INET Kathmandu 2016

Learning Lessons from Nepal - Embracing ICTs for Disaster Management

According to the 2015 ‘Disasters without Borders’ report of UN ESCAP, countries in Asia and the Pacific region have borne the lion’s share of natural disasters. Over 40 per cent of the 3,979 disasters that occurred globally between 2005 and 2014 occurred in this region, resulting in the loss of half a million people. This represents almost 60 per cent of the total global deaths related to disasters; more than 1.4 billion people were affected by these disasters, constituting 80 per cent of those affected globally.

Natural disasters not only cause dramatic loss of human lives and property but also have a lasting impact on the economy which sometimes takes several years to recover from. In April 2015, an earthquake of 7.6 magnitude in Nepal left nearly 9,000 people dead and destroyed over half a million homes as well infrastructure. This massive destruction has also had an impact on Nepal’s bid to advance from the status of a least developed country to a developing country by 2022.

During such times, disaster management efforts function on several levels, including first responders, humanitarian relief services and on-time assistance to affected communities. At all levels, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) play a significant role in getting the right information to the right people at the right time. This is often critical in order to save lives and reduce losses. Availability of a robust information management system supported by ICTs is critical to support the constant flow of vital information required for disaster management activities.

INET Kathmandu brought together International agencies and local stakeholders involved inemergency planning, emergency services, disaster management and related work, to:

  • Learn from the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal
  • Share regional developments, experiences and information
  • Discuss emerging paradigms in disaster risk reduction
  • Propose future mechanisms, critical infrastructure and dependencies for disaster management in the short and long term horizons.


Day 1: 17 March 2016
7:00 PMINET Kathmandu Opening Reception
Day 2: 18 March 2016
9:30 AMOpening Plenary
Welcome Note:
Babu Ram Aryal, President, Internet Society Nepal Chapter
Key Note:
Mr. Digambar Jha, Chairman, Nepal Telecommunication Authority
Opening Note:
Rajnesh Singh, Regional Bureau Director, Internet Society
Chief Guest:
Sherdhan Rai, Honorable Minister for ICT
Opening Vote of Thanks:
Er. Binod Dhakal, President, Federation of Computer Association Nepal
10:00 AMSession I: Investigation – Nepal Earthquake 2015
Moderator: Professor Dr. Govind Pokharel, Former Vice Chair, National Planning Commission

Speaker 1 – Ananda Raj Khanal, Director, NTA
Speaker 2 – Dr. Surya Narayan Shrestha, Deputy Executive Director, NSET
Speaker 3 – Dr. Rajib Subba, DIG, Nepal Police
11:15 AMCoffee Break
11:45 AMPanel I: Deliberation – Role of ICTs and Emerging Paradigms in Disaster Management
Moderator: Naveed Haq, Regional Manager for Chapter Development, Internet Society

Panelist 1 – Amitabh Singhal, Board of Directors, Public Internet Registry
Panelist 2 – Meghan Sattler, Communications with Communities Advisor, Emergency Telecommunication Cluster
Panelist 3 – Mahabir Pun, Founder, Nepal Wireless Networking Project
Panelist 4 – Suman Basnet, Regional Coordinator, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters
1:00 PMLunch
2:00 PMSession II: Learning – Best practices for Risk reduction, Rapid response and recovery
Moderator: Mr. Madhu Acharya, Senior Radio Journalist and Country Representative, Internews

Speaker 1 – Leila Puutio, Communication Manager, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
Speaker 2 – Dr. Nama Raj Budhathoki, Executive Director, Kathmandu Living Labs
Speaker 3 – Sonam Dukda, Associate Economic Officer, ESCAP
3:15 PMCoffee Break
3:45 PMPanel II: Framing – Future strategy, Critical infrastructure and Dependencies in the short and long term
Moderator: Nick Ashton-Hart, Executive Director, Internet & Digital Ecosystem Alliance

Panelist 1 – Er. Anup Nepal, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Government of Nepal
Panelist 2 – Bettina G. Quimson, Deputy Executive Director, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of Philippines
Panelist 3 – Rajnesh Singh, Regional Bureau Director, Internet Society
Panelist 4 – Suman Lal Pradhan, President, ISP Association of Nepal
5:00 PMClosing Plenary
Closing Address: Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada, Vice Chairman, National Planning Commission
Vote of Thanks: Bikram Shrestha, Internet Society Nepal Chapter


