Harsha de Silva Archives — Page 3 of 5


You buy guavas from local superstore. They look fine, but when cut, you find worms inside. This is a common problem. These worms enter the product when it was only a flower and grow inside without showing any external signs. Superstore offers an apology, but no guarantee that you will not buy similar low quality products tomorrow.
21 – 23 February 2008 at Kandalama Hotel, Kandalama, Sri Lanka LIRNEasia hosted a Workshop to discuss the policy level implications and business level possibilities of using ICTs to reduce transaction costs in the agricultural value chain as well as to improve traceability and enhance quality of products sold. The Workshop brought together key stakeholders consisting of policy makers, private and public sector participants and researchers, both in agriculture and ICT. It was based on the pilot projects conducted by LIRNEasia in 2007, which was discussed in detail at the Workshop. All presentations made at the Workshop can be found below: Traceability: International Perspective – Visoot Phongsathorn Linking Sri Lankan farmers to global markets – Dr. Harsha de Silva Traceability in agricultural markets – Shamistra Soysa Benefits of ICT applications to farmers with emphasis on transaction costs: experiences from India – Prof.
This past Saturday at a conference organized by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing Harsha de Silva chaired a session with Hans Wijayasuriya of Dialog Telekom, Rohan Samarajiva of LIRNEasia and Keith Modder of Virtusa that addressed issues such as this.   One point that ran through the discussion was the need for companies to develop self-regulation to safeguard the trust of their customers.   China’s mobile network: a big brother surveillance tool? – LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE “We know who you are, but also where you are,” said the CEO of China Mobile Communications Corporation, Wang Jianzhou, whose company adds six million new customers to its network each month and is already the biggest mobile group in the world by users. He was explaining how the company could use the personal data of its customers to sell advertising and services to them based on knowledge of where they were and what they were doing.

Coverage for LIRNEasia book

Posted on December 31, 2007  /  1 Comments

Click on the links to see the full articles covering LIRNEasia’s book, ICT Infrastructure in Emerging Asia: Policy and Regulatory Roadblocks. ‘BSNL’s monopoly over infrastructure a hindrance to growth’ – Financial Express (India) Rural connectivity is now the focus of every telecommunication player in the country. Almost all stakeholders, from handset manufacturers to service providers, believe that the next wave of growth is in the rural areas.”However, India’s roll out (of telecom services) in rural areas has been slow. BSNL has the backbone infrastructure but is not yet ready to share it with private players,” he added.
LIRNEasia Lead Economist Harsha de Silva was invited to be the Consultant to a recent Expert Group Meeting on the Provision of ICT Access for Disadvantaged Communities through Public-Private Partnerships conducted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission fro Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP].  A number of influential policy makers and academics from the region participated at the meeting held between 12-14 December in Bangkok.  Harsha set the stage for the expert group meeting by preparing a draft background paper and made a concluding presentation incorporating many of LIRNEasia research findings across the region.  Harsha emphasized the need for policies to bridge the market efficiency gap in ICT access through better and conducive regulation and advocated innovative PPPs for bridging identified access gaps in rural BOP segment. Find the draft background paper here Find the presentation slides here

