The management of a village information system for achieving public responsibility in the villages

Foto: Wahyu Setyoningsih 10 Photos Girisuko is the remotest village in the district of Bantul. Since October 2015 there has been an internet network aimed at improving the work of the village administration while also taking a step in the direction of public responsibility. | Photo: Wahyu Setyoningsih
Wahyu Setyoningsih
Forum Pengembang SID (Sistem Informasi Desa) DIY

Forum for the development of information systems in villages (FD-SID) in the Yogyakarta Special Region

Public ownership means that the concerned parties of fiduciary responsibility report honestly and openly about their activities and allow checking (Mardiasmo, 2002).

Girisuko is an out of the way village in the Gunungkidul Sub-district neighbouring Bantul. It is located in a hilly area with a large expanse of forest and has more than 5,000 inhabitants, who live by farming. For many of the inhabitants of the village it is not easy to obtain information originating from the local government – government programs function well only if those concerned take an active part. Reliable access to relevant information will increase participation in development planning, public decision-making, and the efforts to make government more responsible.

The disclosure of public information provides the inhabitants with active participation in administrative matters (social participation), supports the responsibility of the government to its citizens (social responsibility) and that of citizens to the government (social support), and control and monitoring of citizens with regard to government measures (social control). In other words, people’s right to information is an important element in strengthening public responsibility.

With the increasing use of the internet in all sectors of society, Girisuko wants to realize public responsibility with the help of a village information system (SID). Together with IDEA, CRI and the support of local government, 144 villages in Gunungkidul have set up such a system to meet the needs of the villages.
The SID can be both online and offline. Online the SID can be accessed at; offline the SID is accessible via a public display in the administrative office of the village.

The content provided by the SID results in faster correspondence, it provides information and data about the respective villages, it enables participative journalism, and it provides transparency concerning the budget and distribution of funds and more. A good information system is the best way to implement public responsibility in the villages.

The forum for the development of information systems in villages (FD-SID) in the Yogyakarta Special Region constitutes a collaboration amongst activists from villages that are striving to disseminate knowledge through the development of an information system based on modern technology.
The objective of the forum is to better utilize participants’ skills by sharing experience and ultimately to develop a village information system. Once the the forum was established, it became the coordination centre of more than 234 villages in 4 sub-districts (Gunungkidul, Bantul, Kulon Progo and Sleman), all of which in the meantime have introduced the information system (July 2016).

Based on the values of the open source movement, the FD-SID in the Yogyakarta Special Region has an advisory function and helps the villages in the development of apps that are tailored to their needs. The FD-SID has the necessary staff for this, as it cooperated from the very beginning on the information system and has worked together with a number of IT experts in the respective villages.
Together with the Gunungkidul FD-SID and the Bantul FD-SID, the Yogyakarta Special Region FD-SID is currently preparing a series of training sessions for the villages in Kulon Progo.