On May 10 USINDO hosted Dr. Vivi Alatas, Senior Economist and Poverty Team Leader, World Bank Office Jakarta. Indonesia’s social assistance programs have increased significantly in the past decade, due partly to savings from fuel subsidy, and may further increase as a result of Indonesia’s strong fiscal position. Current programs include subsidized rice, health fee waiver, scholarships, and conditional cash transfers. As an integral part of the overall poverty reduction strategy, increased spending on these programs reflects central government investment in building a safety net system to protect primarily the poor households from fuel and food shocks.
Despite those safety net programs and sustained economic growth, poverty reduction in Indonesia continues to decrease at a slow rate. Targeting the vulnerable households has been a major challenge in the implementation of the social assistance programs. Reforming the current programs to address poor targeting and other issues, such as the high costs of energy subsidies, are critical to achieve effective and comprehensive social safety nets.
Dr. Vivi Alatas, Senior Economist and Poverty Team Leader at the World Bank Office Jakarta, presents an assessment of these safety net programs, as well as reform measures taken to date to enhance progress and address challenges in the implementation of the social assistance programs. This event is part of the USINDO Economy, Trade, and Business Series.
Stay tuned for the event brief and photos.