Indonesia’s Decentralisation Reforms 20 Years On: Part 3


About the Webinar

Taking the upcoming 20 year anniversary of Indonesia’s reform process as a reference point, this project seeks to explore the effect of the country’s decentralisation reforms over the past two decades. This webinar is the last of a series of three and focuses on inequality, poverty and education sector performance at the subnational level.

With regard to poverty and inequality, decentralization has lifted per capita income and reduced the poverty rate. However, this has been accompanied by an increase in inequality. Taken together, these trends mean that the improvement in welfare has been faster for those in the higher strata of income distribution compared to those in lower stratas. This increase in vertical inequality raises the question of whether it has been coupled with diverging economic development across regions in Indonesia. This presentation addresses this question by examining whether there has been convergence or divergence in income per capita, inequality, and poverty across districts in Indonesia.

For a country that decentralizes its education service delivery to the district and provincial levels, Indonesia does not have valid and objective information on student learning outcomes at a sufficiently disaggregated geographical level. In short, the education system has been flying blind for decades. In this presentation, we take advantage of a central government policy to change the delivery of national examinations from paper-based to computer-based media. We use the differences in results between the two media to estimate the actual level and trends of education quality across districts in Indonesia. We also examine how institutional capabilities, governance, and long-term district characteristics predict the quality of education.

This webinar is supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

About the Speakers

Asep Suryahadi is a Senior Research Fellow at The SMERU Research Institute in Jakarta, Indonesia. Previously, he was the director of the institute from 2009 to 2019 and the deputy director of research from 2003 to 2009. He currently serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies and the Advisory Board of Indonesia Project, both at the Australian National University.

Iqbal Dawam Wibisono is a Consultant at the World Bank Jakarta Office and a Researcher at the Center for Economics and Development Studies (CEDS), Padjadjaran University, in Bandung, Indonesia. He previously worked at the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) in Jakarta.

Priasto Aji is an Economist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Indonesia Resident Mission. He conducts regular economic monitoring and surveillance on the Indonesian economy. He is a regular author of the Indonesia chapter in ADB’s biannual flagship publications: Asian Development Outlook and Asian Development Outlook Update.

Daniel Suryadarma conducts applied economics research in the areas of education, poverty and social policy. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and Journal of Development Economics. His research has informed policy discussions at the Indonesian Vice President’s Office, Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Australian Aid Program, and the World Bank. Daniel is currently a research economist at the Asian Development Bank Institute.

Goldy Dharmawan works as a researcher at the SMERU Research Institute. He is mainly working on the RISE Programme. He is primarily involved in research projects with education topics such as school admission system, student learning assessment, and classroom observation. Before joining SMERU, he was a teaching and research assistant at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Universitas Indonesia.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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For the best experience, please mute your microphone. If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Dec 18 2020


10:00 am - 11:30 am