To support Nepal’s growing open data movement and increase its network of data-savvy practitioners, Open Knowledge Nepal has announced the Open Data Awareness Program, which aims to sensitize more than 300+ students and youth from seven districts.
The Open Data Awareness Program aims to raise awareness about the concept and usage of open data to Nepal’s digital natives, who are the current youth population and the potential future decision-makers and leaders of Nepal. As part of the program, hands-on training sessions are being organized at different colleges and youth organizations, where participants will be provided with a compiled Open Data Manual to aid their understanding of open data. After the conclusion of the all the workshops at different colleges, a hackathon event will be organized in Kathmandu, bringing together selected participants from colleges and youth organizations where the training sessions were held to work collaboratively on opening up data currently in a closed format. At the hackathon event, the participants will share their experiences of learning and working with open data and discuss ways to engage more young people in the open data movement in Nepal. The awareness program is also an opportunity for increased civic awareness and engagement and participatory governance.
The program hopes to make the open data momentum in Nepal stronger, especially among the youth population. Through the sessions, the understanding and the chances of the youth population joining the open data ecosystem will increase, helping groom Nepal’s future leaders and decision-makers to be data-driven. The ongoing work and data-driven initiatives conducted by different organizations will also reach more people through this program. As a result of the program, a significant number of human resources will become aware regarding the current data revolution in Nepal. More importantly, the program will help improve the chances of more open data startups and initiatives emerging in the near future. Likewise, an increased capacity and awareness of open data in Nepal’s present and future generation will also help to increase the potential for open-data-informed development decisions and accountability of responsible bodies.
The objective of the awareness program is to make the youth of Nepal more aware of the benefits of open data, to fill in the gap of data literacy and to better prepare young people for a rapidly changing data scenario. Through the program, the university students and youths will be empowered to:
- Use open data for research and new projects
- Conduct data analysis and reporting
- Use new data tools and programming languages
- Build innovative solutions to tackle development challenges
Throughout workshops, participants will discuss:
- What is open data and why it is of importance
- The background and history of open data
- Open data sources and stories
- Technical processes to extract, analyze, clean and visualize the available data in Nepal
The awareness program will be based on the Open Data Curriculum and the Open Data Manual, both prepared by Open Knowledge Nepal as a reference and recommended a guide for university students, civil society, and the private sector.
This project is supported by the Data for Development Programme, implemented by The Asia Foundation in partnership with Development Initiatives, with funding from the UK Department for International Development to improve the sharing and use of data as evidence for development in Nepal.
For more project updates regarding workshops, hackathon and resources, please visit the project webpage: odap.oknp.org
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.