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Openness Encourages Innovations of Community

Sinergantara participated Asian Pacific Leader Forum 2017, organized by Open Government Partnership (OGP). This event gathered country leaders, local leaders, CSOs, and press to share knowledge and experiences in developing open government in their areas. Representatives of Afghanistan and Kyrgyz Republic, two new members of OGP, were present on the podium with Vice President of Indonesia, Jusuf Kalla, to open this event.

Sinergantara’s participation is related to Data Revolution, a program implemented with Bojonegoro District. The Regent of Bojonegoro himself, Suyoto Ngartep Mustajab (Kang Yoto), was present and sharing the district’s experience within subnational leaders roundtable and poverty reduction through open government session. Like other local leaders who spoke in this session, Kang Yoto agrees that technology is important in creating open government; yet, it is not the most important aspect.

Kang Yoto opens all communication channels for government and citizens; from offline meetings to social media. The government opens all of the channels to encourage participation. It will encourage society to be accustomed to new standard of openness. Thus, when government changes from one leader to another, it should not affect to openness climate, as society may demand the openness standard they are accustomed to.

Open government may also encourage innovations in public services. In Makassar, for example, government and community engagement encourages the Pasikola –an innovation for public transport for students. In Luwu Utara, Warung Demokrasi is a place for government and community, including CSOs, to gather. Their interaction encourages them to build cooperation for distributing teachers to all parts of the district. Sinergantara and Bojonegoro District government manage Data Revolution, an innovation of participative data collection. Data Revolution is born because of awareness on the importance of qualified data for development.

Technology is regarded as double-edged sword. OGP countries use technology to promote and maintain government openness. National government of Indonesia specifically uses openness and technology for the efforts of achieving SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) targets. On Indonesia’s effort to achieve SDG targets, Gambhir Bhatta from Asian Development Bank suggested Indonesia to focus on macro level while seeking to create more local-level champions.

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