LIRNEasia conducted a national survey representative of everyone above the age of 15 in Sri Lanka.
Completed in October 2021, the survey sheds light in particular on two main aspects. First, the level of digital connectivity in Sri Lanka. Second, how the level of digital connectivity impacted access to other services, such as education, food, work and government service delivery.
About the research: The research was conducted by LIRNEasia, and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) through a grant given to three regional think tanks, LIRNEasia, Research ICT Africa and Instituto de Estudios Peruanos. The nationally representative sample for the survey conducted in Sri Lanka consisted of 2,500 households and individuals across the country covering 125 Grama Niladhari Divisions. The sampling methodology has been designed to ensure representation of the target group (population aged 15+) at a national level with a confidence level of 95-percent and a +/-2.8% margin of error. The data also allows for disaggregation by urban/rural divide, gender and socio-economic classification at the national level, as well as by within and outside the Western Province.
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.
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.