by Trish van der Hoek

In the wake of the new appointments and to ensure the quality of Project activities, in 2013, the Project has been significantly restructured to allow this new generation to play a role in the Project’s administration, assisting in the implementation of regular Project activities and new initiatives.

Pierre van der Eng is now the Chief Editor of BIES, responsible for the overall operation of the Bulletin. Robert Sparrow is the Project’s Research Coordinator, responsible for coordinating research activities and networks involving Project academic staff and international researchers, particularly those in Indonesia. Daniel Suryadarma is the Project’s Education Coordinator, monitoring teaching, training and PhD supervision activities of the Project’s academic staff. He is in charge of the Project’s scholarship program and training activities in Indonesia. Arianto Patunru is the Project’s Policy Engagement Coordinator, coordinating Project participation in policy debates on Indonesia in Australia and Indonesia. He coordinates the Project’s blog. Nurkemala Muliani is the Project’s Outreach Officer, coordinating Project efforts to better outreach Project activities. She is the main contact person for media related communication. Ben Wilson is the Executive Editor of BIES, providing support to the Chief Editor and responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of the Bulletin.

There were several highlights in the Indonesia Project calendar for the period January–June 2013. The Project, in collaboration with the Fiscal Policy Office of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance and Australian Treasury, conducted the 8th High Level Policy Dialogue Meeting on 19-20 March 2013 at the Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta. The principal theme was ‘inclusive growth’, and focused on the six topics selected by the Ministry of Finance for discussion: social security, rising inequality, education priorities, food security, labour regulation and productivity, and revitalising manufacturing.

On 19 March, the Australian Ambassador, Greg Moriarty, and the Minister of Finance RI, H. E. Agus Martowardojo, made introductory speeches to open the event, followed by an Overview of Macroeconomic Conditions & Challenges Ahead by the Chairman of the Fiscal Policy Agency, Bambang Brodjonegoro. Robert Sparrow (ANU), Yves Guerard (ADB) and Rema Hanna (J-PAL / Harvard Kennedy School) then spoke about The Social Security System. Vivi Alatas (World Bank), Budy Resosudarmo(ANU) and Sua Hasil Nazara (TNP2K) talked about Income Distribution: is rising income inequality a problem in Indonesia? Chris Manning (ANU), Peter van ROOIJ (ILO) and Ir Abdul Wahab Bangkona, Msc (Kemnakertrans) discussed Labour Market Productivity & Regulation and the topic Revitalising the Manufacturing Sector was addressed by Hal Hill (ANU), Dionisius Narjoko (ERIA), Haryo Aswicahyono (CSIS) and Arryanto Sagala (Kemenperin). Speakers’ presentation papers are available at

On Wednesday 20 April, ANU staff prepared the draft communiqué. Hal Hill and Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro finalised it and then presented it to H.E. Agus Martowardojo with representatives of AusAID and The Treasury.

Another highlight is that the Australian Government has created the Hadi Soesastro Prize, to be awarded annually to one female and one male Australia Awards PhD scholar. Applicants will be required to submit a proposal on how they will use the Prize to honour Professor Soesastro’s legacy. The successful applicant will be awarded up to $25,000 for further study, field work, conference attendance, and research or community projects. (There are 831 Indonesian Australia Award scholars currently studying in Australia).

L to R: Professor Hal Hill from ANU, Agus Soesastro, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, Ibu Janti Soesastro, Dr Djisman Simandjuntak from CSIS


Professor Hal Hill from ANU delivered the welcoming address at the launch of the prize at the Four Season Hotel in Jakarta on 3 April 2013, and Foreign Minister Bob Carr launched the Prize, declaring that “Professor Hadi Soesastro fostered warm relations between Australians and Indonesians,” and adding that, “He made major contributions in several fields including economics, Asia-Pacific cooperation, and development in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.”

The event was attended by members of Hadi Soesastro’s family, friends, colleagues, and representatives from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

The late Hadi Soesastro was the former executive director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta. He sat on the Indonesia Project board of advisors and was a long-time supporter and friend of the Project. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the Australian National University at a graduation ceremony on 17 July, 2009.

Dr Vikram Nehru delivered the 7th Sadli Lecture


Another highlight was the 2013 Sadli Lecture, the seventh in the series to date, held on 25 April at the Hotel Borobudur Jakarta. The lecture was delivered by Vikram Nehru, Bakrie Chair in Southeast Asian Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC, and was entitled “Manufacturing in India and Indonesia: Performance and Policies”.