Nuwan Waidyanatha
Senior Research Fellow, LIRNEasia

Nuwan Waidyanatha is a LIRNEasia Senior Research Fellow and a Sahana Software Foundation Board Director. He has strong credentials in emergency communication systems; especially, the development and deployment of early warning and first response systems. Currently, he is leading the implementation of the Sahana Alert and Messaging Broker in Myanmar, Maldives, and the Philippines aiming to improve their multi-agency situational-awareness. The research focus is on the use of low-cost ICTs and interoperability data standards. Nuwan has consulted for the International Telecommunication Union helping evaluate and recommend improvements in Indian, Nepali, Timor Leste emergency communication systems. He applies his Operations Research, Computer Engineering, and Systems Theory training, in his work, along with a Social Science touch for delivering practical solutions that make economic sense. Nuwan represents the Sahana Software Foundation in the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards and Humanitarian eXchange Language, among many other working groups.

Dr. Rajib Subba
Deputy Inspector General, Nepal Police

Dr. Rajib Subba, Deputy Inspector General, is Director of Communication Directorate, PHQ, Kathmandu. Graduated with a PhD degree from University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii, USA, Dr. Subba has published more than 10 research papers on information sciences, crisis management and human resource development including his dissertation, journal articles, and national information technology human resources development Policy and Strategy paper for National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal (2000). Based on his dissertation research he initiated several crisis management programs through social media for public service during and after the 2015 Nepal earthquake. He was aptly awarded with two recognitions in 2015 including the National Science and Technology Promotion Award by Prime Minister of Nepal, Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology.
Dr. Subba has worked extensively on ICT policy, training and capacity building, information management and publications, and consultancy services to national and international agencies including ITC-UNCTAD, APO, Shidler College of Business, Hawaii, and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. Currently Dr. Subba is a visiting faculty to Kings College, Kathmandu and teaches Organizational Leadership and Management Information Systems. He has served Computer Association of Nepal as First VP, General Secretary and Secretary; Nepal Internet Users Group as a VP; and currently serving ICTD-FNCCI as an Advisor.

Amitabh Singhal
Board of Directors, Public Internet Registry

Amitabh currently sits on the Board of .ORG, the Public Interest Registry, based in Reston, Virginia. He is the Founder/Director of Telxess Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd. He was a Founder and former President of Internet Service Providers Association of India, where he helped frame the original ISP license conditions, successfully advocated and pursued the opening of international gateways and review of bandwidth availability & pricing, amongst many other regulatory initiatives. He also was a Founder, Board Director and CEO of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). He is also associated with Internet Governance Group of the Department of IT. He was also on the Expert Group of the Prime Minister’s Committee on Telecom and IT Convergence back in 1999-2000, where he pushed to dismantle the overseas communications monopoly and usher in privatization. In 2008, he helped set up and operate the Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s 24×7 Emergency Operations Center tasked with organizing response to citizens calls on natural and/or man made disasters. Amitabh has 33 years of varied work history, including substantial nonprofit work behind him (he is also on the Boards of NGOs). He holds a Law degree, PG Diploma in Marketing and Certificate in Corporate Directorship (where his dissertation was on Exemplary Boards).

Rajnesh Singh
Regional Bureau Director for Asia-Pacific, Internet Society

Rajnesh Singh is Regional Director of the Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau at the Internet Society where he oversees projects, initiatives and activities across the Internet Society’s functional and programmatic areas in the Asia and Pacific region, including Public Policy, Capacity Building and Internet Standards and Technology. Read more

Binaya Mohan Saud
CEO, Subisu

Binaya Mohan Saud is the CEO of Subisu and also serves on its Board of Directors. He is also the founder member of Subisu. Before being named the CEO of Subisu on December 2013, Binaya was Subisu’s active Board Member and was responsible for procurement and logistical requirement of the Company including worldwide operational functions and end to end Subisu’s supply chain management.

Prior to founding Subisu, he was with K&S Enterprise as a Technical Officer – Power Department. He was also employed with Nepal Electricity Authority. He holds an Engineering Degree (Electrical and Electronics) from Bangalore University.

Dr. Govinda Raj Pokharel
Former Vice-Chair, National Planning Commission

Prof. Dr. Pokharel, the former Vice-chair of National Planning Commission led the task of preparation of Post Disaster Need Assisment (PDNA) on behalf of National Planning Commission. He is the professor of the Industrial and Mechanical Engineering Department, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal and served as Executive Director of the Alternative Energy Promotion Center and demonstrated ability in running high profile and technical outputs oriented international programs and projects (EU, DFID, KfW, ADB, WB, UNDP, UNFCCC, CIF, Dannida, Norad, SNV, Winrock International). Prof. Pokharel was also first CEO of National Reconstruction Authority, formed to rebuild the earthquake damaged area.

