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Chanuka Wattegama presents findings from a benchmarking study of regulatory websites. The objective of this study is to do a performance evaluation of the web sites of the Telecommunication National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of selected countries in the Asian Pacific region and benchmark their performance as e-government service providers. Slides Points of Discussion: What is the role of a website in effectiveness of an NRA? CW – serves as a window to stakeholders RS – should have website as central organizing factor. organize yourself around putting everything up on the website.
A Participatory Study on Actions Required to Avoid and Mitigate Dam Disasters download document in PDF Executive summary in Sinhala (PDF) Executive summary in Tamil (PDF) The need for this project arose in the course of disaster-management expert consultations carried out by LIRNEasia and The Vanguard Foundation in the preparation of “NEWS-SL: A Participatory Concept Paper for the Design of an Effective All-Hazard Public Warning System” in January-March 2005. The current Concept Paper outlines the contours of an early warning system for dam related hazards in Sri Lanka. It is being developed in a participatory, consultative, and transparent process. This interim draft has been compiled on the basis of research and an Expert Consultation held 20 May 2005 at the Distance Learning Center located on the campus of the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, with participation from experts representing several decades’ worth of experience in several key Sri Lankan dam administration authorities. This draft is posted for comment.
Thursday, 16 June 2005 The final report from the second World Dialogue on Regulation for Network Economies research cycle has been released in both print and online formats. Edited by Amy Mahan and William Melody, the 383 page book contains the body of research and country case studies undertaken to investigate issues and perspectives on the theme Stimulating Investment in Network Development: Roles for Regulators. Download or purchase the book on the WDR site.
Voices from Asia-Pacific: Internet Governance Priorities and Recommendations: After almost ten months of research and activities, UNDP-APDIP’s Open Regional Dialogue on Internet Governance (ORDIG*) has produced a two-part report entitled, “Voices from Asia-Pacific: Internet Governance Priorities and Recommendations” – consisting of 1) the ORDIG Policy Brief and Executive Summary, and 2) the ORDIG Input Paper for the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). These documents stem from months of consultations involving stakeholder groups from the public and private sectors, as well as civil society. ORDIG consulted over 3,000 stakeholders through sub-regional meetings, jointly organized with UNESCAP and others; a region-wide online forum that allowed for open and candid discussions on the issues; and a region-wide, multi-lingual, issues-based online survey that looked at the Internet governance priorities of the region. The resulting two reports are the synthesis, consolidation, and reading of the voices from the Asia-Pacific region. They outline the principles and dimensions that make up the framework for building recommendations, which are provided in the documents at two levels – general and specific recommendations.
May 26, 2005 (Economic Times via NewsEdge) India’s Ministry of Finance has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allocate a 3G spectrum to mobile operators through the auction route. According to the ministry, it is DoT’s responsibility to price spectrum as per international practices, citing the example of Europe and the US, where governments fetched billions of dollars in revenue by auctioning spectrum. The ministry has also said that pricing of spectrum should not be in TRAI’s domain. The finance ministry has taken the position that pricing of radio spectrum is not a regulatory issue, and hence, should not have been referred to the telecom regulator. Instead, it has argued that receipts from radio spectrum should accrue to the government as non-tax revenue.
Harsha de Silva & Payal Malik 20 May 6pm PM: specifically looking at subsidy mechanisms for diversification, hence ‘moving beyond the market . Instruments looking at are hte universal service obligation fund (USF) and hte access deficit charge (ADC). There has been a diminishing of market efficiency gap (i.e, efficiency is improving). Slide # 3 shows the major improvements in efficiency in the market.
Samarajiva and Zainudeen had an article published in this issue of E-Gov, the full PDF of which is linked to below. In 2002, the-government of Sri Lanka embarked upon a broad development strategy, with a focus on services. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) were identified as one of the key drivers of national integration and economic growth. The eSri Lanka Initiative (eSL), which was designed in 2002-03, was intended to �take the dividends of ICT to every village, to every citizen, to every business and transform the way Government works � [to] develop Sri Lanka�s economy, alleviate poverty, and improve the quality of life and the opportunities for all of our people� . R.
Activities Report

