Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Aid Data and Budget Data in Nepal

December 07, 2016 by Krishna Sapkota

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Nepal’s political, social, economic, technical, social and organisational context presents a complex environment of opportunities and challenges for the further emergence of open data in Nepal. With the prevalence of a vibrant civil society familiar with advocating for transparency and accountability, emerging government support, a governance-friendly legislative framework in place, and a burgeoning community interested in the issue, open data has a solid potential to strengthen the transparency and accountability regime and to deliver effective development outcomes. However, Nepal ranks low on many of the social and economic indicators reviewed, and it is unclear how open data will play out in an environment with limited financial resources for data infrastructure and sharing, and with high levels of inequality. Among other issues, the low internet penetration, lack of open data policy, political and bureaucratic resistance to innovation, limited financial resources, high levels of corruption, culture of secrecy, limited demand for open data and lack of collaboration between open data and the Right To Information legislative framework form a range of bottlenecks constraining the growth of open data in Nepal. Despite this, there is a committed and skilled group of Nepali technical and thematic experts who are proactively trying to improve Nepal’s supply of open data, stimulate demand for that data, and equip an ecosystem of actors with the skills to use that data.