Advancing Inclusive Democracy Through the 2022 Indonesia Civil Society Forum
Since 1998, Indonesian civil society organizations (CSOs) have both contributed to and benefitted from key democratic achievements and have strongly supported the country’s democratic development.
From March 30 – 31, 2022, USAID MADANI hosted the 2022 Indonesia Civil Society Forum (ICSF) in collaboration with 15 international and national partners. Professor Muhadjir Effendy, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs, and William Slater, Acting USAID Mission Director, opened the event. More than 350 CSO activists and government actors from across the country convened online. Participants had the opportunity to network, gather insights and perspectives on key issues faced by the Indonesian human rights and democracy movement, and better understand the role of CSOs in supporting an inclusive democracy. The ICSF 2022 generated 24 news articles across national print and online media outlets.
In his opening remarks, Minister Muhadjir emphasized that, with more than 430,000 CSOs in the country, there is huge potential for collaboration to improve communities’ understanding about diversity and create an inclusive and effective democracy in Indonesia. The main takeaways from the event include the need for: (a) continued interaction among civil society groups from different sectors and regions, expanding activities from urban to rural areas, and using new digital and online forms of communication; (b) opportunities for critical engagement with the new religious moderation policies issued by the Ministry of Religious Affairs; (c) improved protection of citizens from online disinformation and social media abuse; and (d) continued strengthening of legal and political instruments to protect the rights of marginalized groups, including religious and ethnic minorities. USAID MADANI is presently consulting with hosting partners to decide on follow-on actions