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AMIC paper

Reading Milenium Development Goals in Blog In Indonesia1
Sofia Kartika2

Abstract Milennium Development Goals is a commitment for Indonesia aimed to be achieved in 2015, which is -- as Paskah Suzetta (Minister of Planning-Bappenas) said -- also the responsibility of multistakeholder. The government endorse MDGs with their programs like development planning, even civil society have their own way to support MDGs target such as reducing poverty and hunger, women and children health, education for all, gender equality and women empowerment, environment conservation and others. The position of blog as alternative media make MDGs issues can be campaigned by everyone, for socialization, direct implementation, and of course monitoring and evaluation of the implementation. Blog with its good and simple packaging make MDGs campaign become real and everybody can write their own blog and supporting milennium development goals. What we found in http://bangsari.blogspot.com is an example of blog that campaign MDGs focusing on education right for all using interesting light and comical approach. This approach has been able to help education continuity of an Indonesian child living in a village using a distinguishable and empowering way. Socialization was done using an attractive banner, same thing was used for anti-hunger campaign. Blog as an easy to use alternatif media, has made MDG campaign and implementation available to everyone (almost unlimited). These blogger are estafet runner, waiting the government to take the baton. By looking at the achievement obtained by bangsari, which has been successively campaign education for all thus helping the continuity of education, we can as well imitate it to push MDGs achievement on other issues. We can learn from blog, for supporting MDG’s aims.

Keywords: Alternative media, Milenium Development Goals, Blog, Civil society

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This Paper is developed by article in Koran Tempo Newspaper by Sofia Kartika and Henny Irawati Sofia Kartika has more than 5 years working experience in various development projects,gender, good governance and MDG’s issues, was working for projects funded by, IFAD, UNDP Indonesia,GLG-GTZ for MDG’s aims and was also working in Jurnal Perempuan Foundation for gender issues and feminism. Sofia Kartika has a Bachelor degree in Sociology from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, have a concern in media and development issues, one of it is blog role in MDGs campaign. Her opinions can found in Kompas, Koran Tempo, Contact : sofiakartika_smg@yahoo.co.id or sofia.kartika@gmail.com, cell: (62)8139620450
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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

Blog as Alternative Media Blog gives people spirit, Julian Pain said in pocket book for blogger, ‘Reporters without Borders’. This enthusiasm was born from freedom of expression to use blog as alternative media to pour what is called as self expression. In this online diary, we can found many style of writing and information. In Indonesia, blog became alternative media starting from 2001, and now in 2008 it is estimated that there has been 250.000 blogs covering various issues and topics. Milenium Development Goals which has been a development target for government at least until 2015, is one of those many topics. From now on we will use MDGs to represent Milenium Developmen Goals. Indonesia has been keeping pace with this fast-moving technology. In 2006, Indonesian blog watcher which has been called the “Indonesia Father of Blog”, Enda Nasution estimated that in 2007, Indonesian blogger has reached 45 thousand in population. On October 27th 2007, Indonesian blogger held its first Blogger Party which was then declared as National Blogger Day. In the same occasion, Minister of Information and Communication in Indonesia, Mohammad Nuh motivated the blogger community to reach a goal of one million blog in Indonesia. However, the support from government itself is still waiting to be proved. Aside from above mentioned facts, what is still need to be questioned is “why is it important to pay attention to this alternative media development?“ Menkominfo said, blog can be an educative and empowering media. Referring to that sentence, civil society’s role as one of the information source while as well providing advocation, can be accomplished via blog. Blog can also be used as place for networking. Also, its richness of topics, either similar or different can transform blogs into communities which will then can be referenced when dealing with specific issues. Those communities process, included within is integrated advocation. This advocation and issue interaction are what will be discussed in reading MDGs on blogs in Indonesia.

