Publications

    In the fall of 1986, the World Bank offered the government of Indonesia a loan of approximately US $200-250 million for highway construction in the capital city of Jakarta and the country's other four largest urban centers. It was an attractive proposal: plummeting world oil prices had squeezed the national treasury, which had derived about 60 percent of its revenues from Indonesian oil profits. But for much the same reason, Indonesia's Ministry of Finance felt compelled to find new revenue sources to repay the loan. 

     Transparency for Development Team, August 2017

    The Transparency for Development (T4D) study was designed to answer the question of whether a community-led transparency and accountability program can improve health outcomes and community empowerment, and, if so, how and in what contexts. To answer this question, researchers and civil society organization partners began by co-designing a program that would activate community participation to address myriad barriers to proper maternal and newborn care, with the ultimate goal of improving maternal and newborn health outcomes. This report presents the design of the program that was then implemented in 200 villages in Tanzania and Indonesia and studied using a mixed methods impact evaluation. In addition to detailing the program, this report outlines how the project team got there—describing a number of principles that informed some distinguishing features of the program, as well as an iterative design process that defined other features through trial and error.

    Muhamad Chatib Basri, June 2016

    In this paper, Dr. Muhamad Chatib Basri, who was Indonesia’s Minister of Finance during the Taper Tantrum (TT) period, analyzes the response to the TT of the five hardest-hit countries, dubbed the “Fragile Five” (Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Turkey), and describes how Indonesia was able to mitigate the negative effects of the TT so quickly and effectively. Dr. Basri’s account provides many insights in the realm of macroeconomic management amidst external shocks that should be quite useful to emerging markets as the Fed now contemplates raising interest rates, which could have the same impact as the TT. Dr. Basri wrote this paper while a Senior Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and is now in the Department of Economics at the University of Indonesia. 

    Natural Disaster Management in the Asia-Pacific
    Brassard, Caroline, Arnold M. Howitt, and David W. Giles. 2015. Natural Disaster Management in the Asia-Pacific. Springer. Visit Publisher's Site Abstract

    Caroline Brassard, Arnold M. Howitt, and David W. Giles, Springer, 2015

    The Asia-Pacific region is one of the most vulnerable to a variety of natural and manmade hazards. This edited book productively brings together scholars and senior public officials having direct experience in dealing with or researching on recent major natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific. The chapters focus on disaster preparedness and management, including pre-event planning and mitigation, crisis leadership and emergency response, and disaster recovery. Specific events discussed in this book include a broad spectrum of disasters such as tropical storms and typhoons in the Philippines; earthquakes in China; tsunamis in Indonesia, Japan, and Maldives; and bushfires in Australia. The book aims to generate discussions about improved risk reduction strategies throughout the region. It seeks to provide a comparative perspective across countries to draw lessons from three perspectives: public policy, humanitarian systems, and community engagement.

    The Sum Is Greater Than the Parts: Doubling Shared Prosperity in Indonesia Through Local and Global Integration
    Program, Harvard Kennedy School Indonesia. 2013. The Sum Is Greater Than the Parts: Doubling Shared Prosperity in Indonesia Through Local and Global Integration. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Download the full book Abstract

    Harvard Kennedy School Indonesia Program, 2013 

    Published in 2013, a new book from the Harvard Kennedy School Indonesia Program builds on findings of the 2010 report, From Reformasi to Institutional Transformation: A Strategic Assessment of Indonesia's Prospects for Growth, Equity, and Democratic GovernanceView the virtual book tour from the HKS Library.

