The story of Rakata International

Rakata International was formed in New Zealand in 1997 by its Directors Dr Jacqueline Parisi and Dr Alan Rogerson. The two directors met in Indonesia in 1996 and both share a joint passion for Indonesia and a commitment to the benefits of experiential learning.

The name 'Rakata International' was inspired by a dynamic, collaborative and inspirational Indonesian organisation called Rakata Adventure, who focus on outdoor education and experiential learning. The name Rakata is derived from the island of Krakatoa off the west coast of Java, Indonesia. Before 1883, Krakatoa was a substantial island, with three volcanic peaks, the southernmost of which was Rakata. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, generating a shockwave that was measured all over the world, Rakata survived. Now, close to 150 years later, there are four separate islands, the biggest, and most durable, of which is Rakata.

Over the past 18 years Rakata International has grown to become a successful provider of Organisational Development, Governance, Capacity Building, Change Management, Human Resource Management and Human Resource Development services to the private and public sectors. Projects have included restructures of private and public sector organisations, reengineering projects, strategic planning assignments, development and implementation of insourcing recruitment partnering models, and the design and delivery of management and leadership programmes.


Clarity through segmentation

In 2008 doctoral research showed that capacity development practices used in the private, public and non-profit sectors can be transferable and applicable across sectors, despite the different operating environments and complexities in each sector (Go to Publications).

Rakata International has since extended its work to include non-government organisations (NGOs) and other non-profit organisations. With a focus on cross-sector strategic services and organisational development, partnerships have been facilitated to implement strategic projects, and to design, build and implement appropriate best practice capacity building solutions in Organisational Development, Human Resource Management and Human Resource Development. The practices have been responsible for rapid and sustainable NGO growth, increased funding attraction, and replication and scalability of impact.

Current economic pressures and consequential funding trends are now changing the way in which support for NGOs and other non-profit organisations is facilitated. Funding partners want to see from NGOs increased evidence of impact and decreased reliance for funding. As such while optimising performance, effectiveness and impact in all sectors is still of prime importance, in the NGO sector there is also a need to focus on creating sustained financial viability and scaling impact.

With a strong competence in being able to facilitate this for NGOs and other non-profit organisations, Rakata International has founded 'The Impact Effect', as its social responsibility arm. 

  1. Rakata International assists public and private sector organisations to optimise performance through strategy development, organisational capacity development methodologies and skilled process facilitation.
  2. The Impact Effect ( assists social sector programmes and organisations strengthen, achieve sustained financial viability and optimise social impact - through the application of effective cross-sector practices. 



A special note: Rakata - more than a name

The name Rakata International, and its close association with Krakatoa, is extra special to us. It makes us think of Indonesia, and our love of the country and the people. But to us, the name is much more than that, because Krakatoa took the life of our friend Kelly Stephens.

In June 1993 Kelly climbed part of the way up 'Anak Krakatau' (Child of Krakatoa) with a group of friends. They were on their way back to their boat when the volcano erupted. Just one quick blast was sufficient to send rocks and ash into the air, which soon came raining down onto the group. Kelly was badly injured, but survived the ordeal, only to die on the way to hospital.

Kelly loved life and never wasted a moment. She packed more into her 37 years than many people twice her age. In life, Kelly was a teacher, a mentor and an accomplished outdoorswoman. She was kind and considerate, and was adored by everybody who knew her. In death she is a constant reminder that life is precious. And Kelly’s passion for Indonesia did not die with her, as her family have established The Kelly Elizabeth Stephens Memorial Scholarship at the Boston University School of Education, open only to graduate students from Indonesia.

There is an in-depth report on Kelly, and the events on Krakatoa that killed her, in the Los Angeles Times. See