Alumni Profile HICD-PRESTASI: Darmawan Triwibowo

Realizing an Open Society in Indonesia

Photo 1. Darmawan Triwibowo

How to realize an Indonesian open society? This mission is what Tifa Foundation Executive Director, Darmawan Triwibowo has been pursuing. Darmawan was one of the HICD-PRESTASI scholarship holders. Through HICD-PRESTASI scholarship, Darmawan continued his study in Masters in Public Policy and Administration specialized in Local Governance program at the University of Missouri, St. Louis (UMSL).

This man who likes to read historical novels admits HICD- PRESTASI scholarship program has widely affected his profession today. In his study, Darmawan learned the theories, discourses, and debates on issues related to human rights, democracy, diversity, openness, and equality. Through his study at the University of Missouri, Darmawan also had the opportunity to see how these values were implemented directly in the decision making process as well as to analyze the problems faced.

"The sciences and experiences help me to see clearly the problems Indonesia is facing and to identify potential solutions to those problems based on real experience I gained in the United States," said Darmawan.

Photo 2. Darmawan with Indonesian President Joko Widodo

After finishing his study in the United States, Darmawan then applies his knowledge in his professional job. For an example, in Timor Leste, Darmawan developed various tools that civil society organizations could use to strengthen the accountability of public policy formulation. When he worked for IKAT-US project funded by USAID, Darmawan helped civil society organizations in ASEAN countries to develop advocacy strategies to encourage a more transparent management system of mineral resources.

The knowledge Darmawan gained was also applied when he worked for Oxfam. It was useful to encourage civil society organizations in the BRICSAMIT (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey) region to influence the decision-making process at global forums (G20, BRICS, UN) that the issue of inequality could get attention. The inequality in both developed and developing countries should be reduced.

His current position as Executive Director of Tifa Foundation is also inseparable from his study in the United States. The experience of directly being and learning in the community, helped him know and understand America from the other side. It makes him easier to understand the issues promoted by Tifa Foundation, which includes the issue of human rights, democracy, diversity, openness, and equality.

Another benefit Darmawan gained is his increasingly extensive networks throughout the world. It is Darmawan's opportunity to develop networks, share experiences and knowledge with colleagues from other countries. In addition, he can also easily apply what he gained during his study in the United States directly in advocacy programs and campaigns that he conducts.

What he has achieved cannot be separated from his father's message that he still bears in mind. "I want to pass on my father’s message to the young generation in Indonesia, namely 'be an honest man'. If you can be so, then you have done a lot good things. Not only for yourself but also for the people you love and society as a whole, "he concluded.