YoungInnovations presents D portal in Nepal
Have you ever wondered how resources flow in Nepal? Or how much for that matter? With agencies that are numerous and activities that are even more so, it takes quite a bit of commitment to update and assimilate information related to resource flow. By resource flow, we mean the amount of resources that comes into the country for development activities. There are different portals that have tried to give us information, both country-wise and project-wise, on these resources. In Nepal, Creditor Reporting System (CRS) from Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and Aid Management Platform (AMP) are three such portals that have updated information on projects. But this information is updated individually and at times has different numbers for the same sources. There also is the additional hassle of gathering information from all these portals and then working with them to come up with a relevant conclusion. With the purpose of changing all that, Development Initiatives and IATI collaborated with YoungInnovations to come up with D-portal - www.d-portal.org. This open source project was further customized by YoungInnovations to Nepalese context - http://dportal.opennepal.net . The whole idea behind this was to explore how snapshot of resource flows and associated discrepancies can be exposed by a customized version for Nepal.
During Open Nepal Week, YoungInnovations presented the website on Dec 3, 2014 that assimilates information from all the above mentioned individually updated sources and present them through one website, D-portal. The idea is to make sure that final conclusion that is drawn about resource flow into Nepal is not based on one portal but rather an accumulation of the information provided by all those who have worked to gather the facts. CEO Mr. Bibhusan Bista and CIO Anjesh Tuladhar, of YoungInnovations jointly presented the portal to the CSOs, journalists and stakeholders in an event at Hotel Annapurna. They discussed its technical features and explained its objectives. The website, an extension of the international d-portal website supported by IATI, has been designed to fit the requirement of Nepal.
The participants in the event were asked to be a part of a short interactive program. In the first round, they were asked to refer to the website to get certain resource related information. The exercise was done to introduce the stakeholders to the D-portal websites and its features. In the second round, the participants were asked to provide their feedback on the websites and share its use in their respective sector of work. Most participants suggested the application of d-portal website in credibility tests, expenditure tracking, reports to make authority accountable, data evaluation, publications (reports and research) and in increasing the overall social accountability by using the d-portal information.
The event was successful in exciting the stakeholders about the effective and efficient resource tracking possible through d-portal. Besides that, it garnered suggestions from possibly the most interactive group of people who believed that the portal could be more useful if it had a tutorial providing basic whereabouts about the website. Other suggestions included, use of interactive charts/graphs and incorporation of public procurement information in the portal along with the non-governmental agencies. Expenditure tracking and confirmation of receipt of finances by the recipient along with further information on commitment versus disbursement were considered to be possible scope of improvement to further enhance the d-portal initiative.
The event, thus, introduced d-portal website but more than that managed to look for rooms where stakeholders could incorporate the portal in their respective areas of work. Suggestions and interactions that the program ended with will assist in further development of the portal for the most interactive and useful results.