In December 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) officially ended. During the 15 years of implementing the MDGs, Indonesia achieved 49 of the 67 target indicators set. This achievement resulted in significant improvements and developments in living standards in various fields of national development.
The end of the MDGs in 2015 is the beginning for countries in the world to start formulating a new platform to continue the noble ideals of the MDGs. On August 2, 2015, at the UN Headquarters, New York, 193 UN member states adopted a document entitled Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
UN member states then continued the meeting with the Sustainable Development Summit on 25-27 September 2015, at the same place. The meeting, which was also attended by representatives from 193 UN member countries, successfully endorsed a document called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which contains 17 goals and is divided into 169 targets to make human life better.
SDGs is a global action plan agreed upon by world leaders focusing on ending various world problems, such as poverty, reducing inequality, and protecting the environment. SDGs also apply to all countries universally so that all countries have a share in achieving the goals and targets of the SDGs.
The 17 SDGs Goals are: No Poverty; Zero Hunger; Good Health and Well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Reduced Inequality; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action; Life Below Water; Life on Land; Peace and Justice Strong Institutions; and Partnerships to Achieve the Goal.
All of these goals have 169 measurable targets for a global action plan that is expected to be achieved and successful by 2030.
The Role of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia in Implementing the SDGs
Unlike the MDGs, implementing the SDGs requires the participation of many parties, not just the Government. One way to ensure the achievement of all the SDGs goals and targets is to involve civil society groups. The Government is responsible for establishing a joint committee or joint secretariat for sustainable development in Indonesia.
In Indonesia, the SDGs agenda’s implementation is built on the Government’s experience of implementing the MDGs agenda. Under President Joko Widodo, Indonesia is very serious in its efforts to achieve the SDGs indicators. This begins with the integration of 169 SDGs indicators into the 2020-2040 National Medium Term Development Plan (Rancangan Pembangunan Jangka Menengah/RPJM).
Presidential Regulation (Peraturan Presiden/Perpres) Number 59 of 2017 concerning the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals issued on July 4, 2017, shows the consistency of the Government in institutionalizing the SDGs agenda into the national development program.
The Perpres emphasizes all stakeholders’ involvement through four participation platforms: the Government and parliament; philanthropy and business; community organization; academics and experts to make the SDGs agenda a success. All of these stakeholders must be able to strengthen collaboration so that Indonesia can properly implement the SDGs.
The Perpres also becomes the legitimacy and legal basis for implementing the SDGs agenda in Indonesia in the future. The implementation of SDGs also means carrying out national development goals and maintaining the sustainable improvement of community welfare. In Indonesia, the Ministry of National Development Planning (Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional/BAPPENAS) is leading the Government’s efforts to bring the SDGs agenda to be national and local levels.
The implementation of SDGs in Indonesia also means maintaining the sustainability of the social life of the community, maintaining the quality of the environment and inclusive development, and implementing good governance that can improve the quality of life from one generation to the next.
For Indonesia, the SDGs are relevant for global commitments and as a guide to become a developed country. This also shows that the Government is taking full responsibility for the implementation of the SDGs agenda in Indonesia.
SDGs Development in Indonesia
In 2017, the International NGO Forum for Indonesia Development (INFID) observed no significant progress regarding the implementation of SDGs in Indonesia because there was no clarity regarding the formation of a national SDGs coordination team in Indonesia. In fact, the SDGs national coordination team can help determine local Governments’ approaches to implement SDGs in their national designs. Without a national coordination team, it means that the possibility of implementing the SDGs is not yet optimal.
Michael Bobby Hoelman, Senior Adviser from INFID, stated that Indonesia’s ranking, when viewed from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), decreased from the 98th index in 2016 to 100th out of 157 countries in 2017.
In terms of expanding information in Indonesia, it took Indonesian media eight months to inform about the SDGs in Indonesian news. With the slow information from the Indonesian media, there is a challenge for the public to have information about the SDGs. Most news from the Indonesian media also only disseminates information about events or non-news press releases to try to inspire or target changes in people’s perceptions about the SDGs.
