Hi Karthik -

I'll step back from the conversation after this, but did want to say that although I haven't been active in many discussions on this list, I've read almost every conversation on every public list related to the Wikimedia movement's activities in India for the last several years, as well as those private lists which I have access to, so I'm not coming in completely out of the blue (including a lot of the discussions and frustrations around the catalyst program and how it was split off.)  I'm not actively trying to support CIS's practices, or say they should get their entire grant - I haven't evaluated it on anywhere near an adequate basis to have an opinion on it (I'm thoroughly obsessive about evaluating grants.) I do think it's significant that they indicated an active desire to fix them over time while not being unfair to their current employees - WMDC's most recent grant brought up some questions about how Wikimedia movement affiliates should be treating employees, and I think it will probably be necessary to come up with movement wide standards at some point, where CIS may present valuable guidance of a slightly different sort.

I understand where Ravi's frustrations are coming from (and I'm pretty sure I've spoken more with WMIN members in my movement work than people affiliated with CIS,) I just wanted to speak up when I saw someone with advanced permissions on multiple projects actively suggest an action that, if successful, would not be good, and even if not successful, won't be good.  I would highly encourage people to focus efforts in productive directions, like improving local fundraising ability, or in participating on some of the meta-movement discussions that are happening right now about the FDC and its future, how we should expect movement affiliate employees to be treated, etc.  (Although I also can't blame anyone who feels a need to step back out of frustration; the direction of Ravi's email just concerned me.)  I think it would even probably to do detailed post-mortems as has started for the Belfer WiR posting to ensure that lessons learned from past mistakes are not repeated (it's worth noting that many of those involved in splitting off the catalyst programs have left the Foundation, and a lot of their knowledge about what went wrong, including what mistakes they may've made, may have left with them without being recorded.)

Best,
Kevin Gorman


On Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 12:24 PM, Karthik Nadar <karthikndr@gmail.com> wrote:
When its about the Indian Community, I would further appreciate if community members from India write in here. There seems to be more to foreign members defending CIS-A2K grant while it should be more of Indian community either defending or chasing.

I think Gerard needs to understand the Indian Community from depth; not keep on defending CIS-A2K just because you were supposed to run a project with them. The volunteer community here can also do that. We have well versed Wikidata contributors. Please see how the volunteer activities have dropped down so tremendously since past two years.
 
Everyone's comment on the discussion is appreciated; doesn't matters in support or in contrast againsy the FDC proposal of CIS-A2K. But, seriously and on first basis, it should be coming from Indian community members not from anyone who doesn't understand the current scenario here. General comments from anyone is welcome, but please do some home-work first.
 
 
Hi Ravi,
 
I'm sure campaigning against donations to Wikimedia will bring the movement in bad light; but something like campaigning for Wikimedia India and deteriorating its dependency on WMF will be awesome. Wikimedia India currently needs some legal help to initiate after which we believe that this is something needs to be achieved with strong support from the community.
 
WMF has already decided that it wants to create more and more mess here. I'm sure to see that the CIS-A2K will get almost 100% for what they have requested for [maybe more :P]. Things are all scripted and discussions are mere drama. Creation of such a project is itself a great proof for that.
 
Another example is: When first employee of WMIN was hired, WMF created such a mess out of it. When A2K was started, WMIN had to no chance to voice out for or against it.
 
 
 
Please note:  I don't have any personal intentions against CIS. They have been so open and helpful to WMIN. Its the WMF attitude towards its focus in India that creates trouble and mess. Thanks to Them! 
 
 
 
Thanks,
Karthik Nadar.

 
On Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 10:21 PM, Kevin Gorman <kgorman@gmail.com> wrote:
I would equally suggest that trying to cut off or limit the flow of funds to the movement because you're upset that someone is being overpaid is putting your personal interest above the movement's interest. I mean, if you were literally successful in your stated goal, the movement would no longer *exist*.  I'm sure the FDC will take relevant factors in to consideration when looking at CIS's request, there's no need for hyperbolic calls to start a donation boycott.  If this were truly just about profligate spending, there's probably a hundred things in the Wikimedia movement you could latch on to that are more outrageous.

---
Kevin Gorman


On Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 8:57 AM, Ravishankar <ravidreams@gmail.com> wrote:
Kevin,

It isn't about the exact numbers and percentages. It is about integrity.

You accept that you are getting over paid and yet you won't fix it, then it is putting your personal interest above the movement's interest.

You call yourself a non-proft and yet you pay a salary that is far above for-proft standards.

And when we ask for results or performance analysis, you say that we can't measure that yet.

CIS acknowledges that it is over paying its staff disproportionate to industry standards and their own institution's salary structure. Yet, 51.26% of their budget goes to payments towards full time staff, resource persons and consultants (line items 1, 7 and 11.2). This is against the guidelines issued to the FDC on rising cost of institutionalization.

This inflated structure is a mistake created by WMF and it should own the responsibility of fixing it.

Just because movement funds are available in plenty, you don't go around wasting it.

Ravi



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