is a push going on to paste info-boxes in new-user Userpages (not Talk pages) in the name of promoting better engagement. Again, there is no consensus or discussion around such activities.
- CIS-A2K may have a role in creating broader general awareness of Wikipedia in India, but it does not have the depth or expertise to be setting community priorities which it seems to be doing in this plan.
- Account creation to actively engaged wikipedian conversion rate has not been great even with all the CIS-A2K work. In the last 2.5 years all CIS-A2K could boast is 2 actively engaged wikipedians. That is not any better than what community did without outside help or awareness. Meanwhile, metric promoting activities to some extent damaged the morale of volunteer community.
- Overall, I believe that CIS-A2K efforts are better spent elsewhere (nascent wiki projects), hence I oppose Telugu Wikipedia plan. If you want to discuss this further, feel free to contact me via wikipedia e-mail
- Dear వైజాసత్య, As you have yourself noted on-wiki that you choose neither to engage with CIS-A2K work nor with its plans, until off-late. However, you seem to have quickly come to a conclusion on the entirety of CIS-A2K's work within a very short period. Firstly, we appreciate that a senior Wikimedian like you have taken lead in engaging with the Telugu work plans after two years of ignoring these plans. We certainly thank you for this. Some replies for the comments in the same order.
- It has been felt that the community was interacting more over skype and taking decisions on implementing gadgets like Cite. As we are all aware most of the Wikipedians are not tech savy and to facilitate their discussions some physical meetups were arranged by us. This is not a trend initiated by CIS-A2K. Further more, CIS-A2K employees on all occasions emphasise on-wiki discussions and have never encouraged more off-wiki discussions. We would like to know if its your opinion that CIS-A2K has engaged and lead community to have more of off wiki events.
- Thank you.
- Context : We approached Indu Gnana Vedika only for Wikisource books that too based on a request made by another Telugu Wikipedia which was also supported by Arjunaraoc. It was other Telugu Wikipedians who suggested that it would be informative to have the wiki articles on these books. The articles got deleted because, there is no such policy for books on Telugu Wikipedia and an attempt made to do so has not been taken up actively by the community.
- Its clearly indicated which activities within the proposed Telugu Wikipedia work plan, CIS-A2K is leading and which activities community would take the lead. CIS-A2K has always considered itself as a catalyst program that provides and facilitates support towards community initiatives.
- These examples are rather accusatory and lack evidence and are mere figments of your imagination.
- The 66,666 article count has always been community driven and was mentioned on the Tewiki11 celebrations page as well (please see the page history), and you had raised the same objections there as well, but the fact that the decision had remained there even after your objection goes on to prove 66,666 was not A2K agenda but a community idea. The sudden disappearance of the table indicating the same, it was removed after a month, with your comment and with no proper reason. Also another senior Telugu Wikipedian t.sujatha has clarified that the '66,666 in question' was neither proposed nor propagated by CIS-A2K. Being remotely based out of India, you have certainly and very strongly come to believe that this was set by CIS-A2K. Could you please clarify how you have come to make this baseless accusation against CIS-A2K?
- We would like to reiterate that no CIS-A2K representative does edits on 0 namespace in the role of an employee, they do edit only as volunteers. Also, thousands of village articles were created as stubs by Vyzbot (run by you), and not by CIS-A2K employees, much before CIS-A2K had even started to collaboratively work with Telugu Wikimedia community. We would like to know about the ‘alleged CIS-A2K representative' so that we can keep an eye on such nefarious activities.
- CIS-A2K does not take the responsibility for the pasting of info-boxes as it has never advised or discussed the same with Telugu community members. It has been completely volunteer driven initiative. It would be useful if you could discuss this with the Telugu Wikimedia community before coming to such quick conclusion about the role of CIS-A2K.
- Please do help us in driving the work plan in this direction, we will try to include all your constructive feedback and improve the current work plan. We will include as much as your feedback in the final work plan to be put up in June-July, once we know the status of the FDC Grant approval.
- CIS-A2K would like to respectfully bring to your notice that the statistics regarding the above observation showcase a completely different picture. There has been a steady if not spectacular growth in the rate of Active and Very Active Wikipedians in the Telugu language after CIS-A2K’s intervention.
