19-20 November 2019 | JAKARTA – Local governments have faced increasing challenges related to urbanisation, ranging from changing demographics, climate change, uncertain revenue sources and unequal economic distribution. As governing bodies that are closest to the people, local governments need to continuously adapt to these challenges, as well as spearhead the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA).

Multi-stakeholder partnership plays a key role in SDGs and NUA, as emphasised in Goal 17. With the principle of “No One is Left Behind,” multi-stakeholder partnerships help ensure that all development actors, from state and non-state actors, are working together in achieving this ambitious and transformative development agenda.

In order to mobilise multi-stakeholder partnerships for SDGs, UCLG ASPAC has collaborated with the Indonesian Ministry of Development Planning (Bappenas) to co-host the Forum Kemitraan Multi-Pihak untuk Mendukung Pelaksanaan TPB or Multi-stakeholder Partnerships Forum to Support SDGs Implementation, on 20 November 2019. Prior to this Forum, a one-day Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was conducted jointly with the Provincial Government of Jakarta and the Association of Indonesian Municipalities (APEKSI) on 19 November 2019. Both events were supported by the European Union (EU).

The FGD aimed to promote better understand on the challenges faced by local governments of Indonesia in initiating international cooperation including on asset handover process. The discussion also identified some of capacity developments needed to foster multi-stakeholder partnerships for SDGs and NUA, particularly in the field of budgetary and institutional arrangements to establish such partnerships.

The Forum Kemitraan Multi-Pihak untuk Mendukung Pelaksanaan TPB took place on the following day with more than 300 participants from governments, civil society organisations, development partners, business sectors, academics and media. The event started with the opening remarks of Mr. Slamet Soedarsono, Deputy Minister of Bappenas for Politics, Law, Defense and Security. Mr. Suharso Monoarfa, Minister of Bappanes, delivered a keynote speech and Mr. Budi Arie Setiadi, Deputy Minister of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, participated as a main speaker of the event.

During his speech, Mr. Suharso Monoarfa highlighted the function of Bappenas as a hub for multi-stakeholder partnerships. He reminded the participants to align their work with SDGs and emphasised the needs to catch up with the rapid and complex changes. He also shared an example of Indonesia’s multi-stakeholder partnerships called Citarum Harum to address water pollution and marine debris since 2018.

Mr. Budi Arie highlighted the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships to improve the well-being of people in rural areas. He shared an initiative on the Village Fund (Dana Desa) to develop and apply technology and innovation in rural areas to achieve SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure). The Ministry has also worked with digital start-ups to ensure fair price for farmers, promote accessibility of information through free and offline content streaming and encourage social ventures that partners with small-holder farmers. These efforts not only impact SDG 9, but also other goals, such as SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities), and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger).

UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi participated in the High-Level Panel along with other prominent delegates such as Mrs. Erna Witoelar, UN Special Ambassador for MDGs in Asia Pacific (2003-2007) and Co-Chair of Filantropi Indonesia; Dr. Arifin Rudiyanto, Deputy Minister of Bappenas for Maritime and Natural Resources and Mr. Taufik Madjid, Director General of Village Community Development and Empowerment of the Ministry of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration of Indonesia.

In her speech, Dr. Bernadia encouraged local governments to engage in multi-stakeholder partnerships to accelerate their local development and to support SDGs achievement. Such partnerships could be pursued through various platforms such as the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) for Climate and Energy to boost commitment and collaboration for SDG 13. She has also highlighted the importance of local government’s participation in the VNR’s development processes as only 33 per cent of 142 countries submitted the VNRs between 2016 to 2019 had engaged or involved local governments.

The high-level panel session continued with four parallel thematic sessions on multi-stakeholder partnerships for developing inclusive city, managing marine debris sustainably, integrated water resources management and accelerating rural transformations. The event was concluded with the adoption of a joint communique, stating the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in SDGs implementation, the approach needed in advancing global support for implementing multi-stakeholder partnerships for SDGs and strategic follow up actions to support the International Year of Participation in 2022.