Ayesha Zainudeen, Author at LIRNEasia

LIRNEasia is inviting proposals for gender-responsive, policy-relevant applied research projects that contribute to a sustainable and inclusive future of work. This call is supported with funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) The complete Call for Proposals can be found here. The deadline for proposal submissions is 1800hrs Indian Standard Time, 19th July 2024. An information session will be organised on the 24th of June week to assist potential applicants in understanding the CFP and the project as a whole.  Register here to receive details about the upcoming information session.
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada recently launched a global south research network –FutureWORKS — dedicated to researching and addressing the challenges posed by the changing landscape of work across the global south. Through shared research, network consolidation, and collaboration in public policy processes, FutureWORKS seeks to foster innovation that advances skills for the future of work and promote decent work globally. LIRNEasia has been selected to lead in the building of the Asian segment/cluster of a global south research network over a period of five years. Through this network, LIRNEasia will commission high-quality, innovative and gender responsive research and lead a regional research network to advance skills and policies for an inclusive and sustainable future of work in Asia. LIRNEasia, will award over 12 research grants over the period of five years, through a competitive selection process to this end.
Last year we conducted research to explore the possibility of leveraging online job portal data for economic analysis in 13 Asia Pacific countries, as a part of a project for the Asian Development Bank. We examined the types of information available on major portals across the region, to discern the nature and format of available data. We also tested and refined methodologies to analyse a dataset comprising online job vacancies sourced from a Sri Lankan job portal, to demonstrate use cases for exploring  the impacts of shocks on the labour market. The first step in this exploration was to review where in practice online job portal data has been used, to identify the  methods and techniques available along with their strengths and limitations.  The full review is published below.

2024 Greetings!

Posted by on December 21, 2023  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia is pleased to issue a call for expressions of interest (EOIs) to build digital tools to strengthen pluralist, inclusive and fact-based public discourse in Sri Lanka. The detailed call for EOIs can be found here. The editable template for submissions can be accessed here. Interested parties should respond with their submissions according to the guidelines no later than 1600 hours Sri Lanka time on 8 December 2023.
  An article authored by LIRNEasia researchers Helani Galpaya, Gayani Hurulle and David Gunawardana was recently published in the IDS Bulletin, published by the Institute of Development Studies. This article is a reflection by LIRNEasia, a thinktank working in the developing Asia Pacific, on factors enabling and hindering its ability to influence policy during two separate but related crises in Sri Lanka: the Covid-19 pandemic and the fully fledged economic collapse that the country underwent in 2022. The article discusses LIRNEasia’s readiness and ability to respond to the unprecedented situation of crisis in the country it is headquartered in and where most of its staff are located. We detail the specific actions LIRNEasia took during each crisis in terms of research (both new and repurposed) and dissemination of research in order to frame debates and influence policy. Read the full article below.
Get ready to be immersed in the forefront of digital discourse as the 18th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2023 unfolds in Kyoto, Japan from 8 to 12 October, under the theme The Internet We Want – Empowering All People. LIRNEasia will host two sessions featuring experts from the Global South, along with LIRNEasia CEO, Helani Galpaya, Senior Research Manager, Gayani Hurulle, and Senior Researcher, Isuru Samaratunga. Helani will participate at two additional sessions. Here’s a sneak peek at the sessions; scroll down to find out how to register to attend in person or online. 1: Public-Private Data Partnerships in the Global South (Session #308) Zoom registration link (IGF 2023 Room 3) Session page This round table discussion will explore how the private sector is contributing to the data revolution toward achieving the SDGs, and the key policy and practice challenges faced by stakeholders in attempting to build data partnerships in this regard.
On 2nd October 2023, Research Manager and Team Lead (Data, Algorithms, and Policy) Merl Chandana, alongside Junior Researcher Chanuka Algama, held a session titled ‘Applied data science research for social good’ at the University of Kelaniya’s Department of Statistics and Computer Science. The session delved into LIRNEasia’s journey of forming a data science team and using large datasets to yield critical insights for public policy. They contrasted LIRNEasia’s applied data science approach with traditional academic research and private sector practices. Additionally, they highlighted the emerging ‘AI for Social Good’ movement and its potential as a career avenue. The slides used can be accessed below.
LIRNEasia together with the South Centre hosted an expert forum on Policy Options for Digital Taxation in South and Southeast Asia on 19 September 2023. The event was a closed-door event, attended by over 110 tax officials, with participants registered from Global South 40 countries. The event, based on research conducted jointly by LIRNEasia and the South Centre, looked to provide a forum for the organizers and participants to share their experiences and weigh relative merits of different policy options for providing new taxing rights to capture revenues of large technology multinationals in local tax nets. The policy options included (i) domestic measures such as digital services taxes and withholding taxes (ii) OECD/G20’s Amount A Multilateral Convention and (iii) Article 12B of the UN Model Tax Convention.LA SC Digital Tax Forum_Panel 2_Implementation considerations.
This working paper explores the effect of gender on the likelihood of internet access and the likelihood of possessing digital skills capabilities among Indians and Sri Lankans, based on nationally representative survey data from 2021.
The technological advancements of the recent decades, including the expansion of the gig economy have given rise to increasing numbers of opportunities for flexible work for both men and women across the globe. Opportunities range from ridesharing to online freelancing to running home-based businesses with the help of social media and logistics platforms.   The growth in opportunities for digital work have expanded considerably after the advent of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Flexible work arrangements – such as those offered by the gig economy—have long been argued as an enabler of women’s increased and sustained participation in the labour market. This is particularly pertinent for countries like Sri Lanka, which have tussled with low female labour force participation (LFP) rates over the years.
We know from our previous qualitative work that women see online work and the flexibility it entails as a way to earn their own income while balancing childcare and other domestic responsibilities. However, many barriers and challenges remain to women’s participation in the online workplace, including gender gaps in internet connectivity and digital skills, as well as constraining social norms. To better understand women’s engagement with the ecosystem of digitally enabled work, between 2020 and 2023 we conducted further qualitative research in  collaboration with the Centre for Policy Research, India,  the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and World Resources Institute, India, and. The research aimed to assess the ecosystem within which women are engaging with digital work in India and Sri Lanka and the kind of impact that online platforms can create for women’s economic empowerment in order to inform updated labour market regulation and business practices. The final project report can be found below.
LIRNEasia Chair, Rohan Samarajiva and Senior Research Fellow, Sujata Gamage recently published an article in the Journal of Information Policy entitled Forming Policy Intellectuals in the Asia Pacific and Africa: Communication Policy Research South, 2006–2018. Read the full article here.
We are inviting proposals from potential bidders to conduct a qualitative study on Information Disorder in Sri Lanka.
LIRNEasia's Research Fellow, Dilshan Fernando, along with CEO Helani Galpaya, Senior Research Manager Gayani Hurulle and Catherine Mobley of Clemson University, recently published a paper on disability and place of living.
LIRNEasia Chair, Rohan Samarajiva delivered the keynote address on Day 1 of ICA Manipal Regional Hub 2023, organised by the Manipal Institute of Communication, titled: Inauthenticity of content in internet regulation: Who decides and how?