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Smart Cities to Smart Villages: Indonesia’s Digital Infrastructure Development

Research and development (R&D) in Indonesia has thrived, thanks mainly to collaboration between the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) and other organisations. The Climate Change Research Group, the Development of the Climate and Atmospheric Research Centre (PRIMA) BRIN, and the Bandung City Diskominfo, among others, have created an atmospheric monitoring system to support Bandung’s smart city strategy, for instance. A “smart city” is based on streamlining municipal services and equipping citizens with the resources they need to be resilient in the face of disaster.

Sinta Berliana Sipayung, a researcher at PRIMA BRIN, outlined the group’s efforts to automate the collection of rainfall data from CCTV camera photographs belonging to Diskominfo Bandung city to quantify rainfall at a specific location point. However, in the not-too-distant future, a geographically based early warning system will be built around the city of Bandung using multiple CCTV location sites. Nevertheless, the director of PRIMA BRIN, Albertus Sulaiman, is confident that the collaboration will help researchers succeed.

This partnership is grounded in law thanks to the Permendagri Number 22 of 2020 and the accompanying Synergy Agreement Memorandum. The Regional Deputy for Research and Innovation is responsible for coordinating with local governments, drafting a request for cooperation signed by the Regional Head or Secretary and the Mayor, and signing the document with the BRIN Legal and Cooperation Bureau team.

Rusdiati of the BRIN Legal Bureau suggests looking back on past collaborations to see how they could be expanded and improved for everyone involved. Heru Santoso, BRIN’s Head of the Research Group on Climate Change, Urban Climate, and Sustainable Development, want the research done there to contribute to the establishment of smart cities in Bandung.

Bandung was once recognised as a leading smart city in Indonesia. The Ministry of Communication and Informatics announced Indonesia’s seven finest smart cities at a seminar and exhibition on the Movement Towards Smart Cities (Smart City) in Jakarta in 2022. To assess the success of the Smart City 2022 programme, delegates from 141 different regencies will be present at the conference.

  • The Smart City awards go to the top performers in the following categories:
  • City of Bandung, Indonesia, Smart Government
  • City of Surakarta, Smart Branding
  • The City of Yogyakarta, Smart Society; Semarang, Smart Economy
  • Demak Regency, A Smart Place to Live
  • Madiun City’s Smart Environment
  • Wonogiri’s Status as a National Tourism Priority Area

As part of the G20 Economy Minister Meeting (G20-DEMM), Johnny G. Plate, Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Informatics, urged provincial and municipal governments to execute the Smart Islands and Smart Villages programmes fully.

We advocate for “smart islands” and “smart villages” alongside “smart cities. During an official trip to the East Manggarai Regency Office in East Nusa Tenggara, he proposed: “I request that the local government use this digital infrastructure development to provide electronic-based government services to simplify government bureaucracy and licencing.”

Implementing an E-Government System (SPBE) and the government’s dedication to smart projects are both critical. Establishing a smart nation will benefit greatly from the assistance of local governments in creating digital infrastructure.

As part of the government’s attempts to digitalise various government domains, Minister for Administrative Reform and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) Abdullah Azwar Anas encouraged communities like Balikpapan to adapt its Public Service Mall (MPP) into a Digital MPP.

As the entry point to the Nusantara (archipelago’s) National Capital (IKN), he stressed the need for digitalisation in Balikpapan. Given that IKN’s operational mechanism will be digital and entirely electronic, Anas advised Balikpapan City to develop a solid Electronic-Based Government System (SPBE). Anas stated that the SPBE was an initiative to speed up the government’s digital transformation that would benefit the general population.


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