20 December, 2013

Indonesia’s harnessing of partnerships for development progress and the post-2015 agenda

By Gordon B. Manuain

Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) over more than a decade across the world has left us with a wealth of lessons on how a development programme can best be realised. Various modalities of implementation have been explored. Yet, whatever policy or strategy is adopted, it is unmistakably clear that the success of the MDGs has depended on a cohesive inter-linkage of different stakeholders in effective, intersectoral partnerships.

With the MDGs in the last stretch toward their deadline, and the world laying the groundwork for the post-2015 development agenda, harnessing the full potential of a new global and intersectoral partnership is a sine qua non for accelerating achievement of these development goals.

Like many countries committed to achieving the MDGs, Indonesia has shown mixed progress. Some targets have been met before the deadline year, while some others require extraordinary efforts and nationwide innovative breakthroughs to accelerate their achievement, or at least closest proximity to set targets, by 2015.

Meanwhile, there is growing awareness that government efforts will not ensure achievement alone, and greater intersectoral engagement should be cultivated to complement government-driven programmes.

indomotherweb2Sustainable, well-co-ordinated partnership across a wide range of development actors, most notably civil society and the private sector, is essential to accelerating MDG progress.

Part of the acceleration strategy we are pursuing hinges on intersectoral partnerships cutting across a wide spectrum of development stakeholders. Over the last few years, we have witnessed increasing engagement of private sector, civil society, academia, as well as youth organisations.

The Indonesian government’s Office of the President’s Special Envoy on the MDGs has been making every effort to create an enabling environment for such a sustainable partnership across different sectors. To generate meaningful change for communities at the grassroots level, it has developed and implemented two flagship programmes.

Firstly, the annual Indonesia MDG Awards, has brought public attention to a variety of locally-driven best practices in MDGs with significant effects on the community’s well-being, which might otherwise have gone unacknowledged. Secondly, Pencerah Nusantara – Nation’s Guiding Light in Indonesian – is an integrated, community-based, primary health-care intervention in underserved, remote areas.

These programmes bring together a wide range of different partners including General Electric (GE) in the private sector, district governments, civil society, local NGOs, academia, media, and youth organisations to accelerate progress toward MDG targets at community level.

Various lessons and best practices emerging from the implementation of these programmes underscore the importance of a broad-based, well-coordinated sustainable partnership. Out-of-the-box approaches have thrived as different development actors bring their unique expertise and capacities. Viewing health issues within the broader social context, which plays a major part in the health status of the community, has helped improve access to healthcare in underserved and remote areas. The intervention programme developed by Pencerah Nusantara is geared not only to address symptoms of disease, but more importantly to empower communities through hands-on education to create their own healthy environment. This approach relies heavily on raising awareness of the importance of preventive measures in health, has beneficial effects of promoting their own health and preventing them from falling ill. This has helped create enabling conditions for poor and marginalised people to develop inexpensive, healthy lifestyles at the grassroots level.

Our experiences show that the need to foster an effective, well-coordinated partnership across different sectors is indispensable in meeting the MDG targets, particularly in implementation. We are also confident that such partnership will be an essential tool in guiding us to address the new challenges posed by the post-2015 development framework.


Gordon B. Manuain

ManuianGordon Manuain is in charge of overseeing regional and global affairs for the Indonesian President’s Special Envoy on the Millennium Development Goals. He is also a contributor of opinion articles on development issues to Jakarta-based newspapers. (gordon11270@yahoo.com)


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