Chanuka Wattegama


  According the LIRNEasia’s 2011 Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) survey, stakeholders in India, Pakistan and Indonesia have identified the telecom regulatory environments in their countries as improved since 2008, the last time the survey was carried out.   In contrast, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines have seen the regulatory environments decline in effectiveness, while Thailandremains more-or-less the same. The TRE Survey asks senior level stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness of the telecom regulatory environment in the fixed, mobile and broadband subsectors along a Lickert scale of 1 to 5 (1 being highly ineffective and 5 being highly effective, with the mid-point of 3 being considered average performance).  Seven different dimensions of regulation (market entry, tariff regulation, interconnection, universal service, anti-competitive-practices, quality of service) are evaluated by the stakeholders.    This year, 349 responded participated in the 7 countries.
IDRC has been in the business of applying knowledge to development for forty years. Much better than straight Dollars or Renminibi. But then, that could be a self-serving statement, given we are in research and IDRC is our principal funder. Anyway, Chanuka Wattegama has written about all this in the Daily Mirror, and included references to two of our projects: The aim of the Last-Mile Hazard Warning System, an IDRC supported joint research project of Sarvodaya and LIRNEasia immediately after the 2004 tsunami, was to deploy various alert and notification wireless technologies intended to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to natural and manmade hazards in Sri Lanka. Adopting an ‘all-hazards, all-media’ approach, designed around a set of five wireless communication technologies: addressable satellite radios for emergency alerting, remote alarm devices, mobile phones, fixed phones and VSATs this research evaluated the pros and cons of each technology.
Chanuka Wattegama has made a strong case for MNP to be examined at a public hearing. LIRNEasia has some relevant research, but the material below is all Chanuka’s. I was traveling and did not see this piece until today. While not unfamiliar to North America and Europe, Pakistan and India were the only South Asian countries to implement MNP. Pakistan maintains a central database with all its mobile user data.
Chanuka Wattegama, former Senior Research Manager and Broadband Specialist at LIRNEasia, will be one of three speakers  at a pre-budget “sanvada” organized by the Pathfinder Foundation, on 14 October 2010 at the BCIS Auditorium, BMICH premises. Chanuka will make a presentation on “ICTs and Telecom: Opportunities, Challenges and Recommendations”. The sanvada will be chaired by Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne, Professor of Economics at the Universitity of Colombo. For more information on how to register (admission free), click here.
A significant contribution to the m-money debate has been made by Chanuka Wattegama, until last month LIRNEasia’s Senior Research Manager and the person responsible for managing the Mobile 2.0 research module. The tightly argued piece contains many references to LIRNEasia work and is a perfect example of the success of LIRNEasia’s catalytic role. Worth reading in full by anyone interested in the subject. Ours is an anxious society that expects the protection of every electronic money transfer by the financial regulator.
The Directorate of Environment, European Commission organises the conference ‘The Civil Protection Forum – Towards a more resilient society’ that aims to explore the concept of resilience. Climate change is likely to increase the frequency and impact of disasters, and Europe has to be prepared for this challenge. The Forum will start a debate on a comprehensive European disaster management strategy to enhance resilience. Around 500 delegates, speakers and exhibitors from politics, academia, the civil protection services and international organisations are expected to participate. Chanuka Wattegama, Senior Research Manager, LIRNEasia will be one of the speakers in the six practice-oriented seminars will look more closely at how European civil protection works in the field – how does it integrate with other international actors, three major phases of an emergency (prevention, preparedness, and response) and the roles of different stakeholders (institutions, civil protection professionals and civil society).
Findings from LIRNEasia’s latest round of broadband quality of service experience (QoSE) testing has been published in Chennai’s Financial Chronicle and The Indian Express, two leading print newspapers in India. Read the two of the articles here and here. There is disparity in the advertised broadband speed and the actual speed, according to the findings of a research project jointly carried out by Learning Initiative on Reforms for Network Economies Asia (LIRNEasia), TeNeT Group of the IIT Madras. Excerpt below: “There is disparity in the advertised broadband speed and the actual speed, according to the findings of a research project jointly carried out by Learning Initiative on Reforms for Network Economies Asia (LIRNEasia), TeNeT Group of the IIT Madras.There is disparity in the advertised broadband speed and the actual speed, according to the findings of a research project jointly carried out by Learning Initiative on Reforms for Network Economies Asia (LIRNEasia), TeNeT Group of the IIT Madras.
