Jakarta. National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said on Thursday (14/12) the government will focus on reducing inequality in 2018 and highlighted the role of open government at district level to achieve Indonesia’s development goals.
"We will focus on reducing inequality next year. Open government will play a key role since [district] governments need to know what are the real main priorities and concerns of citizens," Bambang told reporters on the sidelines of the 2017 Asia Pacific Leaders Forum (APLF) on Open Government in Jakarta.
As the government seeks to reduce poverty and ensure inclusive growth, Indonesia’s decentralized system puts district governments at the forefront of its engagement with citizens and to deliver services tailored to public needs.
"Governments should never presume to know what the citizens want [without asking them]. They have to find out from the citizens themselves what they need to lift them out of poverty, and then provide the appropriate responses," Bambang said.
The public must also do their part to engage with government representatives more actively to verify and ensure accuracy of an integrated national database.
Indonesia is one of the eight founding governments of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) – launched in 2011 – which seeks to foster values of transparency, accountability, innovation and participation in government processes.
The 2017 APLF serves as a space for participants to exchange knowledge and best practices in open government implementation and facilitate potential collaboration.
More than 500 government representatives, civil society organizations and other development actors attended the event in Jakarta.
OGP has grown since its inception and now includes 74 countries, 15 subnational (district) governments and thousands of civil society organizations.
"Since this is an Asia Pacific forum, we hope we can learn from each other and identify what’s still missing in our efforts to reduce poverty and inequality," Bambang said.
Bojonegoro, a district in East Java, is one of the subnational governments involved with the OGP initiative.
Bojonegoro made commitments to publish its administrational budget, accountability report and village asset data on the villages's websites and display them on public billboards.
Bojonegoro will also open up service desks in 30 villages in the district and increase public participation in budgeting.
"We hope district governments can implement open government down to the village level, so we can maximize use of the government's village funds," Bambang said.