Eastern Indonesia (EI) is a region rich in natural resources and untapped potential in tourism sector. However, there has been a well-documented gap between EI’s economic development from the rest of Indonesia, as average per capita income of EI is signifcantly lagged behind that of the national average. One of the main contributors is the digital divide due to the inequality of access and ability to productively use ICT facilities. Therefore, digitalization is an important key in bridging this gap and promoting equitable and inclusive growth, as it can lower entry barriers to economic activities.

Under this context, we have conducted a study to identify the current situation of economic and socio-political development of EI. Particularly, we examine how digital technology is currently utilized within fve spheres of civic life: governance, education, health, security & con?ict management and business activities of MSMEs. We also offer a number of specifc and targeted recommendations for future assistance programs to support digitalization in EI.

In this study, we use a combination of desk studies, feld surveys, in-depth interviews and focusgroup discussions (FGD), as well as secondary data analysis. Our feld surveys covered 2,000 respondents in 10 EI cities. Furthermore, we also conducted another survey to 1,000 Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME) businesses to capture the MSME profle in EI, particularly with regard to their behaviors and attitudes toward digital technology.