Industrial policy revisited

Posted on April 28, 2005  /  0 Comments

In the 1980s and 1990s, a debate raged in the US on the question of industrial policy; the proponents arguing that the government should pick sectors and “winners” and the opponents arguing that government bureaucrats were not in a position to do so and that the market should be allowed to take its course. One of the most effective methods of policy argumentation in the US is “we are falling behind [fill in the blank].” Those days, the country that was forging ahead of the US was Japan, in most cases (e.g., Fifth Generation Computing, High Definition Television) .
On being asked to identify what I thought were the key on-the-horizon policy issues, I came up with the following. It would be helpful to have a web discussion on this with the intention of coming up with a ranked list that may include new items. 1. I am even more convinced that the backbone is a critical hole in the original reform thinking. Its significance is highlighted by Korea’s success in broadband and everything ICT.

Choices: LBO Monthly Column

Posted on April 21, 2005  /  0 Comments

Rohan Samarajiva writes a monthly column on Choices for the Lanka Business Online. His second column titled Nanny State (March 15, 200) deals with the controversial 100/200 meter rule that the Sri Lankan government wants to impose on people living along the coast line, preventing them from building houses within 100/200 meters from the sea. The third column is titled BPOs or daha dahasak wewu? (April 20, 2005) discusses the realistic policy choices available to decision-makers for moving the Sri Lankan economy to a high trajectory growth-rate.
NEW DELHI, APRIL 13: The government is in the process of amending the Indian Telegraph Act to extend the Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund support to cellular mobile services (both GSM and CDMA). As of today, the government is giving USO fund support to only the fixed line operators offering services in the rural areas. “We are looking at amending the Telegraph Act to accommodate the cellular services and CDMA-based services to reach the rural areas. We are looking at sharing of the passive infrastructure with the cellular service providers,” communications and information technology (C&IT) minister Dayanidhi Maran told reporters. Besides covering the villages, the minister is of the opinion that the wireless services should also provide connectivity to the Railways and highways especially in rural areas.

University links explored

Posted on April 6, 2005  /  0 Comments

On March 7th (I know, this is late; but as they say better late . . ), LIRNEasia had a full day of presentations and meetings at the School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The main presentation by Rohan Samarajiva and Sujata Gamage and the related concept paper may be of interest. Other conversations covered disaster-related and other research collaboration possibilities.

National Early Warning System

Posted on March 7, 2005  /  11 Comments

National Early Warning System: Sri Lanka (NEWS:SL):  A Participatory Concept Paper for the Design of an Effective All-Hazard Public Warning System (Version 2.1) Annexes: A Participatory Concept Paper for the Design of an Effective All-Hazard Public Warning System (Version 2.1)   *Executive Summary*# *The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed the lives of one in 500 of Sri Lanka�s people and displaced one in twenty has highlighted the critical importance of an effective National Early Warning System for Sri Lanka (NEWS:SL)*. Meeting this need, which has been discussed (and forgotten) after each of our too frequent disasters such as the cyclones of 1978 and the floods of 2003, can no longer be postponed. # *Public warning is a system, not a technology*.
By Payal Malik In his budget speech the Finance Minister of India promised a release of Rs. 1,200 crores (USD 275 million) for the Universal Service Fund. While it is heartening that the funds are being released and are not being gobbled by the Contingency Fund of India, what is however disheartening is that competition and liberalisation has not achieved its full potential in bridging the rural urban divde and like in the monopoly era one has to wait for budgetary pronouncements for rural telephony to jumpstart. An extract from his speech: Telecommunication is the best way to provide connectivity in urban and rural India. By the end of January 2005, we had achieved a tele-density of 8.

Colloquium: Virtual Organizations

Posted on February 18, 2005  /  12 Comments

The Virtual Organisation: How do we get there? Divakar: How can we get researchers and participants to engage in LIRNEasia activitites? And sustain these relationships? Money? -this is tough, since we have limited funds Professional development?