Helani Galpaya


An opinion piece written by LIRNEasia's CEO Helani Galpaya, published in the Economy Watch section of the Pakistan Observer on Sunday, 02 December 2018.
Presented by Helani Galpaya and Tharaka Amarasinghe on 7 November 2018 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
CEO Helani Galpaya gave one of the keynote addresses at the International Conference on ICT for Rural Development held in Bali, Indonesia.
Helani Galpaya, 17 October 2018, International Conference on ICTs and Rural Development, Bali, Indonesia
Nepal performs better on Internet connectivity and mobile phone use than its wealthier neighbors in Asia, our AfterAccess surveys showed. Seventy-two percent of the Nepali population aged 15-65 owned a mobile phone, and 60% of these were Internet-enabled (feature or smartphone). In addition, 46% of Nepali’s are aware of the Internet – the highest reported number out of the Asian countries included in the report: India, Pakistan, Myanmar Bangladesh and Cambodia.
Presented by Helani Galpaya (@helanigalpaya), CEO, LIRNEasia and Tharaka Amarasinghe (@tharaka89), Research Manager, LIRNEasia on 4 October 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal
The AfterAccess surveys have revealed that by late 2017 only 13% of Bangladeshis aged 15-65 had EVER used the Internet and social media. This is despite 45% of the same age group owning an Internet-friendly device.
Presented by Helani Galpaya and Tharaka Amarasinghe on 2 October 2018 in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Our AfterAccess research, conducted in partnership with sister networks DIRSI and Research ICT Africa and were declared winners of the EQUALSinTech 2018 Research Award at the Yale Club, New York, on 22 September 2018.
We launched the findings of our research on ICT accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Myanmar on 21 August 2018 at ParkRoyal, Yangon. This was LIRNEasia’s first foray into systematically studying the subject, but will not be the last. Research from Nepal is to be released before the end of the year. We decided to embark on this study in Myanmar following questions on disability specific research from the audience at courses we conducted for Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) and Members of Parliament when we presented the findings of our broader research on ICTs in Myanmar. As a result, we conducted qualitative research with 101 respondents with visual, hearing and physical disabilities in May 2018.
Enabling the disabled - The role of ICTs in the lives of persons with disabilities in Myanmar. Research reprot by Gayani Hurulle, Dilshan Fernando and Helani Galpaya. Published August 2018.
AfterAccess: ICT access and use in India and the Global South. Helani Galpaya (@helanigalpaya) and TharakaAmarasinghe, 7 August 2018, New Delhi
CEO Helani Galpaya was invited to speak in one of the panels at the Second European Multidiscriplinary Conference on Global Internet Governance Actors, Regulations, Transactions and Strategies held 26-27 April 2018 at Cardiff University, Wales. The theme of the conference this year was “Overcoming Inequalities in Internet Governance: framing digital policies and capacity building policies”. The conference was a peer-reviewed academic conference, but had two panels to which speakers were invited based on expertise. Helani spoke on the panel titled “Politics and Policy of Cyber Capacity Building” which had three other speakers: Emily Taylor (Chatham House), Panagiota-Nayia Barmpaliou (European Commission), Robert Collier (UK Cabinet, Foreign & Commonwealth Office).  The panel was moderated by Andrea Calderaro (Cardiff University).
Helani Galpaya was invited as an expert speaker to the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on e-Commerce and Digital  Economy meeting which took place during UNCTAD’s eCommerce week. Helani’s presentation focused on the state of connectivity, use of mobile payment and level of eCommerce use in the Global South, as revealed by the AfterAccess surveys LIRNEasia, RIA and DIRSI have just completed. She was also an invited speaker at the first IGE in 2017.
My colleagues and I at LIRNEasia are delighted that Rohan Samarajiva has been appointed as the Chair of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka.  As a frequent commentator on ICTs, development and regulation, it’s well known that he has a strategic vision of what the ICT sector can achieve and contribute to Sri Lanka’s people and our country’s place in the world.  As a former regulator, he knows the important role government (or a government agency like ICTA) can play in enabling that vision. But at the same time (and what I consider an important facet) is that he is a firm believer in what government does NOT have to do, if the private sector, well-functioning markets, and a civil society are available.  So ICTA is in good hands in terms of finding it’s “place” in the world, and hopefully enabling the ICT-actors in Sri Lanka and citizens reaching their maximum potential.