Social Research & Policy Engagement Related to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Poverty and Inequality Analysis
Policy Research
Background 

The decline in socioeconomic state due to the COVID-19 pandemic has presented more challenges for the government to respond to the crisis. These challenges need to be addressed appropriately to ensure that they are pro-poor and equitable. 

During the first semester of 2020, the government introduced various schemes to address the emerging issues. Nevertheless, these initiatives need to be critically reviewed so that the government are well-informed and receiving valuable inputs on the effectiveness of their programs to improve future programs.

SMERU, experienced in researching socioeconomic issues during the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis and 2008/2009 Global Financial Crisis, has offered to conduct studies related to the socioeconomic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic in three areas: economics, social, and mother and child health. These studies, if informed accurately to the government, will benefit future pro-poor and inclusive policy-making processes. 

SMERU then identifies key stakeholders at the national level, varying according to the specific studies undertaken. Furthermore, SMERU will also work closely with regional governments. Through Knowledge Sector Initiative’s previous funding and other arrangements, SMERU has been able to forge strong relationships with seven provincial governments that have worked with SMERU in the past. This long-standing engagement will benefit this initiative. The seven provinces are DKI Jakarta, West Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).  

Objective 

S1. Management of Social Protection Database during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic
This study seeks to identify and analyze various discourses on improving the management of Data Terpadu Kesejahteraan Sosial (DTKS). The result of this study will benefit better governance and utilization of DTKS for social assistance programs.
  
S2. Monitoring of Regional Social-Economic Situation in Four Provinces during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic
This study aims to understand the dynamics of socio-economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impact on poverty and the factors affecting the recovery. 
  
S3. Community Adaptation and Resilience during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic
This study seeks to understand community resilience and adaptation related to the economic recovery of migrant groups and the poor due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methodology 

S1. Management of Social Protection Database during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic
For this study, we will collect data and carry out policy engagement activities from September 2020 to June 2021. We will employ literature review, remote focus group discussions or policy discussions, and in-depth interviews with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Bappenas, the Coordinating Ministry of Human Development & Culture, TNP2K, and the Ministry of Home Affairs at the national level and several regional governments. The research aims to deliver sound recommendations for improving the management social protection databases.
  
S2. Monitoring of Regional Social-Economic Situation in Four Provinces during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic
For this study, we will collect data and carry out policy engagement activities from September 2020 to August 2021. We will employ secondary data analysis, remote survey, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions with the government, both at the national and regional level, and other key stakeholders. The monitoring will benefit the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Coordinating Ministry of Human Development & Culture, the Ministry of Finance, Bappenas, and the Ministry of Home Affairs, especially to report on the effectiveness and efficiency of economic stimulus packages and how they can be improved in the future. The monitoring is also helpful for the ministries to learn to balance health and economic policies in a pandemic situation.
  
S3. Community Adaptation and Resilience during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic
For this study, we will collect data and carry out policy engagement activities from September 2020 to June 2021. We will employ literature review, carry out two rounds of primary data collection, and hold in-depth interviews with regional government officials and communities in Jakarta, East Java, Special Region of Yogyakarta, and Bali. By the end of the study, SMERU will offer viable suggestions on programs to support public education on resilience and adaptation.

Advisor 
Athia Yumna
Asep Suryahadi
Rizki Fillaili
Coordinator 
Dyan Widyaningsih
Hafiz Arfyanto
Ana Rosidha Tamyis
Team Member 
Nina Toyamah
Ruhmaniyati
Sri Murniati
Ridho Al Izzati
Asep Kurniawan
Jimmy Daniel Berlianto Oley
M. Sulton Mawardi
Hening Wikan Sawiji
Status 
Ongoing
Completion Year 
2021
Project Donor 
KSI-DFAT

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