Ahyani Raksanagara, Head of Department of Communication and Informatics, Bandung

By Marlis Herni Afridah

Women in GovTech Special Report 2017.

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

I work as the Head of Communication and Informatics Department of Bandung City Government, and therefore technology is a part of our daily activities. Bandung is a metropolitan city, the capital city of west Java province in Indonesia. Our population increases every year, and the problems and needs of citizens are so dynamic.

We have made various public services based on technology in line with our vision for Bandung City to be a “Loveable and Livable Smart City”. By using technology, we want to transform all activities for the better - for example, from slow responses, inefficiency, closed information, top-down approach, and corruption to fast response, efficient, transparent, participatory, and clean by design.

We implement smart city at all levels. At city level, we have Bandung’s Command Centre (BCC) for activities to command, control and observe our city. At BCC, we integrate information from all Bandung city departments, reports or complaints from citizens about government services or emergency situation.

We can observe these situations by connecting the CCTVs from many sources, such as from the transportation department, public facilities, and park management. Now we are still improving the function of BCC to provide weather sensors at all areas of the city that connect to BCC and give early warnings about weather disasters.

We will continue to increase public services and government administration with technology at all smart city clusters - governance, branding, economy, living, society, environment - to realise Bandung to be a lovable and livable smart city.

What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2017?

Integration data and application, specially in e-government activities. We have to collaborate with many institutions and have technical discussions with experts from academic, provincial and national levels and the operational team, while also delivering the goals, uniting understanding, and building commitment at leader level.

The hard part is execution: transforming a system that already exists to be friendly for the user. Integration is challenging for us as a new team in our Department since January 2017. Building a new, dynamic team, with so many educational backgrounds and experiences, is so exciting.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2018?

The implementation of Big Data including high security level, integrated management is our focus. Right now, we have so many sources of data that still do not connect to each other. This makes it hard for analysis to give the best data-driven result to support the decision-maker.

If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2017, what would it be?

Building a smart city is not just about technology. Technology is an enabler, a backbone. We also must give attention to the basic aspects, especially when bringing a new paradigm.

Leadership, positive mindset, commitment, consistency, persistence, passion and patience are the keywords for realising the smart city vision in Bandung.

What was the greatest challenge that you overcame in 2017?

My education and experience background is not in IT. My new team also comes from many backgrounds, education and experience-wise. Building a new team and setting organisational goals is our great challenge in 2017.

What book did you read in 2017 that most interested or inspired you?

The book “Think Different, Act Differently” by Pambudi Sunarsihanto. This book gives practical guidance on how to manage or solve problems in various day-to-day situation. We can implement this advice in our careers or in everyday life. This book inspires me and acts like a booster when I have a problem, and motivates me to find a different way in all situations.

As a leader, this book makes me always remember the important role of the team and being a good leader, because good leaders create great leaders.

Who inspired you in 2017, and why?

My team and my family. Our team is very dynamic, never giving up in various situations, while focusing on organizational goals. Positive thinking makes us able to work and create innovation within a safe and comfortable environment.

My family; husband, children, daughter and son-in-law, grandson always giving positive support and has time to listen each other. We support and encourage each other, and my adorable grandson is like a booster in every situation. Being with my family makes me always have positive energy for all activities.