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An exploration of megatrends within the Asia-Pacific region There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. – Julius Ceasar, ACT III Scene IV Introduction Throughout history, there have been sequences of events that are absolutely inevitable, beyond the control of any emperor or tyrant. If we, like Shakespeare, insist on seeing them as tides, one could say that the task of historians is to study little wavelets from the past and try to piece together the biggest tides that shaped the day; and what we manage to cobble together we call history, as we know and study it.
AfterAccess: ICT access and use in Asia and the Global South (Version 3.0)
The biggest barrier to policing social media is language. Based on a draft LIRNEasia white paper on neural language processing. Published in Foreign Policy.
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.
I congratulate my colleague Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, a researcher in our big data team, for being named a finalist for the prestigious Nebula Awards.
Our founding Chair Prof. Rohan Samarajivareceived the SLT 01 Lifetime Achievement Award "for the yeoman contribution he has made over the years as a public policy maker and advocate to influence access to cost-effective and high-quality digital infrastructure for all Sri Lankans". 

Peace to the farmers’ fields (Video)

Posted on December 18, 2018  /  0 Comments

A LIRNEasia video project exploring the history of relationships between the North and South of Sri Lanka through the agricultural value chain.
On December 4th, Nepali person’s living with disability and those who supported their cause, rallied along the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal to mark the 26thUnited Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). Somewhere in the crowd was our researcher, Isuru Samaratunga.

AfterAccess Asia Report 2.0

Posted on November 5, 2018  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia. (2018). AfterAccess: ICT access and use in Asia and the Global South (Version 2.0). Colombo: LIRNEasia

2017-2018 Annual Report

Posted on October 16, 2018  /  0 Comments

Our AfterAccess research, conducted in partnership with sister networks DIRSI and Research ICT Africa and were declared winners of the EQUALSinTech 2018 Research Award at the Yale Club, New York, on 22 September 2018.
A personal reflection on the people of CPRsouth
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.
If anything, it is Facebook that is a bigger culprit or conduit for hate speech, not so much the picture-less/video-less Zero Rated Facebook version. So suddenly celebrating the pull-out/failure of the Zero Rated Facebook, while the full version of  Facebook is alive and well is rather misguided.

Facebook: To ban or not to ban?

Posted on April 24, 2018  /  0 Comments

The Jakarta Post Opinion by Ibrahim Kholilul Rohman and Ayesha Zainudeen The Indonesian government is considering a ban on Facebook amid concerns of privacy breaches and potential abuse of the platform to influence the upcoming presidential elections through fake news and hate speech. Using the indicative survey data collected by LIRNEasia in 2017, on use of social media among other online services by 1,200 Indonesian citizens, the following article by Ibrahim Kholilul Rohman (Research Fellow at United Nations University-Electronic Governance) and Ayesha Zainudeen (Senior Research Manager at LIRNEasia) argues against such a ban. The authors argue that a ban on Facebook or other social media in Indonesia could have serious economic impacts, and could end up being futile, given the recent experience in Sri lanka: “Certainly, a deeper analysis, using nationally representative data is required to better understand this phenomenon in Indonesia. But as a starting point, banning Facebook cannot be seen as a wise decision at the moment considering that people are starting to economize this platform, particularly in the SME sector which plays an important role in Indonesia’s economy.” The article has been published in Bahasa Indonesia by business news outlet Kontan.
My colleagues and I at LIRNEasia are delighted that Rohan Samarajiva has been appointed as the Chair of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka.  As a frequent commentator on ICTs, development and regulation, it’s well known that he has a strategic vision of what the ICT sector can achieve and contribute to Sri Lanka’s people and our country’s place in the world.  As a former regulator, he knows the important role government (or a government agency like ICTA) can play in enabling that vision. But at the same time (and what I consider an important facet) is that he is a firm believer in what government does NOT have to do, if the private sector, well-functioning markets, and a civil society are available.  So ICTA is in good hands in terms of finding it’s “place” in the world, and hopefully enabling the ICT-actors in Sri Lanka and citizens reaching their maximum potential.