Co-Founders Mia and Ravi traveled to Nepal in January 2014 to better understand the landscape of Internet access and open data. Through meeting with tech companies, students, journalists, and women’s groups, we quickly realized that the digital divide in Nepal ran deep — women, poor people, rural people, and minorities had limited access to the Internet and digital training. After returning to the U.S., we launched Code for Nepal in February 2014.
Code for Nepal is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the U.S.
- Increasing digital literacy
- Building apps to improve lives
- Increasing access to open data
- Right to information
- Increasing Digital Literacy
Code for Nepal believes in increasing digital literacy in women will help community to grow better in respect to today’s world. On an annual basis, the organization partners with local organizations to conduct digital training workshops in Nepal. As of October 2015, digital training workshops have been conducted in Kathmandu, Dang, Birgunj, and few other places in Nepal. Code for Nepal is currently in the process of launching a digital fellowship in collaboration with a local partner in Nepal.
- Building Apps to Improve Services
In August-September 2015, Code for Nepal conducted a pilot survey project in Nepal to gather data on earthquake survivors’ receipt of relief in the initial weeks and months following the April and May 2015 earthquakes. We designed the pilot survey to capture how the involved stakeholders provided immediate relief and to identify any unmet needs among survivors.
This pilot was the first step in Code for Nepal’s larger initiative “Rahat Payo?” (Did you get relief?). Rahat Payo is a multi-year project. It aims to fill the gaps that exist in the aid distribution, relief and recovery process in the aftermath of the earthquake. Our intent is to start critical conversations in Nepal around earthquake relief and reconstruction efforts, to ensure that aid reaches those in need in an equitable and efficient manner.
Code of Nepal strongly supports technological advancement that improves lives. The organization has launched a prototype of an application to rank schools in Nepal on its website. The application illustrates the average school scores based on the ranking by districts situated in Nepal. It is an open data that can be accessed and shared by general public.
- Increasing Access to Open Data
Code for Nepal has identified the importance of open data and since its establishments the organization has been proactively providing data on its website related to various sectors like education, women empowerment and so on. Code for Nepal has been successfully able to synthesize the open data and reach the masses with important and critical information worldwide.
Code for Nepal conducted a pilot research and data collection project in the first half of 2015 to assess the presence of women in Nepal’s online media. The data collection and infographic published by Code for Nepal, was well received by Nepali Times and Setopati. Code for Nepal also received a media mention for the data mining by Nepali Times on Twitter.
The organization also partners with other media houses and journalists in Nepal to formulate databases stories. Report prepared by Center for Public Expenditure and Openspending.org was analyzed to publish an infographic on “How much does it cost to run Kathmandu?” by Code for Nepal. Similarly, key data about status of women based on a report by World Bank was also published by Code for Nepal on International Women’s day in 2015.
Moreover, Code for Nepal has also published important data about Women Prisoners in Nepal and has shed light on the issue. By sharing the embed code to the interested parties, Code for Nepal promotes the use of open data and sharing quality information on the web.
Check out more of our data visualizations
When a massive earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, Code for Nepal immediately mobilized an initial digital response to help volunteers and survivors to connect. The organization leveraged the volunteers living abroad to help in translating important documents, mapping and several other help via web. Code for Nepal created a low-tech solutions to connect volunteers and people affected, and vice-versa. The Nepal quake resource doc, which disseminates information about food, shelter, clean water and medicine for victims of the earthquake, has been shared more than 7,000 times on Facebook, and more than 50 volunteers actively curate, verify and connect people using that document.
Core members of Code for Nepal worked on compiling data from the Nepal government website and also from Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction Portal. Within several days after the disaster, an interactive map of reported death toll, number of injured and damaged houses was published on the Code for Nepal website.
Time Magazine also published an oped by Co-Founder Ravi Kumar’s on the use of Open Data during the time of major crisis like the devastating earthquake and how Code for Nepal has used data to aid the relief efforts in Nepal. The organization has been relentlessly working to collect more data to help the ongoing relief aid in Nepal. Work done by Code for Nepal also received media mentions from New York Times, Al Jazeera and others.
Rahat Payo is a new initiative launched by Code for Nepal to get feedback on survivors on kind of help they have received and to gauge the existing gap. The initiative is launched through a web application to collect real time data and then create reports. Code for Nepal has been proactively assessing the post disaster need assessment through this initiative.
4. Right to Information
Code for Nepal has also launched Asknepal.info to increase the access of information to general public. Every citizen has the right to information held by public authorities and by law the concerned authorities need to respond. By tapping into this idea, Code for Nepal has provided an open web platform which is accessible to all via internet. Guidelines and tips are provided in Asknepal.com website where questions can be drafted and sent to the concerned Ministry or public authority in Nepal.