Economic Research & Policy Engagement Related to Covid-19

Team Member: Niken Kusumawardhani, Palmira Permata Bachtiar, Adinda Angelica, Ahmad Zuhdi Dwi Kusuma, Akhmad Ramadhan Fatah, Luhur Bima, Asri Yusrina
Completion Year:
Economic Policy, Labor & Migration, Microfinance & Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, Social Protection

Collaborating Partners

Project Donor/Funder: KSI - DFAT


Description & Progress


The declining of socioeconomic state caused by the pandemic of COVID-19 has put forward more challenges for the government to response to the crisis. These challenges need to be addressed appropriately to ensure that they are pro-poor and equitable. During the last semester, the government has introduced various schemes to address the emerging issues. Nevertheless, these initiatives need to be critically reviewed so that the government are well-informed and receiving valuable inputs on the effectiveness of their programs to improve future programs.

SMERU, having had the experience to conduct research on socioeconomics issues during the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis and 2008/2009 Global Financial Crisis, is offering itself to conduct studies related to socioeconomic aspects of COVID-19 in 3 areas including economics, social, and mother and child health. These studies, if informed accurately to the government, are believed to beneficial for future policy making process that are pro-poor and inclusive. For this reason, SMERU has identified key stakeholders at the national level, which will vary according to the specific studies that undertaken. These key stakeholders at the national level includes relevant ministries and institutions, which will be specified in the following paragraphs. Furthermore, SMERU will also work closely with regional governments. Through KSI’s previous funding and other arrangements, SMERU has been able to establish strong relationship with 7 provincial governments that SMERU has worked with in the past. This long engagement will be beneficial to be carried forward in this initiative. The 7 focus provinces are: DKI Jakarta, West Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, Bali, NTB and NTT.



E1.  Digital Transformation of SMEs induced by COVID-19

This study is an enrichment of the study previously carried out using 2019-2020 KSI’s SPG funding. SMERU is keen to further explore a policy study on inclusive digital economy development, to be able to provide research-based evidence to the policy discourse on SMEs as notable emerging sector. This study will map the digital transformation phase of SMEs in Indonesia and how covid19 becomes the triggers/barriers to accelerate.

E2. Impact of COVID-19 on Employment

SMERU will be deepening Y1 COVID-Employment and continuing to roll out the discourse. This study aims to capture the dynamics of employment during COVID and the period of economic recovery, along with what factors influence them.

E3. Employment Protection during and post COVID-19

This study is complementing the study E2 described above. The objective of the study is to map the development of discourse and issues related to the need for employment benefits in Indonesia as a basis for designing an effective worker safety-net program.



E1.  Digital Transformation of SMEs induced by COVID-19

The study will be done through data collection and policy engagement activities during September 2020 until April 2021. It involves secondary data analysis using Susenas and Sakernas data sets and it will be complemented by primary data collection (direct and online) to see the state of digital transformation of SMEs in Indonesia.

E2.  Impact of COVID-19 on Employment

The study will be done through data collection and policy engagement activities during September 2020 until August 2021. It will be carried out through secondary data analysis which will be done 4 times during the year (September 2020, December 2020, March 2021, and June 2021) to look at what is the impact of COVID-19 on employment at the national level.

E3.   Employment Protection during and post COVID-19

The study will be done through data collection and policy engagement activities during September 2020 until June 2021. It involves literature review, online primary data collection, FGDs/policy discussions, and in-depth interviews at the national level with key stakeholders including Ministry of Labour, Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, Bappenas, PMO Kartu Prakerja, BP Jamsostek, Ministry of Finance – Fiscal Policy Agency. SMERU’s objective from this study is to provide sound recommendations on unemployment benefit policy.

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