On the Signing of Satu Data Indonesia, Implementation and What’s Ahead: A Conversation with the Executive Office of the President of Indonesia
The Indonesian Government introduced the draft of a Presidential Regulation known as Satu Data Indonesia in 2016 to improve the quality of data governance within Indonesia’s public sector. Along with representatives from government agencies, the private sector and civil society, Pulse Lab Jakarta was pleased to participate in a public consultation session to discuss the draft. Heeding feedback from the discussions, we later teamed up with the Executive Office of the President of Indonesia (KSP) to apply human centered design to develop a toolkit that models data governance at the subnational level. This month, President Joko Widodo signed the regulation which now enables the Government to implement the initiative across government agencies. We caught up with Yanuar Nugroho (Deputy Chief of Staff at KSP) after the signing to discuss the regulation and to learn more about the Government’s implementation plans.
Now that the Presidential Regulation on Satu Data Indonesia is signed and sealed, what was the journey like collaborating with all the parties involved?
Satu Data Indonesia was borne out of the need to strengthen data governance within Indonesia’s public sector, which was articulated by President Jokowi back in April 2016. After 27 drafts and a lengthy process, I’m pleased that the regulation was finally signed this month. The main challenge perhaps, was getting all the parties involved to be on the same page so to speak, as not everyone immediately understood the concept and its long-term potential benefits. For example, for some people the concept was initially believed to be just a centralised data platform, because the word ‘satu’ in Bahasa Indonesia means ‘one’ and therefore led others to think of the initiative as a singular data system instead of an open data system.
Let’s consider data on rice production in Indonesia for example. There are actually different authorities that produce data on this topic, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Ministry of Trade and the Indonesian Bureau of Logistics. The downside is that these data sets are currently not integrated, and a system needs to be in place to produce, share and consume such data across agencies in order to have a clear understanding of the data and shared potential uses. Basically, we want the data to ‘speak to each other.’ This is what’s called data interoperability and is essentially the main tenet of Satu Data Indonesia. This initiative is intended to better facilitate the integration of government planning and budgeting efforts to inform comprehensive, evidence-based policy making at all levels of government.
How do you foresee Satu Data Indonesia transforming the ways institutions within the public sector operate and make policy decisions?
We are entering a new era of evidence-based policy making. Once Satu Data Indonesia is fully in place, government ministries and agencies will no longer need to develop their own data system, but will instead begin to integrate and maximise the benefits of this data governance framework. This will be a huge step in the right direction for the Government. Satu Data Indonesia is one of the building blocks of our Electronic-Government (e-Gov) architecture. Because with e-Gov, we talk about e-planning, e-budgeting, e-procurement and so on, which means we are talking about data integration, financial budgeting and programme planning.
What we aim to do is not only better manage the national budget, but to make government more effective, more efficient, more open and more transparent. This, I believe, in the end will forge a better relationship with and earn more trust from citizens. e-Government is not just about technology, because technology as we know it is never an end in itself. With LAPOR (Indonesia’s National Complaint Handling System) for example, a citizen can complain about anything and now with Satu Data Indonesia, the idea is that you should be able to search for data that is relevant to the public sector.
What steps will be taken to ensure a smooth implementation?
In the coming weeks, our focus will be on rolling out Satu Data Indonesia across Indonesia. We previously conducted a piloting phase throughout seven ministries — some succeeded, while others did not. But we learnt from both experiences and will share good practices that can be easily adopted. The Ministry of Education and Culture, for instance, successfully revamped its Basic Education Database (Dapodik) to ensure that the data it produces is more organised and can be accessed more efficiently. We envision that other ministries will follow suit but of course in their own fashion. Data integration at a ministerial level will give us a comprehensive picture of how the Government is progressing.
The next step from here is to scale up our efforts from the piloting phase, assess what really went well, and explore how we can improve from our failures. The Wawasan Satu Data toolkit that Pulse Lab Jakarta helped develop is crucial, because it helps each ministry to understand the context, define opportunity areas as well as design and test prototypes. The toolkit was created to help stakeholders within the public sector understand data governance in a more holistic way. It was designed through a co-creation process with public sector representatives and incorporated findings based on analysis of the local government context. While developing the toolkit, we found that users have a different set of needs based on their roles within the Satu Data Indonesia framework. As a result, several versions of the toolkit were designed, each contextualised to the needs of its users throughout the data lifecycle. Once we begin the implementation stage, ministries that have already taken part during the Satu Data piloting phase will be able to adapt more easily. Agencies that were not part of the piloting phase may need time to adjust, but that’s where the toolkit will come in very handy as an implementation and engagement tool.
What about pay-to-access and other forms of agreement there were previously required for accessing data across ministries?
If government agencies currently have a pay-to-access data practice in place, that’s something in particular I foresee will be changed. Memorandums of Understanding also known as MoUs will no longer be required for accessing and sharing data. Satu Data Indonesia aligns with the 2008 Public Information Openness Act which outlines the need for government data to be more open and publicly accessible. To be effective, we will also have to encourage capacity building for both users as well as data producers. Now that these data sets will be open to the public, my hope is that citizens will make use of them to keep an eye on the various development programmes.
One of the caveats with the regulation is that it does not explicitly speak to public-private partnership, because Satu Data Indonesia is focused on government data. It does however mention that academics can utilise the data, and there’s some potential for future collaborations between the Government and the private sector. But to get there, the Government needs to first be able to effectively manage their data — which Satu Data Indonesia will help to achieve.
When we have this conversation again in a few years, what do you hope Satu Data Indonesia will have achieved?
The presidential regulation is a regulatory framework, but for its vision to be realised, it needs to be implemented and socialised among everyone involved in the data life cycle. We need to build demand for Satu Data Indonesia within the public sector in order for it to inform decision making at all levels of government, including subnational, national, ministerial and presidential decision making. I would love for our collaboration with Pulse Lab Jakarta to continue, not only for the toolkit, but also in helping the Indonesian Government to further harness the ongoing data revolution. With the signing of the regulation itself, the President acknowledges the importance of the data revolution and open data. In a few years, I hope I will be able to confidently say that Satu Data Indonesia has successfully addressed many societal challenges, created new means to meet the needs of citizens, and provided numerous insights for data-informed public decision making, especially related to the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Presidential Regulation on Satu Data Indonesia can be accessed here. The above is an excerpt of the full interview, which has been edited and condensed by Pulse Lab Jakarta for clarity and style consistency.
Pulse Lab Jakarta is grateful for the generous support from the Government of Australia.