What does one say about the passing of Deunden Nikomborirak?  How does one adequately mourn the death of one so accomplished, one with so much more to give?  What does one say about a death too early? I recalled our last lunch together, several years ago.  Too many.
When faced with complex issues, education issues, for example, it is tempting to come up with a hundred and one things one might do to fix. That is a mistake. Unless we identify a few pivotal changes that will lead to positive repercussions across the education sector, we will be lost in detail.
Presented by Ayesha Zainudeen and Tharaka Amarasinghe at the 15th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference Bangkok, Thailand, 29 October 2019 The full paper is available here.
Presented by Ayesha Zainudeen and Tharaka Amarasinghe at the 15th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference Bangkok, Thailand, 29 October 2019 The slides presented are available here.

2018-2019 Annual Report

Posted on October 3, 2019  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia's Annual Report of Activities during the financial year to March 2019.
Helani Galpaya presented LIRNEasia’s research on platform-mediated work in Sri Lanka, India, and Myanmar at the CEPA Open Forum “Transformative or same-same? The 4th Industrial Revolution and jobs,” organized by the Center for Poverty Analysis. Helani also participated in the panel discussion.
Helani Galpaya 24 Sep 2019 | CEPA Open Forum | Colombo, Sri Lanka
The draft National Digital Policy proposes a target of 70% of internet users by 2025, an undeniably ambitious target. The target – pulled out of thin air as though it may seem – is actually based on a time series forecast using ITU statistics from 2000-2017. The forecast was computed using a statistical software called Tableau, which considers exponential smoothing and seasonality. The lower and upper levels were based on 95% confidence intervals. The chart below shows that the upper limit that can be achieved is 74% by 2025 if accelerated efforts are made to drive internet adoption and smartphone use in Sri Lanka.
E-Resilience is a system property but poorly understood in Asia and the Pacific because it is understood almost exclusively in terms of continuity and recovery; the “bounce forward” adaptive role of E-Resilience remains uninvestigated doesn’t Included the fundamental enablers of E-Resilience, which are robustness, self-organization, and learning hasn’t fully employed diagnose and remediation programs to bounce forward; thus, ensuring improving telecom survivability/availability, rapid restoration of access to telecoms, real-time data services, dedicated public security networks, and proven business continuity and disaster recovery plans and procedures. VIEW SLIDES – “e-Resilience in support of emergency communication: best-practices.” These facts are worth considering for steering the AP-IS E-Resilience initiatives. As shown in Figure 1, resilience should elevate each additional state above the previous (initial) state. Nevertheless, I’m very excited to see UN-ESCAP AP-IS initiative taking two and half of the recommendations presented in the previous year; i.
Presentation on e-Resilience in support of Emergency Communications: best-practices; – 3nd session of the AP-IS steering committee and WSIS regional review meeting held 26th & 29th August 2019, UN Conference Center in Thailand. The event was part of the UN-ESCAP Disaster Resilience Week. Slides: waidyanatha_e-resilience(session5)_LIRNEasia
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has objected to the completion of the 12,971km Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), according to the Wall Street Journal. Once commercially launched in Q3 2019, the roughly $400 million PLCN system will plug El Segundo (California) with multiple Asian destinations: Aurora and San Fernando City (both in Philippines), Deep Water Bay (Hong Kong) and Toucheng (Taiwan). GU Holdings (a subsidiary of Google), Edge Cable Holdings (a subsidiary of Facebook) and Pacific Light Data Communication (PLDC) have teamed up to build this 144 Tbps capacity of transpacific cable, which is composed of six fiber pairs. It will be the first cable connecting Hong Kong and the U.S.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay Much has been already written and debated about the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) and its far-reaching implications on virtually every dimension of human life. Some of the technologies that are central to this revolution include robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), nanotechnology, quantum computing, and biotechnology. However, there’s a widespread belief that it will be the Internet of Things (IoT) that will drive the fourth industrial revolution – and it is not hard to see why. A wealth of connected smart devices brings about an explosion in the volume, veracity, and value of available data, which is the precursor to the magic that can be unlocked through machine learning and intelligent predictions. [THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL PROLETARIAT].
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay Population growth isn’t simply new people entering the system [Core: FEEDING THE BEAST]. As historically high mortality rates plummet, the Asia Pacific has ended up with the problem of ageing populations – one of the reasons why US National Intelligence Council thinks we are living a Paradox of Progress. According to an analysis by the Asia News Network, three Asian countries already have ‘aged’ populations – more than 14% of the population aged 60 and above – and Japan is now ‘super-aged’ with more than 21% of the population aged 60 and above.  By 2030, five countries in the region will be ‘aged’, three countries will be ‘super-aged’ and Japan will be ‘ultra-aged’ – more than 28% of the population aged 60 and above. While people keep getting older, there are serious questions about the region’s readiness to absorb such a large elderly population.
Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay The Mekong Delta Region is one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the world: it accounts for over half of Vietnam’s agricultural output and more than 90% of its export rice output, which in turn represents about 10% of the global rice market [Core: FEEDING THE BEAST].  However, the region, with its low-lying geography, is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change [Core: THE WRATH OF NATURE]. In fact, a recent delta-wide study has predicted that the entire Mekong Delta will sink underwater by 2100 at the current pace, triggering a large-scale humanitarian crisis. To understand the scope of this crisis, one must trace the Mekong River. It springs from headwaters in the mountainous regions of Tibet and arcs downward, its fruits enjoyed by China and many countries in the Southeast Asian region – including, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.
Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay Ever since the term ‘fake news’ entered the popular vernacular around 2016, it has been a topic of much debate, even leading to changes in legislature. Of course, advocates of free speech and democracy have long criticized the intentions behind such legislature, since they fear that such policies will only add to the toolkits of authoritarian regimes. One fact is unavoidable: fake news is a real problem in the APAC region. During the recent clashes between India and Pakistan, a flood of fake news spread across India containing videos and images that had nothing to do with the incidents. The issue worsened with some mainstream media republishing such content which fuelled a public outcry for military action against Pakistan in the midst of a heated election campaign.
Image by intographics from Pixabay In 1920, Czech playwright K. Čapek debuted R.U.R.: ‘Rossum’s Universal Robots’, showcasing a new artificial race of manufactured laborers.