Milan Sharma Ghimire
IT Officer, Bagmati Rural Municipality,
Lalitpur The Constitution of Nepal 2072 enabled to the forming of local governments via electing representatives by the sovereign people using their voting rights. There are three types of Government: Federal Government (1), Province Government (7) and Local Government (753). Here, citizens can only feel the presence of governments only when they are accountable, transparent and responsible. Importantly, citizens who elect their representatives have right to know each and every activities of government (general administration, public safety, education, streets and roads, and health and sanitation, taxation and revenue etc).
The solution to that would be e-Governance where the governments can effectively reach out to their people with credible data/information. Nowadays Information and technology (IT) has played vital role in communication flow and other day to day activities of government so its importance is rising significantly. It has generated the idea of e-governance in which accountability, transparency and responsives of government are improved using technology so that the citizen can sense their government in their footsteps.
The backbone of e-governance is open data. Any facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis is basically data and if this data are free and easily accessible, machine readable or can be re-used then is said to be open data. The demand for e-governance and open data is being increased as it carries significant importance to solve public problems as well as address the issues of specific sectors of the society. Hence, local governments of Nepal have also been marking International Open Data Day which is celebrated worldwide in March every year.
In the context of Bagmati Rural Municipality of Lalitpur District, it is located in Bhattedanda, some 30 km south from the headquarter Patan. Bagmati Rural Municipality marked International Open Data day by organizing various programs. Bagmati Rural Municipality started the event on March 2, 2019 with an introductory session on Open Data and its relevance in local government’s context.
IT officer of Bagmati RM Milan Sharma Ghimire, Open Data Coordinator of Young Innovation Nepal, Saroj Bista, GESI Specialist of CECI Nepal Surya Laxmi have elaborated the importance of Open Data in Local government fro representative, citizens especially WMG groups.
The Data Portal created in previous year and co-created tool Audio Broadcasting System (ABS) in this year have been officially handovered to the government by exchanging the MOU in between Chairperson, Bir Bahadur Lopchan and Yadav Nepal DCSO of SOLVE Nepal. Vice president Ranjana Ghimire (Timalsina) has really appreciated this concept in governance and especially happy for the WMG groups.
The event also saw the inauguration of the Municipal Techno-hub supported by CECI Nepal through SOLVE Nepal, a district partner in SUSASAN project. Chairperson Bir Bahadur Lopchan during his remarks committed to use the technology for the better accountability, transparency and responsibility by using open data concept.