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


LIRNEasia is a pro-poor, pro-market think tank. What this means is that we are in favor of decentralized innovation, including through competitive markets, to enhance the lives of the poor. Everything we do has to have benefits for the poor.

Our mission statement:

Catalyzing policy change through research to improve people’s lives in the emerging Asia Pacific by facilitating their use of hard and soft infrastructures through the use of knowledge, information and technology

LIRNEasia, incorporated under Sri Lankan law as a non-profit organization, was launched in September 2004 during the World Dialogue on Regulation Expert Forum in Sri Lanka. LIRNEasia is governed by a Board of Directors.

what we do

We conduct in-depth, policy-relevant research on infrastructure industries including ICT sectors. Our work extends to other sectors such as agriculture and health which can benefit the poorest citizens of the Asia Pacific. We document regional good practices. We then disseminate independent, actionable knowledge, to policy makers, regulators, service providers and the media. We help form policy intellectuals and, on request, provide short-term advisory assistance.

We emphasize Asia Pacific expertise but are not exclusive about it. We have, on many occasions, contributed towards the removal of barriers to access to ICTs for the people of Asia.

why we do it

Enormous amounts of money are invested annually in ICTs. The potential of ICTs for economic and social progress is substantial though they aren’t, in themselves, necessarily the answer to higher incomes and a better life. Combined with other factors, ICTs provide means to improve people’s capabilities and knowledge so that they may better their lives.

The Asia Pacific is seen as driving the global economy, yet within it lies South Asia, home to the world’s largest concentration of poor people. Some of the world’s highest ICT industry performers belong to the region, as well as some of the lowest.

LIRNEasia is working across the Asia-Pacific to change this situation.

Currently, the majority of LIRNEasia ’s programs are funded by:

Department for International Development (DFID), UK

LIRNEasia has previously received funding from:


LIRNEasia partners with:

who we are

“We aim to build a virtual organization that will one day make working from Bhutan as easy as working from this office. We will work in teams; we will work flexibly and we will work effectively. The organization centered on this office will help each person work to their full capacity; it will be a learning organization; a place where creativity is valued and debate encouraged. It will not be a place to clock in and out from; to engage in office intrigue; or to worry about the next promotion. It will add to your productivity, not drain it.” – Rohan, LIRNEasia office opening in 2004

LIRNEasia started off with two full-time staff and an executive director. We were housed in a 15x20ft office under the shade of an ancient Suriya mara (Albizia odoratissima) tree at the back of the parking lot at SLIDA (Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration).

Neither our size nor our location limited our possibilities in any way.

Today, we are a family of nearly 40 people who are an integral part of the work of this organization. Fifteen people, whom we call “staff” work out of our Colombo office on a full or part-time basis. More than 30 others work with us as external researchers and consultants from different parts of the globe. The Scientific Advisory Councils provide strategic guidance for our research projects.

With a small administrative core, much of our work is facilitated through extended networks across the Asia Pacific. The value of this is parallel to that of networks according to Metcalfe’s law: the total value of a network is greater than the sum of the number of its users.

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