Jakarta, Indonesia – A collaboration between ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Indonesia, Geospatial Information Agency (BIG), Lokahita, and Association of Urban and Regional Planners (IAP), the third of the four-part webinar series on urban data governance looked at the opportunities and challenges in Indonesia’s urban development landscape on 27th January 2021. Various stakeholders including policymakers, national and local decision-makers, academics, practitioners, and NGOs, and the private sector in the field of urban development and geospatial information attended the webinar.
What are the recognized challenges and opportunities?
Dr. Vivi Yulaswati, Head of the Secretariat for the National Coordination of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, presented the important role of data and information in the context of SDGs – particularly goal No. 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. She highlighted the potential of using big data to strengthen city governance and to enhance the quality of public policy, in terms of real-time awareness, as it can help to analyze current activities of the dynamic Indonesian resident to support program planning and its implementation, enhanced early warning systems, and rapid evaluation such as continuous feedback for making adaptive corrections to various policies and to accelerate in achieving existing targets. Thus, a comprehensive understanding of big data must be continuously developed, while relevant skills such as data analysis methodology must be given a premium.
“It is true that the SDGs indicators already have national metadata compiled by adopting global standards. However, the metadata currently are still not uniform. A systematic, up-to-date, uniform, and easily accessible SDG data management is needed”, Dr. Yulaswati explained.
Drs. Oktorialdi, MA. PhD., Coordinator Secretariat of One Data Indonesia Central Level of Bappenas, also underpinned the importance of uniformity for effective data governance, as stated in the Indonesian One Data Policy or Kebijakan Satu Data Indonesia (SDI). It regulates the implementation of data governance to support planning, implementation, evaluation, and control of development. “Some challenges we face are socialization because it is difficult to develop socialization systems that are effective as well as can be understood by people and experts for particular areas,” he mentioned.
To internalize the identified challenges, SDI Secretariat established One Data Forum, which plays a vital role to resolve data governance issues in Indonesia. It is an association of experts to review data through discussion, communication, coordination, and decision making. Their tasks include sorting of data, determining priority data, and then identifying the action plans. Bappenas supervises the forum at national level and is locally controlled by Regional Development Planning Agency/Bappeda.
Later on, Mr. Ade Komara, Head of the Center for Topographic Mapping and Toponym of BIG, explained the importance of in-depth geospatial analysis for better planning going forward. He emphasized that the Base Map for National Development Infrastructure is valuable for producing thematic maps and easing the application for investment permits for the development of infrastructure, transportation, and public services, which subsequently can support economic growth and public welfare. Moreover, the use of spatial maps has increased in recent years, and in some cases, it is good news to support the acceleration of the provision of large-scale base maps.
Some of the challenges for the development of the national base map include weather elements and disturbances, which can significantly affect the quality of satellite data. For example, the quality of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) images can be affected by clouds, limiting the time window for image acquisition. Further, Mr. Komara also added another challenge, “Because of the sheer size of the land area of Indonesia (1.9 million km2), it is difficult and would take a lot of time to do data acquisition and develop a national base map“, Mr. Komara expressed.
Technology-based city planning
Mr Ridwan Sutriadi, Ph. D., Senior Lecturer of the School of Architecture, Planning and Policy Development (SAPPK) of the Bandung Institute of Technology, discussed the techno-polis or “a city of technology on which activities pivot.” Mr. Sutriadi also emphasized the importance of collaboration between stakeholders to carefully choose and introduce appropriate technologies to avoid technophobia, where people are fearful of technologies and their impacts. “Therefore, this needs to be considered when digital nuance arises”, he added.
Overall, data governance in urban development indeed encounters challenges but also invites many opportunities. More importantly, this webinar indicates the significance of data uniformity (One Data Indonesia) and collaboration between stakeholders for successful urban development. Thus, for future reference, data needs to be considered as assets, or otherwise we would experience what is called as asymmetric information in the development process development planning.