Meet the Expert

Rendy Adriyan Diningrat

Organisation: SMERU


Areas of Expertise:
  • Village Governance and Community Empowerment Study (Sentinel Villages)
  • Child Poverty and Disparities in Urban Area


As a researcher, I am determined to be able to help to overcome problems of mankind. In so doing, one has to elaborate its complexity in clear and contextual ways. Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago with hundreds of million people from 1,340 tribes— each with their local wisdoms and languages living in 17.508 islands. Indonesia comprises of more than 98 cities and 78,609 villages. The problems it faces are therefore complex. However, this gives researchers in Indonesia the opportunities to produce knowledge and contribute to the civilization.

My passion in research has been growing ever since I was a student at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. I studied urban and regional planning for my Undergraduate and Master programs. My interests in making observations, engaging in discussions, and expressing my thoughts in a blog-site have helped me connect with people sharing similar concerns. During my studies, I made some contribution to the discourse of urban and regional issues, such as participating in conferences/seminars, publishing papers, working as a teaching assistant, and established PETARUNG, which stands for Pemuda Tata Ruang, a youth community for urban planning.

In 2014, I joined the National Development Planning Agency of Indonesia (BAPPENAS) and was involved in a project to develop the 2015–2019 Mid-Term National Development Planning. At that time, I witnessed how the formulation of public policy is still not evidence-based. I believe that there should be a network of people who assist them in developing policy. One year later I decided to join the SMERU Research Institute which has a vision of contributing to the making of evidence-based and pro-poor policies. Not long after, together with two co-authors, I published a book titled Kota Rumah Manusia (The City: Home for Humans).

Being a researcher has given ample opportunities to improve professionally. My research interest has broadened, from urban and regional studies to the issues of poverty, human development, and public policy. Currently, I am involved in two projects, namely the Urban Child Poverty and Disparities and Village Law Implementation. SMERU also supports my capacity building by sending me to national and international events.

In 2016, I was invited by KITLV to a workshop on “New Law, New Villages? Changing rural Indonesia” in the Netherlands. I presented a paper titled The Birth of Village Law: Where are the Marginalized Groups? In addition, I also presented a paper titled Capability Approach in Re-Imagining and Re-Producing Space: Case of Community-Based Citywide Slum Upgrading in Yogyakarta at the 2016 Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) Annual Conference in Tokyo, Japan. In a nutshell, I am deeply passionate about my life as a researcher!