SDGs Desa

SDGs at a glance

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global development agenda agreed by 193 countries in 2015, replacing the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) which ended in the same year. The end of the project, which had been running since 2000, has caused the emergence of a follow-up development agenda as a common reference. The SDGs are more diverse and detailed, consisting of 17 goals, 169 targets, and 241 indicators. Its preparation involved many countries, expanded funding sources, an emphasis on human rights in poverty alleviation, stakeholder involvement, as well as inclusive and no-one-left-behind principles.

The Indonesian government responded by signing Presidential Regulation no. 57 of 2017 regarding the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals Achievement (TPB) by President Joko Widodo. TPB was grouped into four pillars: social, economic, environmental, as well as legal and governance which are supported by the principles of partnership and participation of the parties.

In a speech delivered when representing Indonesia as Minister of National Development Planning/Head of BAPPENAS at the 2017 ASEAN Ministers Workshop, Bambang PS Brodjonegoro said that there were some of the biggest challenges in the implementation of Indonesia’s SDGs. The challenges included assuring the implementation of inclusive and no-one-left-behind principles, integrating all stakeholder programs in the SDGs action plan, synergizing priorities between government and non-government, and building a comprehensive and inclusive database. These challenges appeared in the middle of the fact that there were disparities in the development of each region, Indonesia’s geographical condition which was in the form of nusantara, and the technocratic atmosphere which had been rooted.


Elaborating the Paradigm

As a very ambitious globalization mega project, it must be admitted that it is extremely difficult to achieve the SDGs indicators, even for developed countries. Noam Chomsky states that it is impossible for a sustainable development paradigm to eradicate poverty by 2030. It is impossible to measure the progress of “developing” countries using the standards applicable in “modern” countries. The SDGs also reduce all phenomena and challenges only in one solutive narration: development.

The paradigm in the SDGs is still rooted in an anthropocentric framework which sees humans as the main axis of a civilization, while nature is an object to satisfy the interests of humans. Economic growth, as one of the pillars of SDGs, in fact, opens up a way for the exploitation of natural resources by the oligarchic regimes of the world. The returning contribution given by this regime, as compensation for the ecological damage which happens, cannot be a solution to global problems in the form of poverty, unemployment, segregation and social conflicts, ecological crises, food crises, and – even – zoonotic pandemics. The last mentioned was even able to aggregate all crises in one breath.

The series of crises above cannot be seen as events partially taking place because life’s problems, according to Fritjof Capra, consist of components which are interrelated and dependent to one another. Seeing it separately actually causes the loss of the way to find the root of the problem which is very paradigmatic.

The development which has been carried out so far still refers to the economic growth of the developmentalism school. The characteristics of developmentalism, according to Sonny Keraf, is not left behind at all, but is affirmed with sustainable development paradigm of sustainable development. Developmentalism offers a way to develop the economic conditions in developing countries through foreign aid to encourage the growth of developing countries. This definitely has an impact on the dependence of the donor recipient countries, and opens up the way for intervention in developing countries. Sustainable development, instead of being a form of global movement towards a world without problems, has instead become a delivery room for new imperialism.

Macro developmentalism with a materialist orientation measures the country’s development based on very positivistic data, looking at nominal indicators, such as the number of infrastructure development, the number of areas that have been planted, and so on. The view of this model surely misses to see the social reality that turns into mechanistic and artificial. Humans serve a system that they have never agreed beforehand. At this point, human dehumanization occurs.

Therefore, Prof. Emil Salim mentions the significance of the paradigm change radically. The sustainable development paradigm must be supported by clear regulations and legal provisions. A country is also compulsory to have a cultural mechanism that allows local wealth in the form of growing local wisdom which can support resource and environment preservation. Actualizing a fair world order is impossible to achieve when the paradigm used is still materialistic.


Localizing: Villages with Nusantara Characters

If we learn from the implementation of the MDGs, then the main priority of the SDGs – if this is the only option – is to do a change of strategies and methods that are indeed appropriate and suitable with Indonesian conditions, whether they are conditions of social, economic, environmental, cultural and local wisdom, as well as geographical. The development gap among regions, archipelagic geography, and unintegrated data require a more rooted manifestation. Therefore, localizing SDGs has become a special theme, as the step initiated by the Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration through Permendesa PDTT No. 13 of 2020 which focuses on the use of village funds to achieve Village SDGs.

The Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration added the 18th point in the SDGs which resulted in the Village SDGs, namely dynamic village institutions and adaptive village culture. According to the Ministry of Village, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, Ahmad Halim Iskandar, Village SDGs number 18 is an effort to accommodate local community wisdom and productive village institutions (Kompas). Minister Gus stated that the Village SDGs will contribute 74% to the achievement of TPB.

There are two aspects of the Village SDGs that are believed to be able to make a significant contribution, namely the territorial aspect and the civic aspect. Considering the territorial facts, 91% of Indonesia’s territories are village areas, while based on the aspect of citizenship, 43% of Indonesian population lives in villages and 6 SDGs are related to villagers.

Hence, bringing the SDGs down to earth is a strategic step. At least for 2 things, firstly, the Village SDGs become a vehicle to bring out the cultural characters of nusantara as a paradigm foothold. The Village SDGs can gather strength to maintain the identity of Indonesia in the midst of globalization which limits and relativizes state sovereignty and is hegemonic to nature. Secondly, the Village SDGs are protection shield of village natural resources from privatization and exploitation.

These two objectives will be difficult to realize if the participatory approach model is not institutionalized, not just artificial and temporary participation. If this agenda runs, the Village SDGs will become the chance to restore nature as a centrum running on the cultural wisdom of nusantara. Keep in mind, without humans, nature can still be sustainable, while humans will not be able to survive without sustainable nature.

Mohammad Reza[1]

[1] Knowledge Management Team of Gemawan




Village SDGs and Reconstruction of Sustainable Development Paradigm
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