Knowledge to Innovation


Presented by Dr. Sujata Gamage at Forum for business Innovations, NIBM National Innovation Center on March 01, 2019
Deyata Kirula or “Crown of the Nation” is an annual showcase of the achievements of the Government of Sri Lanka.  For the second consecutive year, the Ministry of Skills Development is presenting the skill standard for solid waste operations assistants. In 2012, Deyata Kirula was held in Anuradhapura in the North Central Province. Over 170 solid-waste workers representing the 26 local authorities in the province were awarded for solid-waste operations assistant National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 2 certificates. In 2013, the exhibition will be held in Ampara in the Eastern Province.
System of local government in Sri Lanka is long in history but short on achievements. Local authorities are the political institutions closest to people, but, except for a handful that keeps winning national awards, others fall short. While political actors take the center stage, taking credit for achievement or taking blame for failures, professionals in local government take a back stage. Driven by an emerging body of research that points to the power of networks in ICT enabled societies, we carried out a series of action research projects using the solid waste sector in local government as a case in point to induce connectivity among service provider professionals in the sector. Three new ideas for enabling knowledge networks emerged from our study.
IDRC has been in the business of applying knowledge to development for forty years. Much better than straight Dollars or Renminibi. But then, that could be a self-serving statement, given we are in research and IDRC is our principal funder. Anyway, Chanuka Wattegama has written about all this in the Daily Mirror, and included references to two of our projects: The aim of the Last-Mile Hazard Warning System, an IDRC supported joint research project of Sarvodaya and LIRNEasia immediately after the 2004 tsunami, was to deploy various alert and notification wireless technologies intended to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to natural and manmade hazards in Sri Lanka. Adopting an ‘all-hazards, all-media’ approach, designed around a set of five wireless communication technologies: addressable satellite radios for emergency alerting, remote alarm devices, mobile phones, fixed phones and VSATs this research evaluated the pros and cons of each technology.