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Beta Version of Open Data Nepal – A Portal to Make Nepal’s Data Accessible Online

Shubham Ghimire - March 5, 2018 in OK Nepal, Open Data, open data day 2018

The demand side of the data is increasing constantly. But finding and using data is difficult if there is no central data catalog. Often, structured and usable data is hard to find online. This is why Open Knowledge Nepal launches the beta version of Open Data Nepal on the occasion of the International Open Data Day 2018. 3rd March 2018, Kathmandu, Nepal In Nepal, public agencies and local government generate and publish an abundance of data publicly. But the main hindrance is that this data is not readily available and in non-machine-readable formats like PDFs or images, scattered across the websites of different public agencies. The Open Data Nepal portal aims to make Nepal’s data accessible online perpetually in a central hub. The data available in the portal is harvested and crowdsourced from different public agencies and international organizations who work under the government of Nepal. One of the main features includes converting data into a machine-readable format like CSV, JSON or TSV, along with metadata and further description. The portal can be used by researchers, journalists, private agencies, students, developers and Nepali citizens to meet their data needs. The harvested data will be shared online which can be used, reused and redistributed by anyone from any corner of the world to build innovative products, without any technical restriction. It invites users to download, upload and browse data using different filtering mechanisms by categories, meta tags, formats and others. The user can also generate visualizations of every dataset for a better understanding of data. Nowadays, data is an important factor in decision-making processes. The openness of data is a key leverage to make government transparent, accountable and responsible. Governments are seeking opportunities to engage with private sectors, civil societies and citizens for effective planning, decision-making thus supporting sustainable development. The Open Data Nepal data portal will be a great chance for collaboration. The portal is the initiative of Open Knowledge Nepal – a nonprofit organization comprised of openness aficionados, mainly self-motivated youths, who believes that openness of data is powerful in order to have a participatory government with civil society, eventually leading to sustainable development. Open Data Nepal will help everyone who is looking and searching data to build the innovative solution, research, journalism and various other reasons. For example, journalists may investigate the pattern of government spending on the field of education over the years. Entrepreneur may use data to build mobile apps to make the traffic system of Kathmandu valley easier. It also makes government sectors transparent, accountable and responsible more than ever. By bringing all kinds of government data to a centralized hub, we can easily satisfy the increasing public demand of data. Datasets   Data Resources   Data Explorer   Data Visualization To know more about the Open Data Nepal, please contact Open Knowledge Nepal at or visit the website for more information.

2017: A Year to Remember for OK Nepal

Nikesh Balami - January 11, 2018 in community, Community Stories, data literacy, nepal, OK Nepal, Open Data, Open Data Day

