How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

I currently work as a Project Officer at Jabar Digital Service, a West Java gubernatorial digital service unit under the West Java Communications and Informatics Agency in West Java Province. Jabar Digital Service aims to narrow the province’s digital divide, support a data-driven decision-making process, and revolutionize governance as well as improve citizens’ quality of life through technology.

As a project officer, I spend a large chunk of my time spearheading digital transformation across 18 regencies and 9 cities in West Java for a number of initiatives, including Open Data, One Map, and One Data of West Java; Covid-19 Logistics Management; Covid-19 Volunteers Management; Covid-19 Donation Management and Partnerships in West Java; as well as the Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Covid-19 symptoms test feature on the West Java Covid-19 Information and Coordination Center (Pikobar) application.

As a province with more than 48 million citizens (one fifth of Indonesian population), the reach of the West Java Provincial Government is colossal and the structure is complex with its multilayered bureaucracy. I started working for the West Java Open Data and One Data in early 2020 when online data management and sharing platform was rather a novelty—less than 6 government departments in West Java were familiar with it. They were still reliant on paper-based administrative processes for cross-department data sharing, which used to take weeks to process. My team and I talked to all government departments in West Java and together we encouraged them to embrace technology for better data management, hence we may pursue more data-driven decision making processes.

Currently, more than 1,000 data sets are available on the West Java Open Data portal. It takes less than five minutes to complete a data sharing process. The availability of these data sets are results from the crucial roles played by the “Digital and Data Champions” in each West Java government agency— they are staff who are trained to promote data governance and data management; leading their respective agencies to a better digital inclusion in the workplace.

What was the most impactful project you worked on this year?

The call for a well-functioning government has grown further and louder during this Covid-19 pandemic, which relies largely on the use of data and digital transformation. One day after West Java declared a Covid-19 emergency situation, the West Java Governor launched the one-stop pandemic response platform, Pikobar, as a public website. 16 days later, the Pikobar mobile application was launched.

On the supply side, one of the key challenges faced by the West Java Government during this crisis is to keep the supply chains moving in a progressive speed for the prevention, treatment, tracing, and control of the pandemic. Many local authorities and local health facilities in West Java are often unable to provide safe buffer stock for medical supplies due to limited budgets, shortage of medical supply chains, or having to face administrative hurdles of logistics requests, which have put considerable pressure on them.

To tackle these challenges in the light of a quickly evolving demands, Jabar Digital Service launched a digital platform for logistics management, called the Pikobar Logistics Application, to better match the real-time supply that the West Java Government has with the increasing demand from the regional health agencies, local health facilities, or other institutions across 18 regencies and 9 cities in West Java.

Despite having different logistics management systems, six government agencies in West Java work together to operate the Pikobar Logistics Application. Before the pandemic, paper-based administrative process for logistics requests used to take around three weeks and a month. With this application, logistics requests can be done digitally in less than five minutes. As a result, more than 34 million medical and other essential supplies requests have been accepted from 18 regencies and 9 cities in West Java through the app. In three months, more than 500 logistics requests from more than 125 local health facilities and other institutions in West Java have been approved and delivered. I remember observing some government agencies that were trying to meet the logistics requests by a paper-based system; the growing amount of paper documents raised various issues, including its storage system and security risks. Now, all agencies have a safe storage system in the Pikobar Logistics Application.

What are your priorities for 2021?

In 2021, we are looking to continuously develop e-services in government, pursue more citizen-friendly administration systems, and workshops and training for staff who want to be the “digital and data champions” in their agencies. In early 2021, Jabar Digital Service will launch its “West Java One Data and One Map” platform to optimize the use of big data for evidence- and data-based decision-making processes in government. We will focus on how to have better data governance, including data quality, data architecture, data storage and operations, and data security. Furthermore, I find it interesting how we can keep innovating an integrated supply chain control and management system through collaboration with not only the government but also private sectors.