, Jakarta – The Indonesian Civil Society Coalition for Open Government Partnership (OGP) expressed its views and evaluation of participating in the eighth OGP Summit held on September 6-7, 2023, in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Civil Society Coalition would like to express appreciation for Indonesia’s efforts in addressing the challenges of the pandemic. However, it also wants to highlight some of the shortcomings and information closures that still occur regarding procuring goods and services in handling the pandemic.

“Although the pandemic has been a tough test for many countries, the Indonesian government has been able to adapt. However, there are concerns regarding the lack of transparency in this process,” the Civil Society Coalition wrote in a press release.

Incidents such as citizen data leaks and government abdication of data protection responsibilities must also be addressed, as the lack of transparency can result in unaccountability.

OGP has great potential to promote open government and improved public services in Indonesia. However, this agenda has not been a top priority for the government in the last two terms. The government has focused more on developing large projects such as National Strategic Projects (PSN) across Indonesia and constructing new capitals, airports, and others.

Unfortunately, the implementation of PSN is done quickly and often prioritizes investment and business over accountability and public participation. Several laws, such as the Job Creation Law, Health Law, KPK Law, Criminal Code Law, and Mineral and Coal Law, also ignore public participation in their formulation process.

As a result, Indonesia’s democracy index, as the Economist Intelligence Unit reported, has decreased or stagnated from 2017 to 2022. Even in the civil liberties indicator, the Philippines (7.35) is now considered more democratic than Indonesia (6.14). Attacks on civil liberties and open public space continue, including digital attacks, physical attacks, and legal attacks on activists.

Although Indonesia received an OGP Award through the Legal Aid Fund program developed by the Civil Society Coalition, participatory public policy deliberation remains challenging. Many of the 15 National Action Plan commitments have yet to be implemented or undertaken without adequate public engagement.

In the National Action Plan VII period of 2023-2024, civil society continues to push for critical issues that support open government, such as natural resource extraction, beneficial ownership, sustainable procurement of goods and services, and sustainable energy transition management.

The Indonesian Civil Society Coalition for Open Government Partnership proposes the following strategic steps to safeguard OGP values and improve the implementation of the National Action Plan:

1. OGP implementation should be an ongoing priority in the future and should be undertaken by all future presidential candidates. All prospective presidential candidates must commit to including open government in their development vision and mission.

2. The engagement of non-governmental actors needs to be formally institutionalized with a clear regulatory framework, including access to resources and an equal role in monitoring and evaluation.

3. Openness in public policy discussions, especially related to national strategic projects, infrastructure projects, natural resource extraction, and energy transition, should be a priority.

4. The state must ensure a safe environment for human rights activists, environmental activists, and journalists, especially in Indonesia’s declining public space and freedom of speech openness.

5. The Indonesian Civil Society Coalition for Open Government Partnership is committed to continue working with the government and related parties to realize the goals of open government and improve public services for the common good.

Representatives of the Coalition who participated in this activity were Medialink, International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID), Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), Suarise, Publish What You Pay Indonesia, Indonesia Judicial Research Society (IJRS), Wahana Visi Indonesia, and Transparency International Indonesia (TI Indonesia). Indonesia was one of the eight founding countries of OGP in 2011.