Ranjula Senaratna Perera


LIRNEasia’s dissemination workshop on Improving Service Delivery for e-Inclusion was held on 18th February at the Hilton Residencies (Jaic Hilton), Colombo. The workshop was attended by the senior management of Sri Lankan telecom and electricity companies. Rohan Samarajiva led the theoretical discussion on service quality addressing how incentives for service quality differ under different market conditions.  Helani Galpaya, CEO and Ranjula Senaratna Perera presented the quantitative and qualitative findings on how low-income, urban micro-entrepreneurs (MEs) are being served by their electricity and telecom service providers.  Research Managers, Shazna Zuhlye and Nilusha Kapugama proposed some solutions/ designs for improving service delivery in the two sectors.
A synthesis meeting on LIRNEasia’s Customer Relationship Management study was held on 26th and 27th October in New Delhi, India. LIRNEasia’s partner for its qualitative research, CKS presented their findings along with designs for service delivery improvements in the telecom, electricity and government sector. The meeting was attended by  LIRNEasia’s researchers and sector experts. The qualitative study complemented the supply side study done for the same sectors as well as the demand side quantitative survey on micro entrepreneurs, this is the first time that we have seen end to end results of the project. Dissemination strategy for the project results was also discussed though LIRNEasia will not be disseminating its findings immediately.
LIRNEasia Research Manager, Shazna Zuhyle was recently invited to speak about the realities of the virtual world by her alma mater, Methodist College. The talk was for students and the Parent Teacher Association separately. She was also invited to a round table discussion among  a few  heads of schools and more recently to address the students of Ladies College. The effects of social media have affected the schools to some extent with stolen identities and altered images being used in the public domain. This has also  raised  privacy issues.
LIRNEasia research manager Shazna Zuhyle presented our findings on ‘Gendered use in ICTs at the bottom of the pyramid in emerging Asia’ at the WSIS forum in Geneva on the 14th May 2013. The panel consisted of selected members of the Task Group on Measuring Gender and ICTs. The session addressed the question of what current statistics can tell us about women in the information society and how women use and benefit from ICTs. The session also looked at available data on gender and ICT and proposed a set of priority areas where more data are needed. The outcome of the session will feed into the work of the Partnership Task Group on Measuring Gender and ICT.
Two new infoDev-led studies provide insight into the use of mobile phones at the BOP in Kenya and another in 12 countries in Africa including South Africa The Kenya study (carried out by iHub Research and Research Solutions Africa) found that over 60% of the Kenyan BOP owns a mobile phone. However only 25% of them use Internet on their mobile phone. This is quite high in comparison to LIRNEasia’s 2011 Asian study where less than 4% of the South Asian BOP surfed the Internet via the mobile with Java been the exception where 10% accessed internet via the phone. Further more it was found that at least 20 per cent of the Kenyan BOP respondents felt it was necessary to make real sacrifices to recharge their mobile credit. The estimated value of the sacrifice  the respondent was willing to make, in foregoing other activities, was an average of  84 US cents.

Greetings for 2013

Posted by on December 24, 2012  /  5 Comments

Seasons Greetings from LIRNEasia.
Public access to ICTs: Sculpting the profile of users is a Global Impact Study working paper by George Sciadas, with input from Hil Lyons, Chris Rothschild, and Araba Sey. Based on a survey of public access ICT users in five countries, it outlines some basic characteristics of users – their demographics, history of using ICTs and reasons for using public access ICTs. “Public access” is defined as computer and Internet services that are open to the general public. This preliminary analysis indicates that while a large proportion of public access ICT users are young (50% under 25 years old), students (44%), and have at least secondary education (82%), there is a fair amount of diversity in user characteristics. The significance of public access ICTs is demonstrated in the finding that most users’ first contact with computers (50%) and the internet (62%) was in a public access venue.
The topline findings from the initial stage of the GSMA mWomen Research in India, Egypt, Papua New Guinea and Uganda were presented recently. It explored the Wants and Needs of BOP Women through a qualitative study. Some of the insights of  ‘mobile as a tool’ are below. Mobile use by BOP women seem to be driven by practical, utility-oriented needs such as family coordination and emergencies rather than the desire to socialize and ‘chat’. This is also seen when looking at perceived benefits in LIRNEasia’s teluse@BOP4 quantitative study.
LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, presented the findings from the six-country study of teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid on 9th December 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. The presentation took place on the first day of the CPRsouth conference to an audience of about 75 people that included senior-mid level academics and media personnel. Presentation slides can be found here.   Some of the media coverage received from Thailand, India,  Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The Financial Express (Phones a bare essential for bottom of pyramid: Study) The Daily Star (Talk business on mobile) The Hindu Business Line (More poor people own mobile phones, but productive use still a far cry) Lanka Business Online (Mobile momentum) The Bottom Line (Productive use of mobiles needed – LIRNEasia survey) Republica (Low call charges within each network major reason for owning multiple-SIM)
Senior Research Manager, Ayesha Zainudeen participated at the 10th International conference on mobile business (ICMB 2011) from 20-21 June 2011. She made a presentation on Connecting Asia’s poor through the “budget telecom network model”: Innovations, challenges and opportunities, drawing from LIRNEasia’s research on the budget telecom network model, as well as Teleuse@BOP3 findings. The presentation slides can be found here. The theme of the conference was “Mobile Internet: a new paradigm in a new value network,” and explored the current mobile business models and players involved in the value network and their strategies, as well as the technological framework enabling the distribution and creation of services.
Rohan Samarajiva, PhD. CEO of LIRNEasia will be making two presentations at APT Policy and Regulatory Forum (PRF) to be held from 14-16 July 2010 at Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He will be making a presentation,  Lessons from the mobile-voice success for policymakers, regulators, operators, applications providers & manufacturers at the Business Dialogue Innovative Regulation: what industry needs session and another presentation titled Roaming: Regulate or not? at the International Connectivity session. An online version of the agenda can be viewed here.
Rohan Samarajiva, Ph.D. CEO of LIRNEasia will speak at the International Seminar on Information and Communication Technology Statistics , to be held from 19 – 21 July 2010 in Seoul, Korea, at the session ‘Enhancing ICT Data Availability.’ He will be speaking on ICT indicators: LIRNEasia’s perspective. An online version of the agenda can be viewed here.
The UNP in Parliament on June 11, called for the expansion of mobile phone facilities in the rural areas where by the rural people can make use of their mobile phones for their banking requirements. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva who was speaking during the private member’s motion moved by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake to extend banking hours from 9 am to 4pm said expanded banking services should be made available to the rural people. “These people have banking too in their pockets in the form of the mobile phones and this should be made use of,” he said. Read the full article here.
The Colloquim was conducted by Arusha Cooray from Australia. Joint study by Arusha Cooray, Nirmali Sivapragasam and Harsha de Silva Remittance inflows into the developing economies have increased tenfold from US $31,058 million to US$ 327,591 over the 1990 to 2008 period Initiatives taken by policymakers of  developing economies to promote  the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in particular mobile phones specifically targeting individuals outside the reach of traditional banking services. Benefits of ICT are well documented by the literature. Jensen (2007) – the use of mobile phones by fisherman contributed to a fall in price dispersion and reduction in waste, leading to increases in consumer and producer welfare in Kerela de Silva (2005) – mobile phone based ICTs can reduce information asymmetries in the agricultural market, enabling farmers to reduce transaction costs and search costs associated with locating sales outlets. Sivapragasam, Aguero and de Silva (2010) –  the use and awareness of the mobile phone as a mode of remitting money.
An Expert Forum Meeting on ‘Mobile 2.0 Applications and Conditions’ is to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan on April 26-27, 2010. This meeting is co‐hosted by LIRNEasia and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. Objectives: To share LIRNEasia’s Mobile 2.0 (i.