LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Broadband Policy Course in India: Applications are being called for Indian citizens residing in the country to participate in the course held from 16th to 19th December 2016. For more details see announcement.

Showcasing Big Data and Machine Learning work at OpenAI SOCML 2016

I was competitively selected to attend the Self-Organizing Conference on Machine Learning 2016 organized by OpenAI which was held in San Francisco on October 7-8, 2016. OpenAI is a non-profit artificial intelligence (AI) research company initiated by Elon Musk and top research scientists in AI and machine learning (ML) to promote safe and friendly AI. […]

Sharing insights on online freelancing at Dialog’s #FreelancerSL 2.0


  eZ Cash organized an event titled FreelancerSL 2.0 at Dialog auditorium on 23rd October 2016. The aim of this event was to educate the local freelancers about the opportunities on freelancing and on how to get in to online freelancing. LIRNEasia’s shared key findings of the nationally representative survey conducted among 16-40 year olds […]

Broader implications of our online freelancing work in an op-ed


As part of the Inclusive Information Society research, we at LIRNEasia were in the process of interrogating the labor force and related data. Then there was this headline about there being no need for one million jobs when only 400,000 people were unemployed. Two days later, the op-ed refuting the absurdity of comparing one million […]

Iraq standing firmer with new (inter)national backbone

Iraq has engaged Cisco to build a terrestrial optical network up to Turkey. Dubbed as “The Iraqi National Backbone” it will reach most major Iraqi cities. It will be available to the public as the new official internet service provider (ISP) for Iraq. The new network is an alternative to existing submarine networks that reached […]

Critical challenges facing Sri Lanka discussed with young politicians from Finland and Sri Lanka

Last week, there was a two-day gathering of young politicians from Finland and Sri Lanka outside Colombo, in Usvetakeyiyava. The only common factor was age. Both sides had multiple political parties represented among them. I was asked to discuss the current political and economic situation in the country. I discussed some of the key challenges […]

Catalyzing online entrepreneurship in Jaffna


One member of the above-capacity audience at the Jaffna Managers’ Forum event on “Online freelancing as a gateway to the service sector” wanted to know why we were not providing detailed, how-to instructions on the use of Fiverr and similar platforms. He appeared to have trouble with the concept of a think tank that was […]

Sarvodaya Stewardship Towards a Crisis Response SOP


The two-day workshop (Oct 17 & 18, 2016) in Moratuwa, invited Sarvodaya members from Batticaloa, Colombo, Gampaha, and Kegalle Districts. These participants have first-hand experience responding to the 2016 Western floods & landslide and the 2015 Northeast floods, in Sri Lanka. The objective was to share their tacit knowledge on taking a holistic and practical approach to […]

Sharing our BD4D experiences with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

I was invited to speak to the staff of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Seville last Tuesday (11th October 2016). Their colleagues from Ispra, Italy joined in via video conference as well. I talked about LIRNEasia’s experiences and lessons in leveraging big data for public purposes. The slides that I used are […]

Talking about big data @ the University of Sri Jayewardenepura

We have been engaging with local universities from the start of our big data work, not just to source researchers and collaborators, but also to broaden the horizons of students. That big data can be leveraged for public purposes is not something that they had previously thought of till we arrived on the scene. This week […]

Workshop on ‘Shaping a research and policy agenda on big data for sustainable development in the Global South’

LIRNEasia in partnership with the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) convened a two-day workshop to discuss a ‘research and policy agenda on big data for sustainable development in the Global South.’ The workshop held in Madrid on the 8th and 9th of October 2016, was a side event of the International Open Data Conference […]

India Connected: Book and a panel discussion


It appears that Govt of India is excited about the digital India, specially the use of social media. Last week, I had the pleasure of listening to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Col Rajvardhan Rathore who released the book entitled, ‘India Connected’. In his short speech he highlighted the importance of social media and […]

Nuwan Waidyanatha assists Sarvodaya develop SOPs for disaster response


LIRNEasia has worked with Sarvodaya, one of Sri Lanka’s well-established community-based organizations, since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. As part of our HazInfo project, they established a disaster response unit and embedded resilience as part of their work plans and training. They had come to think that the government would take the lead in providing […]

LIRNEasia ongoing work on using big data to predict spread of infectious disease at Commonwealth Medical Conference

global connectivity

Ideally, we would have had findings. But we are in the middle of research, so what we can present is work in progress: problems that have been faced; those that have been solved; those we’re still working on; etc. Hopefully, once we get our hands on the needed epidemiological data we will present findings in […]

Six billion without access to broadband?


Yesterday, while I was moderating a panel on ICT policy and regulation, SDGs and inclusion at IIC 2016 in Bangkok, I was surprised to hear from a speaker representing the Alliance for Affordable Internet that “six billion people were without access to broadband.” I wrote it down. In subsequent comments I said the six billion […]

Disbursement rates of universal service funds to be discussed at IIC conference in Bangkok


I and many others have been critical about the performance of universal service funds. One of the main criticisms has been their inability to efficiently disburse the collected funds. Having USD billions stagnating in these funds does not make any sense. In previous comments I have simply referred to the massive accumulations in the Indian […]


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