The fatal misconception of population control
The great tragedy of population control, the fatal misconception, was to think that one could know other people's interests better than they knew it themselves. But if the idea of planning other people's families is now discredited, this very human tendency is still with us. The essence of population control... was to make rules for other people without having to answer to them. It appealed to the rich and powerful because, with the spread of emancipatory movements and the integration of markets, it began to appear easier and more profitable to control populations than to control territory. That is why opponents were correct in viewing it as another chapter in the unfinished history of imperialism.
The book is full of examples of how good intentions is a poor substitute for good evidence when devising (and scaling up) public policies. Yet, this seems to be the default mode of policy-making -- not only in Indonesia, but also within many international organizations and NGOs. Personally, I find this rather scary.