- Beyond Pomp and Pageantry: Looking at Public Markets as Lived Spaces
- New Platform Initiated for Young Professionals in Public Policy
- Breaking Point: Impact of Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis on Colombo’s Working Class Poor
- Valuing the Catch of the Day: Towards a more Humanised Food Value Chain
- New Publication: ‘Debt for Nature Swaps: A Primer for Interested Stakeholders’
Technology and Innovation in Development
January 26, 2023
Is Gig Work in Sri Lanka Enabling Female Participation in the Workforce?
While gender was not the primary focus of our gig worker survey, it was interesting to find that relatively less women were engaged in gig economy activity (i.e., similar to what is seen in the traditional workforce) despite the relative flexibility of gig work, equal pay opportunities (in most cases) and low barriers to entry. In this context, platform companies have a role to play in facilitating the participation of more women in their workforce. If gig work is to attract more female participation in the future, platforms and other stakeholders in the gig economy must address issues specifically affecting women, and also initiate discourse on broader structural and cultural changes, including on the perception that women are the only primary caregivers or home-makers, especially in developing countries like Sri Lanka.
January 13, 2023
Is Gig Work Really Part-time in Sri Lanka?: Findings from a Survey
A recent study of gig economy activity in Sri Lanka has emerged, suggesting that although gig work is generally perceived as being part-time work, in reality, gig workers actually work full-time. Despite the reputation gig work as attracted as being largely part-time work used to supplement existing income, the survey of drivers and riders in ride-hailing/ride-sharing and delivery platforms in Sri Lanka, has revealed that many workers actually work on the platform full-time. Yet, platform companies typically do not recognise such workers as ‘employees’ of the platform company and resulting low worker protection. The pandemic and economic crisis has affected these full-time workers to the extent that many were often left idle, with little to no hires and orders during the height of the pandemic and the crisis, despite engaging with the platform full-time.
October 1, 2022
Our strategic partnership with the National Innovation Agency
CSF is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with the National Innovation Agency Sri Lanka, to advance ideas and solutions to strengthen the science, technology and innovation agenda in the country. CSF signed an MoU with NIA in September 2022 to leverage our joint expertise and local and global networks, to bring new knowledge, analysis, and policy initiatives. Both CSF and NIA believe that innovation must be inclusive, sustainable, and it is central to Sri Lanka's economic transformation, beyond recovery from the current crisis.
May 27, 2022
New Working Paper Released: ‘Governance of Digital Technologies in South Asia’
Across the world, the rise of digital technologies has been accompanied by attempts to regulate the use of these applications and their impact on society. The growing salience of cybersecurity and data privacy, alongside concerns over content moderation and facial recognition, have highlighted the need for governments and businesses to adopt stricter regulations to address the ethical, political, and legal issues related to the use of digital technologies, while simultaneously harnessing their social and economic potential. Regulating the digital domain is arguably one of the most important cross-cutting issues facing governments, with wide-ranging implications for businesses, civil society organisations, and the public. In this context, this paper seeks to understand the status of digital governance in South Asia, with a specific focus on Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, which are the key Indian Ocean rim countries in this region. To that end, the research explores four major thematic areas - cybersecurity, data protection, artificial intelligence, and mis/disinformation - the choice of which is informed by their significance for South Asian countries.
February 5, 2022
Making Sri Lanka’s Technology Transition More Inclusive
For Sri Lankan youth entering the workforce over the next decade, there lies a critical window of opportunity to get equipped for jobs in the digital economy. Rapidly advancing the technical and soft skills training for the technology sector across the country is vital to avoid reinforcing and reproducing existing regional and gender disparities into the emerging digital economy. Sri Lanka needs to focus on enhancing technology access, usage, and literacy across the board, to help workers be better prepared for jobs in the technology sector.
August 8, 2021
Interview with Leonora Milan,
Mexico’s Leading Young Science Communicator
Leonora Milan, a leading science communicator in Mexico and featured prominently in Mexican media, shares her thoughts on the shape of the public debates on science, climate change, environmental issues, and policy in Mexico. She observes that in Mexico people have a newfound interest in scientific topics than a few years ago, but there are still gaps in bridging the science-policy divide. Some 'bright spots' have emerged, however, in training young people in climate change negotiations and breeding new technical advisory on environmental policy issues. This interview is part of the 'Global Voices' series, which brings to Sri Lanka the views of young professionals from around the world.
July 28, 2021
SIGNALS OF CHANGE:
Three Emerging Post-Covid Trends for Sri Lanka’s Apparel Sector
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry – a significant export revenue earner and employer – was substantially hit by the pandemic. Aside from the short-term supply and demand shocks, the pandemic accelerated trends that were in motion prior to the crisis, and these provide signals of change and point to the direction in which the Sri Lankan apparel industry needs to head in. Moving from recovery to resilience and a new wave of growth will be shaped by three emerging trends - attracting new investment that drives innovation (in business models and products) and plugs into new supply chains and on focussing on meeting more stringent sustainability and other compliance requirements of buyers and preferences of consumers.
June 4, 2021
SIGNALS OF CHANGE:
Can Blockchain Solve Trade Finance Bottlenecks?
Trade finance is currently full of inefficiencies, and access to trade finance has proved to be a continual challenge for SME exporters. The industry is ripe for disruption, and blockchain is proving to be a key source of disruptive innovation. Several pilots have shown the way for blockchain to improve trade finance - both in reducing time and costs.