Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Indonesia office - in cooperation with Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture (Kemenko-PMK) and the Parahyangan Catholic University (UNPAR) - conducted a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on "Smart and Sustainable Villages" on 28-29 July 2017 in Bandung.
20 village leaders as well as representatives of civil society and academia were participating in this discussion. The FGD conducted as a follow up of a joint field survey that has been made in 11 selected villages from 2016 - 2017 across Indonesia. The research findings on best practice of sustainable village development are covering social, economic, technological and political dimensions - such as food security, local business, renewable energy, education, democratic engagement, and the use of information technology. The findings of this project will be used for public policy recommendations and as a reference of best practices and innovations which are already implemented in several villages in Indonesia. The lessons learnt from successful governance, policies and local wisdom might be later socialized also in villages in other parts of Indonesia. So that hopefully the best practice of these model sustainable villages might be used and preserved as a learning and leading example as well as a source of excellence
The Indonesian president Jokowi has put village development from the very beginning very high on his political agenda. This has been recently again underlined by launching the economic concept of ekonomi berkeadilan - the Justice economy. In a country with almost 75.000 villages, the development in rural areas is an important aspect of the national political, economic and social progress. Providing improved financial and communication opportunities to the village administration - as it is promoted by the Indonesian government - enables people in the villages to make efficient use of their resources and their capabilities.
Based on the improvement of governance, budgeting, communication, food security, sanitation, education, infrastructure, local business, access to information, energy supply and democratic engagement people’s welfare increases while the three dimensions of sustainability are nurtured. The newly created village fund offers new opportunities for progress and innovation in this regard, while village leaders have more resources to please the needs of the people.