INOVASI: Diagnostic Study on Sub-national Education in Indonesia


In general, this study aims to gather evidence on local education system related to what works and in what circumstances to improve student learning outcomes.

The Government of Indonesia, represented by the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemdikbud) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) agreed to initiate Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children (INOVASI) program. INOVASI is a four‐year program intended to develop and implement action‐oriented research and pilots to answer the broad question: What works to improve student learning outcomes in Indonesia?

In the initial stages of the program, INOVASI appointed the SMERU Research Institute to carry out a District Diagnostic Survey of the education system in selected districts. The aims of the study were to (i) understand the social, political and economic context in which the educational system exists, (ii) determine relevant stakeholders, as well as their position and influence in the education system, and (iii) highlight the historical context and previous developments of educational policies and innovations with a focus on the issue of students learning, particularly relating to literacy and numeracy problems at the elementary education level.

The study finds that the main problems of learning process are mostly related to management and the quality of teachers (permanent teachers), namely poor quality teacher, inequality in teacher distribution, teacher shortage, inadequacy in teacher recruitment system, teacher training deficiency, low motivation, weak supervision, and strong local political interests. Learning innovations have been made in all districts in a great number and with various types; however, they are not generally intended to improve the management and quality of teachers in order to improve the learning system


This study adopts a qualitative approach. in every district, information was collected through individual interviews with stakeholders from the district level to the school level (SD and SMP), group discussion with teachers, parents, and students and a focus group discussion with various stakeholder representatives at the district level. Various document were collected, including education profile data, as well as relevant documents regarding polcies at the district level. The data collection process in the 6 districs was conducted between July and August, 2016.


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Widjajanti Isdijoso
Nina Toyamah
Team Member 
Syaikhu Usman
Rachma Indah Nurbani
Valentina Y. D. Utari
Widjajanti Isdijoso
Asep Kurniawan
Heni Kurniasih
Completion Year 
Project Donor 
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Technical Partner 
INOVASI-The Palladium Group
Type of Service