Open Government Indonesia in collaboration with UCLG ASPAC conducted a webinar titled “Local Government Innovations in improving accountability through digital governance” with Dr. Bernadia irawati Tjandradewi, Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC as the moderator of this event. There are three great speakers invited, Hendrar Prihadi (The Mayor of Semarang City), Abigail Sombillo Binay (The Mayor of Makati City), and Bernard Faustino (The Mayor of Cauayan City).
Living in this digital era, technology should act as tools to connect the government and the people. The aim of digital government transformation is to solve policy challenges of public concerns, not only at national scale but also at the local level. The local governments play a key role in promoting digital inclusion to ensure all citizens, including vulnerable groups can access new technology in improving their well-being.
Three cities invited in this webinar are selected as the role model in term of digital transformation. The implementation of digital transformation is more or less the same, such as the provision of free wifi in public areas, improving the public service equipment, formation of an emergency call centre, application for citizens to report problems and expedite them in some sectors, provision of CCTV as the tools to monitor or even drones for the police to keep the people safe such as in Cauayan City, and the integrated information system in order to have the same shared data.
Mr. Hendrar Prihadi, Mayor of Semarang City said that technology is one of ways to help the city government in creating inclusive policies, such as giving free maternal health services, assisting in birth documentation, immunization, school, vocational training, healthcare and safe transportation for the elderly. Those efforts resulted in lower poverty levels in Semarang City as well as slums, also the increase of investment growth, happiness index, education, and per capita consumption.
In prioritizing the environment and climate action, Cauayan City government created smart bins efforts for waste management. As Mr. Bernard Faustino, the Mayor of Cauayan City said, the reason for all these innovations is to make better life for citizens as it is critical for smart city framework development as well as sustainable cities. Then he stated that the contribution from people is important, therefore they are also focused on the people engagement.
Cauayan City has the lowest income comparing to other cities in the Philippines, but they can become the first smart city in the Philippines. Therefore, there is no reason for other cities not to be able to do it.
Abigail Sombillo Binay, Mayor of Makati stressed that the concern in creating smart cities is always people, and now always about technology. Technology is the tools to make it more effective, transparent and efficient.
As it has been highlighted in those three cities representatives, the key point of smart cities is people welfare and people engagement which will lead to sustainable cities. This is very much aligned with sustainable development agenda, which is a priority agenda of UCLG ASPAC. Therefore, UCLG ASPAC will continuously support cities and local government in Asia Pacific in reaching the sustainable development goals.
By KM Team