Kang Yoto: The Beauty Of Partnership, Learning Journey From Bojonegoro

Partnership will only come if there is the connection between us, while we have the same intention ready to open mind, open heart, open will, & ready to CO CREATE INNOVATION. What we do is actually Transforming from Ego System to Eco System. And we belief, by the power of “WE”

Bojonegoro (Media Center) – Regent of Bojonegoro, Drs. H. Suyoto, M.Si (Kang yoto) become a speaker in Asia Pasific Conference opening that held in Nusa Dua, Bali. In the opening, Kang Yoto apreciated citizen partisipation for the involvement to improve of Bojonegoro, This is the content of the speech in conference that followed by more than 500 delegation from Asia Pasific region  and attended by President of Republic Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (atau baca Versi Bahasa Indonesia)

The Beauty Of Partnership, Learning Journey From Bojonegoro
Speech for Opening Lightning Talk Session at Open Government Partnership – Asia Pacific Regional Conference

7 May 2014 – Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen I would like to thank you with the opportunity to share my experience to make open government partnership principle happened in Bojonegoro. Bojonegoro is 1 of 500 sub national level or districts in Indonesia, and a part of Indonesian democratization movement which start from 1998 up to now. At 2007, there is 1.2 million people living here. As a autonomy region, we have chance to overcome our own problem with our own resources.

From long time Bojonegoro face many challenges: Poverty (28 % of the total population). Sliding land which caused our road at that time damage. Bojonegoro is pronged of yearly flood and drought. On the other hand, Bojonegoro have abundant natural resources; 20% of national oil reserved is in Bojonegoro, waiting for exploration; agriculture, and 44% of Bojonegoro areas consist of teak tree forest. Both oil gas, and forest are belong to nation or central government

I was born in Bojonegoro, but for 25 year I was leaved this region. At that time I asked to myself what really I want? Am I spectator, commentator ar player. I decided to active player! I decided to run as head of regency. Although I know is not easy to be winner When I was a candidate as Bojonegoro regency’s leader, I found the fact: Local people perception about services, they say not good in financial aspect there was not enough funding while previous government tend to spent the money for non-public service purpose.

Absence of public communication space, many government officials were indicated in corruption cases, low quality of local bureaucracy, and public distrust of the bureaucracy
I tried to understand why all problems could be happened ?
I think it was a result of disconnection. There was disconnection between local government & their people; leader & follower; central & local government; planning & problem.

They were disconnected each other because they come with ego, prefer to debate than to dialogue, and going with themselves than to be synergized with the partner.

I was fortune, I elected in the election. When I started to run the authority. My fist challenge was actually how to make sure that the government will be a part of solution. And the second was how to facilitate all sectors; business sector, civil organization, public, to make them hand in hand with government to overcome the problem and creating well-being for all. And the most important is How to reconnect between all sector and stake holder, between problem and program.

When I come to my office I realized that the way of how I connect with stake holder would determine our capacity to overcome the challenge:
I had to manage officially staffs that most of them did not support me in the election. But then I realized that. I need them to deliver public services for all people, both they supported me or not in the election. Instead of fired them, I gave them political pardon that no one will lose they position in sixth month. I asked them to be my team to deliver my political promises to people with a condition of three don’t: don’t complain, don’t corrupt, and don’t ever say “that not my responsibility” for all of the coming problems. in the beginning I preferred to listen more than to talk with them I use it to connect In the same way with a member of local legislative, to listen more than to talk more.

I try to create wider space for politician with the new spirit of transparency. I saw local government budget was very limited with low level of public trust to local government. As a politician, I was really don’t won’t lose public trust on me. I have to keep in touch with all of my supporters and constituents, while I was hoping to get acceptance from the others.

For this reason I give them direct access to me. I give my cellular mobile phone number to public, and another social media address; I host public dialog at town hall every Friday from 1 – 3 pm; broadcast in two radio stations live, so everybody feel free to speak what he want in front of head of local government division and bodies, and also me and my vice. Again, I prefer to listen more than to talk.

I continued to go to around regency as I did in campaign. After three to six month, I saw new situation, that all of us were afraid to not to be honest to others. We tried to evaluate our budget planning program in the budget document to ensure that it really connects to public need and complain. We also open chance for everyone to join public deliberation to propose Bojonegoro development policies in all level, (from village, sub-district, and district level).

As a part of transparency, we convey to public the estimate upcoming revenue and we open mechanism for every proposals and critics, and then we chose the most important one as our priority to be done first. Then we bring them to house of legislative to be legalized as the government regulation We realize that transparency help us to trust each other, accountability come from keeping connection between now and future, between us and other to open many possibilities come.

How partnership the most powerful? Now we enter the level that we never imagine before. We able to solve the problem better. I would like to show you 3 cases of how we deal with problem and constraint, and how partnership became most powerful:
1. In 2014 we become the general winner for disaster management in national level (award from national committee for disaster management /BPMPD)
2. We are succeed to managed social conflict in oil and gas exploration process.
3. In 2013 we won the sustainable development award on engaging people to paving road program, awarding by SDSN UN (Sustainable Development Solution Network UN, in collaboration with Indonesian SDSN) Furthermore I will show you an example of how we deal the problem and connecting stakeholders to be involved in that case.

For many years, we spend a lot of money to build and maintain asphalt roads, but asphalt road for Bojonegoro’s soil is easier to damage and need higher regular cost of maintenance while public can’t handle the maintenance, depends fully on Government. And government had limited budget. So we decided to engage communities as our partner to build paving road together, so we developed 4 mechanisms:
1) Paving block and cost are provided by local government, community supervised it
2) Paving blocks from local government, labor cost and other materials are from communities participation
3) Machine are from local government, Other materials and labor for paving are provided from communities participation
4) Paving road is built purely by local communities initiative These are several photos of them.

And the result is we now have better road, and communities are happier and taking more responsibilities to maintenance it together with local government. I would like to close my remark with the lesson to learn we found it from Bojonegoro journey. Partnership will only come if there is the connection between us, while we have the same intention ready to open mind, open heart, open will, & ready to CO CREATE INNOVATION. What we do is actually Transforming from Ego System to Eco System. And we belief, by the power of “WE” . All obstacles and threats can be overcome, And brighter future can be reached together!

Thank You Suyoto
A Regent of Bojonegoro Indonesia


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