During 2000-2005, ICMA provided technical support to strengthen the capacity of Indonesian cities through peer-to-peer exchanges with select US cities on a wide range of service delivery areas and facilitated direct training and technical assistance to local government associations. ICMA worked with three Indonesian local government associations at the provincial, city, and district level to strengthen their capacity and improve the following key areas (1) advocacy and representation of members’ interests (2) internal management of their secretariat functions (3) two-way communications between and among members and the secretariat (4) service provision to members, such as conducting training and disseminating best practices in local governance.
ICMA staff assessed, designed, and delivered a comprehensive management program including participation in the ICMA annual conference, which brings together more than 4,000 local government professionals from around the world. Collaboration with other donors and programs helped promote the concerns of local communities through radio broadcasting. Through the program ICMA achieved a varied set of results
- Fostered intergovernmental communication
- Launched and sustained best practices identification, documentation and dissemination
- Increased horizontal communication among local governments facilitated by their association
- Conducted effective lobbying for local government rights vis-à-vis the national government
- Improved operational management of the associations
- Enhanced leadership based on better budget management, transparency, program development, and staff change over
A major component of the program was the implementation of the Resource Cities Program (RCP) which convened practitioners seeking practical solutions to local challenges. Through the RCP program, participating Indonesian local governments were paired with selected US counterparts. Over the course of two years, each of the partnerships hosted up to seven exchanges, alternating between the US and Indonesia, where together they analyzed problems, shared experiences, and identified solutions to a range of issues, such as education, water management, health, environmental protection, tourism development, historic preservation, and citizen participation.
The five city-to-city partnerships were:
Berau, East Kalimantan with Port Angeles, Washington
The partnership focused on drainage, solid waste and education. The project was designed to be effective but not capital intensive. The activities of all three areas were integrated to achieve a clean and healthy Berau.
Solok, West Sumatra with Gresham, Oregon
Solok’s priority was to provide potable water to all citizens. While this end goal was not possible within the time frame of the partnership, Gresham worked with Solok to develop the overall work plan and then to work on the individual steps as time allowed.
Balikpapan and Samarinda, East Kalimantan with Tigard, Oregon
This tri-partite partnership focused on water management. Balikpapan placed emphasis on water conservation to improve clean water services while Samarinda focused on watershed projects and auditing .
Bitung and Sangihe, North Sulawesi with Coos Bay, Oregon
Coastal management and environmental protection were big issues for these two coastal cities. Working with another USAID-funded program, this partnership focused on the legal aspects and needs when creating a marine protected area.
Yogyakarta, Java and Bukittinggi, West Sumatra with Savannah, Georgia
This partnership focused on tourism development, historical preservation and work force development using the community college. In addition to the city of Savannah, the Savannah Technical College was a regular participant in this partnership and donated many resources to the project.