Singapore, GIVNews – In his inaugural speech as Indonesia’s seventh president, Joko Widodo called for all Indonesians to unite their hearts and join our hands to create a great Indonesia. There was nothing exceptional from his call. Jokowi’s previous predecessors have also invited the people to work together in building the country. Yet, the reality is the ‘partnership’ between Indonesian government and the people has always been tricky, to say the least.

The new government, however, seems to put in more efforts to ensure people’s participation in the government. By harnessing the power of technology, here are the different ways the government mobilizes people’s power.

 

Crowdsourcing Cabinet

On 24 July 2014, Jokowi’s volunteer network put up an online poll at 7.00 am local Jakarta time. The survey suggested three names to be considered for each of the 34 ministerial positions and a blank where respondents can offer another name.

“The selection of the minister is the prerogative of the President, but that does not mean people cannot participate,” the introduction of the survey reads.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Jokowi said that the government is asking for people’s opinions so the government knows people’s aspirations. “We’ll take the recommendations seriously,” Jokowi added.

Indonesia Open Data Portal

On 5 September 2014, the government officially launched its open data portal containing 700 datasets from 24 government agencies. Today, the portal has 820 datasets.

The portal provides visualization feature, created by citizens and government, to ensure that all citizens can understand the data clearly.

Besides making data available, the portal also encouraged innovation among Indonesians by featuring applications which citizens and government has created using open data.

Citizens can also submit ideas and propose open datasets that they want to see on the portal in the community section.

This portal was launched as a part of the Open Government Indonesia, a part of multilateral Open Government Partnership which aims to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness technology to strengthen government

LAPOR ( Layanan Aspirasi dan Pengaduan Online Rakyat)

LAPOR is also part of the Open Government Indonesia initiative which allows citizens to file a complaint by using their Twitter or Facebook account or via SMS to 1708.

Citizens can also share reports and view responses from the concerned government agencies.

Similar to the Open Data Portal, LAPOR’s layout is very clean and easy to navigate.

Crowdsourcing is not new to governments around the world. More forward thinking politicians are utilizing the new media to engage with their supporters, especially the youths. A few months ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose election campaign was greatly supported by the use of social media, also launched a portal to seek public opinion on key developmental issues. Going further back to 2008, the world saw the groundbreaking use of crowdsourcing in Barrack Obama’s election campaign.

Indonesia too has now jumped on the crowdsourcing bandwagon, albeit, much like these portals, the effectiveness of crowdsourcing is still in beta.

Source: Global Indonesian Voices (http://www.globalindonesianvoices.com/17307/indonesian-government-mobilizes-peoples-power-through-crowdsourcing/

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