115 participants attended the event, including Indonesian and Australian government officials, staff from research institutions and non-governmental organisations, students, and academics. The event was organised jointly by the Institute for Economic and Social Research of the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia (LPEM-FEUI), and the Indonesia Project. As in previous years, Nehru’s address was based on the comparative development paper published in the Bulletin of Indonesia Economic Studies in the same year. The event was opened by the Deputy Head of BAPPENAS, Dr Lukita Dinarsyah Tuwo, followed by a discussion of Nehru’s paper by Professor Ari Kuncoro from the University of Indonesia, and Dr Dionisius Ardiyanto from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

In his address, Nehru observed that since the global financial crisis of 2008, the focus has been on China’s rapid growth and its contribution to the global recovery, with less attention being paid to India and Indonesia – Asia’s two other giants – although they also displayed resilience during the crisis and show promise of sustaining this performance. He argued that these two countries are alike in many respects and face similar challenges, as reflected in their emerging policy priorities. He concluded that a comparative approach to the issues that both countries face could yield interesting insights and provide potential solutions to their development challenges.

Nehru was interviewed by Bisnis Indonesia, Investor Daily, Neraca and Bloomberg TV.

On 3 April 2013 ANU Indonesia Project and SMERU Research Institute organised the first Indonesian Development Research Workshop, at the IPB Convention Centre in Bogor, as part of the Indonesia Project’s new research network activities. The aim is to support and strengthen the rigour of social science research conducted by Indonesian researchers through establishing an active network of Indonesian research institutes.

Dr Arief Yusuf from Padjajaran University giving a presentation


Subsequent workshops will be organised annually in combination with short training courses on research methods.

The aim of the first research workshop was to provide Indonesian research institutes with a platform to present their current research agendas in the area of economic development and policy, and discuss challenges faced by Indonesian academics in conducting research and publishing in international journals.
The workshop included presentations by Arief Anshory Yusuf (Padjajaran University), Maxensius Sambodo (LIPI), Abdul Madjid Sallatu (Eastern Indonesia Researchers Network), Saiful Mahdi (International Center for Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies), M. Handry Imansyah (Lambung Mangkurat University), Susan Olivia and Katy Cornwell (Monash University), and Petra Karetji and Diastika Rahwidiati (AusAID).

In additional to individual presentations, the editorial staff of regional academic journals engaged with Indonesian academics in a panel discussion session on academic publishing, focusing on experiences with – and barriers to – publishing in peer reviewed academic journals. The panel consisted of Arianto Patunru (ANU) for the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Thee Kian Wie (LIPI) for Economics and Finance in Indonesia and Maria Wihardja (CSIS) for the Indonesian Quarterly.

35 people attended the workshop, with academics from various Indonesian and Australian universities and research institutes participating, as well as representatives from AusAID and the World Bank.

. . .

The April 2013 issue of the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (BIES) is now available online. Its ‘Survey of recent developments’, by Katy Cornwell and Titik Anas, starts with a topic that will keep Indonesia enthralled into July 2014, and possibly beyond: Who are the candidates for the upcoming legislative and presidential elections? There is no clarity at this stage, but the survey brings good news from the macroeconomic front, despite continued global gloom.

In the 2013 installment of our annual series ‘Indonesia in comparative perspective’, Vikram Nehru asks what Indonesia can learn from India’s industrialisation. He compares the development of India’s and Indonesia’s manufacturing industries, examining the dimensions of growth and productivity, as well as the surrounding economic context and industrial policies of both countries.

The paper of Teguh Dartanto and Nurkholis investigates poverty dynamics in Indonesia – that is, the characteristics of those households on the margin of being poor or non-poor and that consequently move into and out of poverty.

Susan Olivia and John Gibson examine changing living standards in Indonesia by probing the consumer price index (CPI), which is often used as a convenient deflator in comparing changes in otherwise nominal income or wage data over time.

Kunta Nugraha and Phil Lewis contribute to the ongoing discussion about measuring inequality in Indonesia. They explain that Indonesia’s widely published Gini ratios are based on household expenditure data from the now annual Susenas survey, rather than on household income data, and that there are good reasons to assume that the expenditure data under-estimate income inequality.

This issue also contains abstracts of recently completed PhD dissertations on Indonesia and a selection of book reviews.

Read a fuller preview of the contents of the April 2013 issue of BIES.

. . .

The opening of Hadi Soesastro Policy Forum in Jakarta. H E Mari Pangestu gave the opening speech. Middle: Dr Rizal Sukma, right: Associate Professor Budy Resosudarmo.


