Numbers speak by themselves - Over 400 visitors comprising of researchers, CSO representatives, students, techhies and general public; 11 open data stalls showcasing innovative projects related to open data; 8 teams developing products during Open Data Hackathon; More than 40 people involved in OpenDRI Mapathon. This was the scene at first ever Open Data Daycelebration in Nepal on February 23, 2013.
The concept of Open Data is still very unheard of and unexplored in Nepal. But the success of Open Data Day was enough for anyone to say that there is growing apetite for Open Data from different sectors in Nepal. People attending the event seemed very excited during presentation session on Open Data done by YoungInnovations and OpenDRI. They were equally inquisitive at the Stalls and asking questions on how their day to day activities can be related to Open Data and the projects being showcased. Mapathon activity was attended by mappers and general vistors pretty enthusiastically. The show stopper was of course Open Data Hackathon. It was extremely encouraging to see how eight teams comprising of mostly young stundents used data related to Nepal to develop applications that showed true stories in form of web and mobile applications within a matter of 7 hours of coding sprint. Hats off to all the hackers !
Looking at this, Open Data Day Kathmandu 2013 in itself can be considered as the begining of Open Data movement in Nepal. It is now a challenge for all open data enthusiasts to live upto the expectation and carry the momentum forward and thereby work on the agenda of transparency, accountability and citizen engagement. We need to prove that Open Data can help bring positive changes in the country by creating awareness on issues that is of national interst. At the same time, we need to shape open data movement to develop mechanisms for more citizen engament and participation in the governance process.
The event was possible through a collective effort of YoungInnovations, OpenDRI/WorldBank and Mozilla together with Freedom Forum, NGO Federation of Nepal, aidInfo, Wikimedia Nepal, Institute of Engineering, Kathmandu University, OSAC, FOSS Nepal, Nepal Engineering College and other supporters.
Few volunteers have written about the activities of the day. Their articles are present at http://opendatadaynepal2013.