The Role of Independent Research Institutes to Promote Inclusive Policies


Monday, February 21, 2022

0 COMMENT  Arial  Roboto  Times  Verdana 

Online Discussion KSIxChange#40: The Potential for Collaboration Between Research Institutions and Policy Makers to Promote an Inclusive and Evidence-Based Policy-Developing Process which was broadcast online, Thursday (20/1)
Online Discussion KSIxChange#40: The Potential for Collaboration Between Research Institutions and Policy Makers to Promote an Inclusive and Evidence-Based Policy-Developing Process which was broadcast online, Thursday (20/1)

INFO NASIONAL – A production policy from the Government, or regulation, must be inclusive so that the benefits can be felt by all levels of society. This means that a policy should mainstream the perspective of gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI).

Many independent research institutes in Indonesia are focused on this issue. Their findings often serve as support for the government to produce inclusive policies. “Independent research institutions are important actors, apart from universities, that will produce knowledge,” said the Secretary of the SMERU Research Institute, Heni Kurniasih, in KSIxChange#40: Potential for Collaboration between Research Institutes and Policy Makers to Promote Evidence-Based Policy Making and Inclusive, Thursday, January 20, 2020.

An inclusive policy, Heni continued, contains at least four factors. First, it can increase capacity, eliminate discrimination, and mobilize individuals. Two, redistribute resources to equalize group inequality. Three, encouraging active social participation, and finally acknowledging groups that were previously ostracized, invisible, or demeaned.

SMERU’s role is to conduct research to produce knowledge products, and then to advocate for government institutions so that they can promote inclusive policy outcomes. SMERU often produces knowledge based on GEDSI by paying attention to hot issues in the community. For example, regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on maternal and child nutrition services in various parts of Indonesia, especially the 3T (underdeveloped, outermost, leading) areas.

The results of this knowledge will produce policy recommendations. In the advocacy process, SMERU does so through regional development forums (formal) and approaches to policy producers (informal). Meanwhile, for the affected community, SMERU will conduct training and consultation, as well as publish research results in the form of journals, social media, and webinars.

A similar process was also carried out by the Center for the Study of Religion and Democracy (PUSAD) Paramadina. Researcher from the research institute, Husni Mubarok, shared his experience advocating an evidence-based policy. According to him, the inclusive policy has not been implemented properly, even though it has been regulated by law.

“The constitution is very clear that the state guarantees and protects freedom of religion and belief. There are also derivative regulations, for example, regarding the establishment of houses of worship, it is regulated by the 2006 Joint Minister of Religion and Minister of Home Affairs (PBM) Regulations,” said Husni.

He views the regulations as very good, but their implementation in the regions is still very difficult. For example, the destruction of the Ahmadiyah Mosque in Sintang, West Kalimantan, and the burning of the Suka Makmur Church in Aceh Singkil, which until now have not found the best solution.

PUSAD Paramdina, said Husni, has collaborated with the Ministry of Religion to produce evidence-based knowledge. The collaboration also involves the Religious Freedom Forum (FKUB) to collect data from all regions and by 2021 60 percent of the data has been collected.

The results of this data research are expected to be a knowledge base for the birth of stronger policies. Currently, the Ministry of Religion is pushing for the issuance of a Presidential Regulation concerning the House of Worship Regulation. “We have also proposed a number of articles in the presidential regulation,” said Husni.

Ahmad Najib Burhani, Plt. The head of the Research Organization for Social Sciences and Humanities, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) said that the Government has tried to make inclusive policies by involving all ministries and institutions to provide input. “Perhaps what has not been involved is an independent research institution to discuss point by point or article by article,” he said.

In this case, independent research institutions can collaborate with BRIN, in addition to ministries/agencies, as well as local governments to advocate for an evidence-based research knowledge product to encourage the creation of inclusive policies. “We are open. If there is cooperation, we will get a lot of insight or input,” said Najib. (*)


1 reply

Leave a Reply