Category Archives: Open Knowledge

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.

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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

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.

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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

Thanks Shuttleworth Foundation for fellowship

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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.

Announcing Open Election Data Week in Nepal

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In Nepal, CA election result is coming on. very unexpected result has seen, Everyone is observing the things happening here. People are starting to predict the outcomes of new constitution While the time, we have decided to organize full week election data activities, where we can present the result in more better way, so more people can understand it.
Open Election Data Week is happening from 24th Nov to 30th. This is only online event, so you can contribute from anywhere so matters where u reside.

If you like to contribute, please participate by filling this form…you will get confirmation with some guidance.

Deadline from filling this form is upto 23rd 11:59 PM

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Nepal kicks off Wikipedia Education Program pilot

This article was published on http://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/09/18/nepal-wikipedia-education-program-pilot/

The Nepali Wikipedia has a great history. In 2002, one year after the establishment of the English Wikipedia, the Nepali Wikipedia was formed, but our journey was not as fast as it perhaps could have been. After 11 years, in 2013, Wikimedians of Nepal was recognized as a user group, and one of our first steps as an official group was to do a pilot of the Wikipedia Education Program in Nepal. It was not easy, as we didn’t have any kind of existing organization at a university, but our pilotwas a success!

Wikipedia_Education_Program_NepalFirst, we looked for a suitable educational partner for our pilot course. We used the criteria that the college must have an acceptable minimum of resources, including individual machines (computer/laptop), Internet availability, electricity backup and available time. We talked with a few institutions and ultimately selected Islington College in Kathmandu.

The journey started with an orientation for roughly 150 students, covering what Wikipedia is and background about the Wikipedia Education Program. We distributed a registration form to participate in our pilot program, and from the people who filled out the form, we selected 50 students. These students participated in a three-day training to make them more familiar with Wikipedia. Based on their interest and performance in this training, we selected 25 final participants for the Wikipedia Education Program pilot in Nepal. Students we selected were supposed to complete a 12-week assignment to write Wikipedia articles.

We scheduled the class two days per week (Monday and Thursday). We started the course by teaching skills needed to write Wikipedia articles, and we cultivated an understanding of free licenses and copyright. After a few weeks, the real work started. Students working in a team or a pair selected one location near the college as topics for their articles. Students went to the venue and collected all the information, snapped some pictures of it and researched it. After that, students worked together to create the articles.

This approach provided students a good level of confidence and taught them how to explore, how to write, and how to collaborate. Here are some articles they wrote:

In the second phase, teachers again asked students to write a new article for Wikipedia, but this time each student had to write individually. The idea of choosing topic was to write an article on something the student was interested in, but the condition was that the article should not exist in any language (so students were not permitted to just translate existing articles). Soon, everyone started working on their selected articles. Each class had different topics, like how to add a reference or citation, how to use infoboxes, or how to assure toic notability and neutrality. Some nice articles they wrote include:

WEP_Nepal2_by_SrijanaIn the third stage, all of the students worked together, so we chose the common interest topic Pashupati Temple. The world heritage site is a popular and prestigious place for Nepalese people. The Executive Secretary of Pashupati Development Trust gave us an hour of his time and explained the site’s historic value, its development, its current status and more. Two staff helped all of the participants visit the temple and explain each important detail and they provided published books to us for more information. Students worked together to build a beautiful article: पशुपतिनाथ मन्दिर.

Some of the other articles they worked on are here: विकिपीडिया शिक्षा कार्यक्रम १

In the end, 15 students presented what they built and what they learned. As recognition, we provided the students with a certificate showing the score they obtained and a special “Wikipedia Driving License.” This was the journey from 150 students to 15 excellent students, so I must say this was also one of the most important learnings for our team.

last week we had a review meeting with the college administration. We discussed the result, the achievements from both sides, and ways that we can improve the program. Getting 15 students sounds good, but still we felt like we missed some students who joined and our task is to find out why. We talked about the best case for next time and we are thinking about implementing a Train the Trainers model.

After this exercise, we are feeling more confident about running this program and we are looking forward to implementing our learnings in the next course we run!


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Open and Participatory Election

Development of time and experiences results the people to be more conscious and participatory on the activities around it. As compare with everything, politics and policy is in always in priority, either people beloved or hatred. So the developed counties seems like are already in the practice of Open Government. Even some developing countries are also moving, but this is only possible when the tremendous untapped resource of government become accessible as open definition, which ensure use, reuse, modify and redistribute.

Election is central interest of citizen of every nation and the Constitution Assembly Election is even more than other. It is the base for law, need, demand, voice and driven way of direction of further way. It is the right of every individuals to know about the activities and agendas of it. In other word, people has the chance of closely participating(not just limited with vote) in CA Election. They want to participate each step of development from election to constitution. It means the whole way of election should be accessible for single person. The one of the way of doing this is possible through internet and mobile. We know Election Commission of Nepal has already practiced to do it through website, but still it is not accessible. This is happening due to the vendor dependent platform. They are using strict platform like Internet Explorer, file are on PDF, So it already blocked the further development.

In other countries, It doesn’t means all the innovative development has to done by government(election commission) itself, they just always open the possibilities by opening up the whole information and make it easily accessible. So the election commission should be implement open data as per the open definition principle. For simple example, if election commission put the information about the registered parties of election, their candidate and other related information, then other organizations or individuals can build simple mobile application to profiling those information, so every Nepalese can easily find the information about their candidate. So they can vote to right deserved individuals rather than party.

There are different model and platform have been using for election purpose. Some applications can use for information, some for monitoring, some for proofing. Ushahidi platform, one of the mostly used platform initiated for election of Kenya can be better option for Nepal as well. This is the simple reporting platform, for reporting the status of anyplace anonymously, people can report using their computer/laptop or smartphone or simple mobile through sms. As we already have report of 75% mobile usage in Nepal, so this could be the right option to use.

What ever I said above my concern is on adopting technology to enhance the whole election process, maintain transparency and engaging the citizen. The only way of doing this is only if the whole things related to election is open.