India Archives — Page 40 of 43 — LIRNEasia


Standardizing Sinhala for IT

Posted on May 30, 2006  /  204 Comments

PLEASE CONTINUE DISCUSSION ON STANDARDIZING SINHALA FOR IT APPLICATIONS IN THIS THREAD. CREATING ICT MYTHS THREAD HAS BEEN ARCHIVED. EXCERPT FROM PREVIOUS DISCUSSION BELOW:
A report on the Indicators Workshop held in New Delhi by LIRNEasia in collaboration with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is available here [PDF]. The report provides a review of international initiatives and best practices, examines some of the difficulties regarding standardising indicators across the region, the challenges of measurement and collection of indicator data and the process of developing an indicators manual for the South Asian region.
This article shows that government’s instinct to ban cellphones from conflict zones because of the belief that it will be used by militants/terrorists to further their cause, actually neutralizes one of the security agencies most potent weapons to track subversives. I doubt that the Sri Lankan government will allow cellular service to be available any time soon in the North. But at least it gives the security agencies some food for thought. The Indian government was similarly reluctant to have cellular service in Kashmir, but the Indian security agencies are their biggest proponents now. ———— Troops in Kashmir master new weapon: cell phones Reuters By Sheikh MushtaqSun May 21, 1:53 AM ET Minutes after a bomb exploded recently in Kashmir and wounded Indian soldiers, a senior member of an Islamist rebel group called local newspaper offices to claim responsibility for the blast.

Dharamsala meeting on WiFi

Posted on May 7, 2006  /  147 Comments

AirJaldi Summit – Dharamsala, India Above is a link to a meeting on license-free WiFi networks, centered on what has been built at Dharmasala, the venerable Dalai Lama’s headquarters (he was denied the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka for the 2550 Buddha Jayanti, despite all the Buddhist rhetoric of our current government: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=1,2155,0,0,1,0.
LIRNEasia is sending its Lead Economist Harsha de Silva to participate on a MIT scholarship to the first ever executive course offered by the Poverty Action Lab this summer. The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a unit within MIT’s Department of Economics, serves as a focal point for development and poverty research based on “randomized trials”. According to Harsha, this program can significantly contribute to WDR & LIRNEasia’s ongoing and future research projects on ICTs. For example, “In the Teleuse on Shoestring project it is difficult to measure how much the poor actually benefitted from having access to the phone. There are a number of variables like cultural background, access to other infrastructure services, level of education etc which make it difficult for us to pinpoint how much access to telephone had in improving the quality of life of the poor in India and Sri Lanka,” said Harsha.
http://www.cellular-news.com/story/17101_print.php The GSM Association recently announced that its Emerging Markets Handset program is exceeding expectations: mobile operators in Bangladesh, China, India, and Russia have already purchased 12 million of its Ultra Low Cost Handsets (ULCH). But will the initiative reach the rest of the three billion unconnected peoples in emerging markets?

Shoestrings study in the news

Posted on May 2, 2006  /  4 Comments

Hello… how do the poor use their phones?  By Frederick Noronha, Indo-Asian News Service  Dhaka, April 30 (IANS) It’s a billion dollar question: how do the poor of the planet use their mobile phones? A South Asian study conducted in India and Sri Lanka that looks at telecom users with monthly incomes of less than $100 says that over half the respondents do not even own the phone they use. Read more at DailyIndia.com Click here to access the main Shoestrings study
Avanti Moonesinghe, Harsha de Silva, Neluka Silva & Ayoma Abeysuriya April 2006, Version 2.2 Version 3.0 The latest in the series of Teleuse on a Shoestring papers is now available for comment.  It is often claimed that access to telecommunication facilities is a propeller of economic prosperity in developing countries.  Mobile phones in particular are considered pivotal in encouraging growth.
Mangroves failed to protect coastal villages in ‘04 tsunami – INQ7.net “The World Conservation Union, also known as IUCN, and other nongovernmental organizations earlier reported that mangroves saved lives in Sri Lanka and India — a finding they said could motivate hard-hit communities across Asia to consider replanting mangroves. A quarter of mangroves have been destroyed in tsunami-impacted countries since the 1980s due to development and the rapid growth of shrimp and fish farms. But Baird, of James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, and his co-authors argued that governments would be better off putting their resources into an early warning system and evacuation plans. They also called for many coastal communities to be moved to higher ground.

