DFD14

Open Standard Workshop on Document Freedom Day in Nepal

DFD14

First I like to recall my last year, where I heard the Document Freedom Day for first time. I thought, this is something that I as the techie can collaborate for change with others. That’s why last year We(OKF Nepal) co-organize with Central Department of Library Science with support of FOSS Nepal Community. I can’t say the impact of last program but the learning from last program, this year we able to make more organizations to come together for this Document Freedom Day. The main credit goes to Open Source Club of Kathmandu University and FOSS Nepal Community to organize this wonderful event, where other open communities like Open Knowledge Foundation Nepal, Mozilla Nepal Community, Wikimedians of Nepal and Central Department of Library Science Tribhuwan University were celebrating partner. Amazingly Department of IT, Ministry of Science Technology and Environment Government of Nepal support this event together with Kathmandu University. The event was entitled as “One Day workshop on Open Standard”

The event was in building of Department of IT, IT Park Banepa. Participants were from different ministries, departments. Some were students, lecturers and civil society leaders. The program was semi formal, starting with the inauguration speech of Director General, DoIT. After it, Prabin and Subir from FOSS Nepal Community started to talk about Document Freedom Day, it’s history and objectives, they share some open standard implementations in different countries. Hempal from FOSS Nepal Community stated some free and open source licenses. Prakash, Ambassador of Open Knowledge Foundation Nepal showed one case example to share common issues in Government of Nepal’s website due to not implementing basic open standard, he also shared what can be the solutions of those issues. Bobby and Ashish jointly demonstrate the Libre Office. Manoj Shakya from Kathmandu University shared about the Latex. Manish jung Thapa from OLE shared some technical aspect of Open Web Standard. Mr. Bhim Dhoj from TU, presented on Librarian and Document Freedom He focued on custodians of knowledge and their
role in promoting open standards. And Finally Rajesh from Kathamndu University intruced Moodle. We also had Q/A sessions where participants got chance to ask their quires

There were around 75 participants, which was really exciting and more than expectation. The event was more look like orientation of technology and training. So we think the event open the door to enter into the next level. Department of IT has committed to take this initiative in next level, so it help to maintain the common standard and obviously it will be open.

Open Community Collaboration Consortium

Great thing is, We are growing. It was a time, when we talked about Open Source, Open content, Open Data etc… We need to start from what is open? How it will make different? Why you should be the part of it? Now, We are on different position. We have more number of focus group also. Some group are working for Free and Open Source Software, some for Open Data, some people are working for Open Content (Wikipedia), some for Open Web, some for Open Street Map, some for open hardware and many more. That’s why everyday you can see some activities happening.

Worst thing is, We only know this. It seems like we have been focusing for same target repeatedly and it holds the limitation of outreach. And this impact the big audience is out of knowledge and you know the number make sense here. I think this is the cause why government is not talking serious for this.

Solution is, Uniting among us can save energy. I think it would be better if we can show the combine existence that make more easy to move ahead. The major impact will be on government. There are lot of space where government should endorse either from Curriculum or Data Portal, they should present it well. And Me together with Prabin and Hempal has pitched this idea on workshop for IT Roadmap from Government of Nepal. This is only possible from top down approach.

It is not so simple as it seems, that’s why On the occasion of celebrating Open Data Day in Nepal, We launch Open Community Collaboration Consortium.

Education_Coop_kick-off_meeting_in_Prague

Wikipedia Education Cooperative Kickoff held on Prague, Czech Republic

Global Education team of Wikimedia Foundation decided to make one peer to peer meeting on 8th and 9th March in Prague, where they selected representatives from different education program initiatives running in different countries. The meeting was intended to cover 16 participants, where 14 were able to make there. The participants were from Nepal, Czech Republic, Serbia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Israel, Mexico, Arabic World, US and Canada. The major goals of this program was to understand the experience of each other and make some global strategy to foster this program.

