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 will continue. 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 this soon. 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. Best regards, Barry  http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Program/India_Program_Announcement_and_FAQ_-_30_July_2012 -- Barry Newstead Chief Global Development Officer Wikimedia Foundation Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality! Donate to Wikimedia <https://donate.wikimedia.org/>
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