The Tanoto Foundation was founded in 1981 as the independent family philanthropic organisation of Indonesian businessman Sukanto Tanoto and his wife Tinah Bingei. Since then, it has gone on to develop and fund education and developmental programmes in Indonesia for decades.
One of its more recent projects has been the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Academy Indonesia. The event was conducted on October 7 2019 at the Fairmont Hotel in Jakarta.
According to the Tanoto Foundation, the SDG Academy is “a learning platform for government and non-government stakeholders to fast-track SDG achievement in the country”. It was formed as a collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS). As such, it aims to assist Indonesian stakeholders in localising the SDGs. It will do this using three main programmes:
- SDGs Leadership Certification programme
- Study Abroad programme
- Mobile Learning programme
According to the Minister of BAPPENAS, Bambang Brodjonegoro, “The Indonesian Government is committed to achieving the SDGs, and has initiated SDG Academy Indonesia through the Ministry of National Development Planning along with multilateral organisations and the private sector. This is a programme to develop the quality of Indonesian human resources and improve the capacity of stakeholders throughout Indonesia – both governmental and non-governmental – in localising the SDGs.”
Anderson Tanoto, the youngest son of Sukanto Tanoto and a Member of the Tanoto Foundation Board of Trustees, also feels confident about the new Academy. Speaking of its broader impact, he said, “Development is our responsibility. In accordance with the SDGs’ principles of inclusiveness and ‘no one left behind’, the Tanoto Foundation acts as a catalyst for partnerships, with the Government, the private sector and other development partners collaborating to achieve the SDGs. The launch of SDG Academy Indonesia, which is the first initiative of its kind in Indonesia, is part of Tanoto Foundation’s commitment to implementing an ambitious, transformative and universal programme working towards poverty alleviation and sustainable development for all.”
In the years leading up to the academy, the UNDP has been involved in other sustainable development efforts with the Tanoto Foundation. Since 2016, the UNDP has collaborated with the Foundation and the Indonesian Government to localise SDGs in the province of Riau. As a result, Riau established a Regional Action Plan for SDGs in 2018, becoming Indonesia’s first province to do so.
The UNDP is also enthusiastic about the SDG Academy and its ability to help align Indonesia’s sustainable development with the UNDP’s universal 2030 deadline for its Sustainable Development Goals. According to UNDP Resident Representative Christophe Bahuet, “With only 11 years remaining to achieve the SDGs, acceleration and innovation are vital. Achieving the SDGs needs active participation from both state and non-state actors. However, access to knowledge for all development actors to localise the SDGs remains a challenge in a big and sprawling country like Indonesia. We believe the Academy will be able to expand access to knowledge and innovation for key stakeholders to meet the 2030 agenda.”
Hence, the SDG Academy Indonesia may represent a new step in Indonesia’s march towards sustainable development.