Creating the Next Generation of Female Policy Intellectuals in the South

Creating the Next Generation of Female Policy Intellectuals in the South

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

CPRsouth is a capacity building initiative. The main objective is to create, sustain and facilitate the further advancement of young to mid level ICT policy intellectuals in the South.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The Global South lacks good policy and regulation. It lacks not only expert and committed government officials; it also lacks experts who can help shape policy and regulation from the outside. Such outside experts who have both the necessary knowledge and the motivation to participate in policy and regulatory processes from the outside for the most part but in some circumstances from within government are described as policy intellectuals. The objective of CPRsouth is to foster such policy intellectuals so that good policy and regulation may result, yielding the desired contributions to economic growth and poverty alleviation.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

1. The annual CPRsouth conference that includes multi-regional panels to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas within the region. All paper presenters are trained on how to write a policy brief and present their research to their target audience. Senior scholars and policy makers also discuss their experiences in taking their research into the policy process or making use of research in making policies. 2. All conferences will include tutorials for young scholars. Courses include communication strategies for policy influence, quantitative and qualitative research techniques, legal analysis etc. In addition to the taught sessions, the young scholars are given a chance to discuss their research proposals with a senior scholar and receive feedback. 3. Internship programs are offered by LIRNEasia an ICT policy and regulation think-tank based in Colombo, working across the emerging Asia-Pacific.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

CPRsouth’s main activity, the annual conference and tutorials assists in capacity development of scholars and facilitates building a network of ICT policy and research professionals. - Up to 21 paper presenters are selected through a competitive process. The selected paper presenters are mentored on both content and presentation over a period of about 2 months. - The papers are presented at seven sessions. The conference is held over 2 to 2½ days. - The paper givers are expected to submit a policy brief in addition to the academic paper. Policy briefs and presentations are two of the key methods in which policy relevant research is communicated to policy makers and regulators. - As such the paper givers are also expected to record a video of their presentations and post it on youtube. An expert in communication strategy is selected to give comments and suggestions. The presentations are then revised accordingly. - The policy briefs are also reviewed and commented upon - The conference also has additional sessions intended to give insight into the “policy process” such as the keynote speeches and panel discussions involving senior scholars, policy intellectuals and practitioners. - Tutorials are conducted for approx. 30 selected young scholars. The tutorials focus on areas such as effective communication of research, working with demand and supply side data and the basics of information economics. The Young scholars are expected to submit a research proposal which is presented to a senior scholar. The young scholars stay on for the main conference.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Research ICT Africa, DIRSI are other regional bodies that operate in Africa and South America who host similar conferences. Our forte however is the training and mentoring we offer. All participants gets access to a network of senior scholars who can guide them through their research. They are also given training on how to make an effective presentation and how to write a policy brief. These value additions differentiates CPRsouth from the rest.

Founding Story

At the beginning CPRsouth replicated Telecommunication Policy Research Conference (TPRC) and the European Communication Policy Research conference (EuroCPR). However, we realised the need is more for capacity building in the region. Therefore, the focus changed towards teaching people how to engage in the policy space and to train young policy intellectuals. CPRsouth also deals with the lack of a communication and networking platform for like-minded people.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name


Organization Country

, WE, Colombo

Country where this project is creating social impact
Age of Innovator

Gender of Innovator

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

Rohan Samarajiva, Chair and CEO of LIRNEasia was awarded the prestigious 2009 “Communication Research as an Agent of Change Award” by the International Communication Association (ICA) at the 59th Annual conference of the ICA on 23 May 2009, in Chicago, USA.

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Equity.

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)

Policy change/advocacy.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Each year a survey is conducted by the CPRsouth administrative partner LIRNEasia to evaluate the community's activities related to the communication policy research arena. According to survey 87 percent of the respondents have done work related to communication, ICT and telecom policy and 73 percent hopes to continue in the same field in future.

The survey also revealed that 12 individuals have submitted policy briefs, seven have made policy presentations and submissions, six have carried out policy or project implementations ever since they participated in one of the CPRsouth conferences (CPRsouth 1- 6). The survey also questioned them
regarding their media activities; seven have given interviews to media, five have submitted op-ed pieces and 10 have participated in related blogs.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Training and mentoring of approximately 60 female young scholars and paper presenters

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The lack of funding. We do not expect to rely on donor funding as has been in the past. We are currently in the process of raising funds from other sources such as the private sector, registration fee etc.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1
Task 2
Task 3
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

This is a recurring project where activities lead up to the annual conference. These tasks aren't for a particular milestone.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Provide adequate training so that young scholars grow in to being policy intellectuals in their countries

Task 2

Inform previously registered participants on internship programs, fellowships etc

Task 3

Update facebook group on ongoing academic opportunities and policy activities

Tell us about your partnerships

- Communication Policy Research (Africa) CPRafrica was launched in April2010 and is hosted by Research ICT Africa with the intention of encouraging intellectual endeavor and research in the area of ICT policy and regulation in Africa
- ACORN-REDECOM is a cross-disciplinary academic conference which seeks to advance knowledge on the social, economic and political impact of ICT in the Americas. Its main goals are to foster dialog among researchers who examine the economic, technological and policy issues that affect ICT enabled development in Latin America and to develop local research capacity

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list