With support from the International Development Research Centre of Canada, LIRNEasia and the Center for Internet and Society are today convening a meeting of researchers working on aspects of big data for development in the Global South. The hope is that we will be able to contribute to shaping a research and policy agenda and map out a path for productive collaboration. A document was prepared as the basis for discussion. Here is an excerpt: However, it is important that those engaged in policy analysis make the effort to understand what data is available, in what formats and what is being done with it. For example, the mobile networks in developing countries are different from those in developed economies.
I was asked to select a topic when I was invited to deliver the keynote at the APNIC 42 conference that was moved from Dhaka to Colombo because of the terror attacks. APNIC people usually get their jollies by debating things like the pros and cons of IPv6 versus IPv4. I had no comparative advantage on such esoterica. So I thought I’d try to broaden their horizons a little. Little attention is paid in these kinds of gatherings to what make it possible for the packets to flow: the fiber cables and the spectrum.
I once wrote a parable to make sense of the positions the various players were taking on Internet developments. After the dust settled, I expected them to work together to make money, rather than run behind the ITU or national governments asking for favors. Facebook has been explaining what it wants to do to make the Internet experience better for all users. Subramanian outlined a couple of its many bold network initiatives it is working on to bring access to the estimated 4.2 billion people who aren’t connected.
It was a problem in the country that gave its name to the Bay of Bengal that caused the main APNIC conference to shift its location to Colombo. So, when I was asked to deliver one of the two keynotes, I proposed a talk on connectivity in the Bay. Now that SAARC has taken a hit to its gut, there are many who think regional cooperation should focus on the Bay that unites us rather than the land that divides. Here is what the keynote is about: Much is changing in the region’s ICT infrastructure. China Unicom is building a cable station in Ngwe Saung on the Myanmar coast, solely for the purpose of connecting Western China to the world through the AAE-1 cable.
Hiring 8000 graduates to implement #RTI is wrong. Info officers must be senior people with authority. #LKA pic.twitter.com/jK3qucIktt — Rohan Samarajiva (@samarajiva) July 4, 2016 It was reported in the Lankadeepa of 30 June that the Government has decided to recruit 8,000 fresh graduates to serve as information officers in order to implement the recently-approved Right to Information Law.
Bangladesh is emerging as an important player in regional connectivity. Recently it has connected Northeast India to faster lane of Internet through a 10 Gbps international link of its submarine cable systems. It has prompted the landlocked Bhutan to be in the cue. Currently a Bhutanese telecoms delegate is negotiating a 5 Gbps international internet bandwidth deal with their Bangladeshi counterpart. Terrestrial transit through India is critical for Bhutan to access the submarine cable facilities of Bangladesh, says a press report.
One of our current priorities is to work with the National Statistical Agency to see how we can complement official statistics instruments on socio-economic monitoring. China watchers are not collaborating with the NSO. They are trying to second guess it. I was wondering though, wouldn’t we be happy if we got these kinds of correlations? “Big data provide an increasingly comprehensive and timely lens” on the world’s second-largest economy, the analysts wrote, adding a caveat that such indicators should be interpreted with caution.

Emergency powers to expedite cell towers

Posted on September 23, 2016  /  0 Comments

In the US, they included preemption powers in the 1996 Communication Act to enable the FCC to override state and municipal authorities on communication-related approvals. This was considered draconian. In my recommendations to governments, I have always been cautious about taking away the power of lower-levels of government. But it looks like the traffic situation in the Philippines has caused intelligent Senators to call for extreme measures. DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr.
When I was responsible for the management of technical assistance funds made available by the World Bank for telecom and infrastructure reforms, I heard many complaints about the money all going to foreign consultants and nothing remaining in Sri Lanka. I responded to this criticism in a substantive manner a few years back in LBO. But here is another relevant element. How much money do you waste by not mobilizing technical expertise at the right time? Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva pointed out that the then government has spent just one million rupees before wasting 350 million US dollars for setting up the emptiest international airport in the world.
India is finally plugging the mainland with Port Blair and five other islands (Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Havelock, Kamorta and Great Nicobar) of the Andaman and Nicobar though an undersea optical fiber cable systems. Taxpayers will count $150 million (INR 1,102.38 crore) for capex and initial five years opex of this maiden sub-oceanic telecoms initiative for the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. This cable from Chennai will be activated in 2018 while its capacity and ownership remain unannounced. Home of about 380,000 people, including the indigenous Jarawa, the archipelago is about 1,300 km east in the Bay of Bengal.
I spoke today at a workshop for media personnel organized by the Ministry of Disaster Management (DM). I just looked to see if I could link to the workshop description on the web. Apparently not. Guess that confirms what I said about the need for the DM Ministry and the DM Center to change the way they think about the web and associated new media. My slideset is here.
LIRNEasia research about online freelancers reveal, those engaging in part-time freelancing work such as graphics designing, digital marketing and translations, earn a monthly income of approximately Rs.20,000 -30,000. There are extreme cases too,  we have met few committed freelancers who earn over 300,000 per month. Earning from freelancing is making a drastic impact on the lives of Sri Lankan youth who are involved in it. Here is the evidence, freelancer Thilina Madushanka posted this in one of the Sri Lankan fiverr community page in Facebook.
We have been talking about cell broadcasting since 2007, at least. The technology has been used in the US before, but it appears this was the first time it was used to catch a suspect. Frank DiGirolamo was stepping out of a Manhattan deli on 37th Street and Seventh Avenue on his way to work when the alert went out. “All of a sudden, I heard the phones from people walking in every direction,” he said. “Even the fruit stand guy’s went off.
In the course of reviewing Jonathan Donner’s After Access: Inclusion, Development, and a More Mobile Internet (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2015), I realized why we always had trouble fitting in at most ICT for Development conferences and perhaps why our papers (and those of RIA) had trouble getting accepted. It was because were not doing conventional ICTD interventions (the first described below) but were removing barriers or roadblocks (the subtitle of our first book). One form of intervention, privileged in this book, is initiated by an external actor who knows what effective use is, for the benefit of the subjects who do not. The other form seeks to remove barriers to innovation by users of ICT and by those who seek to supply ICT goods and services to such users. This generally takes the form of legal or policy reform to enable certain actions (e.
It has been over five years since we started work on systematic reviews. I am in the middle of editing a special issue of a journal that will address the issue of how we take research to policy. As I say in the slides below, it seems unfair to ask of social science systematic reviews everything that is delivered by SRs in the healthcare space. In healthcare, the institutional arrangements are well established. One human body being more or less similar to another, the causal mechanisms discovered through SRs work well pretty much all of the time.
That was what someone from the audience said to one of the presenters at the end of our Systematic Reviews presentation at CPRsouth 12 in Zanzibar, September 10, 2016. Two years ago, at CPRsouth 2014 in Maropeng, LIRNEasia presented early results from ongoing Systematic Reviews (SRs) and presented ideas on how SR methodology could enhance the work of policy-oriented researchers. Two years later, the research is complete and we have disseminated the findings of all the projects. A special issue of Information Technology and International Development is forthcoming. As with all LIRNEasia projects, the dissemination will not end with the closing of the project.