Digital Internship and Leadership (DIAL)

Status: Ongoing

Highlights: 2nd cohort trained | 135, 448 map edits | 132,215 buildings digitized | 3,106 km of roads mapped


Problem and Context

As we move through the 21st century, our social, economic and environmental challenges are evolving and becoming more complex. These challenges stem from, and reside at, the intersections of more than one discipline. On the other hand, Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) is becoming ubiquitous and transcending these disciplinary boundaries.

The emerging social, technological, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century and the opportunities of the digital revolution means that there also needs to be a gradual shift from traditional, physical volunteerism to more contemporary, digital contributions. In order to tackle these challenges and re-align our resources with the shift, a strong pool of digital volunteers that can understand data and use technology is needed. However, very few initiatives have addressed this shift and moved ahead with the trend of digital volunteerism. Thus there is a dearth of trained resources who can contribute, conceptualize and advocate on technology for development and problem solving.

Our Contribution

A DIAL (Digital Internship and Leadership) program is a three months long extensive internship program that equips young (under)graduates with a broad understanding of open data, technology, civic learning and prepares them to be the next generation of leaders in open data movement. DIAL is one of the capacity building initiatives under Digital Volunteers initiative.

‘Digital Volunteers’ is a platform initiated by Kathmandu Living Labs that encourages, empowers and engages Nepali citizens, (particularly youth) willing to contribute their digital skills for the digital development of Nepal.

Why Digital Internship and Leadership program?

Each cohort of DIAL receives rigorous training on a wide range of digital tools with particular emphasis on OpenStreetMap (OSM). In addition, they will also receive mentorship on career and leadership development from a group of national and international experts.

What do Digital Interns do?

Digital interns contribute to expand a free, editable, digital map of Nepal using OpenStreetMap. The core tasks include:

  • Creating digital maps of critical infrastructures of three geographical areas (Terai, Hills & Mountains).
  • Collecting field data using OSM tools, and tools that are developed by Kathmandu Living Labs.
  • Validating and correcting mapping done by other fellow mappers.
  • Conducting community based research and report writings.
  • Meeting face to face with your mentors, experts and fellow mappers periodically, and co-learning from each others’ experiences.


Where do the Digital Interns work from?

Digital Interns have the flexibility of working from their homes or any other place they prefer with occasional fieldwork and scheduled meet-ups at KLL. However, they need to be physically present during the first week of their internship for orientation and training. Their mentors will keep in touch and follow the work online throughout the internship period.

How long is the internship?

Three Months.

Are we taking new interns now?

We have successfully concluded 3 DIAL cohorts. We will let you know when cohort 4 starts. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, you can check out our blog posts from cohort 2.

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