Dinesh Thapa is an undergraduate student, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Development Studies (BDevS) at National College (Kathmandu University) and he is also the vice chairperson of the Cheers Nepal organization. He has a passion to conduct research on various issues like Child Sexual Abuse, Young Empowerment and Road sector and frequently needs to search for data as part of his research.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word data?
Whenever data comes to my mind, I think of it as a way of presenting it in the form of visualization of any issue from a historical point of time to the present in an easy to understand format.
When you had to search for sectoral data, what did you used to do?
Sectoral data is available with the Nepal government, but the problem is that data is not well managed. It is very much difficult to get the appropriate data from a single website for example on the health condition of the Nepalese people, Hygiene status etc. As a result I need to search more than one website to find data (i.e. CBS, UNDP, CIWIN and different NGOs). If I want to know in more detail about a sector, it is very time intensive work to find the relevant data sources for different periods of time. I previously used to work with Action for Child Rights as a researcher and in particular needed research on the crime sector, especially on Child Sexual Abuse. It was very difficult to find secondary data in relation to the crime sector and therefore used to have to through my personal network to get the data.
How do you evaluate the data of our Government?
As I mentioned, there is a huge amount of data available in every sector with the Nepal government, but it is not presented in a user friendly way. However, it is important that we as young people use government data, because it is the official data producer. Government data represents our nation and is quite reliable, so we should promote the use of the data in Nepal as well as abroad.
How does the "Nepal in Data" portal help you in your professional development?
My passion is in research, so the Nepal in Data portal will help me in my professional development. Nepal in Data is a data bank, from which I can take out data whenever and wherever I want in easy and effective manner. In the upcoming days, I am going to attend the Global Development Network (GDN), in Delhi, India where different international researchers are going to present on their respective fields. I will be presenting my research as well during the conference and show the authentic data that I have used from Nepal in Data.
Currently, I am working in UNDP as a researcher in the road and disaster sector and in my daily work I am using the Nepal in Data portal to extract data from it. Within a few clicks, I can use and play with the data. What I love most about the Nepal in Data portal, is that it is providing original sources and the time series of each indicator such as from the disaster sector.
What message would you like to give to other young people about data and Nepal in Data?
Listen to others, but verify yourself. What I mean to say is, most of the youth listen to other youth and follow each other. However, they hardly do any verification whether something is true and actually based on data. I would like to encourage youth to take advantage from the Nepal in Data portal for the better collection and use of data for their research and writing. At the end, using the Nepal in Data portal will help you to achieve better outcomes in your respective field of study.