Creating a Path to Everybody’s Home – Caritas Indonesia – KARINA

Creating a Path to Everybody’s Home

The Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Opening Ceremony of Habitat III: PrepCom3 in Surabaya.

Surabaya City, known as the City of Heroes, was set as a place for “The Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for Habitat III” meeting for UN agencies, national delegations, and other stakeholders that work on the rights of housing and urban development issues. This meeting was meant to seek inputs and recommendations for the UN Habitat III meeting at Quito, Ecuador on 17th-20th October 2016. The Habitat III: PrepCom3 meeting in Surabaya was held from 25th-27th July 2016, at the Grand City Exhibition and Convention Center Surabaya.

On the opening ceremony, the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. H.M. Jusuf Kalla, stated that the challenges for all countries in the world remain the same. The number of people grows rapidly, but the availability of land and housing are so limited. Thus, each country needs to re-planning and re-designing the urban management to provide equal rights and access of housing to all citizen. This will only be successful if the government can develop partnership and cooperation among the stakeholders to fulfill citizens’ rights of housing which are accessible, available, affordable and appropriate.

Fr. A. Suyadi, SJ (second from the left, representing Caritas Internationalis), with participants at Habitat for Humanity’s Exhibition Booth (Pic. Y. Baskoro).


The Caritas Family took this good opportunity to participate in the PrepCom3 meeting. Pastor A. Suyadi, SJ representing Caritas Internationalis, Mr. Yohan R. Santosa representing Caritas Netherlands (Cordaid) and Mr. Y. Baskoro representing Caritas Indonesia, paid a close attention to this meeting. Although the Caritas Family did not have an access to participate in all PrepCom3 meetings, but Mr. Santosa had an opportunity to share Caritas Netherlands’ point of view of urban housing through Marunda Project at the Speaker Corner session on July 26th, 2016.

This three days meeting also provided participants with Side Events and Field Visits. One of side events on July 25th talked about “Inclusive Cities: Leave No Person and No Space Behind”. OXFAM International facilitated this side event by providing lessons learnt from India and the Philippines. This side event also discussed about important issues and provided several considerations for the New Urban Agenda. One major issue was the existence of slum people or informal people who have to be recognized and given access to lands and public services in the city. Their local language must be acknowledged so that they are able to express their aspirations and participate actively in decision making processes.

Mr. Yohan R. Santosa (representing Cordaid) during the Speaker Corner's Session. (Pic. Y. Baskoro)
Mr. Yohan R. Santosa (representing Cordaid) during the Speaker Corner’s Session (Pic. Y. Baskoro).


The Slum Dwellers International (SDI), a network of community-based organizations also presented their concern on slum people. The discussion found that slum people cannot be removed somewhere without providing land and housing access. The government should also provide other accesses, such as economic, health and education, to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Moreover, access of economic, social and politic empowerment for women and people with disabilities are also important to protect their rights. Legal measurement must be taken into account to protect women and people with disabilities’ rights and to ensure gender impartiality. In relation to gender issue, the presenters also reminded us to recognize the role of care givers and women who work at home. They have to be involved in the urban development process. The role of traditional and religious leaders are also important to support urban development, since people still want to hear them.

The Madame Mayor Ir. Tri Rismaharini, M.T. also gave her presentation of urban housing management during a side event on July 26th which talked about ”Towards a More Equitable City: Shifting from Global Narrative to Action on the Ground”. Madame Risma admitted the rights of housing will only be functional and have an impact if there are participations from the citizens. They have to get involved in creating certain condition to make their cities accessible and more appropriate to be lived in. Moreover, the city government takes major role to provide facilities and infrastructures (education, health, economic and social) through the political will.

Madam Mayor of Surabaya City, Ir. Tri Rismaharini, M.T. during the Side Event Session (Pic. Y. Baskoro).
Madam Mayor of Surabaya City, Ir. Tri Rismaharini, M.T. (second from the left) during the Side Event Session (Pic. Y. Baskoro).


Some central issues were also raised at the side event on “Involving Public and Private Real Estate Sector in the Implementation of the Affordable City”. Those issues were land title, financial support, and access of housing for poor people; innovation, policy, and practice for housing; transparent access and price of housing for poor people, and also government’s promotion on low cost housing.

One of the side event on July 27th talked about “Local Government Approaches to the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SF-DRR)”. This side event was facilitated by UNISDR and focused on the readiness of local government and other actors in implementing the SF-DRR. Lessons learnt of the effort to implement this framework came from Banda Aceh (Indonesia), Utrecht (Netherlands) and Sorsogon (Philippines).

The Secretary of Banda Aceh City shared the importance of developing good governance to implement the framework properly. The Mayor of Utrecht Municipality shared the empowerment of communities to be active responders for disaster and DRR issues in their cities. After that, the Mayor of Sorsogon City talked about the main concern on saving people’s lives before, during and after the disaster period. During this side event, Yakkum Emergency Unit (Indonesia) shared their experiences in assisting local government to implement the framework and underlined women and local communities’ roles in emergency response and disaster risk mitigation.

Participants were welcomed by traditional dancing during the Field Visit at Kampung Lawas Maspati (Pic. Y. Baskoro).
Participants were welcomed by traditional dancing during the Field Visit at Kampung Lawas Maspati (Pic. Y. Baskoro).


During the field visit, participants were escorted to several city spots in Surabaya. The City Government of Surabaya provided a good example of urban housing management which are integrated with modern water and sanitation system, communication and monitoring system and waste management system. There, participants could see the problem and challenge of urban people in Indonesia, as well as the management of urban area on the context of Surabaya City.

Since there was no access for non-delegate participants to attend the PrepCom3 Sessions, except the Welcome Ceremony with the Vice President of Indonesia, therefore we distributed Caritas Internationalis’ Preposition Paper to the delegation of the Holy See, the Netherlands Government, International Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and mass media. At the Habitat III: PrepCom3 people could also see the exhibition from many countries and agencies which work at the housing and urban management issues. ▪

Notes on Habitat III: PrepCom3, Surabaya, Indonesia by A. Suyadi, SJ & Y. Baskoro (KARINA)


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