Andrew Thornley


Digital Governance in Indonesia: An On and Offline Battle

May 18, 2016


The data revolution has permeated beyond the closeted realm of computer science into becoming a linchpin of public policy-making. Data in all of its buzzy forms (big data, little data, open data) are transforming the face of public governance into a digital one. With the dawn of the data revolution comes digital innovation. But effective implementa… Read more


Breaking Down Silos of ‘Innovation for Development’

May 4, 2016


Innovation is a tricky word to define. It has a whiff of excitement as well as – increasingly –inevitability, since technology is coloring our work and our lives. Development partners are adapting to explore the enormous potential of information and communication technologies. This, in turn, is introducing new actors, partnerships, approaches – suc… Read more


Indonesia’s Local Elections: High Drama and Humdrum

December 9, 2015


Just under 100 million Indonesians were eligible to vote in Wednesday’s local elections for nine governors, 224 district heads, and 36 mayors as well as their deputies. Overall, this represents elections for about half of the country’s districts and municipalities and a quarter of the provinces.


Asia’s Maturing Democracies Wrestle with Election Realities

March 25, 2015


What exactly are international norms and standards of electoral integrity, and how should these be promoted while accommodating local circumstances, such as conflict, socio-economic conditions, and culture? Last week, the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) and the National Electoral Commission of Timor-Leste…


Proposed Bill to Eliminate Indonesia’s Direct Elections Puts Price on Democracy

September 24, 2014


In what is yet another significant twist in this fascinating election year in Indonesia, the country’s national legislature (DPR) will vote today on a hastily cobbled bill that aims to eliminate over 500 direct local elections. Following heralded national elections in April and July and a decade of direct local elections, this bill has surfaced like a sudden malady afflicting Indonesia’s electoral democracy. Here is a brief diagnosis of this disorder as well as a prognosis for recovery.


Eight Takeaways from Indonesia’s Presidential Election

July 9, 2014


Indonesians went to the polls on Wednesday to elect a new president and vice president. This election represents the first transition from one democratically elected president to another in Indonesia’s history. The scale and consequences of the election are enormous, but the contest is simple…


Nine Takeaways from Indonesia’s Legislative Elections

April 16, 2014


Indonesia’s legislative elections on April 9 confirmed some well-established assumptions but also produced a few surprises. On the basis of quick count results, media reports, and independent election observation, here are nine key takeaways from these elections…


Indonesia’s Social Media Elections

April 2, 2014


In the words of my colleagues, I used to be gaptek – the Indonesian term for “technologically challenged.” I didn’t know an App from an API, and the smartest thing about my phone was its shiny black case. But the expansion of social media in Indonesia has been so overwhelming and impossible to resist…