With the following agenda, OKFN Nepal hosted the second meetup that is, Open Knowledge Foundation Network Nepal meetup 2.
- status of Right to Information in Nepal
- how Nepal government has addressed the RTI and its way of implementation.
- basic meaning of Open Data and Open Access.
- How the Open Data play significant role for strengthening and supporting Right to Information.
- How can an individual and organization can support it?
On 25th August 2015 , Binaya Kasuju and Pavitra Rana were the presenters giving their presentations justifying the agenda’s and theme of open data. Although, some technical problems arose during the event, the volunteers as well as Prakash Neupane Ambassador of Open Knowledge Foundation Nepal made sure no stone left unturned. Around 30 participants including people from Freedom Forum, lead organization working for, Right to Information, monitoring the state of press freedom and human rights abuses, democratic process and many more.and people from Open Nepal, collective effort of a coalition of organisations including Freedom Forum, NGO Federation of Nepal, Young Innovations and the aidinfo program at Development Initiatives,that looks at catalyzing and supporting an ecosystem around transparency and access to Information attended the meetup cum event.
Binaya Kasuju : Open Government
Mr. Kasuju started his presentation with his contribution in open data and open government. Public body applies in foreign agency and Nepalese body involved. It should be responsible for appointing an information officer in ever office. Some information can’t be disclosed like
- which activate criminal activities,
- having serious impact on economic trade,
- that ignite fight between caste and communities.
- that interferes personal privacy, personal records etc.
In government offices, if any officer denies your request then, firstly information officer decides whether to give or not, but if he doesn’t give information, he should give a valid reason within 7 days. An example happened at Kailali district, where discrimination against students issues were shown to public by that female teacher. But serious impacts followed, she wasn’t given job by any other schools. However, now the commission has acted against those schools.
Every year National Information Day is celebrated on 21st July, 2008 may 4 is the date when Information Commission was established. Right to Information regulation was published on 2009 February 9. In Nepal, there is no charge to ask for information and you get up to 10 pages for free. Proactive disclosure talks about open access being necessary and information should be updated and open every 3 months. Some of the main roles open data in proactive disclosure are digitization, networking and transparency
Lastly, Mr. Vinaya Kasajoo talked about ” How IT promotes Right To Information ( RTI )”
Digitization reduces corruption.
Lastly, Mr. Vinaya shared a short story which he attend before coming to the event about modern buddha, in which Sidhartha Gautam’s wife was suggesting to use social media and internet.
Pavitra Rana : Open Nepal
Open Nepal is the platform to make data accessible. Miss Pavitra started her presentation with definition of open data. So what is open data actually ? The following definition can be found at http://opendatahandbook.org/en/what-is-open-data/
Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike.
She also talked about how government should be more transparent which increases efficiency to some extent. For example, If SLC (School Leaving Certificate) answer sheets (paper) can be viewed by students after being checked. There’s something called (AMP) Aid Management Platform where donors, NGO, INGO and government all are in same group AMP.
Open Nepal is a collaborative platform to promote better availability of data.Open Nepal has partnered with Freedom Forum, Young Innovations, and NGO Federation of Nepal. It has clear objectives, which is listed below:
- Information accessibility
- Capacity development
- Documenting impact and evidence research.