Building peace in the minds of men and women

Does Social inclusion matter? Addressing inequalities in Indonesia



23 June 2016. The Nossal Institute for Global Health and the Social Equity Institute of the University of Melbourne hosted a lecture by Mr Charaf Ahmimed, Head of the Social and Human Sciences Unit with UNESCO Jakarta Office, on the topic of social inclusion in Indonesia on Monday 16 June 2014.

Mr Ahmimed explained that Indonesia has undergone major transformations in the last 15 years. It has established democratic institutions and sustainable economic growth and human development. It has joined the G20, and played an international and regional role in support to peace building. But like other emerging economies, despite economic growth and democratization, inequalities between different groups of the population didn’t disappear. Growth and political development have by passed the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. Economic development didn’t translate into job creation for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, and investments in infrastructure, health and education didn’t reach all remote areas and rural communities.

What is as such the cost of exclusion? If inclusive growth is not a systematic vehicle of social inclusion, how can Indonesia improve poor groups’ access to job opportunities, development of new skills that are needed in a changing economy, and improve political participation and overall mechanisms of distribution of wealth? The Government has put in place important social programmes to support poor groups and improve living conditions of the most disadvantaged communities. Referring to the Government of Indonesia’s data, Mr Ahmimed explained that around 12% of the population is living below the poverty line. In addition around 40% of the population is living close to poverty line and considered vulnerable population. The Government’s challenge is to support these groups and avoid that they go back and forth below the poverty line.  

UNESCO in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin and University of Melbourne organized a seminar entitled “Support to policy making and planning for social inclusion of disadvantaged groups and communities in South-East Asia” from April 6 to April 8, 2014, in Bali, Indonesia. This workshop sought to complement initial research on social inclusion of disadvantaged communities, and to strengthen national capacity to assess, compare and reform national policy and regulatory framework regarding social inclusion in favour of the most disadvantaged and the poorest women and men, including people with disabilities.  For further information about UNESCO programmes on social inclusion, please visit the social and Human Sciences at