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[Wikimedia-l] Changes to India Program
Dear global Wikimedia community,

As a follow up to Hisham's message, I would like to thank Hisham for his efforts in support of Wikimedia in India. He has been a great partner to the Wikimedia Foundation team and has worked tirelessly to build the India Program. He has worked in a challenging environment trying to do work in the Wikimedia movement that hasn’t been done before. While there have been ups and downs, our work in India has broken new ground for the movement and taught us all valuable lessons that we are applying in India and around the world. There is an unprecedented level of activity happening in India with promising programs that position the movement for continued growth.

Hisham also leaves behind an India Program that is working effectively with community members on a number of positive initiatives including community growth partnerships in several Indic languages, support for a new Malayalam education program, a GLAM partnership at the Crafts Museum, new wikiclubs at the British Council, ongoing efforts to leverage social media, and a dramatic increase in blog coverage of the India community’s work. There are also exciting developments on mobile that will be announced soon. This work will continue.

Hisham’s departure coincides with another change in the India Program. We are pleased to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation has approved a grant to the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in Bangalore to expand their Access to Knowledge programme to support the achievement of the Wikimedia mission in India. CIS is a leading organization in India working on Internet policy. They are part of the broad free and open community. CIS is a long time friend of Wikimedia, our community in Bangalore, and the Wikimedia India chapter.

CIS has committed to sustaining and building upon the work of the India Program. They plan to hire the existing program consultants as staff and will conduct a search for a new programme director. The program team will be based in Delhi. CIS will be sharing their program plans shortly and will want to incorporate community feedback.

The grant will be for two years in duration to complete the original first stage of the catalyst strategy. The first year’s grant will be for a total of INR 11,000,000 subject to final budget approvals. The second year will be for a similar amount plus inflation subject to a budget review in May 2013. The grant will be renewable via the Wikimedia Grants program (or the FDC, if CIS were to become an affiliated organization and meet eligibility).

This is a shift in how the Wikimedia Foundation seeks to support work in India. Rather than hire consultants or open an office of our own, we think it is preferable to work with an established institution that can bring valuable relationships and capabilities to support our movement. CIS will be a partner to the Wikimedia Foundation, but will operate autonomously in accordance with the terms of the grant agreement.

CIS will hire a programme director for the work. The recruitment process will draw on the best practices Wikimedia used in Brazil and incorporate active community participation in the process. They will share more info on this soon.

We have prepared an FAQ on Meta[1] and ask that questions or comments be posted there. I will endeavour to respond in a timely fashion, though I will be on a flight until 20:00 UTC tonight and will be in meetings in Dubai on Tuesday morning.

Finally, I'd like to wish Hisham all the best in his future endeavours. He has taken us through a critical first stage of our work in India and set us up for significant progress during the next stage. He will be missed and I hope he will stay a part of the Wikimedia community in India.

Best regards,
Barry

[1] http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Program/India_Program_Announcement_and_FAQ_-_30_July_2012

--
Barry Newstead
Chief Global Development Officer
Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Changes to India Program [ In reply to ]
Dear Wikipedians,

On Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM, Barry Newstead (WMF)
<bnewstead@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hisham’s departure coincides with another change in the India Program. We are pleased to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation has approved a grant to the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in Bangalore to expand their Access to Knowledge programme to support the achievement of the Wikimedia mission in India. CIS is a leading organization in India working on Internet policy. They are part of the broad free and open community. CIS is a long time friend of Wikimedia, our community in Bangalore, and the Wikimedia India chapter.

I would like to first like to thank Wikimedia Foundation for giving us
a grant to expand our Access to Knowledge Programme with a greater
focus on Wikipedia. I look forward to working with colleagues from the
Foundation and serving the community in India.

A little bit about my self since I am posting for the first time on
this list, I was elected an Ashoka fellow in 1999. I was part of the
founding team of Mahiti.org though no longer formally involved.
Between 2004 and 2007, I managed IOSN.net, a project of APDIP-UNDP
that focussed on promoting FOSS, open standards and open content
policies in the Asia-Pacific region. Apart from the Government of
India, I have worked with the governments of Moldova, Tajikistan,
Saudi Arabia and Iraq on free software and open standards policies. I
currently serve on the boards of Samvada and Tactical Technology
Collective and also on the sub-board of Open Society Foundation's
Information Programme.

Now a little about CIS that is not in the FAQ. We are most often in
the news for our work around Freedom of Expression under our Internet
Governance programme. But most of our budget is spent on the other
less controversial areas. As a research organisation CIS does not
enforce party positions across staff members and fellows, like the
Kamasutra we encourage a multiplicity of positions. CIS has hosted
inclusiveplanet.com in the past and is currently hosting hasgeek.in.
CIS's garage has been converted into a hacker space called The Lab. In
the past, we have had the privilege to useful in small ways to
individual Wikipedians, the Indian Wikipedia community and India
chapter. The whole team looks forward to stepping-up that dramatically
with this grant.

