Since 1998, Indonesia’s vibrant, multi-party democracy has been steadily evolving and in this process, educational institutions and civil society organizations have an important role to support social and economic development in the country.
Currently, WUSC is involved in administering study tours, training programs and tailored placements for university faculty, civil society leaders and government officials from key institutions in Indonesia whose aim is to further democratic governance and effective decentralized service delivery.
This month, six delegates from two major Islamic educational institutions, UIN Alauddin, in Makassar and IAIN Sunan Ampel, in Surabaya, travelled to Canada for WUSC-designed training courses in Kitchener, Ontario and Antigonish, Nova Scotia. These Islamic educational institutions are in a position to significantly advance community development, in Indonesia, given their central role in the community and the wide range of services and activities they deliver in their regions. The training tour was designed to strengthen participants’ community engagement skills and show how democratic governance is fostered in Canada.
In October, we were pleased to coordinate a visit for senior officials of Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Secretary Directorate General of Islamic Higher Education to familiarize them with leading Canadian universities and to initiate formal partnerships toward a new doctoral international scholarship program.
Linkages between Canadian and Indonesian academic and civil society leaders help fortify the knowledge base and resource networks of the Indonesian institutions as they work to improve their democracy, decentralize authority and services, support civil society and encourage local leadership through their networks and spheres of influence.
Currently, WUSC is gathering feedback from more 80 participants to evaluate the effectiveness of the capacity development and get a sense of how lessons learned are being implemented through various community activities in the regions of Makassar and Surabaya.
The initiative is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs Canada and the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs, implemented by Cowater International Inc. and World University Service of Canada.