Early in January 2020, ACICIS Study Indonesia welcomed 24 students onto the Development Studies Professional Practicum (DSPP) in Yogyakarta. Participants came from various ACICIS’s member universities i.e., The Australian National University, Flinders University, La Trobe University, Monash University, Murdoch University, RMIT University, The University of Adelaide, The University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, and University of the Sunshine Coast. Most of the DSPP students, were supported by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP) initiative, and receive $3,000 mobility grants to participate in the program.

Returning for the second time as the ACICIS DSPP Academic Program Officer (APO), Dr Maharani Hapsari (Rani) did an excellent job, overseeing the placements and the academic component in this year’s cohort. She prepared the two-week academic program of seminars and fieldtrips in Yogyakarta, as well as a set of reading list for the participants. Together with the in-country staff, Dr Hapsari helped students adapt with the Indonesian culture.

During the first two weeks of the program, DSPP participants undertook a two-week academic program—hosted by Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta. Students attended intensive Indonesian language classes led by experienced teachers of the university’s language center. These class were designed in order to develop students’ language skills that will help them operate more effectively in their practicum placements and in the wider Indonesian community

Parallel to the language classes, students were engaged in a series of development-related seminars and tutorials, movie screening, and field trips. During these activities, we invited practitioners and lecturers who experts in their fields to speak. The seminar series covered a wide range of development topics within the Indonesian context, e.g., gender, environment, human rights, education, mobility and migration.

The participants also had the opportunity to visit Banyu Bening and Sanggar Anak Alam. During their visit to Banyu Bening Community, students were able to discuss about the benefits of rainwater for local economics, community resilience from water scarcity, and observed the tools to harvest rainwater to be consumable for daily needs. At Sanggar Anak Alam – a school in Yogyakarta that provides alternative education for the community- they had a discussion about how experiential learning could improve the students’ character building to support their future.

Following the academic program, the students then commenced a four-week professional placement at their assigned host organisations. This year, ACICIS partnered with 17 host organisations around Yogyakarta, Bali and Lombok, ranging from grassroots organisations, international organisations, research centres, as well as the private sector. These placements have given students the opportunity to learn firsthand from their mentors and gain professional experience in their field of study.

DSPP 2020 host organisations included Center for Digital Society (CfDS) UGM, Institute of International Studies (IIS) UGM, Institute for Research and Empowerment (IRE), Pusat Studi Kependudukan dan Kebijakan (PSKP), Pusat Studi Sosial Asia Tenggara (PSSAT) UGM, Pusat Studi Perubahan Iklim dan Kebencanaan (PuSPIK) UII, Pemberdayaan Perempuan Memberantas Kemiskinan (PPMK), Project Child Indonesia, Yayasan Rumah Energi, UCP Roda Kemanusiaan, Jatra Miguna Credit Union, Mitra Wacana Women Resource Centre, Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI) DIY, Plan International, Indonesia Mengajar, Gili Eco Trust, and Helvetica Events.

DSPP came to a close with a closing ceremony at the Sanata Dharma University. This event was also attended by mentors, language teachers, tutors, as well as local student volunteers. ACICIS would like to thank Sanata Dharma University and all the host organisations for hosting ACICIS DSPP students. We hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with our amazing partners in the future.

Last but not least, congratulations to all the students who have successfully completed the 2020 Development Studies Professional Practicum. We wish to see them back in Indonesia soon and best of luck in their future endeavors!