Since 2015, there has been a growing prevalence of stunting in Lampung Province (Indonesia). World Health Organisation (WHO) defines stunting as the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. Children are defined as stunted if their height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median (www.who.int).
Data (Health Promotion Section of Lampung Province Health Agency, 2015) shows that Lampung Selatan District recorded stunting figure at 23.2% and Lampung Tengah District 25.2%. These figures increased significantly in 2017: Lampung Selatan District 30.3% and Lampung Tengah District 37%. At national level, data from Ministry of Health (Basic Health Research, 2018) shows that stunting prevalence figure is at 23%; while WHO states the maximum prevalence of stunting figure is 20% or a fifth of total number of children under four years in one country.
This condition has made Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning, in 2019, include district of Lampung Selatan and Lampung Tengah in the focus area of national stunting together with 160 other districts in Indonesia. District of Lampung Timur and Trenggamus are two other districts from Lampung that have also joined the intervention programme.
Under the leadership of Governor Arinal Djunaidi, Lampung’s newly elected leader, government of Lampung Province has proactively captured the stunting issues by incorporating it in the new Mid-Term Local Development Planning. The commitment is covered in mission that includes human resource quality improvement, children protection, women and disability empowerment. It is also well reflected in the District’ visions: “Rakyat Lampung Berjaya: Rakyat Lampung Aman, Berbudaya, Maju, Berdaya Saing, dan Sejahtera” (Lampung People are Successful: Safe, Culturally Aware, Competitive, and Prosperous).
LOCALISE SDGs, a collaborative SDGs programme for Indonesia of UCLG ASPAC and Association of Indonesia Municipalities (APEKSI), organised a local training in Lampung Province on 10 September 2019. In this occasion, Mrs. Fitrianita Damanhuri of Provincial Development Planning Agency stated that all of Lampung’s missions are closely linked to SDGs, and the aforementioned mission reflects commitment towards Goal 2 (Zero Hunger), Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), Goal 4 (Quality Education), Goal 5 (Gender Equality), and Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). She further mentioned that partnerships with various stakeholder is critical to help the province achieve SDGs.
Dr. Khairun Nisa, health expert from the SDGs Centre, stated that stunting is not solely about health issue, but also economic issue. World Bank Research in 2016 mentions that stunting could potentially make Indonesia lose its Gross Domestic Product value of up to 2-3%. Another research from International Food Policy Research Institute stated that Indonesia could get 48 times more of economic benefit from investment by reducing stunting prevalence.
Mrs. Fitrianita Damanhuri further mentioned, “Multi Stakeholder Partnership to reduce the stunting prevalence is one of the most likely things to do by Lampung Province.”
Early this year, University of Lampung launched SDGs Centre with their multi-disciplinary expertise: social, economic, environment and good governance issues. Attending LOCALISE SDGs Local Training, local government of Lampung Province got the opportunity to officially connect to them for the first time.
Establishing connections with relevant stakeholders will surely help Lampung Province in accelerating the effort of reducing stunting prevalence. With relevant data, information, resources, and expertise, it is not impossible to have a proper strategy to tackle this issue. In her remarks, Mrs. Fitrianita Damanhuri expressed her optimism that Lampung province could reach local targets and indicators of SDGs and that it would contribute to the national and global target and indicator of the ambitious 2030 agenda.
UCLG ASPAC, APEKSI, and LOCALISE SDGs team thank local government of Lampung Province for hosting the local training, all speakers and participants for insights and lively discussion. We are looking forward to linking local governments with various relevant stakeholders for the acceleration of SDGs localisation in respective area in the upcoming local training!