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Political education in Indonesia
Integrated expert
Michael Holländer
E-Mail: michael@usc-satunama.org
Unity Service Cooperation Foundation - Yayasan Kesatuan Pelayanan Kerjasama (USC-SATUNAMA)



The further development of seminar modules involves teamwork. Photo: Integrated Expert Michael Holländer.
The context Since 1998, Indonesia has been undergoing profound political, social and economic change. However, its newly won freedoms also permit ethnic and religious conflicts to break out.
Objective Education in the principles of democracy for various target groups in civil society is intended to prevent conflict and to promote the country’s future as a democracy.
CIM assignment As department head and trainer in an Indonesian foundation, a German political scientist is developing seminar modules and is training his colleagues in new methods used in adult political education.
A number of different ethnic groups with over 250 regional languages and more than five religions live together on Indonesia’s 6,000 inhabited islands – not always peacefully. The influential Indonesian foundation USC-SATUNAMA is working for the country’s future as a democracy. It offers seminars that teach conflict prevention methods and promote a readiness for political participation and cooperation among diverse ethnic and religious groups. “People who complete the seminars can participate more competently in political dialogue,” explains CIM expert Michael Holländer. The 36-year-old PhD in political science makes good use of his experience as a consulting expert for adult education. “I’m really at the same level as my colleagues, but as a foreigner I can sometimes put my finger on weak points more easily,” says Holländer of his role. He and his employer have agreed that he is to bring the foundation’s training and consulting package up to date. Other educational institutions are also eager to make the seminars, with their new concept, part of their programmes. Holländer views his employment abroad as a professional opportunity, because this experience will set him apart from other applicants on the tight job market for political scientists in Europe. The Indonesians, for their part, hope that Holländer will take his time moving on with his career. As foundation director Methodius Kusumahadi says, Holländer’s assignment is “a great gain for the foundation. We can see that he materially contributes to the realisation of our vision.”