How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.
I work as the Head of the Digital and Information Services Section in West Java at the Digital Service unit of the digital data service center and Geospatial Information under the West Java Province Communication and Information Office. Working in a government that has the main task and function towards communication and information technology has encouraged me to be able to develop innovations that can be directly felt by the community. The first innovation that I built was designing a Voice Over Information System application for the Blind in West Java or Si Votun Jabar. This voice over-based application for people with visual impairments can make it easier for the process of requesting information. This application also answers the rights of the blind people to obtain public information, because disclosure of information is the right of all people without exception. “Si Votun Jabar” has been registered through the Ministry of Law and Human Rights through copyright.
After becoming the founder of the West Java Si Votun application, I also helped in the implementation of the Digital Village programme. This flagship programme in the West Java Provincial Government, which was delayed, has a mission to develop the potential of every village in West Java through the use of digital technology and the internet. The potential of each village should be managed properly through marketing and accelerating access to outsiders to participate in competing with products from other regions. This digital village programme is later expected to minimise the digitalisation gap between rural and urban communities in the face of the industrial revolution 4.0.
What was the most impactful project you worked on this year?
Bringing the West Java Si Votun application to be known to the public and winning the Gold Winner award at the Public Relations Indonesia Awards 2021 in the application sub category. This application has been built since September 2020 and has been tested at SLB A Pajajaran and Wyata Guna. SLB A Pajajaran itself is one of the oldest special schools for the blind in Indonesia and even Southeast Asia, while Wyata Guna Bandung is the oldest and largest home for the blind in Indonesia.
In addition to bringing the West Java Si Votun application to be known by the people of West Java, I also participated in the implementation of digital villages as a West Java government programme. The programme, which was initially delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, started running again and was able to find and meet directly with MSME business actors in remote areas of West Java. Through digital villages, these business actors can maximise their potential and generate greater profits than before.
What is one unexpected learning from 2021?
Being able to oversee digital village projects and come directly to several villages for the implementation of the programme was beyond my expectations. To work on this project requires extra hard work because the conditions in the field are quite dynamic. Being in a team that consists of young people (millennials) and very active in preparing needs is also a new thing for me. Indirectly it turns me into someone who can move quickly to adjust to dynamic conditions.
At the implementation stage of the Si Votun Jabar application, I had to learn to adapt to blind people with disabilities starting from teaching how to use the application until the request for information was conveyed properly, I began to empathise with what their needs were so that what was to be achieved could be beneficial for the community at large.
What’s your favourite memory from the past year?
When starting to make the Si Votun Jabar application with friends at the West Java Communication and Information Office. The team, which consisted of less than 10 people, was finally able to prove that the dream of having an application for people with visual impairments in West Java could be realised. Positive responses came from various circles, especially people with disabilities because it can also minimise the accessibility gap in getting public services. As is known, currently accessibility for people with visual impairments is only in the form of architecture, which means in the form of public facilities. Meanwhile, the accessibility of public information is still rarely available.
What’s a tool or technique you’re excited to explore in 2022?
In 2022 I am interested in trying to publish a journal about digital village programs. Why is that important? Because apart from being a reference source for academics, journal publications are important to explain the digital village programme in detail.
What are your priorities for 2022?
Collaboration and acceleration. These two things are related to what is happening in the current digital village project. Without collaboration between stakeholders, we cannot build a system that is right on target and useful for the community in the village. Finding potential and helping them to develop or how to promote that potential. Meanwhile, the acceleration here is defined as the acceleration of the implementation of the digital village programme which was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so that Covid-19 can be remembered not as a barrier but something that becomes a challenge.
Who are the mentors and heroes that inspire you?
British scientist Sarah Gilbert was instrumental in the discovery of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Sarah is not only intelligent but has a high human spirit and deserves to be an inspiration. In his hands the AstraZeneca vaccine was produced to fight the pandemic.
The most valuable lesson Sarah has learned is to maximise the potential we have for humanity. What is inside of us we can develop according to its potential. From there I started to be inspired that everything I do must have a high sense of humanity where those around us need help.
What gets you up in the morning?
Having a target and a desire to solve problems is something that always gets me excited to start the day. The goal of renewing myself is a basic thing that I want to manage and do every day. Having a team that is mostly millennials is a challenge in itself, so it makes me have to have big targets and desires every day. Together with the implementation team, I try to help design a new activity or kick off an activity that was delayed.