In recent years, the business and philanthropic sectors have increasingly recognized the importance of region-based development to promote sustainable and inclusive growth. By focusing on specific geographic areas, philanthropic organizations can leverage their resources and expertise to drive meaningful change and improve the lives of those living in those communities.
Area-based development recognizes that the local context and unique community characteristics are essential in shaping development outcomes. Through this approach, companies and philanthropic organizations can address urgent needs, such as poverty alleviation and access to basic services, and support long-term goals, such as economic development, environmental sustainability, and social cohesion. By working with local partners and investing in the capacity of communities to lead their development, area-based development is becoming a powerful force in solving sustainable development challenges.
During his speech, Gusman Yahya, the Executive Director of the Indonesian Philanthropy Association, referenced a study in the Indonesia Philanthropy Outlook 2022. The study found that a wide range of philanthropic activities has contributed to progress in the philanthropy sector. Area-based development recognizes the significance of local context and community traits in shaping development outcomes. By partnering with locals and empowering communities, organizations can address poverty and access to services while promoting economic growth, sustainability, and social harmony. This approach has effectively addressed sustainable development challenges over the past few years. It’s worth noting that philanthropic institutions operate not only in their area of origin but on a sub-national, national, and international level.
The progress of philanthropy in the area has been significant in recent years. We can work with local stakeholders to create programs and initiatives that utilize the region’s resources, ultimately accelerating the achievement of our sustainable agenda. This collaboration has the potential to be a game-changer.
“Development of an area-based program is one of the strategies that can be adapted because it involves many stakeholders in the regions, both government and non-government elements, so that communication with the community is established, community services are improved, and community empowerment programs are around,” he explained.
As has been implemented for 25 years, Dompet Dhuafa has contributed to society; implementation has changed from a hotspot to a collaborative and regional basis. The leading sector assisted by Dompet Dhuafa is the economic empowerment sector because it is considered resilient for the community. The development of the area built is called the Empowered Independent Area (Madaya).
The Madaya Region’s implementation plan has five pillars: economy, health, environment, culture, and religion/dakwah. To provide practical assistance, Dompet Dhuafa utilizes the widespread philantro-preneur method approach. The process involves mentoring beneficiaries and strengthening partnership institutions to form a national social enterprise alliance. By doing so, these social enterprises can become a capital source for developing productive waqf. The Program Director of Dompet Dhuafa, Bambang Suherman, hopes to build a comprehensive and detailed program that covers both upstream and downstream aspects.
Tomy Hendrajati, President of Human Initiative, focussed on the same point: philanthropic institutions, especially those working in the humanitarian field, are not the primary helpers – but are accelerators of resources already owned by the community. “We need to ascertain what the community already has as initial assets for area-based program interventions,” he said.
The Human Initiative considers young people’s encouragement as an indicator and driving actor of the Empowered Cluster program, which is essential for societal changes. “The Human Initiative focuses on the integration of disaster response programs in the recovery phase, namely starting with the provision of assistance, continuing with the assessment, and exploring local leaders who have the potential to improve the skills of post-disaster communities, to connecting with strategic development partners in supporting the improvement of the quality of life of the surrounding community,” explained Tomy.
The long-term focus on program development in the 3T (Foremost, Outermost, Disadvantaged) regions is also a strategy for companies and philanthropic institutions for regional-scale development. The BUMN Foundation for Indonesia carries out this strategy through the Program Cinta Tanah Air in MSME, education, and the environment. From an assessment of the priority scale, they utilized the BUMN network to access stakeholders to involve local communities. “The realization of the program is not only our program but a joint program that does not depend on us. So they feel that this program is in the common interest,” said Harjawan Balaningrath, Chairman of the BUMN Foundation for Indonesia.
The Pertamina Foundation is actively combating climate change by developing the blue carbon initiative area. This involves conservation and biodiversity activities, community capacity building, and crowdfunding support to expand the program’s impact. According to Agus Mashud A. Asngari, the President Director of the Pertamina Foundation, the initiative aims to preserve the habitat of endemic flora and fauna in the areas they assist. The program also promotes collaboration between academia and the community through a symposium on biodiversity policy and opportunities to utilize blue carbon.
Watch the recording at the link below or on YouTube Filantropi Indonesia (the event conducted with Indonesian).