Our Team

Aishworya Shrestha

Research Assistant

Aishworya is a research assistant working under the PEER Science Project at KLL. She is a social science researcher with a background in Social Work and Major English. Her major interest lies in using technology for the betterment of the society. She believes that societal needs should be at the center of any technological advancement. Her prior works include being a wheelchair basketball coach, a school social worker and an adult literacy teacher.  

 

At KLL, she studies the social dimension of OpenStreetMap. If not researching the humane dimensions of technology, you would find her powerlifting at the gym. She likes to call herself an amateur researcher, wannabe social worker, a gym enthusiast and an avid learner, hoping to create a better society through the use of technology.

Arogya Koirala

Tech and Innovation Lead

Arogya is the Tech and Innovation lead 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

Senior Developer

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.

Hel Nershing Thapa

Junior Developer

Hel is a Junior Developer here at KLL. He recently graduated from Kathmandu University, with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Hel takes a scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications and is fascinated by how the future of technology will continue to revolutionize our lives. 

 

When he is not working, he likes looking at memes and playing computer/mobile games. He considers himself a ‘forever student’, eager to build both on his academic foundations and stay in tune with the latest technologies through continued coursework and professional development.

 

Ichchha Moktan

Developer

Ichchha, is a mobile application developer who is always fascinated by the power of mobile apps to make people’s lives easier. She loves the visual side of the apps - its aesthetic perception, interactivity, and presentation. She thinks challenges lead to learning and wants to face challenges everyday so, that she can learns and grow.

 

With her strong belief in empowering and increasing women’s participation in the tech field, she has been involved in an organization called Women Leaders in Technology (WLiT) since 2016 as a fellow, program coordinator, mentor and now a board member. Her aim with the organization has been to inspire, empower, educate and mentor young women in tech field. She will be elevating this work while working at KLL.

 

Apart from this, she enjoys solo reflective walks and listening to people's stories.

 

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

He is currently on a study sabbatical, pursuing his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina. His research interest is in using geospatial data science for energy planning.

Manoj Thapa

Open Mapper

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.

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.

Nama Raj Budhathoki, Ph.D.

Executive Chairman

Dr. Budhathoki brings a unique blend of experience from government, nonprofit, and academic sectors. Nama is the Executive Chairman 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

Remote Advisor

Nirab is currently on an academic sabatical pursuing a degree in Master of Science in Public Sector Innovation and eGovernance at Leuven. He 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 Chairman and Project Managers he works to conceptualize, plan, develop and implement technological solutions to pressing problem

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. Currently, he is pursuing his Masters Degree in Public Sector Innovation and E-Governance, a joint program of KU Leuven (Belgium), University of Munster (Germany) and Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia).

 

Rabin Ojha

Junior GIS Analyst

Rabin Ojha is currently working as a member of the Mapping and Disaster Team in Kathmandu Living Labs. He holds an undergraduate degree in Geomatics Engineering from the Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Rabin started the journey with KLL as a digital intern. His major interest is in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing. He also regularly contributes to OpenStreetMap to make sure open geographic platforms can be used in everyday navigation as well as in the time of disasters. 


When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, he spends most of his time playing football, reading and wandering around.

Roshan Paudel

GIS Analyst

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!

Samyoga Bhattarai

Junior Developer

Samyoga has been working as a mobile application developer for KLL and is passionate to learn and grow with the emerging world of technology.


She is a recent graduate in computer engineering and loves to make doodles and read novels during her leisure time. She is also an alumna at Women Leaders in Technology and is active when it comes to creating an impact on society.


She is eager to learn and explore her capabilities and now strives for excellence towards personal and professional development.

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

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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