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Helani Galpaya

Digital policy research aimed at making the lives of the emerging Asia Pacific better.

About the work

Research, dissemination and capacity building around a range of digital policy issues. Using telecom networks and big data, together with algorithms, to understand how cities are changing, where people live and work and to predict the spread of diseases. Development of methods of creating artificial data, which can be used to preserve privacy, while still retaining the usefulness of a given data set. Development of language corpuses in Sinhala, so that algorithmic content moderation can be done for Sinhala language content. Analysis of job posting data online to understand how jobs and the demand for skills varies over time and across genders. Research on how privacy and other human rights are experienced and exercised by those at the intersections of various forms of marginalisation across Asia. Understanding how women negotiate empowerment on online work platforms. Studying the implications of biased data and algorithms and how to build accountable algorithmic systems.


Better policies related to algorithmic accountability and how to deal with data biases. Better set of tools to work with data sets that generate economic value, while at the same time, also preserving privacy. Understanding where marginalized people live in order to ensure better delivery of services to them. Broader understanding among policy actors on the need for privacy preserving data, broader access to data for secondary purposes, accountable algorithmic decision-making systems, and overall better policies related to data and algorithms.