In 2 days program, First day was focused on challenges that people found in their implementation and some success they experience. We learned best way to teaching/training, we discussed on different tools available online, which we can localized in our language. We were also briefed about the using of Webmatrics, specially in Wikipedia Education Program for individual or group quantitative evaluation. We did one group work on the challenges we face, My team was working on Establishing WP’s place in Education, where we identified the problems and stakeholders. And figuring the message we should send to them with the different ways and approaches. And also gave our best to point our the role of Global team and local team.
Second day, was focused on defining mission statement of Cooperative in terms of goals, vision, tools, audiences and stakeholders. The idea was to establishing the global standard support with flexible means. While working on it, we found significance group with action: Communication group, Global Recognition group, Resource group, and Mentoring group.

Communication Group

  • Education List for Educators
  • Education List for Program Leaders
  • Develop Education Portal
  • Regular News letter

Global Recognition Group

GR for Students
By October 1, 2014, the Coop will create a Wikipedia driver’s license-like global student recognition with a set of standards.

GR for Instructors
By Wikimania 2014, the Coop will have a system in place to distribute teaching fellowships to instructors using Wikipedia as a teaching tool.

 GR for Program Leaders
Create (april 15), distribute (may 1), collect (june 1) a survey from all programs to determine individual needs for legitimacy as a program.
Review feedback (july 15) and create an action plan (at Wikimania, in august), present results (at Wikimania, in august), and enact action plan (december 1).

Mentoring Group

  • Interview program leaders and facilitate them through out the program.
  • Pilot 2 ways of mentoring before the first term of the 2014-2015 school year

Resource Group

  •  Review existing Resource
  • Identifying the Key stakeholder of page
  • Determine useful resource
  • Establish the process to reach each program

I am one of the member of Global Recognition Team

Open Data Day 2014 in Nepal

On this year, Open Data Day is happening on 22nd February and there are lot of activities being organized by lot of open communities around the world to have gathering, catchup, entertaining and make some application with open data!

Open Data Day is a gathering of citizens in cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments. The goal to mark this event is team building among open communities and beginning a series of collaborative events for enhancing knowledge and awareness about the Free and open source software, open data, open content, and various open knowledge technologies.

What is happening in Nepal?
Last year’s Open Data was the kick start point to talk about open data and collaboration. So 2013 was the remarkable year for all the development happening on open data today.

This year In Nepal, not just limited with one. Two events are happening on the same day in Nepal. Communities that was involving on last time is continuing and more new organization are coming on front to hold this event.

Open Data Day in Kathmandu, leading by Young Innovation in collaboration with NGO Federation of Nepal, Freedom Forum, Accountability Lab, Kathmandu Living Labs, Galli Galli, Institute of Engineering is doing open data hackathon, open liberation scrapathon, open data talks, showcasing of Open Data Initiative and mappathon. The event is happening on Local Development Training Academy, Lalitpur.

Another Open Data Day in Kathmandu is leading by communities working under open philosophy like FOSS Nepal Community, Wikimedia Nepal, Mozilla Nepal, NOSK and Open Knowledge Foundation Nepal. Wikimedia Nepal is the leading associate of event. In this event, there will be talks, Maker Party (Data on the Web), Open Spending Hackathon and Wiki School event. As per the organizers, they are preparing to launch Open Community Consortium and portal of open spending for Nepal. Venue of event is in GPF Building, Kamaladi Kathmandu.

What OKF Nepal is doing specifically ?

OKF Nepal is being the agent to make more organizations and individuals involving in this celebration.

Open Spending Hackathon
OpenSpending exists to “map the money worldwide” – that is, to track and analyse public financial information globally. Concretely, OpenSpending is:

  • A central, high-quality, open database of public financial information, including budgets, spending, balance sheets, procurement etc
  • A community of users and contributors to this database
  • A set of open resources providing technical, fiscal, and political understanding necessary to work with financial information.

The OpenSpending database is a resource for the many individuals and groups who wish to discuss and investigate public financial information, including journalists, academics, campaigners, and more.
In Open Data Day, OKF Nepal volunteers are working to build the portal for open spending in Nepal, where anyone can easily access the government spending, give feedback for each program .
Maker Party
This program is presented by the Mozilla Nepal Community, where people meet up, share their skills and make amazing things on the web using the tools like Thimble and Popcorn. This time people will focus on, to present the data in most interesting way. OKF Nepal will support for the part of data.

