This report describes the result of the qualitative socioeconomic monitoring conducted by The SMERU Research Institute toward the EINRIP road improvement in Kabupaten Bulukumba and Kabupaten Sinjai in the South of Sulawesi. The objective of the road improvement was support socioeconomic development in the eastern Indonesian region through improvement of the national road network that can meet standards of quality and accessibility, thus enabling the development of local and regional economies.
The study uses a qualitative approach. Semi structured in-depth interviews were conducted with government officials at the kabupaten (district), kecamatan (subdistrict), and village levels, as well as with business actors and community household members. Focus group discussions were also conducted.
Monitoring results show that the improved road has facilitated the growth of transport and trading sectors, followed by the growth of new business in trade, banking, manufacture, housing and property, as well as progress in the health and education sectors. The improved inter-districts connectivity also potentially enhanced economic partnership and cooperation between the districts of Sinjai, Bulukumba, Palopo, Luwu Timur, and Luwu Utara. In particular, the recent development of service and manufacturing industry in Bulukumba is helping it become a regional hub for service and manufacturing industries. On the other hand, the economy of Sinjai is still predominantly agriculture with limited development in service and trade sectors. The poverty rate and the number of poor people in the two districts has declined.
Keywords: Eastern Indonesia, impact, road improvement, socioeconomic, South Sulawesi