IOM, JSI Partner with Indonesian Municipality on “Smart City” Initiative to Improve Access to Services

Capacity Building, Migration Research

Makassar – IOM, JSI Research & Training Institute, and city officials have met to discuss how information and communication technologies can improve the quality of and access to public services in the eastern Indonesian municipality of Makassar.

The two-day data validation and systems mapping workshop was part of the ongoing “Smart City” initiative, which aims to speed up the collection of data that can improve sustainable urban planning, reduce costs and empower citizens to demand better services.

The workshop was funded through a multi-country USAID-funded project “Building Healthy Cities” (BHC), managed by JSI and implemented by IOM. You can learn more about BHC here.

A busy port city of 1.6 million people, Makassar is one of 26 cities within the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, a collaborative platform launched this year under Singapore’s ASEAN chairmanship, which aims to synergize smart city development efforts across the ASEAN bloc. 

Like many cities in Southeast Asia, Makassar is a rapidly growing urban area with new residents moving in from rural areas throughout Indonesia. It also hosts some 1,900 refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom are supported by IOM and depend on services provided by the municipality.

The workshop brought together stakeholders including representatives of government, civil society, the private sector, academia, faith-based groups, and international donors to review BHC data and assessments, including three draft studies conducted earlier this year by JSI, the Urban Institute and IOM.

The assessments identified operational challenges and opportunities for the city to improve its data-driven response to enhance service delivery to city residents. Connecting under-served segments of the population to existing services remains one of the key goals of “Smart City Makassar.” 

Representatives of special needs populations and from remote islands within the municipality also attended and took part in articulating the future direction of the project.

"Smart City Makassar” must emphasize human interaction and not over-rely on technology. Our aim is to improve the lives of all Makassar citizens,” said Dr. Andi Hadijah Iriani, Sp. THT-KL, head of Maksassar’s City Planning and Development Agency (BAPPEDA.)

Ismail Hajji Ali, who leads the “Smart City Makassar” team, cited the Makassar Open Data platform as a key element accessing essential data. “Open data is one of the innovations of the digital era that can transform Makassar’s local government,” he said.

For more information, please contact Dr. Ahmad Isa at IOM Makassar. Tel: +62 411 858 115, Email:

  • Makassar, IOM and JSI Research & Training Institute are collaborating on the multi-year USAID-funded Building Healthy Cities project. Photo: IOM