Indonesia Country Research Team

The Indonesian Country Research Team is a multidisciplinary group of thirteen academic researchers with expertise in economics, education, political science and programme evaluation. The project is led by the SMERU Research Institute,* an Indonesian, independent institution that conducts research and public policy studies on socioeconomic and poverty-specific issues. International partner institutions include the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, a multidisciplinary research institute that analyses the causes and consequences of health and education outcomes in developing countries; and Mathematica Policy Research, a U.S. research organisation that has conducted assessments of the effectiveness of policies and programmes in the public and private sectors for nearly fifty years.

Team Leader

Sudarno Sumarto

Sudarno Sumarto is the Team Leader for the Indonesia CRT and is an economist and former Director of SMERU. His current position as a Policy Adviser for the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), Office of the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, shows his strong connection to Indonesian policy makers. He is also a former head of the Statistic Society Forum in Indonesia. He holds a Ph.D. and an MA from Vanderbilt University, both in economics. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Southeast Asia Forum (SEAF) at Stanford University. He has extensive experience in leading large-scale research projects, including a study on teacher absenteeism. Sudarno has published a series of refereed articles, books, working papers, and research reports related to education policies, poverty, and social protection. His work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Development Economics, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

Deputy Team Leader

Daniel Suryadarma is the Deputy Team Leader for the Indonesia CRT and is based at SMERU. He conducts applied economics research in the areas of education, poverty and social policy. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and Journal of Development Economics. His research has informed policy discussions at the Indonesian Vice President’s Office, Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Australian Aid Program, and the World Bank. He is also an honorary lecturer at the Australian National University, a member of the expert roster at the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), and an assessor for the Australian Research Council. Previously, he has held positions at the Palladium Group, Center for International Forestry Research, and the Australian National University.

Key Researchers

Amanda Beatty

Amanda Beatty is a senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research and has been conducting education research in developing countries for the last fifteen years, and in Indonesia for the last nine. Before joining Mathematica in 2012, Amanda was an education economist with the World Bank in Indonesia, where she led randomised evaluations of nationwide government programs, including a nationwide initiative to upgrade teacher qualifications at the primary and secondary levels; early childhood service expansion to poor communities; and efforts to enhance the effectiveness of school committees and school management through community engagement. From 2014-15, Amanda spent a year working with the Center for Global Development, where she was part of the RISE startup team and helped set the vision and direction for the programme.

Menno Pradhan

Menno Pradhan is an impact evaluation specialist and Lead Researcher for the team. He is currently a professor in Project and Program Evaluation for International Development, and Co-Director of the Amsterdam Institute for International Development, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) University, and University of Amsterdam. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Tilburg University, the Netherlands. Menno brings extensive research experience on education in Indonesia to the RISE team, including seven years of work experience at the World Bank in Indonesia. He has been a principal investigator of three experimental evaluations of education related interventions in Indonesia in the areas of early childhood education, school committees, and teacher certification. His work has been published in journals such as the American Economic Journal: Applied, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Health Economics and the American Economic Review. In this project, Menno will lead the core research team, comprising of a Qualitative Research Coordinator and Quantitative Research Coordinator.

Aaron Situmorang

Aaron has more than ten years of working experience in international development and research management. Before joining the RISE Programme, he was responsible for managing research in a DFAT Program on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Indonesia. He has an MA in Development Studies from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. 

Other Key Researchers

Luhur Bima

Luhur Bima is a researcher at the SMERU Research Institute. He holds a master degree in economics from Uppsala University in Sweden and an undergraduate degree in international economics and business from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Prior to joining SMERU, he worked with Bappenas (Indonesia's National Development Planning Agency) and completed an internship with the University Medical Centre in Groningen, the Netherlands. His research experience includes: A Study on Teacher Absenteeism, Independent Impact Evaluation of the KINERJA Program, Child Poverty and Disparities in Urban Area, and Multidimensional Child Poverty. His publications include a Study on Teacher Absenteeism in Indonesia 2014 and Service Standards in the Decentralization Era.

