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Newsletter September 2020 | Livelihoods at Stake as Jakarta Enters the Second Lockdown

Dear readers,

On 9 September, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced a second lockdown of the city as numbers of COVID-19 cases rose. For at least two weeks, non-essential businesses must close and operate remotely.

This is more bad news for millions of unemployed Indonesians hoping to find jobs. Online recruitment platform saw a 50% drop in new job listings, while applications per job posting doubled. This captures only a small share of demand for mainly white-collar jobs, yet the data is deeply troubling.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurially minded Indonesians have taken to digital platforms that make up Indonesia’s burgeoning digital economy landscape. Bukalapak, an e-commerce platform, recorded 3 million new online merchants in the first 7 months of 2020. New merchants were largely from rural areas and smaller cities.

Most of Indonesia’s micro and small-sized enterprises are run by women, who cannot earn an income on the labor market. From 1st November, their life will be harder. Before they can continue using e-commerce platforms for their businesses, they will need to obtain online selling licenses and register as formal businesses, which also makes them subject to relevant taxes.

CIPS is currently conducting policy analysis on the impact of this latest regulation on women-owned businesses. We want to prevent regulations that disproportionally reduce opportunities for women.

Another obstacle for online entrepreneurs is the ban on plastic bags that by was introduced by the Jakarta City government in July. It has the noble objective to protect the oceans from plastic pollution, but it can also undermine food safety in online delivery services.

CIPS recently launched a new policy paper that seeks to incentivize innovative alternatives to plastic packagings, such as bags made from Cassava plants. In a webinar, we discussed our ideas with the Jakarta City government’s head of waste management and the co-founder of an Indonesian company that produces alternatives to plastics packaging.

Lastly, it is not without pride that CIPS celebrated its 5th anniversary on 2nd September!

Five years after we started in 2015, we are now a well-established and well-recognized think tank in Indonesia. Just a week ago, CIPS Head of Research Felippa Amanta and CIPS Board member Dr. Arianto Patunru presented our research on Indonesia’s food security to 700 people attending the Indonesia Update conference of the Australian National University. Former Indonesian Vice President Boediono and Minister of Finance Chatib Basri were among those who tuned in and listened to our presentation.

While working from home, we managed to celebrate our anniversary online. We are proud of our achievements and our ability to provide policy analysis and recommendations that give Indonesians the freedom to prosper.

Wherever you are, I hope you remain safe and well!

Salam hangat,

Rainer Heufers


CIPS in the News


Don't forget to check out and download our policy papers here. Through these papers, we present evidence-based arguments to recommend policy changes that focus on building prosperity and better livelihoods for low-income Indonesians.

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