Make It Perfect: SDGs and Youth in Indonesia

Author: Stevie Leonard Harison

Photo by: Inspirator Muda Nusantara

In Indonesia the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are called  Tujuan Pembangunan Berkelanjutan, which includes a vision and a mission to bring the country to a more advanced stage of national development. Since 2015, the SDGs already have been promoted through various channels especially governmental agencies and international organizations that operate in the country. Actually, the MDGs implementation in Indonesia was quite successful, although  with several points of consideration. At the beginning of the post-2015 process, which lead up to the negotiations of the 2030 Agenda, Indonesia was one  of the three key leaders in High Level Panel, convened by the UN Secretary General, together with  besides United Kingdom and Liberia. Our country’s active participation in the dynamics of global sustainable development is welcomed by most countries all around the globe. It is a golden opportunity for the country to contribute in making a better world and human civilization in the 21st century.

Considering the current circumstances in Indonesia, the demographic dividend is one of the most strategic issues for policy and decision makers. Statistically, about 80 million citizens (one third of the total population) in the country are youth (15-29 years old) and can become the driving force of development, especially on the education and economic sectors. Also, young people are supported by the government to become agents of change and innovation in almost all dimensions, including social, culture, sports, health, economy and politics. The demographic dividend is strategically considered in the medium term national development strategies, lead by  President Jokowi’s. Accordingly, Jokowi has started to recruit highly qualified young people to join his presidential team in order to adopt youth-friendly perspectives in decision-making processes. While the considerations around the demographic dividend are attracting  a lot of interest now in Indonesia, there is an urgency for youth to improve their skills and knowledge, expand their professional connection, and upgrade their experiences simultaneously. It is a positive signal that President Jokowi supports and promotes youth contributions to national development processes that will impact  the achievement of the SDGs at the national level by 2030. Additionally, the President has already signed a  presidential regulation on SDGs implementation (Peraturan Presiden No. 59 Tahun 2017), indicating the highest political commitment. However, the classic problem of lack of coordination still emerges between governmental agencies themselves and between governmental agencies and NGOs. The more crucial point to be discussed is how the government approaches the youth-based and youth-led organizations and communities so that they can be directly involved in the decision-making and implementation stages based on measurable standards.

Cover of e-guidebook “Menuju Indonesia 2030 (Towards Indonesia 2030)”

Our youth-based organization, Inspirator Muda Nusantara, has been actively participating in many opportunities regarding youth initiatives supporting the MDGs and the SDGs. We are a pioneer youth organization in Indonesia which signed the  “Global Partnership on Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” (GPY 2015), in 2014. We are also listed in the UN DESA-NGO Branch Database since 2015 and have been a member of the Asia Pacific Regional CSOs Engagement Mechanism (AP RCEM) since 2015. Last but not least, to support the acceleration of the SDGs implementation in Indonesia, we did two initiatives. First, the Indonesian Youth Database on SDGs (I-USE), still under implementation. The I-USE database intends to bridge the potential funding partners and youth organizations/communities in Indonesia regarding the implementation of the SDGs. Second, an e-guidebook about SDGs and contextualization in Indonesia entitled “Menuju Indonesia 2030 (Towards Indonesia 2030)”. The e-guidebook aims to raise awareness and as a form of knowledge transfer about SDGs from original sources (UNITAR free e-learning course) to people in Indonesia especially young people. We are proud of adding our ‘small contribution’ to the achievement of the SDGs in Indonesia, even without asking for the support of the government. Inspirator Muda Nusantara will continue to actively supports all efforts for the successful achievement of the SDGs nationally and internationally.

DISCLAIMER. The views expressed in this blog are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Together 2030 Initiative and its members.

About the author: Stevie Leonard Harison is a youth activist from Indonesia. He is the founder of Inspirator Muda Nusantara, a youth-based community organization in Indonesia. He obtained his bachelor from the University of Indonesia majoring international relations. He is very active in participating in many youth-related events nationally and internationally especially on the issues such as climate change, sustainable development, human rights, and policy analysis. He can be reached through his LinkedIn account Stevie Leonard Harison or email

Together 2030 ( is a civil society initiative that promotes national implementation and tracks progress of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Initiative, set up in December 2015, seeks to generate knowledge and project voices from civil society and stakeholders around the world on the challenges and opportunities for the 2030 Agenda.  Together 2030 brings together civil society and non-governmental actors to discuss the way to formulate and implement roadmaps at national level and hold governments to account at all levels. As of November 2017, 570 organizations have joined Together 2030 from more than 100 countries. 72% of which are based in the Global South.


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