The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Gojek, formally known as PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa, have signed a collaboration agreement to conduct joint research on the impact of digitization and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the operations and development of Indonesia’s micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

According to ADB’s announcement, the agreement, signed by ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada and Gojek Chief of Public Policy and Government Relations Shinto Nugroho, outlines research into the benefits of business digitization on MSMEs using Gojek’s extensive digital ecosystem.

This is ADB’s first formal research collaboration with Gojek, one of Indonesia’s prominent online platforms.

“We are excited about this pioneering knowledge partnership with Gojek, which will help assess how digital technology and facilitative platforms can support a more sustainable and inclusive economic development path, improve business resilience, and enhance consumer welfare—all within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Sawada. “We anticipate the findings of this research will help shape policies that expand opportunities for unique and innovative online platforms like Gojek to further contribute to inclusive and sustainable development.”

The collaboration is part of a wider knowledge and support technical assistance program to assess the impact of digitization on business resilience and consumer welfare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research will include empirical analyses of Gojek’s big data to capture the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses; descriptions of emerging patterns; and studies to identify targeted policy measures, public interventions to enhance the impact of recovery, and growth programs post-COVID-19.

“We are excited to establish our partnership with ADB and build upon our commitment to our ecosystem partners, especially small businesses and driver partners as individual entrepreneurs during this pandemic,” said Ms. Nugroho. “We believe that the digital transformation enabled by our technology and ecosystem has been an important factor contributing to our partners’ resilience during this pandemic and as we head towards recovery.”

Gojek is a leading Southeast Asian on-demand, multi-service technology platform providing access to a wide range of services including transport, payments, food delivery, and logistics. As of October 2020, Gojek’s application and its ecosystem have been downloaded over 190 million times by users across the region.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region. –