University of Twente Student Theses


Appropriating Cycling in Indonesia : Another Perspective on Technology Transfer

Karami, Muhammad Unggul (2023) Appropriating Cycling in Indonesia : Another Perspective on Technology Transfer.

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Abstract:In the last 5 years in Indonesia and especially after the covid pandemic, cycling appears to be regaining popularity. Before, cycling was perceived as an outdated means of transport that do not belong in the city. In the early 2000s, bicycles and various other non-motorised transport are prohibited in central areas of the city. However, in the last few years, more and more people are cycling. In 2019, in response to the increase in cycling popularity, the local government of Jakarta planned and built several bicycle lanes for a pilot project. This pilot project was deemed successful and resulted in the construction of permanent bicycle lanes in Jakarta. A similar trend was also observed in various cities in Indonesia. In response to that, the government issued an official guideline for designing bicycle lanes in urban areas. However, in early 2022, there was a motion in Jakarta’s Representative Assembly to cancel the bicycle lane construction. The fraction behind this motion argued that the bicycle path was useless because it is not used as it is supposed to be. They said that instead of being used by cyclists, the bicycle lanes are used by the starling (starbucks keliling, a type of street vendor that sells instant coffee using bicycles to move from one place to the other). In this thesis, I argued that the motion is founded on a narrow interpretation of technology transfer that is typically done in Indonesia. They perceive that this bicycle lane and its related infrastructure are transferred from abroad. Therefore, they assume that the usage pattern of this bicycle lane should be the same as abroad. While this assumption would be true for some form of technology transfer, in the case of bicycle lanes and cycling infrastructure it is not. Unlike the typical transfer technology in Indonesia, the cycling infrastructure case runs in the mode of copying or reverse engineering. In this mode, the recipient plays an active in appropriating the technology. While in the other modes, the recipient is relegated to a passive role, only receiving the technology diffused by the source without a chance to reinterpret and modify it. Then the questions are, how can we establish a more recipient-centric (or user-centric) approach to technology transfer? And what can we discover after establishing the user-centric approach? In this thesis, I suggest that the SCOT (Social Construction of Technology) framework is a good starting point. The SCOT framework put the user (or the recipient in the technology transfer term) in the focus point. Therefore, it is suitable to analyse a phenomenon in which the users are actively appropriating technology. Guided by the SCOT framework, the user groups (or the cyclist) in Indonesia are analysed as well as their relationship to cycling. The technology, the cycling infrastructure, is also analysed to uncover what kind of artefacts that labelled as cycling infrastructure in Indonesia. Analysing the user groups, especially the daily cyclist, there are three personas that each represent a user group: the street vendor, the woman, and the cycling community member. Each of these personas have their interpretation of cycling. For street vendors, cycling is not separable from working. For the woman, cycling is the only means of transport available to them. For the community member, cycling can make the city more liveable. While, the source of the artefact, the cycling infrastructure, can be traced to various exemplary cases abroad, among others, the Netherlands. Since the user groups in Indonesia exist in the Indonesian context, they develop a distinguished relationship when compared to their counterpart in the Netherlands. Since the relationship is different, the usage pattern would also be different. One cannot expect the usage pattern in the Netherlands will be copied to Indonesia since the usage pattern in the Netherlands is the effect of the relationship between the user and the technology in the Dutch context. If we flip the perspective around, the usage pattern in Indonesia ought to be unique because of the local Indonesian context. The ability of Indonesian to look inward and understand their own context became essential to pave our own way to closure.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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