The Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children (INOVASI) is funded by the Australian government and has been managed by Palladium since 2016. The team recently won phase III of the program which will kick off in 2024.
What makes INOVASI, the Indonesia’s School Children program so successful in Indonesia? Program Director Mark Heyward would say that it comes down to the team and variety of partners. In collaboration with a wide range of partners from government, universities, and civil society, INOVASI set out in 2016 on a journey to help students learn more, faster, and seven years on, the program is gearing up for its third phase. It is now so influential that a senior ministry official recently urged the Australian government to tell the story of INOVASI to a wider audience.
Over the last two decades, Indonesia has successfully expanded access to education, however far too many students are still not meeting international learning standards or grade level expectations.
Late last year, the program launched an in-depth report, Insights from INOVASI, which explains how the program has supported the government of Indonesia to launch a comprehensive reform of basic education, worked with policy makers, collaborated with more than 1,000 partners, provided feedback to help facilitate change at both the national and district level, , and produced accessible resources for teachers.
“The report explores Indonesia’s ambitious education reforms and INOVASI’s approach to partnership and adaptive programming, and reflects the hard work, dedication, and talents of our team,” says Heyward.
The report, which was published in two volumes, sums up the program’s contributions over eight years. The first volume describes Indonesia’s education reform journey over the past 20 years and the second volume explores the ways in which INOVASI worked to contribute to those reforms.
“Indonesia is home to over 50 million students, three million teachers, and 700 local languages,” explains Heyward. “The success of these reforms is extremely consequential.”
Development programs must continue to evolve to accommodate new challenges, and the third phase of the program will encompass several exciting evolutions: an increased focus on the challenge of policy implementation and the gaps that exist between national policies and implementation at district and school levels; expanded focus on the development of foundational skills in the upper grades of primary; and response to the climate change challenge in education.
General elections are scheduled to be held in Indonesia on 14 February, 2024 which Heyward says brings some uncertainty to the program’s work. “We’re working to support the current administration to bed down its transformative new policies around curriculum, assessment, and teacher development – all of which were supported by INOVASI and will improve learning outcomes for Indonesian children.”
Looking ahead, the INOVASI team will build on the successful approaches undertaken in previous years and continue to tell the story of a program which has directly supported over 43,000 individuals and made a tangible difference to student learning outcomes across Indonesia.