The Indonesian central government needs to support local officials on smart city projects, research firm IDC said.

“We believe the federal government needs to step up and invest so as to spur the growing momentum of digital city transformations and ensure long-term progress is maintained for smart city initiatives,” said Sudev Bangah, Country Manager of IDC Indonesia and Philippines.

Indonesia has launched a host of smart city projects over the last year, but most have been initiated by local leaders. “Many of these projects are funded in silos, and often times, they eventually face long-term operations sustainability issues,” Bangah added.

The government plans to spend US$420 billion on infrastructure projects over the next five years, but more concerted effort is needed to support city mayors on their projects.

The federal government needs to advise city leaders on these investments, build partnerships with global vendors, and ensure officials can be held accountable for projects, added Gerald Wang, the firm’s head of Asia Pacific Government and Education.

Indonesian mayors have launched smart city visions, using technology to solve city challenges. Jakarta is launching an innovation lab to test new ideas in transport, while Surabaya wants to support startups. Makassar will get smart minibuses, and Pekalongan is getting citizens’ feedback on Twitter.

The cities have also launched central operations units, from where the Mayors and his officials monitor services from across agencies.

Image from Jakarta Smart City’s Facebook page