Despite the fact that the Asia Pacific region is a driver of the global digital economy, there are vast inequalities regarding access to digital technology and impact on quality of life. Some of the world’s highest ICT industry performers belong to the region, as well as some of the lowest. The region is also home to the world’s largest concentration of poor people.

LIRNEasia is a pro-poor, pro-market think tank. What this means is being in favor of decentralized innovation – including through competitive markets – to enhance the lives of the poor. This involves understanding what policy and regulatory barriers should be removed, adjusted or implemented to enable ICT technologies to improve prosperity for Asia Pacific’s poorest people.

In practice, LIRNEasia conducts in-depth, policy-relevant research on infrastructure industries including ICT sectors. This work extends to other sectors such as agriculture which can benefit the poorest. They document regional good practice and disseminate independent, actionable knowledge, to policy makers, regulators, service providers and the media. They also help train policy intellectuals and, on request, provide short-term advisory assistance.

LIRNEasia’s work spans the Asia Pacific region with some focus on India and Sri Lanka, drawing also on international insights and expertise. Some recent policy programs include assessments of the future of work in developing countries, research on the impact of COVID-19 on households and the workforce, the use of digital platforms by small and medium-sized businesses, as well as consumer protection and privacy.

Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

LIRNEasia commits to continue its research in leveraging new data sources and in particular big data (including mobile-network big data) for public purposes and understanding its impacts on society. Furthermore, LIRNEasia commits to continue its overall focus on creating and disseminating independent, usable, actionable knowledge, through applied research with the aim of catalyzing policy change to improve people’s lives in the emerging Asia Pacific by facilitating their use of hard and soft infrastructures through the use of knowledge, information, and technology.