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

Improving Service Delivery for e-Inclusion

The proposed research will:

  • Study large-scale, live deployment of ICTs to manage customer relations in the delivery of telecom services by operators acting as agents of governments;
  • Study how customer relations are managed in electricity supply, a similar public-utility service, directly provided by government and by agents of government (with emphasis on BOP micro enterprises in cities);
  • Draw lessons on how customer relations in the telecom and electricity industries can be further improved, exploiting the near-ubiquity of voice/SMS connectivity and related functionalities;
  • Communicate the combined lessons from telecom and electricity industries to decision makers with authority over government services of different types.

Desk research, interviews, big-data analysis (using software), and demand-side or user studies will be used for the research.  The questions about how customer relations are managed in the mobile telecom and electricity industries in the three countries where the research is conducted will be answered in the following stages:

  1. Desk research on current practices and interviews of key individuals in the supplier organizations will be conducted.
  2. In the case of two mobile operators in Sri Lanka who have consented to permit access to internal customer transaction-generated data (“big data”), the findings from the desk research and interviews will be supplemented by analysis of big data.
    1. In addition to anonymized data regarding how different customers interact with suppliers, the operators have consented to permit randomized controlled trials that will enable the testing of the efficacy of different modalities of handling customer interactions.
  3. In all cases and all countries, demand-side analysis will be conducted using qualitative and quantitative methods:
    1. On the qualitative side, the empirical methodologies of ethnography and participant observation, including techniques such as wallet-mapping, phone-tours, and usage interviews will be used.  In addition, interaction design, service design and user experience design methodologies will be used to identify specific “pain-points,” “failure cases,” and “scenarios-of-use” that cumulatively describe the consumer experience.
    2. On the quantitative side, a survey of urban poor micro-entrepreneurs will be conducted in at least one city in India and Sri Lanka (and budget permitting, in Bangladesh/Bhutan) to find out current level of ICT and electricity use, as well the functional issues faced in consuming government services.


Working papers

Drivers and Barriers to Business Registration of Micro-enterprises in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

Final reports

CRM practices in the electricity distribution Sector in Bangladesh: Supply side perspectives on improving customer service delivery

CRM practices in the electricity distribution sector in India: Supply side perspective on improving customer service delivery

CRM practices in the Electricity sector in Sri Lanka: Supply side perspective

eGovernance in municipalities: Improving the delivery of services to micro-enterprises and urban poor

Methodology note on low-income, urban micro-entrepreneurs: Quantitative survey

Communication, Information and Knowledge Needs of Urban Poor Micro-Entrepreneurs in Myanmar: A qualitative study

Draft versions of the reports are found below

Current status and way forward for eGovernance in Bangladesh


LIRNEasia’s dissemination workshop – 18th February, Colombo (including survey results and solutions)

Solution briefs – Electricity sector

Consumers lack knowledge about power outages

Addressing consumer complaints

Lack of efficient use of electricity

Lack of property rights prevents access to electricity

Solution briefs – Telecom sector

Involuntary activation of value added services

Call drops and network coverage are problems

Not recognizing low-income micro-entrepreneurs; a missed opportunity


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