This blog has been cross-posted from the OK Nepal blog as part of our blog series of Open Knowledge Network updates.
Best wishes for 2018 from OK Nepal to all of the Open Knowledge family and friends!! The year 2017 was one of the best years for Open Knowledge Nepal. We started our journey by registering Open Knowledge Nepal as a non-profit organization under the Nepal Government and as we start to reflect 2017, it has been “A Year to Remember”. We were able to achieve many things and we promise to continue our hard work to improve the State of Open Data in South Asia in 2018 also. Some of the key highlights of 2017 are:
  1. Organizing Open Data Day 2017
For the 5th time in a row, the Open Knowledge Nepal team led the effort of organizing International Open Data Day at Pokhara, Nepal. This year it was a collaborative effort of Kathmandu Living Labs and Open Knowledge Nepal. It was also the first official event of Open Knowledge Nepal that was held out of the Kathmandu Valley.  
  1. Launching Election Nepal Portal  
On 13th April 2017 (31st Chaitra 2073), a day before Nepalese New Year 2074, we officially released the  Election Nepal Portal in collaboration with Code for Nepal and made it open for contribution. Election Nepal is a crowdsourced citizen engagement portal that includes the Local Elections data. The portal will have three major focus areas; visualizations, datasets, and twitter feeds.
  1. Contributing to Global Open Data Index  
On May 2nd, 2017 Open Knowledge International launched the 4th edition of Global Open Data Index (GODI), a global assessment of open government data publication. Nepal has been part of this global assessment continuously for four years with lots of ups and downs. We have been leading it since the very beginning. With 20% of openness, Nepal was ranked 69 in 2016 Global Open Data Index. Also, this year we helped Open Knowledge International by coordinating for South Asia region and for the first time, we were able to get contributions from Bhutan and Afghanistan.
  1. Launching Local Boundaries   
To help journalists and researchers visualize the geographical data of Nepal in a map, we build Local Boundaries where we share the shapefile of Nepal federal structure and others. Local Boundaries brings the detailed geodata of administrative units or maps of all administrative boundaries defined by Nepal Government in an open and reusable format, free of cost. The local boundaries are available in two formats (TopoJSON and GeoJSON) and can be easily reused to map local authority data to OpenStreetMap, Google Map, Leaflet or MapBox interactively.
  1. Launching Open Data Handbook Nepali Version  
After the work of a year followed by a series of discussion and consultation, on 7 August 2017 Open Knowledge Nepal launched the first version of Nepali Open Data Handbook – An introductory guidebook used by governments and civil society organizations around the world as an introduction and blueprint for open data projects. The handbook was translated with the collaborative effort by volunteers and contributors.  Now the Nepali Handbook is available at
  1. Developing Open Data Curriculum and Open Data Manual  
To organize the open data awareness program in a structured format and to generate resources which can be further use by civil society and institution, Open Knowledge Nepal prepared an Open Data Curriculum and Open Data Manual. It contains basic aspects of open data like an introduction, importance, principles, application areas as well as the technical aspects of open data like extraction, cleaning, analysis, and visualization of data. It works as a reference and a recommended guide for university students, private sectors, and civil society.
  1. Running Open Data Awareness Program
The Open Data Awareness Program was conducted in 11 colleges and 2 youth organization, reaching more than 335+ youths are first of its kind conducted in Nepal. Representatives of Open Knowledge Nepal visited 7 districts of Nepal with the Open Data Curriculum and the Open Data Manual to train youths about the importance and use of open data.
  1. Organizing Open Data Hackathon  
The Open Data Hackathon was organized with the theme “Use data to solve local problems faced by Nepali citizens” at Yalamaya Kendra (Dhokaima Cafe), Patan Dhoka on November 25th, 2017. In this hackathon, we brought students and youths from different backgrounds under the same roof to work collaboratively on different aspects of open data.
  1. Co-organizing Wiki Data-a-thon
On 30th November 2017, we co-organized a Wiki Data-a-thon with Wikimedians of Nepal at Nepal Connection, Thamel on the occasion of Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW). During the event, we scraped the data of last CA election and pushed those data in WikiData.  
  1. Supporting Asian Regional Meeting  
On 2nd and 3rd December 2017, we supported Open Access Nepal to organize Asian Regional Meeting on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data with the theme “Open in Action: Bridging the Information Divide”. Delegates were from different countries like the USA, China, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, China, Nepal. We managed the Nepali delegates and participants.

2018 Planning

We are looking forward to a prosperous 2018, where we plan to outreach the whole of South Asia countries to improve the state of open data in the region by using focused open data training, research, and projects. For this, we will be collaborating with all possible CSOs working in Asia and will serve as an intermediary for different international organizations who want to promote or increase their activities in Asian countries. This will help the Open Knowledge Network in the long run, and we will also get opportunities to learn from each others’ successes and failures, promote each other’s activities, brainstorm collaborative projects and make the relationship between countries stronger. Besides this, we will continue also our work of data literacy like Open Data Awareness Program to make Nepalese citizens more data demanding and savvy, and launch a couple of new projects to help people to understand the available data. To be updated about our activities, please follow us at different medias:  

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

Nikesh Balami - October 30, 2017 in nepal, network updates, OK Nepal, Open Knowledge Network, training

To support Nepal’s growing open data movement and increase its network of data-savvy practitioners, Open Knowledge Nepal has announced the Open Data Awareness Program, which aims to sensitize more than 300+ students and youth from seven districts. The Open Data Awareness Program aims to raise awareness about the concept and usage of open data to Nepal’s digital natives, who are the current youth population and the potential future decision-makers and leaders of Nepal. As 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 all the workshops at different colleges, a hackathon event will be organized in Kathmandu, bringing together selected participants from colleges and youth organizations where the training sessions were held to work collaboratively on opening up data currently in a closed format. At the hackathon event, the participants will share their experiences of learning and working with open data and 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 and engagement and participatory governance. The program hopes to make the open data momentum in Nepal stronger, especially among 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 regarding the current data revolution in Nepal. More importantly, the program will help improve the chances of more open data startups and initiatives emerging in the near future. Likewise, an increased capacity and awareness of open data in Nepal’s present and future generation 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 be empowered to:
  • Use open data for research and new projects
  • Conduct data analysis and reporting
  • Use new data tools and programming languages
  • Build innovative solutions to tackle development challenges
Throughout workshops, participants will discuss:
  • What is open data and why it is of importance
  • The background and history of open data
  • Open data sources and stories
  • Technical processes 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 the project webpage:

