Mahesti Okitasari is a JSPS-UNU postdoctoral fellow at UNU-IAS. Her current research interests are mainly in the area of multilevel environmental governance, especially in integrating governance into sustainable development. She is particularly interested in researching institutional building and how effective policies are identified in response to the shortcomings in bridging the gap between social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Her postdoctoral research is aimed at exploring the ways in which environmental policies at the global and national levels are translated into local development planning.
Mahesti has several years of research and consulting experience working with local, provincial, and national governments on disaster management, regional planning, and housing policies in Indonesia. She holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Tokyo. Her dissertation addressed collaborative governance in the Indonesian metropolitan regions, deliberately identified the institutional implication of the decentralised governance system and how collaborative metropolitan governance should be constructed to provide better public infrastructure. Her research also denoted the correlation between the institutional structure of collaboration and local political, economic, and socio-cultural characteristics.