LIRNEasia needs YOU! (if you are not the photographer!)

Posted on September 21, 2008  /  7 Comments

This is an old idea in a new photograph. Taken from the Saturday on-line edition of Daily One hand typing is fun. Not to mention modem-free Internet. (Or is he doing a Powerpoint presentation?)

LIRNEasia believes in taking the benefits of ICTs to the masses. What it does not believe is famers in lion clothes in the middle of paddy fields would check Dow Jones index, or for that matter, read this blog post. Neither have we believed they would gather at nearby Telecenter to find information about pesticides. Not that they don’t need such info – but we know the difference between their approaches and typical ICT4D thinking. We are interested doing policy research – not academic – and we thrive in making differences.

This prelude is to say that we need more brains – at least two. In plain English, EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES at LIRNEasia for a RESEARCHER/PROJECT MANAGER and a JUNIOR RESEARCHER. More details here.


  1. How sure are you about your statements on Sri Lankan farmers and computers? Have you read ? I think he might be good input on computer usage by Sri Lankan farmers. He might be an exception but he is a farmer in Sri Lanka who might be checking DJ as well from what I read from his BLOG(S).

  2. Kalu Sudda,

    Your link does not work. A similar photo was published in Pariganaka cover page sometime back. A veteran journalist in an English daily told me that the editors have a license to use such images to support a new idea by exaggerating a topic.

  3. Kalu sudda,

    LIRNEasia learns from its research. Our Teleuse of the bottom of the Pyramid survey has shown the Internet awareness, let alone usage, is extremely low among those who belong to lowest social sectors. My own research at Mahavilachchiya has shown, though farmers use computers, they hardly use them for anything related to their job. My paper ‘Connected villages as a means of empowering the rural poor: A case study from Sri Lanka’ With Nandasiri Wanninayake is available at

    I never said farmers do not use or benefit from ICTs. They do. But how they do is different. We saw mobile usage among farmers grew immediately after Dialog having their first tower in 2006 Dec. (I have some unpublished data on that, if you want) Now they have 4 or 5 mobile towers.

    So I would have never commented if they publish a photograph of a farmer in the middle of a paddy field (I am not sure how many of them still wear amudes, though) sending an SMS or even an SMS.

    I am a keen reader of Rajaratarale blogs. But he is not the typical farmer that we speak about. To address their needs understanding them is crucial.

  4. Mod Goviya,

    As the Consultant Editor of Pariganaka in 2002, I was partially responsible for running that stupid photo on Pariganaka cover, though it was never my idea.

    What I wanted was ‘an average man using a computer in a rural set up’. I remember giving specific instructions to take a photo at a ‘kopi kade’ referring to a popular HNB TV advertisement at that time. Perhaps my communication was not good enough and that photo was what we got. Suffice to say that was not the only occasion that cover was done in a manner I didn’t approve.

    Having said that, 2008 is not 2002. Then it was more a prediction (which went wrong). Now we have much better idea how farmers – and other ordinary people – use ICTs. So why still depend on those obsolete ideas?

    In 2002, I would have never believed the key use of ICTs to ordinary people would be entertainment. Had someone told me a farmer would download an image of Aishwarya Rai to his mobile, I wouldn’t have believed it. These are the trends. Why not something on those lines?

  5. Don’t you see the big wi-fi antenna on top of the laptop? It looks woodden. That is the point. Antenna is custumized to suit this type of environment. Farmer is sending an email to Tikiri Menike on what to bring for “embula.”

  6. Guys,

    We have nothing against you debating, but don’t forget, this post primarily is a job advertisement. :-)

  7. What’s the salary like for junior researcher?