Building on the success of the 2018, 2021, and 2022 forums, the fourth Indonesia Civil Society Forum 2023 was held on June 14-15, 2023, on the theme of Civic Space, Capacity, and Sustainability.
After two years online, the ICSF 2023 was held in-person at the Aryaduta Hotel in Jakarta on June 14-15, 2023. The format combined two keynote speaker sessions, two panel discussions, and two parallel sessions with five facilitated breakout groups in each session. Special design considerations and technical solutions were used to ensure that the ICSF is interactive, collaborative, and participatory. The Forum was a two-day event.
The focus on the first day, June 14, was on Inclusive Democracy and Civic Space in a Post-Reformasi Era. While many countries around the world are experiencing profound challenges in managing their democracies, resulting in an increasing in intolerance, social tensions, and authoritarian rule, Indonesia has been less exposed to this type of populism and non-democratic rule. There remains strong support for democracy and regional autonomy. However, as participants at the ICSF 2021 and 2002 noted, the country is not immune to a democratic decline and Indonesia is experiences declining score in international indexes. An increase in the rise of “uncivil society” and challenges to freedoms of association and expression have taken place, leading to a democratic stagnation. Speakers in ICSF 2022 highlighted increasing religious radicalism and social chauvinism that are leading to social intolerance. To avoid a backlash, it is important to maintain the integrity of democratic institutions and popular support for democratic practices, such as regular elections at all levels and effective forms of everyday citizen participation so that the voices of citizens can be heard in policymaking. The first day featured keynotes by Professor Yasonna H. Laoly, Ph.D, Minister of Law and Human Rights and Ms. Bivitri Susanti, Indonesia Jentera School of Law, a panel discussion with prominent panelists, and parallel breakout sessions, highlighted best practices and discussed various aspects of the challenges and opportunities for civil society in Indonesia to strengthen democracy, covered topics such as protecting civic space, peace-building initiatives, civil society preparation for 2024 elections, and protecting the marginalized.
The focus on the second day, June 15, was on Civil Society Organizations Capacity and Sustainability. Since democratic and decentralization reforms in 1998, Indonesian CSOs have both contributed to and benefitted from key democratic achievements. In a democracy, civil society groups uphold respect for the law, for the rights of individuals, and for the rights of other groups to express their interests and opinions, including tolerance and the accommodation of pluralism and diversity. However, during the past ten years, civil society in Indonesia has stagnated or even declined, with the rise of new forms of populist politics. Many CSOs have found it difficult to respond the challenges of the times, such as misinformation, fragmentation, and social polarizations. As discussed at the ICSF 2022, new forms of civil society actions are needed, led by a new generation, and using new forms of communication and social media, to reflect civil society in the 2020s. For CSOs to contribute to putting a brake on further democratic backsliding in Indonesia, national and sub-national CSOs need to continue to build their capacity, including on financial sustainability, which remains elusive for many CSOs, especially at the subnational level. The second day featured a keynote by Nani Zulminarni from ASHOKA, a panel discussion with prominent panelists, and parallel breakout sessions, highlighted best practices and discuss various aspects of the challenges and opportunities for civil society in Indonesia, covering topics such as dealing with a shrinking enabling environment for CSOs, improving the financial sustainability of CSOs, innovations in technology and social media, resource mobilization for CSO and regeneration of civil society and the role of youth.
The ICSF 2023 ended with a closing session providing highlights from panel discussions and the breakout sessions and outline next steps and forms for collaboration, as well as the future of the ICSF after MADANI ends.
Presentation documents can be found here:
- PUSAD Presentation “Impact of Social Intolerance” at ICSF 2023, 14 June Bahasa
- LSI Survey Presentation “Attitudes towards Social Tolerance” at ICSF 2023, 14 June Bahasa
Detailed documents can be found here:
- Agenda in Bahasa and Indonesian
- ICSF 2023 Briefs in English and Indonesian
- Session Brief for the first day Panel Discussion on Inclusive Democracy anf Civic Space in a Post-Reformasi Era in English and Indonesian
- Session Brief for the second day’s Panel Discussion on Civil Society and Capacity in English and Indonesian
- Guidelines and detailed rundown for the Panel Discussions in English and Indonesian
- Guidelines and detailed rundown for the Breakout Session in English and Indonesia.
Session Briefs for the ten Breakout Sessions in English