An awareness-raising video on the importance of open data with the down-to-earth story of a Nepalese data journalist trying to connect the dots between an under-funded elementary school in Kathmandu and the national and foreign data sources on education. Production was funded by AidData, Development Initiatives and the Publish What You Fund campaign for aid transparency.

Open Data: A Journey of Discovery in Nepal from OpenData on Vimeo.

Open data has the potential to change lives.

Data can be used as a tool to enable governments, donors and other actors to allocate financial resources more effectively to improve development outcomes and end poverty. It can empower citizens to advocate for change, help ensure their needs are reflected in public policy, and drive quality and provision of public services. And it contributes to transparency and accountability of resource flows. Everyone is able to see what is being spent where and on what.

This short documentary follows the journey of journalist Gyanu Sharma in Nepal, who understands that having access to data can help him create a better future for his son. He is one of a growing number of citizens and civil society groups globally who have a hunger for data because they understand its powerful potential for change.

But current barriers are severely hindering the use and impact of open data.There is limited data currently available, its quality is poor and it can be difficult or impossible to compare and combine. Gyanu’s story brings to life the vital role of data in development and shows what work still needs to be done.

If you produce data, publish it. If you have data, use it. If you don’t have data, demand it.