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Revitalising Indonesia’s Knowledge Sector for Development Policy: the diagnostics

I have been waiting for this to be posted for quite some time. AusAid in Indonesia are launching an interesting (and innovative) programme to support the development of the knowledge sector in the country. Instead of only focusing on the supply of or demand for research, or its intermediaries, AusAid is targeting the whole system.

In preparation the commissioned a number of ‘diagnostics’ that I think could be used as templates for studies in other countries. It include a very interesting study of SMERU (a local think tank) and a comparative study of middle income countries’ investment in economic and social policy research:

The proposed ‘Revitalising Indonesia’s Knowledge Sector for Development Policy’ program aims to enable Indonesian policy-makers to make contestable, evidence-informed decisions on how best to spend national budgetary resources in ways that help the poor. It will support the domestic supply of knowledge products to inform policy, as well as the ability of decision makers to use those products to inform their policy choices.

Design document

Diagnostics documents

More information on the programme can be found in the draft document

I would have liked to see more direct support to the media and political parties (as both intermediaries and ‘demanders’ of research) as well as possibly thinking of think tanks as intermediaries instead of suppliers of research but I recognise that one donor cannot do it all in one go. The strategy is significant and long term enough to offer plenty of opportunities for learning and review. This will certainly offer an opportunity for more studies on the role of knowledge in politics in Southeast Asia.

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