The first Hadi Soesastro Policy Forum was held in the new CSIS building on 30 May 2013. This Forum is a one-day conference held jointly by CSIS and the ANU Indonesia Project. There were approximately 200 attendees, including government officials, academics, students, researchers and various others. H. E. Mari Pangestu opened the Forum and spoke about Hadi Soesastro’s role and contributions to the nation, the region, and to many individuals.

To mark the inaugural year of the Forum, Hal Hill (H. W. Arndt Professor of Southeast Asian Economies, ANU) gave a Public Lecture, “Does East Asia have a Financial Safety Net?”, based on a paper co-authored with Dr Jayant Menon (ADB). The choice of topic reflected Hadi Soesastro’s research interests, namely how to forge a vibrant and effective East Asian economic community. One aspect of this regional economic cooperation concerns the creation of a viable financial safety net. In this Lecture, Hal Hill concluded that efforts to establish effective regional financial safety nets in Asia continue and that the IMF is still unpopular, deeply so in some countries. The most popular approach is still self-insurance, even though it is costly and risky.

The Public Lecture was followed by the ever important annual Indonesian economic and political updates delivered by Yose Rizal Damuri (CSIS) and Sandra Hamid (Asia Foundation) respectively. A lively question and answer session followed.

This year’s Update Book, Education in Indonesia (edited by Daniel Suryadarma and Gavin Jones) was launched by H E Armida Alisjahbana, Indonesia’s State Minister for National Development Planning/Head of BAPPENAS. This was followed by book chapter presentations by Thee Kian Wie from LIPI, Samer al-Samarrai from the World Bank, and Daniel Suryadarma from the ANU Indonesia Project.

The one day forum concluded with a discussion on education in Indonesia between a panel consisting of Gavin Jones (NUS), Thee Kian Wie (LIPI), Pratikno (Rector, UGM), Fr Baskoro Pudjinugroho (Kanisius) and the audience. Marissa Anita, a TV anchor from Metro TV chaired the session.

Kompas and Republika Online covered the event. Daniel Suryadarma, Hal Hill, and Gavin Jones were interviewed by Jak TV.

In conjunction with the book launch during the Hadi Soesastro Policy Forum in Jakarta, the Update book, Education in Indonesia, was also launched at the Economics Faculty, Hasanuddin University (Unhas) in Makassar, South Sulawesi on 29 May 2013. Around 60 people, mostly graduate students and academics, attended the event. Professor Halide and Professor Imade Benyamin, both senior lecturers from Unhas, discussed the contents of the book, Daniel Suryadarma as one of the book’s editors presented an overview, and Hal Hill talked about his chapter. Gavin Jones, the book’s co-editor, and Budy Resosudarmo from ANU Indonesia Project also attended the Book Launch.

On the previous day, Hal Hill delivered a Public Lecture “Is There a Southeast Asian Model of Economic Development?” to an audience of approximately 100 people consisting of academics and graduate students in Makassar. A lively discussion on the topic followed the Lecture.


During one of the Indonesia Study Group seminars in Coombs Building

There were 10 Indonesia Study Group seminars held in the first half of 2013. The topics varied from economics and politics to media and anthropology studies. There were three female presenters, and out of 11 speakers, only three were from Canberra (ANU), 5 were international speakers, one was from Flinders University, and one from Monash. For the first time, during one of the seminars, namely the Survey of Recent Developments in Indonesia, a teleconference was held between the audience and one of the speakers from Indonesia. There was also a new record of more than 80 people attending Marcus Mietzner’s ISG on Jokowi: Indonesia’s next president, with almost equal numbers of government officials, academics, and students attending. This first half of 2013 continues to show an increase in the number of people attending ISG seminars compared with the last couple of years. This could well be attributed to the use of social media in promoting the seminars. For example, the increase in the number of students attending is due to regular announcements via the Indonesian students’ mailing list.

Please see the ISG webpage for further details of these seminars.

The Jakarta Seminar Series, Forum Kajian Pembangunan, organised jointly by the ANU Indonesia Project and various institutions in Indonesia, has become a regular contributor to the current discourse on Indonesian development, in Jakarta and two other cities in Indonesia (Yogyakarta and Padang). Between January and June 2013, the FKP held 23 meetings (including special events such as the Sadli Lecture, the Hadi Soesastro Policy Forum, and the Bulletin of Indonesian Studies (BIES) Forum, hosted by nine institutions and more than thirty five speakers. Ten of the speakers were from foreign institutions.

