Ravi Kumar: Portrait of a GroundBreaker

Ravi Kumar for GroundBreakers

Mapping of landslides triggered by the 2015 Nepal Gorkha earthquake and its aftershocks

Satellite mapping of landslides triggered by the 2015 earthquake and its aftershocks in Nepal. Credit: Landslide mapping team/NASA-GSFC (PHOTO: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr)

January 24, 2019

The following is an excerpt of the interview that Asia 21 Young Leader Ravi Kumar ('18) gave to GroundBreakers via Medium as part of the Portrait of a GroundBreaker Series on January 24, 2019. 

GroundBreakers is excited to feature Ravi Kumar, a Founder of Code for Nepal, on this week’s Portrait of a GroundBreaker Series.

Ravi Kumar is a Founder of Code for Nepal, a nonprofit working to increase digital literacy and the use of open data in Nepal. Ravi is a member of the Asia Society’s Class of 2018 Young Leaders and in 2017 was named in the Forbes 30 under 30 list of social entrepreneurs in Asia. On this week’s feature of GroundBreakers’ Portraits of a GroundBreaker Series, our discussion with Ravi ranged from the importance of digital inclusion for women to the necessity of inclusive data for policymaking.

Read on to learn more about this GroundBreaker’s inspiring work and be sure to check out Code for Nepal!

What motivated you to start Code for Nepal?

There is digital inequality in Nepal and lack of access to data in general. We wanted to create an organization to increase digital literacy and expand access to data for women and men and increase the use of this data. Today, we are also using civic technology to create products that will help people have access to useful information and more opportunities.

We know that what doesn’t get measured is not valuable. It’s very important to have inclusive data to inform good policymaking because policymakers might not know the challenges of their communities if they don’t have the data. Inclusive development depends on inclusive data but data by itself is not enough. There must be political support for inclusive development so that opportunities are created where everyone can contribute to the country. A high level of political leadership is needed for this to happen.

We mainly analyze the data published by official sources including the Nepali government and development partners. Not everyone is a data scientist or economist so not everyone can look at the published data and make sense of it. We built a website, nepalmap.org, that presents accessible data sets about Nepal in a understable and shareable way. This data helps to increase understanding of the various needs of communities and where the gaps are. Using data in this way helps researchers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs.

Read the full interview on Medium