Sari Damar Ratri

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Northwestern U.

Grant number

Gr. 10145

Approve Date

April 8, 2021

Project Title

Ratri, Sari (Northwestern U.) "Nourishing the Future: The Roles of Midwives in Indonesia’s Changing Health Development Policies"

SARI RATRI, then a graduate student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, was awarded funding in April 2021 to aid research on “Nourishing the Future: The Roles of Midwives in Indonesia’s Changing Health Development Policies,” supevised by Dr. Caroline Bledsoe. This dissertation investigates the relationship between national ideologies of progress, food sufficiency, child health, and female domesticity in Indonesia and the development of children. It looks at how the government’s emphasis on preventing child stunting rates shaped the message associated with economic growth, as well as the experiences of mothers and health workers dealing with child growth issues. The study also focuses on women’s experiences providing early childhood care and attempting to gain access to nutritious food through Indonesia’s child nutrition programs while coping with the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their livelihoods. Based on the concept of “nourishing the future,” this study investigates the temporality of human capital investment’a framework used by the government in stunting programs’by integrating child nutrition with meaning systems about national development and economic growth. The dissertation draws on digital ethnography and archival research, including participation in webinars and Facebook groups, and analyzes comments and postings from Indonesian ‘momfluencers.’ It contends that the Indonesian government uses female domesticity to achieve the country’s development goals by establishing a direct link between children’s health and national growth, and that women are to blame for children’s failure to grow and develop in accordance with international growth standards.