An interview with Sugeng Yulianto, the project manager of Institute for Research and Empowerment (IRE), about the Voice Linking and Learning project, its relation to the grantees, and the hope for future.
Institute for Research and Empowerment (IRE) Yogyakarta is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organisation, which grew from the academic community in Yogyakarta. IRE focuses its activities on the promotion of democratisation through strengthening the initiative and critical stance of the communities, state, and private sector. IRE has an extensive experience in assisting and empowering communites at grassroot level. In addition, it provides policy input at the sub-national (district) and national level (Ministries and National Institutions). IRE partners with various local organizations, in Yogyakarta area, Java or outside Java island. In Yogyakarta, homebase of the institute, IRE is actively involved in various coalitions and consortia. The international network still needs developing, but the Institute does host international researchers and students. During its initial establishment in 1994, IRE ran a study club to discuss social and political problems, including new literature on social and politics. Since 1997, the organisation expanded its activities as an NGO with focus on democratisation and sectoral issues for the development of the community. IRE was involved in the demilitarisation programme, democratisation, indigenous people empowerment, and local economic development. Since last year, the focus shifted more to village democratisation, local economic development, and village assistance through research, advocacy, training, etc.
The Voice Linking and Learning project aims to facilitate spaces where marginalized communities explore ways in which they can harness their creativity and turn their aspirations into actions with real social impact.