Saraswati is an Indonesian company that promotes development innovation. For us, innovation represents new or improved products, processes and collaborations that positively impact development assistance and – most importantly – the lives of those most in need.

We are an innovation broker that connects individuals, organizations and communities on a case-by-case basis to provide the most relevant skills and resources for positive social impact. Our work ranges from human-centered design to online platform development, data training and analysis, knowledge management, strategic planning, evaluations and even matchmaking. We look to work with and support local partners to ensure results that deliver beyond project cycles.

Our business model reduces unnecessary overhead that inflates development budgets. We were remote working before the COVID-19 pandemic, and we keep personnel costs lean by maintaining a roster of task-specific associates.

Saraswati is women-owned, and we ensure that a majority of our team and associates are women. We take our name from the Hindu goddess of knowledge in recognition that knowledge fuels innovation and that we in development must better promote women as leaders and role models.


DEVI facilitates information sharing, networking, and collaboration in support of development innovation in Indonesia.

our team

Muhammad Djindan Grefi Marchella Nugraheny Dhea Erissa Rini Astriani F. Tamiang Tobing Popon Anarita Yurifa Alya Chandra Pinanditha Dina Mairawati Ratih Eka Pertiwi Melita Oktanawati Yulies Puspitaningtyas Ghisani Ghina Bakhitah Chairunnisa Andrew Thornley Kadek Sudianti Pratiwi Sukmawati Ester Margaretha

Muhammad Djindan

Research Associate

Muhammad Djindan is a lecturer at the Department of Politics and Government, Universitas Gadjah Mada. He has extensive training and experience in both qualitative and qualitative research. His areas of research include environmental policy, natural resources governance, science-policy interface, as well as civil society and local democracy. Prior to starting a career as an academic, he worked for Oxfam in an emergency and preparedness program, UNDP in a disaster risk reduction policy project, and GIZ in a strengthening women’s rights project. His portfolio is built from combining expertise in academic research and more than five years of professional experience in international development organizations.

Grefi Marchella Nugraheny

Communications Intern

Grefi is a final-year student at Tadulako University in Palu, Central Sulawesi. Since 2018, she has been writing news for several media outlets in Central Sulawesi. Starting in 2019, she became a freelancer in graphic design and managing social media for events for NGOs to improve communication and add value to their initiatives. Grefi is also an environmental activist and works on several programs related to marine debris in Palu Bay.

Dhea Erissa

Communications Intern

Dhea is interested in creating social media content. She has several years of experience working with international NGOs, such as CBM Indonesia and Fred Hollows Foundation Indonesia, on health and disability issues. Dhea is a person with disability who recently graduated with a master's degree in social welfare.

Rini Astriani F.

Project Manager

Rini is a development professional with over a decade of experience working on program management, disaster risk reduction, food security and urban food system, economic governance, research, and capacity building. She has a research background in urban food systems, political ecology in water management, and participatory action research in disaster risk management. Rini has significant experience collaborating with national and local governments, international and national agencies, academia, and youth. Rini completed her Master of Environmental Management and Development from the Australian National University.

Tamiang Tobing

Disability Advocacy Associate

Tamiang is a Jane of All Trades. A certified sign language interpreter with the Pusat Layanan Juru Bahasa Isyarat Indonesia, she supports Saraswati’s disability advocacy initiatives. In addition, Tamiang is project manager for Sunyi Savory & Brewery, a company that provides opportunities for deaf Indonesians to gain skills to work as chefs and baristas. Tamiang has been an Assistant Coach at the Rangers Basketball Academy, which focuses on providing opportunities for deaf youth, and participates in Indonesia’s inaugural Women’s Flag Football league.

Popon Anarita

MEL Associate

Over twenty years of experience in research as well as monitoring, evaluation and learning in Indonesia. During that time, she has worked with local research institutions—including KSI partner AKATIGA—as well as some of the largest international development partners, including The Asia Foundation, World Learning, UNDP and Save the Children. She received her Master of Public Policy & Management from the University of Melbourne.


Marine & Fisheries Associate

Yurifa (Ipeh) has sustainable development, community and marine conservation experience, having worked with the Marine Megafauna Foundation in Bali as both Operations Manager and Indonesia office consultant, with Kopernik in Bali, as well as with The Asia Foundation, Partnership for Governance Reform and Save the Children in Jakarta. She also founded WarnaWarni Kids Banda, a space for children to read and learn in Maluku, and is a PADI-certified divemaster.

