Ratna Refida

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 1998
Yayasan Kerja Pemukiman Rakyat (YKPR)


This profile was prepared when Ratna Refida was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1998.
The New Idea
There are some housing services already provided for the urban poor, through government low cost housing schemes and nongovernmental community based housing programs, but no such schemes have been developed for rural communities. Ratna Refida is working to create human settlements where people can raise their children in an environment where they sense a future for themselves and their children. While the government's focus in its development of rural areas has been on the creation of infrastructure such as electrical grids and roads, Ratna focuses upon the total human settlement, of which housing is a key component. One of her breakthroughs was her development of an acceptable model for the financial mechanisms for housing loans to rural communities. In addition to providing money for housing construction, this new model also allows for repayment of the loan on a schedule that is tailored to the seasonal nature of rural work and incomes.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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