On 26 January 2018, Athia Yumna (senior researcher) acted as a representative of the SMERU Research Institute to sign a memorandum of understanding on the launching of the Indonesian Bureau of Economic Research (IBER) at Universitas Indonesia. IBER has been founded as a network for economists and researchers to conduct high quality research which is publishable in national and international journals, provide intellectual input on academic engagement, contribute to evidence-based public debate on important issues for Indonesia, and to create the capacity for top-quality input into economic policymaking. To ensure its effectiveness, IBER will keep the identity as an independent and credible network. As a start, IBER will have a number of initial programs, such as gaining preferential access to data and providing input on data make-up to improve data access for researchers, research on immediate priority international strategic issues, and longerterm research agenda for the future of the Indonesian economy. The launch event also saw the appointment of Professor Boediono (former vice president of the Republic of Indonesia) as chair of board. Members of the board include, among other experts as well as renowned economists and researchers, Professor Armida Alisyahbana (former head of Bappenas), Dr. Moh Chatib Basri (Universitas Indonesia), Professor Mari Pangestu (former minister of trade), Professor Budy Resosudarmo (Australian National University), and Dr. Sudarno Sumarto (SMERU). The SMERU Research Institute—along with Universitas Indonesia, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Padjadjaran, Institut Pertanian Bogor, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), and a few other founding institutions of IBER—has affirmed its commitment to giving its firm support to the network to ensure the network’s effectiveness in providing inputs that are relevant to good policymaking in Indonesia.
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