5 p.m., Friday, July 29. We could hear hustle-bustle outside the Kathmandu Living Labs wall. Thirty-one young, civic leaders from Association of Youth Organizations Network (AYON) had arrived at KLL. Their quest was to learn how digital technology can be used in making lives in communities better. Kathmandu Living Labs contributed to this quest by showcasing its past and present attempts of bringing data, technology and people together in making everyday lives better.
The welcome speech introduced the visitors to a dissected explanation of the name – Kathmandu Living Labs. This explanation equipped our visitors with a general understanding of what each of these words mean and how these words, when strung together, explain the nature and existence of KLL.
Following this introduction, the visitors were then ‘forced’ to make a difficult choice of choosing only one of the three themes – Disaster, Governance, Agriculture and Food Security. Based on which theme they chose, they would then sit through that particular thematic session. In the sessions, they would learn, through KLL’s projects, how digital technology is transforming these sectors.
The following projects were exhibited in the three thematic sessions:
|Theme 1: Disaster||Theme 2: Governance||Theme 3: Agriculture and Food Security|
|Preparedness:||Mapping and Opening Data for Local Governance and Citizen Engagement (MODEL4G)||Engaging Youth in Mapping Agriculture and Food Security|
|Click on a project to learn more about it.|
OpenStreetMap was discussed as a cross-cutting infrastructure of development in all three thematic discourses. Through it’s free and wiki-like features, OpenStreetMap empowers local citizens to share the realities of their physical world and present it as a map to the entire world. Communities and governments can use this self-sustaining and growing dataset to make planned, informed decisions. To paraphrase a visitor’s remarks at the end, “We had no idea that a single free, editable map can be put to so many different uses.”
Our visitors left KLL premises with a food for thought, “How can OpenStreetMap and other digital technologies be used in solving problems that our society is facing?” We are leaving you with a few glimpses of the day’s event: