Initated in 2018, LOCALISE SDGs – the European co-funded programme of UCLG ASPAC in collaboration with APEKSI undertaken in Indonesia finally ended in 2021. On 24 June 2021, UCLG ASPAC organised the Final Conference on Dissemination of Learning and Programme Outcomes. The conference was also to officially launch various publications resulting from the programme such as pocketbooks, training modules, research outcomes, and policy recommendations that can be used as reference by local governments and its associations in Indonesia to implement the SDGs at the local level. During the event, there were 3 talk shows with various topics regarding the 2030 Agenda, which was attended by speakers from relevant institutions across Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
At the first session of talk show, the speakers were from institutions and ministries at the national level. The focus of this talk show is the national COVID-19 recovery plan from different perspectives. Dr. Vivi Yulaswati from BAPPENAS, as Expert Staff for Economic Synergy and Financing, shared that the biggest challenge in recovering Indonesia’s economy is the increase of poverty and threats of employment, safety and livelihoods of vulnerable groups. To tackle these challenges, Mr. Edison Siagian from the Ministry of Home Affairs said in his session that role of local governments is crucial, especially in supporting the attainment of SDGs. For example, local medium-term development plan (RPJMD) must be well-utilised in planning local development in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. Meanwhile, Mr. Satryo Bramono Brotodiningrat from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said that local SDGs have been a priority in international discussions of SDGs. Therefore, there is now an even bigger opportunity for international partnerships between local governments in Indonesia and other countries in order to better build the capacity local governments as those closest to communities in their respective cities and municipalities.
The second talk show focused on local governments’ strategies in maintaining the commitment and implementation of SDGs attainment even after LOCALISE SDGs. Dr. Bima Arya Sugiarto, Mayor of Bogor and Head of Board of APEKSI, emphasised the importance in building the capacity of local governments and the urgency of mainstreaming data and research-based policy. Dr. H. Syarif Fasha, Mayor of Jambi, shared success stories on how international cooperation between Jambi government and foreign cities governments such as Singapore and Guangzhou benefits Jambi in various aspects. Mr. Deri Asta, Mayor of Sawahlunto, shared his experience in managing Sawahlunto Geopark by involving people living around the site so that it can benefit them. Mr. Marten Taha, Mayor of Gorontalo, shared measures taken by Gorontalo governments to achieve SDGs. Mr. Agung Heri Susanto, Head of Sidorejo Village and Secretary-General of APDESI, shared that LOCALISE SDGs can also benefit the development of villages or desa in Indonesia. In the future, he hopes for more collaboration and assistance from fellow local governments for villages in Indonesia, thus supporting the proposed idea of SDGs Desa.
The final talk show was a sharing session of initiatives and best practice on SDGs implementation from local governments in Asia Pacific Region. Mr. Nelson S. Legacion as the first speaker representing Mayor of Naga City in the Philippines shared that SDGs are very useful as references for local governments in planning local development plan. Similar with Mr. Nelson, Ms. Noraini Roslan, Mayor of Subang Jaya in Malaysia, said that SDGs has been useful in deciding focus of development. Both speakers also emphasised the importance of detailed planning to ensure financial support from the central government. They also reminded that it’s important for local government to provide various platforms so that citizens can reach them and participating in local development.
In conclusion, local government is still working to achieve SDGs through local-focused targets. Multistakeholder partnerships and international cooperation can also benefit local governments in both financial and non-financial aspects. In the future, UCLG ASPAC will continue to assist local governments in achieving SDGs through their own local initiatives.