Book: ICT INFRASTRUCTURE IN EMERGING ASIA

Posted by on December 16, 2007  /  0 Comments

This edited volume, based on LIRNEasia ‘s 2004-2006 research program brings together scholars, practitioners, former regulators and policy makers to address the problem of expanding information and communication technology (ICT) connectivity in emerging Asia.
A new documentary film, titled Teleuse@BOP,  recently produced by TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP) and based on LIRNEasia’s  study on Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid, highlights a communication revolution happening in Asia’s emerging telecommunication markets. When it comes to using phones, the film says, people at the bottom of the income pyramid are no different from anyone else; they value the enhanced personal security, including emergency communications, and social networking benefits. Increasingly, poor people are not content with just using public phones or shared access phones (belonging friends or family). They see a utility and social value of having their own phones.
by Harsha de Silva & Ayesha Zainudeen In Does inequality matter? Exploring the links between poverty and inequality (p. 135-167), Edited by Prashan Thalayasingam & Kannan Arunasalam. Published by CEPA, Colombo, 2007 Pre-publication version available for download. The paper was presented at the Centre for Poverty Analysis Annual Symposium on Poverty Research in Sri Lanka (6-7 December 2007, Colombo) Introduction: Much has been said of the benefits of access to telecommunication especially at the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’.
The final report from the World Dialogue on Regulation (WDR) 3rd research cycle has been released and can now be downloaded or ordered in hardcopy. Edited by Amy Mahan and William H. Melody, this most recent collection of the network’s research and case studies elaborates on inclusive and propoor strategies for extending network development. Title: Diversifying Participation in Network Development: Case studies and research from WDR Research Cycle 3 Editors: Amy Mahan and William H. Melody
LIRNEasia lead economist Harsha de Silva recently had the honor of hosting 2006 Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus on his weekly television show; Biz1st: In- Focus, which runs on MTV and Shakthi TV in Sri Lanka.   A five minute cut on the discussion, where Professor Yunus discusses how a “digital genie” will appear from the “Aladdin’s lamp” [the mobile phone] to empower the poor, has been linked below.
hazinfo-sri-lanka-lirneasia-colloquium-03-july-2007-slides.pdf. The Colloquium was on the HazInfo project lead by Nuwan Waidyanath and discussed the methology and research findings with respect to the specific objectives and hypothesis of the proposal with evidence to support the recommendations for an implementation phase of the LM-HWS. The research indicated the different preferences made by users in regard to hazard notification technologies.  He also explained the CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) profile that was developed for Sri Lanka.
14 June 2007) Rohan Samarajiva, Joseph Wilson, Harsha de Silva and Tahani Iqbal presented recent research conducted by LIRNEasia at a media and stakeholder event organized by the Pakistan Telecom Authority in Islamabad today. Following opening remarks by Chairman of PTA, Major General (R) Shahzada Alam Malik, Samarajiva and Wilson presented the new improved version of the six-country Telecom Regulatory Environment study, with emphasis on Pakistan. de Silva discussed the results of the Teleuse @ the Bottom of the Pyramid (T@BOP) survey conducted in five countries, including Pakistan. Among other things, he discussed the disparate access to ICTs between men and women at the BOP as well as the tremendous progress made in connecting large numbers of people at the BOP in the past few years. Iqbal presented comparative analysis of mobile prices in three countries of South Asia, using a basket methodology adapted from one used by the OECD since 1995.
Dr. Harsha de Silva participated in the LIRNE.NET and WDR expert meeting entitled “Wireless Opportunities and Solutions: A Regulatory Perspective” held in Montevideo, Uruguay during 7-9 March 2007. He made a presentation during the first session entitled “Getting a clearer picture: Demand side ICT data collection”, sharing with the audience some of the findings and the methodology used in LIRNEasia’s recently completed research on teleuse@BOP. During the discussion sessions and on the sidelines of the conference he engaged substantially with the DIRSI researchers planning to replicate the Asian study in Latin America.
This colloquium will be on a new paper that is being developed on tools for intelligent benchmark regulation, based on Harsha de Silva and Tahani Iqbal’s presentation on Price & Affordability Indicators at the WDR Expert Forum in Singapore. The tools under consideration are price baskets and price elasticity of demand.
LIRNEasia’s Director of Organizational Development has been awarded a competitive scholarship for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training offered every Summer by Carleton University (Canada) and the World Bank. This signifies LIRNEasia’s continued commitment to the values of a learning organization.   Last year, LIRNEasia’s Lead Economist Dr Harsha de Silva was awarded a scholarship at the MIT Poverty Research Lab.
Sri Lanka: Cutting it Mobile phone use is taking off in Sri Lanka – though not, perhaps, in ways that service operators might have hoped. FROM THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT In the world’s poorer countries, the purchase of a mobile phone has become increasingly affordable. Using it, however, can still be a struggle. Low-income mobile phone owners in Sri Lanka are getting around this problem with a novel method for keeping costs down. Known as ring cutting, mobile phone subscribers rely on ring tones to communicate with others, rather than actually staying on the line to talk.