- As mentioned above, in addition to this talk page, you can give all your feedback in the Talk page of Telugu Wikipedia and Wikisource work plan and we will try to include the suggestions as per community consensus, during the revision exercise.--Visdaviva (talk) 19:08, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Final comments by Pavan santhoshEdit
Before going through my discussions against the plan and the summary of those discussions, I request everyone to take a look at my background behind these comments. In 2014, I've attended almost every program that CIS A2K conducted with participation of the telugu wiki community and also helpful to fulfill some of their aims & targets indirectly through my contribution. Even for some contributions I even requested and got some help from them. On the other hand I've participated or organized all kinds of major off-wiki and on-wiki efforts made by telugu wikipedia community. As one of the representatives of tewiki in WMF India community consultation, as a joint secretary for tewiki 11th anniversary, as WMF IEGrantee and adviser for another IEG I've gained exposure on the wikimedia foundation activities and its strategic plan. The above experience, exposure and idea helped me to discuss on this plan and other aspects in telugu wikipedia. And in this background, based on the on-wiki discussions and other activities on telugu wikipedia, I'm going to summarize my comments on this plan concerned.
- CIS-A2K initiative and management support for off-wiki activities is praiseworthy. They helped wikipedians to apply for IEG grants. They also helped present the work among peer wikipedia language groups.
- CIS efforts towards Institutional partnerships were not fully successful. Only Andhra loyola college is shown after all the efforts over the past few years. They have not provided the details of the MOU with the second institution when requested by Arjuna Rao. Use of automated translation tools by english medium students and not reporting the same indicates the unhealthiness of institutional partnership.
- Only proposals and plans are available, but not appropriate reports which support them. The reports indicate the overall growth of Telugu wikipedia and project that it could be due to catalyst role of CIS-A2K. Several projects in last year's proposal continue in this year's proposal without any changes. There is no mention of why such projects were not done last year and no report of problems faced and how they plan to overcome them. The proposal does not even mention them as unsuccesful projects. Katha Nilayam is another website, which has information similar to what wikipedia has in the area of writers and their stories. Mention by Viswanath that he is able to get some material released under copyleft license from them for use on wikipedia is to be noted.
- There are doubts about the proposed training. Previous experience with such events was not fruitful. There is mention of advanced training program in the last year's proposal and the event held on the request of Pranay. It did not achieve the event objectives and left the participants dissatisfied. I am not able to say that I developed the specific skill by attending that event. There is similar plans in this proposal.
- Deciding Article count, new editors as target is leading to damaging the quality of wikipedia, by filling articles with empty section headings to increase the article size to 2KB. As the contribution of volunteer wikipedians is not highlighted, and overall targets of project are shown in proposals, some wikipedians have reduced their contributions. The participation of CIS-A2K in community meetups is leading to disunity among the community. Senior wikipedian Rajasekhar commented that these events are not wanted, if the community becomes split into groups. So the implementation by CIS-A2K is striking against core objectives of the strategic plan.
- It is advisable for them to focus on work that can't be done voluntarily by Telugu Wikipeidans and address the gaps by sharing the lessons by use of learning patterns. But this has not happened. Political Instability is mentioned as the reason. Though the first half of the last year could be considered unstable, new governments were formed and there was stability in the second half. I can't understand why they could not accomplish during that time. The proposal does not clarify how they can accomplish the same now.
- I also contributed towards increasing the awareness of Wikipedia through the media. It resulted in two 15 minute duration audiovisual programs and about twenty stories. Though state wide events happened, CIS-A2K did not seem to have focussed on media coverage of such events. It is visible during tewiki10, in which the events were claimed as conducted by the host institution in some newspapers. Comments by program officer about bloggers have caused problems to community. There is claim that publicity is successful without any support of stats. Only two new user seem to have joined wikipedia because of social media efforts. Here also statistics/analysis are not reported.
- Lot of proposed projects can be done by wikipedians and many of them have not requested any support. On-wiki work has given negative results compared to off-wiki work as per discussions. They offered developing templates, givings structure etc. These can be done by community and the previous work also demonstrates the same. It is not clear how proposal to make available english wiki articles for the translation projects is included.
- Claiming all the work done as arising from CIS-A2K has led to several objections. One senior wikipedian has reduced his efforts. Instead of clear assessment of successes and failures, using the development by overall community has become controversial. Differences have surfaced on this aspect during off-wiki activities.
- Shortcomings of the plan and its implementation and not using those experiences to prepare the the new proposal are the reasons for me to oppose the plan. Implementing the current plan will not give benefits. Moreover it may lead to some problems. For further comments, please use my talk page or this page or my email-id.--పవన్ సంతోష్ (చర్చ) 16:42, 30 ఏప్రిల్ 2015 (UTC)
- Dear Pavan santhosh.s, CIS-A2K has been extremely happy to have been associated with you at various capacities and wishes you all the success in your future commitments both in the ‘wiki and off-wiki’ initiatives. We are taking the valuable feedback that you have provided and will attempt to incorporate the same in the upcoming plan period as the feedback comes at the last minute and does not give us enough time to revise and improvise the plan. We are also listing some of our feedback to your comments in the same order.