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

The Condition of MDGs in Indonesia MDGs is one of the commitment in Indonesia developments goals. MDGs itself has been a part of effort to support development acceleration and poverty eradication. Eight critical issues of MDGs within that commitmen are; eradication of poverty and hunger; education for all; gender equality and women empowerment; health for mother and child; decrease the spreading of HIV/AIDS, malaria, environmental development suistainability, and developing partnership for global development. UN supports local government to reach the target of those eight critical issues on 2015, fifteen years after the agreement was signed in New York at 2000 Who is responsible for implementing MDGs? In MDGs achievement report in Indonesia dated 2007/2008, Chairman of National Planning And Development Bureau, Paskah Suzetta described that those tasks are not only become government responsibility but also other multistakeholder. Thus MDGs goals should be discussed by multistakeholder as well. Included there is civil society which many of them are in close relationship with online media, in this context refers to blog. What has people do, especially blogger and what has Indonesia government do? So far, the government have been implementing MDGs integrated to development planning and implementation achieved via a five years or one year workplan. However, the effort is not adequate yet. As the progress report described, the achievement was illustrated in national level. On the contrary, the achievement does not warrant matching district condition. Chief Bappenas said, there are many important rules can influence MDGs progress that can be made in district juridiction. Can this challenge conquered by blog? The Problem of development that described in MDGs are very many. Similar to the fact that can be found in Indonesia society. Sometimes, development planning which following development cycle (planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation) does not translate direct target requirement. Eventhough development planning meeting has been held in village level, sometimes requirements has not been accomodated yet, because of the variety of interests and perspectives.

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

On the other side, civil society function has been acknowledged, recognized by many movement they are doing, one of them is blog because within is reflected surrounding social facts. That reality is related to implementation efforts of MDGs, either directly or not. And that is what has been doing by blog communities in Indonesia, began with poverty issues, development issues which is close to them and then informed via blog networks, as well as advocation of MDGs implementation through alternative media in the representation of blog. Government, who has the obligation to cast effort to implement MDGs, see that it is important to have a campaign to continuously reminds that there has been issues of poverty, hunger, and so on. Government of Indonesia in formal has held campaign and socialization in mainstream media costs them serious fortune, of course. This campaign is hoped to be effective as a reminder that efforts must be continued to solve the problem. The MDGs campaign in here is important, even sometimes the bill is expensive to pay the airtime. It has been a suspicion that people who watch mainstream media should have been the beneficeries of MDGs. Beside using mainstream media, the government is also making field action to gather money to cover poverty eradication programa. Spokeperson from public figure are active too. And the important thing, not to be underestimated is the role of blog. Blog enrich the campaign. Blog can touch person who interacts frequently with online media which is more attractive than watching television or reading newspaper. How Blog promotes MDGs Blog in Indonesia, using its provided alternative rooms, directly or indirectly is part of MDGs campaign proces. As alternative media it has many ways to campaign, starts from writing style, perspective until the choice of action related to MDGs Alternative media opens chance to many people to write what is happening in their surroundings, their experiences and what they want to do after looking at a certain issue. The writing of blog owner various in language style, from feature until a formal style full of data and analysis. The writing which is uploaded, can be found using search engine (such as google) and may show up when someone is looking for an information.

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

It is not only on online space, blog communities can also do some real-world action or hold an offline gathering (kopi darat) too. It is within those processes, the action can executed directly to the beneficeries. Next, we will see some MDGs action we can found in blogs. Blogger for Bangsari Action Supporting Education For All

Among previously mentioned eight critical issues, education for all is one of the priorities to raise up. Not only to reduce illiteracy, but also education for all are important to reduce the gap between male and female and opens the access for both to continue education to at least basic education (junior highschool). Talking about education, one factor which influence sustainable access of education in Indonesia is education cost. If we refer to MDGs report, it is said that children who are about to enter SMP (junior highschool), had increased. But only 67% can actually continue to Junior High School, while the government are targetting for increased participation in 9 years basic education program in 2008-2009. It is a target that has been admitted to be quite ambitious within the report produced by Bappenas and UN. The government have good will to defend the children for school, because they know the big barrier of the children who drop out of school is education cost.

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

To keep out the children from dropping out are entry point which is then translated by blog communities who have initiatives to form Blogger for Bangsari. It is an action to support the continuity of education for Bangsari children, Cilacap, Central Java. This initiative as described on their blog, that is http://bangsari.blogspot.com, is one example of real activities. This action for describing critical issues for education for all, has been an attractive campaign executed using blog. Firstly, by using blog as campaign media, it is not required to spend big cost to implement socialization, thus the rest of the money can be allocated for a more maximum field action. As we have known, that blog is media which is easily accessible and cheap. Now, blog service are available everywhere, to be a blogger is not difficult. Secondly, the campaign done by blogger for bangsari is attractive because the package does not appear to be heavy-weight, while the action is strategic for supporting development. Using comical banner containing good substance, the blogger and their communities can do something. Everyone can and may contribute even a teacher, doctor or housewife can campaign MDGs issues a-la theirselves. No one is prohibiting since blog is an open space for anyone. Thirdly, blogger for bangsari action teachs how transparancy can support development process. One of the important point to build good governance, which is not done enough yet by the government. In this case, means responsibility of managing the money for public, not to mention doing it online, which also means multistakeholder can access it. The initiative started by blogger for bangsari is very unique. The support for education cost which had always been associated with money is replaced by goat and this is very strategic! Referring to Bangsari spokepreson, Ipoul Bangsari, so far this action has already distributed 43 goats. And today, the goats are all grown up and even breed. Every movement about the donation is informed at http://bloggersforbangsari.blogspot.com . The blog can used as media for programa transparancy. But, why goat? Apparently this choice was made in order to make the childern can continue their education while their family can have an economic asset. Beside that, the

