On October 30, 2017 Ritsumeikan welcomed a group of 24 participants, selected by The National Development Planning Agency of Indonesia (BAPPENAS) from various Indonesian universities and government agencies, to take part in this years “Training of Trainers” Program. Set up in 2009 following an official request from BAPPENAS, the Program offers a short course for Public Policy Planning trainers, aimed at improving the course content of Public Policy Planning training courses in Indonesia.
Focusing upon sustainable development and resilience, 2017 marked the 7th implementation of the program, and required participants to develop complete case studies of the following six topics for future educational use in Indonesia:
1) Villages based Rural Development
2) Maritime Spatial Planning on Coastal Areas
3) Eco city: Developing Green Infrastructure
4) ‘Future’ Small and Medium Enterprises
5) Disaster Reduction and Mitigation Planning
6) Planning and Management in Research and Development for Local Government
An intensive 12 day schedule began with three days of lectures and workshops at Ristumeikan’s Osaka Ibaraki Campus (OIC), taking in topics such as: administrative systems in Japan, the ethics of planning, sustainable and resilient regional development, water environment conservation policy and government support for start-up businesses.
Travelling on to Kyushu on day 4, Fukuoka City’s Water Distribution Control Center hosted the participants shortly after their arrival. A preparatory lecture was followed by an insightful tour of the Control Center, which also included a detailed demonstration of the control system.
The afternoon took the group to ‘Startup Café’, an organization offering free advice services to foster startup business in Fukuoka and part of the city’s support network designed to maintain and develop its unique startup ecosystem.
For participants, such fieldwork involving direct experience of the practical implementation of policies opened up an important question: How systems successfully implemented in Japan, might be adapted and developed for effective implementation in Indonesia?
With this in mind, the party then moved on to an area directly affected by flooding: Asakura City.
Gaining first-hand experience of the impact of the floods, as well as efforts directed towards recovery and regeneration on the ground, the group met with local people attending a ‘takidashi’ (food for victims of natural disasters) fundraising event. They were provided with an overview of the disaster, before receiving a sobering tour of the affected area by a local resident.
The following four days took the group to Kumamoto, Beppu, Yufuin, Oita and Kitakyushu City, during which time they broadened their experience of disaster mitigation planning through two lectures in Kumamoto; furthered their ideas on green infrastructure via a lecture and a visit to Kitakyushu Eco Town; and gathered more practical knowledge of village based rural development via an introduction to Oita’s OVOP Movement (One Village One Product), as well as through a visit to a sustainable value-added fishery in Saganoseki.
Stimulated by an intensive few days the participants then made their way back to Osaka Ibaraki Campus to prepare case study reports for a final day symposium.
Open to fellow researchers, professors and students of OIC’s Community and Regional Policy Studies major (CRPS) the session consisted of lively and detailed presentations connected directly to the overarching topic: how to adapt lessons learnt in Japan to Indonesia; and was rounded off by an open-floor critical exchange of ideas.
It is hoped the new teaching material will provide Indonesia’s Public Policy Planning training courses with fresh impetus; and that eventually policy methods and approaches tried and tested in Japan, once adapted, will have a beneficial, practical impact on the ground, helping to promote sustainable and resilient outcomes for local communities in Indonesia.