Gathering Data from 10,000 islands

While I was writing my paper on the country of Indonesia I became a bit skeptical on the validity of the information that has been collected regarding their technological achievements and the overall data in general. For those of you who don’t know, the country of Indonesia is comprised of nearly 10,000 separate islands spreadings over hundreds of miles of water. There is one governing body that looks over all of these islands, some so small that their entire population is under 5,000 people and their language is only spoken in a dialect specific to their home. I have only been to Bali, but I can assure you that their census system there is sub par to anything in the U.S., in fact I know for certain that all of the undocumented slum children who live in Bali, don’t even have a birth certificate. Some of these children or their families do have mobile phones that have been traded in the back-alley markets for goods. Here then is a major flaw in the data collection system, because if there is no official record of this slum population, so how than could they be included?

Im not proposing that data collection systems are rendered flawless, but I do find that a country as unique as Indonesia would have a hard time procuring such information. While I was looking at the data charts and this all came to mind, I tried finding additional information on data collection resources in Indonesia, and as you can imagine I came up short. I think that in this day and age data collection is vital to understanding a fact-based larger picture in the world of development and technology, however systems of conducting such research might not work everywhere. People hack in to wifi networks all the time, even in the U.S., there will always be users that are unaccounted for. I think that when looking at any data collection it is important to not just take it for truth, even if it has been published by a reputable company. IDEV is about trying to find new solutions and gain a greater understanding in helping develop the rest of the world, this can only be done if we question what we are told and try and find a new solution or find the answer in unlikely or new places.


3 responses to “Gathering Data from 10,000 islands

  • veggiemunster

    Hey Maddie! It sounds like you know a lot about Indonesia, and you already know that you want to work there! Can you tell us more about what you did with the children in Bali? What sort of work do you plan to do with an NGO in the future? Just interested!

    Also, can you share a little more about what your researched? 🙂

  • bridgetslattery

    I think that you are bringing up some great points. I am also concerned about the data that we have been using. I am doing my project on Iran and not only do I wonder about the accuracy of the data collection but also the agendas of the people/organizations doing the collection. I think that no matter the source of the data they will always be general guesses rather than hard facts. When making generalizations it is important to use the data provided but to supplement it with additional knowledge about the region, culture, and country.

  • chesneyhardin

    Data can be useful, but it often skews reality. It’s great that you will have first-hand experience in Indonesia to compare to the data that you look at for the country.

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