My name is Rachma Auliya, and I am really having a great time as a Research Trainee under the Emerging Policy Leaders Program (EPLP) 2022 at the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS).
This program gives us, youngsters, the chance to follow our passion while developing our analytical skills and critical thinking through practical exercises that also lead us to become more aware of our surroundings and determined to contribute to the development of our country.
I work in the Food and Trade unit that focuses on economic openness and trade to achieve food security and welfare for low-income Indonesians. This is aligned with CIPS’ vision to work “for a free and prosperous Indonesia”.
I applied for this program at the end of 2021. I choose CIPS and my current unit because my interests are in international trade, development, and social welfare issues. I have a dream to becoming an expert in the field of International Trade and as a Research Trainee allowed me to gain a lot of skills and knowledge in this field.
Joining CIPS for nine months has taught me many things, such as writing papers and analysis, conducting interviews of important stakeholders, advocacy, and improving my skills in both qualitative and quantitative research.
EPLP 2022 Research Trainees also have the opportunity to be part of Think20, an engagement group under the G20, a forum of 19 countries and the European Union which is this year chaired by Indonesia.
The G20 represents more than 60 percent of the earth's population, 75 percent of global trade, and 80 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Under Think20, CIPS along with IPB University lead Task Force 4 on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture. As part of the organizing committee, the Research Trainees were assigned as Liaison Officers for the TF4’s Co-Chair, helping assign authors to their co-chairs, and work as a bridge between the organizing committee and co-chairs and authors of policy briefs.
We were blessed to be able to see firsthand the process of developing policy briefs, discussing the preparation of a communique, and meetings between experts. This experience has widened my perspective, taught me more knowledge, and exposed me more to the current state of the world.
As a CIPS Research Trainee, I am also responsible for assisting my Food and Trade unit in realizing our commitments to donors and engaging the public. I have the opportunity to lead the Index Bu RT or Indeks Bulanan Rumah Tangga project.
This index was developed by CIPS to find what the monthly household expenses for food was and to track how much Indonesians need to pay for food compared to consumers in neighboring countries.
Leading this project honed my writing skills as I had to write monthly food analyses. It also sharpened my communication skills, having to engage with stakeholders, and boosted my knowledge of food trade both domestic and international.
Other than that, I also helped senior researchers in the writing of their papers, in conducting interviews, and in moderating advocacy activities.
At CIPS, we also got the opportunity to contribute and learn how the other units were working. I gained more knowledge and experience by co-authoring the Food Monitor Maize 2021, contributing to the Food Monitor Database which observes regulations and statistics on seven main strategic commodities in Indonesia.
I also helped with the writing of OpEds, and in making several presentations on different subjects to help senior researchers’ engagement. These activities made me learn to become a good researcher, trained in writing, and knowledgeable in strategic commodities in Indonesia.
I’m very grateful to have been part of the EPLP program in 2022. Not only did we learn a lot of new knowledge on how to become a good policy researcher, but we also got the opportunity to be part of the organizing committee for the T20’s Task Force 4.
This experience taught me a lot about government policies, and how to become more critical and aware of world conditions. I became more confident in pursuing my dreams and contributing to the development of Indonesia.
I hope the Emerging Policy Leaders Program at CIPS will continue for years to come as this program really helps and provides opportunities for young people who have not much experience to learn and pursue their passion.
I also really enjoyed my time as a Research Trainee at the Center for Indonesia Policy Studies (CIPS). This company really has a great culture that always encourages us to try and learn and the people are very kind, making me feel like having a second family. This is a really amazing program and a really great company to work for.