Ford Foundation Archives — Page 2 of 2


Tomorrow, we start a Ford Foundation supported four-day course on “How to engage in broadband policy and regulatory processes” at a hotel located in Sohna, Gurgaon. Gurgaon, a new city that sprang up in the last few decades and is a symbol of the new ICT-centric India, was where I thought we were teaching the course. But we’re more than 20 kms further into the interior of Haryana. Driving across the narrow and pot-holed roads to get to the location, I started to think about the immensity of the challenge of realizing the real benefits of broadband in India. The occasional cuts in electricity (always short because I am in a hotel with full backup power) reminded me of the punishment electronic equipment must be taking in the non-backed up outside.
Organized by LIRNEasia and the Indian Journal of Law and Technology, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, supported by Ford Foundation. For persons residing in India only. The objective of the four-day residential course on How to engage in Broadband Policy and Regulatory Processes is to produce discerning and knowledgeable consumers of research who are able to engage in broadband policy and regulatory processes. At the end of the course attendees will:  Be able to find and assess relevant research & evidence  Be able to summarize the research in a coherent and comprehensive manner  Have an understanding of broadband policy and regulatory processes in India  Have the necessary tools to improve their communication skills  Have some understanding of media function and how to effectively interact with media Who may apply? 20 junior to mid-level participants (including junior to mid-level officers of government and regulatory agencies, university students and media personnel) and 5-10 senior-level participants from civil society groups (including senior officers of government and regulatory agencies, academics and senior media personnel) will be selected to participate in the course.
LIRNEasia exploits the wisdom of the crowd, or at least of the informed crowd. Its launch, back in 2004, was at an Expert Forum that brought in knowledgeable regulators, policy makers, stakeholders and researchers to discuss seeds of research ideas and give ideas for new research. Keeping with that tradition, we brought in a number of experts to discuss some initial cuts on papers being developed in the context of the Ford Foundation funded project, “Facilitating and enriching policy discourse on increasing broadband access by the poor in India”. The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Chairman Dr Rahul Khullar and Advisor Mr Sudhir Gupta. The topics covered included regional specificities of broadband development, contributions that could be made to an improved investment environment by licensing policies, the opportunities presented by the “digital dividend” repurposing of frequencies for broadband development and metrics to assess efficacy of broadband policies.
The Ford Foundation has made a grant to LIRNEasia for facilitating and enriching policy discourse in India on increasing broadband access by the poor. The work will cover documentation and archiving of key texts from India and elsewhere, the conduct of several short courses to improve the ability of civil society groups to participate in the policy discourse and the holding of expert fora that will bring together decision makers and stakeholders. The project commences this month and goes on for two years.