- Thank you for your kind words, CIS-A2K is committed to explore and introduce available opportunities to the community members.
- With your experience of IEGrant and its related activities, we are sure that you fully understand the fragile nature of establishing an institutional partnership and the even more difficult nature of sustaining such partnerships. CIS-A2K has not over utilised its resources by approaching many institutions and showcasing one institution as a successful partnership. There has been a lot of homework, reconnaissance and baseline study before approaching an institution and CIS-A2K has been extremely cautious about engaging, establishing and sustaining institutional partnerships. Andhra Loyola College has been our successful partnership and based on the lessons learnt from these partnerships we intend to continue making meaningful partnerships during the upcoming plan year. The details of the MoU have been shared as a part of our narrative report that goes out every quarter. The use of automated tools was done as a mode of introducing and familiarising such tools to the students of ALC college and a closer look at the work will indicate that most of the work has been done in the manual method and has been performed under the constant supervision of faculty, community member and a CIS-A2K team member. Also see our reply on a similar question raised by Arjunarao above.
- The Grant page where the proposal is put up does require ‘only proposals and plans’. For all the reports that you seek as a proof of the work done by CIS, we would like to draw your attention towards our newsletters, blog posts posted on CIS website and quarterly reports that are produced every quarter. These reports will contain in them the accurate assessment of the work done, path to be taken, changes to be adopted, strategies to be revisited. While it is true that many plans from the last year have continued, you must have also noticed that these plans are updated and include the suggestions given to us by the community members. Some of the plans were retained because of the insistence of the community members and as these were considered to be ‘best practices’ that have to be continued. Many plans have been discontinued and the discontinued plans and efforts have been discussed in the overview section of our proposal and in our quarterly reports where an entire section ‘Lessons Learnt’ is dedicated for the reflections of the team. The unsuccessful projects have been shelved after discussing the same with the community members. We duly note and acknowledge community members contributions to Telugu Wikipedia related activities.
- CIS-A2K believes in the need and relevance of training Wikimedia volunteers to conduct effective outreach/technical/liaison activities and is committed to impart quality training to the community members. We shall strive to improve the quality of such trainings and would love to hear from you if you have any ideas regarding the same. We would also however like to bring to your notice that ‘Train the Trainer’ is a concept that has been introduced for the first time in India amongst the Wikimedia circle and has received support and appreciation for the way it has been planned and conducted by many senior Wikimedians.
- CIS-A2K completely agrees that any event/meetup/activity/discussion (both online and offline) has to be discontinued if it turns out to be detrimental for the growth of community. CIS-A2K has always organised meetups and participated on the invitation by Telugu community members. We have also supported a few events based on the requests that we have received on our requests page. Regarding the metrics, CIS-A2K’s stance on this issue has been very clear and it has always considered itself to be a supporting agency for the growth and uplifting of Wikimedia projects. We do not encourage quantity based metrics and would like to keep a close vigil on such articles if a list is provided by you.
- We at CIS-A2K would like to share the optimism that you have expressed towards working with Government bodies and wish we would be able to achieve things as smoothly as you have pointed out. Unfortunately the last year (to be precise the later half of the last year) the governments were trying to resolve issues important according to their priorities such as Law and Order, Legislative reforms, Financial stability among many others. Our conversations regarding Wikimedia projects unfortunately did not figure in the list of their priorities. CIS-A2K intends to re work and re attempt in making those conversations happen as it firmly believes in the importance of these initiatives. Please also see above reply given to Arjunarao about the administrative instability in both the Telugu speaking states.
- We are delighted to know and acknowledge that you have been a tremendous contributor to the growth and popularity of Telugu Wikipedia. We wish you more success in your future endeavours. CIS-A2K as a core policy believes in working as the backstage coordinator and would like to project (rightfully so) the community members as the stars. CIS-A2K has also faced the dilemma of ‘covering or not covering’ an event because of the earlier accusations against it of ‘credit grabbing’. We have hence optimised our media coverage to reflect the community initiative and accurate portrayal of events. Regarding the problem that you mention about the comments by the Program Officer, as you well know because you were informed both off and on-wiki, that we took necessary internal disciplinary action and have suggested to the concerned Program Officer to avoid such comments in the future. Considering the fact that social media strategy is the most recent strategy employed by CIS-A2K which involves no additional resources (both monetary and human)and is not conducted as a campaign or as a dedicated outreach activity also further noting that the intention of using social media platforms is to provide quick updates to the community members and keep them in loop regarding the community developments, what ever volunteer support we receive from these efforts is to be considered as an advantage. CIS-A2K thanks all the friends and subscribers on the social media platforms for making this happen.