Open Data Handbook now available in the Nepali Language

Nikesh Balami - August 17, 2017 in OK Nepal, Open Data Handbook

On 7 August 2017 Open Knowledge Nepal launched the first version of Nepali Open Data Handbook – An introductory guidebook used by governments and civil society organizations around the world as an introduction and blueprint for open data projects. The book was launched by Mr. Krishna Hari Baskota, Chief Information Commissioner of National Information Commission, Dr. Nama Raj Budhathoki, Executive Director of Kathmandu Living Labs and Mr. Nikesh Balami, CEO of Open Knowledge Nepal at the event organized at Moods Lounge, Bluebird Mall, Kathmandu. Around 50 people working in the different sectors of open data attended the launch program. The Open Data Handbook has been translated into more than 18 languages including Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish. Now the Nepali language is also available at At the event a hard copy version of the Open Data Handbook was launched, which included the content from Global Open Data Handbook, Licensing terms from the Open Definition, some notable featured Open Data projects of Nepal and the process of asking information of the Nepal government using the Right To Information Act. Open Knowledge Nepal believes the Nepali version of the Open Data Handbook will work as a perfect resource for government and civil society organizations (CSOs) to expand their understandings of open data and, ultimately, reap its benefits. Speaking at the event, Mr. Nikesh Balami, CEO of Open Knowledge Nepal said “I believe that this Nepali version of the Open Data Handbook will help government policymakers, leaders, and citizens understand open data in their native language. It will also be a useful resource for CSOs to use for their own open data awareness programs, as well as data journalists who rely on data openness to report on local stories.” He thanked the volunteer who contributed on the translation, feedback, and review of the Handbook. Mr. Krishna Hari Baskota, Chief Information Commissioner stressed the need for people in government to understand the value of open data. He also remarked that while the Nepal government is already a treasure trove of data, there is a need for more data to be created and made open. He highlighted the journey traveled by the Nepal Government in the path of open data and motivated youths to join the momentum. Dr. Nama Raj Budhathoki, Executive Director of Kathmandu Living Labs said, “There should be an equal balance between supply and demand side of data and it’s a perfect time for Nepal to shift from Creation to Use”. Dr. Budhathoki shared his experiences of creating open data with OpenStreetMap and household surveys, and acknowledged the need for use of open data. Open Knowledge Nepal envisions the impact of the Open Data Handbook to be mainly around the four different themes of open data: improving government, empowering citizens, creating opportunity, and solving public problems. To achieve impact within these different themes, solely having a good supply of data is not enough. We also need to ensure that the demand side is strong by increasing innovation, engagement, and reusability of published data. This Handbook will make it easier for government officials and the citizens of Nepal to learn more about open data in their native language. In doing so, it will help create a balanced environment between the supply and demand side of data, which in the long run will help promote and institutionalize transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in Nepal.

New Open Knowledge Network chapter in Nepal

Oscar Montiel - June 26, 2017 in community, OK Nepal

We are happy to announce that this month a new Chapter at the Open Knowledge Network is being launched officially: welcome Open Knowledge Nepal in this new stage! Since February 2013, Open Knowledge Nepal has been involved in research, advocacy, training, organizing meetups and hackathons, and developing tools related to Open Data, Open Government Data, Open Source, Open Education, Open Access, Open Development, Open Research and others. The organization also helps and supports Open Data entrepreneurs and startups to solve different kinds of data related problems they are facing through counseling, training and by developing tools for them. Nikesh Balami, CEO of Open Knowledge Nepal tells us: from random groups of people to build a core team of diverse backgrounds, starting from messy thoughts to realistic plans and long-term goals, we have become more organized and robust. [We] Identified ourselves as a positive influence towards the community and nation. After being incorporated as a Chapter, we now can reach out extensively among interested groups and also expect to create impact in a most structured way in national and international level. Our main goal is to establish ourselves as a well-known open data organization/network in Nepal. Pavel Richter, CEO of Open Knowledge International, underscored the importance of chapters: “Most of the work to improve people’s lives is and has to happen in local communities and on a national level. It is therefore hugely important to build a lasting structure for this work, and I am particularly happy to welcome Nepal as a Chapter of the growing Open Knowledge Family.” Chapters are the Open Knowledge Network’s most developed form, they have legal independence from the organization and are affiliated by a Memorandum of Understanding. For a full list of our current chapters, see here and to learn more about their structure visit the network guidelines. The Open Knowledge global network now includes groups in over 40 countries. Twelve of these groups have now affiliated as chapters. This network of dedicated civic activists, openness specialists, and data diggers are at the heart of the Open Knowledge International mission, and at the forefront of the movement for Open. Check out the work OK Nepal does at

Open Access and Open Data gaining momentum in Nepal

Nikesh Balami - March 17, 2017 in OK Nepal, Open Data, Open Data Day

This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2017. On Saturday 4 March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 44 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Article 19, Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. This event was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Open Research theme.

For the 5th time in a row, the Open Knowledge Nepal team led the efforts of organising International Open Data Day in Nepal. This year it was a collaborative effort of Kathmandu Living Labs and Open Knowledge Nepal. It was also the first official event out of Kathmandu Valley of Open Knowledge Nepal. Organisations like Code for Nepal, Gandaki College of Engineering and Science and Open Access Nepal were the partners for the event.

