NGOs, THE INTERNET AND SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT
The case of Indonesia
Information, Communication and Society, 13(1):88-120, 2010
Today sustainable rural development is of paramount importance in Indonesian development. Yet, different social actors have different perspectives on it. Non-government organizations (NGOs) in Indonesia have established themselves in pivotal positions in the social, economic and political landscape across the country, and a large amount of their work has been connected with development in the rural sector. But, there has been little attempt to understand how NGOs in Indonesia, particularly rural NGOs, engage with the issue of sustainable rural development itself. Since rural development is one of the oldest issues to be discussed among activists, since the early days of Indonesian NGOs, it is interesting to see how they understand the issue of sustainability in rural development and rural reform. An empirical study was conducted recently to see how some Indonesian NGOs, in their endeavour to respond to and broaden the discourse, utilize Internet technology. The study employs a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches to build a detailed story about how different organizations working in rural development deploy strategies to deal with the issue. By doing so, it aspires to contribute to the advancement of theory relating to the efficacy of the Internet as a tool for social reform and sustainable development by taking Indonesia as a case study.