Covid-19 Archives


I recently participated in a panel discussion on “Health Communication: Risk & Strategies during COVID-19” at the International Communications Association (ICA) Conference (South Asia Regional Hub) on 29 May 2022. This session was also streamed at the main ICA Conference in Paris. The session was chaired by Manjula Venkataraghavan of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education. Other panelists included Hezekiel Deamini of UNESCO, and Communications Practitioner, V. V.
Slides presented at the Education Forum Policy Dialogue (#20) on Education Post-Pandemic on Saturday, 26 March 2022
LIRNEasia recently participated at Education Forum Sri Lanka’s Policy Dialogue on Education Post-Pandemic (#20) held on Saturday, 26 March 2022. I drew on our 2021 nationally-representative survey to discuss students’ access to technology and  education during early pandemic-induced school closures. We found that only 63% of students enrolled in primary and secondary education had access to online education in Sri Lanka. Online education could range from students participating online real time classes through applications such as Zoom, Google Meet or Teams, or getting notes/activities from WhatsApp groups. Impact of exams on access Our survey showed that students due to sit for Advanced Level and Scholarship examinations were most likely to have studied online.
This reportage delineates the impact of the pandemic on income and earning opportunities of men and women in Sri Lanka and India.
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.
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.
LIRNEasia and ICRIER jointly released the findings of a nationally representative, 7000+ sample survey assessing access to services during COVID-19 in India. The research highlighted two distinct stories on the state of digital in India.
LIRNEasia and ICRIER will present the findings of a nationally representative survey with a 7,000+ sample across India. We explore the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 by analyzing access to education, healthcare and work, with a focus on digital technologies.
“A LIRNEasia focus study conducted in Gampaha during Sri Lanka’s second pandemic lockdown last year found that only 48 per cent of households with children had access to a smartphone or a computer and only a third of households with children had an internet connection. This (34 per cent) is on average: poorer, rural households are systematically worse off as the number drops to 21 per cent in the lowest socioeconomic group households.
This study looked to understand the experiences of 35 individuals during a lockdown in the Gampaha district. The last mile service delivery experiences – particularly in the areas of access to goods, education, cash and medicine – were some of the areas to which particular attention was paid.
The network is looking to bridge some of the gaps working with various stakeholders including the Ministry of Health to provide relief to those who need it the most.
Information collection (or data collection) is vital during an epidemic, especially for purposes such as contact tracing and quarantine monitoring. However, it also poses challenges such as keeping up with the spread of the infectious disease, and the need to protect personally identifiable information. We explore some of the methods of information collection deployed in Sri Lanka and Thailand during the COVID-19 pandemic, and offer policy recommendations for future pandemics.
Responding to the COVID-19 crisis has been difficult for many. Its volatile and uncertain nature has made planning even more challenging. It is, therefore, essential that efforts are made to simplify citizens’ planning and decision-making processes to the extent possible. Our research indicates that not all citizens were adequately prepared for sudden a lockdown, despite previous experiences. Disseminating better information could help, at least to an extent.
Education was hard hit due to the COVID-19 crisis. A year into the crisis, some educators, students and caregivers are still grappling to find ways to provide continuity in education while minimising COVID-19 outbreaks. Online learning was seemingly a silver bullet. The adoption of digital technologies for educational purposes increased significantly as a result. However, the experiences of all students were heterogeneous, differing between countries and socio-economic groups.
Chair Rohan Samarajiva was interviewed by Roar Media on the implications of using drones for identifying those violating curfew orders.
This policy brief details guidance on making decisions in a pandemic.