The aim of our Open Data Day event was to serve as a platform for bringing together open knowledge enthusiasts from different backgrounds, and support a series of collaborative events for enhancing knowledge and awareness about free and open source software, open data, open content, and various open knowledge technologies in Nepal. The event was divided into 4 different major activities:  

  1. Presentation Session
  2. Open Street Mapathon
  3. Open Research Data Hackathon
  4. Treasure Hunt

About 40+ participants registered for the event, most of whom had an engineering or computer science background. The event was formally started by Mr Ashok Raj Parajuli, the Vice-Principal of Gandaki College of Engineering and Science at 11:20 AM (NPT) who gave a brief introduction of open data and why it is important for a country like Nepal. There was also a short orientation from Nikesh Balami of Open Knowledge Nepal (OKN) on how Open Data Day was started and the history of Open Data Day celebrations in Nepal. After having a brief orientation about major activities, the presentation session started.

Mr. Ashok Raj Parajuli starting the event

Presentation Session

Gaurav Thapa from Kathmandu Living Labs presented on Open Map Data and the concept of 2C (Secondary Cities) Pokhara. He demonstrated the work done by Kathmandu Living Labs in Pokhara with the help of other organisations and welcomed the contributions and collaborative efforts from the participants. He also shared the “Prepare Pokhara” – an app which uses the data of OpenStreetMap with different kinds of filtering techniques. By using that app, users can easily filter and navigate all kinds of important places and destinations of Pokhara in the Map.

Gaurav Thapa from Kathmandu Living Labs presenting about Open Map Data

After Gaurav’s presentation,  Kshitiz Khanal of Open Knowledge Nepal Opresented on open access, open science and open research. He started with a basic introduction of OPEN and highlighted the condition of open access in Nepal. He also demonstrated how Nepal’s government and other bodies within the government are creating open access barriers for users. He shared on Open Science Taxonomy and talked a little about the open science and research practices in Nepal. He motivated the participants to read research articles frequently so that we can make the best use of publicly funded research. His presentation can be accessed here.

Kshitiz Khanal from Open Knowledge Nepal presenting about OA, OS and OR

There was a short break after the Presentation Session for the space to be divided for Open Research Data Hackathon and Mapathon. Participants interested in joining the hackathon moved towards the Lab and those who were interested in Research Data Hackathon stayed in the same room.

Open Research Data Hackathon

Open Research Data Hackathon

The Open Research Data Hackathon was facilitated by the Open Knowledge Nepal team. Nikesh Balami started the hackathon by giving a short presentation about data and demonstrating the different kinds of tools they can use during the hackathon. After an orientation, the group was divided into 4 groups to work and brainstorm on different kinds of ideas for the entire day.

There were two rounds of pitching where each group was given the opportunity to pitch their brainstormed idea in the first instance, and also share how they were going to do that project, including possible partners, challenges, and opportunities. The proposed ideas of all 4 teams were entirely different from each other. While one team worked with election data, the other will be using machine learning to extract research data from user search queries. Another team is using data for disaster prediction while the last team will be working with Blood data.

It will be interesting to see the progress of their projects in the coming days.



The Mapathon was facilitated by the team from Kathmandu Living Labs. Here, participants used satellite images to map the Bardiya district of Nepal at OpenStreetMap. Participants were given the opportunity to play with data from Open Map and OpenStreetMap.

The KLL team also led a Treasure Hunt in-between the session to make the Mapathon interesting and interactive. Participants went to the fields in the search of treasures which were hidden at different places by the KLL team. Participants used OpenStreetMap for this and enjoyed the activities so much. In fact, the Mapathon session was interactive and participant got hands-on training on how to contribute at OSM, did some contribution and also tried using it in their real life.

The event came to a close at 04:30 PM. With the interest and enthusiasm shown by the participants, representatives from Open Knowledge Nepal and Kathmandu Living Labs decided to organise similar events outside the main valley of Nepal. The event also highlighted the need for CSOs working in Nepal to extend their awareness and advocacy work on open access and open data to the different local cities so there will be equal knowledge distribution.

This year’s International Open Data Day 2017 was organised at four different localities in Nepal. Two were at Kathmandu and were organised by YoungInnovation Pvt. Ltd. and by Accountability Lab. The third event was in Pokhara which was organised by Open Knowledge Nepal and Kathmandu Living Labs.  Kathmandu University Open Source Community (KUOSC) also organised the first ever ODD event in Kavre. This shows that the momentum of open data is increasing in Nepal, which we (Civil Society Organization) can take as a plus point.

Group selfie 🙂

Event Page:

More photos on our Facebook page here.