Jacqueline Vel is researcher and coordinator of the collaborative project ‘Governance, Markets and Citizens‘ of three social science and economics research programs concerned with contemporary developments in Indonesia. Her current research focuses on village governance in Indonesia, how the new wave of decentralisation since the 2014 Village Law take place, and effect on villagers in some of the poorest areas of the country.

Jacqueline Vel lived in Sumba from 1984 to 1990 and wrote her PhD dissertation The Uma-economy: indigenous economics and development work in Lawonda, Sumba (eastern Indonesia) translated in Bahasa Indonesia in 2010. For more than 30 years she has been watching and studying rural development and local politics in Sumba. By doing so she aims to understand the effects of democratisation and changes in national policies on the ways in which the poorer part of the population in remote areas like Sumba can improve their livelihoods and obtain better access to public services and access to justice.

She also works as researcher at the Van Vollenhoven Institute of the Leiden Law School on the theme of law, governance and development in Indonesia.