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LIRNEasia Fellow to speak at APrIGF 2017

LIRNEasia research fellow, Nuwan Waidyanatha, will be part of a panel discussion on ‘Rapidly Reconnecting the Disconnected in Disasters‘ at the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum to be held in Bangkok from 26 to 29 July, 2017.

The session, titled “Cry for Help!” is meant to expose participants to low-cost, easy-to-use tech and foster an environment which challenges experts through dialogue and participatory exercises.

“Rapid Restoration of Access to Telecommunication” (RREACT) – AP is highly susceptible to disasters. Telecommunications, as a critical infrastructure, is vital for crisis management. Disasters are known to bring down telecoms and disconnect the public from being able to “cry for help”, a deprived human right. Harmonizing with the Sustainable Development Goals, especially for communications resilience. For such RREACT programs are an important element. In spite of various programs that are in place, there are always operational, policy and regulatory barriers, more so than technical, that prevents RREACT programs from coming to life during crises.

Nuwan has evaluated national emergency communication systems in India, Timor-Leste, and Nepal. He leads the implementation of the Sahana Alert and Messaging Broker in Myanmar, Maldives, and the Philippines; a project funded by UNESCP Trust Fund for Tsunami and Climate Change, aiming to improve their cross-agency situational-awareness and the institutional responsiveness.

As a Senior Researcher/Project Director, he led LIRNEasia’s mobile health-related (mHealth) project: Evaluating a Real-Time Biosurveillance Program for the rapid detection and mitigation of public health events using low-cost technologies. Before that, he was the Researcher/Project Manager for LIRNEasia’s disaster related project: Evaluating Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination in Sri Lanka (also termed as the HazInfo project), which was a community-based early warning pilot that adopted wireless technologies for bridging the last-mile.

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