2014 Sadli Lecture: The demography of Indonesia in comparative perspective

 

Professor Peter McDonald delivering The eight Sadli Lecture

Professor Peter McDonald delivering The eight Sadli Lecture

 

This year Sadli Lecture was given by Peter McDonald, Professor of Demography in the Crawford School of Public Policy. Held on 22 April at Borobudur Hotel, Peter delivered a Lecture titled The demography of Indonesia in comparative perspective. This Lecture was jointly organised by the Institute for Economic and Social Research (LPEM), Faculty of Economics University of Indonesia and ANU Indonesia Project.

Professor Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti welcomed everyone to the Lecture

Professor Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti welcomed everyone to the Lecture

 

HE Dr Chatib Basri, Indonesian Minister of Finance giving the Sadli Lecture's Keynote Speech

HE Dr Chatib Basri, Indonesian Minister of Finance giving the Sadli Lecture’s Keynote Speech

 

The Public Lecture discusses the implications of Indonesia’s population growth and distribution for its economy, as well as the poor quality of demographic data. Having reduced its fertility rate over the past 40 years, Indonesia has reached a new demographic crossroad. Its fertility rate is now around 2.5 births per woman, which, if sustained, would add substantial numbers to Indonesia’s population in the future. There are concerns within Indonesia that the present level of population growth is an obstacle to continued economic development and, accordingly, that fertility should be reduced to the replacement level of 2.1 births per woman as soon as possible. Yet a comparative perspective indicates that countries such as Singapore, Japan, and Thailand are concerned about the effects that their very low rates of fertility are having on their labour forces and their rates of population ageing. With the right policy settings Indonesia can avoid this outcome yet continue to reduce its fertility.

Professor Sri Moertiningsih Aditama as Sadli Lecture discussant

Professor Sri Moertiningsih Adioetomo as Sadli Lecture discussant

 

Associate Professor Budy P Resosudarmo during the 2014 Sadli Lecture

Associate Professor Budy P Resosudarmo during the 2014 Sadli Lecture

 

Professor Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti from the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia welcomed everyone to the Lecture, followed by a Keynote Remark from HE Dr M Chatib Basri, Indonesian Finance Minister. Professor Sri Moertiningsih Adioetomo from the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia and Associate Professor Budy P Resosudarmo from ANU Indonesia Project were the discussants. The Lecture was chaired by Dr Vid Adrison (Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia).

 

Participants during the Sadli Lecture

Participants during the Sadli Lecture

 

More than 100 people attended the Lecture, including HE Dr Mari Pangestu, Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, academics from various universities in Jakarta, demographers, early career and senior researchers and public officials, also students.

A live streaming of the Sadli Lecture which could be accessed from any part of the world was also available for the first time.

Another Public Lecture with the same topic by Professor Peter McDonald was also held the next day in Yogyakarta. This event was organised by the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Gadjah Mada University (FISIPOL UGM).

 

The flyer of Yogyakarta's Public Lecture

The flyer of Yogyakarta’s Public Lecture

 

Dean FISIPOL UGM, Dr Erwan Agus Purwanto, opened the event on the morning of 24 April, noting that the topic of demographic change is a timely one as it is being discussed at the policy level at the central and local levels. On behalf of the ANU Indonesia Project, Lydia Napitupulu then provided brief introduction of the ANU Indonesia Project, now in its 50th year of  research, policy analysis and research dissemination to audiences in Australia, Indonesia and globally.

 

Dean FISIPOL UGM Dr Erwan Agus Purwanto opening the Public Lecture in Yogyakarta

Dean FISIPOL UGM Dr Erwan Agus Purwanto opening the Public Lecture in Yogyakarta

At the start of the presentation, Professor McDonald provided a comprehensive background and introduction on the topic of demographic change and economic development. He then proceeded to provide an analysis of the demographic changes happening in Indonesia and elsewhere, and noted that the demographic bonus does not depend on the size of the population alone but also other factors.
L-R:  Professor Muhadjir Darwin, Professor Peter McDonald, Professor Tadjoeddin Noer Effendi,  Dr Elan Satriawan

L-R: Professor Muhadjir Darwin, Professor Peter McDonald, Professor Tadjoeddin Noer Effendi, Dr Elan Satriawan

 

Professor Muhadjir Darwin, the first discussant, provided an interesting discussion on the structure of the population, noting that there are elements in the population that is more likely to have a large number of children, including religious fanatics, which will impact the makeup of the population in the future. Dr. Elan Satriawan, the second discussant, raised the question of whether it is a demographic bonus or burden that Indonesia can expect in the future, questioning the quality of the productive age population of the future.
Professor Tadjuddin Noer Effendi, a long time collaborator of the ANU Indonesia Project, chaired the event. The discussion session, though relatively short, yield many interesting questions. More than 200 people attended the event, some had to be turned away due to limited capacity of the venue. Also in attendance was various faculty members of UGM, as well as Mrs Irawati Singarimbun, wife of the late Professor Masri Singarimbun, a pioneer in population studies in Indonesia.

About Peter McDonald

Peter McDonald is Professor of Demography in the Crawford School of Public Policy. He was President of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) for the years, 2010-2013. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

He is frequently consulted on the issue of population futures (causes, consequences and policies) by governments around the world, especially in Australia, Europe and East Asia. In 2008, he was appointed as a Member in the Order of Australia. He is Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research. He is an advisor to Population Europe and is a member of the Australian Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration.

Prior to his present appointment he was head of research at the Australian Institute of Family Studies for a period of 11 years. He has also worked at the Demographic Institute of the University of Indonesia, at the World Fertility Survey, London and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Throughout his career, he has been actively engaged in the teaching and promotion of demography as a discipline while applying interdisciplinary approaches in his research. He has a PhD degree in Demography from the Australian National University and an Honours degree in Economics Statistics from the University of New South Wales.

About Sadli Lecture

The aim of the lecture series is to broaden understanding and stimulate debate among students, academics and policy makers of the key economic policy challenges faced by Indonesia, drawing on the experience of neighbouring countries. It is named in honour of the late Professor Mohammad Sadli who was probably Indonesia’s most influential commentator on economic affairs over the past 40 years. Each year it is based on a commissioned paper on Indonesia in comparative economic perspective, published each year in the August number of the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies.

Related media coverage

You can watch the Sadli Lecture from ANU Indonesia Project website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtPuRjSBUvo&list=UUj1Sww30_GCNxFz-klptUNg

The Sadli Lecture and the UGM Lecture were covered by several Indonesian media. Some of them:

 Selected presentation files

Photos courtesy LPEM FEUI and Lydia Napitupulu