The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation
Addressing the Critical Issues Facing Asia - 60 Years
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Books for Asia in Indonesia

The Asia Foundation's Books for Asia program has donated more than 2.3 million books and journals to Indonesian universities, schools, public libraries, government agencies, and civil society organizations since 1955.

Status of Education in Indonesia

Indonesia (population: 237.5 million) has high literacy rates, although women's literacy trails behind men's at 87% versus 95%. Until recently, Indonesian national investment in education has been among the lowest in the region, and the country consistently performs lower than its neighbors on most assessments of education quality and student performance. Although crucial to strengthening and developing the human capital of Indonesia, libraries are underfunded. While English language is a compulsory subject for Indonesian students, English language materials are prohibitively expensive for most libraries.

Current Focus

Books for Asia provides more than 20,000 new books each year to 12 provinces spread across four of Indonesia's largest islands – Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Kalimantan. In the last decade, Books for Asia has focused on sending urgently-needed books to junior secondary students, college students pursing degrees at state Islamic higher education institutions, judges, legislators, and legislative drafters at key justice sector institutions such as the Supreme Court and Attorney General's Office.

Read more about The Asia Foundation's work in Indonesia.

Project and Partner Highlights

Commitment to Islamic University Education. The Asia Foundation's Indonesia office has partnered with the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University since the 1970's, providing books to their affiliate institutions across Indonesia, which consist of State Islamic Universities (UINs), State Institutes for Islamic Studies (IAINs), and State Colleges for Islamic Studies (STAINs). Since 2006, over 55,000 books have been donated through these channels for use by university students across the archipelago.

Books to Disaster-Affected Areas. Following the earthquakes that wracked West Sumatra in 2007 and 2009, The Asia Foundation partnered with Yayasan Sumbar Daya Manusia Ranah Minang (YSDM-RM) to support education in this disaster-prone area. In 2010, 4,000 new math, science, and language arts books were donated to 75 schools.

Strengthening Law and Justice Service Institutions. From 2009 to 2010, Books for Asia Indonesia provided over 11,500 books to justice sector libraries. English language resources are of growing importance as justice sector reformers increasingly turn to information on international legal institutions and comparative law. Donated books strengthen the institutional and human resource capacity of key institutions, such as the Supreme Court, Attorney General's Office (AGO), and the National Police, and the legislative capacity of Indonesia's National Parliament (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, or DPR).

Major publisher donors: McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lynne Rienner, W.W. Norton & Company, Abrams, and Island Press.


Aryasatyani Sintadewi
The Asia Foundation - Indonesia
PO Box 6793 JKSRB
Jakarta 12067
Tel: +62 (21)7278-8424
Fax: +62 (21)720-3123

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