Our Team

Arjun Gautam

Web Development

Arjun is a member of the tech team at Kathmandu Living Labs working as a front end developer for web.

 

He has recently completed his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Information Technology. He is a tech enthusiast influenced by free and open source philosophy. He has interest towards Open Data and Open Software and has volunteered in some open source communities to advocate the use of Free and Open Source Software. Currently, he is working with the tech team of Kathmandu Living Labs to build web portal for Neelakantha Municipality.

Arogya Koirala

Data Science

Arogya is a data scientist and web developer at Kathmandu Living Labs. He has been directly involved in the conceptualization, design and development of several open data and civic-tech projects. Some of these projects, such as the Open Local Government Digital System for Neelakantha Municipality (https://neelakanthamunicipality.klldev.org), and the 2015 Nepal Earthquake data portal (https://opendata.klldev.org) are considered as exemplary civic-tech projects to come from the global south.

In addition to overseeing technical implementation and ensuring effective communication between project stakeholders, he is heavily involved in supporting the professional growth of young team members by helping them identify, select and tackle learning opportunities within KLL’s scope of work.

Prior to joining KLL, Arogya spent more than two years working as a data scientist out of Bangalore, India. An engineer by degree, he combined his interests in statistical programming (R, Python, SQL), data visualization (d3js, c3js, Leaflet, Mapbox GL) and web development (Javascript, HTML, CSS) to build robust and scalable analytical solutions for several Fortune 500 companies in the retail, banking and technology sectors.

Bhawak Pokhrel

Mobile Application Development

Bhawak develops cross-platform mobile applications for KLL and React Native is his tool of choice. In addition to writing software codes, he amuses himself in asking how technology brings about impact in society.

He has demonstrated interest in robotics, remote control and sensors. Before joining KLL, he was also engaged with Robotics Association of Nepal and contributed to several robotics projects. The young Bhawak loves travelling, adventure, making friends and making maps.

Gaurav Thapa

Participatory Mapping Specialist

Gaurav Thapa currently is the Project Manager of Secondary Cities Pokhara, a field-based initiative of the Office of the Geographer of the State Department to map for resiliency, disaster management and emergency preparedness. He completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Toronto, Canada and his Master’s of Applied Geography from New Mexico State University, USA where he was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate Student of the University for his academic and community work related to geography.

 

Gaurav leads a young team that is pioneering the use of OpenStreetMap (OSM) tools in the developing world. His current work has led him to help establish OSM communities in Neelkantha Municipality, Lalitpur Metropolitan, Nepalgunj Sub-metropolitan, Gulariya Municipality, Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolitan and several other local bodies throughout Nepal. Further, Gaurav has also trained and helped mapping communities in Thimphu, Bhutan and Indore, India. For these and many other work related to participatory mapping, he was chosen as the Mapper of the Month by the OSM Belgium Community in August 2017.

 

Prior to joining KLL, Gaurav worked with several organizations in different countries such as UN - Habitat Headquarters in Kenya, Open Learning Exchange in Nepal and Mesilla Valley Metropolitan Organization in the United States of America. In these and other organizations Gaurav worked in the fields of Education, Technology, Development, Geography and Planning.

Kshitiz Khanal

Research, Open Data for Sustainable Development

Kshitiz Khanal is a fervid Open Knowledge activist and calligraphy geek. His major interests include energy systems, sustainability and diffusion of technology for society. He has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and a post-graduate degree in Energy System Planning, both from Kathmandu University. He dabbles with playing football, building machines, writing, and learning (mostly) useless skills.

 


Kshitiz Khanal is engaged in Kathmandu Living Labs as a Researcher of Open Data and OpenStreetMap. He primarily explores how open mapping infrastructure can be expanded in Nepal and how open map data can be used to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Manoj KC

Finance Director

Manoj KC is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India and the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nepal. He has been working as a financial consultant for KLL from the very inception of the company and fittingly has now joined us as our Finance Director. His wide range of experience in the financial sector and non-government sector means that we are able to work on projects with a firm belief that we are meeting the most stringent level of financial regulations.

Manoj Thapa

Data

Manoj brings Management Science perspective and several years of working experience to make sure that everyone at KLL gets whatever they need in order to achieve their goals. Also as the first choice goalkeeper of the KLL Futsal team, he keeps the opponents from scoring their goals during the matches.

 

Manoj was introduced to OpenStreetMap in August, 2012. Overcoming the fear of OSM jargons in the initial working days, Manoj has cleared his way to becoming a veteran mapper. 

 

Manoj has already earned the title of OSM Guru according to OSM linfiniti.