    Rema Hanna, October 2012 

    This paper uses a unique data-set from Indonesia on what individuals know about the income distribution in their village to test theories such as Jackson and Rogers (2007) that link information aggregation in networks to the structure of the network. The observed patterns are consistent with a basic diffusion model: more central individuals are better informed, and individuals are able to better evaluate the poverty status of those to whom they are more socially proximate. To understand what the theory predicts for cross-village patterns, this paper estimates a simple diffusion model using within-village variation, simulate network-level diffusion under this model for the over 600 different networks in our data, and use this simulated data to gauge what the simple diffusion model predicts for the cross-village relationship between information diffusion and network characteristics (e.g. clustering, density). The coefficients in these simulated regressions are generally consistent with relationships suggested in previous theoretical work, even though in our setting formal analytical predictions have not been derived. This paper then shows that the qualitative predictions from the simulated model largely match the actual data in the sense that we obtain similar results both when the dependent variable is an empirical measure of the accuracy of a village’s aggregate information and when it is the simulation outcome. Finally, this paper considers a real-world application to community based targeting, where villagers chose which households should receive an anti-poverty program, and show that networks with better diffusive properties (as predicted by our model) differentially benefit from community based targeting policies.

    By David Dapice and Edward A. Cunningham, December 2011

    Ensuring affordable, stable, and accessible energy supply remains one of the most critical functions of government, particularly in the developing world. The creation and expansion of a national energy system presents governments with inherent risks that must be managed if an economy is to be supplied with the energy it requires to grow. Some risks are structural, and inherent to the sector itself. Energy systems are characterized by high levels of capital intensity (e.g. oil refining), long-cycle investments with extended pay-back periods (e.g. oil exploration and production), natural monopolies (e.g. electric grid and gas transmission), and high levels of risk that result from the combination of these attributes. Energy flows may also carry the added complexity of perceived national security externalities, such as supply risk in the form of oil import dependency on one partner.

    Rosengard, Jay K.; Prasetyantoko, A.; May, 2011

    This article marks a new era of collaboration between the Center’s faculty and their counterparts in Indonesia. Authors Jay Rosengard, lecturer in public policy at HKS, and A. Prasetyantoko, head of the Institute for Research and Social Service at Atma Jaya Catholic University in Jakarta, argue that Indonesia’s financial sector has two paradoxes: 1) Indonesia has been a global leader in microfinance for the past 25 years, but access to microfinance services is declining; and 2) Indonesia’s commercial banks are liquid, solvent, and profitable, and the Indonesian economy has been doing well over the past decade, but small- and medium-sized enterprises are facing a credit crunch. Although Indonesia is underbanked, most commercial banks have been unresponsive to unmet effective demand.

    Ho, Dang Hoa, and Malcolm McPherson. 2010. “Land Policy for Socioeconomic Development in Vietnam”. Read Full Paper Abstract

    Dang Hoa Ho and Malcolm McPherson, May 2010

    This paper is part of a study ”Policy Analysis for the Development of Land Policy for Socio-Economic Development.” Land policy relates to the institutional arrangements through which the Government of Vietnam defines which individuals and groups have access to rights in land and the circumstances that apply to gaining and retaining that access. The overall goal is to ensure that land in Vietnam is used efficiently and equitably so as to achieve the government's objectives of rapid economic growth, poverty reduction, food security, international competitiveness, social harmony, and environmental sustainability.

    From Reformasi to Institutional Transformation: A Strategic Assessment of Indonesia's Prospects for Growth, Equity, and Democratic Governance

    Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia, Kompas Gramedia Group, 2010

    Rates of economic growth in Indonesia have returned to the levels experienced before the global economic crisis of 2007-08. And yet other countries in Asia, such as China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and The Philippines have been growing even faster. Compared to these countries, Indonesia is quickly being left behind in terms of foreign direct investment, manufacturing growth, infrastructure investments, and educational attainment. Like a marathoner carrying a twenty kilogram pack, Indonesia can see the competition pulling away but is powerless to pick up the pace. Indonesia must engage in a thorough process of institutional transformation if it is to shed the legacy of Guided Democracy and the New Order and learn to compete in an ever globalizing economy.

    In the fall of 1986, the World Bank offered the government of Indonesia a loan of approximately US $200-250 million for highway construction in the capital city of Jakarta and the country's other four largest urban centers. It was an attractive proposal: plummeting world oil prices had squeezed the national treasury, which had derived about 60 percent of its revenues from Indonesian oil profits. But for much the same reason, Indonesia's Ministry of Finance felt compelled to find new revenue sources to repay the loan.