Meghan Sattler
Communications with Communities Specialist, Emergency Telecommunications Cluster

Meg Sattler is a humanitarian Communications with Communities (CwC) specialist, currently advising the Global Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) on the implementation of the cluster’s new strategy, which includes services for affected populations. She has several years humanitarian management, communications, accountability and training experience, having held senior roles in disaster responses in Haiti, Pakistan and across the Middle East. Prior to joining the ETC she was the national CwC coordinator for UN OCHA Iraq. She has postgraduate degrees in humanitarian management and journalism and her writing and photography have been used by various organisations and academic institutions. Before working in international humanitarian aid, she was a refugee outreach worker and writer. Meg is an expert on mission from RedR Australia, and is from Melbourne, Australia.

Beatrice G. Quimson
Deputy Executive Director, Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communications Office

Having started a homegrown solution specializing in Time and Attendance, Human Resource Management, Employee Self-Service portal and Payroll equivalent to that of SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft at affordable prices.

Ms. Quimson has been an industry leader for many years… as a board member of Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) since 2006 until June of 2013 where she headed the Government Relations committee and a board member of KLIK, which focuses on Technology for Education. She has been an IT resource person in Congress and Senate as well as serving on the Committee on Elections Advisory Council and an executive member of the National Information Communications Advisory Committee of government. Ms Quimson has been an invited speaker, judge and more importantly, a mentor in many IT-related fora. ​

Leila Puutio
Communications Manager, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center

Leila Puutio serves as Communications Manager at Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, a regional non-profit organization that works to enhance the resilience of governments and communities to natural disasters and builds their capacity to adapt to climate change. Ms. Puutio is specialized in the utilization of social media and other online communication platforms for disaster reduction. In this area of work, she has led national public information campaigns on disaster preparedness in Bangladesh and Vietnam, and trained media professionals on disaster risk reduction across the region. Prior to joining ADPC, Ms. Puutio worked as a producer for corporate communications providing communications counseling for public and private sector organizations in Scandinavia.

Mahabir Pun
Founder, Nepal Wireless Networking Project, Internet Hall of Fame Inductee

Mahabir Pun is an Internet Hall of Fame recipient, winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, and known for his extensive work in applying wireless technologies to develop remote areas of the Himalayas, also known as the Nepal Wireless Networking Project. Read more

Madhu Acharya
Ex-Country Manager, Internews

Mr. Madhu Acharya, John S. Knight Journalism Fellow, 2010-11 at Stanford University, California served Internews as Country Manager until July 2015.

Naveed Haq
Regional Development Manager, Asia-Pacific, Internet Society

Naveed Haq is the Regional Development Manager, Asia-Pacific at the Internet Society (ISOC). He works closely with both the Senior Director, Global Engagement and the Regional Bureau in Asia. Prior to joining ISOC, Naveed was working with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Government of Pakistan since 2002, most recently as Assistant Director, Information & Communication Technologies (ICT). Read more

Nick Ashton Hart
Executive Director, Internet & Digital Ecosystem Alliance

Nick Ashton-Hart has just concluded several years as the senior Geneva-based full-time representative of the technology sector to the UN, its member-states, and the international organisations in Geneva.

Dr. Nama Budhathoki
Executive Director, Kathmandu Living Labs

Dr. Budhathoki is Founder and Executive Director of Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL)—a non-for-profit civic tech company in Nepal. KLL is pioneering the work in the areas of open data and open mapping.

Sonam Dukda
Associate Economic Officer, United Nations ESCAP

Mr. Sonam Dukda has been in the ICT profession in various capacities for the last 24 years.

Suman Basnet
Regional Coordinator, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters

Suman Basnet is a media professional from Nepal. He currently serves as the Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).

Dr. Surya Narayan Shrestha
Deputy Executive Director, National Society for Earthquake Technology

Surya Narayan Shrestha has done masters in Structural Engineering from Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University and doing PhD from Tribhuvan University in Nepal with research in University of Basilicata in Italy. Mr. Shrestha is working as Deputy Executive Director of National Society for Earthquake Technology Nepal. As a structural engineer and risk reduction specialist Mr. Shrestha has worked as team leader of several programs implemented by NSET. Mr. Shrestha has more than 15 years experience in Earthquake Risk Reduction in Nepal and the region. As a Deputy Executive Director, his major responsibilities are to provide regular guidance and monitor senior professionals of NSET for the implementation of its activities and operations of NSET.

Date and Time

Thursday 17 March 2016 –

Friday 18 March 2016


Hotel Yak & Yeti

Durbar Marg, Kathmandu 44600