Title: The Experience of NGOs in Indonesia to Develop Participatory Democracy by the Use of the Internet

Author: Yohanes Widodo

Affiliation: Atma Jaya University, Indonesia

Abstract: This paper aims to understand the experience of NGOs in Indonesia to develop participatory democracy by the use of Internet. The research focuses on cases study of three NGOs in Indonesia: WWF-Indonesia, WALHI, and Combine Resource Institution (CRI). The results show that the main strategic uses of Internet of the NGOs are varied. There are similarities regarding the main characteristics of Internet internal use within the NGOs. Internet is mainly used for communication and collaboration, workplace participatory democracy; and consumption and production. Information is the main characteristic of Internet use by NGOs. Mutual relationships between internal and external use of the Internet exist, as found at WWF-Indonesia and CRI. However, the use of Internet for workplace participatory democracy (internal) does not correlate to the development of public participatory democracy (external). The paper concludes that Internet is a potential medium for participatory democracy because it contributes to the main characteristics of participatory democracy. NGOs in Indonesia develop participatory democracy by creating websites, mailing list or forum. However, different strategic uses of the Internet exist, so the implementation and achievement in respect to stimulating participatory democracy are varied. Citizen journalism or community-based journalism is effective medium to develop participatory democracy.

Keywords: Internet, participatory democracy, NGOs, workplace participatory democracy, citizen journalism.

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