Blog — Page 4 of 337 — LIRNEasia

Presented by Ayesha Zainudeen and Tharaka Amarasinghe at 3rd EDUCATION POLICY DIALOGUE hosted by the Education Forum Sri Lanka on the 16th of May 2020.
ICT access and use by Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in Sri Lanka
Slightly malfunctional signaling system can cause a train wreck. And it is no different with telecoms policy. Bangladesh enacted the International Long Distance Telecommunication Service (ILDTS) Policy in 2007. As opposed to fast convergence at technology front, this policy has savagely diverged wholesale supply chain of broadband followed by tagging licenses to each fragment of service. My article on the devastating consequences of this policy.
Senior Research Fellow Sujata Gamage‘s op-ed in today’s Daily FT concludes thus: Sri Lanka and most developing countries have come a long way from a situation where owning a phone was a luxury to where, for example in Sri Lanka, 97% of households have access to a mobile phone. However, access to the internet is available for less than 50% of households in Sri Lanka. If parents see the benefits of their children learning to learn using supplementary content and note that children with better access to the internet have more and better content, those parents will go the extra mile to secure internet access for their children. According to the 2016 Household Income and Expenditure Survey of Sri Lanka, parents in Sri Lanka already spend 50% of their education expenditure on tuition. If the need for tuition is reduced through fewer number of examinations to be faced by children and students are required to learn on their own supplementing textbooks with e-content, it could well be that education will be the driver of digitalisation of Sri Lanka.

Happy 50th, IDRC

Posted by on May 13, 2020  /  1 Comments

Today is the 50th anniversary of the legislation that created the pioneering development research organization that is known as the International Development Research Centre of Canada. On behalf of all at LIRNEasia, warm good wishes and thank you for the productive partnership. LIRNEasia would not exist if not for IDRC, which made it possible for a sui generis entity like it to emerge and find its feet. But I like to think we have also contributed to achieving the objectives IDRC was created to advance. In the words of David Hopper, the first President of IDRC: “For years the West thought all it had to do was to pass out its agricultural technology.
In previous research going back to 2006, LIRNEasia has studied food supply chains, including, but not limited to, fruit and vegetable supply chains in Sri Lanka centered on Sri Lanka’s largest wholesale market in Dambulla which was recently shut down by the government along with several other wholesale markets. The closures were preceded by scenes of massive over supply, frustrated farmers throwing away unsold produce in large quantities, claims that the traditional traders were exploitative “middlemen,” and counterclaims that politicians were seeking to replace them, etc. On the other end, consumers confined to their homes under COVID-19 preventive measures were complaining not only of difficulties in getting adequate supplies but also in some cases of low quality and high prices. The government’s response included efforts to purchase unsaleable produce directly from farmers and to redistribute through government channels. Some may argue that COVID-19 is a black-swan event which is impossible to prepare for.
When teaching the “low politics” of international relations, I used to begin with infectious diseases and the need for the WHO. Diseases do not respect borders; their control therefore cannot be limited to what goes on within national borders. Nation states need to cooperate. Therefore the justification for WHO. In its peculiar way, COVID-19 highlighted how connected the world has become.
It’s not for the user to worry about how services are provided; it’s for the supplier. The user complains only when service quality declines or prices go up. But for those more engaged with the industry, it is important to think about what has to be done behind the scenes for the show to run smoothly. As with all infrastructures, the real challenge is the peak. Especially when demand peaks unexpectedly.
I have been teaching regulation since the 1980s, using all kinds of text books and articles. Since around 2000, I was deeply engaged in training regulators all over the world. It was thus not a big deal to respond to a request to write an overview or pull together a bibliography. But what I found most useful was a question from a colleague about the one article/book I would say was central to understanding regulation. Not ten, not five, but one.
Social media celebrities are campaigning for unlimited data packages. Yet the reality is that more than half the country does not use the Internet. Educationists worry about whether online education will leave the children in homes with no coverage and no smartphones behind. Teachers send 12 pages of notes on Whatsapp, without thinking how it is going to be used. Middle-class parents are asking around how to buy color printers, so they can get back their phones and laptops without guilt.
Hammered by retrospective tax determinations and non-traditional pricing plans introduced by Reliance Jio, the Indian telecom sector appeared to be in some kind of death spiral. But T.K. Thomas, one of the most knowledgeable observers of the sector, sees hope in the recent infusions of funds by entities ranging from Facebook to the Government of India. Beyond the immediate cash inflows he sees the overall prospects as positive: More than 50 per cent of the market is still not connected by data services.
This study explores the effect of the expansion of mobile phone signal on migration decisions in Myanmar.
Why wait for the regulator to ask? It seems like common sense for telecom network operators to voluntarily publish data on network usage like the Myanmar operators do. It will help beat back stupid ideas about free data or uncapped packages. Also, mobile operators know how many smartphones are on their network and even what kinds of smartphones they are. People such as teachers and education officials who are planning to deliver content over these devices need this information.
I find myself a little defensive when I bring up the needs to access data quickly for policy-relevant research in gatherings dominated by fans of GDPR. Does not stop me, but I keep wondering what they think of me. But reading Siddhartha Mukherjee, a doctor deeply engaged in the fight against COVID-19 makes me feel much better.the System designers and lawyers have forgotten the original purpose of healthcare records: to help cure the patient. Finally, we need to acknowledge that our E.
Today, our friends in Nepal are commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Gorkha Earthquake which took the lives of around 9,000 people and injured 22,000. I was reminded of the wide-ranging relief and recovery activities undertaken by our partners in the Nepal chapter of the Internet Society, focusing on supply of emergency power and connectivity to relief workers. We had just come back from teaching an eventful course in Nagarkot. Here is what I had said when interviewed by the BBC Sinhala Service the next day: 1. The immediate priorities should be rescue and housing and care of those rendered homeless.
Today, under very different conditions of multiple channels being available, the Fairness Doctrine makes no sense. But back in the 1960s, it was right. Here’s the story of how an unknown young man’s letter to the regulatory agency eliminated tobacco advertising from US TV. I used to teach about this, using it as an example of the serendipity of policy interventions. Sometimes, there’s a Henry Geller at the other end.