Hi, my name is Prabhas Pokharel. I am a student of how design and technology can create social impact, particularly in the developing world.
At the moment, I am a graduate student at Stanford University’s Design Program, where I am learning how to become a more human-centered designer.
Before this, I have worked for many years using technology and data to create positive social impact in the developing world.
- With Kathmandu Living Labs, I helped open map information in Nepal become more relevant to disaster relief after the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal.
- With Ona, I created dynamically generated data visualizations for survey data collected using mobile phones. These visualizations are generated using a point-and-click and derive their complexity from the original survey definition, thus making data visualization much more accessible to non-technical users.
- At the Sustainaible Engineering Lab at Columbia University, I created software- and data-based systems to make international development smarter. I was in charge of making sure that the systems and software our team designed met real needs on the ground. A major project here was to help the an arm of the Nigerian federal government to interface with local government actors using a shared data interface. I project managed many of our open source software projects, including Formhub, formhub.R, NMIS, Bamboo and others.
- I collaborate in many ways with the Open Data and Open Technology communities in Nepal. In 2012, I helped create the Monsoon Collective, a month-long makerspace to create interventions in Kathmandu. Since, I’ve worked on projects like Yatayat (a product of the collective), NepalMaps, and OSMTimeLapseR. I also participate in many communities like OpenDataNepal, OpenStreetMap-Nepal and Developers Nepal.
- In 2010/1, I worked with UNICEF Kosovo to help set up the UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo, which has gone on to become much bigger and better. Blog posts from that time are archived in the “Kosovo” section of the blog.
- Finally, in what feels like ancient history, I studied Computer Science at Harvard University, with a focus on programming languages and algorithms. I was also lucky to be mentored and taught by folks like Esther Duflo, Amy Smith, and Chris Csikszentmihalyi at MIT.