In effort to take policy discussions to another level to formulate policy options to reduce inequality and to prepare ourselves for the 2017 Indonesia Development Forum (IDF), The SMERU Research Institute—with the support from Knowledge Sector Initiative of DFAT—held a discussion series on “Understanding Sources of and Finding Solutions to Reduce Inequality”. The event was aimed at building an understanding on factors that affect economic development and the dynamics of inequality in Indonesia. There were two roundtable discussions in the series, in which SMERU presented its study results. Each presentation was then followed by responses and discussions involving 30 participants from government institutions, academics, and nongovernmental organizations.
The first part of the discussion series, held on 9 May 2017, was on “The Dynamics of Economic Development and Inequality in Rural Areas”. The theme was chosen because economic development and welfare improvement of rural community are still regarded as critical issues in Indonesia’s current development agenda. The discussion was particularly aimed at highlighting the dynamics of economic growth and inequality in rural areas, in the context of both rural-urban relations and rural development. The second part of the discussion series, held on 23 May 2017, was on “Finding New Evidence of Sources of Inequality in Indonesia”. The discussion centered on factors that contribute to the dynamics—increase and reduction— of monetary inequality, measured by expenditure inequality.