The Republic of Korea’s famous Semaul-Undong or village movement is sometimes attributed for the transformation of the country from one of the poorest countries to a developed country in just over four decades. For two years, the Government of Indonesia and institutions from the Republic of Korea (RoK) have supported the “Village Empowerment Project to Promote Sustainable Community Development through Innovative Integration of Science & Technology” aligned with Indonesia’s Village Innovation Programme (VIP). A grouping of six RoK institutions (the Consortium group) has been working with the Sukabumi local government (Regency) to implement an integrated pilot project focused on ICT for business and social development of women, entrepreneurship, agriculture, school health, water management, and energy/environment. The Pilot is implemented under a triangular cooperation arrangement facilitated by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
On 27 September 2019, UNOSSC in collaboration with the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (MoV), the Ministry of National Development and Planning (Bappenas) and the Sukabumi Regency organized a review meeting of the pilot project under the Republic of Korea-UNOSSC Facility (Phase 2) in Sukabumi, West Java, Indonesia. Before proceeding for the on-site review in Sukabumi, UNOSSC staff and RoK institution representatives met and listened to H.E. Eko Putro Sandjojo, Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration. His presentation on the Village Innovation Programme (VIP) and the Village Fund showed the innovations that the Minister has introduced. These innovations have led to economic and social transformations that have been recognized by development practitioners. The UNOSSC representative in the meeting noted that Indonesia’s experiences were worth of note for countries that want to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to leave no one behind as rural areas tend to be the ones left behind. He noted that in this respect, the torch of best practice in village development could be passed to Indonesia as other Southern countries will be interested in the work that has been done.
It is in this context of a successful village innovation thrust that the six RoK institutions have added their flavour to the pilot in Sukabumi. About 50 participants attended the review meeting. They represented central and local governments as well as academia and social enterprises as well as the UNOSSC and RoK institutions.
The Government of Indonesia acknowledged and appreciated achievements of the integrated project led by Consortium group: the Asia-Pacific Women’s Information Network Centre (APWINC) at Sookmyung Women’s University, Canaan Global Leadership Centre (CGLC), Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Handong Global University (HGU), Institute for Health and Society at Hanyang University (HYU), and Seoul National University, Asian Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability (SNU AIEES).
Mr. Ade Setiawan, First Regional Secretary for Social and Governance of Sukabumi, opened the meeting by appreciating the capacity building work undertaken by the UNOSSC-RoK Facility and the central government to strengthen community development in the Regency.
Mr. Ivanovich Agusta, Head of Data and Information Centre, MoV building on the presentation by the Minister, noted that the Sukabumi pilot has set a good village development model which MoV plans to duplicate and expand throughout Indonesia. In addition, he requested the RoK-UNOSSC Facility to document the good practices and produce toolkits on technical know-how and guidelines for knowledge transfer. He emphasized that MoV is willing to disseminate useful techniques and information and facilitate cooperation with other line ministries for multi-disciplinary development work at village level.
Mr. Wisnu Utomo, Director for Foreign Policy in Bappneas reaffirmed the Government of Indonesia (GoI)’s commitment to integrate village development model into the 2020- 2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan, aligning with its South-South and triangular cooperation priorities.
The Facility/Programme for Capacity Development for Poverty Reduction through South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Science and Technology (RoK-UNOSSC Facility) – Phase 2 is composed of three components; namely, the Knowledge Platform; the Consortium and the Scaled-up Project. The main objective of Phase 2 of the RoK-UNOSSC Facility is to ensure that the work done by the RoK Institutions is sustainable and scalable. This requires that the Facility be implemented within the framework of the partner countries’ planning frameworks so that the work can be extended and scaled up using national resources. In this way the Facility could have a real impact in helping partner countries achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).