Beginning in March 2020, International IDEA developed and regularly released data and analyses on the impact of Covid-19 on elections. Indonesia, which had ‘head of region’ elections in all provinces except Aceh that involved more than 100 million voters scheduled for September, was very interested in receiving a substantial amount of information on holding elections during the pandemic. The presence of International IDEA experts in many webinars and, more importantly, the availability of materials translated into Bahasa Indonesia—thanks to a long-term close partnership with the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem)—contributed to the uptake in policymakers’ utilization of data and analyses.
Through Akmal Malik, Director General for Regional Autonomy, Tito Karnavian, the Minister of Home Affairs, expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the data and analyses provided while the decision to suspend the elections was being considered. Indonesia’s Home Affairs Ministry was at the forefront of ensuring the elections could take place in 2020 with adequate health and safety protocols.
Demanding more time to allow careful planning and preparations, Hadar Nafis Gumay, a former election commissioner and founder of the Network for Electoral Integrity, offered the following remarks, ‘Together with other activists and many electoral stakeholders in Indonesia, such as the Election Commission, the government and mass media, I have taken advantage of the many Covid-19 and elections materials produced by International IDEA as well as taking part in related activities. We are thankful for International IDEA’s self-initiatives and we hope such useful endeavour shall continue.’