LIRNEasia is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
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LIRNEasia@10 - LIRNEasia is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Check out our timeline of events

Rohan Samarajiva

Reflecting on the philosophical basis of LIRNEasia

LIRNEasia seeks to foster evidence-based reform. The evidence, in the countries we work in, points to most of the needed actions having to do with reforming the state, by getting it to pull back from its current role of stifling decentralized innovation. This has caused many on the unthinking “left” plying their trade in the […]

Bangladesh has highest ICT-equipment-specific taxes

A report from the Innovation and Information Technology Foundation has been used as the basis for a good report in the Daily Star on the situation in the worst offender, Bangladesh. Of course, it did not hurt that they sought our comments. Our comments were based on the findings of the Systematic Review we completed […]

Human resources for the knowledge economy

The development of knowledge workers is obviously important for the emergence of inclusive knowledge economies. We have been working on this, but it has not been front and center of our public communication. This will change in the next little while. The 2015 Budget Speech of the Government of Sri Lanka placed its central emphasis […]

Reinventing social science

Taking research to policy is our thing; social science is a means to that, not an end. Yet, we cannot help but think of how weak an instrument social science has become, especially in South Asia. Here is something I wrote in relation to some internal discussions a few months back: Expressed demand for social […]

The digital transition is complicated, everywhere

I’ve been asked by several people to comment on the choice of a Japanese standard for digital broadcasting in Sri Lanka, as part of the process of clearing the 700 MHz band of analog TV broadcasting and making the freed up spectrum available for more productive uses. I have not commented, partly because I lack […]

Give big data, or be forced . . .

We’re thinking about how we can leverage mobile network big data to help manage infectious diseases. Now the Economist has gotten on the case: Doing the same with Ebola would be hard: in west Africa most people do not own a phone. But CDRs are nevertheless better than simulations based on stale, unreliable statistics. If […]

Practical problems of achieving Digital India

Our colleague Sunil Abraham had the following to say about Digital India: What do you think of the government’s Digital India plan? The government can use the billions from the Universal Service Obligation fund for broadband connectivity. The markets cannot handle back haul infrastructure and in most countries, some amount of state investment is necessary. […]

Industrial policy versus decentralized innovation

Except for our work on agriculture, most of our activities contribute to the development of the service sector. This is partly because it is the sector that is most dependent on ICT services and because that’s where the investment and growth is, in the countries that we work in. But every so often, industrial policy, […]

Has “broadband” but no mobile

I’ve been fascinated with cellar dweller countries for a while. I thought North Korea was the country at the bottom, but then discovered St Helena. So now it appears that St Helena is getting an airport and maybe even a submarine cable? St Helena is a small island heading for big change. One of the […]

India’s Aadhaar to serve as adequate documentation to obtain a SIM

In Pakistan, they are asking for fingerprints. In India, Aadhaar: ET has learnt that the security establishment is now veering towards the view that since Unique Identification Authority of India ( UIDAI) claims that it has back-end data of most of Aadhaar recipients in the form of address proof document submitted by them while applying […]

India government understands Internet-specific taxes and Digital India are incompatible

Apparently, the eight percent tax on the gross adjusted revenues of ISPs will not be implemented. Good. TRAI had suggested a uniform licence fee of 8 per cent of the AGR (adjusted gross revenue) for all ISP and ISP-Internet Telephony licences. Government levies licence fee on AGR of telecom firms after deducting some components that […]

Is Canada benefiting for LIRNEasia’s disaster risk reduction research?

In 2004 January I asked my friend, Pete Anderson, to take a risk and come to Sri Lanka to participate in the expert forum we had convened on the 26th of January to develop policy recommendations for effective early warning. At that moment I did not have a budget line to pay out of, but […]

Ali Mazrui: Scholar of Africa

Professor Ali Mazrui, originally of Makarere University in East Africa, has passed away. Eulogies are coming out fast and furious, among them this: There is one crucial similarity between prophets on the one hand and public intellectuals on the other. Both seek to define the terms of the debate in an argument. But the terms […]

Mobile network big data to help with Ebola

The spread of infectious diseases is affected by the movement of people. We were thinking how this could be tracked using mobile network big data. Others are already doing it. All strength to them. The people of West Africa, and the world, need all the help they can get. A sharp increase in calls to […]

Regulatory theory: Where the rubber hits the road

In today’s Financial Express, Sudhir Shah and Payal Malik conclude their assessment of the work of Tirole and Laffont (who would have been a co-recipient had he lived) concludes thus: The institutional context for Tirole’s work is also important. While Tirole and numerous collaborators have built a sophisticated theory to guide regulators and thereby accorded […]

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