PUSKAPA was established in early 2010 in Universitas Indonesia, through a collaboration between FISIP Universitas Indonesia, Columbia University, and BAPPENAS (the Ministry of National Development Planning). Everyone involved in the establishment of this Center wanted to contribute to closing the gaps between knowledge and practice in the field of child protection and wellbeing in Indonesia.
Now PUSKAPA works to help policy makers improve children's access to health, education, justice, and social protection. It pursues its goals through research to generate scientific evidence necessary to formulate durable solutions to inequities affecting the wellbeing of children, and through promoting ways to protect the most vulnerable by way of policy advocacy, program design, trial, and evaluations. PUSKAPA is also invested in building the capacity of researchers and practitioners through the provision of graduate-degree training, thematic methodology and programmatic trainings, and mentoring program. Through all that, PUSKAPA tries to consistently situate children, families, and community wellbeing within the context of key national concerns including economic development, social protection, and sustainability.
“PUSKAPA has shown that there is no gap between science and reality. Knowledge produced should not be contained in academic space, but should be further applied in practice through mediums such as training and programmatic recommendations to improve the wellbeing of children in Indonesia. PUSKAPA’s holistic approach to problem-solving and its strength in interdisciplinary network and partners at national, regional, and global level has made PUSKAPA one of the most prolific and unique research centers in the field of child protection in Indonesia. Onwards, PUSKAPA!”
Indonesia has institutionalized stronger governments and survived frequent large-scale natural disasters as well as a number of economic crises in recent years. We have achieved lower-middle income status and managed to maintain a steady economic growth rate. Despite the sturdy economy, poverty and access to quality basic services remain the country’s biggest problems.
More than 96 million individuals, almost 25 million of whom are children, are still living in the poorest households. 37% of under-five year-olds are stunted. With close to 113 million people under the age of 25, youth unemployment in Indonesia is one of the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, reaching 18% as of May 2013. Moreover, 70% of the unemployed are between the ages of 15 and 29. Quality of human resources is still low, with 60% of the workforce only having graduated from elementary school, 16% having graduated from junior secondary school, and 19% from senior secondary school. Indonesia’s PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) score is among the lowest in the world, indicating that the education system is going nowhere despite massive investment. Almost half of Indonesian children do not have a birth certificate, and the prevalence of child marriage is still high, at the rate of 25%. More than half of women who were married before they turned 18 live in poverty. It is estimated that every year two to three million women and children in Indonesia experience abuse and/or violence.
This situation means that even though Indonesia had successfully eradicated extreme poverty, we are still facing three main challenges: 1) we have a large number of people who live just above the poverty line and are vulnerable to fall into poverty; 2) children around the country continue to suffer a number of adversities, including high malnutrition and stunting rates, poor child and maternal health, risks of violence and abuse, low access to safe and clean water and sanitation, weak education outcomes, and high youth unemployment; and 3) inequity and regional disparity are rising.
The country requires an effective and well resourced strategy to overcome adversity more than ever. The quality of more than 87 million Indonesian children today will shape Indonesia’s development potential tomorrow. The government should invest in high-quality health, social protection, education, and livelihoods opportunities to pave the way for children’s futures. Investing in children, at the earliest stage possible, therefore, represents a great opportunity for the country’s population to continue on an upward human development trend.
The Department of Criminology at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Indonesia offers a Master’s of Criminology Specialization for Child Protection for those who seek careers and have the interests in contributing for to child protection policy. The Child Protection Specialization program aims to equip participants with the scientific and practical skills necessary to analyze social systems, and develop child protection research, programs and policy.
Discussion-topics covered include child protection systems and a protective environment protection, social research methods that are relevant and sensitive to the protection of children, as well as knowledge and skills on policies and the implementation of programs. This specialization is intended to prepare future generations who will dedicate themselves to the welfare of children in Indonesia, as well as internationally.
“The opportunity to continue studying at the graduate level with a specialization in child protection is a great opportunity, and an honor for me. This program would be relevant for anyone concerned with children's issues, anyone wanting to learn, explore and apply knowledge about children's issues to improve the future of Indonesia’s children.”
“The graduate program with a specialization in child protection presents the opportunity for me to follow my passion in children’s issues and to broaden my perspective on the protection of children. Based on my experience, children’s issues, and their relationship with drug abuse, are not often discussed in Indonesian society, which makes me especially excited to start the child protection graduate education. Let’s fight for child protection in Indonesia!”