Slideset presented at the report launch on 21 August 2018.

Platform-mediated work in Myanmar

Posted on August 17, 2018  /  0 Comments

Slides from a dissemination event on online freelancing in August 2018.
Inspired by LIRNEasia's Hackathon for Accessible and Inclusive ICTs in Kathmandu, Nepal, Rajat Acharya, went looking for his childhood neighbor, a self-taught deaf man. What resulted was an gamified learning app with a wide range of use, first runner-up at the hackathon.

AfterAccess India Report

Posted on August 7, 2018  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia. (2018). AfterAccess India: ICT access and use in India and the Global South (Version 1). Colombo: LIRNEasia
Recently concluded nationally representative AfterAccess surveys show that 65% of Indians between the ages of 15 and 65 do not know what the Internet is, and that 81% claim not to use it. The study also revealed that rural dwellers are 22-percent less likely to own a mobile phone than urban. This gap is larger than in Bangladesh and Pakistan, as found by the same study.
Image showing panelists at the event The "AfterAccess: ICT access and use in Asia and the Global South" report was released in New Delhi, today.
AfterAccess: ICT access and use in India and the Global South. Helani Galpaya (@helanigalpaya) and TharakaAmarasinghe, 7 August 2018, New Delhi
A former Google engineer named Colin Huang has developed an online shopping app named Pinduoduo in China during 2015.
Fernando, L., Surendra, A., Lokanathan, S., & Gomez, T.
The search for a silver bullet ICT solution for low/volatile prices for agricultural produce continues, even when it should by now be evident that there is none. What matters is the level of supply and demand when the crop is ready to be harvested. We have great difficulty in foretelling the future. ICTs can, as the Economist points out, result in faster and wider dissemination of misleading or irrelevant information such as what is everyone growing at this particular time. What is relevant is the price that will be fetched when the crop is harvested, which is determined by supply and demand at that time.

Online Abuse in Myanmar

Posted on July 17, 2018  /  0 Comments

Both English and Burmese leaflets are available below:
The Social Science Section of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science organized a symposium to discuss the Sri Lanka Singapore Free Trade Agreement, signed in January 2018. Given it has been six months since this legal instrument binding two countries was signed in the Presidential Secretariat, I sought to explain the politico-economic context within which these kinds of agreements are being negotiated and signed. The slideset that I used is here. The audience was sparse, indicating the atrophied state of social science in Sri Lanka. The knowledge of trade agreements even among the panelists left much to be desired.
In April 2018, LIRNEasia’s Team Leader for Big Data Sriganesh Lokanathan traveled to New York to speak at UN Head Quarters. Here is what UN Global Pulse had to say about his speech. “You cannot fix what you cannot see,” said Sriganesh Lokanathan, Team Leader, Big Data for Development, LIRNEAsia. He argued that no one actor can achieve the promises of big data alone, and that the only way in which responsible and inclusive innovation can take place, is through collaborations and accountability by all stakeholders. He also underlined the importance of developing the capacity of citizens around the use of big data.
Pew Research, based on the Global Attitudes Survey, reports that 22 percent of the adult population in India owned a smartphone in 2017. This finding mirrors the findings of our AfterAccess surveys conducted in India
In an overview of studies on India in the United States, Devesh Kapur of the University of Pennsylvania has some less than complimentary things to say about RCTs. They mirror some of my comments about systematic reviews here, the next layer of RCTs, though I do not say anything about the benefits to reseachers like Devesh does. By contrast, there has been a considerable increase in India-related work in the social sciences. The field has become much more empirical and India offers several advantages for a researcher: large sample sizes, heterogeneity in multiple dimensions, relatively low cost of gathering data, and weak official oversight (which, in any case, is unlikely to be enforced). It would be hard to do many of these trials in the US or China.