Links were formed between LIRNEasia and the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), Philippines, an organization involved in a project to develop a set of standard indicators for the ICT sector for the Philippine Statistical Development Plan. The emphasis of FMA’s work is on developing indicators which are relevant to the Asian context, specifically the ASEAN countries. This has direct parallels with LIRNEasia‘s multi-component, six-country study on measuring telecom (ICT infrastructure) sector and regulatory performance in South Asian and Southeast Asian countries and developing a sustainable supply- and demand-side data collection mechanism for South Asia.
The researchers involved in this project at FMA have communicated with LIRNEasia‘s Filipino counterpart, and both have shared background papers. FMA is also conducting research into access, use and ownership of ICTs using household survey data and other types of survey data available from government sources, and at the same time, trying to examine available data from private groups (i.e., social survey groups, etc.). FMA will be sharing the final study with LIRNEasia, which will provide some useful input into its Teleuse on a Shoestring research, which looks at the use of ICT services amongst low income earners. The Philippines is one of the six countries that LIRNEasia plans to include in this study.
The alliance mentioned above was forged at the APC Regional ICT Policy Consultation Meeting held in Dhaka from 19-21 April 2006. At this meeting Ayesha Zainudeen, from LIRNEasia, presented findings from the “Teleuse on a Shoestring” studies.
Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director of LIRNEasia aslo gave a talk on Civil Society’s Role in Regulation. Abu Saeed Khan, Senior Researcher for LIRNEasia gave a talk on Stolen Mobile Handsets (see presentation slides).
The objectives of the APC meeting were to engage in identifying ICT policy priorities and advocacy strategies in countries of Asia particularly in South Asia; in exchanging information on ICT policy related work, research activities, development agendas, and innovative solutions; exploring new ways of networking and coordinating issues that can influence ICT policy research and advocacy in South Asia.
Participants were mostly from NGOs & civil society organisations across Asia working in ICT4D area. The meeting was conducted using ‘open space technology’ whereby the participants raised ICT policy issues which were discussed in smaller groups and then presented to the larger forum. As a result a broad range of issues were discussed.
The outcomes of the meeting included the recognition of the importance of, and commitment by the participants to:
- establishing & improving existing online discussion fora (for specific issues);
- the use of multi-stakeholder approaches;
- continued advocacy;
- awareness raising amongst the general public, civil society, the donor community, etc.
Recognizing a phenomenon of ‘donor fatigue’ in respect to ICT4D, a task of identifying ‘quick wins’ in ICT projects was set, with follow up work to be assisted by all participants.