As the fourth-most populous country globally with a large working-age population, Indonesia has tremendous potential to gain from the development of the digital economy. Enhancing the digital literacy of its citizens and strengthening the digital skills of its labour are two pillars to enable the country to achieve more inclusive digital transformation. This is the key message of a diagnostic report titled ‘Digital Skills Landscape in Indonesia’ and a strategy primer titled ‘Accelerating Digital Skills Development in Indonesia’. These two documents were recently released and jointly prepared by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); the SMERU Research Institute; Indonesia and the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
The diagnostic report aims to assess digital skills situation in Indonesia and discusses the challenges and constraints facing digital skills development. The strategy primer recommends possible cross-sectoral and sector-specific interventions that can be undertaken by the government, the private sector and civil society to increase digital literacy and skills in Indonesia.
“Digital technologies have been a lifeline to many during the pandemic, enabling people access to digital and health services and platforms to continue to run their businesses. However, many have been left behind and lack the digital skills to engage in the digital economy”, said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP. “I am very honored that ESCAP was invited by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics (MCI) of the Republic of Indonesia as a partner in developing the digital skills strategy in Indonesia. I hope this work will serve as a useful tool to support the MCI in its role as the Chair of G20 Digital Economy Working Group.”
“Based on the diagnostic result, formal education, vocational training, and on-the-job training are three channels for enhancing digital literacy and digital skills,” noted Widjajanti Isdijoso, Director of The SMERU Research Institute.
“The report and primer aim to act as a guide for the government to support the design of initiatives, which ensure job-specific skills upgrading, lifelong learning, and broad digital literacy development,” added Elizabeth Stuart, Executive Director of Oxford University’s Digital Pathways programme.
As a leading sector of Indonesia’s digital transformation agenda and also Chair of G20 Digital Economy Working Group, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics (MCI) believes that digital transformation must be inclusive and empowering. “We are particularly aware that identifying the development of digital literacy and digital skills in various sectors are necessary for Indonesia to keep-up with the rapid technological advancements. The diagnostic report and strategy primer document would serve as a guide to support us in identifying the society’s level of digital competencies, existing gaps in digital literacy and digital skills, as well as identify suitable strategies to optimize the people’s digital readiness,” highlighted Johnny Gerard Plate, the Minister of Communications and Informatics of the Republic of Indonesia.