The host institutions were the PPM School of Management in Jakarta, the World Bank, the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), the Asian Development Bank Indonesia Resident Mission, the Institute of Economic and Social Research, the Faculty of Economics-University of Indonesia (LPEM FEUI), the ANU Indonesia Project, the SMERU Research Institute and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Topics discussed were: organisational management issues; the greening of the Indonesian electric power generation system; targeting experiments to update the registry of the poor; the impact of services reform on the Indonesian manufacturing sector; demand side incentives for health care providers in Indonesia; spatial and urban planning related to Greater Jakarta; energy policy challenges; measuring the impact of economic shocks with an endogenous poverty line; the export-led strategy of South Korea; the effectiveness of public service delivery in the form of roads in Indonesia; quality measurement and assurance for insurance programs; life in a time of food price volatility; the political economy of post-conflict violence in Indonesia; the evolution of poverty in Indonesia during the last 20 years and projections for the next twenty years; child poverty and welfare disparity in Indonesia; productivity and employment in the manufacturing sector; the impact of FTAs on business in Indonesia; whether ASEAN is really committed to a more open services sector, and whether a declining public debt ratio in Indonesia is a reason for complacency.

Overall, at least 622 attendances were recorded for the FKP during January – June 2013. Most attendees were university researchers and staff of research organisations; the rest comprised staff of international agencies and donor-funded projects, Indonesian and foreign government officials, NGOs, the private sector and the media (Kompas, ANTARA, Bisnis Indonesia, Bloomberg TV, etc). The chief editor of Tempo recently requested slides from an FKP presentation, indicating that the FKP is starting to gain the attention of the Indonesian media.

For a fuller account of the FPK’s activities for the first half of the year, please see the article on our Blog.

The detailed agenda of these group discussions are available on the website as well as the full seminar paper for most of them. Since the beginning of 2013, FKP presentations have been recorded and uploaded to YouTube (29 videos are available at present).

The times and venues of the FKP are on the website and they are free and open to the public. If you would like to subscribe to the email list, please send your contact details (including email address) to

The Bulletin of Indonesia Studies (BIES) Forum is another new event on the Project calendar and comprises a presentation on a paper published in BIES, and a presentation and discussion on publishing in the journal. The event was held for the first time this year in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta and Andalas University (Unand) in Padang. Arianto Patunru (ANU Indonesia Project) presented his paper (written with M. Chatib Basri (University of Indonesia) How to Keep Trade Policy Open: the Case of Indonesia (BIES August 2012).

During BIES Forum at CSIS, Jakarta


The BIES Forum in Jakarta was held on 30 Jun 2013 at the new CSIS building. The event was attended by more than 30 people, the majority of whom were researchers from various universities and think tanks in the Greater Jakarta area, while the rest comprised representatives of government, international agencies and other institutions. Arianto Patunru and Jose Rizal (Head of the Economics Department, CSIS) provided a brief overview of their views on keeping trade policy open in Indonesia, noting that the trade regime in Indonesia has always fluctuated, but new measures ‘behind the border’ (i.e. discriminative domestic treatment of foreign products and entities) are increasingly popular closer to elections. These presentations were followed by a lively discussion on specific trade policies, ASEAN policy, policy prescriptions and other issues. Several undergraduate students from various universities attended the event, and contributed their findings while currently working on their respective trade-related theses. Regarding the possible origins of recent protectionist policies, participants agreed linkages between sectoral trade policies and the affiliation of ministry leaders to political organisations should be assessed.

On 1 July 2013, the BIES Forum in Padang was hosted by the Faculty of Economics, Unand, and was opened by Dean Professor Tafdil Husni. More than 50 faculty members and students attended. In addition to Arianto Patunru’s presentation, Professor Syafruddin Karimi (Unand) reviewed the paper and also observed that a more open trade policy would result in gains from trade, but there would be losers in the economy, so a careful policy should be in place to develop compensation schemes, notably to ensure that the poor are not further impoverished, thereby lessening the resistance to a more open trade policy.
During the BIES Forum, copies of the BIES were distributed free to participants. Arianto Patunru also provided a brief review of the submission policy at the BIES, and encouraging researchers to submit their papers to the journal. One of the strongest features of the BIES is the supportive editing process by editors and other specialists, so Indonesian researchers would enjoy the twofold benefit of having a paper published and a possibly instructive process that would prepare them for future submissions. This message seems to have been well received by researchers in Jakarta and Padang, so hopefully we will soon see some submissions from researchers who attended the BIES Forum.

. . .

As part of the Project’s Visitor Program, Katy Cornwell (Monash University) visited the Project from 29 January to 9 February to write the Survey of Recent Developments in Indonesia for the April issue of the BIES (her co-author who did not visit the Project was Titik Anas (Centre for Strategic and International Studies)).

