When I got an email stated that I have been nominated by Rufus Pollock to receive a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant in support of my work on open knowledge in Nepal, I was totally astonished. It was like beyond the expectation and also the first time getting support for my work. It make me thinking for a long, what should I do next. I was doing lot of things in Nepal to support and promote open knowledge but I though this is the golden opportunity for me to do some thing special, and make real impact. After then I talked to few experts about my ideas and finally but lately I came to conclusion with an idea to implement the Right of Citizen of Nepal, guaranteed by Government of Nepal. I named it “mero RTI”
Most of the countries, Government has protected the Right to Information of their citizen. In Nepal, Government has also consider it through the ACT called Right to Information Act, 2064 (2007 ) (https://www.google.com.np/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.moic.gov.np%2Facts-regulations%2Fright-to-information-act.pdf&ei=JZGIUuitKI2FrgeJ64HgDQ&usg=AFQjCNFmgNGLNwFJhMM3cPVKvebjDPap3g&bvm=bv.56643336,d.bmk) . But the implementation is still very traditional and not well known status of it‘s progress. The idea of meroRTI is to facilitate this act using technology and monitoring the accountability and responsibility of government and civil servant over citizen’s right . This will help the people to find the information they need from Nepali Government, Political Parties, NGO, and other charities organizations who run from the citizen’s money and support. The person who want information will simply make the question to specific department or office, where we help to connect the responsible person to connect with that question. So that he/she can provide information.
The name meroRTI itself express it’s connotation “which means My Right to Information”.Well, this project will be online, so it help lot of people to find out the information very easily and due to the archive of information no need to spend time to ask the same question, even the government office don’t need to replicate/response for same things. This project concept is very similar with https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/. You choose the public authority that you would like information from, then write a brief note describing what you want to know. We will be the liaison to play the connecting role where we will send your request to the respectivepublic authority or officer. Any response received is automatically published on the website for you and anyone else to find and read.
As We can see this project need multi-stakeholder approach ranging from technical organization, CSO working on Right to Information domain, media and government , so this project will be the joint share by Open Knowledge Foundation Nepal and some other strong organization working on Right To Information in Nepal (preliminary discussion with Freedom Forum and further scheduling with Accountability Lab). Where Open Knowledge Foundation take the responsibility of technicality and other organizations will take the charge for operational role.
I am going to use this grant very effectively for this project preparation, I will do research/study, mapping and cooperation with other organizations to make the favorable situation to implement this project. I am sure we will have better situation for People’s RTI in Nepal. I have to go though a long way …. right now only i can say thanks Shuttleworth Foundation for fellowship ….