Irony of a 1.0 card in 4.0 era

Harryadin Mahardika
Public Policy Observer

IO – The ‘Card’ deserves to be crowned as the most popular political gimmick or tool in Indonesia for the past 5 years. How could there be tens or even hundreds of card concepts offered by regional head candidates throughout Indonesia up to now.

The card programs seem to provide smart and innovative solutions to a problem, ranging from health issues to educational problems. In fact, there was a candidate for regional head who made a joke by issuing a Jomblo Card to help unsnarl matchmaking problems for the young generation.

Similar to the Presidential Election contestation, cards have become part of competition tool to win sympathy. Even Joko Widodo introduced three new Cards, such as Indonesia Smart Card, Pre-Work Card, and Cheap Food Card. This will accompany the other 3 cards offered by Joko Widodo in 2014 Presidential Election: Smart Indonesia Card, Healthy Indonesia Card and Prosperous Family Savings Card. Totally 6 cards promoted by Joko Widodo.

But is it true that these cards offer a smart solution for the community? The number and types of cards offered by Joko Widodo show that he strongly believes that this kind of gimmick can still be relied on for electoral capital.

The problem then is the loss of effort to find truly essential solutions. A card is only one part of the entire ecosystem of solutions to a problem. Call it a health problem, for example, when Joko Widodo offers a Healthy Indonesia Card (KIS) as a solution. Or the newest concept for unemployment problems, the Pre-Work Card.

The cards are positioned no more than mere identifiers. I call it Card 1.0, because practically there is no disruptive innovation from the card concept. Its function is only to identify who is eligible of receiving government assistance. Even then the data input is often wrong, causing the eligible people to not even receive the cards.

These card programs also have yet to integrate with the entire related ecosystem, even though it is the main requirement in building a smart government, where the card becomes the entrance to obtain data input from each card owner (in the form of demography, behavior and psychography). From the input of data, government can then develop programs that are customized, personalized and expected to solve problems.

This condition is of course ironic, considering that information technology advances have made it possible. But in fact four years ago there was no significant breakthrough in the existing card program. These cards are still ‘dumb cards’, not ‘smart cards’.

It shouldn’t be difficult to change card programs from just a gimmick to become more substantial.

First, combine all cards into one card, e-KTP. Why do you need e-KTP? Because e-KTP actually has a chip technology that enables the entry of ‘smart’ features into the card. Its chip can function as an Electronic Data storage device, including biometric data. Also it allows electronically-controlled devices, such as card readers, so that e-KTP can be used in other machines and systems.

Second, develop an ecosystem of “smart nation functioning” as the platform for the e-KTP smart card. Ensure that people can earn benefits in various forms without having to do everything manually. It can also be set as a tool to ensure transparency and accountability in distributing aid to the community. Also as a bigdata ecosystem that can produce a predictive analysis, which is useful for government policy making.

Third, make e-KTP an open platform, where all parties can develop this card-based service. There are 1001 innovations that can be implemented by anyone who wants to build services for the community.

The future government must have this pattern of thinking. Don’t make the card program again for just a political gimmick. Increase its usefulness to provide a better solution to improve the people’s welfare.