The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) is seeking applications for the post of Programme Officer, Pilot Projects for its Access to Knowledge (A2K) Programme. The position will be based in its Bangalore office. Programme Officer will collaboratively work with the A2K Team and would report to the Programme Director, Access to Knowledge at CIS.
As Programme Officer, Pilot Projects, your job will be to drive and support the growth of Indian language Wikipedias and its sister projects. Your primary responsibility will be to design and implement different pilot projects with an aim to create high quality content and cultivate new editors on different language Wikipedias in a time bound manner. One of the main pilots you will be spearheading immediately will be on ‘Indian Performing Arts’. The pilots will be premised on themes and seek to create a multi-lingual repository of knowledge using Wikimedia projects as knowledge platforms. In addition to this you will be anchoring the development and growth of at least one Indian language Wikipedia. You are encouraged to deeply engage with the A2K Work Plan before making the application.
You will work cohesively with the Wikimedia community and the Wikimedia India Chapter to meet specific goals of each language community in India. You will be a part of a small team of 5 to 6 doing high visibility and high impact work.
Support India-focused initiatives to improve quality of India-relevant content and number of editors on Indian language Wikimedia projects.
Support the growth of Indian language Wikimedia communities and projects by designing and implementing community collaborations and partnerships pilot projects – detailing rationale, aim and objective, execution, evaluation, timeline, resource investment, etc.
Spearhead A2K’s pilot projects.
Identify institutions/groups that have ready-made content/archived material and aggregate available material in respective languages.
Create a network of state institutions, university departments, non-government organisations, academics, artists, researchers and wikipedia community members that will work towards creating a repository of knowledge on specific themes by using Wikimedia projects as a platform.
Conduct initial meetings with the principal investigators from each of the shortlisted institutions and share project idea.
Facilitate Wikimedia community involvement with the core network of institutions and principal investigators to collaboratively participate on specific content/area modules.
Create social media platforms for visibility of these projects and facilitate need-based technical and online support.
Conduct a series of wiki-training workshops for various nodes within the network.
Conduct periodic monitoring and evaluation of the pilot projects in progress.
Generate and document lessons from programme activities that can inform the work of Indian communities and similar programmes in other countries.
Providing ad hoc support to the Wikipedia community on all aspects of Indian languages as may be deemed necessary.
Candidate's Background & Experience
At least two to three years of professional experience with a strong track record of success in high performance organizations.
Prior experience of working with schools of performing arts and/or cultural departments.
A deep understanding of the varied cultural context of India.
Good understanding of the basics of program design and management.
Experience of working in a collaborative community (preferably online).
Strong academic results from highly-regarded university.
Strong understanding of the Internet and the forces that underpin the success of Wikipedia.
Active participation as a Wikimedia volunteer would be an asset, though not a prerequisite (must be prepared to demonstrate knowledge of how Wikipedia works in interviews).
Demonstrated experience working in a global, multi-cultural team environment.
Good writing skills in English and Indic languages and must be fluent in English and at least one Indic language.
Women are strongly encouraged to apply.
Characteristics of the Programme Officer
High level of commitment: The Programme Officer should believe in the values of CIS and Wikimedia projects, exude enthusiasm for the mission and can powerfully embody and communicate the mission.
Intellectual curiosity and flexibility: Must enjoy tackling difficult, ambiguous problems and able to incorporate new knowledge into how one approaches situations and generates solutions, loves learning from others while expanding intellectual horizons.
Open and transparent: Have a high level of integrity and be comfortable working in a highly transparent fashion, open to input and feedback, a proactive and candid communicator who wants people to know what s/he is doing and isn't afraid to bring others in when things are off-track or when you need help and should able to handle criticism in a mature fashion.
Community builder: It is essential that the Programme Officer sees herself/himself as a partner to and supporter of the Wikimedians who have and will continue to be the leaders in building the Wikimedia projects. The Programme Officer must be willing and able to work with a diverse array of people, many of whom come from non-traditional backgrounds and have a fervent commitment to Wikimedia’s community-led nature.
