Sat, 04 Dec, 2021

Open Data Day was Successfully Conducted

By Bimal Gaire

Photo Courtesy: Suryaraj Timsina On 21 February, 2015, Young Innovations and Kathmandu Living Labs in collaboration with Kathmandu Municipality, Member of Parliament Gagan Thapa and other partners celebrated Open Data Day in Nepal at Deerwalk Complex. It is an international movement that has been celebrated in Nepal for the past two years. Events like talk shows, Hackathon and Mapathon were overwhelmingly attended. People from different background like politician, technical persons, social activists, etc. were present at the event. The main aim of the event was to make people aware of open data and its need. This year’s theme of Open Data Day was Open Data and Mapping for Local Governance and Civic Participation. Last year, through the same event it was evident that open data needs to be connected to governance so that public benefits can be generated. Through collaboration of government, citizens and stakeholders, Nepal’s governance issues were discussed through a range of programs that took place on that very day. The talk program was officially started at 9 P.M. 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. “Government, on the other hand, as the key to information, has the responsibility of sharing the information”, He said. He further discussed three different current initiatives from the government namely; crowd sourcing, mapping and census and opening up the relevant Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) information emphasizing government’s commitment to making the information transparent. 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 is integral for government. He said, “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. [caption id="attachment_4802" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo Courtesy: Suryaraj Timsina[/caption] There were 10 teams participating for Hackathon. As the theme was Local Governance and Civic Participation by using open data, participants mainly focused on open data which was available at opendatanepal.net. The participants were provided with timely snacks and lunch along with hot beverages. The deadline for submission of the product was 4 P.M. and the submission was followed by a short presentation and a demo of the product. During the presentation, the participants were asked a series of questions and were judged accordingly. The winning team was from DWIT College with their web application, “Sanitation and Health”. The team members were: Abhishek Gupta, Sanjeev Mainali, Anil Shrestha and Sameer Shrestha. [caption id="attachment_4815" align="aligncenter" width="595"]Photo Courtesy: Suryaraj Timsina Photo Courtesy: Suryaraj Timsina[/caption] The first runner-up was “Nari Sakti” and the second runner-up was “Tax Visualization”. Abhishek Gupta the team leader of winning team said, “It was a fun experience to work on a noble idea along with the people you are familiar with.” He also added that, “It’s all about what you are going to give to the society that you live in. Being a student of computer science you always got to look around your neighborhood and solve the problems using IT.” With full of excitement and delight, Anil Shrestha, a member of the winning team expressed, “I never thought of winning the competition, yet still there was some hope and in the end we did it. I am really happy!” Chiranjivi Basnet, one of the participants said, “We desperately wanted to win the competition but we failed and this is not the end. We will come stronger next year.” The program ended with a few words from the judges and Bibhusan Bista, Chief Executive Officer of Young Innovations. Bista appreciated the effort of the participants and said, “It’s not all about winning, you got to try and I really appreciate the effort you guys have put in, all the best for your future. We will continue to conduct this event every year and will showcase our talent in front of the whole world.”