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Governance and Sustainable Society in Indonesia

Good governance is a key factor in the development of sustainable societies within middle-income developing countries such as Indonesia. In order to establish good governance, civil servants should have access to advanced research and training. The University of Groningen has designed a program for PhD candidates from Indonesia, focusing on the themes of bureaucratic reform, good governance, regional development, and innovative leadership. The SInGA (Spirit Indonesia Groningen) research program is funded by the World Bank and started in 2012.

An interdisciplinary program for Indonesia’s future leaders

Dr. Ronald Holzhacker, S enior Lecturer Political Science and International Relations, later Professor of Spatial Sciences, serves as Director of the SInGA program, and is one of the core supervisory team members of the program together with Prof. Rafael Wittek ( ( Social and Behavioral Sciences) and Dr. Wendy Tan (Spatial Sciences).Together with other colleagues from various faculties they offer an interdisciplinary program for civil servants moving into leadership positions within the national ministries of Indonesia, lecturers in Indonesian universities, and leaders from important civil society organizations working on the integration of theoretical and empirical perspectives on good governance. Currently there are nine Indonesian PhD candidates working on their thesis, six of them within ICOG.

2014: Exchanging knowledge in Groningen and Jakarta

Exchanges of knowledge and experience within the group and with important stakeholders play an important role in the program. In 2014 a conference on good governance and sustainable society was held from April 9- 10 2014 in Groningen, in which the PhD candidates presented chapters related to their research and received comments. Key notes speakers at the event included Ms. Retno Marsudi, Indonesian Ambassador to the Netherlands, later Foreign Minister (pictured in the center), Rudolf Treffers, former World Bank Executive Director and Netherlands Ambassador to Indonesia, and Theo Thomas, Lead Economist at the World Bank, Brussels office, formerly Jakarta.

Regular exchanges continue between the University of Groningen and Indonesia to discuss this governance research. Ronald Holzhacker delivered a series of lectures at Gadjah Mada University as a visiting professor in October 2014 and met officials at the University of Indonesia. In November University President Poppema and Holzhacker had a series of meetings in Jakarta at the Planning ministry and Finance Ministry to discuss the research. In addition, recruitment began for the next round of PhD candidates from Indonesia and the broader Southeast Asian region.

2015: Book launch and Conference on Governance and Sustainable Society in Southeast Asia

In the fall of 2015 a national conference on governance and sustainable society took place in Amsterdam at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam with PhD candidates from several Dutch universities as well as universities in Belgium and the UK, originally from Indonesia and Southeast Asia, and invited guests from the scholarly, political, and diplomatic communities. The SInGa book ‘Decentralization and Governance in Indonesia’ (New York: Springer 2015) was launched during the conference.

Governance and Sustainable Society in Indonesia
Governance and Sustainable Society in Indonesia
Last modified:14 December 2015 2.55 p.m.