Institute for Research and Empowerment (IRE) Yogyakarta is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit oriented organisation, based on an academic community in Yogyakarta. It focuses on developing and deepening democracy through enhancing ideas, critical attitudes and tactical actions of civil, political and economic society elements and also the state.
IRE has already designed four major activities to achieve the abovementioned benevolent missions. Firstly, critical and participatory action researches concerning many phenomena of public powerlessness, especially for identifying and analysing the needs and problems of the people. The results of the researches are always formulated as capitals for action programs and transformation in communities.
Secondly, education and training that denote mode to gather and disseminate critical ideas and alternative discourses between the actors of state, political society, economic and civil society that are often unable to be facilitated by the existing institutions. Training and education are also as the media of assisting to enhance and improve the capacity of strategic actors such as local bureaucrats, politicians, professional groups, researchers, social activists, higher students, and etc.
Thirdly, publication, it is as a means of articulating and socializing critical ideas derived from various thoughts and institutional activities. Bulletin “FLAMMA“, Journal “MANDATORY” and books are the forms and the outputs of the activities.
Fourthly, advocacy, that is a joint movement (through policy analysis, dialogs and public hearing sessions) to reform public policies in state domain and culture engineering in civil society arena.
The main target groups of IRE’s activities are strategic actors at indigenous and local communities, ranging from village, sub-district, to district. In the local communities there are at least four elements that inter-act with each other: state, civil society, political and economic society. In accordance with organisational mandate, the target groups must be plural, corresponding to ethnic line, class, gender, religion, and profession. IRE facilitates dialogs among elements and among layers of society, merely for strategic efforts to bridge the existing gaps and concurrently to develop synergic relation among them.
IRE always applies the following strategies in accomplishing activities of research, education and people empowerment:
1. Taking side; it means that the scientific studies conducted are not merely lean on objective principles and value free, rather they are based on inter-subjective ones and siding with, for the sake of public interests and social transformations.
2. Deconstruction; is as an effort to promote counter discourses against hegemonic ones, generated by the global regime, state, society and socio-cultural contexts.
3. Dissemination; the counter discourses conceived through the deconstruction process will be disseminated to public through making opinions, publications, seminars, discussions, trainings, etc.
4. Facilitation; meaning that IRE provides forums for dialogs of inter-segments, as well as encouraging people to establish and strengthen democratic local institutions.
5. Participation-intervention; that is a political education process applying combination of target groups’ participation and intellectual intervention. The participation aimed at discovering local knowledge, whereas intellectual intervention constitutes the form of knowledge and policy transfer to develop the collective awareness of the people.
6. Providing intensive technical assistance; namely the nature of knowledge transfer and expertise enhancement through trainings to increase and improve the capacity of local government officers.
7. Advocating; is in the form of joint-campaigns to influence the change of policies at the state, and to bring about culture engineering at socio-cultural domain.