- We would like to draw your notice to the fact that CIS-A2K with its entire staff strength of four people cannot possibly undertake all the proposed activities listed in the work plans. All the proposed activities are built on the ideas exchanged and collaboratively developed with the community. Please see the list of all the Telugu Wikipedians, in the work plan, who were part of the work plan discussion. If the community had expressed its ability to run all the proposed plans by itself these plans would have never made it to the proposal page in the first place. Also in the Telugu Wikipedia work plan we have clearly indicated where the community is taking active lead and where CIS-A2K is going to take active lead. CIS-A2K aims to provide support to the community members to accomplish their plans and thus further the cause of the Wikimedia movement. It gives us great pleasure to know that Telugu community is able to meet most of the objectives outlined in the Telugu plan. As we are only now coming to know of the Telugu community’s capabilities we shall identify the areas in Telugu community in which we would make the most productive impact and value add. If you have read the Telugu Wikipedia plan carefully, we have also indicated that we need to exit after this year. For your benefit we are copy pasting some lines here again “It is important to note that during this year some of the active Telugu Wikimedians took leadership in conducting successful outreach events and community events. CIS-A2K is certain that this leadership will sustain the growth achieved during the last two years and will build further on this. This also gives us a sense that CIS-A2K can exit the Telugu Wikipedia after this year. However, an exit strategy has to be put in place with active consultation with the Telugu Wikimedia community.”
- We have explained time and again that CIS-A2K is only a catalyst program both on-wiki and off-wiki. We have and will give the majority of the credit of the growth of Telugu Wikipedia to the Telugu Wikimedia community itself. We have never claimed that all the progress achieved on Telugu Wikipedia is only because of CIS-A2K and limited our role to being a catalysts. If a senior Wikipedian does not understand this and wants to sensationalize it as credit grabbing and goes to the extent of saying profit-making, then definitely it becomes our collective responsibility to explain to him these matters in a better fashion. Rather than clarifying a misunderstanding why do you rush into insisting that the plan be stalled on such a reason? Have you or other Wikipedians put effort into clarifying this to the said senior Wikipedian? Rather if you rush with the suggestion of stopping the work-plans it is read as not only that you are not clearing the misunderstanding but also contributing to further sensationalize this baseless accusation.
- CIS-A2K’s plan has been drafted taking into consideration not only the failures and successes of the last annual plan but after extensive discussions with our institutional partners, advisors, senior academicians, open source policy advocates, community members and like minded individuals who share the same philosophy of free and open knowledge. The proposed plan might not be the best plan to be drafted but it surely is a right step in providing support and opportunities to Indian language communities in general and Telugu community in specific. We must break the barriers of distrust and accept that our experiences of today will serve as lessons for tomorrow.--Visdaviva (talk) 20:05, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Further questions about the financial information in Table 3Edit
Thank you for providing us with the additional financial information we requested. We feel we have a better understanding of your overall and your A2K-specific financials. We did want to follow up with two questions:
We note that your year-to-date expenses (47,164,837) are very close to your projected expenses for the entire year (48,000,000). Considering that year-to-date numbers were provided as of 1 March, with four months still remaining in the funding period, we were wondering how to reconcile this, or if there is an error in how we are understanding the information in Table 3. To clarify, your year-to-date expenses should be what you spent of 1 March, and your projected expenses should be what you expect to spend by the end of the current funding period (in this case June - July).
Finally, it would be good to get some A2K -specific numbers on your budgeted, year-to-date, and projected (by end of funding period on 30 June) expenses for the current year to complement the bigger picture numbers you have provided.
- Dear Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer), the information given in Table 3 is for the financial year ending on March 31, 2015 (i.e. for the period April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015). So the projected year-to-date expenses is for expenses to be incurred as on March 31, 2015.
- For the A2K specific (and for this FDC grant only) the budgeted, year-to-date numbers will be most accurate in our quarterly report 3 here. For the last quarter we project to spend another Rs. 2,500,000/-. Thus we may have an unspent grant amount of about Rs. 1,000,000/- by the end of the grant period.
- Please do let us know if we could help with more clarity.--Visdaviva (talk) 07:55, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
- Thank you, Visdaviva. That makes sense. Are you able to also provide high-level numbers for a July 2014 - June 2015 funding period corresponding to the current funding period, for CIS overall and A2K. We are only looking for the highest level numbers here (total expenses and total revenues) and we understand that since these are out of synch with your fiscal year they won't necessarily correspond to your other institutional reports. Thank you! Winifred Olliff (WMF Program Officer) talk 17:35, 1 May 2015 (UTC)