Nama Raj Budhathoki, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Budhathoki brings a unique blend of experience from government, nonprofit, and academic sectors. Nama is the Executive Director of KLL and plays a critical role in developing OpenStreetMap community and creating an ecosystem around open data in Nepal.

 

Nama earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with focus in OpenStreetMap. Following the doctoral degree, he worked at McGill University as a postdoctoral research fellow and then at Niti Foundation as the Director of programs. He has authored over a dozen journal papers and book chapters. His studies and works have been funded mainly by the US government, Canadian government, Dutch Government, and Yahoo! Inc. His co-edited book titled Youth Community Inquiry: New Media for Community and Personal Growth was published in 2014.

Nirab Pudasaini

Tech and Innovation

Nirab builds various mobile and web based civic tech solutions across diverse application areas like disaster risk reduction, environment, agriculture and governance. In close collaboration with the Executive Director and Project Managers he works to conceptualize, plan, develop and implement technological solutions to pressing problems.

Nirab has over five years of experience developing mobile applications using Android Native and other cross platform technologies. After the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, he led the development of mobile application which was used to collect over 5 million records across 31 earthquake affected districts for the National Housing Reconstruction Program. Nirab loves to mentor young developers and is managing the growth of the next generation of mobile developers at Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL). He has provided several Android application development training to Geomatics Engineering students.

Nirab is an active contributor to the FOSS and Open Data ecosystem and currently leads the tech team at Kathmandu Living Labs. He was selected as a School of Data fellow among 650 worldwide applicants. Nirab is an active OpenStreetMap contributor and represented Nepal as its country presenter in State of the Map Asia 2017 conference.

Paras Shrestha

Graphics and Design

Paras joined KLL in January last year as a HelpDesk officer. Soon his demonstrated aptitute for arts earned him a spot in graphics and design. Currently, he is the brain behind how KLL's products - both print and online - should look aesthetically.


When he is not designing UI elements, he is found to be engrossed in photohshop, illustrator, sketching and playing guitar.

Prabhat Raj Dahal

Environment and Earth Science Expert

Born and raised in Kathmandu, Prabhat is an Environmental Engineer with specialization in Environmental Informatics. He has a M.Sc. degree in Earth System Science from University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. Currently, he is involved in the JabikMap project as Modelling and Spatial Data Expert and is stationed at IUCN-Nepal. His passion for music and philosophy takes up most of his free time and though stationed at IUCN-Nepal he comes to KLL office to work and meet his colleagues every Sunday.

Roshan Paudel

GIS Analysis

Roshan is a Geomatics Engineer interested in the field of open data and open source software. In June of 2016, Roshan started working for KLL as an intern. After completing his bachelor’s degree he joined KLL as its GIS Officer in December of 2016. He is an OSM volunteer and trainer who has introduced the concept of open mapping to hundreds of students of western Nepal.

 

His academic interests remain mapping using modern technologies such as Remote Sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Photo Mapping. Roshan is interested in creating mpas that accurately reflect the conditions and problems of the society in the simplest and easiest format. He strongly believes that maps like these will change the society for the better!

Ritika Singh

Socio Technical Research

Ritika is a research enthusiast with focus on civic engagement. She recently completed her Masters in International Relations from Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Germany. Her broader interests include gendered and non-gendered aspects of civil wars as well as international humanitarian intervention. Her life in civil conflict ridden Nepal, background in social work and work as a counselor with Bhutanese refugees further developed her interests. She is an avid listener of podcasts, a voracious reader and a mostly tuneless singing enthusiast. She describes herself as gender equity advocate, amateur writer and animal lover.

 

Here at KLL, she is engaged in working with research in CS:MAP and PEER Science projects. She brings in expertise of methodology and theoretical perspectives in her work. She has newfound appreciation for the way technology is changing lives, and wants to be in the forefront of research on its possible impact in the way citizens and governments function.

Saurav Bhattarai

Web Development

Saurav Bhattarai is a web developer at Kathmandu Living Labs working in the design and implementation of backend system architecture. He has worked on a number of civic-tech projects like Open Local Government Digital System (official municipality portals consisting of web and mobile apps), Open Data Portal (system that visualizes massive data collected after Nepal Earthquake 2015), Sajha Sabha (a system to gather, solicit, document and share hyperlocal issues by employing web and mobile technology for community engagement), JaibikMap (a map based tool to show impact of climate change on different species and their habitat) and Prepare Pokhara (municipal portal geared towards emergency preparedness in Pokhara-Lekhnath Sub-Metropolitan City).

 

Trained as an engineer from Kathmandu University, he comes with algorithmic and analytical mindset. With over three years of learning and experience as a web developer, he is well equipped with broad skill set in backend technology. He has experience working with various types of databases (PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis, MySQL) and range of backend frameworks (NodeJS, Django, PHP). He feels that the use of technology without any social impact is futile. Thus, he is more inclined in making use of technical skills to address pressing issues in local communities and this is what motivates him to create robust and scalable systems designed to meet these needs.

