Sujata Gamage introduced the program and shared some information from the 2016 tracer study of all past conference participants. Based on the findings of this tracer study, this years’ CPRsouth program centers on the Young Scholars tutorial program. The expectation is that the people in this room today, will return next year, to Africa, to present papers at CPRsouth 2018. If things go really well, these papers will be based on responses to reserach questions and proposals that will be developed over the next few days, during the Young Scholar program.
Rohan Samarajiva introduced the concept of policy research, highlighting key players. We looked at the various stakes that political parties, governments, private sector players, educational institutions and independent researchers hold in policy research and how these stakes create issues in the policy research process. We also talked communications policy research in particular, about the importance of communications (“it’s all attention economy now,” he said), about the need for policy research, and about the lack of high quality research to inform policy decisions.
Alison Gillwald talked about a few specific issues that are important to communications policy research: infrastructure, access, price and quality. The main objective of LIRNEasia and Research ICT Africa work is affordable, universal access to a full range of adequate quality communications services, to all. Alison talked about how these key issues play into the work we do, and the kind of solutions we have seen work and not work, in Africa and Asia.
Interesting observations and questions are already being brought up from the floor.