Simultaneous local elections won’t help Indonesian governance

Indonesian electoral officials check ballot boxes at a local election center the day after presidential elections in Jakarta on 10 July, 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Alexander R Arifianto, RSIS

On 9 December, Indonesia will have its first simultaneous local executive elections to elect governors, district heads and mayors in 269 localities (out of 537) across Indonesia. While direct election of local executives has been held since 2004, this is the first time these elections will be held simultaneously on a single day. Read more…

Indonesia tries to steady its economic wobbles

Indonesia has the 10th largest economy in the world, according to a recent report by the World Bank, with the country contributing 2.3 per cent of global economic output. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

With economic uncertainty in China in the spotlight over the past few weeks, Indonesia’s economic wobbles have escaped the scrutiny abroad that they are now demanding at home.

Less than half a decade ago, Indonesia was still riding the China boom. Read more…

Jokowi takes his first shot at economic reform

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on 10 September 2015 unveiled a series of stimulus measures to lift slowing growth in Southeast Asia's top economy and shore up the country's plunging currency. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Chris Manning, ANU

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has announced a comprehensive package of reforms aimed at reducing inflation and stabilising the exchange rate, stimulating demand through ‘deregulation’ and direct support, with a special focus on creating more jobs in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and across urban and rural communities. The reforms will come into effect this Tuesday 15 September 2015. Read more…

Strengthening Jakarta–Jayapura trust key to development in Papua

Papuan people participate in a march to commemorate the UN's International Day of the World's Indigenous People in Wamena on 9 August, 2008. For a period of time PNPM-RESPEK was the only program reaching native Papuans in remote rural areas. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Yulia I. Sari, ANU

In order to improve the effectiveness of development strategies in Indonesia’s Papua province, trust between the central government in Jakarta and the Papua provincial government in Jayapura needs to be strengthened. The PNPM-RESPEK initiative is a case in point. Read more…

Is Indonesia trapped in the middle?

An Indonesian boy plays on concrete blocks for a road construction at a beach during sunset in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, 8 August 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Hal Hill, ANU, and Haryo Aswicahyono, CSIS, Jakarta

Indonesia became a middle-income country in 2004. Indonesia’s growth rates — while superior to those of most developing countries — remain below those of East Asia’s most dynamic economies. So why hasn’t the country grown faster still and why does growth appear slower in the democratic era than that of Soeharto? Read more…

Jokowi lacks leadership on corruption

To go with: Indonesia-election-politics,ADVANCER by Sam Reeves
In this photograph taken on July 5, 2014, Joko Widodo, the presidential candidate waves to supporters during the final day of campaigning in Jakarta. Widodo popularly known as Jokowi,  will cap a remarkable rise from an upbringing in a riverside slum when he is sworn in as Indonesia's president on October 20, 2014, taking power as the world's third-biggest democracy faces huge challenges and amid doubts about his ability to enact much-needed reforms. Widodo is Indonesia's first leader with out deep roots in the era of dictator Suharto.  AFP PHOTO / AGUS SUPARTO

Author: Liam Gammon, ANU

The higher they rise, the harder they fall. No politician in post-Suharto Indonesia has risen higher and faster than Joko Widodo (Jokowi), whose win in the 2014 presidential elections was considered a breath of fresh air for a vibrant but corrupt democracy. The reality of his presidency, though, is not what civil society, foreign governments and investors were crossing their fingers for. After eight months in office Jokowi looks surprisingly conservative, out of touch, and out of his depth. Read more…

Indonesian village decentralisation is all money no plan

People and activities are seen in Alue Naga village, Aceh, Indonesia, 19 November 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Blane Lewis, ANU

Nearly 15 years after embarking on its large scale decentralisation initiative, Indonesia has decided to extend its efforts to the village level. Decentralising to the nearly 74,000 villages is intended to improve service delivery performance at the lowest administrative tier and reduce social inequality and poverty. But the initiative is all money, with no clear plan. Read more…