Lifetime free prepaid

Posted on March 19, 2006  /  6 Comments

At the Delhi Indicators Meeting earlier this month, there was discussion about how one would count the lifetime free subscriptions being offered in India.  The following excerpt from Business Today, may shed some light on this new product: “However, there’s more to lifetime offers than meets the eye. First, call charges at Rs 1.99 per minute for local and Rs 2.99 per minute for STD are not necessarily low.
LIRNEasia and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), with the assitance of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, co-sponsored the “Workshop on ICT Indicators for Benchmarking Performance in Network and Services Development” in New Delhi from 1-3 March 2006. The workshop highlighted the need for accurate, standardized and comparable indicators for the region and was intended to initate action to develop such indicators. The workshop brought together representatives of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), National Statistical Organizations (NSOs) and operators from Afghanistan, Bangaldesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka along with the foremost authorities on the subject from the ITU, OECD, and the US National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI). With nearly 60 participants from 16 countries, the Workshop was also attended by telecom researchers from the Asian region. The three day workshop was intended to elicit the cooperation of representatives from NRAs, NSOs and industry associations from the regional countries in establishing a sustainable system for measuring and benchmarking ICT sector input and output indicators for South Asia that can be extended to developing Asia.

Mapping disaster research

Posted on February 14, 2006  /  5 Comments

NSF EXPLORATORY WORKSHOP ON SENSOR BASED INFRASTRUCTURE FOR EARLY TSUNAMI DETECTION, Maui, Feb 9-10, 2006 What I learned during my visits to the Civil Defense Center and the Tsunami Museum in Hilo and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach in Hawai’i last January greatly contributed to the disaster communication research program undertaken by LIRNEasia in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Therefore, I welcomed the opportunity to step back and reflect on the research program a year later, also in Hawai’i. The occasion was a workshop funded by the National Science Foundation of the US. It was organized by Louise Comfort, Daniel Mosse and Taieb Znati, all at the U of Pittsburgh. Louise is from Public Policy and has been working on disasters for a long time.
As a part of LIRNEasia’s Telecom Use on a Shoestring project, the use of ‘strategic’ behaviour to curb communication costs amongst the financially constrained in Sri Lanka and India was explored. The findings relating to such ‘strategic’ behavior are available for comment in the following paper: Telecom use on a shoestring: Strategic use of telecom services by the financially constrained in South Asia (V2.0 for comment) (February 2006) Telecom use on a shoestring: Strategic use of telecom services by the financially constrained in South Asia (V2.1 for comment, March 2006) The Authors invite comments and discussion. Abstract: When one talks of a ‘shoestring’ budget, it is understood that reference is being made to constrained finances, where individuals make attempts to cut costs through various methods without harming utility.
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 19 December 2005: Men and women in Sri Lanka and India engage in similar levels of telephone use in low-income settings, according to a recent study carried out by LIRNEasia. A study conducted by LIRNEasia, an Asian research organization based in Colombo, explores the use of telecom services amongst people whose incomes are less than approximately USD 100 per month in Sri Lanka and India. The study provides evidence that there are few significant differences between men and women in the use of fixed, mobile or public phones at these income levels. These results challenge the findings of several prior and well-established studies……..
As a part of LIRNEasia’s Telecom Use on a Shoestring project, a third country, Bangladesh is studied. While surveys were conducted in India and Sri Lanka, a substantial amount of similar research has already been carried out on Bangladesh, in the context of Grameen’s Village Phone program. Therefore, this part of the study is in the form of a meta-analysis of some of these key studies. A draft is available for comment here: Teleuse on a shoestring: Bangladesh meta analysis v.2.
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 19 December 2005: A recent study has shown that fifty-eight per cent of low-income telephone users are absent from conventional telecom indicators. The study also shows that they are spending more of their monthly incomes than expected on telecom services. The study supports C.K. Prahalad’s claim that there is a fortune to be made at the ‘bottom of the pyramid,’ not only at the top.