Once again, a bunch of open philosophy believers and lovers gathered for the fourth annual celebration of International Open Data Day 2016 in Nepal. This year Open Data Day was organized in three different places of Nepal and was lead by different communities. Open Knowledge Nepal in collaboration with FOSS Nepal Community and CSIT Association of Nepal, hosted a series of presentations and a PublicBodies Datathon to celebrate the global celebration of openness. The event was held in Nepal Engineers’ Association, Pulchowk, Lalitpur and started at 10 am (NST). Event planning and details can be found on the event page.
Nikesh Balami, Open Government Data Team Lead of Open Knowledge Nepal started by welcoming and thanking all the participants for joining the event. He explained what open data day is and how it has been celebrated in Nepal during the past few years.
After making a change in the presentation schedule, Navin Khadka representing db2map, was welcomed for the first presentation of a day. Navin described their product db2map and also shared details about their upcoming planning. Db2map helps people to visualize their data in the interactive map of Nepal, by using a simple dragging and dropping method. He also shared work which they had completed in the past and how it is making an impact.
Right after the presentation of db2map, Shubham Ghimire, Volunteer of Open Knowledge Nepal was called on the stage for the presentation of NGOs in Nepal. NGOs in Nepal is the crowdsourced online directory of NGO’s located in map with their contact information. Ghimire shared how the initiative was started after the April earthquake and how people and NGO’s both benefit from it. At the end of his presentation, he asked participants to contribute by submitting additional information on NGO’s, which they know of within their locality.
Chandan Goopta, Co-Founder of The Opnio joined the stage after the presentation of Mr. Shubham. Mr. Goopta presented information about the Android app project of the Nepal Government lead by NITC. This app contains all the information related to the government administration. The idea behind the app is to bridge the gap between citizens and the government by taking the notices, decisions etc made by government accessible to the public. The name of an app was “NepGov Portal” and at the end of his talk, he also asked participants engaged with the project with their own contributions.
After that Nikesh Balami from Open Knowledge again joined the stage for his orientation presentation of PublicBodies Nepal. He first presented a little bit about the community “Open Knowledge Nepal” and then shared the whole concept of PublicBodies Nepal, including how the data / information will be presented and how it will be collected. He also notified participants that all of them will be working together on data collection during the Datathon.
Last but not the least, there was an presentation from Saroj Dhakal, Consultant for Google, and an active contributor to the Nepali Wikipedia. He presented on an upcoming project named “Open Transits Nepal”. The aim of this project is to collect the data of all transits point used by Nepali Transportation and to release those data in the Open Domain. So that anyone from all around the world can build innovative ideas around this data. After the presentation of Mr. Dhakal, the formal presentation session was completed and the coffee break started.
During coffee break, the groups split into the Datathon session. Right after the break Nikesh who is currently leading PublicBodies Nepal project, briefed participants and shared all the resources with them, which they would need while collecting data. A google form was used for data collection and participants searched and trawled different government websites for one to one data collection. The Datathon was followed by many small lunch and coffee breaks. While going through many websites for the information collection, participants also identified different mistakes and updated information in many government bodies websites, which highlights the topic for further discussion. Some participants contributed the information on local public bodies. At the end of the day, more that 150 information around Nepal Government diverse public bodies was collected by the participants.
At the end of an event, Nikesh demonstrated the basic design of the PublicBodies Nepal portal, still in the development, and gathered feedbacks from participants. The event was ended with a group photo. nd formally ends the event by asking everyone for the group photo.
Nikesh is an open data advocate and tech researcher based in Nepal. He is a strong supporter of open source software and believes in the vision of Open Knowledge to empower citizens regarding technology usage and open data. He loves coffee chat, tweeting, hackathons, blogging, traveling, and open data. As an International Open Data Lead, Nikesh works closely with Open Data communities from all over the world. He also leads Open Knowledge Nepal, one of the active networks of OKF since 2013.