SMERU is at present undergoing an exciting transition. This is the last year that we will operate under the umbrella of the World Bank. Beginning in January 2001 SMERU will be operating as an independent research organization. 'The SMERU Research Institute' has already been established as a Yayasan and this will become effective next year. The end of the formal connection with The World Bank is one which Country Director Mark Baird has described as "a natural evolution that reflects very positively on the SMERU-World Bank relationship".
Another important change for SMERU next year will be our location. I am pleased to report that we have secured a new office in Jl Tulung Agung 46, Jakarta. The various units working within SMERU will all be under the one roof next year - a much more desirable state of affairs. In the future SMERU will also be responsible for locating its own sources of funding, and progress is being made on this front, most recently with a pledge of further strong support from AusAID .
Most things about SMERU will not change. Our commitment to social and economic research on the issues that are most relevant and vital to the people of Indonesia will remain as strong as it is today. Our staff of experienced and well-qualified researchers will continue to make SMERU an effective and unique research institution. Our commitment to widening the public policy dialogue about social and economic problems and our emphasis on the dissemination of information through our active publication program will remain.
What SMERU is gaining is its independence. I look forward to greeting you all in our first newsletter next year as the Executive Director of the SMERU Research Institute