Ratna received her bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Agriculture, Sam Ratulangi University, Manado and Master’s degree at Gadjah Mada University. During her college years, Ratna worked as a reporter at a local radio station. After graduating, she worked as a volunteer in a local institution that manages coastal resources and developed a community radio network for NGOs. Ratna served as a Project Director for MAP Indonesia for five years leading the Restoring Coastal Livelihood project in South Sulawesi, and successfully implemented 72 Coastal Field Schools. After that, Ratna worked on various projects related to the development of livelihoods of local communities. Ratna is also a lecturer in agricultural technology at Makassar State University.