Colombo Archives — Page 4 of 6


Webhamuva: Tsunami Voices Final Report

Posted on October 23, 2006  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia and Sarvodaya initiated the Webhamuva program with assistance from the World Bank’s Small Grants Program to give voice to the people whose opinions go unheard in the post-tsunami reconstruction work. The final report is available here (PDF): WEBHAMUVA: Report on People’s Consultations on Post Tsunami Relief, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in Sri Lanka The findings from the report indicate that people are dissatisfied with the pace of reconstruction and rehabilitation. Most of the tsunami-affected spoken to have yet to recover their normal lives in terms of livelihood, permanent housing and their sense of safety and security. The feeling of helplessness and despair is quite prevalent especially when people do not have the capital or means to engage in sustainable livelihoods. Needs assessment from the donors has not been very effective because there seems to be a large discrepancy between what people need and what is supplied to them.

Business process in-shoring in Sri Lanka

Posted on September 23, 2006  /  24 Comments

Finally, a major company has shifted its call center out of Colombo. When will the government call center follow? Telecommunications allows for distance to be overcome. Taking back office operations to Rajagiriya is not enough; there should be call centers in Hambantota and Trincomalee. Now that the SLTL fiber is on its way to Hambantota, the former may yet happen.
There has been considerable discussion in Sri Lanka about the need to unlicense the 2.4 GHz band used for WiFi. The Director General has assured that a Gazette reducing the license fees to LKR 100 is on the way (it would good if this can be posted on the TRC website). While this constitutes significant progress and is indicative of the progressive approach of the current leadership at the TRC, the fact remains that a license fee of LKR 0 with a postcard notification, or complete unlicensing is the right solution. A user will have to spend hours if not days especially if he/she lives outside Colombo) fullfilling the requirements of a s.
LIRNEasia was invited to a meeting by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Mahaveli Development to discuss dam safety, based on the concept paper we developed last year in collaboration with a large number of partners. Work is underway to develop a project for World Bank funding that includes dam safety and the upgrading of hydrological and metereological information systems connected to the Sri Lanka’s water resources. The World Bank task managers present emphasized that the project development as well as its implementation must be done in adherence to the principles of consultation, participation, ownership of the project by all parties, and transparency. LIRNEasia was the only non-governmental entity at the meeting that had 30-40 attendees. In my comments, I expressed our appreciation of the invitation and offered to share our expertise in the handling of public consultation projects and community involvement in last-mile disaster warning.

Learning to Respond Intelligently

Posted on July 29, 2006  /  0 Comments

Often a response is a result of a stimulus. Evacuation drills are stimulus-response models; the drill is activated by a siren and the people are expected to react by hurrying to safety zones, in most cases defined by the community’s response plan; i.e. activating an existing emergency response plan.Social Cognition is encoding, storing, and retrieving social information and applying the cognition to social situations.
Thursday Evening, 5:00PM Sri Lanka Foundation Institute 100 Independence Square, Colombo This lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture will address all-hazards warning and the use of the Common Alerting Protocol in disaster mitigation. Gordon Gow is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Extensions at the University of Alberta, Canada. Co-author of the book: “Mobile and Wireless Communication: An Introduction” and most current book: “Policymaking for Critical Infrastructure”. Moreover, he is the communication systems consultant for “Evaluating a last-mile Hazard Dissemination: A Research Project” in Sri Lanka.
Since the last thread was getting unwieldy in size it has been shut. Please continue the discussion here.
According to this report, SLTL is pressing ahead on offering more high speed data services within Colombo. I think the correct amount is USD 2 million. If only one could offer high-end data services for USD 20,000! This news item should be of significant interest to our readers who want these services offered in rural locations such as Mahavilachchiya. Lanka Business Online

