Sharing the Indonesian EITI Process Across Southeast Asia

Issue: IKAT-US
Country: Asia-Pacific
Facebook logoTwitter logo

IKAT-US provides a platform for civil society organizations in Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Timor Leste and Vietnam to collaborate in advocating for Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) participation in their respective countries. This is done through sharing experiences of national-level advocacy.

Under the IKAT-US framework, the role of Indonesian Parliamentary Center (IPC) is to document and share the Indonesian experience that led up to becoming an EITI candidate country in the hopes that it will contribute to effective national advocacy in other Southeast Asian countries.

It is a straightfoward aim. But the process of accomplishing this has been anything but straightforward.

It began with defining the Indonesian experience. Yet, experience is difficult to encapsulate, especially when describing a notoriously complex and perenially perplexing country such as Indonesia.

From February 2012, Indonesian representatives from civil society, government as well as private sectors participated in a series of focus group discussion that addressed the question: “What is this Indonesian experience?”

This seemingly basic question became the anchor for a continuous, ongoing effort to manage knowledge. Documenting the country's steps to join EITI entailed collecting an extensive amount of information. We collected testimonies from numerous actors, some of which had to undergo intense verification when written accounts were not available. Less-objective recollections of the process had to be managed with caution.

Another layer of intricacy added complexity to the question at hand: the diversity of sociopolitical and historical contexts of Southeast Asian countries is incomparable to any other regions in the globe. This diversity could hamper efforts to apply lessons learned from the Indonesian experience to other countries in the region.

Yet, regardless of the delicate nature of the abovementioned complexities, we are all human beings, and the human experience can transcend political, social, historical and geographical differences. It also avoids the slippery slope of being paternalistic and interventionist.

The Indonesian experience is by no means superior. Qualifying it as a main reference in advocating EITI in Southeast Asia would require a critical review. Yet it was indeed an experience, and appreciation of this process as well as of other countries' would lead to better understanding of the dynamics involved in EITI process.

It is, first and foremost, about establishing, nurturing then maintaining synergy amongst different actors from different contexts.

Post new comment