Indonesia government to launch 9 superapps, from digital identity to health services

By Mochamad Azhar

Nine priority applications, expected to be available by the third quarter of 2024, will make it easier for people to access public services such as digital ID, health care, education and social assistance.

PAN-RB Minister Abdullah Azwar Anas said that the nine priority applications programme aims to make it easier for people to get public services. Photo: Ministry of PAN-RB.

Update: As of 27 May 2024, the Indonesian government has clarified that the country will be releasing one super app with 9 essential services, rather than nine super apps. You can read the latest updates here.

The Indonesian government is pushing its digital government strategy one step further after President Joko Widodo issued Presidential Regulation Number 82 of 2023, the Acceleration of Digital Transformation and Integration of National Digital Services, on 18 December.


This rule will be a key reference for government agencies in creating public service applications. The Presidential Decree also appointed the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of Indonesia (Peruri) to act as the government's technology agency (GovTech).


Abdullah Azwar Anas, Minister for State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform (PAN-RB),  is optimistic that this regulation will overcome digital government silos in Indonesia.


"For the first time in history, Indonesia will have integrated digital services that prioritise data interoperability and are oriented towards the needs of citizens (citizen-centric)," said Anas, after meeting with President Joko Widodo at the State Palace, Jakarta, on 29 December 2023.


Anas said that so far people have been confused by the large number of government applications, making it difficult for them to get fast service. With the issuance of Presidential Decree 82/2023, the Government will focus on nine priority applications, cutting down from the 27,000 public service applications that overlap with one another.  


The Government had previously identified over 24,000 duplicated applications, reported GovInsider.


"People will no longer be confused when they have to fill in data repeatedly, going back and forth to various agencies to get services. The President instructed us to create applications that are simple and easy for people to use," he promised.

9 apps for 9 priority services


According to the Presidential Decree, the Government has determined nine priority superapps that aim to support nine public services. These superapps will cover integrated public services as well as essential digital public infrastructure services.


These integrated superapps will cover integrated education services, integrated health services, integrated social assistance services, and integrated police services.


In terms of digital public infrastructure, the Government will be developing superapps that encompass digital identity, digital financial services, and a national data exchange platform. 


There will also be an app for public service portal services, including national data centre infrastructure services, as well as an app offering administrative services for state employees.


According to Anas, the nine superapps, which regulations underline must be launched to the public no later than the third quarter of 2024, will have a huge impact on society. 


"People will no longer need to bring a physical identity to access services, they just need to show their digital identity via smartphones. Likewise, processing documents, registering for healthcare and education services, and more will become easier."


According to the new regulation, some of the Government’s most successful applications will be expanded to integrate new services and function as these new superapps. These include the Merdeka Mengajar Platform, an education app, SATUSEHAT, a healthcare app and the Digital Population Identity app.


Several other applications have been launched and are still in the process of further development, including Satu Data Indonesia and online driving licence services. 

Peruri's role as Indonesia’s GovTech


At the event, the Minister explained several considerations for appointing Peruri as GovTech. The first reason is that GovTech must kickstart projects and initiatives now, whereas forming a new public service agency to do so would take time.


Second, Peruri is a state-owned enterprise that is fully funded by the Government. The Government decided to appoint Peruri as it is not profit-oriented, unlike other state-owned enterprises that are limited companies and are publicly listed, such as PT Telkom. 


"Apart from that, the Government views Peruri as more prepared because it has started providing digital services," said Minister Anas.


As GovTech, Peruri will be given broad enough authority to collaborate with state-owned enterprises or private business entities, and will be allowed to recruit additional workers, including skilled workers in the technology field.


According to Anas, the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) at the Ministry of Health and GovTech Edu at the Ministry of Education and Culture had previously demonstrated success within digital government. They also serve as a benchmark for how a technology unit could collaborate with the ministry. However, their capabilities are limited due to restrictions on digital talent recruitment, he said.


With Peruri's appointment, the integration process will run more quickly and without obstacles. "Peruri will not take over the initiatives that have been carried out by the ministry, but will support government institutions in achieving their expected goals," explained Anas.


The minister said that countries with the highest e-Government Development Index (EDGI) rankings had succeeded in improving government services and accelerating their national development thanks to GovTech.


“Indonesia's EGDI ranking in 2020 was in 88th position, and in 2022 it rose to 77th. We are confident that the presence of GovTech will accelerate the integration of government services and Indonesia's EGDI ranking will continue to rise to a better position,” he said. 


This article was originally translated from Bahasa Indonesia here.