Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), subtype H5N1, was first officially reported in Indonesia in 2004. Since then the disease has spread and is now endemic in large parts of the country. This study investigated the statistical relationship between a set of risk factors and the presence or absence of HPAI in Indonesia during 2006 and 2007. HPAI was evaluated through participatory disease surveillance (PDS) in backyard village chickens (the study population), and risk factors included descriptors of people and poultry distribution (separating chickens, ducks and production sectors), poultry movement patterns and agro-ecological conditions. The study showed that the risk factors "elevation", "human population density" and "rice cropping" were significant in accounting for the spatial variation of the PDS-defined HPAI cases. These findings were consistent with earlier studies in Thailand and Vietnam. In addition "commercial poultry population", and two indicators of market locations and transport; "human settlements" and "road length", were identified as significant risk factors in the models. In contrast to several previous studies carried out in Southeast Asia, domestic backyard ducks were not found to be a significant risk factor in Indonesia. The study used surrogate estimates of market locations and marketing chains and further work should focus on the actual location of the live bird markets, and on the flow of live poultry and poultry products between them, so that patterns of possible transmission, and regions of particular risk could be better inferred.