Philanthropy Learning Forum 10 was held on Thursday, August 25, 2016 in Tahija Foundation, Graha Irama, Kuningan, Jakarta. This Philanthropy Learning Forum (PLF) was also a public dissemination event for the study 'Mapping of Philanthropy in support of research' conducted by PIRAC. PIRAC is a non-profit organization that focuses on research, training, advocacy, and dissemination of information in the field of philanthropy and strengthening civil society organizations in Indonesia.
Mr. Anastasius Wahyuhadi, chairman of Tahija Foundation, made an opening speech as the host of PLF 10. In his speech, he expressed his excitement for the forum’s theme: 'Philanthropy as a Source of Funding for Research in Indonesia', as the Tahija Foundation is also heavily involved in the research sector. According to Mr. Wahyuhadi, people often think that when there is funding, everything becomes easier. Unfortunately, this is not so. Money is not a guarantee of success.
Problems that arise in research-based philanthropy are usually non-technical issues, such as choosing partners that will support each other and the process of identifying the key actors to involve in the research. The support for research implementation is needed to understand the obstacles encountered. Thus, in a research-based philanthropy, we do not just manage research funds, but also manage the program's effectiveness.
Ms. Dias of the Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI) also gave her remarks. KSI is an initiative by the Indonesian and Australian governments to enhance Indonesian people's lives through public policy. Ms. Dias said that the main problem facing research in Indonesia is how it can be useful, and how to apply the results for the benefit of the public.
Research in Indonesia must be developed further because there is still much untapped potential. In funding for research, Indonesia still lags far behind its neighbouring countries, such as Malaysia and Singapore. In Indonesia 80% of research funding is from government funding. The private sector contributes the 20%. While in other countries, the private sector contributes a much greater percentage of research funding.
Following Ms. Dias, Mr. Timotheus Lesmana, Chairman of the Executive Board of Indonesia Philanthropy Association, gave his opening notes. He agreed that funding for research in Indonesia is still very minimal, and that is why research-based philanthropy has an important role. Filantropi Indonesia has clusters of foundations such as family foundations, corporate foundations, faith-based foundations, mass media philanthropy, and philanthropy for research. He hopes that through research-based philanthropy, philanthropists will open their eyes and contribute more to the funding of research.
Ibu Nor Hiqmah, PIRAC Researcher: 'Dissemination of Philanthropy Institutions Mapping as Supporters of Research in Indonesia'
For three months, PIRAC conducted a study to 150 philanthropy organizations in Indonesia. The goal was to identify philanthropic organizations who support research activities in Indonesia. The methods used were literature reviews, Focus Group Discussions, and in-depth interviews.
From the study, it was concluded that the conditions of research development in Indonesia are concerning, particularly because there is an inadequate funding to support it. Moreover, there is a lack of access to information on how philanthropy actors can support research through funding. Additionally, it was discussed how some corporations are willing to support research only if the research is on social issues, technology development, or other areas only directly related to the vision, mission and needs of their organization.
Mr. Muh. Dimyati, Director General of Research and Development, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education
Mr. Dimyati said philanthropy had an important role in Indonesia once. Gradually, the role of research in national development started to weaken. Philanthropists then began fill the void in research funding, such the development of a malaria vaccine undertaken by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Tahir Foundation, and Tahija Foundation. This sort of Humanitarian research often involves the society so it has a greater reach. Mr. Dimyati warned, however, that future philanthropists need to be willing to fund research with less glamourous images.
Mr. Agus Susanto, Tahija Foundation: 'Practices and Dynamics of Philanthropy Support for Research’
Tahija Foundation was established in March, 1990. Since 2004, Tahija Foundation, has conducted research into, and funded pilot projects aimed at solving dengue epidemics in Indonesia in partnership with various academic institutions, such as the Faculty of Medicine at Gajah Mada University and Monash University.
Dr. Wijaya Lukito, Danone Institute Foundation Indonesia
Danone Institute has representatives in various countries, each with their own funding sources. One noticeable donor is the Danone CSR Centre. Indeed, most of the funding at Danone Institute is from their business units.
According to Dr. Wijaya, the challenges in research-based philanthropy are: (1) Resource alignment, (2) Evidence based policy development, (3) National development road map in food, nutrition, and health, as well as (4) Incentive and benefit.
Dra. Ida Ruwaida, LabSosio University of Indonesia
Dra. Ida’s presentation revolved around the rationalization of research. The following justifications were identified and discussed: (1) Academic value: Research is always correlated in the academic field, (2) Economic value: Competition between lecturers is very high, even among sections of the same faculty (3) Social value: Labsosio, conduct research based on companies requests and then disseminated the result to public, and (4) Political value. There is an interest, for example, in research on rice as one variety is more favoured than other varieties.
Based on these rationalizations, it can be surmised that research is no longer done for the sake of pure research, but to satisfy one’s interests, such as research for change, development, and policy. She continued that philanthropy organizations should be more selective in research funding. Many studies are replicated and redundant, so money is often wasted. Efforts should be made to ensure research is focused, sustainable, and beneficial to society.