ICT4D Workshop, Kathmandu, Nepal

Some video clips from ICT4D workshop, Kathmandu, Nepal


Date: March 30, 2010
Time: 2:00 PM – 6:15 PM
Venue: Hotel Himalaya, Kathmandu

Objectives of the workshop
This workshop on ICT4D (Information and Communication Technology for Development) is organized by the collectives of researchers, ICT entrepreneurs, social activists, IT experts, healthcare champions, and government officials from Nepal and University of Agder (UiA), Norway. The workshop is open to all those interested and involved in issues and initiatives related to ICT4D. The objective of this workshop is to exchange our knowledge and experience from ICT4D projects and research in general, and to understand the interaction processes between ICT and Social Capital in particular. The World Bank has categorized Social Capital into six dimensions, such as Groups and Networks, Trust and Solidarity, Collective Action and Cooperation, Information and Communication, Social Cohesion and Inclusion, and Empowerment and Political Action. Therefore, the discussions in the workshop will be oriented towards how the interaction between ICT and Social Capital enable (or disable) people to access resources and collaborate to achieve shared goals, for instance, accessibility to healthcare, education, market, likewise, other social, cultural, economical, and governmental services. Likewise, ICT can be an instrumental to build social networking and enhance accessibility to resources which can lead to the development. For these reasons, the primary objective of the workshop is to explore obstacle and possible solutions of the following queries:

- How can ICT enhance the accessibility of different people to key resources (natural, cultural, markets, communications infrastructures etc.) and/or services (education, healthcare, government etc.)?
- What are the primary obstacles in ICT4D implementation?
- How do individuals or households enter into groups and networks and maintain network ties through ICT?
- Who are the important stakeholders (politicians, IT vendors, donors, entrepreneurs, activists etc.), and who play a leadership or mobilizing role in the groups or networks?
- What are the particular challenges and obstacles facing poor or marginalized groups in accessing key ICT resources and/or services?

Another key objective of the workshop is to identify future possibilities of collaborative research between Norway and Nepal in ICT4D and eGovernment areas.

The workshop is organized around presentations and interactive group discussion sessions. The details of the program are as follows:

Workshop Program
Time Topic Presenter
2:00 PM – 2:05PM Welcome to participants Dr. Devinder Thapa
2:05 PM – 2:20 PM ICT4D – a general perspective Professor Maung Sein
2:20 PM – 2:35 PM eGovernement – a general perspective Dr. Øystein Sæbo
2:35 PM – 3:05 PM Key note speech Mr. Mahabir Pun
3:05 PM – 3:20 PM ICT4ED in Nepal Mr. Biplav Man Singh
3:20 PM - 3:30 PM Break
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM eGovernment in Nepal Dr. Subarna Shakya,
3:45 PM – 4:00 PM eHealthcare in Nepal Dr. Anil Kumar Jha
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM eCommerce in Nepal Mr. Suman Shakya
4:15 PM – 4:30 PM eLibrary in Nepal Mr. Jwalanta Shrestha
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Key Note Speech Mr. Allen Bailochan Tuladhar
5:00 PM – 5:10 PM Break

Interactive group discussions session
Time Topic Discussants
5:10 PM – 5:50 PM
Questions raised in the objectives of workshop section
Mr. Allen Tuladhar
Dr. Anil Kumar Jha
Mr. Bibek Poudel
Mr. Biplav Man Singh
Dr. Devinder Thapa
Mr. Dhiraj Upadhayay
Mr. Indiver Badal
Mr. Jitendra Harlalka
Mr. Jwalanta Shrestha
Mr. Mahabir Pun
Professor Maug K. Sein
Mr. Mohan Singh
Mr. Prakash Sharma
Dr. Subarna Shakya
Mr. Suman Shakya
Dr. Øystein Sæbo
5:50 PM – 6:10 PM
Summing up session
Summing up the learning and key points of group discussion
6:10 PM – 6:15 PM Closing remarks Dr. Devinder Thapa
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM Cocktail and dinner All workshop participants

