Celebrating Open Data Day in Kathmandu!
YoungInnovations has always supported Open Data through a range of events, Open Data Day being one of the important ones. Following previous years’ trend, Open Data Day 2015 successfully concluded on 21 February 2015 at Deerwalk Complex, Kathmandu. Organized for the third time since 2013, the event saw representatives from the government, members of organizations, students, fellow techies, visitors and everyone enthusiastic about Open Data. The entire day was eventful to say the least with the Launch of Open Map and Data Portal for Ward 7- Citizen Participation Forum, hackathon, mapathon, exhibition stalls, talk programs and interaction among public, private, government and non-government organizations.
At the formal program, Hon. Gagan Kumar Thapa, Member of Constituent Assembly officially launched Open Map and Data Portal for Ward 7- Citizen Participation Forum and applauded the initiative. He shared his experience working on Open Data and considered transparency in data, integral in the government. He accentuated the role of accountability, efficiency, transparency and citizen participation all for the development of the society. He considered the website launch to be an exemplary attempt that can be further expanded as a national initiative.
Mr. Bibhusan Bista, Chief Executive Officer of YoungInnovations, presented the Open Map and Data Portal for Ward 7- Citizen Participation Forum and explained its features. He included key information that are accessible to the people through the website like services, resources, project information, citizen participation and data.
Dr. Swarnim Wagle, Member of National Planning Commission (NPC) considered technology to be a potentially revolutionary source for that leap in development. He applauded the concept of Open Data as an important concept to assist citizens be a part of the governmental activities. Dr. Nama Raj Budhathoki, Kathmandu Living Labs shared his opinion on Open Data and OpenStreetMap. He considered the link between mapping and monitoring of the activities in the government level, an integral part of development process. Mr. Naresh Chapagai, Joint Secretary of Public Procurement Monitoring Office (PPMO) shared the experience of the government’s initiative of making the information transparent by using PPMO portal. Finally, Ms. Bimala Koirala, Administrative Chief, KMC Ward 7, applauded the Launch of the Open Map and Data Portal for Ward 7- Citizen Participation Forum sharing the need of technology in making government activities more efficient.
And there was much more of Open Data to look forward to! The talk shows had speakers sharing their expertise on projects and ideas related to Open Data. Hackathon brought forward interesting applications revolving around the theme of this year. The winner among a total of 42 participants divided into 10 teams of the hackathon was Sanitation and Health. Nari Shakti and Tax Visualization won the second and third prize respectively. Through Mapathon the participants learnt about OpenStreetMap and they used it to map and learn mapping as a whole.
There were showcasing stalls from organizations who are working on projects related to Open Data. We were excited about the overwhelming local participation. There was an active curiosity in the events throughout the day among the people. Our volunteers did their best to answer the visitors’ queries on Open Data. Open Data Day concluded with more aplomb than ever before. We had discussions and presentations that celebrated Open Data as a concept accessible to all rather than a technology that is distant. Participants included techies but more than that citizens who were told about their Right to Information. All in all, Open Data Day was just as it was supposed to be, heavily participated and celebrated by all who supported the concept!