A program providing training and scholarships to Indonesian professionals is about to be expanded by the Obama Administration, which hopes to increase the “number of Indonesian future leaders holding advanced degrees (Masters) from U.S. and in-country institutions of higher education.”
According to a Statement of Work (SOW) posted today to the FedBizOpps database, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is seeking contractors capable of carrying out Phase II of the “Program to Extend Scholarships and Training to Achieve Sustainable Impacts," or PRESTASI. (Solicitation #SOL-497-12-000004).
The selected vendor will continue to assist existing Phase I participants while identifying and placing new candidates for the extended program—which will cost an additional $16-$20 million.
It should be noted that this project represents but a fraction of overall U.S. assistance to Indonesia; on the other hand, this ongoing endeavor remains indicative of the massive “investments” of U.S. taxpayer funds into the education of Indonesia citizens that began under Bush and has continued with the current White House.
As U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor reported nearly a year ago, the current administration agreed to pour an additional $90 million into public as well as Islamic schools via a project known as Prioritizing Reform, Innovation and Opportunities for Reaching Indonesia’s Teachers, Administrators, and Students, or PRIORITAS (Monitor, May 31, 2011). This followed an educational assistance program valued at about $167 million under Bush.
Similarly, PRESTASI is separate from yet another USAID/Indonesia unveiled just last month. In that instance, USAID's Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) program devoted yet another $20 million over the next five years "to support Indonesia’s efforts to develop world-class higher education institutions and prepare students to be successful leaders."
Percentage-wise, specific expenditures for PRESTASI Phase II will be broken down in the following manner, the document says:
- Monitoring and Placement of Current Students in Program: 12%
- Long Term Advanced Graduate degrees in the US: 68%
- Short-term non-degree training opportunities: 10%
While the overarching goal of PRESTASI Phase II program is “to develop individuals and entities that are better equipped to provide leadership in the public and private sector," USAID wishes to equip those people and organizations so that they may return to their country to:
a. implement and support policies important to Indonesia’s development;
b. exercise equity, accountability and transparency in managing public and private sector resources;
c. provide better delivery of public services;
d. participate more effectively in and contribute more broadly to the country’s economic and social development;
It remains unclear how much USAID initially spent during Phase I; although a USAID FY 2011 “Service Contracts” spreadsheet lists a “subobligated amount” of $2.2 million for PRESTASI, a search of FedBizOpps produced zero results for the program, aside from Phase II SOW released and located today.