To become an innovative and modern country, Indonesia needs to begin solving problems at the regional level. In an effort to do so the National Development and Planning Board (Bappenas) in collaboration with the Australian Embassy and Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI) organized a national seminar themed “Innovative Development, Creative Leadership, and Competitive Region.”
By Gilang Al Farisi
The main aim of the national seminar was to facilitate discussion and create a forum for stakeholders to exchange ideas, sharing experiences of successful smart practices that have been applied by regional governments. Among those attending the seminar as speakers were heads of regional governments which have been acknowledged to be successful in developing their respective regions. They were Makassar Mayor Mohammed Ramdhan Pomanto and Bayuwangi Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas. The two are known for coming up with new ways to tackle the problems of their regions by providing innovative solutions. Pomanto said every leader needs to come up with innovations to benefit the people. “We have come up with the Makassar Smart Card and the Makassar Student Smart Card. The program has been implemented successfully to provide welfare to the people. Our Home Care Healthcare Program. Putting such innovations to work is the obligation of each regional leader,” he told GlobeAsia. Pomanto, popularly known as ‘Danny’, explained that he initiated 48 mobile healthcare units called dottoro’ta which are deployed to provide instant healthcare assistance when a person contacts call center number 112. Each mobile unit is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and has direct links with specialist doctors who can provide instant diagnosis or healthcare in a mere 10 minutes. “It’s a free service for the people of Makassar. We have served nearly 5,000 people. This program is noted as a pilot project by the Ministry of Health,” said Danny.
Anas meanwhile said that a region does not need to follow or copy what other regions have developed. “Innovations vary from one another depending on the specific needs of a region. In our case, we did a lot to sustain the regional economy. We are building a new airport terminal. This decision proved to be fruitful as the GDP of the region rose through the investments and tourism that has come with the traffic at the new airport,” he said. The new Blimbingsari airport terminal in Banyuwangi will be completed in three months and is built based on a green concept. It will cost Rp65 billion with the funds taken entirely from the regional budget. Bappenas chairman Bambang Brojonegoro said the seminar served a dual purpose - to act as a stimulus in the integration of regional innovation policies at central and regional government level in order to reach optimal output and outcome and to give examples of regions that have applied smart practices. “We hope that the regions can learn from one another and discover what’s best for each region. Each region has its own unique characteristic. This is why the regional leaders need to come up with their own innovations to suit the need of the people,” he said. The seminar showcased research on “analysis of policies regarding the innovations in the regions by heads of the regions in effort to further development goals” which was conducted by Bappenas in four regions, eight districts, towns and cities. The research highlighted the factors that were in play in development including leadership, the capacity and system of government, active participation of the community, and the implementation of regulations.