February 23, 2024

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New application to assist micro-business beneficiaries in Indonesia

A new virtual system is set to fortify connections between virtual market players and micro-business beneficiaries as the Indonesian government strives to complete its digital transformation journey amid risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mirza Pahlevi, the Head of the Center for Social Welfare Data and Information under the Ministry of Social Affairs, announced that an application to improve the National Social Welfare Exhibition has been developed which allows for improved compliance with health protocols. 

This development enables beneficiaries of micro-business under the Ministry’s Family Hope Programme (PKH) to display their services and products online. They can also interact virtually with key figures in the market. By logging on to the Ministry’s website, these beneficiaries will be able to showcase their services, reach a wider audience and in the long run, boost their businesses. 

The Social Welfare Center Head added, “This is the first time in the history of the Ministry of Social Affairs to bridge the marketing of KPM products with the marketplace.” 

One of the new features of the application is the Social Market option. This becomes the main platform where the Ministry of Social Welfare Services can use to inform the public about its products. The new application builds on the existing capabilities of the PKH Programme. The additional virtual feature was developed in line with government-led goals to veer away from physical events and transition to virtual modes of transactions in compliance with health and safety protocols.  

Last year, Minister of Social Affairs Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita announced the launch of the PKH. This initiative grants financial assistance to poor families in Indonesia. The PKH also provides business opportunities to select beneficiaries of micro-businesses. The development of an e-PKH programme ensures automatic calculations of social assistance funds, verification of data and regular updates on the Ministry’s database. 

Government data revealed that disbursements through the PKH system reached IDR 32.65 trillion (US$ 2.28 billion) in 2019. Each family is given a base assistance fund of IDR 550,000 (US$ 38.52) per year, exclusive of other additional benefits. 

Creation of a virtual marketplace 

The new application implies the Ministry’s strong commitment to digitalise some of its operations as the nation reels from the impact of the pandemic. However, there is still a need to put up a virtual market where business beneficiaries can offer their products. Currently, users of the app include officials from the Directorate General of Social Rehabilitation. 

In Indonesia, owners of micro or small businesses are looking at modern platforms where they can showcase their business models and services. Most of them choose a virtual promotion of their businesses rather than advertising them on commercial sites. Once a virtual marketplace is established and introduced to the public, these business owners can now connect more seamlessly and get strong support from the Ministry of Social Affairs. 

Aside from announcing the new app development, The Ministry also announced that it is in the process of updating its Social Welfare Integrated Data or DTKS. With this improvement, the DTKS is expected to expand its coverage starting 2021 until 2024. This undertaking, the Ministry noted, will strengthen current financial assistance schemes, streamline its services and improve its poverty reduction projects.

The Indonesian government has integrated a number of innovative methods in the agricultural, health and construction sectors. The latest in the list is a modernisation of search processes for screening sports athletes. In an earlier report by OpenGov Asia, the Ministry of Youth and Sports announced that it has inked a memorandum of understanding with a state-owned communications firm in order to develop an information system to speed up applications of potential athletes.

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