This first monitoring update highlights findings from SMERU's qualitative studies in seven communities and media monitoring up to mid-October 2009. The studies reveal that the current global financial crisis (GFC) in Indonesia has had a variety of different impacts. In general, the negative impacts became apparent in October-November 2008 and peaked in January-February 2009. Recently, they have leveled off with signs of mild recovery in some sectors. The level of severity, however, varies across livelihood types and exposure to the developed countries hit hard by crisis. The sectors that experienced export booms due to the depreciation of the Rupiah during the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis have tended to be more severely affected by the current GFC. Despite signs of mild recovery, there is an indication of a declining trend in wage levels among industrial laborers. In the community, the poorest have been the most severely impacted. Nevertheless, the experiences of the community illustrate the benefits of some of the existing social protection programs, particularly those focused on the education and health sectors, in mitigating the impact of the crisis.