What is Happening in Indonesia?

Indonesia is often in the news these days. Unfortunately, it is
largely to report on negative developments: the violence in East
Timor, separatist movements in Aceh and Irian Jaya, and demonstrations and bombings in Takarta. Such events are very much part of daily life in Indonesia today. But they also reflect a more fundamental shift
that is taking place in Indonesian society, from an authoritarian Jakarta-based
regime to a more open and decentralized democracy. For most Indonesians,
there is no turning back. But it will also take time to build the institutions
needed to support a more just and fair society. How far has Indonesia come?

And what lies ahead for the country with the fourth largest population in the world?
Mark Baird, the World Bank's Country Director in Jakarta, will share with
us his views on the current challenges facing Indonesia. He is well placed to do
so, having closely followed events in Indonesia since 1984 and having lived in
Jakarta during 1986-89 and again since 1999. As well as managing the World
Bank program and advising the government of Indonesia, Baird is a
frequent speaker and writer on economic developments in Indonesia.

Baird, a New Zealand citizen, graduated from the University of Canterbury
with an M.A. (Hons) in Economics. During a 26-year career with the World
Bank, he has worked as a country economist on India, Tanzania, Uganda, and
Indonesia. Prior to his
current assignment,
Baird was Vice President of
Strategy and Resource
Management for the World
Bank in Washington DC.
He has also worked for the
New Zealand Treasury,
most recently as Economic
Adviser from 1989-91. Mark Baird is also the father of CMC students Sarah '01 and Katie '04, and is the first speaker in the Athenaeum series featuring parents of CMC seniors.