By: Achmad F. (Writer/Former National Media Journalist)
Papuan development does require appropriate, effective, systematic, structured steps, but still with a humanist approach.
President Joko Widodo or Jokowi has the ambition to develop Papua overall. Not surprisingly, since his first term of leadership, Jokowi has carried out massive development in Papua, both physical (infrastructure) and non-physical (human resources / HR).
In Jokowi’s second term, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the President still prioritized development in Papua. Jokowi formulated a comprehensive development strategy in Papua.
The strategy is to form an Integrated Coordination Team for the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua and West Papua by issuing Presidential Decree number 20 of 2020. The Presidential Decree was signed by Jokowi on 29 September 2020.
In the Presidential Decree, Jokowi appointed Vice President Ma’ruf Amin as Chairman of the team’s Steering Committee.
Meanwhile, members of the Steering Committee are the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Home Affairs, and the Presidential Chief of Staff.
At the same time, Jokowi issued Presidential Instruction No. 9/2020. This Presidential Instruction complements the explicit instructions for accelerating development in Papua.
The Presidential Instruction in detail instructs the efforts that must be made to accelerate development in this easternmost province of Indonesia.
First, Jokowi ordered all ministries and institutions to take steps in escort that are breakthrough, integrated, precise, focused, and synergized according to their respective duties, functions and authorities in a coordinated and integrated manner to accelerate welfare development and in the Provinces of Papua and West Papua.
The governance approach supported by the Electronic Based Government System (PSBE) and data and information-based policies became the next presidential instruction in the Presidential Instruction.
Jokowi also emphasized that the Papuan development approach must be based on social, cultural, customary territory and ecological perspectives. This is considered important in sustainable development and focuses on indigenous Papuans (OAP).
Regarding development in remote areas to be more effective, Jokowi ordered the acceleration of the implementation of sub-district and village-based development programs. These areas include the interior, small islands, national borders, and mountains that are difficult to reach.
Finally, Jokowi emphasized development in Papua through a dialogue approach with community components, community organizations, and local government administrators. Supervision and improvement of the quality of public services must prioritize empowerment and active involvement of local communities and traditional leaders.
In addition to this strategy, Jokowi has also decided to continue the Special Autonomy in Papua which will end in 2021. In a meeting with Committee IV DPD on September 9, 2020, the Minister of Finance revealed that the government plans to increase the Papua and West Papua Special Autonomy funds to IDR 7.8 trillion next year. The funds increased by 3.3 percent compared to this year, namely IDR 7.55 trillion.
The Minister of Finance added that the government will also channel additional funds for infrastructure in Papua in the context of the special autonomy of IDR 4.37 trillion. According to the Minister of Finance, the special autonomy fund budget for Papua and West Papua was given in order to support economic recovery after Covid-19, increase community economic empowerment, especially for traditional markets, development of technology, information and communication facilities, as well as expanding access, and increasing the effectiveness of educational services and health.
It should be noted that during the first term of Jokowi’s administration, the government had built a number of infrastructures in Papua. For example, the Trans Papua road, the Hamadi-Holtekam Long Bridge, electricity infrastructure, and Sentani Airport.
Still in Jokowi’s first term of leadership, the government succeeded in increasing the life expectancy of Papuans from birth. According to data, during 2014 to 2019 the life expectancy of Papuans and West Papuans has moved up from 65.13 percent to 65.9 percent. The same thing happened in Papua, which increased from 64.84 percent to 65.65 percent over the past five years.
Based on these things, Jokowi’s strategy is already a genius. Papuan development does require appropriate, effective, systematic, structured steps, but still with a humanist approach. Moreover, Papua’s long history series, from the development of Papua which was delayed compared to other provinces in the past to the terror of separatist groups that have troubled the community. This characteristic makes the government more careful in making policies in Papua. ()