Sri Lanka Archives — Page 2 of 59 — LIRNEasia


This policy paper addresses the urgent need for a new social compact in response to the global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Emphasising the pivotal role of digital inclusion and equity, the report underscores their significance in mitigating health and economic risks associated with pandemic-related lockdowns. It explores how the digitalisation of public services and access to them are crucial for citizens’ effective participation in the economy and society, both during the pandemic and in the subsequent economic reconstruction. Despite the transformative potential of digital strategies, the study reveals missed opportunities by governments in Nigeria, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Peru, and Colombia to effectively deploy digital solutions during the crisis. The report sheds light on how deficiencies in leveraging digital technologies have exacerbated social and economic inequalities, providing insights to rectify these shortcomings.
  LIRNEasia is currently looking to fill the role of a Senior Statistician and Project Manager. The full job description is available here. The deadline for applying is 15th November 2023.  
In an era marked by the rapid growth of the digital economy, the issue of taxation on technology multinationals has taken centre stage. However, many countries in the Global South find themselves unequipped to harness tax revenue from these digital giants. Several policy options are available to countries. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations (UN) have proposed treaty-based solutions, but questions have emerged about the revenue potential of these multilateral proposals, the feasibility of their timely implementation, as well as whose interests they serve. Meanwhile, several countries — including some in the Global South — have implemented their own domestic solutions.
Now that the fate of the “online safety” bill is in the hands of the many petitioners (45) and the three-judge bench that is looking at its constitutionality, we can look at the big picture of what the government is trying to do with this draconian legislation. It appears that even the committee that was formed in 2021 to advise on it has distanced itself from the final text. LIRNEasia Chair, Rohan Samarajiva gave a talk on this at the CMR-Nepal Journalism Academy in Kathmandu on 19 October 2023. The slides can be viewed below.
In the ever-evolving landscape of data-driven progress, the promise of harnessing private sector data to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is crucial. However, it has become evident that the road to effective public-private data partnerships in the Global South is laden with challenges. LIRNEasia together with CEPEI recently held a roundtable discussion at the 18th International Governance Forum (IGF) in Kyoto, Japan, on October 9, 2023 with the participation of a diverse panel of stakeholders from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, who discussed many areas, including the private sector’s role in the data revolution, policy and practical challenges, and methods to overcome them. The session was moderated by LIRNEasia CEO, Helani Galpaya. The panelists included: 1.
A new Bill on Online Safety was recently published in the Gazzette and has now been presented to the Parliament of Sri Lanka. The Bill has drawn widespread commentary and criticism; the analysis done by LIRNEasia on the Bill can be found here. One issue the Bill attempts to address is the takedown of ‘harmful’ content. Online platforms enable the very rapid dissemination of user generated content (UGC), including potentially harmful content. Laws such as the Online Safety Bill attempt to address this through administrative actions or court orders.
In our blogpost with Citra Labs, we explore the role digital and data can play in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of social safety nets (social assistance) in Sri Lanka.
Without dwelling too much on the causes, some solutions may be sketched out. They will range from actions that must be taken now (where the choices are highly constrained), to those that allow more play for creativity. Unless we are willing to live like in Afghanistan or in Jaffna during the war, we have little alternative but to take on more debt to get the economy to fire on all cylinders.
Digital Futures Lab, in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, recently published an edited volume on the ethics and governance of AI in Asia.
Gayani Hurulle at Advocata ReformNow Conference The fragmented social protection system in Sri Lanka has been in need of reform for many years. There is a need to reform many areas, including targeting and the delivery of benefits — areas we have, and continue to, stress the importance of. The specific reforms that we prioritise may differ in the short and long term. The current economic crisis (which has thrown millions into poverty) has highlighted the gaps in the system. In this light, ensuring that the cash transfers are adequate to meet the needs of individuals and all those who need assistance are covered by the programme are key.
Gayani Hurulle discussed LIRNEasia's research on social safety nets in Sri Lanka on an 'AdvoChat' organized by the Advocata Institute.
I recently participated in a panel discussion on “Health Communication: Risk & Strategies during COVID-19” at the International Communications Association (ICA) Conference (South Asia Regional Hub) on 29 May 2022. This session was also streamed at the main ICA Conference in Paris. The session was chaired by Manjula Venkataraghavan of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education. Other panelists included Hezekiel Deamini of UNESCO, and Communications Practitioner, V. V.
LIRNEasia CEO Helani Galapaya and Chair Rohan Samarajiva participated in an online webinar on Social Safety Nets on 8 May 2022. Former Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, A. R. Deshapriya was also on this panel organised by the National Movement of Social Justice, and moderated by Harindra B. Dissanayake.
This policy brief looks at the current status of Sri Lanka's Open Data Portal, and what may be done to improve it. 
A new survey shows that 85% of enrolled school-aged children had some form of education services during school closures between March and July 2020. While some received educational services through multiple means, 54% of students received information, instructions, notes, or assignments sent to smartphone, tab, or computer, 50% had live lessons delivered over Zoom and other applications (potentially alongside other methods).
A detailed report on drinking water and sanitation services, containing recommendations for 18 state agencies, developed on the basis of countrywide consultations.