Standardizing Sinhala for IT

Posted on May 30, 2006  /  204 Comments

PLEASE CONTINUE DISCUSSION ON STANDARDIZING SINHALA FOR IT APPLICATIONS IN THIS THREAD. CREATING ICT MYTHS THREAD HAS BEEN ARCHIVED. EXCERPT FROM PREVIOUS DISCUSSION BELOW:
The following news item talks about SLTL’s plans to give 100,000 ADSL connections (more than the total number of main lines in 1990!). This is good news indeed. But it would be even better news if the network were to be properly dimensioned so that customers could get the speeds they pay for. :: Daily Mirror – FINANCIAL TIMES :: SLT is also shifting its focus to non-voice data services and delivering broadband technologies.
This article shows that government’s instinct to ban cellphones from conflict zones because of the belief that it will be used by militants/terrorists to further their cause, actually neutralizes one of the security agencies most potent weapons to track subversives. I doubt that the Sri Lankan government will allow cellular service to be available any time soon in the North. But at least it gives the security agencies some food for thought. The Indian government was similarly reluctant to have cellular service in Kashmir, but the Indian security agencies are their biggest proponents now. ———— Troops in Kashmir master new weapon: cell phones Reuters By Sheikh MushtaqSun May 21, 1:53 AM ET Minutes after a bomb exploded recently in Kashmir and wounded Indian soldiers, a senior member of an Islamist rebel group called local newspaper offices to claim responsibility for the blast.
The first phase of the Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination (HazInfo) project funded by IDRC, was completed recently with the training of trainer component. LIRNEasia is implementing this project along with its project partners Sarvodaya, the largest community organization in Sri Lanka and TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP), a non-profit media organization working in the Asian region. LIRNEasia has undertaken a number of initiatives in the area of ICTs disasters and early warning post the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster of 2004. However, this is by far the largest project undertaken LIRNEasia in this area to evaluate the suitability of a number of ICTs (information and communication technologies) deployed in varied conditions for their effectiveness in the last-mile of a hazard warning system.
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 19 December 2005: A recent study has revealed that many financially constrained Jaffnaites spend more than 12 per cent of their monthly regular income on telecommunications. People in Jaffna depend heavily on mobile telecommunication and have the highest demand for international calls in the Sri Lankan sample. A study of ‘financially constrained’ telecom users in Sri Lanka has shown that compared to similar users in other areas of Sri Lanka, users in Jaffna exhibit markedly different patterns in their telecom use. The study, released today by LIRNEasia, an Asian research organization based in Colombo looks at telecom use amongst people whose monthly incomes are below LKR 10,000 in the Badulla, Colombo, Jaffna and Hambantota areas…… English press release: Jaffnaites spend up to 12% of their monthly regular income on telecommunications More information about the project: Jaffnaites spend up to 12% of their monthly regular income on telecommunications
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 19 December 2005: Men and women in Sri Lanka and India engage in similar levels of telephone use in low-income settings, according to a recent study carried out by LIRNEasia. A study conducted by LIRNEasia, an Asian research organization based in Colombo, explores the use of telecom services amongst people whose incomes are less than approximately USD 100 per month in Sri Lanka and India. The study provides evidence that there are few significant differences between men and women in the use of fixed, mobile or public phones at these income levels. These results challenge the findings of several prior and well-established studies……..
Colombo, Sri Lanka. 19 December 2005: Sixteen per cent of the revenues of Bangladesh’s Grameen Phone come from four per cent of customers. And they are not the most affluent people; they are village phone ladies. This is one of the key findings of recent research conducted by LIRNEasia. LIRNEasia, an Asian research organization based in Colombo with a particular focus on issues relating to ICTs and development, today released a study titled, “An Investigation of the Replicability of a Microfinance Approach to Extending Telecommunications Access to Marginal Customers” which indicates that the widespread perception that it is not economical to serve “marginal customers”/ the poor is a myth.
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 19 December 2005: A recent study has shown that fifty-eight per cent of low-income telephone users are absent from conventional telecom indicators. The study also shows that they are spending more of their monthly incomes than expected on telecom services. The study supports C.K. Prahalad’s claim that there is a fortune to be made at the ‘bottom of the pyramid,’ not only at the top.