Supported Australian public diplomacy efforts by consistently delivering messages that the sanitation infrastructure being developed was a direct result of Australian work with Indonesian counterparts, in reflection of shared goals between the two countries. Sanitation programs have faced a lot of challenges: 1) technical factors i.e. construction of latrines and sewage systems for urban areas, 2) Non-technical factors, i.e. community tolerance for poor sanitary conditions; poor understanding of sanitation benefits; and no active enforcement from LGs to improve sanitation programs. Despite decentralization, LGs do not recognize the economic and health benefits of investment in sanitation. This has allowed LGs to persist with the status quo and provide only a minimum level of direct services to the public. This is reflected in lower budget allocations and reliance on Central Government assistance.
- Increase communities’ awareness on the sanitation effort developed by the LGs and Australia and Indonesia partnership program, and their support for the Sanitation Hibah, sAIIG, and/or Waste Water Master Plan’s program.
- Increase awareness of both the Australian and Indonesian publics of Australia’s contribution in providing sanitation infrastructure to Indonesians through an output-based funding scheme that enables Local Government to actively participate in their own infrastructure development
- Share the Sanitation Hibah program successes through regional and national media to other Indonesian cities not currently participating in the program.
The overall goal of the activity is to publicize the IndII (the Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative), sanitation program and educate stakeholders on the benefits and impacts of the program and provide an opportunity to achieve broader public diplomacy goals on behalf of the Australian Government. To achieve the goals, the strategic approach is to 1) work with institution that IndII is currently working with, 2) partner with media, 3) use the youth age-group as key influencer to the rest of the community on sanitation issues.
Advocacy to Local Government managed to get commitment from 42 LGs through the submission of signed agreement with Ministry of Finance (MoF) and involvement during activities conducted in 9 cities through cost sharing and attendance of Mayor/ Regent in the events. The cost sharing ranges from 5 – 50% of the total cost and 7 out of 9 Local leaders attended the sanitation awareness day.
For recommendation, this public diplomacy program could be considered as the beginning of a long term awareness/public diplomacy program, as some cities/Districts have not started sAIIG (Australia Indonesia Infrastructure Grants for sanitation) project or they face difficulties during infrastructure development. It needs follow up, however, since a once-off event is not sufficient for sustainable awareness and commitment. IndII needs to plan on a longer and sustainable public diplomacy program to increase Local Leader commitment to improve provision of sanitation facilities for their communities.
SMEC International – INDII
May 2014 to October 2015
Cimahi, Makasar, Gresik, Tebing Tinggi, Yogyakarta, Solo, Palembang, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan
Christiana Tri Desintawat
Jl. Berlian No.5 RT.09 RW.11, Kelurahan Bidara Cina, Jatinegara, Jakarta Timur – 13330, Indonesia