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

goat of bangsari programme is still hoping to have any educative aid that doesn’t eliminate the tradition of working. A very strategic plan to fight against poverty, I must say. Blogger for Stop Hunger Campaign

Food crisis causing many cases of hunger in Indonesia. This phenomenon really motivated blogger in Indonesia on early 2008, when one of the pregnant mother in Makassar died because of hunger. This case lead a blogger to make stop hunger action, which is then followed by other blogger. This paragraph is cited from http://chikastuff.wordpress.com, specifying the reason why blogger come up with this stop hunger action.
“Those who can eat everyday should have been thankful, for they can know what full stomach feels like. They should be thankful for being able to taste food delicacies. But among all those things, many of our brothers and sisters which is still suffering hunger. Following is what I read from detik.com:” Basse, Mrs. (27). A mother on 7 month pregnancy has suffered tragic death after three days in a row of not eating anything.5 minutes after blowing her last breathe, her 5 years old Bahir died as well. As what we’ve known,hunger is a common thing in Indonesia.However, If it has been this worse, can we still close our eyes, shut our mouth, and shut our ears? Mbak Hanna wrote this post which has motivated me to join the stop hunger campaign.

We can see how blog empowering information sharing and caring to hunger cases in Indonesia. Meanwhile, critical issues to eradicate poverty and hunger is crucial issues in achieving MDGs goals. Still refering to MDGs report for 2007-2008, critical issues like hunger still

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

need more attention. This blogger initiative can be seen as an effort contributed by civil society to eradicate hunger, for at least in those bloggers local area. Many of these campaign form started by bloggers on this stop hunger action has received a good attention. There are already 20 writers who are also shouting stop hunger on the blogosphere, using their own blog as campaign media. Blogger communities networking are real and important to this stop hunger campaign. The network itself has covered blog communities in Jakarta, Tangerang, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Makassar. If blog visitors read and then build interest on this issues, it would be easy to add more people to socialize the program itself. In this case, a banner can be offerred to the visitor which then can be utilized by the visitor to spread the words and gather more supporters using their own site (if any). Meanwhile program transparancy seems to be a way for blogger continue their action, by reporting day by day progress of their support for the action using their own blog. Gender Equality and Women Empowerment on Blog Eventhough MDGs goals has listed that the indicator of gender equality and women empowerment achievement are: education for women, jobs vacancy and women reprensetative in parlieament, it is admitted as well within MDGs report that achievement for those goals is still far from what has been expected. However it can not be denied that there has been a recognisable improvement in accessiblity, participation and role of women in many sectors. Some blogs have a special theme for women issues. Even issues which are previously categorized in domestic issues, it has now come to be important issues and giving birth into community sharing similar attention on special theme, like breastfeeding movement. It is where mothers or housewives who have online access are sharing their experiences and knowledge about breastfeeding. The efforts, indirectly is increasing support to mother and children health, and decreasing the vulnerability of baby mortality.

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

Blogs break stereotype between women who work as housewife with domestic space. Their activity is no longer domestic since it’s now publically shared among others. Cooking, breastfeeding and etc which is shared on their blog has also endorsed women empowerment in economic sector, inspiring housewife to be an enterpreneur on their own. While, women activist group or feminist that has been fighting to uphold women rights are already turning to blog as a media for sharing what they are doing on women empowerment efforts and activities to endorse gender equality. This can bee seen in what they are doing on economic empowerment for women communities in Aceh, that has been documented in blog. That’s not the end, blogs with gender equality issues related in Indonesia movement are rising, such as: women and peace (http://thepeacefulmay.blogspot.com), also women and politics participation which use blog to to spread immediate information on women quota in parliement in Indonesia can look in http://womensparticipation.uni.cc . Blog with gender equality and women empowerment critical issues is bit different from blogger action for education and stop hunger campaign, which started by caring for an issue then made an action. For women group, activities has been going, using blog as an documentation and information sharing tool. This information documentation and various lesson learned coming from women group and the women activist endorsing gender equality, shoud be taken for inputs to make steps and strategy to achieve gender equality. Its accessibility and its easy-to-build apparently has made blog an alternative choice to spread information as well as advocation to achieve gender equality in the middle of media wars. Blog and MDGs: The space of information distribution On campaign level and information spreading, blog also provide a space to share information about MDGs, like http://mdgsblogs.blogspot.com which act as information room supplying information on how far has MDGs already run by government. One of

