Nikesh with Code for Nepal recipients of Tech Diversity Scholarship at Insight Workshop

Who are you and tell us how/where did you grow up?

Namaste! I am Nikesh Balami. I am born and raised in Kathmandu. I love coffee chat, tweeting, hackathons, blogging, traveling, and open data. I am the co-founder and CEO of Open Knowledge Nepal, a non-profit civic tech organization comprised of openness aficionados. In my daily work schedule, I coordinate diverse project related to tech & data, write research & reports, scrape & harvest government data and sometimes code.

How did you become involved with Code for Nepal?

I joined Code for Nepal three years ago with an aim of rebooting the AskNepal initiative. It was super quick, I also wrote a blog about it on my personal website highlighting the experience and possible next steps.

Code for Nepal is a volunteer-run organization, many of the volunteers have daytime jobs outside of Code for Nepal. Therefore, where is your passion and dedication for this organization derived from?

Yeah, I also have my separate organization like many other Code for Nepal members. Talking about passion and dedication, C4N’s mission of “increasing access to open data” is where I connect with this organization. The value of openness to create an inclusive environment for everyone is a priority to me,, and I like how Code for Nepal mobilizes its volunteers to build projects and initiative around it.

What is your role in Code for Nepal? Do you see yourself changing this role anytime in the future?

My role at Code for Nepal is interdisciplinary and has been changed frequently. Previously I was the AskNepal Lead, then Project Coordinator, and now I am Program Manager with the responsibilities of managing product and event. I represent C4N on different platforms. I speak on the behalf of the organization, promote activities, manage relations with Nepalese civil societies, and coordinate workshops and hackathons through Hack for Nepal initiative.

Regarding the change in role, the type of role which I hold within the organization does not matter much. It’s all about the continuous contribution and dedication, which I will be doing until Code for Nepal will achieve “increasing access to open data.”

Organizer and Winners of AngelHack Nepal Hackathon 2018 – part of Hack for Nepal initiative

Where do you see Code for Nepal in the next few years and what can it do to improve?

Over the years, I was lucky and grateful to witness the growth of Code for Nepal, which makes me proud. Let’s keep working, let’s keep moving forward – I believe tomorrow is beautiful.

How is Code for Nepal different or special from other non-profits?

I can’t list this as bullet points, but I call ourselves (Code for Nepal) as a modern day non-profit organization, working in Nepal with no hierarchical orders and capabilities of working virtually, which is very much different than traditional working style.

How can others become more aware or involved with Code for Nepal?

Anyone who is interested to be part of this momentum can contact contact@codefornepal.org or they can directly start contributing through http://github.com/Code4Nepal