Accelerating Inclusive and Fair Digital Transformation to Anticipate Challenges Facing the Future of Work

Poverty and Inequality Analysis
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
Policy Research

Digitalization has contributed substantially to the global economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Indonesia’s case, digitalization even sustained the country’s economy during the pandemic. It is only appropriate that the government continue accelerating its digital transformation in postpandemic recovery.

As an institution that visions an Indonesian society and a world free of all forms of poverty and inequality, SMERU believes that digital transformation must also have a part in overcoming poverty and inequality. SMERU started researching digitalization in mid-2019 with funding from the Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI) and completed nine studies on the topic in three years, marking digitalization’s high demand and importance as a policy issue. In particular, SMERU seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. How can gains from digital transformation be used to address the pressing issues of poverty and inequality
  2. How should policies respond to and anticipate the barriers to inclusive and fair digital transformation?

Although digital transformation promises to bring about abundant potential gains which can be used to reduce poverty, this opportunity is not without challenges. Therefore, policymakers are to anticipate the future dynamics of digital transformation, particularly during the postpandemic recovery, so its outcomes can be more inclusive and fairer.

This paper overviews the recent development of digital transformation and existing policy gaps. A situational analysis was carried out by mapping the findings of SMERU’s digitalization-related research using an analytical framework derived from its study on digital economy. Policy gaps were identified from a situational analysis. Qualitative data were collected from in-depth interviews with stakeholders, i.e., relevant line ministries, public service agencies, social security agencies, think tanks, the Indonesian Foundation for the Blind (Pertuni), and digital platforms to confirm the immediate findings.

Suggested citation:

Bachtiar, Palmira Permata, Jimmy Berlianto, and Lia Amelia (2022) ‘Accelerating Inclusive and Fair Digital Transformation to Anticipate Challenges Facing the Future of Work.’ SMERU Position Paper No. 1. Jakarta: The SMERU Research Institute <> [access date].

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Palmira Permata Bachtiar
Jimmy Daniel Berlianto Oley
Lia Amelia
Jimmy Daniel Berlianto Oley
Research Area 
digital transformation
Digital economy
Internet Access
Gig Workers
social security
Publication Type 
Working Paper
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