"Sociocultural Drivers of Local Educational Innovations"

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Suggested citation:

Nihayah, R.W., Revina, S., and Usman, S., 2020. Sociocultural Drivers of Local Educational Innovations: Findings from Indonesia. RISE Working Paper Series. 20/043. https://doi.org/10.35489/BSG-RISE-WP_2020/043.

Methodology: Qualitative, observations, interviews, and group discussions with stakeholders

Open-access link: https://doi.org/10.35489/BSG-RISE-WP_2020/043

Published link:

What we learn about education systems from this study

  • Key question of what drives educational innovation at the local level in a decentralized system
  • Analysis of three innovative districts in Indonesia show that the historical, socio-cultural context and networks of each district determined the definition, design and implementation of local innovation
  • Districts that have a network of low centralization and high trust created more community-based programs, school-based initiatives or parental participation activities due to the dense relationships of local stakeholders
  • By contrast, districts with high centralization but low trust created an environment of reduced community participation and more top-down policies initiated by authoritative individuals with central power
  • Low-trust environments tend to implement low-trust, top-down solutions, leaving little to no room for account-based, purpose-driven accountability.
  • Highlights the importance of understanding local contexts and allowing discretion and flexibility at local levels. One size fits all approaches to public policy are likely to fail, especially in locations as heterogeneous as Indonesia. Innovation is context-dependent and cannot be centrally drafted, ordered or infused, either by national governments or donors.

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