Sensitizing Nepal’s digital natives: Open Data Awareness Program announced

This blog post by Nikesh Balami, Chief Executive Officer of at Open Knowledge has previously appeared in the Data Driven Journalism blog here.

To support Nepal’s growing open data movement and increase the open network of data-savvy people, Open Knowledge Nepal announces the Open Data Awareness Program, which aims to sensitize more than 300+ students and youth of 7 districts of Nepal.

The Open Data Awareness Program aims to raise awareness about the concept and usage of open data to Nepal’s digital natives - the current youth population and the potential future decision-makers and leaders of Nepal. As a part of the program, hands-on training sessions are being organized at different colleges and youth organizations, where participants will be provided with a compiled Open Data Manual to aid their understanding of open data. After the conclusion of the workshops, a hackathon event will be organized in Kathmandu to bring together selected participants from colleges and youth organizations where the training sessions were held to work collaboratively on opening data currently in a closed format. At the hackathon event, the participants will share their experiences of learning and working with open data and will discuss ways to engage more young people in the open data movement in Nepal. The awareness program is also an opportunity for increased civic awareness, engagement and participatory governance.

The program hopes to make the momentum in Nepal for Open Data stronger, especially amongst the youth population.  Through the sessions, the understanding and the chances of the youth population joining the open data ecosystem will increase, helping groom Nepal’s future leaders and decision-makers to be data driven. The ongoing work and data driven initiatives conducted by different organizations will also reach more people through this program. As a result of the program, a significant number of human resources will become aware of the current data revolution in Nepal. More importantly, the program hopes to improve the chances of more open data startups and initiatives emerging in the near future in Nepal. Likewise, an increased capacity and awareness of open data in Nepal’s present and future generations will also help to increase the potential for open-data-informed development decisions and accountability of responsible bodies.

The objective of the awareness program is to make the youth of Nepal more aware of the benefits of open data, to fill in the gap of data literacy and to better prepare young people for a rapidly changing data scenario. Through the program, the university students and youths will learn how to take direct and indirect benefits from open data so that they can use it;

❖         For research and new projects

❖         For new business growth

❖         For analysis and reporting

❖         To improve the skills of using new data tools and programming languages

❖         To build innovative solutions to tackle development challenges

In the workshop, participants will learn about

❖         What is open data and why it is of importance

❖         Background on and history of open data

❖         Open data sources and stories

❖         Technical process to extract, analyze, clean and visualize the available data in Nepal

 

The awareness program will be based on the Open Data Curriculum and the Open Data Manual, both prepared by Open Knowledge Nepal as a reference and recommended a guide for university students, civil society, and the private sector.

This project is supported by the Data for Development Programme, implemented by The Asia Foundation in partnership with Development Initiatives, with funding from the UK Department for International Development to improve the sharing and use of data as evidence for development in Nepal.

 

For more project updates regarding workshops, hackathon and resources, please visit project webpage: odap.oknp.org