Terms of Reference


A.        About the Project

1.          The ASEAN Policy Implementation (API) Project is a four-year program that aims to provide technical assistance at the national level of ASEAN Member States (AMS) to accelerate the implementation of key ASEAN initiatives that support the US Government’s (USG) and ASEAN’s goals.

2.          The API project is guided by four overarching parameters: the IPS, the USAID/ASEAN Development Cooperation Framework (DCF), and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and it will be in alignment with USAID missions in the ASEAN region. The project focuses on implementing the ASEAN Economic Community's (AEC) selected instruments through comprehensive research, multi-year activities, and technical assistance at the AMS national level. API will contribute to Development Objective 2 of the DCF: ASEAN’s capacity to further regional economic integration and sustainable economic growth increased. With close collaboration with USAID/ASEAN’s other activities, i.e., IGNITE and PROSPECT, API is working toward achieving common outcomes and contributions to achieve the DCF objectives.

3.          In realizing the goals under this strategic framework and the project’s goal, the API project activity focuses on two main objectives:

a)     Identify concrete needs and opportunities for supporting the implementation of targeted ASEAN policies at the Member State level; and

b)    Provide concrete technical assistance to the Member States to strengthen their implementation of targeted ASEAN Policies.


B.         Problem Analysis

4.          Based on a research report conducted by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company (2021), the gross merchandise value (GMV) of Indonesia’s digital economy is valued at USD 70 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach USD 146 billion in 2025. The main driver of the digital economy in Indonesia is e-commerce, which has the most significant growth from USD 35 billion in 2020 to USD 53 billion in 2021, or equivalent to 52%. As the digital economy becomes a prominent driver of economic growth, Indonesia’s effort to develop the digital economy ecosystem remains a priority.

5.          Indonesia’s infrastructure and regulatory framework for the digital economy still need to be improved, updated, and strengthened to adjust to the development of the industry. The technology advancement also resulted in the revenue distribution gap between big sellers and micro-small-medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Indonesia due to the digital literacy gap. Digital literacy, especially for women, remains a problem. Building an enabling ecosystem is critical, especially for MSMEs, in areas such as digital literacy, marketing, financing, and standards and regulations. This is timely as well since Indonesia and other AMS have been exploring a new agreement with Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEC), as well as endorsed the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap (BSBR) on ASEAN digital transformation. Thus, preparation is critical to support Indonesia’s readiness for developing and implementing the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA).


C.        Introduction

6.          The API Project is working closely with the Ministry of Trade of Indonesia in crafting the Terms of Reference (TOR) to provide a comprehensive regulation analysis for Indonesia’s readiness toward the adoption of the ASEAN DEFA.

7.          The ASEAN DEFA will be a comprehensive agreement to progress ASEAN’s cooperation in the digital ecosystem while also considering addressing the digital and development gaps of AMS and including matters which are deemed to be essential for harnessing the ongoing digital transformation in the region and preparing MSMEs for digital transformation and developing a digital-ready workforce, as agreed by all AMS. In achieving this goal, ASEAN plans to conduct a study on an ASEAN DEFA by 2023 and commence negotiations for the DEFA by 2025.

8.          There are many regulatory aspects when it comes to the digital economy framework, such as open government data, transparency, data innovation, data procurement, cross-border data flow, and cross-border data protection. The study can provide a gap analysis of Indonesia’s regulatory system in such areas vis-à-vis the international standards. For example, the study can look at whether the Indonesian Consumer Protection Law addresses the growing concerns on data protection and is in line with the ASEAN Digital Masterplan's commitment to delivering trusted digital services and preventing consumer harm. Following up on this study, API can then provide recommendations and specific capacity-building programs targeted to improve the specific areas.

9.          It is important to note, however, that under the BSBR, ASEAN will conduct a study on the establishment of an ASEAN Digital Economy by 2023 to examine areas that can be included in a framework to accelerate ASEAN’s digital integration toward a regionally integrated economy and toward the commencement of negotiation for the DEFA. Similarly, the Indonesian Government (i.e., the Bank of Indonesia) is currently conducting studies on Indonesia’s readiness to adopt different rules and disciplines on the digital economy, as well as assessing the gap in Indonesia’s system and the international digital agreement. Thus, the study to be conducted by the API Project is foreseen to complement the above-mentioned studies.


D.        Objectives

10.       The objective of this study is as follows:

a)      Provide a comprehensive regulation analysis for Indonesia’s readiness toward the adoption of the ASEAN DEFA, and

b)      Make appropriate recommendations and specific capacity-building programs targeted to improve the specific areas in accordance with internationally recognized standards and practices.


