PAIR-Bappelitbangda policy forum promotes evidence-based policy in South Sulawesi
A paradigm shift in scientific evidence-based policy making has opened up great opportunities for researchers to participate in policy making. These opportunities can be further developed with strong cooperation among decision makers to ensure research results are accessible to key stakeholders for effective policy development.
To ensure that PAIR research is relevant to government policy priorities, PAIR held a policy forum in collaboration with Sulsel BAPPELITBANGDA on Thursday, 7 November, 2021.
Attending the PAIR Policy Forum were officials from the provincial and local governments in South Sulawesi, Sulsel Development Acceleration Team (TGUPP), policy partners/NGOs, and PAIR researchers from 11 partner universities in Australia and Indonesia.
“This forum is expected to bridge discussions on solutions to development challenges through PAIR research in various sectors”, said Head of Sulsel BAPPELITBANGDA, Andi Darmawan Bintang, who read from an address opening the event on behalf of the Acting Governor of South Sulawesi, Andi Sudirman Sulaiman.
Chairing the forum was Kevin Evans, the Indonesia director for the Australia-Indonesia Centre. The PAIR research team had the opportunity to share the results of the PAIR Pilot Project as well as plans for the next stage of the research in Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs).
In their presentation, the commodity team said that their research activities during 2022 would focus on value chain analysis starting from cultivation through to the marketing and processing and the livelihood of farmers. It would also take into account issues on governance and institutions. The team will also work with the transport, logistics and supply chain teams to create optimal intermodal freight transport.
“These would optimize commodities processing by minimising the cost of transporting both raw and processed products”, said Prof Nyoman Pujawan, PAIR Senior Fellow from ITS.
There was also discussion between policy makers and researchers specifically in the field of youth, one of PAIR’s areas of research focus.
The young people, health, and wellbeing research group will focus on gap analysis and co-design during the year ahead, as well as exploration of policies and programs to strengthen health services among stakeholders. The research team conducted many literature studies to anticipate field study constraints due to the pandemic.
“An analysis of relevant secondary data (health, economy, social) has been carried out, including the impact of COVID-19 in districts and cities that are PAIR study areas,” said Dr Sudirman Nasir, a PAIR senior fellow from Unhas.
Ambo Ala, a member of TGUPP (Sulsel’s Development Accelerator Team), said program recommendations were required to allow governments to improve the skills of young people, especially in agriculture.
A representative from Sulsel Marine Affairs and Fisheries Office also noted the big changes occurring in South Sulawesi where many productive rice fields have changed functions. South Sulawesi needs to prepare to face major changes in the province by taking advantage of opportunities and preparing for the likely effects. This was included as part of the SIP from the young people and development team.
“We research the livelihoods and aspirations of young people in the context of agrarian change and development in Maros District, South Sulawesi, including how to equip young people with new required skills and education”, said Dr Reni Suwarso, PAIR Senior Fellow from UI.
“By studying Maros, this will be a lesson learned to be developed at the provincial level, even in Indonesia”, said Dr Reni.
PAIR research coordinator Dr Hasnawati Saleh closed the event with some key observations.
“No research can answer all the questions, however, its presence will support policy making, filling some gaps in the need for data or evidence for policy improvement,” Dr Nana Saleh said.
“Great support is expected for the success of the PAIR program, and we look forward to the PAIR research being used as policy recommendations in South Sulawesi.”