AfterAccess — Page 2 of 7 — LIRNEasia

Mobiles are indispensable

Posted by on April 24, 2020  /  0 Comments

As refugees moved to and through Europe in 2017, we and others commented on how indispensable smartphones were to them. Now we have the story of fishermen who wanted to get back home from Tamilnadu, who went to the Andra-Odisha border by sea. They mention the mobiles and charger, before they talk about food: The group kept within 15km of the shore and kept track of the route by watching the stars. “Our mobile phones also helped. We had brought a battery charger,” said Landa Bhaskar Rao, another member of the group, adding their staple for those five days was rice and tomato chutney.
LIRNEasia has been studying food supply chains almost from inception. Our then Consultant Lead Economist Harsha de Silva had been trying to fix problems in the Dambulla DEC, the country’s largest agri wholesale market from even before that. So we were understandably unhappy when the government shut down the wholesale markets in the context of the COVID-19 response. First thoughts were in this op ed. Given the difficulties many potential users have had in understanding the difficulties of scaling up the customer facing side of e commerce it should come as no surprise that there is even greater ignorance about the far end of the supply chains.
E commerce vendors in Sri Lanka were having a hard time making sales. And these were companies that were dealing with items that do not go bad. The demand that spiked in the past weeks was mostly for goods such as dairy, fruit and vegetables that require care in storage and transportation. Obviously, any system that is designed for a low level of use will experience difficulties when there is a sudden spike in demand. And with perishables for which the greatest demand arose, the systems had to be developed from scratch.
Contextualizing digital solutions to COVID-19 in developing Asia, via AfterAccess. Updated daily.
Access to the right devices (internet-enabled smartphones), affordable internet services, relevant content in a language known to the user, and the appropriate skills to make use of these digital services are collectively seen to be important to ensure economic and social development.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Sri Lanka that make use of the internet and ICTs for business are better off than those that do not.
Presented by Ayesha Zainudeen and Tharaka Amarasinghe at the 15th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference Bangkok, Thailand, 29 October 2019 The full paper is available here.
Presented by Ayesha Zainudeen and Tharaka Amarasinghe at the 15th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference Bangkok, Thailand, 29 October 2019 The slides presented are available here and the full paper can be accessed below.
A list of selected media coverage on AfterAccess following dissemination of the Sri Lanka data and report
LIRNEasia comments on the proposed Cyber Security Bill for Sri Lanka - 2019
Image of the panel at the Sri Lanka launch of AfterAccess Asia in Colombo on 22.05.2019 Sri Lanka performs poorly on digital indicators, awareness of internet and related services does not translate to use, and the majority of social media users in Sri Lanka think that blocking social media during times of national unrest "is the right thing to do".
Presented by Helani Galpaya, Ayesha Zainudeen and Tharaka Amarasinghe on 22 May 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka