Kupang: The Front Lines of Indonesia’s Employment, Migration and Urban Challenges

3 November 2018

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Kupang is the capital of the East Nusa Tenggara province, located in the southeastern corner of Indonesia. Despite persistent development and governance challenges in the city, it remains an island of relative prosperity in one of the country’s poorest provinces. While Kupang’s score on the Human Development Index is nearly on par with Jakarta’s, the surrounding rural regencies are among the least developed in Indonesia, for a number of historical and geographic reasons. The city’s rapid growth and change must be understood in the context of its role as a political and economic hub for a region that witnesses high levels of distress migration.