Contact //Tel: +61 2 6178 4000
Fax: +61 2 6178 4880 // Post: GPO Box 887, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
SMERU Research Institute
Since 1998 AusAID has provided AUD9.4 million under the SMERU Initiative including the core funding as untied funds, technical assistance for SMERU on planning and monitoring performance, and AusAID’s reviews throughout this time. An Independent Completion Report (ICR) in February 2012 found that SMERU is making strong progress against the objectives of the funding. It is producing a wide range and large number of high quality research products and services on topics relevant to socio-economic policy. It is also evident that SMERU is having an influence in the policy field. SMERU’s program of research is well aligned to the development priorities of the Indonesian and Australian Governments.
The ICR confirmed that AusAID’s core funding is an important contributing factor to the organisation’s success. It has provided surety to employ a highly qualified team of researchers on a permanent basis at a remuneration level reported to be highly competitive locally. The other critical component of core funding is the contribution it makes to the investment in strengthening capacity and the maintenance of physical and human resource infrastructure vital to research institutes. Core funding has made it possible for SMERU to build a highly skilled editing and publishing division and assisted it to employ other needed support staff such as finance, administration, reception and security, each of whom, in their own way, contribute to the success of SMERU.
Result to date
AusAID’s current funding scheme to SMERU will end in March 2013. However, ongoing core funding will be provided for another five years as part of a new Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Pro-Poor Policy: The Knowledge Sector Initiative (AP4). The new initiative will support Indonesia’s knowledge sector to produce evidence to inform priority social development policies.
a) High quality and relevant research in core areas
Academic quality of SMERU’s work is indicated by high publication of journal articles in international peer review journals and book chapters to which SMERU staff contributed in international academic publishing houses. Evidence of relevance can also be found in a clear focus on areas relevant to the stated mission and particular expertise of the institute, confirmed by perusal of topics included in the list of research projects, publication list, the contents of newsletters, and comments from respondents.
SMERU is respected for its sound methods, both quantitative and qualitative, and sharp analytical thinking. SMERU has rigorous internal quality assurance processes for research, editing and publication. The organisation has recruited and retained highly qualified and committed young researchers who are supported professionally by the more senior staff. SMERU also has strong work ethic supported by a strong set of standard operating procedures. These factors are contributing to the predominantly consistent high level of quality and relevance.
b) Wide dissemination of research findings using a mix of techniques
SMERU is disseminating its research findings widely using a mix of techniques. As well as reports, presentations, articles in its newsletter, and the use of its website, SMERU has recently included the use of policy briefs. Development of further skill and experience in this area should enhance effectiveness.
c) Relatively strong contribution to policy
There is good uptake of its work, as indicated by an increasing number of citations. Stakeholders are using SMERU research and policy papers to inform their thinking and program design. SMERU is a regular invitee to government-led policy discussions. Models and tools developed by SMERU are used by government. Findings from SMERU studies have contributed widely to the raising of awareness, the introduction of new concepts, improved implementation of programs, and changed practices. For example, studies of the cash transfer scheme have been a catalyst for changes to how the scheme is implemented and to the methods used by government to target recipients. Much of their socio-economic work is acknowledged as laying the foundation for more recent developments in the study of poverty.
d) Strengthening capacity of others
SMERU has helped to strengthen the capacity of government agencies and civil society organisations through presentations, seminars, discussions, and training events. Ministry of National Development Planning reported that SMERU is playing a crucial role in helping it to establish and nurture a scholar network.
The following documents describe in more detail the SMERU initiative*.
Documents are uploaded as the initiative progresses. Find out more about the aid management
cycle and the documents you can expect to find.
*AusAID is committed to publishing documents and data concerning Australia’s official
development assistance in a way that is comprehensive, accessible and current. Information
published on the Indonesia Program is currently not complete and further initiatives
will be added over the course of the next few months. The AusAID practice will be
to publish documents once finalised and where appropriate after the partner government
and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have
been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by AusAID and
therefore not all documents reflect the views of the Australian Government. In limited
circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and
commercial sensitivity. An important objective of the Transparency Initiative is
to promote broad-based understanding, analysis and discussion of aid issues and
to inform the future delivery of Australia’s aid program.