During a town hall in the South Sulawesi provincial capital, national-level parliamentarian Halim Kalla remarked, “this type of interactive discussion helps build understanding among members of parliament, political parties and civil society organizations.”

Kalla, representing the Golkar Party, and provincial-level political party members participated in the town hall, which was broadcast live on local radio and brought together local and provincial elected officials, staff from the national parliament, local residents and representatives of political parties, the business community and the media to discuss issues facing the province of South Sulawesi. Among the issues discussed were natural resource conservation, accessibility to public facilities for the disabled and poverty reduction. Prior to the town hall, coordination on community initiatives between district, provincial and national legislators was rare.

During the forum the legislators agreed to cooperate on set priorities including expanding opportunities for the blind by focusing on improving the community’s infrastructure, enhancing water quality through more stringent regulations and subsidizing healthcare for the poor.

The town hall, a part of the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) work in Indonesia, was organized by the Prosperous Justice Party, National Mandate Party, National Awakening Party, Crescent Star Party, United Development Party, National Democratic Party, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, Golkar Party, Reform Star Party and the Democratic Party.

IRI’s program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, promotes the development of representative political parties which are more policy and issue oriented, and whose members are more effective leaders in serving the basic needs of citizens.

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