Alya Chandra Pinanditha

Assistant Project Manager

Alya has worked in development since 2018. Her interest in people and development has involved her in numerous workshops and capacity building initiatives for various audiences. Working with people from diverse backgrounds, such as private companies, the media, state-owned enterprises, government institutions, rural teenagers, NGOs, CSOs, and communities, has raised her interest in the environment. She initiated and nurtured a youth community concerned in environmental issues and has connected with several youth communities in Indonesia. She has helped diverse NGOs to communicate their projects and campaigns through pop culture and lifestyle entry points.

Dina Mairawati

Environment & Sustainability Associate

Rara has more than 15 years of experience in media and technology, early childhood education and development, gender mainstreaming, youth economic empowerment and green skills. Most recently, she has worked with Diageo Indonesia and UN Women in support of Saraswati initiatives, and has prior experience with the European Union, Accenture, Google, JP Morgan, USAID, as well as various Indonesian Ministries and business associations. Rara has produced a portfolio of educational materials for Jalan Sesama (the Indonesian affiliate of Sesame Street) as well as books, curricula and digital tools to support Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship while at Plan International.

Ratih Eka Pertiwi

Research Associate

Ratih is a public health/development practitioner who has been working with communities in Indonesia, particularly in Papua, since 2009. Her work is mostly concerned with adolescent health, gender and women's health, WASH, health equity, and the intersectionality between health of people and the environment. She completed a Master of Public Health and is currently undertaking her doctoral program in Public Health/Health Equity, working with the local community in Jayapura, Papua. While doing her doctoral program, Ratih has been engaged in various projects. She has contributed to Saraswati research on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and on in-depth project evaluations.

Melita Oktanawati

Assistant Project Manager

Lita has more than ten years of experience in the private and academic sectors and is passionate about development. She is an excellent communicator and serves as the primary field-based coordinator and communication contact person for several Saraswati projects. In particular, Lita co-designed and manages Saraswati’s plastics and waste management initiative, LAKSMI. Additionally, Lita serves as Chair of Magical-Bali Toastmasters, an International Public Speaking and Leadership Club in Bali.

Yulies Puspitaningtyas

Assistant Director

With fifteen years of experience in development and humanitarian programming in Indonesia, Yulies has been involved in a number of research and emergency response projects across Indonesia and an indigenous enterprise development program in Papua. Before joining Saraswati, she led project design and business development at Yayasan Plan International Indonesia, supporting projects ranging from youth economic empowerment to humanitarian response, disaster risk management, sexual reproductive health rights, child protection, and WASH. Yulies holds an Agricultural Engineering degree from Universitas Gadjah Mada and a Master's degree in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne.

Ghisani Ghina Bakhitah

Design Associate

Tia is a graphic and user interface / user experience designer. She has several years of experience in design for the private sector as well as participation in co-design workshops in support of development innovation (on issues ranging from refugee assistance to poverty alleviation and CSO capacity strengthening). Tia is active in environmental and other volunteer activities, including an initiative with her sister to support marginalized children to learn design and drawing skills.


Outreach Associate

Chairunnisa is a Public Relations graduate with a passion for the sustainability of social and economic development issues in Indonesia. For the past three years, she has been involved in many capacity building for sustainability projects as well as innovation initiatives to support civil society organisations with Saraswati. Her focus is on supporting civil society organizations to strengthen their financial sustainability.

Andrew Thornley

Managing Director

Andrew has lived and worked in Southeast Asia since 1998. He has managed and evaluated a range of pioneering innovation programs, managed large multi-year democracy and governance projects in Indonesia, advised on the establishment of a human rights organization in Cambodia, coordinated humanitarian assistance to refugee camps in West Timor and worked as an election manager for the UN in Timor-Leste.

Kadek Sudianti

Director of Finance & Administration

Kadek is co-founder of Saraswati. She has managed Saraswati's finance and administration since 2016, including accounting, contracting, taxation and legal matters. She previously worked for several years in villa management before building a successful small business in Bali, which she managed from 2010-2016.

Pratiwi Sukmawati

Technology Associate

Tiwi is a front-end developer and community organizer. She is Creative Director of Ordent, a company that specializes in complex and integrated software solutions for public and private sector clients. Tiwi leads design and front-end development teams. She has worked as technology consultant for The Asia Foundation and is active in the Googe Developer Group community, FOWAB, and Women Techmakers of Bandung.

Ester Margaretha

Communications & Partnerships Associate

Ester supports several Saraswati projects. Her professional interests include climate change, gender, and child participation. She has project management, research and communications experience in development and humanitarian projects, primarily working with child-focused organisations. Ester has also worked independently with a range of institutions on gender equality, economic justice, disability and inclusion, and UNGP for SMEs. She holds a degree in International Relations from Universitas Gadjah Mada.


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Cibis Nine Building, Jl. TB Simatupang No. 2

Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta

DKI Jakarta, Indonesia 12500

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