RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – RTI International has been awarded the first phase of an ambitious 15-year project funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to strengthen public policy research and research institutions in Indonesia.
Called the “Knowledge Sector Initiative,” the far-reaching effort represents a major AusAID investment in support of the Government of Indonesia’s efforts to strengthen its research institutions and use of research in public policy development.
During the first five-year phase of the project, RTI experts will work with AusAID to develop the capacity of Indonesian research organizations in the areas of health, education, and poverty reduction, with additional areas possible over time.
“We are proud to be selected by AusAID to implement the first phase of this very important program,” said Aaron Williams, executive vice president of RTI’s International Development Group. “Our long-standing Indonesian experience and established partnerships, combined with our subject matter expertise and multidisciplinary approach, make us well equipped to support this important effort.”
In addition to AusAID and RTI, project partners include the Australian National University, the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne and the Overseas Development Institute, UK.
As its name suggests, the “Knowledge Sector Initiative” is intended not only to enhance the capacity of Indonesia’s research institutions, but also to strengthen the connection between Indonesian research organizations and the public policy making components of government. As such, communication and outreach between and among policy makers and research organizations are a vital element of the project’s first phase.
The project will work closely with and provide research funding to a number of Indonesian research organizations, which include universities, independent think tanks and civil society groups. These efforts will help improve and standardize technical research methods, strengthen organization leadership and management, and extend advocacy and networking capabilities.
The project will encourage peer to peer networking and provide grants to encourage Indonesian researchers to establish national and international partnerships.
Project partners will work closely with selected Indonesian policy makers and associated agencies to increase their use of research-based evidence in the policymaking process. To meet the needs of each individual agency, project partners will provide tailored activities ranging from technical assistance and workshops to short courses and partnerships with existing Australian government agencies and programs.
In an effort to bring quality research to the attention of policy makers, the project will help establish and promote networks of civil society organizations that use quality evidence in their advocacy work. The project will also address the legal and regulatory environments in Indonesia which affect the production and use of research.