WHO IS BIBHUSAN BISTA?
Bibhusan Bista is the CEO and co-founder of YoungInnovations, a software development firm based in Nepal. With a background in technology, research and international development, he has led successful projects around open data, transparency, accountability and other development issues in collaboration with local and international partners.
Bibhusan is an active member of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) technical advisory group and has been part of similar initiatives such as the open data movement in Nepal, through the OpenNepal consortium, and the first open data portal for Nepal.
Prior to YoungInnovations, Bibhusan worked with Bellanet, an IDRC project, and SAP International, a regional INGO in South Asia. Bibhusan is also a part-time faculty at Kathmandu College of Management.
You can connect with Bibhusan here:
IN TOR 037 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- Bibhusan, a two-way developer who unexpectedly ended up as a programmer after signing only with international development clients.
- The problems innovators face in achieving impact with little influence, against policymakers not too open-minded about change; and the efforts people like Bibhusan
have made to bridge the gap.
- His satisfactions throughout his IT career in Nepal, the state of the infrastructure and the surprisingly competitive talent you can find throughout East Asia.
- Some thoughts of the future of ICTs in development, open data and upcoming challenges for the international development field.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)
- Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)
- Collaborative platforms
- IT innovation
- Impact reporting
- IATI standards
- IT infrastructure
- IT talent pools
- Flat hierarchy
- Open Data and Open Source
- Kathmandu, Nepal
- Costa Rica
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
What Bibhusan does
A two way developer (international and software).
Did not think he would become a programmer, but got a job after school on an ICT project.
Online forums for development projects and teams. Ongoing question about ICT’s best uses, and a collaborative platform “A little before its time.“
Innovators are at the beginning, policymakers at the end of the curve
The gap is narrowing and innovators are gaining influence.
But there are different faces and the gap is still there.
Bibhusan enjoys both work, even more so when he can devise new technological ways. He is an entrepreneur at heart, enjoys working with undergrad students.
No big plans, just wanting to play and get something done.
Bibhusan’s clients and projects
Did not intend to focus in development, they just kept coming.
Now dedicated solutions for international development have arisen.
He likes all of his projects, but has a special place for AidStream, a resource transfer initiative across several countries. It’s a standard for impact reporting, it works with projects of all sizes. ITAI standards compatible.
Reporting is still too conventional. Bibhusan wants to use SMS and a platform, and envisions a toll-free line for monitoring.
Used for violence against women, then government or Nepal police uses it.
There is a lot more infrastructure, community and talent than people give it recognition.
It is expensive, and there are energy downtimes.
Skills are there, people overcome the rest of the challenges.
Bibhusan organizing his time
A good team with co-founders and managers.
“We cannot be competing all the time.” Mostly based on referrals.
Bibhusan gets invited to conferences a lot. “That’s a very good market.“
Flat hierarchy, but there are processes in place. There are thematic (IT) teams and project teams.
Bibhusan bridges the gaps between projects and technology. Lots of emails.
Time of BSOD
“There are more failures than successes.” Projects often have a wrong scope at start.
It’s okay to take a look back, but without losing focus.
Future, challenges, future challenges
“There is some sort of plan, but path changes on what comes.“
Explosion in international data products and services.
Transparency, Open Data, Open Source and building capacity and communities on the local level. Expansion in South Asia, Africa.
Replicate current successes with ICTs, expand talent pool.
Challenge: “Keep rising the expectations of what is possible, and living up to them,” for partners, workers, people, even at the international level.
Work is the only way to overcome challenge.
“Be the best in what you do.” Sharpen your skills permanently.
Be passionate. Focus. Be adaptive.
Please share, participate and leave feedback below!
If you have any feedback you’d like to share for me or Bibhusan, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below! I read all of them and will definitely take part in the conversation.
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