Covid-19 Archives


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.
App-based contact tracing solutions have become popular during COVID-19. However, given their mixed results, wearable technology may prove to be the future.
On Friday, 26 June, 15:00-17:00 Central European Time (1830-2030 IST), the International Telecommunication Union is convening leading economic experts to discuss COVID19 and the Digital Economy: James Sullivan from J.P. Morgan, Mayssaa Issa from Delta Partners, Matt Yardley from Analysys Mason, Germán Cufré from IFC – International Finance Corporation, Shaun Collins from CCS Insight, Steve Brazier from Canalys, Paul Lam, CFA, FRSA from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Tim Kelly from The World Bank, Alison Gillwald from Research ICT Africa, Alexandra Rehak from Omdia, Audrey Plonk from OECD – OCDE, Rohan Samarajiva from LIRNEasia and Guy ZIBI from Xalam Analytics will explore emerging research on: (a) COVID19 impact on Digital Economy; and (b) Impact of Digital Infrastructure on recovery. Panel will be opened by ITU SG Houlin Zhao and Telecommunication Development Director Doreen Bogdan-Martin. The rapporteur is Raul Katz.
Both high and low trust may have a role to play in effective pandemic response.
Today I participated in a Zoom meeting organized by the Nightwatchman Society attended by around 200 participants where the above question was discussed by a panel of four, including myself. The recording of the discussion is here. I talked about COVID-19 as having offered us an opportunity to appreciate the importance of building resilient food supply chains. There will be more epidemics and pandemics. There will also be shocks caused by climate change.