Blog


Recommendations to support independent living for persons with disabilities Brief in English and Nepali
A whitepaper distilling LIRNEasia's current thoughts on the possibilities and issues with the computation extraction of syntactic and semantic language from digital text.
Uncertain of the answer, I thought I’d write about it. Since Cable published their latest pricing league tables earlier this year my inbox seems to have a magnetic effect attracting ‘news’ from joyous announcements by the providers of the cheapest data in the world to harsh commentaries on the inaccuracy of the data being published. Following Cable’s release was A4Ai with its league tables published in March 2019 with prices for 100 MB, 200 MB, 1 GB, 2GB, 5GB and 10GB as a percentage of average income (GNI per capita reported by the World Bank). Both pricing leagues are relatively recent albeit more nuanced in some ways in comparison to the more seasoned data annually released by the OECD (with the limitation that this is only for the OECD countries) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Do we need this many pricing league tables for what appears to be the same thing?
The regional gender findings from AfterAccess were recently featured in the United Nations University-Equals’ Global Partnership’s inaugural report, Taking Stock: Data and Evidence on Gender Digital Equality in Digital Access, Skills and Leadership. The report has been combined in an effort to provide a resource for decision makers who are interested in reducing gender disparities in ICT access and use. LIRNEasia contributed to a chapter, Towards understanding the digital gender gap in the Global South, based largely on the nationally representative AfterAccess survey data from 17 (of the 23 surveyed) countries. The chapter relates some of the challenges in collecting rigorous gender-disaggregated data, and then illustrates the magnitudes of the gaps in access to mobile phones, internet and social media in the three regions. The chapter also examines gender digital inequality in the three regions through different lenses and methods.

It’s not all about rank

Posted by Shazna Zuhyle on March 27, 2019  /  0 Comments

Method. Method. Method.   But it seems that rankings and the publicity that ensues takes precedence.   Any methodology, for it to be meaningful, needs to be transparent and to the extent possible ensure comparability.

SDGs for the private sector

Posted by Shazna Zuhyle on March 18, 2019  /  0 Comments

The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) invited LIRNEasia for its Digital inclusion roundtable, held in Mumbai on the 7th of March 2019. The objective of the meeting was to assist the WBA in defining indicators and methodologies (that will be published by the end of 2019) for (1) Digital Inclusion, (2) Food and Agriculture, and (3) Gender Equality and Empowerment, by which private sector will be benchmarked against. The event hosted by the consulate to the Kingdom of Netherlands in Mumbai, started off with an address by the Consulate General and the Executive Director of the WBA. The criticality of the WBA’s work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and progress made was reflected upon. After two key notes that followed, the gathering was divided into 3 groups, one for each  of the benchmarks that delved deeper in to the subject matter.
GSMA recently published its 2019 Gender Gap study . In addition to measuring the gender gap in 18 countries based on  its own country-level surveys, GSMA goes on further to extrapolate the gender gap to 10 more countries using ‘third-party and publicly available survey data we considered robust,’ including AfterAccess data for four countries: Cambodia,Paraguay,Peru,Rwanda . These gender gaps are further used to quantify how much of a business opportunity exists if as many women (as men) are connected, but also if all women were to spend as much on mobile and internet services as men. The estimated opportunity in total is as high as  USD840b over five years.  Huge.
Methodology matters. A lot. Often, however, once league tables are released, it seems to matter less. LIRNEasia has been involved with price benchmarks, both in-house and with the ITU, for over 10 years. As catalysts, we’re always encouraged to see our work improving others’ research, even in the smallest of ways.
Presented by Rohan Samarajiva at Data Governance event at Royal School of Public Administration, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 4, 2019.
The four-day residential course on ‘How to engage in Broadband Policy and Regulatory Processes’ held on 16th- 19th February 2019 in Nepal was the nineth of a series of short courses funded by Ford Foundation
Presented by Dr. Sujata Gamage at Forum for business Innovations, NIBM National Innovation Center on March 01, 2019
Presented by Prof. Rohan Samarajiva at the Asia Liberty Forum in Colombo on 28th February 2019.
Report on the solutions development workshop held on the 21st of February 2019 at Hotel Yak and Yeti, Kathmandu, Nepal

Imagining a Feminist Internet

Posted by on February 25, 2019  /  0 Comments

It is the same ‘internet’ that we all hope for and are working toward: one which is accessible to all, safe, secure and open, and provides equal opportunities for all groups, minorities, etc. Perhaps with some degree of nuance added.
Presented at "Imagine a Feminist Internet: South Asia" on 21 February 2019 in Negombo, Sri Lanka
I congratulate my colleague Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, a researcher in our big data team, for being named a finalist for the prestigious Nebula Awards.