Thanks for this constructive invitation.  I look forward to this conversation, and I commit to contribute to it, as invited, from my perspective, once some community members have offered opinions.  

One point I'd beg to differ on, though, right from the start, is your suggestion that WMIN focus on raising funds independently:

This is in response to WMIN not being granted the full amount it has requested via the Annual Plan Grants process[1].  Since funds are available relatively plentifully at the movement level, and since WMF is strategically interested in promoting the mission in India, I would argue a better (and easier!) solution would be to address the likely sources of misalignment between WMIN's expectations and thinking and those of WMF and the FDC[2].  

A conversation such as the one you began now is certainly a step in the right direction, and I am optimistic that with open dialogue we can achieve alignment on questions like:
* current strengths/resources and weaknesses/gaps
* strategy and plans
* WMIN's place in the context of other Wikimedia work in India
* the role of staff and the terms under which funding for staff would be a good investment

These topics have been discussed before, of course, but the fact is alignment was never reached.  To achieve it, we'd need to have open conversations (most such conversations had so far have _not_ been open), to put aside bruised egos and strong feelings (justified or unjustified) about past decisions, and to focus with some discipline on the above questions (and others).  I look forward to such engagement.

Again, I say all this in the context of the question of funding.  If such alignment is achieved, WMIN would find it remarkably easy to get funding for its needs, including staff, and would not need to develop the capabilities and to put in the effort required to raise the funds locally, from sources other than the on-wiki fundraiser.  I would _like_ to see fundraiser funds get used to fund WMIN.  

This question is perhaps not the best _first_ question for this conversation; it would probably be better to begin with some vision-sharing, some imagining of where we want to get to.  But since you mentioned it as an obvious direction WMIN would need to develop in, I thought I should point out it's not at all obvious, from our perspective.

Thanks again for engaging in good faith.


[2] I do not speak for the Funds Dissemination Committee and was not part of the deliberations or decision on this, though I did deliver a compliance report about past grants as one of the inputs for the committee's deliberations.

On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 8:05 PM, Pradeep Mohandas <> wrote:
The on-going conversation at the Grants application page of CIS-A2K has also seen some comments made about the Wikimedia India Chapter. You can read the conversation on-wiki -

I would encourage the community members who have thus far engaged CIS-A2K with criticism to also take the time and effort to do the same with the Wikimedia India Chapter. As Asaf points out in the above conversation, the Chapter is a community created resource and I think it is upto the community to decide on the effectiveness of the work done by this organisation. Without community involvement, no matter how passionate the WMIN EC or a few members inside the Chapter are, it will not make any impact.

I see no communication from the WMIN EC on their own grant application and their status thereafter. I do believe they were wronged in not getting the funds they requested for. However, I think it would be mature to move on and also to use the interim period to build resources that seek to make WMIN's funding sources independent of WMF and to expand membership. 

If the WMIN EC would thus like to engage the community, I would suggest that they open a conversation on wiki (preferably, Meta) in what they seek from community members and to try and understand what community members expect from the Chapter. Revitalising the Wikimedia India chapter is in the long term interest of the movement in India. Keeping the Chapter accountable is the community's responsibility. However, it is for each community member and not a few to make this decision. Help has been offered to the Chapter from WMF, CIS-A2K and I am sure from the community as well. I would love to see the chapter revitalised and a pragmatic programme evolved around the same.
Pradeep Mohandas
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