Widjajanti Isdijoso

Widjajanti Isdijoso is the Deputy Director for Research & Outreach at the SMERU Research Institute. She holds a master degree in economic studies and a postgraduate diploma in applied economics, both from the University of Queensland in Australia. Prior to joining SMERU, she worked as a regional policy analyst and project coordinator for the United Nations Support Facility for Indonesian Recovery (UNSFIR), and as a researcher for the Centre for Policy and Implementation Studies. Her research experience includes: Strategic Review of Food and Nutrition Security in Indonesia, PEKKA Community-Based Poverty Monitoring, and Child Poverty and Disparities. Her publications include The Urgency of Addressing Multidimensional Child Poverty in Indonesia; Child Poverty and Disparities in Indonesia: Challenges for Inclusive Growth; Is Conditionality Pro-Women? A Case Study of Conditional Cash Transfer in Indonesia; Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Programs in Five Ministries: A Study on the System and Implementation; and Making the Best of All Resources: How Indonesian Household Recipients Use the CCT Allowance. She will be a part of the CRT’s Steering Committee.

Heni Kurniasih

Heni Kurniasih is a senior researcher at SMERU. She holds a Ph.D.  from the Faculty of Sciences, the University of Melbourne with a dissertation titled, Multi-level transitions in the community forestry system for development in Indonesia, a Master of International Development from the University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor Degree in Political Sciences from Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. Her studies included the application of systems of innovation theory to understand multi-level transitions in the governance of community forestry in Indonesia. She also studied the governance of water management in Jakarta and the political economy of climate change. She has a strong local knowledge on policy processes in the Indonesian context built from her previous experience as a Program Officer and as a Young Scholar Officer, in the Australia-Indonesia Governance Research Partnership (AIGRP), an international development project managed by Australian National University and funded by AusAID. Her previous work experience also includes working with a reputable national media outlet. At SMERU, she has been involved in the study diagnostic of the education system in West Nusa Tenggara province.

Asep Suryahadi

Asep Suryahadi is the Director of the SMERU Research institute. He is also a leading poverty economist in Indonesia. He holds a doctorate in economics from the Australian National University in Australia, and a master's degree in economics from Pennsylvania State University in the USA. He currently serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (BIES) and also as a member of the Advisory Board of the Indonesia Project, both at the Australian National University. He was awarded the H.W. Arndt Prize, given annually to the best article by one or more Indonesian authors published in the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (BIES), for the article 'Minimum Wage Policy and Its Impact on Employment in the Urban Formal Sector', published in BIES Vol.39(1), written jointly with Wenefrida Widyanti, Daniel Perwira, and Sudarno Sumarto. He will lead the Indonesia CRT’s Steering Committee.

Nina Toyamah

Nina Toyamah is a senior researcher at the SMERU Research Institute. She has undertaken many research projects in education, including studies on teacher absenteeism (Indonesia as well as Papua and West Papua), a school grant study, and also research into individual family development sessions to support transitioning families of the Program Keluarga Harapan (PKH) - a conditional cash transfer programme. Her publications include: Study on Teacher Absenteeism in Indonesia 2014, A Rapid Appraisal of the Implementation of the 2008 Direct Cash Transfer Program and Beneficiary Assessment of the 2005 Direct Cash Transfer Program in Indonesia, Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Programs in Five Ministries: A Study on the System and Implementation, Qualitative Impact Study for PNPM Generasi and PKH on the Provision and the Utilization of Maternal and Child Health Services and Basic Education Services in the Provinces of West Java and East Nusa Tenggara, and Monitoring the Socioeconomic Impact of the 2008/2009 Global Financial Crisis in Indonesia - The Impact on the Livelihoods of Families Dependent on Migrant Workers in Kabupaten Malang: Results of the Second-round Monitoring. She holds a master degree in economics from the University of Indonesia. Prior to joining SMERU, she worked as a researcher on the Persepsi Daerah Project, a joint initiative between the Government of Indonesia and the World Bank. She has also worked at the Center for Policy and Implementation Studies, and Amythas and Associates.

Syaikhu Usman

Syaikhu Usman is a senior researcher at SMERU. He holds a doctorate degree in development sociology and a master degree in rural sociology, both from Cornell University in the USA. Prior to joining SMERU, he worked as a researcher and consultant for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Centre for Policy and Implementation Studies, and the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture. He has also worked as a lecturer and researcher at Sriwijaya University, Indonesia. His research experience in education includes: A Study on Teacher Absenteeism, Early Childhood Development (ECD) Strategy Study resulting in various relevant publications. He has also conducted various research projects on poverty alleviation including the Development of Poverty Alleviation Toolkit: Promoting Poverty Mainstreaming into Practice, Monitoring and Evaluation Activities of Pendataan Program Perlindungan Sosial (PPLS) 2011 for the development of the Unified Database for Social Protection Programs, and Monitoring the Sustainable Livelihood Pilot under the Masterplan Percepatan Dan Persluasan Pengurangan Kemiskinan Indonesia (MP3KI).

