Overcoming behavioural barriers to utilising digital tools for women necessity business owners

From our joint policy research with UN Women that looked at the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on micro and small businesses in Indonesia, we learned that women business owners have fewer coping strategies compared to men. To keep their businesses afloat, more women are using a range of digital tools — from digital platforms and online marketplaces, to instant messaging apps and social media — to market their products and services. Whilst this trend offers promising opportunities to help women business owners cope during the pandemic…


The role of Pulse Lab Jakarta as an analytic partnerships accelerator within the data innovation ecosystem goes beyond connecting players and building synergies. This role also includes equipping partners with skills, knowledge and fit-for-purpose tools to help them perform at a greater capacity. In 2020, as we transitioned from prototyping and building proofs of concept to focus more on a systems-thinking approach to better embed data innovations, emphasis was placed on building our partners’ capacity to ensure effective adoption, uptake and sustainability of new tools and approaches.

Acknowledging capacity building as a process encompassing different building blocks, our efforts throughout…


2020 has really tested PLJ’s capacity to work cohesively as a team. New ways of working and undertaking projects have had to be configured, and six new team members filling in vacant positions hit the ground running and are fully engaged in the work of the Lab without ever having met other members of the team beyond virtual interactions!

The nature of COVID-19 which has hindered traditional data gathering and analysis approaches due to the risk of infection, has drastically increased interest in the use of big data, leading to many projects and partners now experimenting with data innovations. Aside…


Developed by Pulse Lab Jakarta in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Development Planning, this machine learning based, data visualisation tool enables timely processing of thousands of documents from its global outposts to prioritise issues and highlight trends for diplomatic engagement.

Advanced data analytics approaches are now offering digital solutions to transform how foreign ministries carry out diplomacy. Manually analysing large volumes of text from documents to extract meaningful information is an extremely arduous task, and so governments today are exploring the use of Artificial Intelligence for a more efficient and systematic approach to information processing. …


The pandemic has transformed how we conduct qualitative research. We used to go into communities, meet and speak with the participants, and listen to their stories. With remote research becoming more common these days, various organizations have shared their comprehensive guide, tips and toolkits, and assessed the advantages and pitfalls of remote research. However, we noticed that what’s missing from the current discourse is how remote research, with its flexibility, allows researchers to conduct participant-centered research and to integrate ethics in all phases of the research, particularly during data collection.

The Social Systems team at the Lab had an opportunity…


Women own or run nearly half of all micro and small businesses (MSBs) in Indonesia, which employ more than 90% of the Indonesian workforce. Despite this fact, there is a dearth of analysis dedicated to understanding the gendered impact and coping mechanisms of MSBs during the COVID-19 crisis, as physical distancing measures have led to declining incomes. Pulse Lab Jakarta recently collaborated with UN Women, Gojek Indonesia, and the Indonesian National Council for Financial Inclusion for a mixed-methods research to understand the extent to which COVID-19 has affected women entrepreneurs and women-owned MSBs in Indonesia, with a focus on those…


Learnings from Data for Development Initiatives in Indonesia and Myanmar

Image: StephanHenning/Unsplash

The “pilot to scale-up model” is a widely used approach when introducing social interventions or new policies. The premise of the model is very logical — considering there is an abundance of unknown variables that are not accounted for during the design of a policy or social intervention, running a pilot would allow decision-makers to gather information on what works and what does not at a relatively smaller cost than implementing the programme in question at scale. …


Since our portfolio sensemaking process in November 2019 aimed at repositioning Pulse Lab Jakarta, much has occurred internally and externally. A recent invitation from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), our main financial contributor[1], to fill in a training session provided an extremely useful opportunity to reflect on factors impacting on the Lab and what has progressed. …


Ongoing discourse on governments’ response to COVID-19 emphasizes the crucial role of data in saving lives and protecting livelihoods. As more government institutions and development projects foray into the art of the possible with new data sources, it is important to address underlying systemic conditions that hamper effective adoption of data innovations. This includes issues around effective data access and data processing, as well as the need for guiding principles and protocols for both current and future responses. At the Asia regional consultation for the forthcoming World Development Report 2021 which Pulse Lab Jakarta recently co-hosted, one of the central…


Angga represented the Lab at the Paris Peace Forum in 2019

Angga Gumilar joined Pulse Lab Jakarta in 2018 as a programme assistant, and has been supporting the Lab’s analytic partnerships and data innovation projects for policy making alongside our government counterparts. He recently participated in a series of training on policy-related project management which was facilitated by Policy Lab Indonesia, and in this piece shares his takeaways and looks at how they intersect with his work at the Lab.

Since the beginning of my assignment with Pulse Lab Jakarta in 2018, project management has been central to my work. I have been involved in several data innovation projects for policy…

Pulse Lab Jakarta

Accelerating Analytic Partnerships for Development and Humanitarian Action

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