Over the past seven years, LIRNEasia has been engaged in a capacity-development exercise in the form of CPRsouth [Communication Policy Research south]. The objective has been the development of policy intellectuals, or informed and motivated outsiders to the ICT policy and regulatory process (though reflective practitioners from within the system have not been excluded). LIRNEasia, along with others, has also tried to build capacity for reform among those within the triangle through formal training and similar activities.
CPRsouth did not seek to directly change the behaviors of actors within the triangles. The intellectuals who were formed or influenced by CPRsouth would, it was hoped, form or become parts of issue networks that would advance the public interest by initiating or sustaining reform. Since the effort has also been seen as an action-research project, CPRsouth is unusually well documented, not only in terms of internal performance metrics, but also in relation to similar efforts in the US and Europe.
The time is opportune to crystallize the learnings from the action-research represented by the eight CPRsouth conferences and related activities. The objective is not to distil the lessons for ICT policy and regulation or to assess the efficacy of CPRsouth in terms of persons trained or policy influence, but to see what can be learned from the model for any sector where the public will be served by a change for the better from the dysfunctional status quo. The method is a workshop with the participation of senior and experienced persons who have been engaged in different forms of capacity development in sectors with which LIRNEasia has had some level of engagement.
The workshop, attended by over 20 senior experts in fields such as agriculture, education, electricity and solid waste management, in addition to our partners in the communication policy research space, will be held 16-18 May 2014 at Heritage Kandalama, Dambulla.