FKP Road Show 9-11 March 2015: Banda Aceh, Padang and Makassar

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Following the great reception of the 2014 FKP Road Show, the FKP Organizing Committee arranged another in 2015 in collaboration with Syiah Kuala University (Banda Aceh, on 9 March), Andalas University (Padang, 10 March), and Hasanuddin University (Makassar, 11 March).  In total, 6 papers were presented during the Road Show and more than 500 people attended the events.

Sarah Dong (ANU Indonesia Project) presented her research on women’s intra-household bargaining power where she used the Indonesian Family Life Survey data to assess whether increases in women’s work hours resulted in more household decision-making skewed towards them. She found that indeed, positive effects were observed where the wife’s work hours led them to contribute more to the decisions made in the household. Interestingly, the decisions show that higher bargaining power results in decisions that led to decreased work.

Sarah’s research generated a good discussion on household decision-making, especially implications to local conditions, e.g. in Aceh, a devout Islamic region where men are heads of household and in Padang, a matrilineal society made up of equally devout Moslems. Additionally, the form and content of the Indonesian Family Life Survey were discussed.

Palmira Bachtiar (SMERU Research Institute) presented SMERU’s research into migration and return migration in Indonesia. The issue is important given that between 2008 and 2013, around one thousand people per day returned to Indonesia from working abroad. Previous research mostly highlighted the importance of return migration from the viewpoint of remittances. However, it is clear that remittances are not the only link between migration and development, where human and social capital are also built through these migrations, and that migrants can potentially bring new ideas and business skills to their home countries.

Speakers Dong and Bachtiar

The research, which focused on developing a basis for a comprehensive reintegration strategy for returning migrants, raised many interesting facts about Indonesian migrant workers. Some conclusions include the fact that while reintegration programs have been available, they are sporadic, insufficient and not coordinated, and therefore do not fully take advantage of new skills obtained by returning migrants, nor prepare them for improved careers should they decide to re-migrate. The study highlights further the policy gap where a comprehensive and strategic policy on migrant workers are absent, and migrants is largely regarded for their ability to provide remittances.

Dartanto Informal workers WTP

Teguh Dartanto (LPEM FEUI) presented his institutions’ research on the informal sector and their reluctance to join BPJS Kesehatan (the national health insurance program). The research provided a brief background on the what and why of BPJS Kesehatan, as well as the survey method to elicit willingness to pay for insurance amongst informal workers. This survey method of using a direct survey to obtain the stated preference of respondents is one that is commonly used by environmental economists to generate values of environmental services, especially those not traded in the market.

FKP Banda Aceh

The study found that informal workers are willing to pay for insurance, though most preferred the Class 3 option (the cheapest premium). The monthly cost of insurance, however, was not identied as the main reason for not enrolling in the BPJS program, but rather a lack of understanding of the insurance system and registration process. Feedback from local health services professionals who attended the presentation indicates a similar finding in Aceh, where more than 600 thousand Aceh residents have not registered for the local health insurance program even though the premium is free. These experiences suggest that there should be more research done to explore the reasoning behind people’s reluctance to enroll in health insurance programs in Indonesia.

FKP Padang2

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Other speakers in the series are researchers from host institutions. Abdul Jamal (Syiah Kuala University) gave a thought-provoking presentation on a new paradigm for economic development in Aceh. Sri Maryati (Andalas University) updated participants on the latest discussion on Indonesia’s demographic bonus, and specifically the presence of the educated unemployed. Jibril Tadjib (Hasanuddin University) raised the matter of Makassar workers’ welfare through an examination of their wages.


The FKP Roadshow in the three cities were attended by more than 200 people in Banda Aceh and Makassar (both with a balanced attendance of male and female) and 50 people in Padang (about 60% female). Participants were mostly students (undergraduate and graduate students, about 80% of total), lecturers, and government officials.

Watch the videos: Banda Aceh1, Banda Aceh2, Padang1, Padang2, Makassar1, Makassar2

Download presentation files here:

Dong Women intra-household bargaining power

Dartanto Informal sector and BPJS Kesehatan

Bachtiar Indonesia’s Returning Migrant