CoST Nusa Tenggara Barat looks to the future at membership launch

 In April 2024, Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) Province in Indonesia officially announced its membership of CoST – the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative.  Acting NTB Provincial Secretary, Ibnu Salim officiated at this public event held in NTB’s capital Mataram.  He was accompanied by H. Lalu Moh. Faozal, Head of NTB’s Provincial Transportation Service.  

Ibnu Salim said: “CoST – with its focus on transparency, accountability and public participation – will be a valuable partner in our efforts to improve infrastructure governance across the province. This will help us in championing the values ​​of transparency and accountability in every aspect of our development”. 

The CoST International Secretariat was represented at the event by Engineer and CoST’s Technical Adviser, Hamish Goldie-Scot, who joined over 50 stakeholders from government, private sector and civil society. 

The launch was preceded by an orientation session for some key stakeholders.  These included not only prospective members of the NTB Multi-Stakeholder Group, but also six participants from other Regencies from a further 4 of Indonesia’s 38 Provinces. These, and the NTB City of Mataram, had expressed interest in the possibility of adopting the totality of CoST’s approach, which entails a unique combination of: multi-stakeholder working; the routine publishing of infrastructure data; independent review of such data; and associated social accountability.  

The launch event was an opportunity for the NTB government and its stakeholders to demonstrate their shared commitment to transparency, accountability, and participation in the planning and delivery of infrastructure.  It also provided a platform for existing CoST members, including CoST West Lombok (one of the Regencies within NTB Province) to share lessons and experiences in fostering sector change through collaboration. 

  1. Lalu Moh. Faozal said: “The number of traffic accidents is still too high. CoST’s approach will help us to all work more effectively together to build better infrastructure by paying more attention to user safety considerations.”

Membership to CoST is a catalyst that can help NTB Province address chronic complex challenges related to the quality of its subnational road network.  These include a lack of incentives and accountability for effective government and management, as well as shortcomings in quality management processes needed to ensure that the private sector delivers quality projects that meet the needs of users.   

NTB Province had a budget of USD$ 1.939.093.55 for infrastructure projects for the financial year ending 2023. Their priority sectors included construction and maintenance of regional road infrastructure. This will be the initial focus of their CoST membership. 

NTB’s Office of Public Works & Spatial Planning has committed to participating in the initial implementation of the programme.  It is already disclosing data in accordance with the Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS) through the website of the Road Traffic and Transport Forum (RTTF), with data going as far back as 2018. However, this data is not provided in a format that makes it amendable to analysis. The government has therefore committed to adopting the Open Contracting for Infrastructure Data Standard (OC4IDS), which will ensure greater consistency while facilitating meaningful analysis. 

During the launch and associated orientation sessions, the CoST’s four-pronged approach and tools were emphasized, with the government committing to making further progress in: the planning of infrastructure development; enhanced public oversight mechanisms; broader community involvement; and more efficient and sustainable resource management.   

Lalu Sahabudin, CoST’s Strategic Advisor for Indonesia said: “All infrastructure projects must be presented to the public. All data that is legally permitted by the state to be provided to the public must be provided to the public. With CoST, quality and transparent development can be realized”. 

The launch of CoST NTB was reported in nine respected Indonesian media publications.  This served to highlight the very public commitment made by NTB to infrastructure transparency.  

The new member has already set out some ambitious plans, which include establishing a broader Multistakeholder Group by co-opting private sector representatives to join the existing Road Traffic and Transport Forum.  

In its first year, CoST NTB will be implementing a disclosure framework, customizing the INTRAs disclosure portal developed by from CoST West Lombok.   By the end of 2024 the NTB government expects to be publishing a data on 1,000 projects INTRAs.   It will also train stakeholders, including public officials, civil society, and private sector on how to use the published data to influence decisions in the infrastructure sector in NTB.  

We are delighted and proud to welcome NTB to CoST. We always welcome the opportunity to work with more regions committed to driving transparency, accountability, and participation in infrastructure delivery. We are looking forward to seeing and supporting NTB positively impacting people’s lives in the region through their commitment.