As a registered non-profit society, CIS will strive to maintain high
levels of transparency and accountability to the Wikipedia community
and the general public. We will make the budget and programme plan
publicly available shortly. We will be transparent about staff
remuneration and travel-related costs – as is the case with other CIS
staffers. We will setup a recruitment panel for the Programme Director
with hopefully participation from the community and the chapter as was
the case in Brazil. More on that soon.

For now, if there are any questions for me regarding CIS and this
particular grant – I would be happy to answer them.

Best wishes,

Sunil

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Changes to India Program [ In reply to ]
Best decision at this point . Congrats Sunil & CIS team .

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Changes to India Program [ In reply to ]
Dear Barry,

Just a question .

What will happen to Wikimedia India Programme Trust[1]
I Think it need to be answered in FAQ[2].
In my observation, the registration of a third entity , at a safe
distance from Wikimedia Foundation and Chapter was a major
organisational mistake in Wikimedia India programme . I like to see
this question answered .


1. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FAQ_India_Programs/FAQ_Wikimedia_India_Program_Trust
2. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Program/India_Program_Announcement_and_FAQ_-_30_July_2012

~ Regards

Anivar

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Changes to India Program [ In reply to ]
On 31 July 2012 21:26, Anivar Aravind <anivar@movingrepublic.org> wrote:
> Dear Barry,
>
> Just a question .
>
> What will happen to Wikimedia India Programme Trust[1]
> I Think it need to be answered in FAQ[2].
> In my observation, the registration of a third entity , at a safe
> distance from Wikimedia Foundation and Chapter was a major
> organisational mistake in Wikimedia India programme . I like to see
> this question answered .

True. And it pretty much went unanswered earlier as well.

I had once raised the issue here:
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2011-November/117059.html

Sadly, nobody concerned responded.

> 1. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/FAQ_India_Programs/FAQ_Wikimedia_India_Program_Trust
> 2. http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Program/India_Program_Announcement_and_FAQ_-_30_July_2012
>

--
Hari Prasad Nadig
http://twitter.com/hpnadig
http://flickr.com/hpnadig

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Changes to India Program [ In reply to ]
On 30 July 2012 16:18, Barry Newstead (WMF) <bnewstead@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> As a follow up to Hisham's message, I would like to thank Hisham for his efforts in support of Wikimedia in India. He has been a great partner to the Wikimedia Foundation team and has worked tirelessly to build the India Program. He has worked in a challenging environment trying to do work in the Wikimedia movement that hasn’t been done before. While there have been ups and downs, our work in India has broken new ground for the movement and taught us all valuable lessons that we are applying in India and around the world. There is an unprecedented level of activity happening in India with promising programs that position the movement for continued growth.
>
[...]

> CIS has committed to sustaining and building upon the work of the India Program. They plan to hire the existing program consultants as staff and will conduct a search for a new programme director. The program team will be based in Delhi. CIS will be sharing their program plans shortly and will want to incorporate community feedback.
>

Barry,

This is all quite unexpected, but bringing in CIS does really seem
like a positive change at this moment for what has been happening in
India.

Through CIS, Sunil has so far extended great support to volunteers in
India, not only for those who were working as volunteers for Wikimedia
but also for volunteers from free software movement, people working on
freedom of expression and several other excellent causes. Having been
part of the founding team of the chapter in India, I did feel that
without Sunil's encouragement, support the chapter would have had more
trouble taking shape given the complexities. So, it does feel like a
good prospect going forward.

To be fair, the India programs has so far been an expensive project
coming at a huge cost and not so great outcome. The big loser has been
the chapter in India. Adding to that is the parity in work pressure as
compared to the remuneration between volunteers who signed up to take
up responsibilities at the chapter and the paid employees of the India
program. Although I resigned from the chapter early last year, I still
feel that much of the pressure has been on the few passionate
volunteers who have been trying to put together a solid foundation for
the chapter.

It is sad to see anyone go, but really does bring back memories when
certain people in-charge weren't responding or were just 'too busy' to
respond to calls from volunteers. However, that is past now and I'm no
longer as active on Wikimedia projects as I used to be. However,
there's still a sense of belonging that I'm pretty sure like me many
other volunteers from India (who may have now gone inactive for a
reason or the other) share - and are looking forward seeing the
brighter side.

Cheers,
--
Hari Prasad Nadig
http://twitter.com/hpnadig
http://flickr.com/hpnadig

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