Representatives of the Ministry, Local Government, Associations of Local Authorities and Local Legislative Bodies, academics and civil society organisations discussed the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of COVID-19 and how to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs at the local level. The online discussion forum entitled "Strategy and Policy Adjustment to Accelerate the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals at the Local Level during the COVID-19 Pandemic" was implemented by an EU-funded project LOCALISE SDGs: Leadership, Ownership, and Capacities for the 2030 Agenda Local Implementation and Stakeholders Empowerment implemented by the United Cities and Local Government Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) in collaboration with the Association of Indonesian City Governments (APEKSI).
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on development sectors around the world, and Indonesia is no exception. It has affected the agenda for achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national and local level. The Indonesian government is taking anticipatory steps to deal with the impact on a number of SDGs targets, as explained by Dr Arifin Rudiyanto, Chairman of the National SDGs Implementation Team, Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas. “The impact on the Social Development Pillar, SDG 1 No Poverty, for example, has been huge. The income of the vulnerable and poor groups has decreased and the middle class are at risk of descending into poverty,” he added.
In addition to the threat of an increased poverty rate, the Large-Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) policy has affected several aspects, such as disruption in the logistics of the food supply and distribution, barriers to accessing health services, and the dramatic shift to online learning is increasing inequality in access to education as not every student has access to reliable internet. Moreover, women and children are vulnerable to domestic violence.
In his opening remarks, the EU Ambassador to Indonesia H.E. Vincent Piket reaffirmed EU commitment to support the Indonesian Government in the implementation of 2030 Agenda that aims at delivering poverty eradication and sustainable development for all. “In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to work even harder to achieve the SDGs. We have to make our economies, our societies, our citizens stronger and better prepared for future crises. Realising the SDGs does precisely that. Local governments have a major role to play, in Indonesia as much as in Europe. At the local level we can produce the best and most direct benefits for the citizens,” he added.
H.E. Anies Baswedan, Governor of DKI Jakarta and Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Provincial Governments (APPSI), shared the best practices of DKI Jakarta in implementing the SDGs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As Co-President of UCLG ASPAC, he said, “Multi-stakeholder collaboration is a significant force in the effort of achieving all 17 SDGs, which is evident in the work that we do."
Robert Na Endi Jaweng, the Executive Director for the Regional Autonomy Implementation Monitoring Committee (KPPOD), explained the results of research conducted by the LOCALISE SDGs project on local budget adjustment to support the achievement of the SDGs.
The online discussion was moderated by Dr Megandaru W. Kawuryan - Executive Director of APPSI and Sri Indah Wibi Nastiti - Executive Director of APEKSI.
In her closing remarks, Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC Dr Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi stated that effective policies must be open to adjustments. “In order to achieve SDGs targets during the COVID-19 pandemic, UCLG ASPAC as an Association of Cities and Local Governments in the Asia Pacific region feels that SDGs implementation policy at the local level needs to be improved. It’s actually a good opportunity to make revisions and adjustments so that we are absolute that no one is left behind,” she added.
About the European Union
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union between 27 Member States. Together, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. The EU is the largest trade block in the world; as well as the world's largest source and destination of foreign direct investment. Collectively, the EU and its Member States are the largest donor of Official Development Assistance (ODA), providing more than half of ODA globally.
About LOCALISE SDGs
LOCALISE SDGs is a programme implemented by UCLG ASPAC in collaboration with the Association of Indonesia Municipalities (APEKSI). The programme is aimed to strengthen the capacity of local governments and their associations to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 16 provinces and 14 cities in Indonesia, as well as building a strong network with local governments in Indonesia and other countries, alongside other development actors. The programme, which has been running since 2018, is funded by the European Union, and also involves other local government associations, such as APPSI, APKASI, ADEKSI and ADKASI.
About UCLG ASPAC
UCLG is a world-class association of cities and local governments founded on January 1, 2004, in Barcelona, Spain. UCLG is the only local government recognised by the United Nations. UCLG is a combination of the IULA, UTO (United Towns Organization), and METROPOLIS (World Association of the Major Metropolises). UCLG has a network of more than 250,000 cities and regions.
UCLG ASPAC is the regional section of UCLG for the Asia Pacific region. Headquartered in Jakarta, UCLG ASPAC is part of the largest UCLG region with a network of more than 10,000 local governments, representing about 4,5 billion people – more than half of the world’s population- and uniting fast-growing countries, such as the People’s Republic of China, India and Indonesia.
UCLG ASPAC is the key knowledge management hub on local government issues in the Asia-Pacific region. It promotes democratic local government, supports cooperation between cities, local governments, and their associations, and facilitates programmes, networks, and partnerships to develop local governments and associations’ capacity. UCLG ASPAC activities cover decentralised cooperation (cities/local governments to cities/local governments exchange), advocacy, capacity building and training, research and knowledge management, and project development.
APEKSI is a forum consisting of 98 cities in urban areas, aiming to assist its members in implementing regional autonomy and creating a conducive climate to establish cooperation among regional administrations. APEKSI is a representative of local government (city government) working alongside the government or other parties; guiding the local autonomy policies and implementation; facilitating the member’s services such as capacity building, advocacy, and information and data dissemination; ensuring a transfer of knowledge among the members and with others relevant parties; and creating an information centre of city governments.