Irene A Kuntjoro
As a collaborative platform, the Indonesia Development Forum (IDF) positioned Aliansi Riset Kebijakan Indonesia (ARK) as one of its strategic partners. ARK Indonesia is a group of Indonesian research institutes and think tanks that seeks to put forward data and analysis as the foundation for public policy making. In its first collaboration with IDF, ARK noted the importance of multi-sector engagement and participation in addressing a public agenda, such as inequality.
As a key partner to the first IDF, ARK Indonesia contributed to ensuring quality control overthe call for papers selection. Jointly with the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), ARK Indonesia formulated selection criteria and was involved in screening the submitted abstracts and papers. ARK Indonesia also provided input on the selection of sub-topics stemming from the overarching theme of addressing inequality. Prior toIDF 2017, several members of ARK Indonesia also organised a series of public discussions in several cities in Sumatera, Java and Kalimantan called ‘Road to IDF’to build public awareness and discourse on various aspects of inequality.Reports on thisseries of discussions can be found in previous KSI updates.
During the event itself, members of ARK took up roles as session speakers, market place presenters and co-facilitators. ARK members presented a variety of interesting ideas, findings and recommendations on addressing inequality, the materials forwhich can be found on the IDF website. Apart from the presentations, several ARK members (AKATIGA, IRE, KPPOD, PPH Atma Jaya, PSHK and SMERU) also provided video presentations on topics relevant to their respective focus areas. These videos can be found on their websites.
Members of ARK Indonesia agree that the IDF serves as a new collaborative model among key development stakeholders, whereby idea consolidation and strengthening of joint commitments have flourished. The first IDF was an initial yet significantfoundation to increase the quality of collaboration and communications among development actors. Multi-stakeholder participation and engagement is a strength that the IDF needs to sustain.
Sunaji Zamroni, a member of ARK Indonesia’s Steering Committee from IRE, said that the IDF has become an arena for showcasing the analytical and advocacy work of ARK members in informing public policymaking. Similarly, Robert Endi Jaweng from KPPOD saw the IDF as a strategic avenue to bring research products of ARK Indonesia members into public and policy discourse. He is hopeful that these collaborations will continue and feed into the implementation of higher quality development in Indonesia. Jaweng also commented that the variety of discussion formats created an exciting atmosphere for active participation of conference delegates. He is optimistic that IDF, with its innovative ideas and exciting formats, will find its own target market in coming years.
Gita Putri Damayanti from PSHK, whichcurrently acts as the ARK Indonesia secretariat, noted that the IDF played a major role in placing inequality as a common agenda among public policy stakeholders from a range of sectors. This is in line with President Joko Widodo’s video message during the opening of the IDF on the importance of public participation in addressing inequality as one of Indonesia’s biggest challenges.