Chanuka Wattegama, Senior Research Manager, LIRNEasia, chaired the thematic session on ICT for Disaster Risk Reduction during the International Conference on Building a Local Government Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction in Incheon, Republic of Korea, on 11-13 August 2009. The thematic session brought together specialists from Asia and the Pacific to share knowledge and experiences on ways in which ICTs have been used in response, recovery and risk reduction efforts. The session – organized by the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT) – was part of the International Conference, jointly organized by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) and the Incheon Metropolitan City of the Republic of Korea, and was attended by senior government policymakers, disaster managers and representatives from international and regional agencies. Chanuka was also interviewed by Korean electronic media on LIRNEasia’s disaster management efforts Chanuka Wattegama, Senior Research Manager, LIRNEasia, chaired the thematic session on ICT for Disaster Risk Reduction during the International Conference on Building a Local Government Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction in Incheon, Republic of Korea, on 11-13 August 2009. The thematic session brought together specialists from Asia and the Pacific to […]
As a results-oriented organization, that is a question LIRNEasia has always been interested in. The discipline that seeks to answer that question is evaluation. They recently held a conference in Sri Lanka. We are ratcheting up our emphasis on evaluation now that we have a substantial body of work to talk about. A key element in this will be Chanuka Wattegama’s participation in the most important evaluation training program currently being offered, the International Program for Development Evaluation Training offered every Summer at Carleton University in Ottawa, with the cooperation of the World Bank and IDRC.
Four years to history, ‘Your tears are mine’ (see below) was my reaction to Asian tsunami. Reproduced in multiple sites, it was recited once in a remembrance event. Though written more in a Sri Lankan context, let me pick it again today, to remember all 225,000 lives lost, in the worst tsunami in recent history – that caused vast damage to four countries LIRNEasia closely works in, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India. Not my every wish was granted. The aftermath of tsunami, instead of creating a division-free society demonstrated how pathetically the disparities were amplified.
“We must realize the fact that disasters threaten sustained economic growth of the society and the country.” These were the words of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani addressing the opening ceremony of the first National Disaster Risk Management Conference. The function, reported Associated Press of Pakistan, was organized to mark the Disaster Awareness Day observed annually after the catastrophic earthquake which struck country’s northern areas in October 2005, killing 73,000 people and leaving 3.5 million homeless. On the other side of the border Congress President Sonia Gandhi has said there is a need of effective disaster management to mitigate the woes of the people in future calamities, with floods affecting several districts of Bihar and other parts of the country.
LIRNEasia’s Chanuka Wattegama will make the main presentation at a live webcast of a workshop on Disaster Risk Management in the Information Age, to be held from 8 – 9 October, 2008,  9 – 12 p.m. (ET), accessible at the following link: http://www.worldbank.org/edevelopment/live Co-organizers of the event include  the World Bank’s Global Information Communication and Technology Department, infoDev and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
Two publications, with chapters by LIRNEasia researcher Chanuka Wattegama, were launched during the GK3, third global Knowledge conferences held in Kuala Lumpur in December, 2007. The biennial Digital Review of Asia Pacific is a comprehensive guide to the state-of-practice and trends in information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) in Asia Pacific. The third edition (2007/2008) covers 31 countries and economies, including North Korea for the first time. Each country chapter presents key ICT policies, applications and initiatives for national development. In addition, five thematic chapters provide a synthesis of some of the key issues in ICT4D in the region, including mobile and wireless technologies, risk communication, intellectual property regimes and localization.
Chanuka Wattegama who authored the primer on the use of ICTs in disaster mitigation for the UNDP looks at the responses of littoral nations from South Africa to Thailand to the Bengkulu event. Nation special If the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was a disaster marked by inaction, what happened on September 12, 2007 was marked by plenty of action, but a dearth of right action. It was certainly not an exemplary implementation of pre-determined and meticulously planned disaster avoidance activities. Did it make the vulnerable communities feel more secure? Or did it merely add to the confusion and chaos?
lirne_2007_8_colombo.ppt Sujata Gamage gave a brief overview as to the CPRsouth Conference. This included the objectives behind the Conference, and the Organization as a whole and the quality of the papers recieved. She went on to say that successful applications make necassary the synergy between the technical and policy. Also how can you measure the inputs and outputs and it is supported by a wealth of literature.

LIRNEasia at WSIS Nov 15

Posted by on November 16, 2005  /  0 Comments

Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEasia’s Executive Director, chaired the session on Core ICT indicators for monitoring and evaluation at a parallel event at WSIS on November 15, 2005. Genevieuve Feraud from UNCTAD, Chandamas Thuvasethakul of NECTEC, Thailand and Pablo Tactuk from the National Statistical Office, Dominican Republic were the presenters. In addition to chairing, Rohan also made a presentation titled ICT Sector & Regulatory Performance Indicators for Developing Asia (available as a powerpoint download). Chanuka Wattegama, former LIRNEasia researcher and curently with UNDP, made a presentation at the third panel on Measuring the impact of ICTs on development.