Translating Vision into Development Planning: A Story from North Aceh’s Scenario Planning for Sustainable Development

North Aceh Photos
Photo: Desta Pratama

With the support of The Asia Foundation, CSF led the facilitation of a scenario planning process for sustainable development in North Aceh. The scenario planning workshops were attended by 60 people representing the legislative branch, CSOs, government agencies, religious and cultural groups, and women’s groups. Twelve facilitators (six each from CSOs and government agencies) helped the process after a training from CSF.

This process consisted of four major parts. The first one was the Public Seminar in December 2016 that kicked-off the entire process while gathering substantial insights about the current condition and needs of North Aceh.

The second part was the writing of six Background Studies by local experts from Malikussaleh University. The background studies consisted of analysis on North Aceh’s historical, socio-cultural, economic development, legal aspects, biophysical, and development planning. The studies also functioned to raise awareness of participants coming from different background and experience.

Third was the Scenario Planning Workshop in 9-14 January 2017. The workshop generated 24 different possible scenarios for North Aceh in 2032. From those possibilities, the group developed four synthesis scenarios, each representing one optimum, two less optimum, and one worst-case scenario for North Aceh. The most optimum scenario was then translated into a vision and mission that can be embedded into the 2017-2022 medium term development plan (RPJMD) of North Aceh.

The fourth part of the process was the Development Planning Workshop, held February 6-10, 2017. This exercise managed to translate the vision and mission from the optimum scenario into concrete development programs to be included in the technocratic draft of the RPJMD.

This is the second scenario planning workshop that CSF has held in Indonesia. The first one was in West Papua Province in 2016, supporting the province’s initiative of becoming a conservation province. The key lessons learned we learned from the North Aceh process include:

  1. The scenario planning process requires involvement of all stakeholders (government, legislative, CSO, academics) in order to develop a good and agreed upon scenarios.
  2. The buy in from the local government, as implementer of the development planning is important. In this case, the Bupati himself was the one requesting this process.
  3. The best time for a scenario planning process is prior to the write-up of development planning documents, to achieve the greatest results.

North Aceh Photos
Photo: Desta Pratama