Research Design Research Approach: Mapping and Interviewing Key Stakeholders In this research, I approach the above three broad questions by: a) Identifying an as comprehensive as possible set of specific stakeholders and stakeholder groups (i.e. stakeholder mapping); and b) Conduct and analyze a series of interviews with members of key stakeholder groups in a variety of locations in Greater Jakarta. Specifically, the analysis presented in this research draws on interview data from qualitative stakeholder interviews conducted in select locations in Greater Jakarta, in JulyAugust 2017. The semi structured interviews were designed to make sense of recent events as of August 2017 by collecting insights and lived experiences of diverse stakeholder groups, both potential winners and losers, whilst emphasizing the tangible manifestations of urban informality and inequality in a metropolitan region in the global south, Greater Jakarta, together with the critical local conditions and institutions. The research took advantage of an opportune moment to understand a broader puzzle of urban informality and its economic, social and political roots. The disruptions caused by the mobility apps in Jakarta presented two kinds of opportunity for research: as a window, and as a shock. For researchers and policymakers interested in uncovering the political economy of urban informality, new data from the apps represent a window into the underlying informal industries, and the logic of the groups and communities of citizens in this space. Tracing various citizens’ behaviors in response to the apps can shine a light on the activities in the social and economic life of citizens where little hard data exists. In addition, mobility apps are clearly also a shock to the system. How the apps trigger reverberating responses from different communities of citizens and institutions can be useful information for better policies in the future. In particular, analyzing this “shock” can be instructive on how to (or how not to) manage, govern, collect and interpret data, and predict and improve a mixed formal-informal urban public service system.
Definition of Informality and Informal Transport Finally, I clarify key definitions and concepts of my investigation, particularly on what constitutes informal urban transport sector, informal communities, and their participants, and the scope (i.e. who? what?). To start off, urban informal communities can be spatial or non-spatial. This is to say that communities are social groups that can be place-bound, network-based, or take a variety of other organizational forms. An example of spatial or place-bound urban informal community is slum neighborhood communities, which are generally called kampung (literally, village) in Indonesia. Examples of non-spatial urban informal communities can be work-related associations, including drivers’ groups, religious or ethnic affiliations, which tend to be more network-like, even as they may be anchored to
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