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

the activities which documented is water and sanitation implementation run by local government. Informations within blog are indeed vulnerable to worriness and misunderstanding, as predicted in Pain analysis on pocket book for blogger. Pain predicted also that every media will have its own prevention mechanisme to cast away previous mentioned issues. Blog is no exception. Control mechanism and discussion on an issue will be provided by the blog itself. In Indonesia, there are various perspective developing on issue such as gender equality and women empowerment. MDGs blog for instance has raised a misperspective which lead to stereotype on women group. The following are cited from the site: “increasing mother’s health has a purpose to strengthen the market share of women. Since mother group is more consumptive and has more requirements compared to men”. Misperception is one thing concerned Pain, but blog has had its own mechanism in running discussion on contradictory issues and has been part of campaign of information about MDGs. If a blog reader has different perspective, they can write their opinion as comment and can also add reference using a link to a certain resource. They can as well write their own perspective on the same issue on their own blog and notify related or similar blog resource using trackback mechanism. Control mechanism available in blog, to put back MDGs on to its right track can be achieved via comment, trackbacks, and external links. So there should be no fear in starting a discussion since blog has provided a room for those purposes. Blog Charateristic and MDGs Achievement By looking at what has been done by these bloggers, which has been using blog as an alternative advocation media to accelerate MDGs implementation in participative manner, it can be seen also that government can continue and use what have been done by blogger related to MDGs issues. Bloggers who choose to voice their program and activities related to MDGs, eventhough they haven’t really realized it, has actually see blog as an alternative and strategic

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

media. According to Ipoul of Bangsari for instance, he sees blog has a characteristic as follows: blog is an easy tool, cheap, and effective. Strong blog network, and internet user as a economically adequate group, has been an appropriate target to gather funding from. Blog is time unconstrained, thus it is hoped that solidarity can be maintained in sustainable manner, and it is also hoped blog can inspire people to do similar thing on their own community. Big campaign held by government still holding a question whether it has already effective in reaching their actual target, On the other hand, campaign within a community which has already known its strength and weakness, can really be planned for achievable target and well respond. Using blog as alternative media in development campaign has implicitely represented what has been hoped within 8 MDGs point which says that on of MDGs target is cooperating with private sector in using new technology, especially information and communication technology. Blog in this case has given a facility to civil society, anyone, to take part in doing activities supporting MDGs achievement. Pattern anticipated to be able to translate those 8 critical issues can be taken as example of implementation done by the govenrment in development planning each year. Gives something real and strategic. Meanwhile, support from goverment to blog and blogger who have been actively contributing in giving information and control, as well as execution of action program should have been strengthen. The support should not raise any fear to blogger as an alternative source of information as well as to the people (non-blogger) frequently accessing information available on blog. An example3 would be the famous UU ITE (Information and Electronic Transaction Law).This law contains a section which prohibits the spreading of character assassination, sex, and violence. A maximum 6 years penalty awaits those either purposely or not purposely and without any right to spread those information. According to M. Nuh as Minister Information and Communication technology, bloggers are not those having the rights to broadcast information, unlike mass media or mainstream press. Minister of Information and Communication didn’t specify any information broadcasted in mailing list, forums, citizen journalism sites, and so on, which has also broadcasted in3

http://ndorokakung.com/2008/04/29/pasal-pecas-ndahe/

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Author: Sofia Kartika

AMIC paper

network information (online). It is not yet decided whether those people are included to those having no rights to broadcast information. In contrast, from this action and blogger information has been raised inspiration on how to accelerate implementation and achievement of MDGs goals. Blog author for instance can be treated as information source on development planning, without spending any money. Thus, civil society and their alternative media of choice can be one thing contributes to prosperity of their nation. Not only target effective and fits the needs, but also individuals and community can recognize needs and issues available in their surroundings. That’s why government should be able to involve blogger in MDGs implementation process – either as alternative media for control monitoring or invite those bloggers to know their feedback from doing any action related to development planning and MDGs achievement acceleration. Government can also replicate what has been done by bloggers. Utilize blog and blogger as a resource of MDGs information which depict society in their real condition.

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Author: Sofia Kartika