Digital tools improve transparency

In Indonesia, digital tools give people better access to information about public services, help identify problems and reduce corruption.

Corruption is a challenge in Indonesia. Public sector staff, such as police officers and judicial clerks, demand extra payments for many services. In addition, public funds, for example those destined for schools, are often diverted through opaque channels. The organisation Transparency International ranks Indonesia 89th in its Corruption Perceptions Index of 180 countries.

To stem corruption, the Indonesian Government established the national Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to support KPK in combating corruption. Part of this work involves bringing the general public on board through the targeted use of digital applications.

With GIZ support, KPK has developed an app that makes information about certain public institutions available. It now provides access to data from 48,000 local government bodies, 404,000 schools and 2,777 hospitals. People can use it to retrieve data about schools and hospitals and their budgets, as well as to evaluate and comment on these facilities. The information provided by the users helps to highlight areas in which budgets and services are obviously out of proportion.

Two web portals have also been designed and set up with GIZ support. One of them is an online database that publishes assets declarations from politicians and public sector employees. More than 35,000 users visit this site every month. The media also make use of the declarations, for example to investigate instances where the wealth of officials seems unusually high. In addition, an anonymous electronic platform has been set up to collect specific reports of possible corruption. Every year about 2,000 reports are submitted through the platform.

The digital tools are also helping to change attitudes among the general population. More and more people are realising that public bodies should be there to serve the people, and are holding them to account. This shows that self-awareness and transparency are the most important levers against corruption, and that they therefore play a role in driving forward the country’s development.

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