Indonesia study group

Crawford School of Public Policy, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics | Indonesia Study Group

Digitising social protection systems: Insights from Indonesia

Dr Hilman Palaon, Research Fellow, Indo-Pacific Development Centre, Lowy Institute

Indonesia acknowledges the pivotal role of social protection programs in poverty alleviation, emergency response, and inclusive development. The fiscal commitment to these programs ranks among the top three in the annual government expenditures, aimed at supporting the poor and vulnerable. Persistent issues in the disbursement process have necessitated a transformative approach. To address it, Indonesia has prioritised a digital reform of its social protection system. This study delves into how Indonesia successfully implemented digital solutions to reform the disbursement of social protection programs and outlines the future agenda. Indonesia's social protection digitisation journey showcases progress driven by government commitment, public-private and international collaborations, and a country-centric approach. This perspective is rooted in designing tailored digital solutions through pilot projects. Furthermore, the adoption of an evidence-based approach plays a crucial role in driving policy reform. Looking forward, through the embrace of technology and innovation, the government aims to enhance the social protection system by leveraging scope and access, promoting program integration, implementing disbursement interoperability, adopting a graduation strategy, and applying a beneficiary-centric design. ##About the speaker## **Hilman Palaon** has extensive experience in Indonesia, particularly in advancing the financial inclusion agenda and digitising social protection programs during his tenure at TNP2K (the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction), the Vice President Office of The Republic of Indonesia. He also served as the VP of Financial Services and Inclusion at Gojek/GOTO in Indonesia.

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