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Indonesia Marine Funders Collaboration

In collaboration with our in-country Secretariat partner, Saraswati, Meridian co-facilitates funders working to restore and protect Indonesia’s coastal and marine resources while improving fisheries management to support Indonesia’s economy and benefit local communities.

The Challenge
  • Millions of government and philanthropic dollars are invested yearly in protecting Indonesia’s coastal and marine resources—a large and complex challenge. To achieve impact at scale, funders need to work together in a coordinated manner.
The Partners
  • The most active funders in sustainable fisheries and marine resource management in Indonesia, including the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, the Walton Family Foundation, and USAID Indonesia
  • Saraswati, our partner in Indonesia
The Outcome
  • Funders strengthened their collective impact by aligning their grantmaking strategies and identifying joint priorities for impact that responded to local needs.
  • Funders strengthened inclusion, equity, and localization in their grantmaking, ensuring funding better meets the needs of local communities.


Project Overview

Ocean resources are vital to Indonesia. Every year, the fisheries sector employs 7 million people and the marine tourism sector accounts for ~$10 billion in revenue. Donors recognize the national and global importance of Indonesian marine conservation and sustainable fisheries management. With this interest comes the need for effective alignment of activities across funders.

To improve coordination and collaboration, a group of U.S. funders established the Indonesia Marine Funders Collaboration (IMFC) and hired Meridian as the network’s Secretariat in 2012. We onboarded Saraswati, an Indonesian NGO, to co-facilitate and manage the IMFC network. Over a dozen funders have participated in the IMFC, including four core members: the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, the Walton Family Foundation, and USAID Indonesia.

Meridian helped the IMFC develop strategic priorities and workplans, engage critical partners, and coordinate research activities. Using its in-country lens and network, Saraswati led outreach to Indonesian grantees and partners and facilitated networking and learning events with these organizations.

A Local-to-Global Cycle of Engagement and Impact

The collaboration between Meridian and Saraswati uniquely anchored the IMFC’s efforts to understand local issues and activities—and make better decisions with that information.

For example, Saraswati conducted research and education to understand how the IMFC’s grantmaking pillars of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion were understood and valued in an Indonesia-specific context. They engaged diverse perspectives—including community-based organizations, Indigenous groups, and Yayasans (Indonesian foundations)—and shared their findings with the IMFC network, including grantees and funders. This adaptive approach to local engagement informed the IMFC’s investment decisions, grantmaking procedures, and programmatic activities to meet current needs in equitable, inclusive ways.

The IMFC showcased the value of collaborative problem-solving, from the local to global scale. Aided by the IMFC’s multi-year efforts, the Indonesian marine NGO community has made important progress to improve the health of the country’s oceans and coastal communities.

A group of Meridian fellows, three women and two men, gather around large post-it papers in a boardroom. They are engaged in discussion.

Our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Principles

As we pursue our mission, we aim to center Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within Meridian and in our projects. Learn more about our JEDI Principles here.