Lalitpur, March 7, 2018: As a part of the Open Nepal initiative, Center for Data Journalism, Freedom Forum, Kathmandu Living Labs, Local Interventions Group, Bikas Udhyami, Open Knowledge Nepal and Data for Development Program have successfully concluded the ‘Open Data Day Nepal 2018’ on March 3, 2018, at Patan Durbar Square and Museum.
Several pre-events were organized including a data poster competition to encourage and teach young people how to visualize data by Bikas Udhyami’s Nepal in Data and a Data-a- Thon for journalists was organized by the Center for Data Journalism and Open Knowledge Nepal. A two-day exhibition of data-info graphics was on display at Patan Durbar Square.
The exhibition featured infographics put forward by the Center for Data Journalism. Kathmandu Living Labs organized a more active map-a- thon event by using open street maps and a data treasure hunt for children with games and exercises to teach children in fun ways about data. Followed by a panel discussion and lightning talks on why open data is important for Nepal, Open Knowledge Nepal gave a presentation about open data. This was followed by a panel discussion featuring panelists from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Finance Comptroller General Office, the National Reconstruction Authority, the Gender, and Adolescence: Global Evidence Program and Teach for Nepal.
Dr. Rurik Marsden, Head of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Nepal spoke about the importance of data for good decision-making and the work that DFID is supporting to open data in Nepal. Dr. Marsden mentioned, “Data is the currency of good decision-making”.
Dr. Swarnim Wagle, Honorable Former Vice Chair of the National Planning Commission (NPC), who was also a chief guest of the event mentioned government’s efforts to bring transparency in the data. According to Dr. Wagle, “Re-orientation of our society should be towards an open society based on facts”.
Subsequently, Bikas Udhyami presented about their Nepal in Data portal and geo profile and Kathmandu Living Labs showcased the National Housing & Reconstruction portal developed with the NPC. Local Interventions Group presented about their follow the money project work and Freedom Forum spoke about the open budget survey results.
The Center for Data Journalism conversed about their work on data-driven journalism. Clean Up Nepal gave a dynamic presentation about their Nepal Waste website and app that aims to improve solid waste management in Kathmandu. The day was closed off by a concert of Nattu and the Team that got everyone up on their feet dancing inside Patan museum.
Open Data Day is celebrated all around the world to showcase the benefits of open data and encourage data innovations, support data policy and growing public demand for open data. The full-day free and interactive event let the general public with an opportunity to experience and learn the importance of data in the context of Nepal’s development.