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

Nuwan Waidyanatha

Senior Research Fellow

A multi-dimensional dependency projected through the fano matroid (or a projective geometry in a 2-dimensional space; e.g. a Fano Plane.) is a scientifically supported  art of simplifying the universal complexities to an articulable plane.

Nuwan Waidyanatha

Nuwan Waidyanatha

Nuwan has strong credentials in emergency communication, especially with early warning and first response system research, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. He has fifteen years of experience working in the Asia Pacific Region and collaborating with Researchers and Practitioners worldwide. The research emphasis is on innovative low-cost, easy-to-use, and useful national and community-based ICT systems. The solutions involved introducing relevant policies and procedures to accompany them. He applies his Operations Research, Computer Engineering, and Systems Theory skill with social science touch for delivering practical solutions that make economic sense.

Nuwan is an editorial review board member for International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM). He has evaluated National emergency communication systems and made recommendations in support of improving National Emergency Communication Plans; Specifically for the Governments of IndiaTimor-Leste, and Nepal. The studies consider the robustness of infrastructure, ICT resilience, and emergency communication systems. He applies tools and techniques that assess the survivability and availability of telecommunications, effectiveness of business continuity plans, and integrity of real-time data exchange platforms.

Nuwan is a member of the International team, contributing in the capacity of an ICT and emergency communication expert, for upgrading the Fijian Tsunami Warning System that makes use of new-age communications (e.g. Cell Broadcast, DVB2, LEO Satellites, IOT) beyond the tradition siren tower thinking. Currently, his research interest is in transforming climate change adaptation and disaster communication related scientific information for low-literate and functionally-illiterate communities; especially making use of pictographs and visuals.Another ongoing project is assisting the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in developing their disaster response standard operating procedures.

He lead 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. The project is implementing the Common Alerting Protocol interoperable warning standards and the relevant operating procedures with concepts of formulating the “register of alerting authorities” for decentralized but observable (or monitored) and regulated alerting practices. He also emphasizes on certification regimes in his capacity building exercises. Lessons learned on the CAP protocol are fed to the de-facto CAP forum.

His work is regarded and promoted by international organizations such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Organization for the Advancement of Standardized Information Systems (OASIS), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations System for Influenza Coordination (UNSIC). Additionally, disaster management researchers and practitioners from the North Americas and the Asia Pacific consult to benefit from his grassroots and national first hand experience.

Mr. Waidyanatha has a wealth of knowledge and experience working with a multitude of ICTs. They involve mobile cellular technologies, Internet technologies, High Frequency (HF) radio spectrum data platforms, Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio Data System (RDS), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), and Satellite radio technologies. Further, experimentation hinge on the adaptation of semantic interoperability, especially, content standards and ontologies such as the OASIS managed Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL). Several studies used the EDXL’s Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and Situational Reporting (SITREP) standard for all-hazards all-media warning, alerting, incident reporting and multi-agency situational-awareness.

As a Senior Research Fellow, his current research interests are in Cyber Security to develop methods and policies for Government emergency communication data centers to better protect themselves. Nuwan was the Principal Investigator in the design, implementation, and evaluation of several noteworthy innovations in enabling voice-based systems, such as the use of Interactive Voice Response with mobile proliferation, for standardized alerting and situational reporting that is easy to use and useful for predominantly vocal, computer-illiterate, and multi-lingual societies in the developing world. Co-Investigated applying the theory of Communities of Practice and Technology Stewardship in to the Agriculture domain towards finding ways to address the sustainability issue around local innovations and low-cost information systems. This work has evolved into a Technology Stewards capacity building course.

As a Senior Researcher/Project Director, he was the Principal Investigator for the 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. Previously, he was the Researcher/Project Manager and co-Investigator for the 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. All of his projects contribute to the overall goal of developing an abstract framework for comparing and contrasting early-warning systems with an aim towards classifying early-warning systems.

Mr. Waidyanatha is a Board Director of the Sahana Software Foundation , Sahan Project Council voting member and he co-leads the Sahana Action and Research team that develops innovative, impact-based, cost-effective tools, and implements cost-effective solutions addressing disaster and humanitarian challenges world wide. He has mentored students in events such as the Google Summer of Code (since 2009) and Google Code-In (since 2010) to help the Sahana foundation with community and code developments. The relationship with Sahana provides a platform for transforming his ICT in emergency communication research in to open source tools. His devotion to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) binds him with other groups such as OpenRosa, District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2), Java Agent Development Platform (JADE), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Pubsubhuhbub group, to name a few.

He is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spot On Solutions, which provides specialized affordable “service type” information technology solutions using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and other low-cost systems, especially targeting small/medium industries and governments in low/middle income developing nations.

Nuwan advises and works very closely with the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Sri Lanka’s largest community-based development and humanitarian organization, on the use of ICT risk information exchange for community resilience. This collaboration has given rise to developing and operationalizing Sarvodaya’s Hazard Information Hub (HIH) at their Community-based Disaster Management Centre. The HIH is equipped with systems to relay government warnings to the last-mile communities and acts as a disaster management capacity building centre and laboratory for testing national ICT-based Disaster Risk Reduction systems.

He was a founding member and is a board member of the 2004 Indian Ocean post-tsunami-work volunteer group: Community Focused Disaster Response, an ongoing project focused on giving a helping hand to large scale disaster victims. The first initiatives began with recovery efforts in the East-coast village of Komari, Sri Lanka, giving them a better life. Other initiatives include aiding 2010 Haiti earthquake victims and assisting war veterans in USA to overcome their trauma.

Previously he worked in the private sector as a Software Architect/Operation Research Analyst for Infocraft Limited (Sri Lanka), Business Analyst for Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (Sri Lanka), Analyst Programmer for APS Healthcare (USA), Lecturer in Operations Research at the University of Montana Department of Mathematical Sciences (USA) and an Analyst Programmer at the Montana World Trade Centre (USA).

Nuwan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Discrete Mathematics and Computer Engineering from the University of Maine in USA (1996), a Master of Arts in Operations Research from the University of Montana in USA (1999), and studied for a Master of Science degree in Industrial Automation at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka (2006).

Nuwan lives with his wife and daughter in Kunming, China, where he does his desk work (telecommutes) and visits the field research locations in the Asia Pacific from time to time.




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