Jan- Food Security in Indonesia

JDN's 2018 calendar was kicked off by discussing food security issues in Indonesia

Indonesian food prices are one of the highest among South East Asian countries. Some basic food items are more expensive in Indonesia than in countries with a higher GDP per capita such as Australia and Singapore. This presents a massive challenge for the nearly 100 million poor and vulnerable people in the country, and contributes to the greater issue of chronic malnutrition across the nation. 

Hizkia Respatiadi, Head of Research from the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) discussed how Indonesia's food trade policy is linked to this situation, and what policy alternative the government could use to lower food prices in Indonesia.

The focus area of Hizkia's research is policy issues in Food Trade and Agriculture. He leads the Affordable Food for the Poor project at CIPS that aims to lower basic food prices in Indonesia by reducing trade barriers between Indonesia and other countries. Previously, he worked as a civil servant at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His international experience includes a posting to the Indonesian Embassy in Zimbabwe and short-term assignments to the United Kingdom and several countries in Asia and Africa. 

Oct- Marine Conservation: Sharks, Rays and Mangroves

In October JDN welcomed two guest speakers and ocean ambassadors from Conservation International to cover two sides to marine conservation work in Indonesia. 

First,  Mr. Bara Kalla covered the issue of Blue Carbon. CI has been working with local communities to analyse blue carbon locked in the mangroves of West Papua; the last pristine mangrove ecosystem in Indonesia. Mr. Bara Kalla talked about how this data will hopefully lead to better land management, policy and regulations, which in turn leads to both mitigating and protecting ourselves from climate change.

Next Mr. Abraham Sianipar spoke on the efforts to conserve shark and ray populations in Indonesia. For the past three years, Conservation International (CI) have used these charismatic species as an "entry point" for discussions and negotiations with local communities and local and national government in Indonesia on the ecological importance and economic benefits of conserving healthy populations of sharks and rays. This work has been all the more important in Indonesia given the fact that Indonesia for the past 32 years has held the ignominious recognition of being the world's largest fishery for sharks and rays.

Sep- Communications in Development- How to be Strategic and Get it Right

Development and social organizations have made noticeable strides over the last few decades, pushing into multiple areas dealing with public policy reforms, advocacy, and social development. 

Thanks to the advent of social media and new digital platforms, these days it would seem we are spoiled for choice on how we opt to communicate this work. Yet in an era of information overload and competing agendas, effective communication is not always realised.

When development organizations are squeezed for resources, splurging on marketing and publicity efforts can seem like a wasteful exercise. In effect, communications is a function that is usually relegated to the sidelines, but at what cost?

So, in September JDN decided to go back to basics and consider what clever and strategic communications can do for development and why it’s important to get it right, now more than ever.

Our Speakers Were:
- Patrick Searle - Co-Founder of GetCraft
- Ong Hock Chuan - Partner at Maverick Indonesia (formerly the managing director of Ogilvy Singapore)
- Rebecca Lake - UNDP Communications Advisor for the Good Growth Partnership

The event was also sponsored by AsiaWorks Media. 

Aug- JDNx BINGO! Speed Meet

August marked our second JDNx event. Every three months, JDN events deviate from our usual speaker events to host a fun, more relaxed evening dedicating to mingling and meeting new people. In April we held a quiz night.  In August, JDNx held a Speed-Meet. And to make it more exciting we threw a BINGO game into the mix!

This event was for those keen on building their professional networks in the development and environment sectors.

The rules were simple. 
1. Guests were randomly assigned one of four colours
2. Guests were given one bingo card each consisting of 20 personal descriptions printed in individual squares. For example: I have a cat/ I am afraid of heights/ I am on LinkedIn
3. Once guests had their colour and card, they had to sit at a table with others assigned colours different to theirs
4. When the game started, each table was given three minutes to talk to each other. If one of the squares on a guest's Bingo card described the person they were sitting with, they had to write their name on the square. 
5. After three minutes, a bell would go off and guests had to move to the next table to meet the next group of people. The aim was to find as many people who fit the descriptions on the bingo card as possible

Three winners were announced! Last Row, First Five and All Boxes.

Jul- Eyes in the Skies: The Deforestation Tech Team

Can you tell your forest from plantation? Computers can now!

Artificial Intelligence can now instantly tell us where deforestation is taking place! Machine learning is allowing computers to scan satellite images and delineate forest from farm. This would take humans thousands of hours of work, by which time the forests would be gone. 

JDN organised its first workshop on Tuesday 25th of July with Dominique Herman and Rob McWilliam from The Forest Trust. Participants had the chance to test their hand at forest mapping. 

Jun - Applying Human-centered Design to Development Challenges

Over 200 people turned up for our talk on Applying Human-centered Design to Development Challenges. Our event for June was held at the start of July to accommodate Lebaran holidays. We're so glad we waited because it was our biggest one yet!

One criticism of the development sector is the persistence of social interventions and policy-making that is designed without meaningful involvement of the local communities they seek to serve. In June JDN hosted two guest speakers with design backgrounds who are using their skill-set to improve the way development work is undertaken in Indonesia. 

Human-centered design is a creative problem-solving methods that puts the needs and life-context of people at the center of the process. User-centeredness is not a groundbreaking concept in design circles, but in recent years human-centered design has been generating a lot of buzz in in the development world.

Experts or design and practitioners of development, our guest speakers for the night were Stephanie Lukito and Kautsar Anggakara. 

