The BBC world service programme ASSIGNMENT this week is about the tsunami and emergency communications in Sri Lanka and includes an interview with Rohan. You can hear it at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/meta/tx/nb/assignment_au_nb.
Led to the Colombo Regency Rotary Club’s successful web relief operation. This has been featured in Rotary International’s publication, without either of their names . We, in our small way, seek to correct this by this post. Good work, guys. You are appreciated, by us as at least.
Rohan: Vanguard Foundation was recently created which has a center for disaster management. The work I have done at TRC on disaster management will be leveraged in the current context, and we will prepare a document. Pete Anderson is disaster communication expert who will be brought in to design a concept paper to set up parameters of a disaster management system. We are moving very fast on this. Sequence: Disaster happens, analysed, and transmitted in a secure communication mechanism to the media.
An article describing the thinking behind the design of e Sri Lanka, with emphasis on e government and infrastructure is at . As the title note states, this was a collective design that many contributed to. So, I cannot take credit for the design, though I will have to take responsibility for any errors in the article. This is a good journal for those working on developing country infrastructure issues. Subscribe.
Sujata and I will be participating in a conference in Manila addressing how to get them to focus on ICTs. In light of the Indian Ocean tsunami, there will also be a session on disaster warning, where I will speak. Provisional program is attached. Manila ICT4D and Universities Program Asia Consultation
The most remarkable perhaps is the story of Nallavadu, whose entire population of 3,600 was saved by a phone call. Nallavadu, along with the other three villages, is involved with the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation’s `Information Village Research Project,’ where the MSSRF’s informatics division conducts classes from rural knowledge centres. One of the former volunteers of this programme, Vijayakumar, who now works in Singapore, saw the tsunami warning there.
All this seems irrelevant now, but 2 weeks ago, the government’s Sunday newspaper ran a rambling article about telecom reforms, that was in part a personal attack on Rohan Samarajiva, but mostly an assault on the reform process itself. The tables that were central to the article had been produced by Mr K.K. Gunawardene, former Director of the Department of Telecommunications (state-owned integrated monopoly until 1991), more recently with the ITU’s Bangkok office. These tables are unfortunately not reproduced in the online edition of the newspaper.
The body count is way over what everyone thought. The volunteers are working like crazy. The flaws in the government’s relief efforts are beginning to show. The LIRNEasia response is given in the attachment. Also attached is a scanned copy of Rohan’s interview with the leading Sinhala daily on disaster preparation.
The wind was not held back Below is a talk given 6 years ago entitled “To hold back the wind.” That was an attempt to get disaster preparedness going. It failed, obviously. The walls of water came in with no warning; thousands died instantaneously; millions are homeless. Parentheses refer to 9/11 in the US for scale: in a few hours on the 26th of December more that 17,900 (3,000) died out of a population of 19 million (280 million).
Rapid Response Unit: LIRNEasia’s response to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s Consultation Paper 16/2004: Growth of Telecom Services in Rural India: The Way Forward (October 27 2004) See report and download documents
Rapid Response Unit: In response to a consultation paper, ‘Reassigning/Allocating Spectrum in the 800/900 MHz Bands‘ in Octoer 2004, LIRNEasia submitted its comments. Subsequently, the TRC issued a response to this, with their comments, and request for further comments and views. LIRNEasia has responded with the following letter and attachments [1 & 2]
contains an interesting interview with Bill Melody and two other items worth reading. A new publication of the Mexican regulatory agency, COFETEL. Worth thinking about: Bill’s central point is that the new regulatory agencies must have flexibility. He says their managers must have expertise, independence, capacity, etc.: “they must be informed and sophisticated market managers focused on using market tools strategically as their principal weapon in achieving pubic interest objectives.
Call-for-Papers A well developed information infrastructure is critical to the emerging knowledge society. Arguably, it is the availability of network-based development toolkit that enables consumers to generate value for the suppliers in the so-called reverse economy scenario. Similarly, it is the availability of ubiquitous Web-based information access that provides deep support to individuals in the new paradigm of distributed capitalism. It might not be extravagant to claim that a sustainable knowledge society, to a great extent, relies on a sophisticated information infrastructure. As part of the information infrastructure, mobile communication has developed at an extraordinarily high speed in both developing and developed countries.
Sujata: summary too lenghty Luxman: Since audience is EU needs to have language on ICT uplifting “masses” and “rural” access. Malathy: Process element of regulation is not there? Rohan: Study was originally for investor study and language taken from WTO language leaving out the independence of regulator. Process question will be in another study comparing different sectors. Malathy: why cant process be built into current study?
Rapid Response Unit: 14 December 2004 LIRNEasia made a short, but productive call on Nepals High-Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT) last week, to advise on jump-starting its e government and reform processes. The visit came within less than ten days of a request for Rapid Response assistance by Mr. Sharad Chandra Shah, HLCITs Vice Chairman. In his three day visit, executive director Rohan Samarajiva conducted two key sessions, with HLCIT and decision making level representatives of government, private sector and civil society. The first was a seminar, concerned with how Nepal can rapidly implement e-government initiatives, drawing on experience from Sri Lanka.