NATSEM Seminar Series

"Catching small fishes and letting go the big ones": Jakarta reform policy 2014-2017

Tue 14 March 2017Amalinda Savirani / 11:00am-12:00pmFishbowl, Building 24, University of Canberra

About the Talk

Jakarta’s provincial government, under Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (2014-2017) or Ahok as the governor has reformed its bureaucracy through at least two ways: a) human resources (increasing of remuneration its staff 4 times higher, recruiting contract staffs, and using QLUE, a smart city social media); b) establishing one-stop service (PTSP) unit in 261 Kelurahan (ward) level to facilitate a fast, and efficient administrative service as well as permit process. The result is significant. According to survey data that SMRC (Saiful Mujani Research Centre) conducted, 75% of Jakarta citizens are happy with governor’s reform programs, as they are fast, transparent, and efficient.

However, it seems that the reform does not cover all business sectors, especially on large investment, such as property sector. Jakarta bay land-reclamation project,  New Kalijodo Park, RPTRA (Public space for Children), additional elevated road (Simpang Susun) Semanggi, are programs with funds sources from corporation through CSR, and thus it can never be audited. Indonesian Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK) is working on the first issue now. Members of Jakarta parliament and head of Agung Podomoro Land were prosecuted; while the second case is still debated in public. This presentation will highlight two main questions: why can’t reform program cover all? Why does reform have limitations to penetrate big business?

About the Speaker

Amalinda Savirani is a political scientist and a lecturer at Department of Politics and Government, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. She obtained her PhD at Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AiSSR), Universiteit van Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her dissertation is on the effect of decentralization among small-scale entrepreneurs in a provincial town of Pekalongan, Central Java. Currently, she is a research fellow at Department of Politics and Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific, Australian National University. Her recent publication are as followed  “Reclaiming the State: Overcoming problems of democracy in Post Soeharto Indonesia” (2016), with Olle Törnquist (eds); “Survival against the odds: Djunaid Family of  Pekalongan, Central Java (South East Asia Research, Vol 24 (3) pp 407-419, 2016); and “Politics of reform in Sragen, Central Java (ANALISIS, CSIS, 2014). She also writes popular articles for the Jakarta Post, The Conversation, and Rappler. 

She can be contacted at Savirani | at | and lindasavirani | at |

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