Katy presented an ISG on the Survey on 5 February 2013.  A podcast of her talk is available on the ISG webpage.
Vikram Nehru (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington) visited the Project from 5 to 10 May. He presented his Survey of recent developments in Indonesia at an ISG seminar on 8 May.  On 9 May he gave a talk at AusAID on “Manufacturing in India and Indonesia: Performance and Policies”, the same topic he presented for the Seventh Sadli Lecture in Jakarta on the 25th April. The talk was chaired by Nick Cumpston, the chief economist at the Indonesia East Timor Group, AusAID.

Budy Resosudarmo from the ANU Indonesia Project and Muhammad Handry Imansyah from the Faculty of Economics, Lambung Mangkurat University, held a workshop to brief local governments in Kalimantan on recent local economic developments, particularly with regard to changes in the economic structure. Logging activities have long been the driving force behind Kalimantan’s economy. However, in the last 10 years, coal mining and palm oil production have become the main drivers, which have altered the migration pattern to the island, and will affect other social indicators such as poverty, health outcomes, conflicts and the environment. The aim of the workshop was to advise local Kalimantan governments of these changes so they will be ready to mitigate any negative impacts that might occur.

Approximately 50 economics department heads (Kepala Dinas Ekonomi) and approximately 10 local government members from various Kalimantan districts attended the meeting. It was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Lambung Mangkurat University and by a representative of the Governor of South Kalimantan. USAID – SEADI project funded this activity.

The meeting was concluded with a lengthy discussion of several policy options worth applying to sustain development in Kalimantan and to decrease its negative social and economic implications. This event was held on 28 May 2013 at the Swiss Belhotel, Banjarmasin.

Budy Resosudarmo also gave a public lecture entitled “Principles of Quantitative Modelling in Economics” to approximately 40 economics and public policy postgraduate students and lecturers at Gedung Program Pasca Ilmu Ekonomi, New Campus, Cendrawasih University (Uncen), Jayapura, Papua, on 18 April. This visit was also intended to develop a stronger relationship between the Indonesia Project and Uncen’s Faculty of Economics, as well as to encourage FE Uncen to be more involved with the Indonesia Project’s Development Research Network.

Associate Professor Budy Resosudarmo explaining changes and challenges Kalimantan is facing in the recent years


Vikram Nehru delivered a talk entitled “Manufacturing in India and Indonesia: Performance and Policies” at the Faculty of Economics and Business – Universitas Padjadjaran on 29 April as part of the FEB Unpad Lecture Series. The Dean of Faculty of Economics, Dr Nury Effendi, opened the Public Lecture. Professor Rina Indiastuti chaired the seminar and the discussants were Dr. Muhamad Purnagunawan and Dr. Agung Wicaksono. A lively question and answer session followed. The event was attended by 134 people, mostly post graduate and undergraduate students and lecturers and was publicised by Unpad’s media.

ANU Indonesia Project & SMERU Research Institute Research Grants 2013 – 2014

To stimulate research cooperation between Indonesian and Australian research institutes, the Indonesia Project and SMERU Research Institute invite research proposals for funding collaborative research projects in any of the main research themes of the Indonesia Project: (i) Trade and Industry, (ii) Politics and Governance, (iii) Agriculture, Resources and the Environment, (iv) Social Policy and Human Capital.
The research grants provide funding of up to A$15,000 per grant, intended to cover the cost of initiating new research activities, such as travel costs, field work, data collection or research assistance. The grants are not meant to cover salary costs of applicants or overhead costs by the applicant institutes. A maximum of 4 research grants are available for the 2013/2014 application round.

. . .

Upcoming Events

The Indonesia Update Conference 2013Regional Dynamics in a Decentralized Indonesia, will be held on 21–22 September 2013 at the Coombs Lecture Theatre, H C Coombs Building, No. 9 Cnr Fellows Road and Garran Road, The Australian National University.

Hal Hill (ANU College of Asia and the Pacific) will be the convenor.

Please visit the Update 2013 webpage for an outline of the conference and the provisional program, and to register for the event. The conference is free of charge.

ANU Indonesia Project Research Travel Grant will be announced in September to assist students who plan to undertake research or are currently undertaking research for which they will benefit from travel to Indonesia.

Contact Details

ANU Indonesia Project
Arndt-Corden Department of Economics
Crawford School of Public Policy
Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200
T: +61 2 6125 3794
F: +61 2 6125 3700

If you are not already on the Indonesia Project News mailing list and would like to receive notice of future issues, please send an email with ‘Newsletter’ in the subject line to

ANU Indonesia Project wishes to thank ANU and AusAID for their substantial and continuing support.

For previous issues of ANU Indonesia Project Newsletter please visit: