Indonesia for Humanity (IKa) views grants as a means to strengthen social movements in achieving their goals of social justice, human rights and ecological sustainability. These grants are small in scale (micro) and are intended to support community-based initiatives by local civil society organizations.

In recent years, several important questions have come to our attention: how can we understand and ensure that our support is actually contributing to meaningful progress towards achieving the movement’s goals? As these goals are long-term and transformative, how can IKa responsibly measure, understand and communicate grant contributions? The fact is that the grant funds are very small and only cover a maximum period of one year.

IKa realises that the conventional monitoring and evaluation model, which is usually financed by large donor agencies, cannot be applied to the implementation of the grants disbursed by IKa, because of the high cost and reliance on expensive experts. We wanted to find a different model that was not only affordable but also reflected our perspective and built on our strengths, especially our long-standing network of trust among committed activists and changemakers across the country.

To this end, and informed by the results of consultations with thought leaders in social movements as well as experts in program evaluation, we have developed an approach that allows for generating meaning (not judgement) for an initiative (grant) in terms of a specific context and linked to broader mission of social transformation.

This approach is called pemaknaan (meaning generation). This approach was tried in the context of a grant for a community-based post-disaster reconstruction initiative in Central Sulawesi in 2019 where a young historian, literacy activist, an independent journalist and a socially engaged artist from the area assisted us in a participatory meaning generation process by the Community Partners that received the support of resources mobilised by IKa.

We have planned to further develop the pemaknaan (meaning generation) approach so that it can be applied to our four main areas of granting, namely the Women’s Fund, Human Rights Fund, Green Fund, and the Cultural Fund. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that we needed to adapt our model so that it can be done both in-person and online, by taking advantage of advances in information and communication technology. Indonesia is well positioned for this adaptation as was identified as the fifth most digitally active country in the world in 2020.

The aim of this grant application is to provide IKa with the means to further develop a meaning generation measurement model so that it can be adapted for use in a combined online-offline space for IKa grant funds with different characters and diverse Indonesian activism contexts, based on shared ethics.


  • To further develop the pemaknaan (meaning generation) approach as an IKa model in measuring the contribution of its grants for the purpose of social change
  • Produce practical tools for applying the pemaknaan (meaning generation) approach in the field
  • Build a pool of qualified people/knowledge bearers or pemakna who are able to apply meaning approaches in diverse contexts


  • IKa adaptation meaning generation model
  • Workshop with IKa model pool of pemakna/meaning generators (knowledge bearers)
  • Application with four grantees in at least three IKa funding areas
  • Learning and evaluation workshop with key stakeholders
  • Module finalisation based on lessons learned

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