Indonesia’s Poso, West Sumatra win MDG awards

By Novia D Rulistia | Source: ANN
The region of Poso, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, once a site of community bloodshed, has officially been healed. On Tuesday, the province was among 18 recipients of the Indonesian Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Awards.

West Sumatra also received a nod as the province with the best practices related to the MDGs; and Haluan Padang, a newspaper in its capital, Padang, won the best local media award for its coverage of the MDGs.

The awards covered five categories: maternal and children’s health, sanitation and clean water services, education, curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria, and nutrition. While there was no specific category at the awards for peace and harmony, jury chairman Fasli Jalal said that those factors were “closely tied” with improving the common good. “Education can’t work out well without them, for instance.”

Fasli said the winner of the “development enabler” category went to Poso regency, thanks to the efforts of the local administration in creating peace and harmony.

Poso Regent Piet Inkriwang said many local children did not have proper education access due to the acts of terror and intimidation that had often plagued the region.

“We have fought hard to stop the riots, so that we could provide education and other public services to the people,” Piet said.

Violent conflicts from 1998 to 2002 in Poso led to the deaths of over a thousand people, while 25,000 were displaced.

The winners in the development agent category were recognised for their sustainable poverty reduction efforts and improved public welfare.

Other winners were Bantul, Yogyakarta, for its food diversification program; the Aqua group, for its school support program; and the Green Foundation NGO, for its waste management program. Padjadjaran University in Bandung, West Java, was awarded for its program to prevent communicable diseases.

The award for the best poverty reduction effort went to Semarang State University, while Kompas daily also took a bow for best coverage of the MDGs.

Fasli said that the jury received 611 programs for consideration, up from 200 last year.

The nominees were whittled down to 90 before 44 finalists were chosen. By and large, regional administrations led the list of nominees at the ceremony, followed by private entities, NGOs and youth communities.

“This shows that more and more regional administrations want to promote their success stories, which gives the leverage effect we want to create so other administrations can follow suit.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said during the opening of the awards ceremony that it was important for all stakeholders to contribute to combat poverty.

“To achieve the eight goals in the MDGs, we have to make action programs at the national and local levels and execute them,” he said.