By Steve Harrison, Inspirator Muda Nusantara. Twitter: @steve_harison and @muda_nusantara
We are Inspirator Muda Nusantara, a youth community organization based in Bandung, Indonesia, established in 2013. In 2014, we signed the Global Partnership for Youth (GPY), an initiative under the UN Youth Envoy with the goal of increasing youth engagement in many issues at various levels around the globe. Thus, Inspirator Muda Nusantara is fully committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which officially launched in September 2015. Our organization is particularly working towards achieving goals no.4 (quality education), no.11 (sustainable cities & communities), and no.17 (partnerships).
In line with these priorities, Inspirator Muda Nusantara became an official member organization to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth (UN SDSN-Youth) in 2015.
We have been actively promoting an SDG-focused campaign since 2015, leveraging social media sites and online platforms such as Facebook to reach our nation’s youth. Recently, we also conducted data collection through an initiative called the Indonesian Youth Database on SDGs (I-USE), aimed at contributing to the acceleration of the SDGs implementation in Indonesia.
Through this effort, where many Indonesian youth-led and youth-based organizations, communities, and businesses submitted basic information about their entity which, compiled under I-USE, could be a credible information source for building partnerships with government agencies, corporations, or international organizations to collaborate on programs and projects related to achieving the SDGs.
Indonesia’s unique context poses many challenges to be addressed with regards to how the world’s largest archipelagic country can achieve its 2030 Agenda. Indonesia is currently home to more than 70 million young people, third in the world behind China and India. This demographic distribution can offer a great advantage for Indonesia’s ability to reach the SDGs’ goals and targets. Economic development and educational advancement are the country’s two main pillars for supporting its young people to the real stage of innovation and achievement. Indonesia’s demographic dividend must be optimized through comprehensive youth policy breakthrough in many sectors and at various levels.
Graphic 1. Breakdown of Analysis on Youth and the Agenda 2030 in Indonesia
There is urgency in Indonesia to merge national agenda and the 2030 Agenda, the combination of which will consist of several key priority policies for the current national government administration. One of them is youth policies that should be addressed comprehensively through a three-fold partnership between the international community, the Indonesian national government, and the country’s youth, which would cover 3 main issues (known as 3E formula), being the economy, employment, and education, as follows:
- Economy: Considering that Indonesia is a world leader in the use of social media, youth engagement in the digital economy for the purpose of online shopping, digital app development, and social media use (especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube) is on the rise. Many young people in big cities in Indonesia have started to take on internet-based income-generating work to contribute to their economic development. Key aspects to support this industry are high-technology communication awareness and policy support from the government not only to regulate but also to stimulate the digital economy of the country.
- Employment: Due to demographic dividend, a huge number of young people are still unemployed due not only to inequality in educational opportunities for youth and children around the archipelago, but also to the lack of coordination between government and job creators (governmental agencies, companies, NGOs, and others) to match the labor market’s demand and supply. Therefore, a multi-stakeholder partnership is required to support youth to move beyond being job hunters towards becoming entrepreneurs.
- Education: Educational infrastructures and superstructures need to be improved quantitatively and qualitatively. These improvements need to be taken on by the government alongside other entities such as civil society, NGOs, and the corporate sector. All partners must join hand-in-hand to push children and youth to engage in a world-class and high-value educational system that balances teaching traditional academics with teaching values, and wisdom, which will then contribute significantly to the social and cultural development of the country.
Inspirator Muda Nusantara, as a youth-based community organization in Indonesia, invites all partners (existing and potential) to step forward together towards the common goal of making the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda a reality in the world’s largest archipelago. We believe that global development can only be achieved through collaboration and partnerships based on trust and optimism.