2018: Conference Program

Event Program


Communication Policy Research South (CPRsouth) Conference 2018

September 3-5, 2018 (Monday-Wednesday)

Polana Serena Hotel, Maputo, Mozambique


National governments, development practitioners, scholars and donors have not seen information and communication technologies (ICT) as ends in themselves. They have been seen as means to achieve development objectives such as elimination of extreme poverty, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and employment. Now that a majority of the World’s population has access to voice communication, attention has shifted to what people use ICT for beyond talking on the phone and the barriers that preclude them from making full use of the potential of ICT. This is why “After Access” is the theme of the 2018 conference.

After Access (AA) is also a major initiative funded by IDRC and partners, which is being implemented by DIRSI in Latin America, by LIRNEasia in South and Southeast Asia and by RIA in Africa. Nationwide sample surveys which adhere to a common methodology address critical questions of public policy relevant to the promotion and regulation of ICTs and their use in various “verticals” such as finance and commerce in the developing world. Not all the presentations neatly fit into the themes covered by AA, but engagement with the AA research is a central element of the conference.

Agenda with session descriptions, curators and contacts

  Day 1 – Monday, September 3rd, 2018  
1330-1430 1. Inaugural session: Mozambique’s ICT achievements and challenges Moderator:  Alison Gillwald, South Africa

Brief comments by CPRsouth & IDRC

INCM and MZ govt

Francisco Mabila, Eduardo Mondlane University


Onkokame Mothobi, Research ICT Africa


Media invited

1430-1500 Break  
1500-1600 2. Thematic session: AfterAccess

The vision and the overall design of the multi-country AA project and the challenges of execution will be discussed in this interactive panel session.  The possibilities that exist for CPRsouth members to work on papers using the data will be described.  The process of taking the AA research to various policy audiences will be the focus.  The findings that had the greatest resonance with specific audiences will be discussed.

Aileen Aguero (Peru), Helani Galpaya (Sri Lanka), Alison Gillwald (South Africa), moderated by Phet Sayo (India/Canada)

Media invited

1600-1730 3. Barriers to broadband. What can be done? Moderator: Rohan Samarajiva, Sri Lanka

Discussant: Fola Odufuwa, Nigeria

  Here, evidence on progress or lack thereof in connecting more people in developing Africa and the Asia Pacific to the Internet will be presented.  Evidence drawn from multiple sources, ranging from Internet network analytics to qualitative interviews are used.  AA data are used in two of the presentations. The papers cover the full chain of connectivity, from the last mile to International backhaul.  Potential for policy relevance and cross-learning are high. Some of the most challenging locales for extending broadband, including Sub Saharan Africa and the Pacific Island Countries, are covered. Enrico Calandro, S Africa/Italy. The impact of remote hosting on Internet performance, Policy Brief

Siope Vakataki ‘Ofa, Thailand/Tonga. Drivers of broadband connectivity in Asia-Pacific developing economiesPolicy Brief

Rasheda Sultana, Bangladesh. Spectrum pricing in India: roadblock to affordable and quality broadband access

Indra de Lanerolle, S Africa. How ICT policy and regulation is failing the ‘less connected’ in South Africa

Media invited



Flexible time for media interactions  
1900- Welcome dinner, preceded by speech by Dr Americo Muchanga, Director General INCM Media invited
  Day 2 – Tuesday, September 4th, 2018  
0830-1000 4. Digital literacy as the next big challenge Moderator: Wallace Chigona, South Africa/Malawi

Discussant:  Edda Tandi Lwongo, Tanzania

  Problems of hate speech, harassment, privacy, extortion, etc. have given rise a strong interest in how we can make users knowledgeable and discerning.  AA research as well as qualitative research done in multiple locations have a bearing on the challenges of developing digital literacy.  Critiques of conventional computer literacy, extensions of thinking and practice associated with the well-established field of media literacy may also come within scope. Reflections on the practice of making users digitally literate as well as evaluation studies are welcome. Evelyne Wanjiku, Kenya. Policy initiatives to address non-consensual pornography on the social media platform in Kenya

 Nimish Joseph,India. An impact assessment of the digital literacy training programs in India

Donald Flywell Malanga, South Africa/ Malawi. Digital information literacy of undergraduate students in higher education institution in Malawi: Challenges and policy implications

Priyanka Chauhan, India. Promoting local content creation through user-centric mobile application design 

1000-1030 Break  
1030-1200 5. Gender at the intersection of other divides Moderator: Alison Gillwald, South Africa

Discussant (remotely): Nishant Shah, India

  Gender in the context of intersectionality is a topic rising in salience, partly as a result of the work of researchers associated with AA.  Is poverty more important than gender in determining access to ICTs? How does the urban-rural divide intersect with the male-female divide?


Chenai Chair, South Africa. Can the Internet be the disruptor needed to deal with the intractable problems faced by African youth?

