The demand side of the data is increasing constantly. But finding and using data is difficult if there is no central data catalog. Often, structured and usable data is hard to find online. This is why Open Knowledge Nepal launches the beta version of Open Data Nepal on the occasion of the International Open Data Day 2018.
3rd March 2018, Kathmandu, Nepal
In Nepal, public agencies and local government generate and publish an abundance of data publicly. But the main hindrance is that this data is not readily available and in non-machine-readable formats like PDFs or images, scattered across the websites of different public agencies.
The Open Data Nepal portal aims to make Nepal’s data accessible online perpetually in a central hub. The data available in the portal is harvested and crowdsourced from different public agencies and international organizations who work under the government of Nepal. One of the main features includes converting data into a machine-readable format like CSV, JSON or TSV, along with metadata and further description. The portal can be used by researchers, journalists, private agencies, students, developers and Nepali citizens to meet their data needs. The harvested data will be shared online which can be used, reused and redistributed by anyone from any corner of the world to build innovative products, without any technical restriction. It invites users to download, upload and browse data using different filtering mechanisms by categories, meta tags, formats and others. The user can also generate visualizations of every dataset for a better understanding of data.
Nowadays, data is an important factor in decision-making processes. The openness of data is a key leverage to make government transparent, accountable and responsible. Governments are seeking opportunities to engage with private sectors, civil societies and citizens for effective planning, decision-making thus supporting sustainable development. The Open Data Nepal data portal will be a great chance for collaboration. The portal is the initiative of Open Knowledge Nepal – a nonprofit organization comprised of openness aficionados, mainly self-motivated youths, who believes that openness of data is powerful in order to have a participatory government with civil society, eventually leading to sustainable development.
Open Data Nepal will help everyone who is looking and searching data to build the innovative solution, research, journalism and various other reasons. For example, journalists may investigate the pattern of government spending on the field of education over the years. Entrepreneur may use data to build mobile apps to make the traffic system of Kathmandu valley easier. It also makes government sectors transparent, accountable and responsible more than ever. By bringing all kinds of government data to a centralized hub, we can easily satisfy the increasing public demand of data.
Shubham Ghimire serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Open Knowledge Nepal. He considers himself as an Open Knowledge Activist and strong advocate for the open data movement along with overall open programs campaign in Nepal. He also dedicates his time in various researches and is a competent programmer.