IRD has worked throughout Indonesia since 1999 to support peacebuilding, train teachers and youth, improve health and nutrition, and respond to natural disasters.

Strengthening Peaceful, Stable Communities: IRD implements the USAID-funded SERASI strategic grants and technical assistance program to mitigate social conflict and support peacebuilding in Aceh, Central Sulawesi, the Malukus, and Papua through 2013. SERASI provides grants to local civil society organizations, public institutions, and other partners to target the causes and consequences of violent conflict. The program uses participatory decentralized development planning to determine the most strategic use of grants for community-based projects that promote respect for human rights and improved intergroup relations; institutionalize a legitimate peace process in Aceh; increase capacity to manage conflict; and support a democratic and transparent security sector.

Building Life Skills: IRD and its partners helped young people in seven provinces prepare for lifelong learning, entrance into the workforce, and participation in community development. The USAID-funded Decentralized Basic Education III program trained 200,000 teachers in 400 schools between 2005 and 2011. The training materials were replicated by institutions outside of the original target areas, and IRD teaching methods have been adopted by ministry trainers. At the national level, IRD worked through a public-private alliance between USAID and Conoco Phillips to provide disaster preparedness training to communities affected by the May 2006 earthquake in Central Java and Yogyakarta. Under a separate agreement between USAID and Intel, IRD established computer labs and strengthened teachers’ computer literacy skills.

Improving Health and Nutrition: IRD worked through the US Department of Agriculture’s  Better Food for Better Lives program to help local businesses produce and market nutritious food products at reduced prices in seven provinces in Java, Bali, and Lombok, serving 1.5 million consumers. The program worked from 1999 through 2008 with several local factories to produce soy-fortified rice noodles and iodine-enriched sweet soy sauce. Better Food for Better Lives continued IRD’s Noodle Food Assistance Program, which has also been replicated in other countries, including Laos and Cambodia. The programs promote local businesses, create long-term employment opportunities, and improve basic health and nutrition. The Student Health Improvement Program (SHIP), also funded by USDA, was a comprehensive public health program for 81,000 school children and their communities in five districts of Central Java and the district of Yogyakarta during 2002–07. SHIP used an integrated approach to improve the educational quality in targeted schools: training trainers in participatory teaching methods, strengthening school management committees, building water and sanitation facilities, distributing health kits and materials, deworming, community outreach, and capacity building of community-based organizations.

Improving Infrastructure and Hygiene: In the wake of the 2004 tsunami, IRD and UNICEF improved the long-term health status of tsunami-affected communities, particularly women and children, in Aceh province. The program improved access to water and sanitation services and provided education on good health and hygiene practices. Under the Collaborative Small Town and Rural Communities Water Restoration Program, IRD restored and improved eight water supply systems serving 272,000 urban residents. The local water authority was trained to properly operate and maintain the facilities. IRD also worked with rural communities to construct water supply and sanitation facilities they could operate and maintain themselves. In addition, IRD rehabilitated the water and sanitation facilities in 20 UNICEF schools. To ensure these improvements would improve long-term health, IRD trained midwives, women’s groups, and village water sanitation committees in hygiene promotion methodologies, and implemented UNICEF’s WASH program in schools.

Responding to Emergencies: Just hours after the 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta, IRD staff began distributing food and medical supplies to hospitals and mobilizing resources to provide water, food, and shelter for victims. Working in conjunction with USDA and the World Food Program, IRD distributed 450 metric tons of prepackaged noodles to nearly 200,000 beneficiaries in affected districts. IRD also worked with international partners to deliver more than $1.8 million of medical supplies.


Better Foods for Better Lives

Better Foods for Better Lives promotes both agricultural and private sector develop... more

Earthquake Response in Jogjakarta

In late May 2006, a disastrous 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Central Java reg... more

Indian Ocean Tsunami Response

The Indian Ocean Tsunami on December 26, 2004, caught the world’s attention with th... more


The word serasi means “harmony” in many of Indonesia’s languages. The USAID-funded... more

Success Stories

Papuan-to-Papuan Business Development

JAYAPURA Indonesia – Papua ranks last of 33 Indonesian provinces in human developme... more

Citizens’ Approach to a Thriving Community

PAPUA, Indonesia – Papuan youth are all too often trapped in a cycle of poverty and... more

Technology Connecting Communities

YAHUKIMO, Indonesia – In one of the most isolated areas of Indonesia, and possibly... more

Improving Media Outreach Skills in Papua

PAPUA, Indonesia – Derwes Yikwa, public relations officer for the Tolikara Regional... more

Response to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

The Indian Ocean Tsunami on December 26, 2004, caught the world’s attention with th... more