Talks
We will talk about the basic concept of open data and will show the example of best outcome.

Open Community Consortium
We are going to sign on Open Community Consortium.

Join us here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1KiD5RSXyKMoxi0ufZwNoEpZcpWhQcxcGsdETDOEMIUY/viewform

Opportunity and Challenges of CSIT (Computer Science and Information Technology)

It’s very usual that many CSIT colleges (College who has Computer Science and Information Technology program) invited me to promote this course while in admission time(new students enrollment time)(till now, I avoid to promote college in particular). But this year, some college asked me to come again in their college to motivate their students. I was thinking how can I motivate these new students and finally I decided to show them the reality(tits-bits ) of this course (which most probably they are completely unaware). From this point I marked my presentation as “Opportunities and Challenges of CSIT students”. Here I am going to highlight few:

How you are here (How you joined this course)
Most common answer of this question from students is there was someone who told them to join this course. It might be their uncle, teachers, relatives, brothers or some other known person whom they can trust very easily, even sometime they blindly join the college which they named. Another is their friend/colleagues who found this course, in this state they don’t agree but if they found interest they take time to understand about it (they google it, they go to the colleges). And there are very few who found this themselves and prepare for everything.

Why you are here (What are the things that make you joined this course)
I tried to ask them what is the ultimate objective to joining this course. The very common answers I got is, get updated with latest technology, some said they like to make applications, some believe they can gain social value/ name in society, nation and world. And amazing thing is they are not here for only money. They also think there is lot of scope and money in this sector they will easily get from market. In amount they are very hopeful they will get 50K(In average) when they passed this course with good performance.

If I try to picture them they more look like Roaring Lion

csit

But the reality is after 4 years they will find themselves this(if they don’t think out of box) :

computerscienceandinformationtechnologyWhy this? The only thing is the “Industry need Skill and Experience but the student think they need industry for it”

But the good thing is they are on starting semester and they have space to do better. But the simple question arise here, HOW? In my observation the solution is also very simple.

Just Remember few point:

- I am here to study!!!
(Every day I am learning new skill, Today you will learn Bubble Sort, next day Insertion Sort, another day Merge Sort. Don’t think you are following syllabus only.)

- I will not blame other !!!
(The common problem of our society, We always try to search for excuse, Teacher gave assignment for writing one program in C, the students come with ready-mate answer “Sir last night was loadshedding from 6PM to 12PM ”. Think it’s my task and I have to do anyway. )

- I will Participate !!!
(We are good for early decision with out knowing nicely. The person who didn’t see new released movie usually talked about boring just listing someone who felt it’s boring, He forgot people have different tastes. So my suggestion is participate first, experience it and tell you felling )

- I will create Environment
(Most often we found some other college has better environment than our, and this is true also. And we expect some one will make environment for us. We never try to start from us. I think it’s very easy to kick of any initiative in college, where you can get load down for space, backup, internet and participants. )

- I will do/ start today!!!
(when ever I was explaining these facts, people seems very serious. But still people failed to cover it because of lack of not starting. They think they will do tomorrow and it never comes. So my suggestion is better start from now. You don’t need to think very deeply after all there is no thing to loose)

While I was saying these, freshers think we still have time or expecting some other(seniors) to lead at all. I remember what Kofi Annan said when I got chance to meet him “You don’t need to wait for age to take responsibility”.

There are lot of space for environment, I already mentioned College is the best environment to learn skill and experience along it there are certain space in Industry also. Now a days, there are lot of companies who are bridging the gap with academies, so it’s better to follow up and participate.
Personally I recommend every one to join community, I think this is the in between place of College and Company, where everyone has equal value. Where anyone can easily accessed.

