Indonesia’s defense minister is blogging

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I was shocked to find out through Shel Israel that Indonesia’s Minister of Defense, Juwono Sudarsono, is blogging*. His latest post discusses the challenge of governance:

For the past eighteen months, the most talked about issue in Indonesian policy circles has centered on governance as the key solution to Indonesia’s economic recovery. Governance -- both in officialdom, as well as in corporate as well as in civic society -- was the key to stabilizing the economy as macro economic indicators began to improve…

A previous post called for more humility in development planning:

Everyone at the [Consultative Group on Indonesia] meeting agreed that governance was the central issue. Somehow, during the presentations I began to muse that beyond the talk about boxes, charts, figures, time lines and target dates, I felt that there was a bit too much of linear technocracy thinking. Discussions about road "maps" and "architecture" of the recovery process need to consider the more fundamental human and cultural factors.

In essence, we need more thinking about "horticulture" than "architecture". However neat the plans on the drawing boards and however sophisticated the tools of development planning, it will be humans who will do the implementation on the ground. Team work and team spirit is more cultural than technocracy. Nurturing institutions require the appropriate implantation of seed, applying the right amount of water for plants and saps to grow, the right amount of sunlight to give light to nascent networks of cooperation among disparate groups. There will be hits and misses, and even social glitches and crashing of social gears along the way so long as 36 million Indonesians live below the poverty line, 10 million openly unemployed and 60 million receiving direct cash transfers until the end of 2006.

A strong dose of humility in development and recovery planning is needed by both donor agencies and Indonesian officials.

I was pleasantly surprised by the blog’s strong personal voice, and very much enjoyed that second post. It would be great if other government officials follow suit. (I wonder if he has seen our Aceh Diary?)

*Note: Yes, this might be a hoax. The blog was cited in the Jakarta Post, and has been well received by many Indonesian bloggers, but I was unable to find any mention on the Government’s site. My opinion is that it is legit. Update in comments below.

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