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PEER Scientist
An Indonesian research assistant is fortifying the plot for sea grass seedlings off the coast of Makassar. Sea grass is an important part of a marine ecosystem, directly impacting water quality and marine life

Despite Indonesia’s fast‐paced economic and democratic transformation, not all citizens reap the benefits. A significant portion of the population – the poorest and most vulnerable – will be left behind if the Indonesian Government is not able to meet their basic needs. Education is a top priority under the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership, agreed to by both nations in 2015. Today’s young people are tomorrow’s leaders and peacemakers. The provision of focused and proven training and educational opportunities to Indonesians increases broad-based economic participation and supports a stable, resilient, democratic society.   

On behalf of the American people, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partners with the Government and people of Indonesia, Indonesian educational institutions, Indonesian and American private-sector companies, and local communities to end extreme poverty while advancing U.S. security and prosperity. USAID’s programs focus on improving the quality of the higher education system, promoting university partnerships, particularly in scientific research in priority areas, and expanding access to high-quality basic and vocational education.  

  • USAID has leveraged more than $6m in funding from the Government of Indonesia to improve education at 30,000 schools.
  • More than 7 million Indonesian students are benefitting from USAID-supported teaching and management training for 171,000 teachers and principals.
  • USAID supported the design and distribution of 8 million leveled reading books - the first in Indonesian schools - and has boosted the reading and comprehension skills of more than 5 million students.   

Current Programs

Higher Education and University Partnerships

USAID promotes collaboration between U.S. and Indonesian universities to develop a world-class research environment that generates valuable new data on shared focus areas and supports evidence-based decision making. USAID is building the technical capacity of Indonesian universities to address key development challenges including public health security, education, and disaster preparedness.   

The USAID Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) program is part of a global initiative that connects USAID-funded Indonesian scientists with U.S. Government (USG) technical agency-funded U.S. scientists, thereby leveraging the investments other USG agencies have made in scientific research and training. More than 40 of these partnerships are already tackling important research subjects, including health, education, and the environment.

Scholarship Programs

USAID’s scholarship programs provide opportunities to Indonesian scholars for advanced academic degrees in the U.S. and Indonesia. The scholars supported by USAID are tomorrow’s leaders, training in the fields of law, economics, public policy, political science, public administration, environment, health, and education. Scholars develop the skills and expertise needed to address global challenges and help advance Indonesia as a prosperous, democratic nation that provides for the safety, health, and well-being of its people. Since the late1950s, more than 4,000 Indonesians have received USAID scholarships at U.S. and Indonesian universities and tens of thousands of Indonesians have attended short-term training programs.

Basic Education

USAID supports Indonesia’s efforts to expand access to high-quality basic education, to enhance the capacity of local and provincial governments to coordinate, plan, manage, and finance education services, and to improve school management. The current program focuses on strengthening basic education reading skills and teaching practices. USAID provides technical assistance and training to 49 teacher training institutions to improve the quality of teaching and learning in more than 23,000 primary, junior-secondary, and faith-based schools across nine provinces, focusing on low-income areas. To date, USAID has printed and distributed eight million leveled reading books to 13,000 schools, the first-ever skill-based reading materials used in Indonesian schools. The program significantly improved students’ reading and comprehension skills, enhanced the skills of teachers, encouraged active learning behavior, and increased parent and community participation.    

Science, Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships

Through the use of science, technology, innovation, and partnerships, development advancements are faster, cheaper, and more sustainable. A significant portion of USAID’s education portfolio focuses on expanding collaborative university-to-university research, improving Indonesia’s ability to contribute to global scientific discourse, and increasing the quality, availability and demand for data that supports evidence-based decision and policy making.  In addition, USAID works with the Indonesian Academy of Science to build the institution’s capacity to oversee the new Indonesian Science Fund, an independent, national-level financing mechanism to support merit-based scientific research.  

Providing Opportunities for Poor and Vulnerable Youth

A quality education can break the cycle of extreme poverty and places youth on a path for a hopeful future.  USAID provides poor and vulnerable Indonesians vocational training. By attaining skills in demand by the private sector, these youth are more self-reliant, productive members of society. Those capable of work will be better able to enter their local job market and lift themselves out of poverty.