The 5th IRSA International Conference

18-19 July 2003, Bandung – West Java
The 5th IRSA International Conference
“Regional Development in a Decentralized Era: Public Services, Poverty, and The Environment”
Chair: Armida S. Alisjahbana
Host: IRSA, FE UNPAD (Faculty of Economics, Padjadjaran University) and BAPPENAS


The period of severe economic turmoil experienced by Indonesian economy seems to be over. Economic growth, exports and all the indicators of macroeconomic stability had turned around by August-September 2002. For many, this optimism had attracted attention, orientation, and effort to bring back the good memory of “miraculous” sustained economic growth of the 1980s and 1990s.

Many argue, however, that current and future environmental setting has become much different with the onset of decentralization, i.e. transfer of decision making processes from the centre to the regions. In this decentralized era, it is believed that regional economic development will play a stronger role in the effort, not only to achieve rapid and sustained economic growth, but also to reshape it into more equitable economic growth that is pro-poor and poverty reducing. To this end, with decentralization, we need to understand more the the appropriate role of public sector, especially the role of regional and local government.

There are five fundamental roles of the government (World Development Report 1997) in the economy without which sustainable, shared, poverty-reducing development is impossible. Those are establishing a foundation of law, maintaining a non-distortionary policy environment, investing in basic social services and infrastructure, protecting the vulnerable, and protecting the environment. In regional economic development under the atmosphere of decentralization, the sharing of these responsibility among level of jurisdiction stills needs to be determined and discussed. However, it is expected that decentralization would lead to more effective functioning of these responsibility.

Many are aware, however, that rising regional income inequality, macroeconomic instability, and local capture are the risk we face with decentralization. These, in turn, may reduce the effectiveness of public services such as in providing education, health, infrastructure, safety nets, as well as protecting the environment. Those are fundamental services of public sector that could not be provided by private economic agents. In this areas, then public sector could assist and facilitate its private counterparts to achieve pro-poor economic growth, to gain more equitable and sustainable regional development.

The above problems need more understanding than what we currently have. This is unquestionably necessary to formulate the best strategy and policy for regional economic development in Indonesia that is now more decentralized, particularly, when we are aware that the role of public services, poverty, and the environment are of central importance and closely inter-related.


The conference is intended to be a media for scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers to discuss and exchange theoretical and empirical findings on the issue of regional development and decentralization with particular emphasis on public services, poverty, and the environment. It is also hoped that through this conference participants will exchange experiences and also build strong networks for future research, policy discussion, and practical collaboration.

It is expected that participants will contribute to the following regional perspective topics on (but not limited to)

  • Economic growth and development
  • Poverty and income inequality
  • Health and education services
  • Infrastructure development
  • Management of water and sanitation
  • Management of natural resources
  • Regional and local environmental problem
  • Governance and institution
  • Financing aspects of regional development

Expected Participants

  • Members of the Indonesian Regional Science Association (IRSA)
  • Members of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI)
  • Academician
  • Government officials in Indonesia (Bappenas, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance, BPPT, and other central government entities)
  • Regional government officials in Indonesia (Province/Kabupaten/Kota Bappeda, Dinas Offices, others)
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Private sectors
  • International donor communities (USAID, AusAID, DFID, GTZ, JICA, others)
  • Interested parties from other regional science and economics societies


Guest Speaker

  • Bert Hofman (The World Bank)
  • Lucky Sondakh (Sam Ratulangi University)
  • Chris Manning (Australian National University) 
  • Otto Soemarwoto (Padjadjaran University)

Conference Venue

Hotel Savoy Homann Bidakara,
Jl. Asia Afrika
Bandung, Indonesia
Savoy Homann has witnessed historical moment for world history. In 1955, when the first Asian African Conference was held in Bandung, Savoy Homann honorably hosted its VVIP guest and became a part of the famous Historical Walk. Present day Bandung is thriving. As home to the excellent fine arts offerings, have produced an artist colony of great repute and excitements that complemented by its beauty landscapes surrounding.
When Asian African Conference, Homann Hotel which is now called the Hotel Savoy Homann Bidakara be the place where world leaders to stay Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of Burma U Nu, Prime Minister of China Zhou Enlai, President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt, and of course the proclaimer, Ir. Sukarno. Homann hotel which was built around 1871 – 1872 many Europeans is fascinating because it successfully combines style with art deco art taste of Bandung. Art deco style look, the interior decoration, stained glass windows, wall ornaments, furniture models to lamp shades.
The museum of Asia Africa Conference is within walking radius of Hotel Savoy Homann Bidakara.


This Conference is jointly organized by:

  • Indonesian Regional Science Association (IRSA)
  • Department of Economics and Development Studies, Faculty of Economics, Padjadjaran University

Advisory Committee:

  • Prof. Dr. Bambang Bintoro Sudjito (President of IRSA)
  • Prof. Dr. Suripto Samid (Padjadjaran University)
  • Prof. Dr. Tommy Firman (Bandung Institute of Technology)
  • Prof. Dr. Sutyastie Soemitro (Padjadjaran University)

Organizing committee:

  • Dr. Armida S. Alisjahbana (Padjadjaran University)
  • Dr. Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro (University of Indonesia)
  • Dr. Budy P. Resosudarmo (Australian National University)
  • Dr. Nury Effendi (Padjadjaran University)

Coordinator in-charge:

  • Arief Anshory Yusuf (Padjadjaran University)