Dear Wikimedians,

Sharing the below some replies, which were put up on Meta [1], in case you have missed seeing it. Sorry for cross-posting. It would be good to continue the discussions on Meta.


On Monday 14 April 2014 12:24 PM, Ravishankar wrote:

(copy of this comment placed at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015 . We can continue discussing there)

Hi,

Thanks for the elaborate work plan.

1. The way the budget is presented at

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015#Budget

is misleading. A good percent of this budget will be spent on staff salary, travel logisitics and other things which will not be there if the work is done by the community. So, this is not the actual cost needed for the desired output but the cost arising because of the involvement of paid professionals.

So besides this way of presenting the budget, there should also be a regular way of presenting budget like how the chapters are asked to submit during FDC application. It can be noted that during the last round of FDC funding application, WMIN faced very strict criterion regarding infrastructure cost, staff salary cost.

Hi Ravi, thanks for engaging with the work plans and the questions. Have tried to address some within the context of the work plans. We had shared a google spreadsheet [2], which gives a micro level picture of the Budget against each of the planned activity. Also each plan has an independent budget and is closely mapped on to the implementation plan, and clearly lists the proposed expenses for CIS-A2K staff costs and travel costs. An attempt is made to correlate why we are spending a certain amount on a certain activity. Thus all these budgets are very optimally planned and the overall budget is an assimilation. CIS-A2K chose this design to provide mission level transparency to our work and to provide a clear structure of accountability to the movement and community. However, based on your feedback we have realized that it would be useful to also give item-wise break-up on Meta. We have given this budget break-up here [3].


2. I have an eerie feeling that the community development work in India is getting outsourced to NGOs like CIS at the cost of crippling budding local chapters like WMIN. The way Hindi Wikipedia seeks help for content management (fixing Google articles) confirms my concern.

3. Where can I find WMF's open assessment of the work done by CIS-A2K in the previous year? How is the cost for the work done justified? If the cost if justified, then the actual communities and the content they have developed on their on own are worth many crores of Indian rupees. But, we face strict guidelines when applying for grants whereas NGOs like CIS don't have that strict criterion.


We feel it is more productive to see the complementarity between the WMIN and CIS-A2K than to pitch them as competitors for financial resources. The later would undermine trust-building and consequently threatens the growing synergies between WMIN and CIS-A2K. It is particularly intriguing that outsourcing is being mentioned here as a model. Would be useful to have more clarity and larger discussion on these. Probably, it would be apt to raise these broader concerns on CIS-A2K's FDC proposal discussion page [4].

Best,
Vishnu
[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015#Budget.2C_CIS_support_rationale_and_Assessment_by_WMF [2] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AshSF7ZKRBR5dGpMUnNKdHItUFJGMHluQUFxZGRHMmc&usp=sharing#gid=4 [3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Budget [4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form

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