Recognizing Outstanding Efforts in Public Information Transparency by Local Governments in South Sulawesi

A group of civil servants holding a book of action plans for accelerating the Human Development Index (HDI) in West Kalimantan Province for the years 2023-2025

Caption: Regents and Mayors in South Sulawesi Province during the awarding night of South Sulawesi Public Information Transparency Award 2023, on December 2023.

Caption: Regents and Mayors in South Sulawesi Province during the awarding night of South Sulawesi Public Information Transparency Award 2023, on December 2023.

Increasing information transparency has been one of USAID ERAT’s focuses, as it has tangible benefits beyond mere data. It strengthens government accountability, ensuring responsible use of public resources and responsiveness to citizen needs. This fosters a more participatory and engaged citizenry, empowering individuals to hold their officials accountable and contribute meaningfully to their communities.

The result of USAID ERAT’s support is especially tangible in South Sulawesi. Based on the annual evaluation of the implementation of the Transparency of Information Law by the Provincial Information Commission, all five local governments supported by USAID ERAT showed significant improvement in 2023. Kepulauan Selayar, Barru, Gowa, and Kota Makassar were classified in the two worst information transparency categories in 2022. A year later, Selayar was classified as “quite informative” (the third best), while Barru, Gowa, and Kota Makassar were considered as “toward informative” (the second best) category. Although Luwu Utara stayed in the “toward informative” category in 2022-2023, its Information Transparency Index improved from 81.21 to 89.11. 

The sharp increase of information transparency was closely related to USAID ERAT’s support throughout Fiscal Year 2023. USAID ERAT collaborated with the Provincial Information Commission in delivering the training to develop the capacity of Information and Documentation Management Officers (Pejabat Pengelola Informasi dan Dokumentasi, PPID). The training materials delivered included public information disclosure principles, public information service standards, the development of public information lists, implementation of consequence tests for exempting public information, and resolution of public information disputes. All of these are expected to increase the knowledge and skills of PPIDs in processing information requests and in managing information provision. Action plans were formulated at the end of the training, with the commission monitoring the implementation of the action plans. 

In Kepulauan Selayar, one aspect of the action plan was followed up by a decision to allocate IDR 100 million in the revised 2023 APBD for hosting a website and establishing a dedicated information booth at the regent office. The LG of Barru issued new regulations on July 3, 2023, Barru Regional Secretary Decrees No. 57/2023 and No. 58/2023 on the classification of public information and list of exempted public information. 

USAID ERAT remains committed to supporting further progress in transparency and access to information initiatives. Recognizing the transformative power of open governance, the Activity will continue to equip local governments with the tools and knowledge needed to maintain transparency and build trust with their communities.

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