Aid Transparency BarCamp Kathmandu 2011

Foreign aid plays a vital role in Nepal’s economy and development process. Blogger Chandan Sapkota discussed aid coming into the country and its impact on various sectors. He notes that the money has supported Nepal’s health and education initiatives. Unfortunately, large sum is also spent on writing loads of reports and recommendations, few of which are ever implemented.

“In other sectors such as promoting trade, assistance has been restricted to writing reports on how best to implement a given agenda or a product. Most of the money is spent on studies, seminars, and conferences—all of which will involve personnel and capital from the donor countries at some stage. Some of the money goes back. Some stays back in the form of short term employment and reports that detail how best to implement a strategy or tackle constraints.”

Aid wastage has fueled a sentiment of detachment among the public, who see the whole process as futile and a way for the well-connected to get ahead at the expense of the poor.Lack of transparency further extends the gap  between the public’s expectations and how the money is actually used.

So, to discuss aid transparency issues in Nepal, BarCamp was organized in Kathmandu on August 4.

Tim Davies has compiled a Storify report on tweets (#nepalaid) related to the event. Aman Shakya discussed Linked data and Semantic Web Technologies for Aid Transparency, at the BarCamp and remarked that,

” …we still need small concrete example applications (in aid transparency) to really convince people (at different levels) to provide (linked) open data, not just demos or visualizations. Agree.
Perhaps the developers/industry can build something really useful for some stakeholder to prove the potential of linked open data.”

 

Open data concept is still a novelty in Nepal, but its significance in providing transparency to various processes-not only aid, cannot be denied.What is now needed is a way for the technical experts and the stakeholders and decision makers to come up with applications that demonstrate the benefit of open linked data in promoting transparency and accountability.

 

 

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