Multidimensional Poverty Dynamics in Indonesia in the time of COVID-19: Lessons Learned and Policy Implications

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It has long been recognised that poverty encompasses multiple aspects of wellbeing,thus, to truly measure it, a multidimensional tool is needed. This need has become further apparent as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to unfold and disrupt different areas of life, which include, among others, challenges in health, access to learning and the learning gap, alongside significant reductions in standards of living. This paper aims to examine multidimensional poverty trends during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, utilising a measure that is based on the Alkire-Foster (AF) method. To build this measure, data on household indicators available within the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Susenas waves, will be used. By utilising household information before and during the pandemic, this paper will analyse whether COVID-19 has led to significant increases in multidimensional poverty and to the emergence of the “new poor”. This paper also seeks to present an analysis of differences before and after the pandemic, with regard to the determinants of multidimensional poverty, thus pin-pointing household characteristics, which contribute the most to the experience of poverty. Finally, the findings of this paper aim to act as a robust evidence-base to guide the implementation of poverty alleviation policies in Indonesia during the pandemic.

Dr Putu Natih (Speaker) supports the OPHI Outreach team and is also a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia (FEB UI), where she teaches Econometrics for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Putu is also currently supporting Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, as a social protection specialist. Before OPHI and FEB UI, Putu was a Statistics Tutor at Keble and St John’s Colleges at the University of Oxford. She also worked as a Research Assistant at the Blavatnik School of Government within a project on digital inequality. Putu completed her undergraduate degree at the Faculty of Economics, Universitas Indonesia and was a Jardine-Oxford Scholar at Trinity College, the University of Oxford, where she studied for her MPhil and DPhil.

Dr Elan Satriawan, Chief of Policy, National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Alleviation (TNP2K), Vice President’s Office, Indonesia is an Economist with significant experience in both academic and policy making areas. In academics, he has done extensive research covering topics in development microeconomics areas particularly in impact evaluation and effectiveness of anti-poverty and social programs, poverty related issues including health, education and inter-linkages between the two involving frontiers empirical techniques including randomized experiments. In policy areas, he leads a high-profile government policy think tank to advise the Vice President in taking strategic policy decisions on poverty alleviation and social development. He has extensive knowledge in conducting monitoring and evaluation as well as using the knowledge generated from the research for policy advocacy, capacity building and knowledge management.