Bilateral Agreements Extend to Social DevelopmentCountry Focus
Government-to-government programmes have bolstered economies and provided assistance to communities in critical need. Partnerships with the Dutch and Belgian governments in various sectors has helped communities in Indonesia lead better lives. Here, we highlight some of the recent initiatives undertaken in conjunction with the Dutch and Belgian governments, and the positive impact they have had in Indonesia.
Vegetable Production and Marketing with Impact (VEGIMPACT) programme in Indonesia
Indonesia’s vegetable production is dominated by small farmers with limited access to expertise, capital and supply chains. The Dutch-financed Vegetable Production and Marketing with Impact (VEGIMPACT) programme is working to the benefit of these small farmers, by increasing production profitability and improving marketing operations. Implemented in collaboration with public and private sector groups, the programme aims to promote good agricultural practices and develop new value chains that will have a lasting impact on nutrition, food security and private sector development. As well as farmers, extension agents, researchers and traders are also being trained to replicate and expand learning from the programme across Indonesia.
Training and reaching out to farmers is part of the VEGIMPACT project but is a good connection to markets like the product/market combinations is essential to stimulate farmers’ interest in new ways of working. This is why the installation of product and market combinations was an important part of the project. Farmers were certain that they could sell their products and that by working together they could produce a constant stream of good quality vegetables.
Priority setting and investments by the Indonesian government and non-governmental actors, as well as support from donors and private sector parties, will be vital in jointly implementing and/or funding food security projects as they are re-established and extended on a national level. Training and good vocational education will be key, as well as creating the enabling environment within national and regional governments and new methods, like apps, to reach more and more farmers and fishermen.
Access to improved wastewater facilities in Indonesia is below 60 per cent. Moreover, the presence of large quantities of sewage and uncollected garbage intensifies the problems of already inadequate drainage networks.
Since 2006 the Indonesian government has intensified its efforts to increase access to sanitation. In 2010 it launched the Program Percepatan Pembangunan Sanitasi Permukiman (PPSP) or Accelerated Sanitation Development for Human Settlements program, which sets specific goals for the three sub-sectors of wastewater, solid waste and urban drainage.
The Urban Sanitation Development Program is a technical support project within this program. Funded by Dutch Embassy, the aim of the program is to support the Indonesian government in reaching PPSP goals.
Thanks to the institutional support provided by the embassy-supported Urban Sanitation Development Project (USDP), some 458 towns and districts (of the 482 covered by the project) now have good quality, pro-poor sanitation plans drawn up.
Indonesia’s ambition is to achieve universal coverage by 2019. Close monitoring of progress is important, however, as sanitation is still a relatively low priority within local government institutions. It remains to be seen, therefore, whether the institutional support provided by the USDP will be fully internalised and whether this support will result in actual investments and improved service delivery in the next two years.
Thanks to the support provided by organisations like Simavi’s Sanitation, Hygiene and Water (SHAW) programme and SNV Community Based Total Sanitation programme in Lampung, more than 1.5 million people in East Indonesia have been reached with sustainable access to sanitary facilities since 2012, in line with expectations.
In the next few years years, the activities of Simavi (with the new SEHATI programme) and the second phase of the USDP are expected to contribute to further investments in and increased access to improved sanitary services. In view of the phasing out of Netherlands ODA support by 2020, projects are expected to further consolidate and institutionalise the results of the earlier programmes, based on solid transition plans. Increased roles for the private sector and the identification and mobilisation of alternative funds for necessary investments will, as part of the transition strategy, receive increased attention in the coming years. As agreed under the trilateral MoU signed in 2016, Dutch and Korean Technical Assistance have been mobilised to provide support in the preparation, by 2018, of a Final Investment Decision for long-term flood protection measures.
INITIATIVES WITH BELGIUM
The largest Belgian investment sectors in Indonesia are plantations, steel, pharmacy, garment and textiles, warehousing, transportation, and telecommunications. The largest Belgian companies in Indonesia are Solvay (chemical materials), SIPEF (plantation), Bekaert (steel industry), and Delhaize (retail and supermarket).
To enhance economic cooperation between the two countries, from 12-19 March 2016, Princess Astrid of Belgium led an official visit to Indonesia with her economic mission. This economic mission comprised around 300 participants including many high officials, vice presidents and ministers from the federal and regional levels, as well as businessmen and media. In addition to a visit to Jakarta, Princess Astrid also visited Bogor, Bandung, Karawang, and Bekasi. The Vice-President of Wallonia and the French Speaking Communities, Jean-Claude Marcourt took this opportunity also to make an official visit to Yogyakarta.
During this visit, Princess Astrid inaugurated a fiber cement board factory PT Eternit Gresik at Surya Cipta Industrial Residence, Karawang. Several MoUs have also been signed between Belgium and Indonesia, at government, business and academic levels.
This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine March 2018 issue “Design for Living”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.