Who We Are
Urban and Regional Development Institute (URDI) is an independent not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting sustainable urban and regional development in Indonesia. The institute maintains a relatively small core organization while at the same time continuously developing expansive networking organization. The institute has worked with wide range of partners from local government to national government, private sectors and various international agencies. The institute consistently works to support local capacity building through training program using innovative approaches.
Urban and regional development in Indonesia has long been characterized by widening gaps between well-intentioned policies and poorly implemented actions, between extensive research and unintegrated practice, between what is actually needed and what is actually provided. There has also been considerable divergence of interests among the stakeholders in local development that continuously threatens to put the development on the brakes.
Such a situation has been compounded by the current trends of rapidly increasing urbanization, economic as well as socio-cultural globalization, decentralization of authorities, democratization of governance, widespread privatization and the like. The limited and unevenly allocated natural, social, financial, physical and human resources among localities in Indonesia have made the task of improving the people’s welfare through urban and regional development even more challenging.
It is with such a backdrop that the Yayasan Pengembangan Perkotaan dan Daerah or URDI Foundation set up this independent institution in November 1995. With the aforesaid missions, URDI was founded and is continuously supported by concerned-people from various segments of the urban and regional development community representing the government, private and community sectors. Since its establishment, the institute continuously work on various urban and regional development issues both at policy level and capacity building program.
The Urban and Regional Development Institute (URDI) is an independent not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting sustainable urban and regional development in Indonesia by providing publication and other means for exchange of knowledge to enhance communication and cooperation among different stakeholders in the field of urban and regional development, developing research and policy analysis to provide alternative solutions to current issues and organizing training and other local capacity building exercise to support local governments in dealing with the current and future challenges and experience.
URDI strives to continuously improve its qualities of being a reliable networking organization, by developing membership, associations, partnerships and cooperation at the local, national and international levels. While URDI’s core organization may be small, its networks are extensive, providing synergic strengths both for URDI as well as for the associated individuals or organizations.
It is an independent policy advocate and technical support organization, by maintaining its autonomy, objectivity and professional authority. While URDI often seeks cooperation and association with others – which may involve legal, financial, or organizational relationships – the research institution is ad infinitum committed to intellectual independence.
URDI maintained the organization as a quality research and training institute, by continuously improving its own staff of researchers, scholars and trainers while also bringing together all available external resources including highly-experienced or influential individuals. In addition to its intellectual independence, URDI makes every effort to provide quality services that fit the needs of the stakeholders in urban and regional development or that best serve the wider public interest. A unique center of excellence, by positioning itself as a broad forum that facilitates exchange of knowledge and experience, an independent advocate as well as a quality research and training institute that is expected to have impacts on both policy and implementation levels. As such, URDI plays a complementary role to the already established institutions concerning urban and regional development in the government, community and private sectors.
With such characteristics, URDI therefore can act as facilitator (in promoting communication, interaction and cooperation among the stakeholders), moderator (in finding solutions between conflicting interests), catalyst (in stimulating innovative development ideas or concepts), monitor (of the theoretical, policy as well as practical development), advocate (in promoting sustainable urban and regional development), advisor (in providing particular advice, recommendation or consulting services), and assistant (in local capacity building).
With URDI’s multitude of roles, the institution – both in its lean form of the core organization and in its expansive form of the networking organization – expects that its existence will help interested-parties in particular and the public in general in coping with the aforementioned challenges.