SDG PIPE 2019 awardees in Jakarta on Monday. (JG Photo/Diana Mariska)

Young Innovators Win Awards for Advancing UN SDG Agenda

BY :DIANA MARISKA

OCTOBER 28, 2019

Jakarta. Ten community-led innovations were awarded on Monday for their contributions to advance local communities and help Indonesia meet the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. 

The innovations included digital waste management, crowdfunding to distribute school equipment in less-developed areas in Indonesia and food products made from moringa leaves and pods for pregnant women to prevent stunting. 

The innovations won the Sustainable Development Goals Pemuda Indonesia Penggerak Perubahan (SGD PIPE 2019), an annual award from non-profit organization Go Global Indonesia, Campaign.com – a start-up focused on organizing campaigns – and PIRAC, a non-profit resource organization.

This year was the second time the awards were handed out. The organizers' goal is to recognize and support young people making changes in Indonesia and to help them implement their innovations in communities.

The digital and non-digital innovations were the brainchild of youngsters from all over the country, including Aceh and Papua.

As part of their win, the awardees will participate in an "International Field Training" in Madrid from Nov. 1 to 18. They will also get a chance to join an incubation program and Rp 10 million in cash to develop their business.

Collaboration With Government

Speaking after the award ceremony on Monday, Ryan Oktafiandi, the founder of berkahbarang.id, the crowdfunding site that distributes educational equipment to schools in remote areas, said support from the government is pivotal to optimize innovation.

"We have not [collaborated with the government]. But we've talked to the Education and Culture Ministry at the provincial level. Our programs are focused [on remote areas], so it's important to collaborate with the ministry since they have programs like that, too," he said. 

According to Ryan, there are major differences between schools in big cities and in rural areas. "Aside from the educational tools, the infrastructures, such as the buildings, are also very different. Another disparity is in the quality of the teachers, often the result of the lack of facilities."

Goei Diana Sulistyaningrum, the founder of morimom.id, said her social enterprise focuses on providing food products made from the leaves and pods of the moringa tree for pregnant women to prevent stunting.

"We want to empower the people of East Nusa Tenggara [NTT]. We chose the region for several reasons. First, because it has one of the highest stunting rates in Indonesia," Goei said.

"Then, our goal is to empower human resources through natural resources. We discovered that moringa trees grow in abundance in NTT. We learned from the Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] that many parts of the tree have great health benefits for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children. Since NTT is one of the poorest provinces in Indonesia, and stunting is closely related to poverty, we decided to focus our business there," she said.

Goei said her start-up so far has received no assistance from the government. 

"We know that the government has made [eradicating] stunting the main concern of 11 ministries and state institutions, but we've never worked together with them. Now we have plans laid out to do so," she said.

Indonesia's SDG Report

While Indonesia was successful in reducing absolute poverty – down to single digit last year – and improving equality and employment levels, the country still faces many challenges to meet all 17 of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Among the country's strongest concerns are "limited access to responsive public services, unequal education quality and economic opportunity, limited compliance of public services with national standards, as well as inadequate data and information," Indonesia said in a voluntary report to the UN in July.

The government also recognized that its efforts in fighting corruption and providing transparent public information were still lacking. Also, disaster preparedness and energy diversification, especially into more efficient and renewable ones, need improvement. 

Indonesia also needs to improve tax compliance and administration, which will require more innovations.

Last, there needs to be more effort to prevent violence against children and provide equal opportunities for youth and people with disabilities.

 

 

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