Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL) is a pioneer civic-tech enterprise. It was founded in 2013 to further the OpenStreetMap (OSM) movement. KLL believes in harnessing the power of open-source technology for improving the lives of people. We aim to challenge the status quo of the knowledge production paradigm, in which a vast majority of the people in the world are excluded.
KLL has built and sustained OSM communities of thousands of people from Nepal and countries across Asia. The organization’s work spans across diverse sectors, including climate change and resilience, youth development and skill-building, civic engagement, map-based surveys, and digital governance. KLL has built and sustained a community of thousands of volunteers, partners, and supporters that spans across the globe.
The foundations for KLL were laid in a project that predates KLL. In 2012/2013, a team mapped all the schools and health facilities in Kathmandu valley, and open the database for public access through OpenStreetMap. The data would primarily be used by the World Bank for assessing earthquake vulnerability of these buildings, but because that data was open, it could potentially be used by any other individuals or institutions for any purpose they deem fit. KLL was later formed by these team members because we believed such ‘work once, and put to multiple creative uses’ should be the new, effective model of development.
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