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What I Really Think – the Views of a Coach for the Pilot Cities

What I Really Think – the Views of a Coach for the Pilot Cities
08/06/2012

Indonesia

Interview with Ms Indah – Indonesia

Ms Indah, you have represented APEKSI (one of the Indonesian LGAs) many times in DELGOSEA activities, including providing solutions for problems related to the best practice (BP) replication in pilot cities. As the Director of Program Development and Advocacy, you have been capacitated to support the pilot cities in Indonesia. Could you please give us a little insight into what it means to assist the pilot cities? What are the main services you are providing to the cities?

APEKSI will definitely continue to assist all pilot cities and monitor the progress of activities after DELGOSEA finished and post replication. Generally APEKSI has been assisting all pilot cities: from choosing the pilot cities, drawing up the action plans up to the stage of implementation, so that even if there are challenges encountered during the implementation process or on the policy level, APEKSI will assist in communicating with all concerned parties, especially at the national level. If the cities need additional information or insights for the development of the BP program replication, then APEKSI will put them in touch with relevant parties as a way to provide them with information and assistance needed. This assistance may be from municipalities that have experience in the same field. Most importantly, APEKSI will monitor the BP replication process and progress, and hopefully all pilot cities will eventually become the new best practice cities, which will be documented, published, disseminated, and transferred to other cities.

How have you personally and professionally benefited from the DELGOSEA project and its capacity building program?

APEKSI and its members have benefited hugely from the BP transfer program in terms of capacity building, human resource development, and, especially the APEKSI members, from the BP replication and transfer process. APEKSI has acquired additional knowledge and experience, especially in the area of BP development techniques, which the organisation has not enough experiences structurally. Being directly involved in the DELGOSEA project enhances the capabilities of APEKSI staff automatically in terms of their ability to transfer best practice replication techniques, give assistance to the pilot cities, deal with project management, negotiation and mediation with relevant stakeholders, reporting skills, and the project documentation. The DELGOSEA project also helps the network to be extended both within Indonesia (among pilot and BP cities) and also outside the country. These benefits are experienced personally by the people involved in the project.

How does the DELGOSEA project make a difference to the relationship between the LGAs? Does it affect the relations between the pilot cities and LGAs, especially between APEKSI and the pilot cities as members of APEKSI?

Being involved in DELGOSEA has led to a closer relationship amongst the LGAs and better and more harmonious communication not just with regard to the project, but also in dealing with other joint activities. There is now a mutual exchange of knowledge and support for the work of other LGAs. This is, obviously, very important for the relationship with the pilot cities and the replication process. Pilot cities have become more familiar with – and therefore more open-minded about - the role and the work of other LGAs.

APEKSI in particular feels that being a DELGOSEA partner strengthened its role and function. The LGA has become more communicative and responsive in answering the need of its member cities, not only with regard to DELGOSEA activities, but also when it comes to implementing APEKSI’s programmes for other cities. This new and smoother communication flow will also help APEKSI to further assist the pilot cities after DELGOSEA is finished.

What do you see as the future role of APEKSI in supporting best practice transfer in Indonesia?

APEKSI has been involved in BP transfer programs long before DELGOSEA existed. However these have not been implemented optimally due to lack of experience and lack of transfer methodology.

The additional experience gained by working so closely with DELGOSEA will have strengthened the capacity of our organisation and APEKSI will further develop its replication program in line with local needs. By partnering with various other agencies, APEKSI has begun to develop best practice transfers in a number of thematic areas, for example by working with the Mercy Corps Indonesia to develop resilience in the face of climate change. Collaboration with other LGAs is also being explored for the BP transfer and replication on people participation in the local planning process and the issue of increasing local revenue through enhanced environmental quality. APEKSI will work together with the YIPD (Regional Innovation Development Foundation) on publication, transfer and replication of the BP on the issue of bureaucratic reform.

APEKSI has made the transfer of best practices, from the documentation of these practices to their replication in a pilot city, a priority over the coming years. The aim is to achieve big gains in the efficiency of local development programmes through inter-local government cooperation. The BP transfer mechanisms, developed under the DELGOSEA project are seen as crucial elements in the development of that cooperation. Over the next four years, APEKSI has therefore made inter-local government cooperation their priority, starting with the strengthening of the BP transfer program.

Can you give an example of what particular impressed you when working with the pilot cities in Indonesia?

At the beginning of the project when APEKSI and UCLG-ASPAC visited the city of Tarakan to present DELGOSEA to Tarakan’s Mayor, the Executive Director of APEKSI and the General Secretary of UCLG-ASPAC were welcomed warmly by the local government, especially by high-ranking officials, together with all ‘Lurah’ (warden or the head of village at the City level). Their enthusiasm for the DELGOSEA project was made visible in the way all levels of government was involved – a kind of transparency, showing the involvement of all parties and public participation.

Something similar happened in Kupang City when DELGOSEA’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Mayor of Kupang, the Secretary General of UCLG-ASPAC and APEKSI at APEKSI’s office. The mayor was accompanied by several staff as well as local journalists. At the end of the MOU signing, the Mayor of Kupang was interviewed by local journalists about DELGOSEA ‘s implementation plans in Kupang City.

At the Working Group Coordination meeting in Pangkalpinang City in March 2012, the Mayor of Pangkalpinang followed the whole discussion session thoroughly and provided directions and decisions – another example of the importance the DELGOSEA project is given in each pilot city.


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