Credit Suisse Progress Barometer 2019

Credit Suisse

The Credit Suisse Progress Barometer measures the desire for progress in society, politics and economy around the globe.

For this year’s edition, 16,000 citizens in 16 different countries on six continents (all except Antarctica) were interviewed and asked to share their views.

The questionnaire for the Progress Barometer was developed and launched in Switzerland in 2018 and taken to a global level in 2019. gfs.bern worked with local experts to ensure that the concept and questionnaire were adapted to reflect the context and characteristics of each country individually.

At the heart of the concept are 30 statements referring to 10 aspects of progress in society, politics and the economy in each case. For each of these aspects respondents were asked to indicate whether – in their opinion – the wheels of progress should move much faster (indicating desire for progress) or whether they should stop and be reversed (indicating aversion to progress).

This index allows opinions on progress within a country to be compared by looking at the areas of politics, society and the economy separately. Moreover, it also provides the opportunity to compare the 16 countries included in the study, thus helping us understand the readiness for progress around the world.




The process of adapting the questionnaire to each country brought to light how subjective progress as a notion is and how dependent it is on personal opinion and cultural background. Progress in one particular area can be viewed very favourably in one country, whereas in another country it might be seen as quite problematic. Progress is also not always seen as positive. The political zeitgeist, for example, suggests an increase in political polarization for the future – a development that many citizens would definitely prefer to reverse.

In addition to collecting information on where the citizens want their country to go in the future, the Progress Barometer also looks at the past and how citizens evaluate the changes their country has seen in the last ten years.

This cockpit is a portrait of how progress is seen in Indonesia in 2019. Readiness for progress is discussed for the areas of politics, society and the economy – as well for the country overall. The 30 items used to calculate the progress indices are displayed in a progress map showing readiness for progress on the x-axsis and the unanimity with which this progress is demanded on the y-axsis.

For methodological information, please consult the info box at the end of the cockpit.

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Over all the 16 surveyed countries, Indonesia has a comparatively high desire for progress (Nr. 6 of 16) with the desire for progress in economy being particularly high. In terms of society and the economy, Indonesia desires slight progress.

Jakarta opened the first MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) metro line in early 2019. The aim was to offer an alternative to the chronically congested roads in the nation’s capital city. This development finds high support within the population and represents the area where Indonesians are most united in wanting things to move faster.

Indonesia is currently graduating out of bilateral EU development assistance. At the same time the country launched its own development agency in 2019 to aid neighbouring countries. This is in accordance with the desire of Indonesia’s citizens to increase the country’s contribution in this regard.

In order to optimize costs, many companies relocate aspects of their production processes abroad. The Indonesian population wants to make progress in welcoming foreign companies to the country and to see things move when it comes to lowering bureaucratic hurdles and reducing regulation. The possible influx of foreign experts on the other hand is viewed more critically.

According to a study by the Australian-based Lowy Institute, the biggest challenge facing Indonesia these days is not in improving access to education, but in improving the quality of education. The population prioritizes education and research very highly and wants to see progress in both lifelong learning and greater spending on R&D.

Compared to the priorities in most of the other 16 countries surveyed, gender equality is not a top issue in Indonesia, but progress is desired all the same. Other aspects of a liberal society have been more under strain in Indonesia recently: lawmakers planned to update the country’s penal code restricting gay rights – among other things. President Joko Widodo has now vetoed this bill, which is in line with the findings of this year’s Progress Barometer showing that Indonesians would rather turn back the dial on the further restriction of the rights of homosexuals.[1] They also disapprove of the government’s increased influence in regulating religion.

The trade-off between the increase in media diversity through the internet at the cost of the accuracy of this information is viewed critically. People would also like to turn back the dial on the decrease in independent media outlets in Indonesia.

Indonesians are reluctant to take a clear stand when it comes to the transition and modernization of its economy and society: In the area of digitalization, the redevelopment of agricultural land for better infrastructure and the growing cities, as well as the professionalization of previously voluntary work such as care of the elderly, there is a desire for some progress – but not too much too fast.

Progress map Indonesia

Desire for progress in Indonesia

Overall, Indonesians want to see the wheels of progress in their country move slightly faster than in the past. In the ranking of all 16 countries surveyed, Indonesia is number six in terms of readiness for progress.

The desire to move the dial faster is most decisive when it comes to issues concerning the economy and society. In the area of politics, Indonesians are somewhat less willing to see progress.

When asked how Indonesians themselves would rate progress in their country, 71% are of the opinion that Indonesia is currently very progressive or somewhat progressive when it comes to economic issues, 62% think the same of social progress, whereas only 59% would rate Indonesia progressive when it comes to the current development of its politics.

Future prospects

A large majority of Indonesians (91%) are confident or fairly confident about their own future – in contrast to a small minority (6%) who view their future with pessimism. Even when it comes to the future of Indonesian society as a whole, a generally positive feeling prevails in the country (86%). Only a low 40% see a risk that their children will be worse off than the respondents themselves. Other nations are much more pessimistic than Indonesia on this topic. Indonesia is also the country where the proportion of citizens who are very or quite confident they will have enough funds for a comfortable retirement is highest (62%). The average of all 16 countries surveyed lies at 29% on this issue. This goes to show that, compared with the other countries, Indonesia is definitely optimistic about its future.

