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

I am the head of the Department of Communication and Informatics of Surabaya, and therefore, the use of IT in our daily work is a must.

We have implemented many IT innovations to answer the needs and challenges of public service. For example, Surabaya’s Command Centre which integrates agencies involved in disaster management. This includes the National Unity, Politics and Social Protection Board, Civil Service Police Unit, Fire Department, Health Department, Department of Cleanliness and Gardening, Department of Civil Work, Road Management, and Drainage, Red Cross, Police, National Search and Rescue, and of course, the Department of Communication and Informatics.

It uses high-end technology to integrate across telecommunication and internet tools. People can report events like fire, floods, traffic accidents, drowning and fallen trees, by calling the 112 hotline. The system will record the reported events and will inform the officers immediately.

By using this system, the Surabaya City Government hopes that it can give a safe and comfortable environment for all citizens. Related to this Command Centre, the Department of Communication and Informatics setup applications, networks, communication systems, water level sensors, and installed CCTV in strategic locations like pump houses.

What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2016?

The completion of the Surabaya Command Centre. In setting up the centre, stakeholders involved in disaster management from across the city had to be brought together.

The integration process is interesting because those stakeholders are not only from the Surabaya City Government, but also from institutions outside the local government.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2017?

The implementation of the concept of big data. The Surabaya City Government is a big and complex source of data, and if it is processed through big data analytics, there can be deeper insights to take decisions and make policies based on citizens’ needs.

If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2016, what would it be?

We need open data and information from all stakeholders to build integrated information systems. If the data can be integrated well, we can make better use of the information.

Who is your hero and why?

My mother. She is a great person for me because she has successfully raised her 14 children, and all of them are successful in their own ways.

And finally, if you could recommend us one place to eat, where would it be?

The Layar Restaurant because it serves a variety of seafood, and they are all freshly cooked. You should definitely try it sometime, especially if you are fond of fresh seafood.