AmCham Committee on CSR Social Value, US Sets $5b Investment for Indonesia, Vaccination Plan Postponed, ‘Orange’ Zones Rising
Nov 06, 2020 | AmCham Indonesia
AmCham Committee Looks at Social Value of CSR
AmCham’s Corporate Citizenship Committee had an insightful session with Dr Adam Richards, Director of Impact at Social Value UK, on Nov 4. The discussion focused on how corporates can better understand the social return on investment (SROI) framework to measure the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR), understand the SROI from their social projects and use that data to improve their CSR performance.
CSR evaluation is one of the biggest challenges faced by corporates. While it is mandatory to engage in CSR, most do not have a clear understanding of the impact on beneficiaries/stakeholders and the company.
Richards spoke about impact management, also known as 3-M – measure, manage, maximize.
“3-M is a re-cap of the important messages about the importance of impact measurement and management,” he said. “Maximization is an ideal way of encouraging a philosophy of impact thinking. Relentlessly seeking ways to increase impacts – just as organizations relentlessly seek to increase financial value, we are saying the same for social value.”
According to its website, social value is “the value that people place on the changes they experience in their lives. Some, but not all, of this value is captured in market prices.”
“SROI should be seen as a framework that gives something very tangible, accepted and respected in terms of real world usage to support CSR activities,” committee chair Simon Oberman said in his closing comments.
US Govt Earmarks $5b for Indonesia
Indonesia’s Ambassador to the United States Muhammad Lutfi said the US has prepared $5 billion to invest in Indonesia, and one of its targets is the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). The SWF is an attempt to increase foreign investment, with Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati saying she expected that the equity fund, with initial capital from state assets, state owned enterprises, and other sources, would attract Rp 225 trillion in investment.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said yesterday, Nov 4, that the COVID-19 vaccination plan, which was originally targeted to begin the second week of November, will be postponed to the third week of December 2020.
The Emergency Use Authorization for a vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac to be produced in cooperation with Indonesia’s BioFarma is still being reviewed by the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM). Luhut said the government would respect the process of making sure the vaccine is safe to be distributed.
The vaccine will be given initially to around nine million people in areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases, such as Jakarta and Bali. The goal is for those areas to become low-risk green zones with no new cases sometime early in 2021.
The number of areas categorized as COVID-19 moderate risk, or orange, zones have increased in the past month, from 360 to 371 this week. However, the spokesperson for the COVID-19 Task Force, Wiku Adisasmito, has warned that if orange zones continue to underestimate the severity of the virus, there is the possibility they will become red zones.
The number of low risk yellow zones has decreased, from 115 last week to 104 this week. Areas with no new cases reported, or green zones, increased from seven to eight.
Red zones appear to be improving, with a decrease from 20 areas last week to 19 this week, although Wiku stressed the monitoring of health protocols and mitigation efforts in all areas still needs to be improved.
President Signs Job Creation Bill, Unions Seek Court Review
President Joko Widodo signed the Job Creation Act No 11/ 2020, commonly referred to as the Omnibus Job Creation Bill, into law on Nov 2. The final document contains 1,187 pages and has been uploaded to the government website Setneg.go.id. Since the Bill was passed by the House of Representatives (DPR) on Oct 5, business groups have welcomed it while labor unions, student groups and environmentalists have denounced it.
The same day it was signed, the Confederation of Indonesian Worker Unions (KSPI) and the Confederation of All Indonesian Worker Unions (KSPSI) submitted a judicial review of the law to the Constitutional Court. Articles submitted for review include Article 42 which regulates foreign workers, Articles 64 and 65 regarding contract workers, Article 66 on outsourced workers and Article 156 on severance pay for terminated workers.
While the environmental provisions have also drawn criticism, environmental groups are not pushing for a judicial review and instead will continue to hold demonstrations to reject the law. Their main concerns are the removal of community participation and the Environmental Impact Assessment Commission (KPA). The government has created Strategic Environmental Assessments (KLHS) as a solution and has urged critics to see how the program will run first.
