Nepal


AfterAccess Asia Report 2.0

Posted on November 5, 2018  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia. (2018). AfterAccess: ICT access and use in Asia and the Global South (Version 2.0). Colombo: LIRNEasia
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
LIRNEasia. (2018). AfterAccess: ICT access and use in Asia and the Global South (Version 1). Colombo: LIRNEasia
IMPORTANT: Deadline for submissions has been extended to 9:00am (+5:30 GMT) on 20th September 2018. We are inviting Proposals from potential Bidders to conduct a qualitative study on ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities in Nepal. The full RFP is given below (access the editable version here). Please also see our FGD Sampling Table, Technical Proposal Template, Financial Proposal Template, and Sample Contract before submitting the proposals. Deadline for submissions is 17th September 2018.
Inspired by LIRNEasia's Hackathon for Accessible and Inclusive ICTs in Kathmandu, Nepal, Rajat Acharya, went looking for his childhood neighbor, a self-taught deaf man. What resulted was an gamified learning app with a wide range of use, first runner-up at the hackathon.
The hearing or speech disabled require sign-language interpretation to communicate with the normally-abled world. But sign-language interpreters are scarce. Unless there is a sign-language competent person in the household (e.g., a child who can communicate through the spoken word who also knows sign language), it is quite challenging.
Now that the telecom markets in emerging Asia have matured and now that the potential of easily deployable apps is within reach because of the fast spreading smartphones, we must make access by the disabled a priority. The key to independent living is technology. Our current work in Nepal, supported by the Ford Foundation, has accessible and inclusive access as the principal focus. The workshop held 16-17 March in Kathmandu sought to prioritize the problems amenable to ICT solutions. This will feed into a pre-hackathon being organized March 18-19 at the Tribhuvan University Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus: Here are some reflections on problems faced by the disabled in Nepal which are amenable to ICT solutions.
We are inviting Proposals from potential Bidders to conduct a nationally representative study of ICT access and use in Nepal with special focus on the disabled. The full RFP is downloadable below. Please also see our Technical Proposal Template, Financial Proposal Template, and Sample Locations before submitting the proposals. Deadline for submissions is 29 January 2018.
A lot of the discussion in the concluding sessions focused on implementation, as intended. Here is a participant writing about the highlights in Setopati, a digital newspaper: Similarly, senior Director at Nepal Telecommunications Authority Anand Raj Khanal said broadband could be leveraged to graduate country from the least developed status to the developing on by 2022. Arguing that NTA’s primary role is the infrastructure development in terms of expansion of broadband, Director Khanal expressed doubt whether the contracts NTA had with Nepal Telecoms and other companies would be completed on time to ensure broadband access to people. According to him, contracts were signed this April and May to ensure broadband internet access for 11 quake-hit districts. He too admitted, “We’re smart in policy formulation but weak at implementation.
The big news from the last broadband course we taught in Nepal was that only 2.6 percent of all the universal service funds collected since 1998 had been disbursed.  This information, unearthed in the course of completing an assignment, was presented to decision makers in government who came to judge the mock public hearing.  It was published in the Nepali media. Two years later, the Senior Director of the Nepal Telecom Authority who spoke about the regulatory aspects of broadband rollout did not speak in vague generalities or in the future tense.
The Nepali Reporter was the first to carry a story on the Ford Foundation supported course being conducted in Dhulikhel, July 14-17, 2017. The training organized by LIRNEasia, a Sri Lankan think-tank, Internet Society Nepal Chapter and Centre for Law and Technology, is engrossed on multifarious issues relating to internet and information as inclusion in information society, affordable broadband of adequate quality, services and applications that are of value to Nepali users, broadband infrastructures, measures to enhance and assure trust and security, ICT in disaster risk reduction and disaster response, demand size research and the research techniques as searching and managing data, and utilization of internet.
In late 2015 I wrote that: “All the fuss has been about Digital India. But India has fallen back six places to 131, despite improving its IDI score from 2.14 to 2.69 in the ICT Development Index. Nepal, which does not have a funded and actively promoted digital strategy, has advanced four places to 136th place.
A course with the following objectives, attended by over 30 persons from all sectors of Nepal society, will commence on 14th July. To enable members of Nepal civil-society groups and media personnel marshal available research and evidence for effective participation in broadband policy and regulatory processes including interactions with media, thereby facilitating and enriching policy discourse on means of increasing broadband access by the poor and persons with disabilities. Those from government and the private sector will also benefit. The objective of the course 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 and evidence  Be able to summarize the research in a coherent and comprehensive manner  Have an understanding of broadband policy and regulatory processes in Nepal The course is supported by the Ford Foundation and is the seventh in a series of courses offered in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka since 2013.
I was working on some comparative numbers. Most of these are recent and from reliable, credible sources. Interesting insights. Most people think Facebook use is a subset of Internet use. But in SE Asia, Internet use is always lower than Facebook use.