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Indonesia Transitional Results Report 2018-2020

The Open Government Partnership is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. Action plan commitments may build on existing efforts, identify new steps to complete ongoing reforms, or initiate an entirely new area. OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Civil society and government leaders use the evaluations to reflect on their progress and determine if efforts have impacted people’s lives.

The IRM has partnered with Sarah Jacobs, an independent researcher, to carry out this evaluation. The IRM aims to inform ongoing dialogue around the development and implementation of future commitments. For a full description of the IRM’s methodology, please visit https://www.opengovpartnership.org/about/independent-reporting-mechanism.

This report covers the implementation of Indonesia’s fifth action plan for 2018–2020. In 2021, the IRM will implement a new approach to its research process and the scope of its reporting on action plans, approved by the IRM Refresh.[1] The IRM adjusted its Implementation Reports for 2018–2020 action plans to fit the transition to the new IRM products and enable the IRM to adjust its workflow in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on OGP country processes.

Action Plan Implementation

The IRM Transitional Results Report assesses the status of the action plan’s commitments and the results from their implementation at the end of the action plan cycle. This report does not revisit the assessments for “Verifiability,” “Relevance” or “Potential Impact.” The IRM assesses those three indicators in IRM Design Reports. For more details on each indicator, please see Annex I in this report.

General Highlights and Results

Among the 19 commitments in Indonesia’s fifth OGP action plan (2018–2020), 12 saw either substantial or complete implementation (63% of commitments). This action plan’s completion rate is a downgrade from the previous action plan (2016–2018), in which 36 out of 45 commitments were substantially or completely implemented (80% of commitments).[2] This was the first plan with open parliament commitments, which largely saw limited completion, but did improve the usability of the parliament’s online legislative information system (Commitment 1). When evaluating completion of commitments, discrepancies emerged between the completion rates directly reported by implementing agencies to the IRM, the Open Government Indonesia National Action Plan Implementation Report (government self-assessment report), and the action plan monitoring and evaluation published on the Open Government Indonesia website. This report relies on the latest data on implementation supplied by relevant agencies and civil society stakeholders through interviews and correspondence with the IRM from April–August 2021.

Overall, implementation faced several challenges. A primary obstacle was insufficient investment of high-level government leadership in the OGP process. Compounding this issue, in advance of the 2019 general elections, ministries slowed implementation, anticipating potential changes in priorities under the next administration. For parliament, during the consequent prolonged transition in leadership, meetings on implementation stalled. Additionally, government agencies experienced frequent staff turnover, which created difficulties maintaining programs’ continuity and relationships with civil society partners. Restrictions to freedoms of speech and assembly also strained civil society organizations’ relationships with government and collaboration on the action plan. COVID-19 presented another major obstacle to implementation during 2020, as discussed below.

Out of 19 commitments, two demonstrated notable early results. Commitment 1, introducing a beneficial ownership registry, majorly improved access to information. Under this commitment, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights launched the first national beneficial ownership registry in Southeast Asia. While this registry offers an important platform for transparency of company ownership, progress is still underway on ensuring free public access to the registry and on expanding the number of companies disclosing beneficial ownership information. Additionally, through Commitment 10, the national public service complaints management system marginally increased the number of participating government institutions, the number of government institutions with good complaints management, and the percentage of complaint reports receiving follow-up.

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Implementation

COVID-19 affected implementation and monitoring of the action plan during 2020. Government and civil society implementers were restricted in physical mobility and working hours, and faced many COVID-19 casualties. Government ministries and agencies were also forced to reallocate budgets to emergency measures.[3] Likewise, regional civil society donor funds were channeled to the pandemic response.[4] As a result, several planned programs were cut short. For example, implementation of the action plan’s commitment on the Regional Education Budget (Commitment 4) was halted during 2020.[5] The pandemic also presented an obstacle to communication between government ministries and civil society organizations, and detracted from monitoring of implementation. [6] In terms of the action plan’s open parliament commitments, the production of a parliamentary self-assessment report was delayed by COVID-19, with no report published as of June 2021.

Elements of Indonesia’s COVID-19 response and recovery tapped into open government practices. In terms of fiscal openness, the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank performed a Public Expenditure Review with a particular component analyzing the constraints and effects generated by COVID-19.[7] Under this action plan, improvements to SP4N-LAPOR! (Commitment 10) laid the groundwork for more effective resolution of complaints related to COVID-19. Expansions of access to legal aid (Commitment 14), health information (Commitment 8), and social welfare data (Commitment 2) also responded to societal gaps exacerbated by the pandemic.

 

[1] For more information, see: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/process/accountability/about-the-irm/irm-refresh/.

[2] Ravio Patra, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Indonesia End-of-Term Report 2016–2017 (OGP, 26 Aug. 2019), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/indonesia-end-of-term-report-2016-2017/.

[3] Dwiana Fiqhi Cahyani and Dewi Resminingayu (Open Government Indonesia), interview by IRM, 6 Jul. 2021.

[4] Tanti Budi Suryani (MediaLink), interview by IRM, 7 Jul. 7, 2021; James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan, “COVID-19 shrinks civic space in Southeast Asia” The Jakarta Post (25 Apr. 2020), https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2020/04/25/pandemic-shrinks-civic-space.html.

[5] Cahyani and Resminingayu, interview.

[6] Suryani, interview.

[7] Open Government Partnership, “Guide to Open Government and the Coronavirus” (25 Aug. 2020), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/a-guide-to-open-government-and-the-coronavirus/.

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