Strong cultural competency: Able to navigate in a global movement and on a global team in addition to navigating the complexity of India.
Partnership developer: Able to initiate, negotiate and operate partnerships that advance the Wikimedia mission in Indic languages and English (as relevant to India) with a wide range of institutions across the public, NGO, universities, philanthropic and private sector.
Willing to travel: The Programme Officer must regularly travel within India to engage with Wikimedia communities and partner with institutions.
Location: The position is based out of the CIS Bangalore office.
Remuneration: Compensation structure will be determined by the level of expertise, experience and current remuneration.
To apply, please send your resume to T. Vishnu Vardhan (vishnu(a)cis-india.org).
You can also find the job posting on our website (http://cis-india.org/jobs/programme-officer-pilot-projects-access-to-knowle…). Please feel free to share this mail with your networks.
Access to Knowledge
The Centre for Internet & Society
CIS-A2K Team would like to share with you it's draft Work Plan (2013-2014)
for Indian language Wikimedia projects. The detailed work plan can be found
here.  The main objective of this document is to present a detailed
plan with projection of outcomes and expected impact of the A2K programme
activities, during the next 15 months.
The A2K team has, over the last two months, extensively engaged with
various stakeholders in developing these plans. These include a) some
Wikimedia India Community members across various Indian language Wikimedia
projects; b) some English Language Wikimedia community members from India;
c) Wikimedia India Chapter Executive Committee; d) some potential
institutional partners; e) a few like minded advocates of free knowledge;
f) A2K Programme Adviser Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana; and last but not least g)
a few of the Wikimedia Foundation staff. We are extremely thankful to all
of them who have taken time out in sharing their ideas and opinions and in
actively giving feedback, which has helped us immensely in drawing up these
plans. This document has been made keeping in mind the objectives,
opportunities and challenges faced by each of the Indian language Wikimedia
We welcome your feedback and suggestions to further refine these
plans. However, for the sake of structured engagement, we would request you
to *please read the following guidelines  on how to share your
feedback.*We would deeply appreciate if you could share your valuable
feedback in the
next three weeks based on which we will revise the plans.
Looking forward to receiving your inputs.
T. Vishnu Vardhan
Access to Knowledge<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge>
The Centre for Internet and Society
It’s with deep regret that I announce the resignation of Noopur Raval as Programme Officer CIS-A2K Team.
The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) would like to thank her for all her valuable contributions to the Wikimedia movement. Noopur has been a great asset to the A2K team. We'd like to thank her for all her leadership and work in the past year around PR, communications, GLAM, outreach and social media. In her formal capacity Noopur has worked to promote Wikimedia movement in India for over a year. We're hoping that she'll continue to be a part of the movement as a treasured volunteer.
It is with warmest regards that CIS wishes her best in all her future endeavors. Please join us as we bid a fond farewell to Noopur and and send her off with hopes for more success and fulfillment. I will personally retain many wonderful memories working with her.
In a day or two CIS-A2K Team will send out an advertisement for the opening of Programme Officer which has been created due to Noopur's departure.
Access to Knowledge
The Centre for Internet & Society
Recently I met few of the Assamese Wikipedians in Dibrugarh. We discussed
regarding many of the plans of the Assamese Wikimedia community. I'm
summarizing our discussions in this mail.
Minutes of discussion
Meeting with Assamese Wikipedians, Faculty members of Dibrugarh University
Venue: Dibrugarh University
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm, 11.02.2013
Gitartha Bordoloi, M.D. Student, Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh
Abhijit Kalita, Manager, NEEPCO Ltd, Duliajan
Gunadeep Chetia, Asst. Professor, Centre for Computer Studies, Dibrugarh
Dr. Bhaskarjyoti Sarma, Asst. Professor, Department of Assamese ,
Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh
Dr. Mridul Bordoloi, Asst. Professor, Department of English, Dibrugarh
Subhashish Panigrahi, Programme Officer, A2K, Centre for Internet and
Society, New Delhi
Creating resources for Assamese Wikimedia communities
Solving technological challenges
Facilitating wikipedians for outreach
Subhashish addressed the meeting by explaining the role of A2K team in
terms of catalyzing the Indian language communities across the nation.
