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INDONESIA’S MINISTER FOR VILLAGES AND AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR TO INDONESIA LAUNCH SMART PHONE APPLICATION FOR VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT

February 01, 2017

The Minister for Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemendes PDTT), Eko Putro Sandjojo, and the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, jointly launched the smart phone application, Ruang Desa, a forum for communications between village officials and village facilitators.

With the Ruang Desa application, around 21,000 facilitators recruited by Kemendesa PDTT at the district, sub-district and village levels will be now able to mentor village governments and newly recruited local facilitators, answering their questions and providing guidance to them in their daily jobs.

Minister Eko Putra Sanjoyo said that technology was a key instrument that could support village development. “Through this mobile app, facilitators and village governments will not only have immediate access to the information they need, but will also be equipped with much needed tools for doing their daily tasks,” he said while launching Ruang Desa in Jakarta.

“I am confident that Ruang Desa will help facilitators to be more efficient and effective in their support to villages. Importantly, it will provide the Ministry with much needed real-time data on the most pressing issues in the villages and to pinpoint which locations are experiencing these issues.” Minister Eko added.

The Government of Australia is supporting the partnership between the Ministry of Villages and Ruang Guru with technical assistance from the KOMPAK (Kolaborasi Masyarakat dan Pelayanan untuk Kesejahteraan) program.

Australian Ambassador Paul Grigson said, “Australia is a tech-savvy country. We understand the potential of online and mobile applications – like Ruang Desa – to be cost-effective solutions to communication challenges in Indonesia. We’re happy to be working in partnership with the Ministry of Villages on Ruang Desa and look forward to seeing the impact through better local-government services in rural and remote areas.”

Furthermore, Ruang Guru will support acceleration of information access for village officials and village facilitators. The application works through a free SMS chat and phone call function and provides access to learning resources including video tutorials, frequently asked questions to relevant regulations and smart guide books. A central dashboard connected to Ruang Desa allows the Ministry to monitor and analyse local level issues that are discussed via the application and to identify issues and locations that require further support to implement Village Law. Through a ‘push notification’ feature, the Ministry can also provide guidance and updates on regulations and information direct to facilitators and village governments.

The application works through a free SMS chat and phone call function and provides access to learning resources including video tutorials, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) references to relevant regulations and smart guide books. A central dashboard connected to Ruang Desa, allows the Ministry to monitor and analyse local level issues that are discussed via the application and to identify issues and locations that require further support to implement Village Law. Through a ‘push notification’ feature, the Ministry can also provide guidance and updates on regulations and information direct to facilitators and village governments.

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