[Wikimedia-l] Changes to India Program

Sunil Abraham sunilabraham at gmail.com
Mon Jul 30 10:53:18 UTC 2012

Dear Wikipedians,

On Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM, Barry Newstead (WMF)
<bnewstead at 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,


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