Assessment of past 10 years

The majority of Indonesians feel a definite improvement in almost all aspects of life surveyed in this year’s Progress Barometer, most notably in the country’s inventiveness (70%), in its use of sustainable technologies (76%), in its infrastructure both in rural (71%) and in urban areas (78%) and or in the stability of economic relations (56%). Where Indonesians are undecided is in their assessment of progress in the protection of privacy and national unity, the proportion who see a deterioration being roughly the same as the proportion who see an improvement (around 40%).

Social cohesion

Indonesia has the second-highest proportion of citizens who claim to be fully satisfied with life (59%) of all 16 countries (only China is higher). While Indonesians are quite content and optimistic overall, Indonesia is also one of the countries surveyed where the proportion of citizens who feel that government should do more to reduce income inequality between rich and poor is highest.

Battle against climate change

A clear majority of Indonesians believe that new technologies will help solve global problems (79%) such as climate change rather than having to forego things such as air travel or eating meat (59%). However, they are also of the opinion that people should return to living in harmony with nature (69%), focus more on sustainability than purely on growth when it comes to their economic developement (87%) and – despite their aversion to regulation – have the state intervene to stop companies polluting the environment (67%).

Political past and future

Indonesia’s past under a military junta reverberates in public sentiment to this day: it is among the nations which most wholeheartedly agree that social development means resolving conflicts without weapons (86%) and that good social change means greater tolerance in dealing with minorities (85%). At the same time, they are quite sceptical of those institutions that effectively concentrate political opinion in the democratic process: namely, political parties; 71% feel that the nation’s problems would be better solved without parties than with them.

on behalf of: Credit Suisse

basic population: Indonesian citizens with the right to vote

fieldwork: Cint AB

surveying: online panel

survey period: 20.09.2019-18.10.2019

sample size: min. 1000 per country, Indonesia (N=1033)

margin of error: at 50/50 (and 95 percent probability) Indonesia (± 3)

quota characteristics: age/gender interlocked

weighing: age/gender

survey duration: average survey time in minutes in Indonesia = 19

Progress Index and Items:

Respondents were asked the following question: „For each of the areas below, assess the current development and imagine this development as a wheel that turns. For each case, decide whether the development should be accelerated or reversed.“ Ten statements asking about a development in society, economy and politics each were surveyed in all 16 countries. The adaption of these items to best suit the countries context were made in cooperation with local experts.

The following items were surveyed in Indonesia:

Progress items economy:

service-based society: Indonesia produces fewer goods and is turning into a service-based society.
digitalization: Digitization/robotization makes our working lives easier and more efficient, but it also makes traditional professions redundant.
free trade: The trade of goods is getting freer and more global.
lifelong learning: You have to do regular on-the-job training in order to keep up.
influx foreign experts: Indonesia needs more and more experts from abroad.
tax money for research: To strengthen Indonesia as a research location, more taxpayers‘ money is spent on research.
development of agricultural land: Growing cities and major industrial and infrastructure projects mean that more and more agricultural land is being developed/Major infrastructure projects and ideas means that more and more cultivated land is built on.
investment international corporations: International corporations like Amazon decide to invest in Indonesia and gain influence on the economy.
Mass Rapid Transit (MRT): Public transportation like MRT reduces traffic congestion and emssions of climate-damaging substances.
less bureaucratic obstacles: Bureaucratic obstacles are remoded in order to attract international companies to move to Indonesia.

Progress items society:

gender equality: Gender equality is promoted in all areas of life.
urban-rural contrast: People living in big cities and in small towns in the rural areas have fewer and fewer interests in common.
fewer independent media: There are fewer and fewer independent media outlets in Indonesia.
increase life expectancy: Advances in medicine means that we are healthier into old age, but at the same time we’ll have to work for longer.
professionalization voluntary work: Many areas of society that used to function on a voluntary basis are now being professionalized.
migration transforms society: Immigration transforms the composition of societies./Transmigration transforms the composition of societies.
sense of purpose in work: People increasingly look for passion and meaning in their work.
petrol tax: Additional taxes on petrol are demanded worldwide in order to slow down climate change.
religion regulated by state: Religion is increasingly regulated by the state
less gay rights: Homosexuality is something that has to be hidden from public increasingly

Progress items politics:

underground transport: Some have suggested shifting transportation to an underground road or rail network to ensure that Indonesia retains ist beautiful landscape.
increase in development aid: Indonesia’s contributions to global development cooperation are increasing.
dependence on international agreements: When it comes to its global market position, Indonesia is increasingly dependent on international agreements with other countries.
individualization and self fulfillment: With increasing individualization, social pressure diminishes and everyone can live by their own values.
regulation increase: More and more everyday things are becoming more strictly regulated./The state ensures that many parts of life and work are clearly regulated.
transition to knowledge based society: Indonesia is turning into a knowledge-based society and is spending less on agriculture and instead more on universities and higher education.
accessability trough social media: People can organise themselves spontaneously via the internet and force policy-makers to become more accessible to the public.
polarization: Politics is becoming increasingly polarised and cooperation between the parties more difficult.
media diversity vs. reliability: While more and more sources of information are available to form a political opinion, the facts become less important.
obligatory health care: Health care BPJS is becoming obligatory for every citizen.