Indonesia is an important site for our research support in several ways. It’s a young democracy with a large pluralist society, and its environment has global significance.

Information and communication technologies, in particular, are important tools for development in the world’s largest island group. Our support enabled one of Asia’s most prominent distance learning universities to replace correspondence courses with digital learning technologies.

As a result, the number of adult learners who completed their courses increased, along with satisfaction levels. With an additional IDRC grant, the university replaced lost learning materials and established an Internet access point for students in its tsunami-devastated campus in Banda Aceh.

Community forest management

We have long supported research on the sustainable use of forests in Indonesia. For example, we helped two areas adopt our “model forest” approach for the Berau and Margowitan forests, where the community helps manage it. Developed in Canada and promoted internationally, model forests involve community members, businesses, and local authorities in research and planning for sustainable use of forest resources.

Decentralization of responsibilities from national to local governments in the late 1990s created the opportunity to involve communities in managing large state-owned teak plantations on the island of Java. With our support, there’s now a joint community-government forest management model in three districts. This allows farmers to have better access to forest resources.

The cost of environmental damage

The Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia — funded by IDRC and nine other donors — has also had significant results in Indonesia. For example, it helped identify the causes, impacts, and costs of the vast forest fires that ravaged the country and region in 1997.

The results prompted the region’s environment ministers to pursue alternatives to burning as a land-clearing method. The government uses our co-sponsored report, “Climate Matters: Vulnerability Map of Southeast Asia,” which highlights the risks from climate change effects. It helps policymakers and donors decide on a course of action to meet environmental challenges.

Total IDRC Support

204 activities worth CA$28 million since 1972

World Bank/C.Carnemark

Our support helps

  • reduce disease transmission risks from animals and birds to humans

  • strengthen ecohealth research and practice in Southeast Asia

  • reduce socio-economic and geographic disparities in health care delivery 

  • address impunity in post-conflict violence against women in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and Burma

  • improve the responsible use of antibiotics to reduce resistant infections in China, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam

Projects