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Launch of the website/E-publication presenting the results of the research programme JARAK: ‘From an iconic biofuel crop to a green-policy parasite’

09/10/2014 @ 16:00 - 17:30

How and why did jatropha turn from a top policy priority into a failure? Within a decade, all that is left from this widely promoted ‘miracle crop’ and renewable energy source are failed harvests and abandoned investments. None of the claims that jatropha could help fight climate change, reduce dependency on fossil fuels and lift rural poverty have been realized. Our research shows  how decision-makers adopted optimistic projections derived from lab research as a basis for policy making, allocating public budget for jatropha development and paving the way for private sector investments. Influential policy entrepreneurs and their narratives, rather than scientific evidence, informed budget allocation.

The five original research questions have been expanded so as to demonstrate how the jatropha episode is
indicative of larger developments concerning green energy, agrarian change and policies stimulating
technological innovation. What did we learn for future policies addressing solutions for major crises? What does this research teach us about Indonesia?

The E-publication of JARAK is the first of its kind at IIAS – a new way of presenting the synthesis of a
multi-disciplinary and international research programme.  The core article is at the centre of 26 mini-articles – enhanced with photos and video – which elaborate its arguments. They have been written by the 18 researchers and supervisors involved in JARAK. Links in these articles lead directly to scientific articles and other
publications of the JARAK team and core literature references. Is this a model for presenting overall research program results?

1. Welcome by Adriaan Bedner (VVI) and Willem Vogelsang (IIAS)
2. Presentation of website by Jacqueline Vel (VVI) and Suraya Afiff (KITLV and Universitas Indonesia)
3. Reflections on lessons from studying the commoditization of an alternative biofuel crop in Indonesia by     David Henley (Leiden University)
4. Discussion
5. Is this JARAK site a new model for research programme synthesis publication?
(a) Kurt de Belder (Leiden University Library)
(b) Cora Govers (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research / NWO)
6. Discussion
7. Drinks

If you wish to attend please register: [email protected]


16:00 - 17:30




Pieterskerkhof 6
Leiden, Netherlands
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