Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro was speaking at the the Indonesia Development Forum, or IDF, launch event in Jakarta on Tuesday (23/05). (Photo courtesy of syn·the·sis)

Indonesia Development Forum to Find Ways to Overcome Socioeconomic Gaps

BY :EKO PRASETYO

MAY 23, 2017

Jakarta. The Ministry of National Development Planning launched the Indonesia Development Forum, an international forum involving local and international stakeholders to find solutions to overcome income and developmental gaps in the archipelago.

Partnering with the Australian government through its Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI), the first IDF summit is slated to take place in Jakarta on Aug. 9-10.

This year's theme, "Fighting Inequality for Better Growth," followed the directives from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, delivered during a meeting at the Bogor Palace in January.

"The Indonesia Development Forum is a place to trade knowledge, ideas and all the latest innovations to embody a more inclusive, fair and sustainable Indonesia,"  National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said during the IDF launch event in Jakarta on Tuesday (23/05).

The government has said overcoming socioeconomic and developmental gaps between regions is one of its top priorities in the past two years. In 2013, the gini ratio reached its highest value in Indonesia’s history at 0.41.

Gini ratio is a statistical dispersion measure to represent income or wealth distribution among a nation's residents, most commonly used to measure inequality.

By the end of 2016, various measures by the government had managed to reduce the gini ratio to 0.394.

Data show public consumption among the middle class had improved. That leaves the government with the challenge of improving consumption level among Indonesia's poor and stop them from being left behind.

The government is responding by issuing policies to create inclusive economic growth, inclusive financial access, increase the welfare of farmers, build sustainable cities and employ technology to prevent socio-economic gaps from widening.

One example of the government's efforts on this front is the recent developments in eastern parts of Indonesia to create a more equal welfare distribution.

National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro speaking at the launch of the Indonesia Development Forum (IDF) in Jakarta on Tuesday (23/05). (Photo courtesy of syn·the·sis)

Narrowing the Gap

During a discussion, Bambang said the IDF will serve as a platform to discuss these policies to narrow the gap between the poor and the rich, with five main goals: good and sustainable governance, inclusive growth, collaboration, exchange of ideas and success stories and public participation in policy-making and implementation.

The forum has three so-called "pillars": "inspire," "imagine" and "innovate." The ultimate goal is to encourage people to produce strategic breakthroughs and improve sustainable development in the country.

The IDF summit will feature local and international speakers from various backgrounds.

"We're inviting all the best actors in development, be it researchers, bureaucrats, activists, humanists, innovators or businessmen," Bambang said.

Before the IDF summit, there will be a call-for-paper targeted at academicians, researchers and development practitioners from Indonesia and overseas.

The summit will gather ideas on how to fight corruption, deal with urban dynamics and improve social security.

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