Learning Initiatives for Network Economies in Asia (LIRNEasia) : Building Capacity in ICT Policy

It is now generally accepted that affordable, effective telecommunication services play an integral role in development. Although there has been strong growth in connectivity in Asia, those who have benefited most are the urban affluent. The reality is that there are more people without access to Internet or telephony in South Asia than in the rest of the world combined. Moreover, Asian countries such as Cambodia and Laos are among the least connected in the world. Appropriate information and communication technology (ICT) policies and regulations are crucial to ensuring effective access to ICTs by the poor.

LIRNEasia, a regional research organization established in late 2004, works with stakeholders to catalyze policy and regulatory changes conducive to a networked society. LIRNEasia seeks to build capacity for evidence-based interventions in the public policy process by persons attuned to the specific national contexts within which policies are made and implemented.

This grant will allow LIRNEasia, in cooperation with national data collection authorities, to develop procedures for accurate, comparable and timely data collection (supply- and demand-side ) and to apply the procedures in six Asian countries (India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand). The research program will include a study on transaction costs and traceability in relation to ICTs, so that researchers can evaluate the impact of ICTs on the standard of living of small-scale farmers.

The exercise is expected to result in an Asia-Pacific scholarly network on ICT policy and regulation.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

End Date

Monday, March 31, 2008


20 months

IDRC Officer

Elder, Laurent

Total funding

CA$ 1,501,428


Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Laos, Pakistan, Philippines


Networked Economies

Project Leader

Rohan Samarajiva



Institution Country

Sri Lanka

Institution Website