The government of Sri Lanka has adopted a policy of “Mobile First” for delivery of e government services. This makes us at LIRNEasia very happy because the evidence from our research since 2005 supports the giving of primacy to wireless platforms. We have been pushing for voice-based delivery of e gov services through widely disseminated papers and talks since 2007. So keeping to the theme of more than voice and emphasis on m apps, the talk this year seeks to put some flesh on the commendable Mobile First policy.
A high profile regional event intended to foster exchange of ideas among government officials and their suppliers attracted participants from the region as well as many from within government here in Sri Lanka. I was given the opportunity to present LIRNEasia’s research in 15 minutes in the first session. I chose to highlight the agriculture work and push a single policy recommendation: that government should free up data and information that it sat on (e.g., agricultural extension information) so that young people developing apps would have the necessary raw material.