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(Note: This was originally published in the Daily FT) The Director General of the Department of Samurdhi released a circular on 29 August stating that monthly cash transfers to senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and kidney patients must be administered through Samurdhi banks from September 2022. In practice, this will occur from October. This disbursement mechanism deviates significantly from that used earlier, where each of these schemes had different collection points. Samurdhi banks were used exclusively as distribution points for the Samurdhi monthly cash transfers. Senior citizens’ allowances, PWD benefits and kidney patients’ allowances were disbursed via post offices, State banks and divisional secretariats, respectively (Table 1).
South Asia has some of the lowest female labor force participation (LFP) rates in the world, second only to the Middle East. Employment flexibility, also known as workplace flexibility, flexi-work, among other terms, has long been argued as an enabler of women’s increased and sustained participation in the labor market.
Can nation states, especially those in the Global South effectively regulate Global Tech Companies? Should they try? Why is it important to separate the data localization issue from data protection? GDPR is not fully enforceable even in Europe; should it be the model for countries in the Global South?
Digital Futures Lab, in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, recently published an edited volume on the ethics and governance of AI in Asia.
Tariq Zaman, Gayani Hurulle, Riki Manarangi, Crystal Kewe, Isha Suri & Rodrigo Balbontin at ApRIGF 2022 Gayani Hurulle participates in panel on Connecting the Unconnected at APrIGF 2022 in Singapore
LIRNEasia is currently looking to fill the role of a Junior Researcher/Researcher. The full job description is available here. The deadline for application is 7th October 2022.
LIRNEasia’s Chair Professor Rohan Samarajiva participated as one of the speakers for the session on ‘role of bureaucracy for a better Sri Lanka’ during the 35th Annual Conference of the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA), held on the 17th of August at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, Colombo. He addressed the question of whether digitization can make Sri Lanka’s bureaucracy more effective.
Sri Lanka Social Safety Net - Qualitative Study
Gayani Hurulle at Advocata ReformNow Conference The fragmented social protection system in Sri Lanka has been in need of reform for many years. There is a need to reform many areas, including targeting and the delivery of benefits — areas we have, and continue to, stress the importance of. The specific reforms that we prioritise may differ in the short and long term. The current economic crisis (which has thrown millions into poverty) has highlighted the gaps in the system. In this light, ensuring that the cash transfers are adequate to meet the needs of individuals and all those who need assistance are covered by the programme are key.
Gayani Hurulle speaking on Social Safety Nets I was invited to speak on Social Safety Nets in Sri Lanka on ‘The People’s Platform’ a 45 minute live TV programme on NewsFirst. I drew on LIRNEasia’s research on the area to highlight problems in targeting the poor and the possibility of using bank accounts and mobile technology to deliver benefits to the poor.  
This paper provides a description of a TPRC influenced conference and training program intended to develop policy intellectuals for the ICT space in Africa and the Asia Pacific that was active from 2006 to 2018.
We are inviting Proposals from potential Bidders to conduct a nationally representative study – Sri Lanka social safety net survey. The full RFP can be downloaded here. Please also see our Technical Proposal Template, Financial Proposal Template, Contract Template and Sample Locations before submitting the proposals. Deadline for submissions is 01 August 2022.
An Expert Round Table discussion on "Tackling online misinformation while protecting freedom of expression" held on the 11th of October 2021, as the second of a series of discussions under the theme of “Frontiers of Digital Economy”
On July 16, 2022, the Ministry of Power and Energy in Sri Lanka launched the National Fuel Pass – a QR code-based system to tackle the ongoing and ever worsening queues for purchase fuel in Sri Lanka. Two million registrations were done with the system by 19th July. LIRNEasia’s nationally representative survey conducted in 2021 shows that 54% of households in Sri Lanka own at least one motorised vehicle – this translates to about three million households. This system requires those signing up to use a smartphone, or an internet accessible device to register for the service. These devices could include a computer (desktop/laptop/tablet) or a phone (smartphone/feature phone).
Having stagnated for years, the percentage of South Asians who have used the internet has finally reached 50 per cent. In South Asia internet use is synonymous with social media, with most users spending all their time on chat applications. Many of these users have low digital skills and are often passive consumers in a digital world that attempts to influence, and at times misinform and manipulate, them.
Gayani Hurulle discussed LIRNEasia's research on social safety nets in Sri Lanka on an 'AdvoChat' organized by the Advocata Institute.