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Many countries around the world have adopted artificial intelligence (AI) polices. However, Sri Lanka is yet to adopt one. This discussion paper considers factors that may be taken into account if an AI policy were to be drafted in Sri Lanka.
LIRNEasia conducted a forum in mid-December 2021 focusing on tackling disinformation.
Science writer Nalaka Gunawardene shares his insights following a forum held in mid-December 2021.
Access to education became a widespread concern with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. And rightly so. A survey of Indians that we at LIRNEasia and ICRIER conducted between March and September 2021  shows that only 20% of school-aged children (i.e. those between the ages of 5-18) who were enrolled in the formal education system received remote education during pandemic-induced school closures.
Pirongrong Ramasoota, Senior Research Fellow who served on the Board of Communication Policy Research south for many years including a term as Vice Chair, has been confirmed by the Senate of Thailand to serve as a member of the seven-member Board of the Thai regulatory body responsible for spectrum, telecom and electronic broadcasting. A scholar who has given weight both to the conduct of well-designed research and to taking research findings to the policy process, Pirongrong exemplifies the kind of policy intellectual LIRNEasia was seeking to develop through CPRsouth.
There is little debate about Asia’s increasing economic and political significance. The COVID-19 pandemic that originated in the Asian land mass has retarded, but not reversed, the progress made in taking millions out of poverty and in moving the centre of gravity of the world economy back to Asia, where it was until the 16th century.
This policy brief looks at the current status of Sri Lanka's Open Data Portal, and what may be done to improve it. 
A new survey shows that 85% of enrolled school-aged children had some form of education services during school closures between March and July 2020. While some received educational services through multiple means, 54% of students received information, instructions, notes, or assignments sent to smartphone, tab, or computer, 50% had live lessons delivered over Zoom and other applications (potentially alongside other methods).
A recent national survey conducted by LIRNEasia, a regional policy think tank, showed that 44% of Sri Lanka’s population aged 15 and above were internet users in 2021. Internet use was lower amongst the rural, elderly, less educated and poorer groups.
"Data protection is considered an esoteric subject, but it can have powerful effects in the emerging digital economy. Depending on the success of digitalisation efforts, pretty much every organization may fall within the scope of data protection regulation. Few developing countries have enacted data protection legislation. There may be lessons to be drawn from the Sri Lankan effort."
“Sri Lanka has wellcrafted laws but rarely are they implemented satisfactorily. If the regulator is underresourced, little more than ticking the boxes so that Sri Lanka will pass the EU’s adequacy test is likely to be achieved, and even that is uncertain. The best law is not one that is optimal in a technical sense, but one which is most appropriate for the local conditions”
The COVID-19 related lockdowns, mandating citizens to ‘stay at home’ brought about a host of challenges, from restricted mobility to large scale job and income loss to disruptions in the provisions of essential services as well as education. To an extent, especially in urban areas, digital technology-driven solutions have been able to bridge the last mile of service delivery and help minimize the disruptions, for example through app-driven delivery services, online schooling, etc.
LIRNEasia will present the findings of a nationally representative survey with a 2,500 sample across Sri Lanka. We explore the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 by analyzing access to education, work, food and government services with a focus on digital technologies.
A recent survey by policy think tanks LIRNEasia and ICRIER has shown that Maharashtra was able to ensure continuity in formal education for 38% of its school-going (enrolled) children during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The state compares well against the India national average, as well as that of NCT Delhi, whose performance stood at 20% and 25% respectively. It is also noteworthy that only 6% of households had at least one child dropping out of education, as opposed to the national average of 25%.
A recent survey of households in Tamil Nadu has shown that large numbers of school-aged children did not have continuity in their formal education during the COVID-19 school closures. A small number (10%) even dropped out.
A survey of Tamil Nadu shows that 23% of internet users that came online in 2020 did so due to a need brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey shows that 5.7 million people (aged 15 or above) came online in 2020, and a further 4 million in 2021, bringing the total number of internet users in Tamil Nadu up to 32 million people, or 53% of the 15+ population.