There are over 28 million people in Indonesia considered to be poor according to national standards. The Multidimensional Poverty Index, or MPI, focuses on standards of living and measures 10 indicators of multiple deprivations in a household. The 10 indicators include issues of education and health. To be considered multi-dimensionally poor, a person needs to be deprived in at least three out of the 10 indicators.

In Jakarta, 20.8 percent of the population has multiple deprivation and 12.2 percent is vulnerable to multiple deprivations. The intensity of deprivation means the degree to which the average percentage of the people is in multidimensional poverty. As of 2014, this was 45.9 percent.

The population of Jakarta is 10 million at night and increases to 11.2 million in the day as individuals travel into the city for work. As of 2014, the poverty rate and Gini coefficient ratio, a measurement tool for the gap in income, have increased immensely due to increasing rates of inflation and the weaker rupiah. The result is a higher poverty index.

The poverty index ratio increased to 8.9 percent from eight percent in the previous year. The country average for Indonesia is 8.3 percent. The coefficient ratio has gone from a measurement of .364 in 2013 to .436. The ratio illuminates the income distribution among the city’s population as well as the inequality of the economy.

There has been an increase in the poor population from 3.7 percent in 2013 to 4.9 percent. Based on the population of Jakarta, the number of poor has increased from 371,000 to 412,790. Due to poverty, issues of malnutrition, no proper sanitation, lack of electricity and limited educational opportunities are often issues occurring in tandem.

It is important that proper indicators are used to determine the amount of the population that is poor in order to correctly assess their needs. In the words of Amartya Sen, author of the book, “Development as Freedom,” poverty should be seen “as a deprivation of basic capabilities, rather than merely as low income.”

Currently, the national poverty line is based on monetary measures. These measures, utilized by the Millennium Development Goals to indicate the national poverty line, have assisted in growth and processes that have recently been taken by the Indonesian government. In addition, budgeting and planning resources have been observed.

– Erika Wright

Sources: Jakarta Post 1, Jakarta Post 2, U.N. Habitat
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Indonesia Poverty
The economy of Indonesia has been steadily growing in recent years, causing the poverty rate to decline from 17 percent in 2004 to 12.5 percent in 2011. However, due to the financial crisis of 1997, poverty still dominates regions of Indonesia and separates the city of Jakarta into upper and lower classes. As the gap between the rich and the poor widens, many find it difficult to escape the harsh reality of poverty in Indonesia.

In order to recover from the economic crisis of 1997, a variety of urban alleviation programs were implemented, including social safety net programs. These programs have been able to reduce the number of poor people in Indonesia, particularly for those in urban areas.

It is a different story for those living in rural areas. Approximately 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas, where agriculture is the main source of income. Poverty tends to be higher in these areas; 16.6 per cent of rural people are poor compared with 9.9 percent of urban populations. Millions of small farmers, farm workers and fishermen are materially and financially unable to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the economic growth. They are often geographically isolated and lack access to agricultural extension services, markets and financial services.

According to the World Bank, approximately 65 million people in Indonesia live just above the poverty line, making them vulnerable to falling into poverty. Millions lack basic human needs, such as food, clean water, shelter, sanitary environments and education. In fact, few families living in poverty have their own bathrooms. Most communities share a communal bathing facility, often located miles from villages. Many of the poorest people cannot read or write.

Indonesian women in particular are vulnerable to poverty; they have less access to education, they earn less than men, and are subject to discrimination and exclusion. Many children are forced to stay home from school to tend to household duties or work at the family business.

The Indonesian government is working hard to reduce poverty and meet the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, which aim to cut the proportion of people living on less than one U.S. dollar a day by half by the end of 2015.

Kecuk Suhariyanto, the Director of Analysis and Statistic Development at Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics, said that Indonesia’s poverty figure last year was a “significant improvement from the 39.3 million recorded in 2006, although the country has a different definition for poverty from most international agencies.”

– Alaina Grote

Sources: World Bank, Xinhuanet, Rural Poverty Portal
Photo: Flickr


October 2014 will see the second annual Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) Food Security Summit in Jakarta.

The summit will address the food security crisis that parts of Southeast Asia are facing. The event will primarily focus on food security with respect to the agricultural and nutrition sectors.

AIDF said that the Food Security Summit will provoke “robust debate and frank information sharing and will provide a platform for the formation of strategic partnerships and collaborations.”

According to AIDF, the event will feature attendees from more than 300 Asian governments, NGOs, U.N. and intergovernmental agencies, investors, research institutes and private sector companies.

Last year’s summit, held at the U.N. Conference Center in Bangkok, featured over 200 attendees from more than 20 countries. Some of the event’s speakers included the Director General of the Asian Development Bank, an advisor from Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment and a Regional Representative Assistant Director-General of FAO’s Asia-Pacific branch.

The organization’s press release noted that 700 million people in Asia and the Pacific live in a state of poverty where they subsist on less than $1.25 a day. Since the middle of the twentieth century, the world’s population has grown by more than 280 percent.

The significant increase in the world’s population in the preceding decades “has had profound implications for development, with effects on sustainability, urbanization, and access to youth services and empowerment.” AIDF’s press release said.

In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that the global demand for food is expected to increase by 60 percent by 2050. Between 2011 and 2013, 827 million people in developing regions were underfed. However, the number has fallen by 17 percent since 1990 through 1992.

AIDF maintains a number of strategic, media and international partners support the event. These include Kubota, the Agricultural Research Communication Center and SWITCH-Asia, respectively.

Ethan Safran

Sources: Aid & International Development Forum 1, Aid & International Development Forum 2, YouTube, Food and Agriculture Organization
Photo: Aid & International Development Forum

A.T. Kearney, a United States-based consulting firm, ranked Jakarta, Indonesia’s bustling capital, whose metropolitan area contains roughly 30 million people, as the next Southeast Asian leading city. The Javanese city boasts first among a list of 34 cities in low-income and middle-income countries that will most likely become a global leader in fields ranging from business activity to workforce health and security. The methodology used involves 26 metrics in five categories: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience and political engagement.

Certainly, Jakarta’s status as the capital of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) contributes greatly to the city’s rising position. Furthermore, the emergence of the ASEAN Economic Community, a quasi-European Union style economic community minus a common currency due to take off in 2015, is also another factor that helps to make Jakarta an up-and-coming Southeast Asian city.

Jakarta, over the past few years, has invested immensely in improving its once inadequate infrastructure. However, it is the city’s improvements in other fields such as stability and security that has put it on the map. Areas involving Jakarta’s population such as income equality, stability, healthcare cost, minimum wage and security are those that have fared the best.

Jakarta’s improvements also extend to the fields of information exchange and high gross domestic product growth rate. In terms of the city’s once feeble infrastructure, today’s Jakarta has been developing its mass rapid transit system. Its groundbreaking ceremony was held in late 2013. This project will begin operating in 2017-2018 and it will help to facilitate the daily commute of the residents of the city and its surrounding areas.

Furthermore, Bangkok, Thailand, its future appearing promising in 2008, has been experiencing instability for the past few years, thus eliminating Jakarta’s regional competitor. John Kurtz, A.T. Kearney’s Asia-Pacific head, stated that the city’s growing political and economic importance is attracting both domestic and international talents and investments.

The city’s rise in importance and prosperity is certainly a stunning achievement. The city’s transformation into the region’s powerhouse is undoubtedly a testament to development as a tangible and a feasible process, not just an illusive rhetoric.

– Peewara Sapsuwan

Sources: The Jakarta Globe, Wall Street Journal
Photo: Luxury Real Estate Blog