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AJI Jakarta and Hivos organise Investigative Journalism Training and Citizen Journalism Roadshow
To increase budgeting and public procurement transparency in the education and health sectors, Hivos – in collaboration with the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Jakarta – is organising an Investigative Journalism Training and a Citizen Journalism Roadshow. These activities are supported by the European Union (EU) and Hivos Open Contracting through the SPEAK (Strengthening Public Services through the Empowerment of Women-led Advocacy and Social Audit Networks) programme.
In 2019, the Investigative Journalism Training and Citizen Journalism Roadshow will be held in three cities: Semarang, Bojonegoro and Jakarta. In Semarang, the Investigative Journalism Training and Citizen Journalism Roadshow will be held from 19 to 21 July 2019.
The investigative journalism training is intended to increase the capacity of local journalists in each region. From among the journalists trained, 2 journalists will be selected to receive a fellowship to produce investigative journalism reports to be published on local and/or national media.
Meanwhile, through the citizen journalism roadshow, local citizens will be encouraged to conduct a “monithon” (monitoring marathon), or a continuous public monitoring, by sharing information about the potential of violation in their area through social media and the JAGA mobile application. Among the participating citizens, 6 people will be selected to receive awards as an appreciation for their participation in the public monitoring initiative.
The Chairperson of AJI Jakarta, Asnil Bambani Amri, explained that the training is intended to support the eradication of corruption. Corruption cases become more rampant when transparency and open information related to budget and public procurement are neglected. The situation is worse when citizens and journalists have to face various challenges in conducting effective monitoring.
“In addition to limited access to information, it is difficult for citizens and journalists to conduct monitoring and filing reports of violations because legal regulations require supporting evidence to be submitted with each report,” said Asnil.
Without any legal evidence, Asnil said, citizen reports will result in backlashes. Those who report violations can be accused of defamation. Thus, citizens need to be equipped with relevant knowledge and ability to carry out a well-planned, systematic and measurable monitoring process to minimize any potential legal threat. Their findings can then be followed up by journalists through investigative reporting processes to search for more facts and supporting evidence.
Meanwhile, Charles-Michel Geurts, Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to Indonesia, said "An element of key importance in the fight against corruption is the role of civil society and the media. Indonesia has a vibrant civil society supported by an overall enabling environment guaranteed by law. This I believe is a strong feature of Indonesian society and will be indispensable in the fight against corruption".
Ilham Saenong, the Program Development Manager for Freedom and Accountability of Hivos Southeast Asia, explained that the focus issue of these activities is monitoring for the education and health sectors, especially in relation to gender-responsive budgeting (ARG) and its implementation in the two sectors. Therefore, the active participation of women in these activities is highly expected.
"Public procurements, especially in relation to public services, are vital in the effort to improve citizens’ wellbeing. Women are key actors, not simply beneficiaries, in ensuring that public services, such as the state provision of medicine, educational facilities, additional nutrition, and others, can really reach all citizens."
SPEAK (Strengthening Public Services through the Empowerment of Women-Led Advocacy and Social Audit Networks) is a programme that aims to institutionalise constructive and effective citizen participation in the planning and implementation of local budgets to better address structural poverty. This programme is supported by the European Union and by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Hivos Open Contracting.
About AJI Jakarta
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) was established by 58 journalists and columnists through the Sirnagalih Declaration on 7 August 1994 in Sirnagalih, Bogor, after the ban of Tempo magazine, Editor magazine, and Detik tabloid by the New Order regime. The organisation aims to (1) fight for the freedom of the press, freedom of expression and freedom of access to information, (2) improve journalistic professionalism and maintain journalistic standard of ethics, and (3) increase the bargaining position of journalists in terms of their wellbeing with the media union. Today, AJI has been established in 34 cities in Indonesia, one of which is AJI Jakarta whose members consist of around 450 journalists who work in the Greater Jakarta.
Hivos is an international organisation that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. With smart projects in the right places, Hivos opposes discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources. Hivos’ primary focus is achieving structural change. This is why Hivos cooperates with innovative businesses, citizens and their organisations. Hivos shares a dream with them of sustainable economies and inclusive societies.
About European Union
The European Union (EU) is a unique economic and political union between 28 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; and 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.