The first installation of the book club was based on the book ‘Whole Numbers and half Truths: What data can and cannot tell us about modern India’ by Rukmini S. The book was an exploration of the data landscape in India by answering ten fundamental questions about how India operates – from what India ‘thinks, feels, and believes’ to how much money it earns and spends, to how its demography is changing. The book not only sifts through data from various sources but uses interesting anecdotes that provide context and paints a picture of the multifaceted tapestry that is modern India with a blend of data investigation and storytelling.
Data is essential for defining and measuring poverty. It provides the foundation that is necessary to understand the extent and nature of poverty in a given region or community. It also provides a basis for informed decision-making, effective policies, targeted interventions, and ongoing evaluation. Without good data, it would be challenging to establish poverty thresholds or determine who is living in poverty. By extension, it will be challenging to make meaningful progress in combatting poverty.
LIRNEasia is currently looking to fill the role of a Junior Researcher. The full job description is available here. The deadline for applying is 31st August 2023.
Senior Research Manager Gayani Hurulle, Statistician Tharaka Amarasinghe and Chairman of the Welfare Benefits Board B. Wijayaratne, spoke of Social Safety Nets in a virtual session organised by the National Movement for Social Justice on the 25th June 2023.
LIRNEasia congratulates Chiranthi Rajapakse and Yudhanjaya Wijeratne who recently became the recipients of the prestigious Gratiaen Prize, 2023. Their winning works were titled ‘Keeping time and other stories’ (short story collection) and ‘The wretched and the damned’ (novel) respectively.
At a recent event organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, LIRNEasia's chair Professor Rohan Samarajiva laid out examples of ways to address Sri Lanka's twin deficits in the path to collectively rise out of the current crisis.
An Expert Round Table discussion on "Online harms: Content moderation and models of regulation" held on the 27th of October 2022, as the third of a series of discussions under the theme of “Frontiers of Digital Economy”
LIRNEasia’s chair Professor Rohan Samarajiva was invited to speak at the seminar ‘Power crisis and electricity tariffs’, organized by the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA), on the 11th of January 2023. His presentation was based on the role of the regulator in reforming the electricity sector, and it also broached upon related considerations when regulating the imposition of tariffs within the sector. The slides can be found here.
In his publication ‘International in scope and interdisciplinary in approach’, LIRNEasia’s chair Rohan Samarajiva addresses new media’s impact on societies bound by it and the policy implications that emerge as a product of the same within the three spheres of data protection, data localization and cybersecurity. He highlights the continuous need for interdisciplinary research and reflection on social implications of new media. The open access journal article can be accessed here
Dr Surangika Ranathunga and Dr Nisansa de Silva from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Moratuwa recently became recipients of Google’s Inclusion Research award, 2022. Dr. Nisansa de Silva is affiliated with LIRNEasia as a Research Fellow. Google’s Inclusion Research Program is targeted towards academic research in computing and technology that globally addresses the needs of historically marginalized groups. It was launched in 2020 and research proposals under topics such as Accessibility, Algorithmic fairness, and Digital safety are supported.
LIRNEasia’s Chair Professor Rohan Samarajiva participated as one of the speakers for the session on ‘role of bureaucracy for a better Sri Lanka’ during the 35th Annual Conference of the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA), held on the 17th of August at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo. He addressed the question of whether digitization can make Sri Lanka’s bureaucracy more effective.
LIRNEasia’s Chair Prof. Rohan Samarajiva along with Senior Research Manager Gayani Hurulle participated as panelists in the press conference presenting the Common Minimum Program for Economic Recovery held on 21st of June at BMICH.