Randy Spence


Ever since Harvard Forum II, Randy Spence and I have been kicking around Amartya Sen’s notion that ICTs have a net positive liberating potential. I have been the skeptic. But evidence is adding up in Randy’s column: For some of the protesters facing Bahrain’s heavily armed security forces in and around Pearl Square in Manama, the most powerful weapon against shotguns and tear gas has been the tiny camera inside their cellphones. By uploading images of this week’s violence in Manama, the capital, to Web sites like YouTube and yFrog, and then sharing them on Facebook and Twitter, the protesters upstaged government accounts and drew worldwide attention to their demands. A novelty less than a decade ago, the cellphone camera has become a vital tool to document the government response to the unrest that has spread through the Middle East and North Africa.

Mobile multiple play

Posted by on December 9, 2006  /  0 Comments

Just returned from the sensory overload of the ITU Telecom World exhibition and forum in Hong Kong. One of the buzzwords/phrases floating around this year is multiple play. Triple play is passe though a few are hanging on with quadruple play. Given my recent column in LBO, my mind was on payments. Where in the multiple play talk was payments?
Pro-Poor, Pro-Market ICT Policy and Regulation World Summit on the information Society, Matmata Room, Kram Centre Tunis, November 17, 2005, 9:00 – 16:45 LIRNE.NET and the World Dialogue on Regulation (WDR), LIRNEasia, Research ICT Africa (RIA), Diálogo regional sobre la sociedad de la información (DIRSI) Sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and The Information for Development Program of the World Bank (infoDev) 9:00-9:15 Welcome Randy Spence 9:15 – 10.15 ICT Demand, access and usage by the poor Chair: Heloise Emdon, IDRC Telecom Strategies on a Shoestring (Household Income Below USD 100/Month)(PDF download) (LIRNEasia) Ayesha Zainudeen, LIRNEasia team Digital Poverty in LAC (DIRSI) Roxana Barrantes Measuring ICT Access and Usage in Africa (RIA) Alison Gillwald, Christoph Stork 10:30-12:00 Core Networks and Policy Issues Chair: Olivier Nana Nzepa, RIA Having a Backbone; Making Best Use of What You’ve Got (LIRNEasia) Harsha Vardhana Singh, Rohan Samarajiva SADC Universities Connectivity Initiative (RIA) Lishan Adam Telecoms Funds & Regulatory Challenges (DIRSI) Hernan Galperin Universal Service Funds, Access Deficit Charges & Least-cost Subsidy Auctions (PDF download) (LIRNEasia) Harsha de Silva, Payal Malik African Regionalism, National Policy Formation and International Governance (RIA) Lishan Adam, Andrew Barendse 12:00 - 13:15 Extending Access Networks Chair: Ben Petrazzini […]

LIRNEasia at WSIS, Tunis

Posted by on September 7, 2005  /  0 Comments

Pro-Poor Pro-Market Regulation Reform (PPPM) From IDRC’s website World Summit on the information Society, Kram Centre, Tunis, November 17, 2005 Conference Organisers: the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Information for Development Program of the World Bank (infoDev) LIRNE.NET and the World Dialogue on Regulation (WDR) LIRNEasia Research ICT Africa (RIA) Diálogo regional sobre la sociedad de la información (DIRSI) November 17, 2005 – Morning Program Time Activity 8:30-8:45 Welcome – Richard Fuchs 8:45-9:45 ICT Demand, access and usage by the poor Chair: Laurent Elder, IDRC   ICT Uses on a Shoestring in Asia (LIRNEasia)- Ayesha Zainudeen Digital Poverty in LAC (DIRSI) – Roxana Barrantes Towards an African e-index (RIA) – Alison Gillwald, Christoph Stork   Discussion 9:45-10:00 Coffee break 10:00-11:15 Core Networks and Policy Issues Chair: F F Tusubira, RIA   Asia Backbone Study (LIRNEasia) – Rohan Samarajiva Telecoms Funds and Regulatory Challenges – Judith Mariscal South Asia ADCs, USFs and Subsidy Auctions (LIRNEasia) – Harsha da Silva African Regionalism, national policy formation and International Governance (RIA) – Andrew Barendse, Lishan Adam   Discussion 11:15-12:45 Extending Access Networks Chair: Lishan Adam, RIA   Grameen Phone Replicability (LIRNEasia) – Ayesha Zainudeen Indonesia WiFi Achievements and Replicability (LIRNEasia) – Divakar Goswami, Onno […]

Live Notes on Group Discussion

Posted by on September 19, 2004  /  1 Comments

These are live notes, so they’re borderline incomprehensible. The value was more in that Rohan wanted to make a live text record of conference proceedings on the Net. Payal Mallik, Group 1: Case Studies, success stories of application. From India- Karnatika, first action was to formalize the land records which translates to land reforms through ICTs. Governments get to see the productivity gains from ICTs.
Dr. Randy Spence spoke of his experiences in Somalia, where there isn’t much government to speak of. But people are using ICTs. However, he emphasized that ICTs must drop in cost for the investments of the 1990s to bear fruit. “I’m involved in nanotech and biotech, and fairly rapid diffusion of this technology will be very important.