Sri Lanka Archives — Page 20 of 58


LIRNEasia’s Lead Consultant Economist, Harsha de Silva, gave a keynote speech at the 30th National Information Technology Conference being held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 9th to 11th July 2012. Talking from an national economic development perspective, Harsha articulated the role of ICTs in growth as a transformative economic catalyst that can provide a platform for more equitable development especially in Agriculture. His slides are HERE
The smallholder quality penalty, defined below, is the key concept emerging out of the agriculture supply chains work conducted by LIRNEasia in 2010-12: The Smallholder Quality Penalty is the financial penalty on the market price imposed on the smallholder by the first-handler (mostly a collector) due to the uncertainty of produce quality. This allows the first-handler to offset potential losses due to the perception of lower quality when selling to the next handler downstream. Thus the SQP exists in most transactions in supply chains that involve smallholders. SQP is based on perception and maybe partly justified. Smallholders are often resource-constrained and are unable to make the investments necessary to ensure quality.
I was pleased to read that detection devices for nuclear hazards are to be set up in Sri Lanka, even if it was from a foreign publication. I have been one of the few to point out that Sri Lanka lives in the shadow of nuclear reactors, while getting none of the benefits. This announcement indicates that someone in authority is paying attention. Following the request of AEA, International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) decided to help Sri Lanka set up seven early warning detectors and provide equipment worth 72,000 Euros, said Warnakulasuriya. “With nuclear leakage at Fukushima in Japan last year the region felt the need for nuclear disaster warning systems.
The 3rd LIRNEasia Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture will be held on 19 June 2012, Tuesday at 1500 hrs at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, 100 Independence Square, Colombo 7. The main talk by LIRNEasia Senior Research Fellow Nuwan Waidyanatha on “making emergency communication effective” will complement the opening presentation by the Director General of the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Center on the Sri Lankan tsunami warning system. It will highlight how the DMC can better perform its role in emergency communication and coordination. There are complexities in managing multiple agencies and offering a common platform to manage all-hazards all-media alerting and reporting. Possibly the harder problem may be the social elements.
Making Emergency Communication Effective LIRNEasia’s 3rd  Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture  On 19 June 2012 from 15:00 – 17:00 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, 100 Independence Square, Colombo 7 The main talk will focus on actions to improve alerting and situational-reporting to make emergency communication more effective. The talk will focus on establishing an alerting profile and a multi-agency situational-awareness software tool that the Sahana Software Foundation has developed. Such a tool can help bring organizations together to more effectively communicate disaster information and ease them away from unproductive silo thinking. It will also allow the Disaster Management Center to perform its functions better. Moderator: Major General (retd.
Is it that the Top of the Pyramid is more into multi-SIM use than the BOP? It appears from the report that multi-SIM use may be higher than was reported by Teleuse@BOP4. Or, it could be indicating that multi-SIM use is on the increase, with greater availability of multi-SIM handsets. CyberMedia Research (CMR), a computer and electronic market research firm said 35 of percent of handsets sold in 2011 could have more than one network connected (multi-subscriber identity module). Around 5.
Senior Research Fellow Nuwan Waidyanatha recently completed an action research project on how local-language voice communication can be used in early warning and other disaster management tasks. A 10 mt video has just been released.
A few days back, on April 11th 2012, a powerful earthquake occurred not too far from Aceh. Naturally, fears of a tsunami were uppermost in people’s minds. It’s been some time since we at LIRNEasia did funded disaster-related research, but within minutes, I was receiving requests for analysis on the lines of the post-mortems we’ve done after every major disaster in the region. So I started keeping notes and writing up a short piece. So far it has been carried in Lanka Business Online Sunday Island Science Daily.
An earthquake happened. Minor tsunamis occurred with no loss of life. The story was in the warnings and responses. My first (and obviously imperfect) reflections are in LBO. In the age of social media, people will learn of distant hazards independently of government.
The most successful programs clearly define their objectives and broadly communicate their existence to civil society. THE EXAMPLE OF SRI LANKA To illustrate what such a program could look like, we look at Sri Lanka’s stated objectives, extracted directly from the Information and Communication Technology Plan for Sri Lanka 2011–2016 I thought I’d read the entire document, not just the long extract published in the report. Curiously, the reference (Ch 1.6; footnote 19) did not include a URL. Searched using Google.
ICT infrastructure in the former conflict areas in the North and East of Sri Lanka is not far behind the rest of the country. One can get a mobile signal almost everywhere; 3G is available in parts of the Northern and Eastern province and even ADSL in Jaffna. But access differs. The latest 2009/10 household income and expenditure survey revealed that household access to basic amenities, including communication (TV, radio, phone) in these two provinces was the lowest in the country. Yet our Teleuse@BOP4 survey reveals that amongst the poor, usage is not very different.

Number of Internet users in Sri Lanka

Posted on February 29, 2012  /  2 Comments

According to a post by Ami, Sri Lanka has hit 11.8% internet penetration by December 2011, with an estimated 2.5 million Internet users. While the data correspond to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) data, Sri Lanka hit double digit internet penetration by December 2010 according to ITU, rather than December 2011 as mentioned by the author.  Therefore, by now, the number of Internet users should be even higher.
I’ve written about this earlier, but a more fleshed out argument is in my LBO column. The story was about an award. But what I noticed was the role of telephones in the story. The award winning innovation is not just one new thing; it is a collection of process improvements. Critical elements involve phones as easy ways of contacting mothers on the one hand and health workers on the other.

Ideas to save the postal service

Posted on January 29, 2012  /  0 Comments

For those who believe in bringing the dead back to life: Even better, imagine if you could email a letter to the post office, pay for the stamp online, and never set foot outside of your door? You could send mail digitally, with minimal fuss. People still like receiving letters, if it wasn’t such a pain sending them we might do it more. All of these are simple innovations which barely even amount to innovation at all. They would just bring the post office up to the operating level of a modern teenager.
It has been an unfortunate fact that Sri Lanka and India have signed many agreements that have not been implemented. This caused me to write a column some years back entitled “An MOU to implement MOUs.”. The one difference that I see in the short LBO report on cooperation between India and Sri Lanka on telecom is that the word MOU has been replaced by agreement. But I hope I am wrong and that there will be real implementation.

Skype is eating telco’s lunch

Posted on January 10, 2012  /  1 Comments

The awaited end of rapacious money making from international calls is nigh, according to Telegeography. International long distance traffic growth is slowing rapidly. According to new data from TeleGeography, international long distance traffic grew four percent in 2011, to 438 billion minutes. This growth rate was less than one-third of the industry’s long-run historical average of 13 percent annual growth. Because telcos must rely on strong volume growth to offset inevitable price declines, slowing traffic growth is making life ever more difficult for international service providers.