Are countries in the Asia Pacific ready to tap the gains of the so-called "technological revolution" to make governance more inclusive and participatory? Presentations in Parallel Session 6A1, chaired by Mr. Daniel Gerson of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), highlighted economic and political challenges that hinder the development and adoption of ICTs and other innovations at the national and local level. The session focuses on cases in the Philippines, Indonesia, and other countries.
According to Mr. Jaewon Peter Chun, the fourth industrial revolution, which is currently underway, is different from the previous industrial periods as its main movers are the users of the technology rather than the providers. Mr. Chun provided an overview of the changing dynamics between the government and the main actors in the context of Smart City and Open Innovations. As CEO of the startup company XnTree, Mr. Chun shared his experience in the smart city labs they established in Europe and the challenges they are facing in Asian countries.
On the other hand, Mr. Jhon Dave Llanto, in his presentation, "e-Government Implementation: The Case of City Local Government Units (LGUs) in Mindanao, the Philippines," argued that e-government is a vital tool of the government to achieve the SDGs, in particular Goal 16.7 which pertains to responsive, inclusive and participatory governance. However, the maturity of e-government implementation in the Philippines remains low. It is in this context that Mr. Lllanto’s study aims to assess the level of e-government implementation in city governments in Northern Mindanao through the level of functionality of their respective websites. Mr. Llanto found that the e-government implementation is moderately implemented by city governments as observed in their websites.
Inclusiveness is also the focus of Mr. Octa Sartono's presentation, "Does Public Policy Innovation Promote Inclusive Economic Growth?" Despite the decline in poverty incidence and economic growth in Indonesia, inequality continued to widen as evidenced by the increased Gini coefficient, from 0.33 in 2002 to 0.393 in 2016. This issue serves as the premise of Mr. Soehartono’s comparative study on the relationship between policy innovation and inclusiveness using the cases of Surabaya and Bandung. He found that innovation in public service has positive impact on the improvement of human development, which is more evident in the case of Surabaya than that of Bandung.
Lastly, the session discussed the impact of political factors on reform in the public sector. Professor Carl Marc Ramota of the University of the Philippines Manila contended that, despite having a minimalist-procedural democracy, the electoral system of both Indonesia and the Philippines is dominated by political dynasties. Comparing the case of the Banten province in Indonesia to Philippine experience, Prof. Ramota has drawn some observations and identified factors and characteristics of the Indonesian and Philippine politics and society that made the rise of political dynasties pervasive in their respective milieus.