Finally, Opportunities is surround us, just need to figure it out. We know we need to do project/research and I think this is the best part to show us. It will more better if you think to do at least one project in each semester. I know most curious to know the way to get job in market, some time they failed to catch the new trend, so try to know the current demand of company and it’s very easy if you spend ½ hours in online job portal like jobsnepal.com and merojob.com . It’s always good to think out of box, you can also start your own startup after all you have the good partner in your class. Just need to identify the strength.

Nepal Geo coded Data Working Group Meeting

My friend Dustin Homer invited me on Nepal Geo Coded Data Working Group Meeting. I was outside the valley when i got invitation so i shorten my trip to visit there.

Date : 9 Feb 2014
Location : School of Art, Kathmandu University Hattiban Lalitpur

Dustin Homer was talking about the AID Management platform that was implemented with partnership of Minister of finance in Nepal. Now Nepal government has public facing portal to show the AID Data. He gave quick demonstration of system. In the system, 3 stakeholder who can input the data, MOF, Line Ministries and Development Partner where Line Ministry can entry the progress report. If anyone want to input the data, they can contact ministry of finance where they will validate it before publishing. Ministry of Finance has certain mechanism to ensure the data publishing in system.
Is there any way to give feedback from end user? Not public at all but the people can contact the related person of project or even they can contact the ministry of finance for further query.
Till now MOF has more focusing the government servants of different district to use this system.

Dr, Sagar gave the example how data are presenting best today and where should we start to think. He raised the point that we should focus community and local people after all they are going to put concern it. We have to bring it to people. the system should be also for non technical people, non geo expert people. Kathmandu University together with other Development Agencies and stakeholder are more likely to train students and researcher to how to use. Intregate data to our development course. First Civil society has to own this, In Nepal more than 200 INGO and more than 35000 NGOs are working locally, regionally and nationally

Intra KC from USAID Nepal provide a glimpses of some case study/ implementation and some example of Free software. what ever we do, our target is to identify the partner and maximizing the impact
How we work? We download preliminary data from AMP and start to make it GEO enabled, it took 6 months to complete it but now you can get all these data in 5 mins. Different tools we can use easily:
AMP itself
Google Earth
Fusion table sites.google.com/site/nepalaidmaps
QGIS Quantum GIS
arcgis.com

Bhuban Karki from IECCD / MOF said we are not doing lot but starting to do some. We started to revised foreign aid policy with changed circumstances. We are started to improve development coperate reports. We are starting to identify the district where donars are mostly involve and where poverty is high rated. We are also producing technical assistance book(aid which is not included in Red book), mapping the doners.
For future we can use geo coded information for long term national planning. this will also useful for regional planning. While allocating budget in our budget formulation practice we can use to identify the need.

Education Freedom Day celebrated in Nepal

With the vision to empower all people to freely connect, create and share in a digital world that is participatory, transparent, and sustainable, for the first time Education Freedom Day has celebrated on 18th Jan 2014. It was decided in 2013 to celebrate this day from the same organizations, who has been celebrating Software Freedom Day. The major objective to educating the educators, librarians, students about the benefits of making and sharing the open knowledge and the tools already in place to achieve that objectives. We in Nepal had started to celebrate this day with the joint effort from Open Communities like FOSS Nepal Community, Mozilla Nepal, Wikimedia Nepal, VTS and GPF Nepal.

DSC_0037The program was hosted in GPF Premises in Kamaladi. Start from 11 AM, It was networking sessions where the people/communities has time to knowing each others, sharing cards, making connections. There were some stalls of communities like FOSS Nepal Communities, VTS, Mozilla Nepal and Wikimedia Nepal.

After 1 hour, Everyone entered to seminar hall, where we were suppose to present 3 topics in 1 hour. Prakash Neupane started the program with the objective of Education Freedom Day.

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Prabin Gautam from FOSS Nepal Community also working as the lecturer in Kathmandu University was there for presenting FOSS for Education. He showed the example of open source software that educational institution can use.

 Ganesh Poudel, from Nepali Wikimedia Community shows how professors and teachers can use wikipedia in class. He shows some case study of it. He explain about pilot program of Wikimedia Education Program in Nepal.

