Mayor Interview

City Hall, Solo – 27 September 2010

Why do you think it is important for people in Solo to be able to access information about their neighborhood?

Mayor Jokowi: I think community data should be accessible not just to city government, but to residents, who also need to know what is going on in their RT and neighborhood. During musrenbang, people can use data to understand the real conditions in their neighborhoods. What they propose in musrenbang should be based on real needs and actual conditions – not just speculation. Information is absolutely important.

What do you think about what people have proposed in musrenbang up to now?

Mayor Jokowi: Most people propose investments in physical development, rather than social or economic development. There is an issue that the same people always participate and talk in musrenbang.

From year to year, it is always the same people, which I think leads to lack of innovation in developing the city. If we have comprehensive information about the neighborhoods, proposals from musrenbang could become more dynamic.

So if we have a database of information about the neighborhoods, the quality of musrenbang will be better?

Mayor Jokowi: Of course – the ideas will not merely be what residents want, but what they actually need. Citizens’ basic needs will be reflected through the process.

What kind of information do you think is important for residents to have access to?

Mayor Jokowi: The first is information about poverty, which improves our ability to pay attention to the poor. We need to make sure that poverty is reduced in this city. Data is very important for that.

The second is data about education – where are children out of school and what grade-levels children are reaching. For example, in one RT there may be children that only reach elementary school grade-levels, and we have to support them so they continue their study to higher levels.

The third is data about health services – this is a really basic need. In which areas do most dengue epidemics occur? Where are people malnourished? This information will help to identify and target the right actions. Data will help us find solutions for these problems.

Do you think information about basic public services is something necessary for all residents?

Mayor Jokowi: Yes, this is an absolute necessity for people to know – RT leaders, LurahsCamats, and the city government, including me.

Can data be more effectively shared and communicated using maps?

Mayor Jokowi: If the maps show clearly where the problem areas are and if by using the map people can find a solution, then this is very good. If people cannot find solutions using the maps, the Lurahs, Camat, and city government can help residents interpret the data. Maps are very important for understanding what kinds of policy should solve the problems in neighborhoods.

What do you recommend the Solo Kota Kita team contribute in musrenbang?

Mayor Jokowi: I hope the team can contribute until all the problems in RTs and neighborhoods are solved – especially basic needs related to education and health. These are the really important issues to address.

What are your priorities for developing the City of Solo in the future?

Mayor Jokowi: The most important priority is to make sure children study to higher levels and that children have no health problems. This is the priority – then we can talk about physical development, economy, and other issues in the city. Children are the future of this country.