Blog — LIRNEasia


2019-2020 Annual Report

Posted by on December 3, 2020  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia's "Megatrends" Annual Report 2019-2020
There was overlap between budget analysis and an invitation to contribute to thinking on how things could be made better for Jaffna using ICTs. The result is described here.
screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation between researcher and respondent A reflection on research methodologies during COVID-19 lockdown
Image of Onno Purbo at LIRNEasia research event in Indonesia, 2005 Now in 2020, the Postel Award has been given to LIRNEasia alumnus Onno Purbo. We congratulate Onno for this well-deserved honor. What he did before and after his association with us is what won him the approbation of the jurors of the Postel Award. Onno played an important part in one of our formative wins, something that defined LIRNEasia. In this post, what we can talk about is what we know.
Chair Rohan Samarajiva was interviewed by Roar Media on the implications of using drones for identifying those violating curfew orders.
Presentation by Helani Galpaya at Ceylon Chamber of Commerce event on "Use of Digital Platforms for SMBs". November 2020.
LIRNEasia CEO Helani Galpaya participated in a panel discussion organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on "Use of Digital Platforms for SMBs". 
Findings from the AfterAccess enterprise survey conducted in Sri Lanka during December 2018 – January 2019.
One of the most contentious issues in platforms is the employment status of those who offer services on them: are they employees or independent contractors? If the former, in Sri Lanka they would qualify for employer contributed mandatory retirement savings; in the US, they would get health insurance and other benefits. A state law in California said those who offer services on platforms are employers. A vote on a proposition said no. In voting to support Uber and Lyft, Californians rejected the principles outlined in a 2018 State Supreme Court ruling and enshrined in a 2019 state law that said workers who performed tasks within a company’s regular business — and were controlled by the company and did not operate their own firms — must be treated as employees.
6 month internship opportunities : We offer an intellectually stimulating work environment where you will work alongside high-caliber colleagues across the region. You will receive international exposure from working on cross-country research projects.
One out of every forty Indians live with a disability, yet they remain far underrepresented in all segments of daily life: experiencing lack of access to information, living with scarce livelihood opportunities, inaccessible healthcare and assistive caregiving support, confronting stigma in public infrastructure and transport, and non-contextual or unaffordable assistive tech solutions, the rights and diverse concerns of people with disabilities remain underserved. While technology has been an enabler in resolving challenges in human existence, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and Assistive Technologies (AT) have mainly casted exceedingly niche solutions in response to the needs of persons with disabilities. To this effect, despite having a flurry of assistive tech solutions, most of them only partially meet the requirements of persons with disabilities at best and fail to achieve higher impact, as often users are forced to adopt more than one solution to actualise their potential. Such approaches to solution building underline the gaps and deficiencies inherent in the disability ecosystem that go beyond the challenges of underserved financing ie. limited demand side insights and infrastructure, a distance of dialogue between persons with disabilities and stakeholders and severely under-developed capacity for service delivery and scaling solutions.
Link to the full report is here.
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.