Mariamma Deen Swarray, South Africa. Beyond the veil: identifying the underlying factors of digital inequality between men and women

Edda Tandi Lowga, Tanzania. Policy initiatives to enhance contribution of mobile internet for women’s capabilities in the rural areas of Tanzania

Helani Galpaya, Sri Lanka. Gendered aspects of access and use in Asia with focus on Myanmar


1200-1330 6. What comes after access: hate, harassment and manipulation? Moderator: Tracy Cohen, South Africa

Discussant: Pirongrong Ramasoota, Thailand

  Controversies around social media’s role in disseminating hate speech and manipulation have flared in 2018.  Do we have the tools and the data to make evidence-based contributions to these debates?  It appears that some of the voter profiling methods using, among others, Facebook data, may have been tried out in developing-country elections. What light can be shed by the AA findings?  Are there qualitative studies such as those done by LIRNEasia in Myanmar that can be added to the mix? Yudhanjaya Wijeratne , Sri Lanka. Controlling hate speech on social media: approaches, implications and recommendations

Riri Kusumarani, S Korea/Indonesia. Exploring digital fake news phenomenon in Indonesia

Helani Galpaya, Sri Lanka. Online behavior in Myanmar: User behaviors on privacy and Security

Tharaka Amarasinghe, Sri Lanka. Policy initiatives to address the problems faced by Internet & social media users in relation to online harassment in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Cambodia 

1330-1430 Lunch
1430- Free time for participants / Board Meeting
  Day 3 – Wednesday, September 5th, 2018  
0830-1000 7. Platforms, livelihoods, and consumer benefits Moderator: Helani Galpaya, Sri Lanka

Discussant: Payal Malik, India

  Advances in digital technology are transforming business landscapes at an unprecedented scale and pace. On one hand, online markets have reduced information asymmetries and have lowered the search costs for consumers. On the other hand, it has brought forth a gamut of novel questions before the regulators as they create a nuanced and sound analytical framework for digital markets. Gaurav Jakhu, India. Bundling in platform markets in the presence of data advantage

Khusbu Kumari, India. Antitrust Issues of E-commerce

Saatvick, India. The economics of multi-sided platforms: implications for competition policy

Pitso Tsibolane, South Africa. Addressing the unemployment challenge through mobile digital microwork

1000-1030 Break  
1030-1140 8. Cyber policy: Scanning the horizon from the Global South Moderator: Sriganesh Lokanathan, Sri Lanka

Discussant: Tracy Cohen, South Africa

  The panel covers different (but not all) aspects in relation to cyber policy from both Asia as well as Africa. The papers identify gaps in cyber policy, as well as draw recommendations from different forms of evidence. Evidence is collected through various approaches, from social network analytics to legal and policy research. There is potential for South-South learnings due to methods used as well as case studies of existing legislation and court decisions. Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, Sri Lanka. Artificial Humanity: Counteracting the Threat of Bot Networks on Social Media

Babu Ram Aryal, Nepal. Developing cyber Policy in Asia Pacific: A case study of judicial Intervention of supreme court in Nepal

Anri van der Spuy, South Africa. Promoting cyber security through stronger collaboration in Africa 

1140-1300 Group Photograph; Lunch
1300-1430 9.  Are ICTs contributing to financial inclusion? Moderator: Lishan Adam, South Africa/Ethiopia

Discussant: Supriya Singh, Australia

  Much research has been done on various aspects of ICTs and financial services. But what has been the effect on empowerment of women and movement of people out of poverty?  This session will seek to answer the questions with the user at the centre. What has been learned? What further research needs to be done? Supriya Singh, Australia/India. Connecting financial inclusion and ICTs to women’s empowerment

 Abhigya, India. ICTs in Agricultural Practices: Hopes, utopias and contradictions

Sakina Dhorajiwala, India. Technology sans Accountability: Payment delivery systems in the Indian context

Onkokame Mothobi, South Africa. Mobile Money and financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan countries 

1430-1500 Break
1500-1630 10. E government and “smart” cities Moderator: Erwin Alampay, Philippines

Discussant:  Lishan Adam, South Africa/Ethiopia

  Enormous resources have been expended on e-government projects in the past decade, intending to improve the delivery of government services to the public and to business, and also to reengineer government processes and make them more efficient and accessible. Crucial to this is the development of integrated and interoperable systems to help in the sharing of data and information for both internal users and citizens. This session sheds new light on the progress that has been made in Asia and Africa to make e-government systems more open and inclusive. Michael P. Canares, Philippines. Advancing Open Data for Open Governance in Asia

Nuwan Waidyanatha, China/Sri Lanka. Mobile Pictographs for Disaster Communication in support of Inclusive Public Services

Arthur Glenn Maail, Indonesia. Policy Recommendation for the Implementation of “One Data” policy at the sub-national level in Indonesia. A case study in the City Government of Pontianak, West Kalimantan

Silas Ngabirano, Uganda. Towards an Interoperability e-Government Framework for Uganda

1630-1730 11. Presentation of certificates and awards; discussion of topics for next conference Rohan Samarajiva