NATSEM Seminar Series

Asymmetrical Decentralization and Local Capacity: The Case of Papua, Indonesia

Mon 5 December 2016Dr Gabriel Lele / 2:30pm-3:30pmFishbowl, Building 24, University of Canberra

About the Talk

This talk will address the application of asymmetrical decentralization in Indonesia by taking a case study of Papua. It focuses on answering the central question: why has asymmetrical decentralization failed to bring about significant change to Papuan living conditions despite more authorities and finances the national government had transferred? The presenter argues that asymmetrical decentralization has failed because it was applied amidst limited capacity at both individual and institutional levels. This argument is pursued qualitatively by tracing the legal documents, evaluating planning and budgeting products, assessing the delivery of basic public services, and then investigates the level of capacity at both individual and institutional levels. The findings lead to a conclusion that large transfers of power and finances have brought only limited effect because of the lack of individual and institutional capacity. With this, this talk expects to contribute to the conversation and study of asymmetrical decentralization which underplays the importance of capacity in its application.

About the Speaker

Dr. Gabriel Lele is currently the Director of International Undergraduate Programme, Department of Public Policy and Management, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM)-Indonesia. He graduated from Crawford School of Public Policy-The Australian National Uni­versity for his doctoral degree, Bachelor of Political Science in International Relation and Master of Science in Public Administration from UGM. His research interests are in policy formulation, conflict management, and corruption and anti-corruption. He also has vast experience researching Papua on capacity and institutional development issues. Two of his publications are indexed in Google Scholar; he has also contributed a chapter in several books including In Search of Consensus and Rec­onciliation amidst Conflict over New Autonomous District Establishment(2013). He is now also served as the consultant for AusAID's projects including Background Study on De­centralization and Regional Autonomy Formulation Project 2015-2019 and Local Democracy Quality Project.

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