According to the World Bank Group (WBG), Indonesia has a big challenge to improve the quality of its essential services because Local Governments do not have sufficient technical and institutional capacity to prepare and implement SDGs projects.
But now, the Indonesian Government is progressing towards a better direction. In 2018, the Government established SDG Indonesia One as a cooperation platform for funding matters such as infrastructure development to implement SDGs execution in Indonesia. The SDG Indonesia One provides project development facilities, risk mitigation, financing facilities, and investment facilities that are useful for mobilizing and coordinating the role of the Government, especially in accessing funding for projects to achieve the SDGs.
In 2020, the SDGs Report showed that Indonesia is in the 101st index out of 166 countries implementing SDGs. Of the 17 SDGs Goals, Indonesia succeeded in maintaining and increasing the 3 Goals, namely eradicating poverty, achieving decent work and economic growth, and addressing climate change. 8 Goals has improved successfully, while the 6 Goals is stagnant, two of which are Reducing Inequality and Achieving Responsible Consumption and Production. In terms of the global index value, Indonesia has a value of 65.30, which is a fairly good average value on average.
Starting with the index value of 54.4 in 2016 and then to 65.30 in just five years, this is good progress. The success of the SDGs implementation depends on local Governments because local Governments carry out the implementation of central Government decisions.
The success of implementing SDGs in the regions depends on three factors: the presence of high local political commitment, the presence of bureaucracy at the local level to translate and operationalize SDGs, and the last is the existence of a strong Civil Society Organization (CSO).
One area that has successfully become an example of SDGs implementation is the Province of Central Java, where the regional Government has prepared a Regional Action Plan to reduce maternal mortality. The decline in maternal mortality in Central Java, which is one of the SDGs benchmarks, decreased to 88.58 per 100 thousand births in 2017 from 118.62 per 100 thousand births in 2013 so that it is below the SDGs target of 90 per 100 thousand live births.
The Government should continue to improve national programs designs that focus on the SDGs by working with local Governments for appropriate local designs as well as with CSO partners to assist the Government in funding and implementation.
Application of the No One Left Behind Principle in the Implementation of SDGs in Indonesia
The main principles of the SDGs agenda are inclusion and participation. As well as consultations, multiple platforms are needed at the national and local levels that will bring together central Government, local Government, investors, companies, philanthropy, civil society, and academia to promote real partnerships.
In the context of decentralization that prevails in Indonesia, local Governments play a strategic role in achieving the SDGs goals.
The strategic role of local Governments in achieving the SDGs is significant to ensure the implementation of public services and SDGs indicators runs well at the local level. One of the involvements of local Governments is in the preparation of the SDGs Regional Action Plan (Rencana Aksi Daerah/RAD) document by the governor, which involves the mayor and regent.
The private sector can contribute to innovations. The private sector can do business as well as contribute to the SDGs. The achievement of the SDGs is very dependent on collaboration between stakeholders. The private sector contributes to narrowing the investment fund gap for SDGs goals and has the resources, special skills, technology, and the latest innovations to make the SDGs successful in Indonesia.
Measuring the contribution of the private sector is important for tracking Indonesia’s overall efforts towards the SDGs. SDGs certification given to private companies will provide recognition and incentives to support SDGs in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, philanthropy and civil society organizations are actively involved in the SDGs in Indonesia. Many dialogues have been carried out between communities, community groups, community organizations, and educational institutions to discuss SDGs in Indonesia and globally.
This, in turn, is progress towards raising public awareness and encouraging them to act for the achievement of the SDGs. All stakeholders must improve this partnership to recognize each different actor’s contribution to the SDGs implementation in Indonesia. Experiences from the 2000-2015 MDGs have shown that the contribution from the private sector is also needed to encourage Government programs.
The implementation of the SDGs in Indonesia is starting to be on the right track. There are still 9 years, 6 stagnant goals, and 1 Indonesia working together for a better world.