Meet the Expert

Rika Kumala Dewi

Organisation: SMERU

Areas of Expertise:
  • Opinion Leader Assessments on Infant and Young Children Feeding in Indonesia
  • Research Into Individual Family Development Sessions to Support Transitioning PKH Families
  • Early Childhood Development (ECD) Strategy Study
  • Evaluating the Socioeconomic Impacts of the Tamadera Program: Baseline Study


I am a researcher at the SMERU Research Institute, Jakarta, Indonesia. I pursued my master’s degree in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. I began to develop an interest in research during my undergraduate studies, when I took part in various academic writing competitions. After successfully winning some of the competitions, I found my passion in research. For me, doing research is not only about generating deeper understanding and new knowledge, but since different research studies have different challenges, doing research has also positively affected my creative thinking, analytical skills, and the way to see a problem.

My area of research interest is development issues. My research path and interest is largely influenced by The SMERU Research Institute’s research area. Being a researcher who has been involved in poverty, education, and health studies conducted by the institute, I found that Indonesia is a country with many development problems and complicated root causes. Since then, I have committed myself to engagement to solve the problems facing Indonesia’s development.

My current research projects are on health: the barriers to optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) in Indonesia, and the implication of the ASEAN Economic Community on Health Services in Indonesia. Both research projects enable me to engage with many influential development institutions in Indonesia, including ministries, NGOs, health worker associations, and international organizations. The engagement is not only developed for data collection purposes, but also for policy engagement objectives. For the IYCF project, for instance, I have engaged with ministries, NGOs, and international organizations through the IYCF policy change forum. In the forum, I am involved in formulating Indonesia’s policy strategies for improving IYCF practices, and I actively disseminate research findings to the forum. YOUNG RESEARCHER PROFILE Rika Kumala Dewi Rika Kumala Dewi Researcher at The SMERU Research Institute I