Arif Budy Pratama

Research themes
  • Urbanisation
Research countries
  • Indonesia
Working groups

"ZEF in the City" - ZEF-A research group on everyday urbanity, creativity and the governance of informality in the Global South

Professional experience

2008-2013 Programme and Budget Analyst at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Republic of Indonesia

2013-2016 Head of Programme Formulation at the Planning and Organisation Bureau, Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Republic of Indonesia

2016 Lecturer, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Tidar


2003-2007 Bachelor in Public Administration, Universitas Diponegoro, Indonesia

2009-2011 Master of Science in Strategic Studies, Universitas Indonesia

2015-2016 Master of Public Administration (with Distinction), University of Exeter, UK

2017 Post Graduate Diploma in Research Methods and Skills, Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands

Funding institutions


Thesis title

The pursuit of smartness - An ethnographic study understanding the dynamic of smart city development project in the Magelang municipality, Indonesia

Thesis abstract

‘Smart’ has become a powerful term in urban governance nowadays especially within the context of rapid urbanisation and fourth industrial revolution. Many local governments around the globe -including Indonesia- chase the ‘smart’ status and adopt smart city concept as a new strategy of urban development. The concept of smart city and other related labels are in line with the effort in achieving liveable and sustainable city as stated in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 11. This promise has been promoted by mostly technologists and technological firms while scholars from critical social sciences are cautious of its unintended consequences. Technological rhetoric tends to dominate the narrative of smart city both in both scholarly and popular literatures. In addition, many smart city projects have also been driven by technological approach. I argue developing smart city is not merely technical, rather social and political dimensions are embodied in its process. While smart city projects have been ubiquitous, their everyday socio-political dimensions are sometimes neglected. Drawing from Magelang municipality smart city initiative as my research locus, I intend to focus my research on the ways in which smart city is developed as an urban development platform. Anchoring social interface framework, this study sets out to better understand how smart city policy is made and implemented in everyday life by focusing on the intersection between lifeworlds of smart city actors and social fields in which different interest, knowledge and power interplay in smart city development. The result of this study will contribute to the discussion of political and social dimension in smart city research. In addition, it will fill the research gap and enrich the smart city literature by reporting an empirical case from small city in developing country setting.

Keywords: urban development, smart city, policy making, policy formulation, policy implementation, development project, social interface, ethnography, Indonesia


Supervisors of
doctoral work

Professor Dr. Christoph Antweiler

Advisor at ZEF

Dr. Wolfram Laube


Pratama, A.B.  2021.  Smart is not equal to Technology: An Interview with Suhono Harso Supangkat on the Emergence and Development of Smart Cities in Indonesia.  Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, .
Pratama, A.B.  2021.  Knowledge Distribution on Smart City Research: An Overview of Systematic Literature Reviews.  Journal of Urban Culture Research, .


Pratama, A.B.  2020.  The landscape of public service innovation in Indonesia: A comprehensive analysis of its characteristic and trend.  Innovation & Management Review, 17 (1)   : 25-40   . (Open Access)   Download [PDF | 931.05KB]
Further Information
Pratama, A.B and S.A. Imawan.  2020.  Bureaucratic readiness for smart city initiatives: a mini study in Yogyakarta City, Indonesia.  In: Joo, Yu-Min and Tan, Teck-Boon (eds.): Smart Cities in Asia Governing Development in the Era of Hyper-Connectivity. Edward Elgar Publishing.   148–161.  Further Information


Pratama, A. and Imawan, S.  2019.  A scale for measuring perceived bureaucratic readiness for smart cities in Indonesia.  Public Administration and Policy: An Asia-Pacific Journal, 22 (1)   : 25-39   . (Open Access)   Download [PDF | 483.82KB]
Further Information
Pratama, AB and Wulandari, Catur.  2019.  Villager Readiness in Rural Tourism: A Scale Development Using Exploratory Factor Analysis.  International Journal of Tourism Policy, Vol 9 No.3   : 251-261   . Further Information


Pratama, A.B.  2018.  Smart City Narrative in Indonesia: Comparing Policy Documents in Four Cities.  Public Administration Issues, No. 6. P. 65–83   . Download [PDF]
Further Information


Pratama, A.B.  2017.  Online-Based Local Government Image Typology: A Case Study on Jakarta Provincial Government Official YouTube Videos.  Journal of Contemporary Eastern Asia , Volume 16 Issue 1   : 1-21   . (Open Access)   Download [PDF | 301.49KB]
Further Information

Additionals, Curriculum Vitae
and Downloads

Junior Researcher

Department :
ZEF A: Department of Political and Cultural Change