Information Technology in ICIMOD
Photo Courtesy: Ashmita Kunwar
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a regional institution located in Kathmandu, Nepal. ICIMOD extensively makes use of Information and Communication Technology for its own day to day operations and communication. It also uses IT to strengthen the programmatic work of the center in areas like livelihoods up-liftment, climate change, market information through mobile etc. These are supported by digital mapping and image processing services, which are core strength of ICIMOD.
Many of ICIMOD administrative work is automated through the use of IT. Most of the forms that organization uses are made online. For example, if one need to book a vehicle or book a meeting room, the user fills up the respective form online. The form then gets processed by concerned person in a work flow style. With this mechanism the procedures are made efficient and effective. Many tasks get accomplished faster. These tools have indeed reduced the paper need and help make the office a paperless environment. In this manner, many of the administrative functions’ and units’ work has been automated. All information is recorded in the database, including operations of finance, store, and procurement office functions. ICIMOD uses ERP system which is a single integrated application system to collect, store, manage and interpret data from various business related activities.
Another use of IT at ICIMOD is that it has an Intranet platform for internal communication and sharing of information among staff. Such information include notices about upcoming meetings and events, posts on new discussions, shared documents, contact information and so on.
ICIMOD also uses geographic information system and satellite image analysis techniques. GIS is used to assist decision making and monitoring. For example checking the change of forest cover or monitoring of glacier lakes
ICIMOD's Community Based Flood Early Warning System is an example how IT is used in ICIMOD’s community programs. Similarly, an agriculture advisory service to farmers through SMS is also an example of using technology to alert farmers.
For the past few years, ICIMOD has worked with NASA and has regularly held hackathons aimed to develop innovative IT solutions and to promote education and innovation among young people.