Nuwan Waidyanatha


LIRNEasia research fellow, Nuwan Waidyanatha, will be part of a panel discussion on ‘Rapidly Reconnecting the Disconnected in Disasters‘ at the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum to be held in Bangkok from 26 to 29 July, 2017. The session, titled “Cry for Help!” is meant to expose participants to low-cost, easy-to-use tech and foster an environment which challenges experts through dialogue and participatory exercises. “Rapid Restoration of Access to Telecommunication” (RREACT) – AP is highly susceptible to disasters. Telecommunications, as a critical infrastructure, is vital for crisis management.
The Internet Society’s Asia-Pacific Bureau together with Internet Society Nepal Chapter organised INET Kathmandu from 17-18 March 2016. This event brought together international agencies, rapid response groups and local stakeholders involved in disaster planning, management and relief services.  LIRNEasia research study on the “Assessment of Nepal’s Internet and Telecommunication Damage and Losses: Lessons from the 2015 Earthquake” carried jointly by LIRNEasia and Internet Society Nepal Chapter was presented by Nuwan Waidyanatha, Senior Research Fellow of LIRNEasia on the second day of the event.  

Indian Ocean Tsunami + 10

Posted by on December 26, 2014  /  1 Comments

LIRNEasia was three months old when the tsunami struck, killing over 200,000 people in countries around the Bay of Bengal where we intended to focus our efforts as a nascent think tank. But it hit Sri Lanka, where we are based, very hard. On a per-capita basis, Sri Lanka suffered the greatest loss of lives, close to one in 600 people perishing over the morning hours of the 26th. Our small organization was untouched, thankfully. My daughter, fresh from the US, wanted a holiday with a fireplace.
The 2014 LIRNEasia Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture focused on all aspects of the early warning ‘chain’ and what advances have been made in the ten years since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. On the whole the message that was conveyed was very positive. Tremendous progress has been made both in the science of understanding when a tsunami has been generated and in the deployment of instruments throughout the world’s oceans, including the Indian Ocean. The purpose of all this effort and investment is getting people out of harm’s way. That means that warnings, including evacuation orders, have to be effectively communicated to all those in harm’s way; that evacuation must be orderly; and most importantly, that the evacuees take the appropriate action willingly and with knowledge.
Making Emergency Communication Effective LIRNEasia’s 3rd  Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture  On 19 June 2012 from 15:00 – 17:00 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, 100 Independence Square, Colombo 7 The main talk will focus on actions to improve alerting and situational-reporting to make emergency communication more effective. The talk will focus on establishing an alerting profile and a multi-agency situational-awareness software tool that the Sahana Software Foundation has developed. Such a tool can help bring organizations together to more effectively communicate disaster information and ease them away from unproductive silo thinking. It will also allow the Disaster Management Center to perform its functions better. Moderator: Major General (retd.
The end game in m health: medical monitors implanted in the body, wirelessly connected to doctors and nurses who can take remedial action. Not really something researched in Nuwan Waidyanatha’s m health projects, but still worth keeping an eye on: “If the technology delivers as promised,” Mr. Casey says, “then we believe that’s when we’ll move from sensors on people diagnosed with a disease to literally everybody.” Professor Rogers is a co-founder of MC10, an electronics company in Cambridge, Mass., that is aiming to turn the epidermal monitor prototype into a commercial product in 2013.
LIRNEasia‘s m-health research pilot project has been  featured in the October 2010 issue of FutureGov Asia Pacific magazine. Led by Nuwan Waidyanatha, the project explores the  use of mobile phones for early detection of communicable diseases in selected cities in India and Sri Lanka. The full article can be downloaded here or read below: Sri Lanka has completed the trial of a mobile phone project which helps early detection of communicable diseases. The ‘Real-time Bio-surveillance Programme’ allows data on patients and symptoms of illnesses to be sent directly from hospital wards to the epidemiological centre through a web interface installed on mobile phones.  Under the present manual system, set up in the 19th century, it can take more than two weeks for information of outbreaks to reach the epidemiological centre in the capital.
Findings from LIRNEasia‘s m-health pilot research on the use of mobiles for detection and dissemination of disease outbreaks, led by Mr. Nuwan Waidyanatha, was presented to key stakeholders at a workshop on 29 – 30 September 2010 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Participants consisted of key officials of the ministries of health and IT, public and private healthcare institutions, NGOs and academic institutions. The conference was co-funded by eHealth Association of Pakistan and International Development Research Centre, Canada. Findings have also made to the Pakistani  media.
LIRNEasia’s Nuwan Waidyanatha will be making a presentation on ‘Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)’ at the ‘ITU Asia-Pacific Centres of Excellence Training/Workshop on Effective Use of Telecommunications/ICTs in Response to Disasters: Saving Lives, to be held on 24-28 November, 2008, in Kedah, Malaysia. The Training Workshop will focus on concepts and hands-on training on various technologies and applications that are suitable for deployment and aimed at facilitating rescue and relief operations in emergencies, especially in the aftermath of a disaster. The stated aims of the workshop are to: create awareness and demonstrate telecommunication technology options, facilities and services applicable for use in response to disasters or emergencies especially in disaster relief operations; provide practical experience to participants in using the telecommunication/ICT facilities and services during these operations; strengthen partnerships in disaster relief among international agencies/organizations, NGOs, industry, and governments as well as encourage roles of public sector or NGOs identify issues and challenges in countries in order to find ways to overcome them. This workshop is organized jointly by the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the ITU, Universiti Utara Malaysia (ITU CoE ASP UUM), the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications (MEWC), Malaysia and sponsored by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the […]