E.         Scope of Services

11.       Below is the scope of services to be undertaken by the consultant:

a)      Conduct a comprehensive analysis of Indonesia’s regulation on the digital economy landscape. The targets of this activity are to identify the deficiencies and regulatory challenges in the current digital economic development landscape, including but not limited to open government data, transparency, data innovation, data procurement, cross-border data flow, and cross-border data protection, and subsequently develop a comprehensive regulation analysis report in supporting Ministry of Trade of Indonesia in adopting ASEAN DEFA.

b)      Prepare the survey instruments in close consultation with the Ministry of Trade of Indonesia.

c)      Gather information from the Ministry of Trade of Indonesia and Trade and Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) through interviews and focus group discussions.

d)      Conduct desk research on whether regulations and procedures that facilitate digital economy development are clear and available.

e)      Work closely with the officials of the Ministry of Trade of Indonesia and relevant TGRAs in developing a comprehensive regulation analysis on Indonesia’s readiness toward adopting the ASEAN DEFA.

f)       Develop and maintain a detailed work plan for the technical assistance activities, including data validation sessions, and technical workshops, in consultation with stakeholders, outlining activities, timelines, and required inputs.

g)      Provide timely and concise recommendations based on the findings to support Indonesia’s readiness for the ASEAN DEFA negotiation and implementation.


F.         Period of Performance: The assignment is expected to begin in December 2022 until May 2023 (6 Months).


G.        Level of Effort: 60 days.


H.        Location: Indonesia.


I.           Reports To: The STTA will be supervised by the API Chief of Party in coordination with the Program Manager and Research Manager.


J.           Deliverables:

12.       Deliverables for this activity are as follow:

a)      Inception report. This includes outlining the work plan and tasks to be undertaken and revising the work plan, if relevant.

b)      Survey instruments that the Ministry has approved of Trade of Indonesia.

c)      Progress reports. Bi-weekly progress reports on the implementation of activities as per the work plan in the inception report. Monthly status reports shall include descriptions of progress, tasks completed, and outstanding issues and recommendations for resolution.

d)      Conduct Surveys with targeted respondents. This includes providing the details of stakeholder lists to be interviewed (e.g., facilitation of contacts with officers, policymakers, and those in charge of digital economy regulation) for the purpose of this activity.

e)      Preparatory work for the technical workshop. Prepare workshop materials for review and approval by Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade project team.

f)       Conduct the Technical Workshops. This includes the workshop report and results.

g)      Final Report.


K.         Qualifications

13.       Must have

a)      Minimum Master’s degree in economics, international trade, law, international political economy or related fields, Ph.D. preferred.

b)      Minimum of 10 years of related work experience.

c)      Economic Growth background, especially in areas covered by the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025.  Preference for an understanding of the Digital Data Governance and Digital Economy in the ASEAN Region.

d)      Consultants with experience in more than one country or regional knowledge and technical expertise in the subject matter will also be considered.

e)      Excellent written and spoken English.

14.       Desired

a)      Understanding USAID’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and familiarity with bilateral missions in the ASEAN Member States (AMS).

b)      Working Experience with a national university, think-tank, or other research institution, on issues related to economic growth and governance, is required.

c)      Native speaker & writer of the local language.

15.       Functional Competencies 

a)      Strong analytical skills with conceptual understanding.  

b)      Strong, proven functional skills in analytical writing and producing reports, research, and assessments, including the ability to formulate recommendations.  

c)      Excellent demonstrated ability to be flexible and work under tight deadlines in an independent working environment.  

d)      High level of communication and interpersonal skills and experience working effectively in a multi-cultural environment.   

e)      Well-developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to liaise effectively at senior levels. 

f)       Demonstrated capacity to work both independently and in a team environment.

g)      Excellent networking with a demonstrated ability to build and maintain professional relationships.

Questions regarding the consultancy can be directed to Mutiara Alam Addini, Research Manager at maddini@ibi-worldwide.com.

Applications should be sent by email by no later than November 11, 2022 (17:00 hours UTC+7) to the following email address: recruitment.api@ibi-worldwide.com and cc maddini@ibi-worldwide.com

using “STTA on Development of Indonesia’s Readiness Analysis Toward the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement” in the email’s subject. We welcome applications from both individual and institutional experts.

For more information about IBI, please visit www.ibi-usa.com.


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