SMERU Global Network
SMERU is the best socioeconomic research institute in Indonesia on poverty, education, and health issues. For this reason, I think SMERU has the best ecosystem for researchers who want to obtain first-hand experiences in applying various social research methods.
I had the opportunity to learn a lot about various research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, which are still useful in my job.
The working atmosphere at SMERU is very conducive, where the research team, editors, operations, and management support each other so that SMERU can produce good research outputs.
While waiting for my graduation day to come, I found a vacancy as a SMERU librarian on the campus internal mailing list.
I tried applying in hopes of getting a much better experience and income. Previously, I had juggled working while studying.
What I had in mind at that time was that SMERU was a research institution with very serious people. It would be like the atmosphere at LIPI. As it turned out, I found the atmosphere relaxed but smart. I learned a lot from my colleagues to work wholeheartedly but efficiently and thoroughly, plus in a happy and relaxed mood.
At SMERU, all members are seen equal. I saw how the director chatted loosely with the office boy and the rest of the staff. We are raised in the spirit of equality, and to be able to join SMERU was one of my best experiences in life.
One of the events that I shall never forget was when SMERU lost Mbak Wina, a bright and cheerful young researcher. The moment when Mbak Wina fell into a coma was felt by everyone in the office. When we were discussing the schedule to provide her with a companion while being hospitalized, she passed away. At that time, all staff cried, as each of them had an unforgettable memory with her.
I met and joined the remarkable RISE Program in Indonesia team led by Pak Darno and Daniel. I was inspired by young talented researchers that are passionate about fulfilling their call to contribute to Indonesia's development.
When I joined SMERU, I had just finished my master's program in the Netherlands and was very interested in joining the number-one research institute in Indonesia.
I learned a lot while working at SMERU. The work environment was also very warm and friendly. I started working as the first researcher with a public health background, after which many researchers were recruited and SMERU conducted more studies related to public health.
SMERU also opened the opportunity for me to get another scholarship and pursue a degree in the UK.
Now, as I work as a program implementer [at Plan Indonesia], the research experience I obtained at SMERU is still very helpful. Plan Indonesia has also conducted several joint studies with SMERU.
As a researcher and project manager at the time, I was looking forward to finding an international position in the area of research with focus on gender equality and human rights.
SMERU offered the opportunity and I was lucky to be accepted to fill the position.
I was placed among a team of enthusiastic, experienced, and dedicated researchers that were working there under a very experienced and professional management.
I found living and working in Jakarta quite pleasant, as I found the work environment to be a very friendly, welcoming, and sharing place for an expat.
The experience became the highlight of my personal, academic, and professional life.
[I joined] Because I love being a researcher and noticed that SMERU is one of the best research institutions in Indonesia.
[At SMERU, I met] Mr. Darno, Mr. Asep, Mr. Syaikhu, Mr. Bambang, Ms. Anti, and other prominent figures who keep a low profile. I also enjoyed making friends with the staff. We are still friends even though I am no longer at SMERU.
Working at SMERU allowed me to develop my ability to translate and edit manuscripts as well as to contribute to poverty reduction efforts through evidence-based policy recommendations that are in line with SMERU's vision of "toward pro-poor policy".
The seniors and supervisors were always willing to guide and understand me. Plentiful resources were also shared to improve my skills. The institution is ready to help its employees who are in need. Finally, the saweran (“crowdfunding”) from fellow employees for those in need shows how much the SMERU people care about each other.
SMERU was the first office where I worked permanently, and I spent approximately 8 years there. It was interesting to join SMERU, a leading research institution, and to get to know about the world of think tanks and research.
I had new experiences and new challenges at SMERU. Getting to know the research world, which was new to me, was very interesting. Supporting great researchers was also a challenge for me. I gained a lot of technical and nontechnical experiences while working at SMERU. The challenges as one of only two IT staff also encouraged me to accelerate in developing my capabilities, including those outside the IT world.