On 5 March 2008, LIRNEasia in partnership with the Indonesian Institute for Disaster Preparedness (IIDP) will hold the third and final “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-based Last-Mile Warning Systems” workshop at the Hotel Borobodur in Jakarta, Indonesia. Rohan Samarajiva, Natasha Udu-gama and Nuwan Waidyanatha will participate and speak at the event alongside several Indonesian speakers from various governmental, community-based and international NGOs such as BAKORNAS PB, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), KOGAMI Padang and GTZ GITEWS. As in past HazInfo workshops in India and Bangladesh, the Indonesia workshop will not only discuss findings from the “Evaluating Last Mile Hazard Information” pilot project, but also exchange lessons learned from Indonesian counterparts.
The LIRNEasia HazInfo team, Rohan Samarajiva, Nuwan Waidyanatha, Natasha Udu-gama, joined its partners from Sarvodaya, Dialog Telekom and WorldSpace Corporation (India) to present findings from the “Evaluating Last Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) pilot project at the “Making Communities Disaster Resilient” on December 11, 2007 during the Third Global Knowledge Partnership (GK3) conference in Kuala Lumpur from 11-13 December. The session, moderated by Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, presented findings and analysis within a 90-minute session divided into two mini-sessions on technology and community. Mr. Michael De Soyza of Dialog Telekom and Mrs.
On Monday, November 19th, Rohan Samarajiva, Nuwan Waidyanatha, and Natasha Udu-gama of LIRNEasia, along with Menake Wijesinghe of Sarvodaya‘s Community Disaster Management Centre went to New Delhi, India for the second in a series of workshops on the “Evaluating Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) entitled “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-Based Last-Mile Warning Systems” at the India Habitat Centre in conjunction with the All India Disaster Management Centre (AIDMI). The workshop included a variety of stakeholders from Indian government, civil society, international organizations, private sector, and NGOs. Mr. Mihir Bhatt, Honorary Director of AIDMI, along with Mr. Mehul Pandya, Risk Reduction Transfer Initiative Coordinator and Ms.
On October 25, 2007, LIRNEasia’s Rohan Samarajiva, Nuwan Waidyanatha and Natasha Udu-gama traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh to present findings from the “Evaluating Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) pilot project in the first international dissemination workshop for HazInfo entitled “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-Based Last-Mile Warning Systems” at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) through its Bangladesh Network Office for Urban Safety (BNUS) directed by Dr. Mehedi Ahmed Ansary. The report summarizes the workshop and its sessions. Overall, the workshop was a success in familiarizing the Bangladeshi audience with the HazInfo pilot project and meeting the objectives.
On October 25, 2007, LIRNEasia will hold its first regional dissemination workshop for the “Evaluating Last Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) pilot project at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) through its Bangladesh Network Office for Urban Safety (BNUS) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The purpose of the workshop is to gather experts, practitioners and community organizations to discuss the findings of the HazInfo project and determine ways in which the project may be developed to suit community-based hazard information dissemination regionally. The “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-based Last-Mile Warning Systems” workshop in Dhaka will feature five presenters from government, academia and NGOs. Dr. A.
Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) was the talk of the town in Harbin at the ISCRAM-CHINA workshop, which took place August 26-27, 2007. The event was jointly organized by the ISCRAM-Community and the School of Economics and Management – Harbin Engineering University. The workshop was a post-conference meeting to the International Disaster Reduction Conference (IDRC), which took place 21-25 August, 2007. LIRNEasia project manager, Nuwan Waidyanatha, was 1 of 2 Sri Lankan delegates invited to present a research paper and the other was Chamindra De Silva of Lanka Software Foundation – Sahana Project. LIRNEasia presentation titled “Common Alerting Protocol Message Broker for Last-Mile Hazard Warning System in Sri Lanka: An Essential Component” was 1 of 115 papers published in the workshop proceedings.
Nuwan Waidyanatha, project manager of the HazInfo program, has been invited to present a paper at the Second China Workshop on Information System of Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM-CHINA 2007) to be held on August 26-27, 2007 in Harbin, China. The paper entitled “‘Common Alerting Protocol Message Broker’ for Last-Mile Hazard Warning System in Sri Lanka: An Essential Component” will focus on proving the need for a CAP Broker for a Last-Mile Hazard Warning System. The general objective of the research was to evaluate the suitability of 5 ICTs deployed in varied conditions for their suitability in the Last-Mile of a national disaster warning system for Sri Lanka and possibly by extension to other developing countries. The Live Exercises conducted between November 2006 and May 2007 showed that the Hazard Information Hub (HIH) had a reliability of only 78% on average – a poor result, as the reliability of the HIH performing her set of functions was not meant to be any less than 95%. High reliability from the HIH was a necessity in order to provide as much time for the Community First-Responders to activate and complete the Last-Mile Community Emergency Response Plans.
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