Blog — LIRNEasia


In a wide-ranging interview, the Director General of the Sri Lanka Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) explained the reasons for requiring mandatory registration of IMEI numbers from October 1, 2020, saying all commercial vendors of terminal devices had to be registered with the TRC and that the IMEIs of the devices they sold had to be registered as well. He stated that these actions were being taken to protect consumers. Consumer protection in a market economy is anchored on information asymmetry. The default position is caveat emptor: let the buyer beware. Each consumer has a right to decide on the price-quality bundle he/she wishes to buy.
The Disability Innovation Pre-Accelerator Lab which was held as a virtual event from 10th August to 26th August was successfully completed. LIRNEasia organized this event in collaboration with Vihara Innovations Network as part of our work on accessibility,  PWDS (Persons With Disabilities) and use of ICT which is funded by the Ford Foundation. Pre-Accelerator’s journey began with 18 startups in the cohort on August 10th 2020. Team at Vihara planned the first phase to be discussion and learning oriented where multiple knowledge dissemination sessions and workshops were organized. These sessions were hosted in collaboration with individuals representing organizations like GSMA, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) ,  IIT Delhi,  Center for Law and Policy Research (CLPR), Saksham, Handicare, DEOC, Rehabilitation Society Of The Visually Impaired organization, ARTILAB Foundation, Social Alpha, Noida Deaf Society, University College of Medical Science (New Delhi) and LIRNEAsia.
The New York Times ran a poignant story about the travails of children unable to go to school in Indonesia. Today, about 13 million people across 12,500 remote villages have no access to the internet, said Setyanto Hantoro, president director of Telkomsel, the country’s largest telecommunications company, which is cooperating with the government to provide service in far-flung areas. Among the areas where Telkomsel is working to bring access are Kenalan, where the three girls study by the road, and the village of Bah Pasungsang, where as many as 20 students a day climb trees to study. But those efforts will not be completed until 2022, Mr. Setyanto said.
Once, the countries breaking up the Internet were China and assorted developing countries; those lecturing them not to do so were rich countries which were members of the OECD. How the world has changed. The Trump Administration is taking the hammer to the Internet. Australia is joining in a big way: With each passing day, the World Wide Web is becoming an outdated name. Facebook warned on Monday that it would block users and news organizations in Australia from sharing local and international news stories on its social network and Instagram if the country passed a proposed code of conduct aimed at curbing the power of Facebook and Google.
LIRNEasia has been entrusted with the task of developing recommendations on how best to regulate Sri Lanka’s water and sanitation services, now a high priority for the government. Because WSS involves all three levels of government, and because many different parts of the state have to be coordinated for effective performance it has been decided that the recommendations should draw from public consultations across the country. The first of these was held on the 27th of August 2020 in Kurunegala, the seat of the Provincial government of the Wayamba Province. Water consultation intro.
Abstract – The article highlights the essence of the safety-II paradigm and its potential for empowering People With Disabilities (PWDs) with adaptive capacity to face crises. Furthermore, the article recommends approaching safety-II through a community of practice involving PWDs, disabled persons organizations, public safety community, and all other relevant crisis management practitioners and researchers. The impact of disaster on a disabled person’s health is significant, including the number of People With Disability (PWD) deaths, injuries, diseases, and psychosocial problems. They are further effected with damage to their facilities and disruption to delivery of services to them over extended periods of time. Therefore, PWD safety in crises can be assured by empowering them, as well as their caregivers, family, and community that they largely depend on, with capacity to adapt in the time of crises.
Abstract – The article presents the necessary elements of universal design for a situational awareness platform. It builds on Endsley’s three level model and emergency data exchange standards. Thereby, the platform will lay the foundation for wide range of ICT-enabled tools that can customized to benefit each and every heterogeneous disabled persons groups.   Individuals with disabilities are disproportionately affected in disaster, emergency, and conflict situations. One reason is the lack of access to comprehensible and appropriate risk information and means for crying for help to be rescued – we know that People With Disabilities (PWD) are 2 – 4 times more likely to die or suffer in a disaster relative to others.

Internet versus internets

Posted by Rohan Samarajiva on August 10, 2020  /  0 Comments

For the longest time, US negotiators of international resolutions, statements, etc. which had something to do with the internet, used to quibble over capitalization of the word. They insisted on uppercase Internet because they said it was one single thing and therefore should be capitalized. Negotiators from countries like China and Iran, obviously disagreed. They preferred internet.
We are inviting Proposals from potential Bidders to conduct a nationally representative study on Impact of COVID-19 on households and the workforce in Sri Lanka. The full RFP can be downloaded here. Please also see our Technical Proposal Template, Financial Proposal Template, Contract Template and Sample Locations before submitting the proposals. Deadline for submissions is 23 August 2020.
I received a cold call from a member of the public today. He began by explaining how he found my mobile number. COVID-19 had got him thinking and he wanted my advice about career progression. Somewhat befuddled, I asked why me? He said that he recalled seeing me on TV talking about new work opportunities.
We like to think we can foretell developments in the industries we study. I can recall meeting a Jio operative at Abu Saeed Khan’s home in Dhaka before they launched and chatting about what was to come. We all agreed that Reliance would disrupt the market. All I could come up with was that voice would most likely be free, or very cheap. That was nothing very insightful, because that was where the technology was at that time.
App-based contact tracing solutions have become popular during COVID-19. However, most such apps have seen mixed results with limited citizen uptake and numerous privacy and ethical concerns. Wearable contact tracing devices, which promise several improvements over app-based solutions, have met with considerable interest in recent times. This document explores the key considerations in developing and deploying wearable contact tracing devices and provides recommendations to decision makers.
Report by Vignesh Ilavarasan on the estimation of the potential for automation in the Indian economy, December 2019.
Ramathi Bandaranayake presented the following paper at the 3rd International Conference on Gender Research, held July 16 – 17 2020. The conference took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper discusses the findings of our qualitative research related to female online freelancers in India and Sri Lanka.   Bandaranayake, R., Iqbal, T.
LIRNEasia entered the disability space because we recognized the transformative potential of smartphones, from our work in Myanmar. It is reassuring to see that this is what PWDs are saying in the US as well. They also talk about well-meaning outsiders proposing solutions to problems that do not exist. That also resonates with our thinking and the way we allocate the resources that we have. We spend a lot of effort to understand the problems that are important to the PWDs in the countries we work in.
A great deal of our work starts off with rigorous demand side research; knowing what, how and why users engage with digital technologies provides us with a solid evidence-base to make our policy recommendations. For example, the nationally representative data that we had collected through our AfterAccess surveys in six Asian countries, provided us with a solid evidence base to argue for various policy changes as soon as the pandemic hit. https://lirneasia.net/AfterAccess-COVID19. But going forward with current projects getting off the ground, and in the midst of designing new ones, we’ve had to think about what the pandemic, lockdowns, social distancing, etc.