Press Release

*As an Effort to Present Innovative Local Leadership

Banyuwangi, Transformasi, 21 November 2014—In order to increase the capacity of local government in making innovative public policy, Transformasi gathered 11 district heads and mayors from various regions in Indonesia in Banyuwangi, Friday (21/11). In the event, Transformasi held consultation and discussion to dissect various issues and explore the need of the local government in improving their capacity related to public policy in a number of sectors.

This activity was held by Transformasi, cooperating with The Consulate General of the United States in Surabaya, Rajawali Foundation, and the District Government of Banyuwangi as the host. The theme was ‘Reinventing Local Leadership Training for a New Era in Governance’.

In addition to consultation in the form of a focus group discussion with 11 district heads and mayors, this three day activity (20-22 November 2014) was also filled with welcoming dinner attended by the US Ambassador for Indonesia Robert Blake, turtle hatchling release in Boom Beach, thanksgiving dinner, and Banyuwangi’s Annual Ethno Carnival.

Discussion with local leaders was held in Hotel Ketapang Indah, Banyuwangi, from 09.30 to 11.30 WIB. The welcoming and thanksgiving dinner were also held at the same place on Thursday (20/11) and Friday (21/11) night, respectively.

Executive Director of Transformasi Nugroho Wienarto, Friday (21/11) said that the consultation and discussion with district heads and mayors was a part of the Regional Leadership Program, which is one of Transformasi’s regular programs. The objective of this program is to improve the capacity of the government in making innovative public policy, emphasizing the improvement of analytical capability and actual on site case study.

“Another objective of this program is to stimulate collaboration and information exchange between local governments,” said Nugroho.

He went on and said that Regional Leadership Program (RLP) is a refinement of the Harvard Kennedy School Indonesia Program (HKSIP) on 2011-2013, which was supported by Rajawali Foundation. However, for now and in the future, the design of that program is modified by emphasizing more on three themes, namely urban, rural and fishery and marine management.

“The three themes are the main focus of Transformasi as a networked think tank for policy makers, scholars, and the general public to assess various public issues emerging in society, develop solutions, and evaluate the result, “ explained Nugroho.

The district heads and mayors attending the event were District Head of Banyuwangi, Vice District Head of Nganjuk, District Head of Morotai, District Head of East Flores, District Head of Minahasa, District Head of North Luwu, District Head of Dompu, Mayor of Kediri, Mayor of Bau Bau, Mayor of Gorontalo, and Mayor of Bima.

The selection of those 15 District Heads and Mayors was based on the capacity and characteristic of each of their region according to the three focus themes of Transformasi. For example, Morotai and East Flores has the capacity and area characteristics in line with fishery and marine theme. Then, Kediri and Bima have characteristics in line with urban theme. Meanwhile, areas like Nganjuk and Dompu have characteristics in line with rural theme. Actually, in addition to those 15 local leaders, Transformasi also invited district heads and mayors from other areas, such as Malang City, and Blitar, Serdang Berdagai, Kaimana, and Sorong Districts. However, due to other urgent appointments, they were unable to attend the public policy discussion and consultation event.

“From the discussion and consultation, we want to obtain as many inputs as possible concerning the three themes from the local leaders. We will process such materials to design an effective training program to improve their capacity in making innovative public policy,” said Nugroho.

Facing a new erae

The discussion and consultation will be moderated by the Senior Advisor for Government Affairs of Transformasi, Sarwono Kusumaatmadja, who is also the former first Minister of Marine and Fishery of the Republic of Indonesia. The discussion will also be attended by the representative from the US Consulate General as observer and representative from Rajawali Foundation as the supporter of this activity.

The US Ambassador for Indonesia, Robert Black, welcomed and was very supportive of the Regional Leadership Program from Transformasi for local leaders in Indonesia. According to him, the new government era in Indonesia is an opportunity for the country to grow and develop further. This era crucially needs innovative local leaders.

“Indonesia currently is growing as a very good democratic country. It has a new leader in a good government like Pak Jokowi. Hopefully this will positively influence the local level as well,” he said.

President Director of Rajawali Foundation, Jonathan Pincus, added that the position of local head in Indonesia is very important for the future transformational direction in Indonesia. The presence of Joko Widodo, a former mayor and governor as the President, shows that good and high quality local leadership can give birth to a good and high quality national leader.

“The theme Reinventing Local Leadership Training for a New Era in Governance, is very appropriate and sufficient to represent our expectation that in the future there will be local leadership in line with the new era spirit,” said Jonathan. (HAN/Transformasi)