In 2016 LIRNEasia went to Jaffna for fun. Finally there was a hotel big enough to house our large group so we decided on Jaffna as the location of our annual trip. Many interactions followed, for example on our work on online freelancing. This longer piece was first published in Tamil in Thinakkural. It is interesting that the Tamil paper carried the data tables, but the Financial Times chose to delete them (correction: deleted only in the online version).
We are aware that the UN has identified tourism data as priority area in terms of exploring the potential of big data to contribute to the work of national statistical organizations (NSOs). However, this was not something we took on, given our programmatic priorities which are urban development, improved socio-economic monitoring and epidemiology. When we were asked to share ideas on tourism data and a few other areas by a major business group, we did apply our minds to the problem. Here is the slideset. What are the key ideas?
The whole point of a public lecture is to catalyze thought and action. It’s been three months and the first evidence I saw of anything being catalyzed was the phone call I got from Bandula Mahanama, the speaker we invited from Polonnaruwa. He had some plans about reducing risks from the Minneriya reservoir and wanted me to come. He and his colleagues from six farmer organizations wanted a Colombo partner. I went with Lakshaman Bandaranayake the CEO of Vanguard Management who has been our steadfast partner on all dam-safety related projects.