Sometimes small key points makes you happy and boost your determination. My recent visit to the Office of the Company Registrar Nepal website makes me feel that way. The reason for my happiness with the website is pretty straightforward – I was happy because I found a page named “Data” in the site with whole bunch of data, and more importantly the data were in an Open Format. Although the momentum of Open Data is gaining momentum all over the country, these kinds of government initiative are very rare and countable. Kudos goes to Nepal Government, their partners and CSO for pushing this momentum forward: http://www.ocr.gov.np/index.php/en/data
The Office of Company Registrar Nepal website now consists data regarding company registration from 2002 till 2072 BS and the data is available for everyone to download and reuse in CSV and XML format. They have embarked this OCR Open Government Data (OGD) initiative to increase access to company data and wants to create ecosystem of OGD to increase usability of data and realize the benefits.
As we (Open Knowledge Nepal) discuss lots of times regarding the roles played by central government of Nepal for adopting open data as a policy, and the commitments shown by them through some projects such as the Aid Management Platform, Election Data in our blogs, events, projects and researches. This initiative of Office of the Company Registrar Nepal can now be a perfect examples for others public bodies of Nepal. It will also help Nepal to improve its rankings in the global Open Data surveys like Global Open Data Index and Open Data Barometer.
I still remember those disappointing moments when Company Register gain only 35% open in Global Open Data Index 2015, all because the data wasn’t available in bulk and wasn’t machine readable. Now slowly but steadily we can mark those changes and gain 100% open.
This is a good start of the long Open Data journey from Nepal Government. Still, we can do much better. This kinds of start from our Government also boost the enthusiasm and determination of all CSO who are working in the field of Open Data at Nepal.