---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Barry Newstead <bnewstead(a)wikimedia.org>
Date: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 4:17 PM
Subject: [Wikimediaindia-l] Changes to the India Program
To: India list <wikimediaindia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Dear India 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
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
We have prepared an FAQ on Meta 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.
Chief Global Development Officer
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Dear Telugu Community
I'm writing to inform you that I plan to leave my current role supporting Wikimedia in India. I am going to be exploring opportunities and evaluating options that are closer to my career aspirations and my personal circumstances. I will be working through to ensure that there is a smooth transition - and this is likely to take 2-3 months. I am writing now because I felt it appropriate and opportune to inform you as early as possible.
I want to start off by thanking the Wikimedia community and movement for giving me this extraordinary opportunity. Working on something like India Program has been something that has been professionally enriching and personally fulfilling. Over the past 1 1/2 years, I have been supported by so many of you - and I want to thank you for everything you have done! The passion and intellectual firepower of our community has been my constant source of drive and guidance. There are so many examples of powerful stories from all over the country: the incredible efforts put in by the IEP Campus Ambassadors in Pune; the army of volunteers that drove the outreach push across the country in the first few months of this year; the beautiful stories of fantastic community initiatives from far and wide across the country and sub-continent, and indeed the world; the remarkable stories from so many communities - large, small and tiny ones!
I want to thank the team that I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with - Nitika, Noopur, Shiju & Subha. You guys have been wonderful. The work that we are doing is experimental and we have been innovating every day, and I know the circumstances have not always been easy. Take strength and inspiration from the large number of community members who have been touched by you and appreciate your efforts and value your work.
I will send an actual "over and out" message later. In the meantime, I will continue to work on everything that needs working on.
*FYI. I remember speaking to Dr Rajasekhar since he was interested in
starting a similar project. Please do let me know if we can start
blog post cum report on India's first GLAM initiative at the National
Crafts Museum! The program started out in English but was taken forward in
Hindi to suit the staff members who have been enthusiastically creating
articles and editing in Hindi Wikipedia! The program has been a bold step
to prove that GLAM can very well happen in India - with its own design and
structure and it has also given the Hindi community a precious gift of 6
A special thanks to User: Roboture who has been with us in each and every
meet and helped train editors, User:Yann for his first set of invaluable
Commons contributions and to User:Aniruddhajnu and User:Siddharatha_ghai
for coming down to the museum to inspire the staff members.
Hope this gives more courage to any community that wants to start a similar
project! Would love to provide any help needed.
*FYI. Apologies for cross posting
I am delighted to give you a small summary of the Tag and assess drive that
was conducted by members of WP:India by means of a blog post.
is. As you can read in it, organizers and participants alike,
unequivocally agree it is an unprecedented achievement for members of our
Thanks to all of you for sparing precious time to give your inputs.
Personally, it was also inspiring getting to know editors outside the
mailing list. May I take this opportunity to propose a bigger project or a
new collaboration like this one? Just starting a conversation :)