Background to the Open Government Partnership in Indonesia : the CSO Core Team

By: Nanda Sihombing, OGP Specialist, PATTIRO.

As one of the eight founding members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2011, Indonesia was appointed to the chairmanship in 2014.This was just one step, though, in the evolution of OGP in Indonesia.

The first step in the development of OGP in Indonesia was the government’s establishment of Open Government Indonesia (OGI). The government established OGI as a platform for communication between interested parties. Initially, OGI had a core team consisting of five government agencies, namely, the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (UKP-PPP), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Communication and Information, National Planning Agency, and Central Information Commission. The government subsequently appointed four civil society organisations (CSO) to join the OGI Core Team. However, as there were no mechanisms for the appointment of these CSOs, there were concerns about transparency of these selections. The appointed CSOs, therefore, asked for explanations regarding the reasons behind their respective appointments. The government responded by announcing that the credibility of each organisation as a representative of their distinct and different backgrounds was behind their appointments and that this credibility would serve to start building trust between government and CSOs.

In 2013, the Indonesia government decided to add another two government agencies to the core team, the Ministry of Administrative Reform and Ministry of Home Affairs. As a result of this extension, civil society core team members requested a further extension of the team, in order to provide equal representative for government and civil society. An open recruitment process was conducted and three organisations with different backgrounds were chosen, based on criteria set during discussions between government and the CSO Core Team.

Despite the increased prominence of the CSOs within Open Government, the CSOs’ internal mechanisms had yet to reach the maximum capacity. Of particular concern for the CSOs, at this time, was a lack of resources and dedicated personnel from each organisation (focal point). In response to these limitations, the CSO Core Team conducted a process of self-restructuring, following the OGP London Summit in 2013. As a result, each organisation appointed a focal point to sit in the OGI Core Team, with the core team appointing an internal coordinator and establishing a secretariat. In addition to that, the seven CSOs were also divided into specific roles, with specific functions. The division of tasks was based on their focus areas (anti-corruption, environmental matters, public service, budget transparency, and legislative openness) and the different scale of their operations (international, national, and sub-national level).

This increasing awareness of structural limitations occurred not only within the structure of the core team, but also within the government and CSOs themselves. A lack of internal resources made them realise that public campaigning and involvement must be broadened, leading to significant public outreach being conducted. The engagement of a broader set of actors, including the coalition of Freedom of Information Network Indonesia, was one of the most significant approachs undertaken by the CSO Core Team. A group of CSOs also conducted an independent monitoring report to evaluate the national action plan in 2013. The report gave a different perspective about the national action plan and its overall meaning. All the actors involved in 2014 have showed a greater interest when compared to initial interest in 2011 when the government first introduced OGP.

During the Indonesian chairmanship, the CSO Core Team decided to take a more proactive approach to allow for better engagement and collaboration in the decision making processes for OGP initiatives. The trust which has flourished in the past two and a half years has resulted in better collaboration, whilst there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Partnership in Open Government focuses strongly on collaborative efforts, such as the efforts which have been undertaken by the seven members of the CSO Core Team. Three important forms of collaboration that has taken place between CSOs and the government have included, capacity building (i.e. provide technical assistance and training), system/infrastructure installment, and advocacy (i.e. drafting regulation with inputs from society, ensuring compliance of public agency, holding a social accountability forum, and conducting public campaign and outreach).

OGP Nanda

Collaborative Action

by CSO Core Team Open Government Partnership in Indonesia (OGI)

CSO Core Team OGI

Promoting transparency and accountability for more participative governance through partnership in Open Government Indonesia

PATTIRO (Centre for Regional and Information Studies)

Collaborative efforts for more transparent and accountable public service delivery

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TI (Transparency International) Indonesia

Collaborative efforts for essential services with integrity

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ICEL (Indonesian Center for Environmental Law)

Collaborative efforts in access to information, participation, environmental justice & natural resources management

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SekNas FITRA (National Secretariat for Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency)

Collaborative efforts in pursuing budget transparency in three pillars: executive, legislative, and communities

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KOPEL Makassar (Makassar Legislative Monitoring Committee)

Collaborative efforts with local parliament to strengthen the oversight function of Sub-National Parliament

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GerAk Aceh (Aceh Anti-Corruption Movement)

Collaborative efforts with sub-national government for an accountable government with integrity

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JARI KalTeng (Central Kalimantan Civil Society Independent Network for Transparency and Accountabillity in Development)

Collaborative efforts for more responsive sub-national governance

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Sectoral Focal Points

Anti-Corruption : TI Indonesia and GerAk Aceh

Budget Transparency : SekNas FITRA

Environment : ICEL and JARI KalTeng

Public Service : PATTIRO

Legislative (sub-national) : KOPEL Makassar

Focal Points from the Post-OGP London Summit – OGP Bali Conference(6-7 May 2014)

  1. TI Indonesia : Ilham Saenong, Program Director
  2. ICEL: Margaretha Quina*, Researcher and Astrid Debora, Researcher
  3. PATTIRO: Didik Purwandanu*, Senior Programme Manager, Danardono Sirajudin, Senior Development Manager, Nanda Sihombing, OGP Specialist
  4. SekNas FITRA: Muhammad Maulana*, Researcher and Lukman Hakim, Researcher
  5. KOPEL Makassar: Akil Rahman, Coordinator for Research and Development Division
  6. GerAk Aceh: Mulyadi, Vice Coordinator
  7. JARI KalTeng: Mariaty A.Niun, Executive Director
  8. Secretariat CSO Core Team OGI: Nanda Sihombing, OGP Specialist, Ari Setiawan, FOI Specialist

*) *Agency has since handed over the position of focal point to someone else in their team

For more articles from Nanda Sihombing, please click here.

Nanda Sihombing

Nanda Sihombing is an Open Government Partnership (OGP) Specialist at PATTIRO (Center for Regional and Information Studies).

She is the focal point of PATTIRO for the CSO Core Team of Open Government Indonesia and manages the Secretariat of CSO OGP Indonesia.

In addition to managing the Secretariat of CSO OGP Indonesia, she is also part of the team of Secretariat of Civil Society Coalition for Freedom of Information Network Indonesia (FOINI).




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