Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Implementing spatially enabled government (SEG) concept in Indonesian local government, challenges and opportunities
    SUTANTA, HERI ; RAJABIFARD, ABBAS ; Aditya, Trias (Aura, 2010)
    Most government decisions and action at national and local levels have a spatial component. Local government activities with spatial components include, but are not limited to, spatial planning, land management, taxation, and the issue of building and site permits. A framework for governing spatially related activities needs to be formulated. An emerging concept of Spatially Enabled Government (SEG) is currently being developed, refined and implemented in many countries. SEG will increase efficiency, transparency and accountability of government activities. This paper will discuss the SEG concept, its prospects and challenges when implemented in the context of Indonesian local government. Local government in this paper refers only to district (kabupaten/kota) level. The following data were used: survey on local government’s website and questionnaire. Of the 479 districts in Indonesia, official websites of 442 districts established after 2006 were surveyed. Questionnaires were sent out to 71 districts, with 34 responses being received. The questionnaire covered areas of organization, human resources and spatial data infrastructures (SDIs). It was designed to investigate the existing capacity and understanding of local government spatial governance, specifically at the local planning agency. Website surveys revealed that local government had limited interest in exploiting the virtually unlimited potential of internet for spatially-related government activities. SDI, as an enabling platform for data sharing and exchange among government agencies, has not been considered important. Comprehensive policies on spatially-related government programmes were limited. Finding from the questionnaires indicates that funding and qualification of human resources were the main responsible factors for this situation. Local governments have limited staffs with expertise in spatial data handling. Some recommendations to overcome the challenges and impediments are presented. Although there are challenges and impediments, SEG may still be implemented in local government provided some necessary conditions are met. Recent central government initiatives on national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI) and telecommunication infrastructure, which will be implemented in the near future, are essential to speed up the process of creating better spatial data governance in local government.