Sazal Sthapit

Projects Manager

Sazal has more than half a decade’s experience in designing and executing ICT interventions in multi-stakeholder projects. He has experience in coordinating projects with local government institutions (e.g. Open Local Government Digital System). This intervention is designed to foster mutual accountability and transparency between local government and citizens by use of web and mobile technology.

 

He also coordinated a complex government project in which KLL rendered technical support to the CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics), the NRA (National Reconstruction Authority), MoFAGA (Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration), and the NPC (National Planning Commission). The project also included a number of private and donor organizations, and is believed to be the world’s largest post-disaster mobile survey. In addition, his work portfolio includes managing projects for international organizations including the US Embassy (Water Health Data Platform for crowdsourcing and visualizing water quality in 8 South-Asian cities), DFID (Open Data Portal for interactive visualization of post-earthquake socio-economic data), and the World Bank (Structural Integrity and Damage Assessment of schools in the earthquake-affected districts).

 

He is currently the Project Manager for a USAID project (CS:MAP - Civil Society: Mutual Accountability Project) designed to foster mutual accountability and transparency between government, civil society and citizens in an attempt to strengthen Nepal’s newly restructured democracy. He specifically co-designs and implements socio-technical ICTs tools in coordination with municipalities and grass-root CSOs

Shukadev Amgain

Socio-Technical Research

Shukadev is an ardent student of digital revolution in the developing countries and its impact on culture and socio-economy of the communities. Since his days in the University of Bergen, Norway, he is intrigued to understand how technological artifacts emerge from specific cultural settings and what impact those technologies have on the development of the society. He joined KLL as a Socio-Technical Research Analyst and is heavily involved in uncovering appropriate ICT tools which fit in the hyper-local context of Nepali communities.  

Shukadev has a passion for social media and text analysis using machine learning techniques. He invests his leisure time in hiking, photographing.

Sujan Gautam

Finance Officer

Before joining KLL Sujan worked at Yeti Fabrics as an accountant. During this time, he also completed his Chartered Accountant Professional-I certification to add to his Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies. At KLL Sujan is best known for his positive and let’s get it done attitude. He works hard to manage the organization’s finances as well as the spirits of the staff my ensuring timely work-social gatherings. Sujan loves to travel and along with Finance Director Manoj KC, makes the impenetrable centre back pairing of the KLL futsal team.

Sushma Giri

Mobile Application Development

Sushma discovered her passion for programming in C Language class. She works as an Android programmer at KLL and soon wants to morph into a full stack developer.

 

A tech enthusiast herself, she is also an active member and designated monthly meetup coordinator at Women Leaders in Technology (WLiT) - a group dedicated to girls in technology. Sushma found her newfound love for OpenStreetMap after joining KLL and has been a vocal proponent of its use through the apps she develops and the meet-ups she conducts.

Swarnim Wagle

Distinguished Senior Fellow

Swarnim Waglé is an economist who served as the 24th Vice-Chair of the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the Government of Nepal. He led the NPC from August 2017 to February 2018, prior to which he served as a Member of the Commission for 28 months at two different periods between 2014 and 2017. 

 

From a position with a rank equivalent to a minister, Dr. Waglé headed the Government’s apex policy advisory body with a 60-year history and 350 staff. He advised on the formulation of national development strategies ranging from macro-economics to climate change, human capital to infrastructure; coordinated policy across the public sector; monitored major national projects; and led several ministerial delegations on the international stage. In the aftermath of the Great Nepal Earthquake of 2015 and the Flood of 2017, Dr. Waglé co-led the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and helped garner billions of US dollars in pledges.


Dr. Waglé worked as an international development professional for more than 15 years on policy assignments in over 20 countries, most recently as Senior Economist at The World Bank in Washington, D.C. He has published several flagship reports and papers in areas spanning public finance, trade and investment. At the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), he co-authored the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South.” From 2002 to 2007, he co-led the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Initiative.

 

Dr. Waglé serves on the Senate of Kathmandu University (2017-2019) and as advisor to several non-profit organizations. He has undertaken short-term assignments at the Asian Development Bank (Manila) and the International Trade Center (Geneva). Having been the South Asia editor of Harvard Asia Quarterly (1999-2000) and a regular broadcaster on BBC Nepali Service, he maintains an interest in current affairs. 


Dr. Waglé holds a PhD in Economics from the Australian National University, an MPA in International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard University, and a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics. He was born in Bungkot, Gorkha.

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