External Experts

Christopher Bjork

Christopher Bjork holds a Ph.D. in Education (Minor in Cultural Anthropology) from Stanford University with a dissertation titled, Educational Decentralization in Indonesia: An Ethnographic Study of Local Responses to National Policy. He has extensive experience working with different projects in Indonesia, and was the Principal Investigator for Qualitative Research for GRM International in Jakarta, where he oversaw the conceptual design of qualitative research for the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) in Indonesia. He also participated in the design of a project seeking to improve service delivery in education in remote parts of the country, and developed and refined qualitative instruments used by field researchers, as well as provided guidance on the training of qualitative researchers and data collection staff. He will oversee the conceptual design of qualitative research for the CRT. He will also be responsible for developing and refining qualitative instruments used by field researchers, as well as providing guidance for the training of qualitative researchers and data collection staff.

Steven Glazerman

Steven Glazerman is currently based at Mathematica Policy Research and has expertise in methods for evaluating the impact of social programs and in teacher labour markets, including issues of teacher recruitment, professional development, alternative certification, performance measurement, and compensation. He is an expert on student achievement growth models and value added. His recent research has focused on school choice, especially consumer demand and the role of information in school choice behavior. He is the director of state and local education partnerships and also directs the Educator Impact Laboratory.

Tim Kautz

Tim Kautz is a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research and is an expert in non-cognitive or “soft” skills who will be monitoring the development of student and teacher assessments for the CRT. He holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Chicago. Currently, he holds a position as the Project Director/Co-Principal Investigator for the project titled ‘Advancing the Measurement of Non-Cognitive (Socio-Emotional) Skills', where he directs a study that will collect novel survey data of non-cognitive skills of students in Chicago Public Schools and estimate the predictive power of these measures for short-term student outcomes. The study will also explore how a student’s context affects his/her responses to survey questionnaires by analysing both the roles of incentives and of peer-groups.

Hessel Oosterbeek

Hessel Oosterbeek is a professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business, Microeconomics Section at the University of Amsterdam and Fellow of the Tinbergen Institute (Amsterdam). He specialises in the economics of education, impact evaluation, and development economics. His current research focuses on school assignment mechanisms and ability peer effects; and he has recently examined the long-term effects of class size, behavioral responses to class size, and gender differences in education choices. He will oversee the conceptual design of quantitative research and impact evaluation studies for the team. He will work together with national researchers in designing research methodologies and empirical analysis plans. Moreover, he will contribute to analysis, reporting and writing papers on the research outcomes.

Andrew Rosser

Andrew Rosser is an associate professor in Development Studies at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He is a political economist who works on development issues in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia and Timor-Leste. His main interests are the resource curse, the political economy of policy-making, the politics of inclusion, aid governance, rebuilding governance in fragile states, and corporate governance/corporate social responsibility. He is currently working on a research project focused on law, politics, and socio-economic rights in Indonesia courtesy of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship. He has worked at the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex), AusAID, the University of Sydney, and Murdoch University and acted as a consultant to the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Oxfam, UNRISD, UNDP, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He will provide assistance to the CRT in developing the conceptual framework in the context of political education system in Indonesia. He recently published a diagnostic study report on the Political Economy of Teacher Management in Decentralised Indonesia.

Idauli Tamarin

Idauli Tamarin was previously a project leader for Teacher Management at the Center for Policy Analysis and Synchronization (PASKA), Ministry of Education & Culture (MoEC), the Republic of Indonesia. Her main role in the MoEC was developing ministerial priorities in the area of teacher management and monitoring activities that fall within the Minister’s priorities, as well as conducting a quantitative analysis of teacher data sets to improve national policies on teachers. She holds a Master degree in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University and a Master degree in Education and International Development from University of London. Prior to working for the MoEC, she also worked as a Social Development Specialist for the World Bank and Independent Analyst for the Ministry of Education, Peru.