Without meaning to be disrespectful of you. your helpful attitude or your
excellent work, Shiju, we have a bit of a problem when we ask people for
help/favours/action in case they are holding multiple positions.

I asked for a list of Malayalam articles of the 500 article CD collection.
You obliged me promptly and I was happy & grateful. I had asked you as a
friend/volunteer to one another. But suppose you hadn't obliged for any
personal reason, there was nothing I could do about it but feel bad.

But you are in fact a paid employee/contractor of WMF and your area of
responsibility is the very same area where you were earlier only a
volunteer. Had you refused for whatever reason, have I a right to "expect"
support from you because you are being paid to do so?

Take Noopur's case, her responsibilities are highly incestuous as she is
all things - editor/chapter/WMF contractor.  It is quite likely that the
communications team of the chapter wants to go as per one line of thought
whereas the WMF may want to go along another. In this case, there is a
Conflict of Interest. How can we know whether she is acting true to
community or true to WMF? It is wrong to put Noopur in such a position and
Imho she should clearly embrace the role of WMF employee/contractor and be
true to WMF at all times. There is enough time & opportunity for her to be
community once her paid association ends.

We do need certain demarcation in roles and responsibilities. I recommend
that those who are WMF employees should NOT be part of the Chapter
communications team. They are welcome to help and partner but in their
proper role as WMF appointments.

Similarly, a volunteer who is a chapter EC should clarify at all times with
what voice he speaks. In case you are speaking as a Chapter EC, please sign
off as (for example) Anirudh Bhati, Member EC, India Chapter and use your
official wikimedia.in email account. If you are writing as a simple editor
and giving your personal opinion, then Nearly Headless Nick or Sir Nicholas
de Mimsy Porpington will do just fine.

In my own case, I act as English Wikipedia SIG. I see myself as a steward
of WikiProject India. The WikiProject is a sacred trust which I hold in
care on behalf of the greater community. I am a chapter member and do this
job as a consequence of nomination and approval by community members in the
Chapter wiki. But I see myself as answerable NOT to the Chapter but to the
whole community. My work should be judged by the community and the day they
feel I am not acting in the best interests of the community, I will stop
working on WikiProject India and become a normal editor again, even if the
chapter feels I am doing okay. But if the chapter feels they need to
replace me as English SIG I have no objection at all but will not stop
working in the WikiProject because of that. The day I feel that chapter
membership compromises my WikiProject India responsibilities, I will quit
the chapter.

Just some of my thoughts.

Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur

On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM, Shiju Alex <shijualexonl...@gmail.com>wrote:

> I am replying to this mail as a *Malayalam wikimedia community member*.
> Fact:  Subhashish, *former volunteer*, and now paid consultant with India
>> Programs.
> What do you mean by this? I Shiju Alex is a Indic language wikipedian now
> close to 6 years. According to Mr. Anirudh (an EC member of India chapter)
> I am a former volunteer. is this is the official position of wikimedia
> India chapter? As a community member I require an explanation for this.
> Shiju Alex
> (An Indic language wikipedian)
> On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM, Anirudh Bhati <anirudh...@gmail.com>wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM, Hisham <his...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>>> Nothing is conducted solely by India Program - and hence I said
>>> "supported."  Everything is conducted by the community - sometimes under
>>> the aegis of the Chapter and sometimes independently.  The support that we
>>> have provided varies - from getting the actual event fixed up to providing
>>> presentation material to interested community members to participating in
>>> these events.
>> Can this be clearly specified in the report?  That is more helpful than
>> simply "supported".  For instance, when you say "Supported the community
>> to get a venue in Guwahati University", it would help us understand more if
>> you could tell us how.
>>  On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 12:45 PM, CherianTinu Abraham <
>> tinucher...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Pranav,
>>> In India, it is extremely difficult to hairline separate who has done
>>> which event. - Chapter, Community and WMF India Programs.
>> I agree it's not possible to do that, but it is entirely possible to list
>> out the work done in specific.  This enhances our accountability and
>> transparency towards the community.
>>> Let us take the case of the Trichy event, the request came to a
>>> community member Rsrikanth to the chapter. Nitika was actively involved
>>> along with me and Naveen. The chapter signed the MoU and supplied some
>>> goodies. Nitika was actively involved in coaching Sohan, a chapter member
>>> and Rsrikanth.  One must not also forget that both Hisham & Nitika are also
>>> chapter members.
>> Fact: Nitika is a paid employee of the WMF India Programs and is not a
>> chapter/community volunteer.
>>> Another event in Chennai (Jaya eng college) , where Subha led, his
>>> travel expenses was reimbursed by the Chapter, Subha is a Chapter SIG Chair
>>> .. The event is supported by Hisham & Nitika too. Subha is also an India
>>> Programs executive.
>> Fact:  Subhashish, former volunteer, and now paid consultant with India
>> Programs.
>>> I actively organize Bangalore Meetups and support several others ..
>>> Should I be worrying whether I am doing as a chapter member, board member
>>> or a community member?
>> By a matter of principle, chapter and community volunteers are just...
>> volunteers.  Paid consultants are hired to executive specific programs, and
>> hence the results of their work and reports should be presented with
>> clarity.  Simply "supporting" something does not clarify the extent of
>> their involvement.
>>> As with Assam meetup recently, coordinated by Shiju, some of the
>>> expenses were met from a personal grant from the Foundation to me & Shiju.
>>> There was a recent Malayalam Wiki Academy in Bangalore organised by
>>> Malayalam Community. Some of them are also Chapter members. People like me
>>> and Naveen actively helped the event ..Are we doing as chapter board member
>>> or community member? We don't really know.. But we are just genuinely
>>> helping the movement, with worrying about what capacity we are doing it.
>> I don't think it's a good idea to separate the chapter and the community.
>>  The chapter is a membership-based organization and by definition an
>> umbrella organization which represents the community.  There is no reason
>> for differentiation as long as it is volunteer work done by a chapter
>> member.
>>> The various academies that we do, some of the requests comes directly to
>>> the chapter, community or India programs, but each supporting each other in
>>> different capacities.
>>> Now Noopur is a GLAM Champion, Chapter member and Delhi SIG Chair and
>>> also part of Chapter Communications Team. She now also heads the
>>> Communication & PR for the India Programs.
>>> As I explained, it is difficult to separate the contributions of
>>> different entities or individuals for the Wikimedia  movement in India.
>>> IMHO, we should be only concerned about the outcomes of the event and
>>> not who gets the credit.
>> Even though the possibility of interfacing each other is high for
>> different entities and groups of volunteers working in India, there is a
>> need for differentiation and it is a question which cannot be avoided.  The
>> volunteers who work on their pet-projects while not being associated with
>> any of the entities are not expected to be as accountable as (i) the
>> chapter which receives or may receive grants from the Wikimedia Foundation
>> and donations from individuals and organizations in the country AND (ii)
>> the WMF India Programs which is run by multiple paid consultants.
>> So I don't see why we shouldn't care about differentiation, or why it may
>> be an undesirable thing to want to differentiate.  Ultimately we all want
>> results, yes, but we also need to understand causality because there are
>> significant amount of funds involved.  We need to differentiate because
>> there are different degrees of accountability involved both with the
>> chapter, the WMF India Programs and the volunteer who works with a grant.
>> Hope this helps.
>>   _______________________________________________
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