LIPI survey elucidates difference in perceptions regarding situation in West Papua

The 'Indonesian Institute of Sciences' (LIPI) in cooperation with 'Change.org' has conducted an internet survey among 27.298 Indonesian citizens about their perceptions regarding West Papua. The majority of participants consisted of Non-Papuans (98%), most of them living outside of West Papua. The survey was conducted for three weeks in November 2017 and covered multiple demographic entities, varying in terms of education, gender and age. The collected data reveals the existence of significant differences in perception regarding the current situation of West Papua between Non-Papuans and indigenous Papuans.

 Kondisi PapuaWhile almost 70% of the indigenous Papuans considered the current condition of West Papua as 'worrying' or 'very worrying', 54% of Non-Papuans living in the Papua assessed the situation as 'good' or 'very good' (see graphic on the left). LIPI researcher Cahyo Pamungkas stated in a press conference on 14 December 2017, that the difference in perception clearly shows that the heavy security force presence in West Papua results in safe conditions for Indonesian migrants in contrast to the indigenous population, who fear to become victims of human rights violations.

Cahyo Pamungkas' interpretation is backed up by another finding. In response to the question which are the most sever issues in West Papua, the top three answers among Non-Papuans were 'low education' (14 %), 'alcohol and drug abuse' (12 %) and 'infrastructure and transportation issues' (12.%). Contrary, the top three answers among indigenous Papuans were 'human rights violations' (14%), 'low education' (10%) and 'corruption' (8%). The fact that 14% of the surveyed indigenous Papuans considered human rights violations as the top issue in West Papua emphasizes the need for a dialogue which covers more than only economy-related issues.

Besides the differences in perception, the survey also illustrated several similarities among all survey participants. All surveyees stated that they would follow the approach to increase the human resource capacities, if they would be given the authority to solve the major issues in West Papua. Another interesting finding was that indigenous Papuans as well as Non-Papuans in and outside of West Papua considered a dialogue as 'very important' (0ranging between 62% and 73 %) to solve the ongoing Papua conflict.

The LIPI Survey in Bahasa Indonesia can be Downloaded here