Gemawan Webinar: Role of Civil Society Organizations (NGOs) in Regional Sustainable Development

Opened by the Director of the Gemawan Institute, Laili Khairnur, an online seminar with the theme of the Role of Civil Society Organizations (NGOs) in Regional Sustainable Development was held on Thursday (17/12). “Gemawan participates in encouraging the involvement of civil society in various strategic agendas in West Kalimantan,” stated Laili in her opening. She also added that this activity was a follow-up action to Gemawan’s strategic planning conducted last November.

Since it was founded in 1999, Gemawan has engaged in 9 regencies/cities in West Kalimantan. Several approaches have been taken by Gemawan in maintaining the existence of the organization, which is firstly, basic organization. This activity is carried out by facilitating and initiating community organizations to foster critical power, capacity building and economic empowerment; secondly, policy advocacy by facilitating the emergence of pro-society government policies and programs; thirdly, external communication to build public support for the work Gemawan has done; fourthly, knowledge management to maintain the sustainability of insights, initiatives and knowledge which have been produced.

According to Laili, this activity aims to reflect on lessons and notes from government representatives regarding the role and contribution of civil society in sustainable development agenda. “We also hope that there will be feedback and input from civil society organizations to sharpen the approach of their programs and activities in order to strengthen the achievements of sustainable development,” she added. Hence, this webinar activity invited speakers from the Indonesian Ministry of Home Affairs, Bappeda of West Kalimantan Province, and Bappeda of Kubu Raya Regency.

On behalf of the Director General of Regional Development, Jiwa Muhammad Satria N, S.IP., MA., presented the topic “The Support and Perspectives of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Directorate General of Regional Development on the Work Contribution of Civil Society Organizations in Regional Development. The Head of Community Participation Section, Directorate of Regional Development Planning, Evaluation and Information (PEIPD), Director General of Regional Development at the Ministry of Home Affairs said that he wanted to encourage local governments to increase effective and constructive civil society participation. “We hope this collaborative governance can be implemented. We want to realize community participation as well as effective and constructive development collaboration,” he hoped.

Sub-Directorate for Environment of Kubu Raya Bappeda by the Head of Sub-Division for Natural Resources and Environment, Sunanto, S.Hut, M.Si, followed the delivery of the next material on the topic Collaboration Opportunities in Building Constructive Relationships in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in West Kalimantan. He said that the West Kalimantan Provincial Government is trying to discuss with various parties, including CSO, to solve the problems found together. He hoped that the work conducted by CSO can be in line with the programs promoted by the government.

In his presentation, he invited elements of civil society to be able to collaborate in the discussion of regional development plans. He hoped that the success stories obtained by civil society can contribute to regional development in the achievement of various strategic agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (TPB/SDG), Human Development Index (HDI), and Village Building Index (VBI), especially in Village Building Index (VBI).

The last guest speaker in this webinar was Herbimo Utoyo, Head of Economy Sector of Bappeda, Kubu Raya Regency. In his presentation on the topic of Sharing Experiences in the Engagement of Civil Society Organizations in the Regional Development Agenda in Kubu Raya Regency from the Perspective of the Regency Government, he said that the government of Kubu Raya Regency really welcomes collaborative work with civil society. To him, with the fiscal capacity of Kubu Raya Regency which is only 10% and the rest from the Revenue Sharing Fund from the central government, it is necessary to have friends in managing the regency, in which 45% of its area is forests. “NGOs or CSOs, as they are called, have proven to open our eyes, help us see social and environmental problems in Kubu Raya Regency,” he said.

In the activity which invited participants from NGO representatives in West Kalimantan, Gemawan assisted groups, media organizations in West Kalimantan, and Gemawan activists, Herbimo stated that collaboration with CSO helps out the work of the government. “Through a collaborative scheme with CSO representative communities, this work is also very interesting for us to do since there are a lot of inspirations we can replicate in related departments,” he added.

As a recommendation from the webinar, the West Kalimantan Provincial Bappeda will follow up this meeting to the Governor of West Kalimantan to invite West Kalimantan CSO to provide updates on CSO achievements, with its various program activities in many regions up to the village level or priority landscapes. This forum is expected to also become a moment to deliver suggestions and recommendations to the local government so that the implementation of development really aims at the achievement of the 17 SDGs, increases the ranks of IDM and HDI, not merely on administration and paper, but really touches the root of the problem, measurable, and impactful.

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