Stephanie is a transdiciplinary designer whose work has been shown in Tokyo, Berlin, Milan, Jakarta, New York, and London. Her most recent work took her across West Nusa Tenggara with INOVASI, a development project committed to raising the quality of education through a deep understanding of local context and bottom up empowerment. Currently, Stephanie is the Experience Design Director at Mirum Jakarta, committed to cultivating a culture of design and innovation in Indonesia.

Angga is the Design Strategy Lead of Pulse Lab Jakarta, a data innovation lab established by the UN and Government of Indonesia. He has applied human-centered design to envision learning experience for school dropouts, to design better healthcare services to reduce the risk of maternal mortality, to improve business registration in Indonesia, and to minimize the adverse health and education impact for kids living in forest-fire affected areas. Over his 10-year career span, he has used designers sensibilities to work with local government, build brand strategy for some fortune-500 companies, and also sit behind the desk as a trained accountant.

May - Capital Punishment in Indonesia: Ways to Move Forward

Under President Joko Widodo's administration, Indonesia has carried out three rounds of executions, where 18 people were executed. April 2017 marks two years since the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two Australians who had shown remarkable transformation; and Rodrigo Gularte, a Brazilian national who had paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

In early May 2017, Indonesia was also reviewed at the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council. The issue of the death penalty was prominent in Indonesia's review. Although Indonesia continues to impose death sentences, it seems there are encouraging signs of moving towards a moratorium, if not abolition. Are there any real prospects for Indonesia to abolish the death penalty anytime soon?

We discussed this issue with our speaker Ricky Gunawan. Ricky is a human rights lawyer and Director of Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Masyarakat where he leads a team of dedicated lawyers providing free legal assistance for people facing the death penalty. Ricky represented Rodrigo Gularte in his final moments in April 2015. He also represented Humphrey Ejike, a Nigerian who was executed in July 2017 despite a pending clemency decision. With more than ten years of experience, Ricky has a wealth of knowledge on subjects related with the death penalty and criminal justice system. In this talk, he will also cover intersections on the issue such as mental health, discrimination, and drug policy.

Apr - JDNxTrivia

In April, we ran our first JDNx event in collaboration with Daphne Cook, Development and Communications Consultant at CARE International, who designed and hosted the quiz.

Contestants put their brains to the test and were quizzed on history, current affairs, geography, development, and the very fun “guess the Dev Celeb" round.

Once every four months, we deviate from the regular speaker events and give you the chance to catch up with other JDNers over relaxed, dev-themed activities!

Mar - Indonesian Palm Oil's Journey to Sustainability

10 million football fields of forests are currently sitting in palm oil concessions across Indonesia? Due to sustainability commitments and Jokowi's moratoriums on deforestation, these assets are 'stranded': unable to be developed.

In March, JDN hosted the authors of the acclaimed "Stranded Assets" report, on the future of sustainability in Indonesia. Our guest speaker was Eric Wakker, Co-founder of Aidenvironment Asia and Director of Corporate Sustainability.

Eric Wakker has 26 years of experience in tropical forestry and agricultural plantations in relation to governance, trade, investment and sustainability certification in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He stood at the basis of the international discourse about sustainable tropical timber and palm oil, and worked on a range of policy initiatives and certification schemes such as FSC and RSPO. Eric has executed assignments for a range of local and global non-governmental organizations, investors and traders and donor organizations. Over the past two years, his work has been focused on assisting Asia-based palm oil planters and traders, as well as NGOs, to enable the transition towards sustainability in the palm oil sector.

Eric has been based in Asia since 2002, and co-founded Aidenvironment’s Asia office in Indonesia in 2009.

You can read the 'Stranded Assets' report here: https://chainreactionresearch.com/reports/indonesian-palm-oils-stranded-assets/

Feb - Women's Work: A Dialogue

Indonesia is ranked 88th out of 144 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report. It also ranks 107th out of 144 for Economic Participation and Opportunity. In Indonesia, women are more likely to face unemployment, unfair conditions in informal employment and lower pay, consequently being held back from contributing to the national economy. For International Women’s Day, Isabel Dunsten, Gender Focal Point at UNDP, organised and moderated a panel discussion on improving the working world for Indonesian women with the following experts:

  • Anis Hidayah, Executive Director, Migrant Care. Anis works on behalf of the millions of Indonesian women and men who seek work abroad to feed their families and face serious risk of exploitation and abuse. She has dedicated her career to the protection of migrant workers.
  • Emma R. Allen, Ph.D, Indonesia Economist at ADB. Emma is currently developing the Indonesian chapter for ABD's flagship publication "The Asian Development Outlook" and previously worked as a labour market economist with the ILO.
  • Francesco D’Ovidio, Country Director, ILO Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Francesco is a Jurist in International Law with 15 years of International working experience in 29 countries. Prior to his appointment in Jakarta, Francesco held the position of ILO Country Director in Pakistan.

Jan - Forest and Land Fires in Indonesia

For our inaugural event, we talked about forest and land fires in Indonesia.

2015 was one of the worst dry seasons on record for Indonesia, leading to fires and deadly haze that blanketed the country and many of its neighbours for months.  The fires and haze were so bad, that a recent study by Columbia University suggested up to 90,000 people in Indonesia may have died directly or indirectly because of the fires. 

Dr. Jenna Jadin, UNOPS, Project Manager for the GAMBUT project, discussed the fires, their fallout, and what the development world is doing to help Indonesia overcome this annual threat to lives and livelihoods.