Key Note Speaker: Mr. Mahabir Pun
Mahabir Pun is a social activist, teacher, and team leader of Nepal wireless networking project. He is known for his extensive work in applying wireless technologies to develop remote areas of the Himalayas. In 2007 he was awarded the Magsaysay Award, which is considered by some to be the Nobel Prize of Asia. Pun did his schooling from Myagdi and Chitwan. Then, he received scholarship from University of Nebraska at Kearney. After completing his graduation and staying almost more than twenty years away from Nepal, Pun returned home to Nangi, determined to make things easier for other youths than they had been for him. In 1997, with the donation of four used computers from Australia, powering them with micro hydro generators in a nearby stream, Pun began teaching computer classes at the Nangi high school. More computers followed, but it proved impossible to get a telephone connection to Pokhara and the Internet. Pun e-mailed the British Broadcasting Corporation, asking for ideas. In 2001, the BBC publicized his dilemma and within a year volunteers from Europe and the United States were helping him establishing a wireless connection between Nangi and the neighboring village of Ramche, using TV dish antennas mounted in trees. Some small grants soon led to the construction of improvised mountain top relay stations and a link to Pokhara. By 2003, Nangi was online. As word of Pun's project bounced around the World Wide Web, backpacking volunteers carried more and more donated computers, parts, and equipment into the hills. Pun expanded the wireless network to embrace twelve villages-distributing ninety used computers to local schools and communication centers, connecting them to the Internet, teaching teachers how to use them, and then troubleshooting until everything worked.
Today, connectivity is changing Myagdi. Using Pun's "tele-teaching" network, teachers in one school now instruct students in others. Local health workers have implemented telemedicine by using Wi-Fi to consult specialists in Pokhara. Once-isolated students surf the Net and are learning globe-savvy skills. Villagers’ e-market local products such as buffaloes, honey, teas, and jams and use the Web to draw paying trekkers to campsites outfitted with solar-powered hot showers. In parallel projects, the people of Nangi have added a library, health clinic, and new high-school classrooms. Meanwhile in Kathmandu, Pun has successfully lobbied parliament to de-license wireless technology and remove high customs levies on the equipment, in order to facilitate its adoption throughout the country. In electing Mahabir Pun to receive the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the board of trustees recognizes his innovative application of wireless computer technology in Nepal, bringing progress to remote mountain areas by connecting his village to the global village.
Email: mahabir@himanchal.org

Key Note Speaker: Mr. Allen Bailochan Tuladhar
Allen Bailochan TULADHAR, Chief Executive Officer of Unlimited NuMedia Pvt Ltd; Country Manager of Microsoft MDP Nepal and Member Secretary of Nepali Language in Information Technology, Steering Committee under High Level Commission of Information Technology of Government of Nepal and Chairperson of Forum for Information Technology Nepal (FIT Nepal) has served as the Member of National Information Technology Council chaired by the Prime Minister of Nepal and formed under the National IT Policy of Government of Nepal. He has also served as the General Secretary of Computer Association of Nepal for two terms of two years each. He has been working in the field of local language computing in the information & Communication sector of Nepal for the past 18 years and has been representing Nepal to the Asian Forum for Information Technology for the past 10 years and has also been contributing to International Standards Development in the field of local language computing to ISO and Unicode. He was responsible for Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Proofing Tools into Nepali language for Microsoft Corporation, USA and in the same capacity is working on the localization of Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 into Nepali Language. He has also been awarded Most Valuable Professional by Microsoft for 2005 and has been re-awarded this prestigious recognition again in April, 2006 and for the third consecutive year in April 2007. He is currently driving the Mission Swaabhimaan, a multi-stakeholder partnership of government ministries and agencies, international development agencies, donor agencies, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, academia, private companies and its associations to create a knowledge revolution in rural Nepal by establishing 1,500 rural tele-centers as envisioned by the current 10th five-year plan of National Planning Commission of Government of Nepal, further to meet the poverty reduction strategy of Nepal and on the international level to meet the Millennium Development Goals. In August 2006, the United Nations recognized Allen as a Champion in using ICT for development in the Global Alliance for ICT for Development. From July, 2007, Allen is also responsible for the Microsoft presence in Nepal thru its office as the Microsoft MDP Nepal as its Country Manager.
Email: v-allent@microsoft.com

Details of the Speakers:
Dr. Anil Kumar Jha
Professor and Head of the Department
Department of Dermatology, Nepal Medical College, Kathmandu
Chairman, Community Health Education Services by Telehealth (CHEST Nepal)
Chairman, DI Skin Hospital And Research Center, Kathmandu (DI SHARC )
President, South Asian Regional Association of Dermatologists Venereologists and Leprologits (SARAD)

Dr. Subarna Shakya
Associate Professor
Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering
Institute of Engineering
Tribhuvan University
Former Executive Director
National Information Technology Center (NITC)
Email: sshakya@wlink.com.np

Mr. Biplav Man Singh
Computer Association of Nepal (CAN)
Co- Chairman ICTD committee
Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI)
Owner - Mandala Software System
Email: biplav@castnep.com

Mr. Suman Shakya
CEO, Digitainmaint (Cellroti.com)
Adjunct faculty of strategic marketing
Email: suman@digitainment.com.np

Mr. Jwalanta Shrestha
Help Nepal Network - eLibrary project
Open Technologies Resource Center (OTRC)

Details of the Discussants:
Mr. Jitendra Harlalka
Open Technologies Resource Center (OTRC)

Mr. Bibek Paudel
Open Technologies Resource Center (OTRC)

Mr. Dhiraj Upadhayay
IT and Database Associate
United Nations Development Project (UNDP)
National Centre for AIDS & STD Control (NCASC)
HIV/AIDS and STI Control Board (HSCB)

Mr. Indiver Badal
IT consultant

Mr. Mohan Singh
Director – Meditech

Mr. Prakash Sharma
Finance and Admin Officer
United Nations Development Project (UNDP)

Details of the Organizers:
Dr. Devinder Thapa
Research Fellow
University of Agder

Dr. Øystein Sæbo
Associate Professor
University of Agder

Dr. Maung K. Sein
University of Agder