Jakarta, GATRAnews – The involvement of civil society which is the principle of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in promoting national development is a must. The government must open up space for civil society in every policy taken. Unfortunately, the role of civil society is currently being marginalized by the government itself.

Representative of the Regional Center for Research and Information (PATTIRO), Nanda Sihombing, said that Indonesia is currently experiencing a decline in civilian space. “Indonesia is one of the countries experiencing this decline. The main factor is the Civil Society Organization Law (UU Ormas) which is considered to be binding on freedom of association, ”he said at the Open Government Partnership Summit (OGP Summit) in Mexico City through a press release, Friday (30/10).

According to him, the Indonesian government needs concrete steps to increase public participation in making its policies. “It must be accompanied by concrete steps to improve the red report card. Indonesia is the founding country of the OGP. It is very inappropriate to get a bad grade, ”said Nanda.

In the same forum, Beka Ulung Hapsara, representative of the International NGO Forum on Indonesia Development (INFID), said that government policies must be reflected in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The government must find the right solution so that the position of civil society is not marginalized by forces that have greater social and political capital,” he said.

This is because he said if that happens then the substance and role of development carried out by civil society will actually disappear or marginalized. For Beka, currently, powers that have large capital tend to dominate development agendas. The role of civil society is needed to balance these strengths. “This is what we have to find the solution for,” he said.

The OGP Summit took place on 27-29 October 2015 in Mexico City. This forum was also attended by the Minister for National Development Planning. The summit was attended by around 2,000 participants from 65 OGP member countries and other invited countries.

This OGP Summit focuses on highlighting how the principles of “open government” can support the implementation of the SDGs. Dozens of representatives of Indonesian civil society from 12 organizations attended and colored the OGP Summit forums. The 12 organizations are ICEL, ICW, Infest Yogyakarta, INFID, IPC, Laskar Batang, Media Link, Pattiro, PWYP Indonesia, Seknas Fitra, TII, and the Tifa Foundation.