These days, none of us are immune from corruption.  A 2015 survey by Transparency International mapped out that as many as 30 percent of young people in the Asia Pacific region has experienced corruption in different forms, the most among them being bribery. Needless to say, such activities present a challenge for development – socially and economically.

Can the new generation of Indonesians address this issue in their work and seek out avenues to remove it? We asked this question during the first SDG Talks in 2020. The panel discussed the ways young people, especially with their aspiration to work with startups, could collectively fight against corruption through their business. The event was held in collaboration with the Innovative Financing Lab. Marvin Sulistio, Metro TV anchor, moderated the session whose panelists featured startup CEOs and representative, Jan Ramos Pandia from Qlue, Sonnya Uniplaita from Kitongbisa Foundation, Rahayu Saraswati as a former member of the House of Representative and youth influencer, along with UNDP Indonesia Anti-Corruption, Business, and Human Rights expert, Herni Sri Nurbayanti.

Technical Officer Anti-Corruption, Business and Human Rights UNDP Indonesia, Herni Nurbayanti began the discussion noting that “it is important to involve the young generation on our collective action to fight corruption. Doing business with integrity will show young people in Indonesia to take care of their country and the people in it”. She also reflected on the ability of young people to lead the improvement they wished to see in society.

Rahayu Saraswati, former member of the House of Representatives added “to be a hero is easy. Young people can be the catalyst for the movement through their idealism. It is, of course, something we should embrace but we also need a strategy to nurture and to be the right tool to address the problem, such as corruption in our society”


Sonnya Uniplaita, CEO of Kitongbisa Foundation shared her experience in Papua and noted that developing entrepreneurial skills, particularly in English, would help in their professional growth and, in turn, the development of the region . “Kitongbisa advocates the right for education, because we see that through education, especially on English and entrepreneurial skill, it will teach children to be innovative and creative. That is what we need to see for our future generation”, Sonnya explained.

Saraswati and Nurbayanti then advised the audience to not hesitate to innovate and become whistle blowers when things seemed wrong. “A disruptive approach through technology is essential “, they said. Jan Ramos Pandia, Head of People and Government Relations from Qlue, reaffirmed that transparency can be boosted strategically through online platforms. “Technology will help people who make a report to find out the progress as well as to protect them. We need the guarantee that the reporting system works and gets a response,” he said.

To help you walk the talk, if you aspire to work in business and startups, UNDP Indonesia has created a toolkit to provide guidance on maintaining business integrity. The toolkit includes the basic good governance practices as business models and how to adopt them. Download the toolkit here.

Story by Enggi Dewanti. Edited by Ranjit Jose

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