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LIRNEasia (Learning Initiatives on Reforms for Network Economies Asia) is an information and communication technology (ICT) policy and regulation think-tank active across the Asia Pacific region. The organization is incorporated under the Sri Lankan law as a non-profit organization. It was launched in September 2004 under the leadership of Professor Rohan Samarajiva. Located in Sri Lanka, LIRNEasia functions as a regional organization with active participation from researchers located in other Asian countries.[1]


LIRNEasia declares its mission as follows: "to improve the lives of the people of the emerging Asia-Pacific by facilitating their use of ICTs and related infrastructures; by catalyzing the reform of laws, policies and regulations to enable those uses through the conduct of policy-relevant research, training and advocacy with emphasis on building in-situ expertise."[2]


Currently, the majority of LIRNEasia’s programs are funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Department for International Development of the UK (DFID). Previously, it has received funding from Telenor Research and Development Centre Sdn. Bhd, Malaysia (TRICAP), info Dev, a World Bank unit that has partnered with LIRNE.NET since 2001, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).


LIRNEasia partners with Research ICT Africa(RIA!), Regional Dialogue on the Information Society (DIRSI) and several European universities within the framework of LIRNE.NET. It is a member of the International Communication Association (ICA).


  • CPRsouth conferences (Communication Policy Research south), annual capacity and field-building program to develop an Asia-Pacific knowledge network on ICT policy regulation (2007 to present)
  • Training courses in telecom reform and the South Asian Forum for Infrastructure Regulation (SAFIR) Core Course on Infrastructure Regulation (2005 to present)
  • Teleuse at the bottom of the pyramid (Teleuse@BOP), a series of demand-side studies on ICT use in markets that contain the largest numbers of poor people
  • Rapid Response Program, quick responses to specific requests for training and advice from governments and others in the region
  • Price and Quality of Service Benchmark reports (2007 to present)
  • Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) studies (2006 and 2008)
  • Sector Performance Reviews (planned)

Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) Survey Tool[edit]

Developed by LIRNEasia, the Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) Survey Tool helps to measure regulatory performance. This is a perception-based measure on how well the regulatory agency is managing the fixed, mobile, and broadband telecom sectors. It is a diagnostic instrument for assessing the performance of the laws affecting the telecom sector and the various government entities responsible for implementation. The TRE can help to identify which parts of the regulatory environment need to be improved in order to achieve better performance.[3]

The survey measures seven dimensions: market entry, allocation of scarce resources, interconnection, regulation of anti-competitive practices, universal service obligation), tariff regulation, and service quality.[4] Senior stakeholders, including operator representatives and former regulatory staff, are asked to respond to the survey questions based on a Likert scale, in order to ascertain regulatory performance.

Piloted in 2006 with six countries, the survey was used in 2008 to measure eight countries in Asia: India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand. This project is funded by IDRC.[5]

The Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) survey is being merged into Sector Performance Reviews (SPR) in order to provide a broad review of the telecom sector in selected South and South East Asian economies. The SPR is a structured way to collect data that can answer the “why” questions that are not answered using the TRE methodology.

International Advisory Board[edit]

  • William H. Melody, PhD (Chair): Managing Director, LIRNE.NET, Denmark: Visiting Professor, Center for Communication, Media and IT (CMI), Copenhagen Institute of Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Johannes M. Bauer, PhD: Professor, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University; Director, Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law.
  • Hernan Galperin, PhD : Associate Professor and Director, Centre for Technology and Society, Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina; Steering Committee member, DIRSI; Research Fellow, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, USA
  • Alison Gillwald, PhD: Executive Director, Research ICT Africa; Infrastructure Management Reform and Regulation; Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, Management of Infrastructure Reform and Regulation Programme
  • Sherille Ismail, JD: Senior Counsel, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), USA (Sherille serves in his personal capacity and not as a representative of the FCC)
  • Ashok Jhunjhunwala, PhD: Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras (Chennai), India
  • KF Lai, PhD: Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, BuzzCity, Singapore
  • Robin Mansell, PhD: Professor, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • Partha Mukhopadhyay, PhD: Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Sam Paltridge, PhD: Directorate, Science Technology and Industry, OECD, France
  • Visoot Phongsathorn, An independent regulatory expert
  • Randy Spence, PhD: Director, Economic and Social Development Affiliates (Esda), Canada


External links[edit]