This special edition is different from our regular newsletter. This edition, entitled "NGOs' Perspectives on National Problems in Reform and Democratization Era", is unique as our contributors are all NGO activists. Indonesian NGOs have been playing significant role in community development and empowerment, environmental protection, women's and children's rights, legal advocacy, etc. We felt it would be interesting to hear their perspectives and learn from their experiences in addressing these issues.
Mansour Fakih from INSIST provides his views on the current position and role of NGOs in the reform era and the challenges they will face in remaining both relevant to and key players in Indonesia's democratisation process. Titik Hartini from ASPPUK looks at why attempts to alleviate poverty have failed and how community organizing may help the people achieve their goals. Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, the former Secretary General of the Indonesian Women's Coalition, places emphasis on the importance of formulating gender sensitive policies and programs.
The article by Hira P. Jhamtani, board member of KONPHALINDO, discusses the underlying causes of the environmental and natural resources crisis currently faced in the reform era, while the issue of children's rights in Indonesia is raised by Arist Merdeka Sirait from Yayasan Kompak, Roy Tjiong from Yayasan Indonesia Sehat 2010 highlights the link between health problems and health budget and expenditure. Finally, Ludo Korbaffo of CARE International Indonesia gives us an outline of the problems of East Timorese refugees in West Timor.