Labor groups are also calling for more strikes to protest the law.
In addition, Article 6 on improvement of the investment ecosystem has an error, according to the Minister of the State Secretariat Pratikno. He has asked the DPR to correct it, but also said technical errors will not affect the implementation of the law.
Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), partnering with Mercy Corps Indonesia, on Oct 14 launched its Strengthening Micro and Small Entrepreneurs’ Resilience against COVID-19 (Summer Act) Program in Greater Malang, East Java. The program supports small businesses and others impacted by COVID-19 to adapt to the trend of businesses going more digital.
The program targets educating more than 40,000 small businesses (30 percent women) in Greater Malang with materials and platforms on communications technology; as well as providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to around 9,000 families.
The program also aims to facilitate access for up to 5,500 small and micro entrepreneurs to digital business capability building, financial literacy and capital access.
Kominfo Prepares Digital Infrastructure Funding to Improve Internet Access
The Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) has prepared three funding schemes to address digital infrastructure inequality and improve telecommunications connectivity. Kominfo Minister Johnny G Plate said connectivity plays an important role in ensuring that governance, economic activities and education can still run smoothly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three schemes are Universal Service Obligation (USO), non-tax government revenue and the State Budget. Indonesia has built 348,000 km of fiber optic cables, 12,148 km being the Palapa Ring backbone network. Kominfo has also combined fiber optic cables, microwave and satellites to increase internet speed and has built more than 533,000 base transceiver stations (BTS). Future plans include launching the High-Throughput Satellite SATRIA-1 in the third quarter of 2023, which will provide internet access to 150,000 public access points in Indonesia. The satellite is expected to reduce the number of areas with no internet access in Papua and elsewhere.
Kominfo will receive Rp 16.9 trillion from the State Budget next year to fund five digital transformation acceleration programs: infrastructure and information technology provisions, information and communication technology utilization, frequency spectrum management, equipment and public services standards and management support.
Support Independent Journalism: Subscribe to The Jakarta Post
In these difficult times, our hometown English language newspaper, The Jakarta Post, is more important than ever. Given the difficulties of physical circulation and the economic slump, the Post needs to boost its online subscribers – a goal we heartily support at AmCham Indonesia. Quality English language news is vital for our businesses, our home offices and the flow of information out of Indonesia. It is for this reason, that we are urging all of our members and readers to subscribe to JP! Information is what will help get us through this crisis. Below is information about how to sign up.
We Still Need Your Support to Shelter the Front Line
AmCham Indonesia and Habitat for Humanity have joined forces in an initiative called Sheltering Those Who Care for Us, a program to provide temporary quarters in hotels for Indonesian medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our program has helped not only medical workers in Jakarta, but also Tangerang and Surabaya; we are now planning to expand to Sulawesi.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading, medical workers are working a lot harder than before. In these difficult times, they often cannot go back home for fear of infecting family members or being rejected by their local communities. As a result, they are forced to sleep in hospitals without a proper bed, also increasing the possibility of getting infected.
By donating, we will increase the overall capability of Indonesia to treat COVID-19. Habitat will match individual hospitals with hotels on an as-needed basis.
We are continuing with a full slate of meetings, events and information offered to our community online. But we can only do this through the support of our members. If you are not yet an AmCham member, please join now!
AmCham Indonesia is open to all companies with an interest in US business relations and we have many non-American members. We are a community and we welcome you!
The AmCham Office is on work from home status and all face-to-face meetings and events have been postponed. We are having a number of meetings online using the Zoom platform. You will be notified of virtual meetings as they are scheduled.
What is Your Company Doing on COVID-19?
Please let us know what measures your company may be taking in the form of donations and other assistance to help Indonesia during this time of confusion and concern. Contact [email protected] with your news. We would like to publicize the ways that our AmCham companies are pitching in.
Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.
COVID Update is AmCham’s regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard is the Managing Editor