Gitartha briefly explained how Assamese community flourished in the
recent past and has been trying to build it organically.
Gunadeep Chetia briefly discussed about the technical roadblocks for
Assamese communities and the initiatives. Gunadeep, Bhaskarjyoti, Abhijit,
Mridul and few other Assamese language enthusiasts have formed a non-profit
organization “Society for Language Technology Development, Assam
(SLTD,Assam) and have released a few typing tools for typing in Assamese.
The society has 3 teams working collaboratively; A) Technology team B)
Language team and C) Design team. Faculty members from various departments
are involved in the society. Some of the students are also involved as
volunteers in content generation project.
Technology gap: Most of those who have experience and expertise are not
computer handy and it’s becoming a roadblock for them to contribute to
Standardization of Assamese language:
Lack of volunteers: Most of the volunteers die out after some time. If
some kind of remuneration could be allocated more people could get involved
and a huge repository could be built in a short span of time.
Accomplishments & Plans of the Society:
Rodali: SLTD indigenously worked for creating the first Assamese
Phonetic typing tool (Offline and online)
It is distributed in a free license and constantly being upgraded.
Assamese Spell checker: This is a tool which could be useful for
Assamese word library (Some funding is needed to involve some people to
type and create a library of Assamese words which could be used for adding
the spell check feature.)
Pronunciation library: Samples of various Assamese dialects were
collected and analyzed using voice analyzing softwares. The average value
of the samples was taken as the standard pronunciation of a particular
word. Most Indian language lack such libraries and once built it could be
used in multiple ways;
A) Voice command for voice based command for computer
B) Text to speech
Primary needs of the community:
Digitization: Assamese community needs many of the out-of copyright
books to be digitized in text format so they could be used for WikiSource.
The community feels it will be useful to get the books typed by local DTP
operators and distribute them for WikiSource and other portals. WikiSource
has has very few active contributors and it is being difficult for the
community to gather more people. A content creation drive could help.
4) Font related issues
I. Ambiguity of characters:
Assamese and Bengali scripts are broadly same, but some of the characters
make the two scripts unique. Unicode consortium calls the characters for
Assamese as Bengali characters. This issue has been taken to the Unicode
Consortium and they were requested to change the name to Assamese/Bengali
but never addressed. This mistake gave rise few more issues:
A) Assamese Wikipedia uses a Bengali Phonetic keyboard layout called Avro.
As Avro uses the Bengali characters and conjuncts few of the frequently
used conjuncts display incorrectly (In Assamese). The issue has taken a
larger time of the community to correct. There were cases of the same
article being created twice with two different spellings.
II. Non-availability of good quality Assamese fonts
Assamese Wikipedia and other language projects often rely on Bengali fonts.
A good quality Assamese font would be of great use.
5) TTS: Text to Speech software development work:
Needs two major libraries: Pronunciation library and word library for the
6) Typing tool:
Rodali: Rodali was developed as an indigenous phonetic & Inscript typing
tool for Assamese. It is available offline for Linux and Windows and
online. The Windows application is built on C++ (Coding) and .NET
(Interface) and the Linux application is written using iBus and Lisp. The
Wikimedia projects for typing). Rodali development included feedback from
linguists, common users and many test versions were released for testing.
Suggestions were made to replace the Avro Bengali typing tool with Rodali
so that the same tool is used across platforms.
7) OCR (Optical character recognition) software
Optical character recognition is used for converting text from scanned
images of books/documents. There are handful of OCR softwares made in few
of the Indian languages which are more or less inaccurate. OCR for Bengali
has multiple bugs and it was assumed it would work for Assamese as well.
But because of few of the Assamese characters the engine for OCR doesn’t
work properly for Assamese. There is a need of an Assamese OCR. The Society
is currently planning to invest some time for OCR as well.
Programme Officer, Access To Knowledge
Centre for Internet and Society