What does big data say about Sri Lanka?

Posted on August 11, 2014  /  2 Comments

backgroundOn 8th August 2014, LIRNEasia held an event titled “Big data for development: Responsible use of mobile meta-data to support public purposes” in Negombo, Sri Lanka that was attended by all the MNOs in Sri Lanka as well as MNOs/ industry representatives from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

The purpose of the event was two-fold:

  • Show how mobile network big data could provide timely and policy relevant evidence for development using illustrations from Sri Lanka and elsewhere; and
  • Discuss the draft guidelines developed by LIRNEasia for how MNOs could share their data with third parties using it for public good, whilst also minimizing the harms from such big data analytics. This event was the first in a series of steps that will hopefully lead towards the adoption of voluntary guidelines by MNOs to facilitate such activity.

The presentations from the event as well as the draft guidelines are below. The agenda is available HERE.

Introduction and overview
Rohan Samarajiva, Sriganesh Lokanathan | Presentation |

How mobile meta data can inform development policy questions: Illustrations from Sri Lanka
Danaja Maldeniya, Gabriel Kreindler, Kaushalya Madhawa,  Sriganesh Lokanathan

International experiences: Leveraging big data for Development in the Global South
Joshua Blumenstock | Presentation |

Guidelines for third party use of big data generated by mobile network operators
Rohan Samarajiva| Presentation | Draft guidelines 2.2 |



  1. Very interesting and insightful information. Hats off to Lirne Asia for taking this initiatives. There are plenty of ways to commercialise big data in Sri Lankan context. Good Luck !

  2. Yes there are many commercialization opportunities from this type of work and we hope people will do that, but LIRNEasia’s interest is in utilizing this for public good.