 Martin Dluhos from Czech Republic, who is currently volunteer on OLE Nepal for OPLC program, and working in Free Software Foundation on past One Laptop Per Child : Universal Educational FOSS Platform, He presented the overview of OLPC, vision and demonstration of it.

DSC03664

Around 50 people actively participated this event. Probably the first event in 2014 where all the open knowledge activist gather up for mission. 

DSC03669check out more pics

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.809828992376666.1073741840.610321522327415&type=1

Interaction with CSIT Girls: Empowering Girls through ICT

Gender issue is the one of the most critical and prioritize issues happening in this age. Different strategy, policy and actions has been implemented in order to eliminate and empower Gender Equality. Being an Social ICT Activist, I feel ICT could be the best weapon to tackle with and get the best result. ICT will help the Girls in 3 dimension : Education, Empowerment and Employment. Smart Samaj Foundation is coming with this idea on very starting of 2014. Before it, We tried to understand the current problems and issues in different ways. Last time we organized interaction program with 26 ICT studying girls. The program was also marked the 16th day of activism for Violence against Women.

girlsinictThe program had 2 dimension, first to motivate them for social change and understand their perspective over it and second to teach them some technical skill/knowledge. In program, I prepare them by giving group work to find out more about the Powerful Women Leaders in ICT World, where each two of them have to work together to find out more about her, and need to share to all. It was the way to make them comfortable to talk about the reality….We say it is the icebreaker session.

On the base of their very personal thinking I have found following things:

girlswidict

From above illustration we found : Most of the girls were interested in Technical Skill sharing/learning and then inspirational/empowerment activities. They think ICT course will help them to acquire global and international job and also believe their education could help for revolutionary and social development. But the interesting things is some of them are still confused with the decision of taking this course and very few are sure they will get their aim. When we asked them what is the major problem/obstacle that they are facing today. 45% were saying lack of professional learning environment, 27% think lack of useful curriculum and other think lack of learning environment in college.

When we ask them Why Girls are less interesting in ICT in Developing Country comparatively? Most of them were not agree on this point, they said most girls are interesting but due to lack of information, support and some time the environment created by our society

In the second part of program, We teach them Webmaker tools and make them work on Thimble. As they already had the knowledge of html and css, they understood quickly. Some of their work are snapped here…..

Sticky Photo Gallery

JoshanaShakya

Kaavyaa in the scary city

See photos of program here

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Thanks Shuttleworth Foundation for fellowship

shuttleworth-foundation-cropped
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 ….

Shuttleworth Funded

 

Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 in South Asia

Transparency International launched Corruption Perception Index of 2013 among 177 countries. The index scale from 0 [extremely corrupted] to 100 [very clean], and interesting none of country has achieved 100% and result stated majority of countries has scored less than 50. Most of the European countries has good position and top score (91) is also hold by Denmark and New Zealand . Mostly the low score has occurred by Asian and African Countries: Somalia, Afghanistan and North Korea are the lowest scorer with value of 8 in 177 Countries.

Here I am going to more focus on the situation of South Asia, unfortunately Maldives isn’t in list and We already knew Afghanistan’s situation is worst, beside it we will try to explore more about Bangladesh, Bhutwan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
Here is the Ranking position of these countries:

Rank Country Score
1 Bhutan 63
2 Sri Lanka 37
3 India 36
4 Nepal 31
5 Pakistan 28
6 Bangladesh 27
7 Afghanistan 8

 

You may wonder to know, who has progressed much. Here is the data table:

Country 2013 Score 2012 SCORE Difference
Bhutan 63 63 0
Sri Lanka 37 40 -3
India 36 36 0
Nepal 31 27 4
Pakistan 28 27 1
Bangladesh 27 26 1
Afghanistan 8 8 0

If we checked the status of Nepal from 2009 to current, it seems Nepal has done some progress these years. 2010 and 2011 seems persistently poor.

The Next step toward being clean for Nepal should be comes from opening all the gates from government to their citizens to know what is happening. They should respect the right of people and should be more proactive information provider. Being Civil Society, Our mission will be make our Government to think about the “Open By Default” and prepare Nepal for Open Government Partnership.