Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi opens the Regional Conference on Digital Diplomacy in Jakarta on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Foreign Ministry Partners With UN Big Data Lab, Australia in Digital Diplomacy


SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

Jakarta. The Foreign Affairs Ministry has announced a series of collaborations with new tech partners to improve its efforts at digital diplomacy.

At the Regional Conference on Digital Diplomacy in Jakarta on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi revealed new partnerships with tech institutions Pulse Lab and DiploFoundation and with its Australian counterpart, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

"With Pulse Lab, we are building an application to monitor news and information from all over the world about Indonesia," Retno said.

Pulse Lab is a joint initiative between the United Nations and the Indonesian government through the UN Global Pulse and the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas).

Pulse Lab will also help digitalize correspondences between the ministry and Indonesian missions abroad.

Cecep Herawan, the director general of information and public diplomacy at the ministry, said the application will be useful for internal examination and to improve information gathering and filtering.

"Pulse Lab has the technology for digitalization. We have the big data, but they have not been optimally integrated. Some of the data can appear to contradict each other," Cecep said.

The ministry said it also wants to keep its diplomats up-to-date with the latest in tech, hence the partnership with DiploFoundation to help ambassadors and other Foreign Ministry staff to make more use of information technology in their missions. 

"DiploFoundation will assist us in capacity-building to create digital-savvy diplomats," Retno said.

The DiploFoundation is a non-profit foundation with a focus on promoting the use of information and communication technology in the practice of diplomacy.

While with DFAT, the ministry will organize reciprocal visits, exchange programs and training in digital diplomacy.

So far, the ministry has already produced the "Safe Travel" application for Indonesian tourists abroad and "Peduli WNI" (Care for Indonesian Citizens), an integrated digital database for the Indonesian diaspora.