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

I coordinate over 700 agencies in Jakarta across the provincial, municipal, district and subdistrict levels. We also work with 2,727 community associations at grassroot level to coordinate and formulate development planning and allocate budget to those agencies.

Using technology in my daily life has helped me expand my abilities to oversee and monitor across all these activities. Without technology, this would be very challenging.

For example, we developed a system to directly involve grassroot associations in our development planning. We invite community associations to input proposals into our system, which are then reviewed by my team. We call this e-musrenbang.

All of this is put on a website open for the public. Everyone can see what has been proposed by the community associations in each neighbourhood. They can track whether the proposal has been accepted, or it may have been rejected.

Similarly, we have a an online system for our annual budget. All the proposals coming from the grassroots unit are integrated into the provincial budget. The proposals and our overall budget are also accessible to citizens.

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

Our annual development planning has been recognised nationally and internationally this year. The National Development Planning Board awarded two prizes to us for the best development planning in Indonesia.

We also joined an international competition run by Guangzhou city in China. There were 117 cities from across the world taking part with more than 300 innovations. Jakarta’s development planning was awarded as one of the best 15.

I am excited by this because we have worked hard to develop these systems. The prizes are not our goals, but they are an extra sign of recognition for our work to strengthen and develop our city.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2017?

I am interested in analytics and data visualisation. We are creating a dashboard that will give me faster access to information and allow me monitor progress. For example, how much revenue is earned by the city, what are the spending priorities and how are my colleagues in other agencies implementing their development plans.

We are also developing an online system for monitoring and evaluation of the annual development plans. This will also be accessible to the public.

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

When you feel you overwhelmed by your responsibilities, technology can help you do your work better.

My lesson learnt is to build the systems to do this, create solid teamwork, introduce standard operating procedures and monitor all of them. I think these four steps can help everyone achieve their goals.

Who is your hero and why?

My hero is of course my mother. She has empowered me a lot and taught me lessons for life.

She says to all her children that first we must be honourable from the heart. We should be honest not only to other people, but also to ourselves and to our creator. Second, we must be humble. Only if you are humble, you can empathise with other people’s needs and be sensitive. Third, we should be good people wherever we are – at home, as part of a community or at work.

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

Traditional meatballs, known as bakso, are a family favourite. They are available all over Jakarta, but we usually prefer the one in Rawamangun.