THE NATIONAL RESEARCH AND INNOVATION AGENCY
As an archipelagic country, Indonesia has 542 regions from Sabang to Merauke. With such a geopolitical position, Indonesia faces a serious span of control issue due to the huge distance between the national/central government and regencies/municipalities, including the span of control between provincial capital cities and remote areas, especially border areas. thus giving rise to the idea of regional expansion. Referring to problems that occur in the border areas, the Council of Research Professors – National Research and Innovation Agency held a webinar “Prof Talks” which will discuss the topic “Building Indonesia from the Border”, on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
Jakarta, 29 March 2022. The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) as a research and innovation institution has the capacity to continuously improve research, development, assessment, and application as well as inventions and innovations to contribute to the development of science not only in terms of policy recommendations but also the implementation.
With regard to the webinar, Head of BRIN, Dr. Laksana Tri Handoko expected that the presenters in the webinar can provide contributive inputs to encourage governable local governments that prioritize innovation that is carried out in an integrated and continuous manner to improve the quality of public services.
“Recommendations are needed in determining what strategic steps need to be taken to encourage community empowerment in border areas so that there is a strengthening of national insight, Indonesianness, institutionalization of local cultural values and local democracy as well as the creation of a balanced Indonesianess and regionalism,” explained Handoko.
Meanwhile Prof. R. Siti Zuhro, MA, Ph.D. a Research Professor in Politics and Governance in BRIN’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Organization, said, basically border areas really need special attention not only as part of the government’s commitment to create prosperity and a sense of security, but also to build the people to be more educated, mature and able to independently solve problems.
“To overcome the problem of span of control and excellent public services, innovative and integrated breakthroughs are needed so that border areas can get maximum service. The problem is how to significantly improve development and security in border areas so that these areas will not lag behind neighboring countries,” explained Siti Zuhro.
“This is important because the border area is very strategic and is Indonesia’s front line in maintaining the country’s sovereignty and reflects the success of national development. This means that threats to an area or an island in the Indonesian border area are also a threat to the integrity and sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, such as the issue between protectionists and transnationalist capital interests,” continued Siti Zuhro.
The webinar also presented Professor Muhammad Tito Karnavian, MA, Ph.D, the Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and Prof. Dr. Eko Prasojo, Mag.rer.publ. Professor of Public Policy, Governance, Administrative Reform from the Faculty of Administrative Sciences (FIA) University of Indonesia who will guide the webinar. This webinar is expected to provide a comprehensive understanding of the importance of developing Indonesia, especially from border areas as the face or front guard of Indonesia in order to maintain national integration/ the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia.