Indonesia is in its tenth year of political, administrative and economic decentralisation. This is one of the most ambitious decentralisation programs anywhere in the developing world and perhaps one of the most comprehensive in history.
As Indonesia tries to iron out existing problems in the implementation of its decentralisation roadmap, now is the time for the country to anticipate second-generation problems which are likely to influence the future trajectory of many of its key provinces, districts and trade routes. Learning from the piecemeal approach of the first round, forward thinking and anticipation of, rather than reacting and gap filling for, the new challenges from globalisation will be necessary. These challenges include shifts in global economic distribution and local power hubs and the changing economic geography of future development across countries, regions and large urban centres. Any second round thinking on decentralisation must be more strategic, organised and sustained, and is likely to be key to a considered policy response across this new range of challenges, situations and unforeseen crises.
In this context Strategic Asia is setting up a Second-Generation Decentralisation policy strategy group. Broadly, its aim is to complement existing government approaches and initiatives regarding decentralisation with a view to bring about forward looking decentralisation policy development.