Just off Gatot Subroko road, next to the clogged periphery road looping around a severely congested Jakarta is an open sewer. It sits between gleaming towers of industry and near to an impressive looking Korean Embassy. I walked past it having arrived at the luxurious Gran Melia Hotel a couple of weeks ago, and saw a man wading through it, scavenging for plastic bags. That that was a scene of poverty is self-evident, but it is also a story of power; he has none while the business and political elites around him contest for more.
That theme was seam running through a fascinating week in Jakarta (March 12-15) at the second annualTALearn week for practitioners, researchers and other members of the emerging movement for transparency and accountability. The T/A Initiative deserve huge credit for pulling together such a rich mix of people who got to the heart of present challenges, limitations and new thinking.