Working in a spread country
like Indonesia, the Central Bureau of Statistics
of the Republic of Indonesia (CBS) always faces
difficulties in collecting data from the fields.
Questionnaires filled in a remote area such as
a village in Irian Jaya are gathered in the district
statistical offices, and then, in many cases,
the questionnaires are also sent to the provincial
statistical office. At last, the questionnaires
are sent to the central office in Jakarta.
Times consumed for dispatching theses documents
will delay data dissemination.
By implementing information
technology in the regional offices, CBS has distributed
its processing work to provincial regional offices,
and in some cases, to the statistical district
offices. As a result, this distribution
of processing can reduce processing cost enormously,
because it can minimized the cost of dispatching
questionnaires. And moreover, the processing
time can be reduced, so data can be disseminated
CBS has realized that the utilization
of the information technology has supported itself'
in accomplishing its mission. One of the
technology that is being utilized a lot is Internet.
Many applications developed under Internet have
shown a number of positive results, and it looks
like that it will more useful in the future.
This paper will discuss the achievement of CBS
in utilizing Internet and some objectives expected
in the future, especially in the coming 2000 Population
Census. It is expected that this census
will be benefited from this technology.
For that reason, one issue discussed in this paper
is the use of the Internet in the 2000 Population
utilization of Internet in Indonesia
Before discussing about the
Internet applications in Indonesia, it is worthwhile
to firstly discuss about the state of the Internet
in Indonesia, especially in CBS. The initialization
of Internet was back in 1990 when several users,
especially from universities, connected to Internet
Service Providers (ISP) in neighbor countries
such as Singapore and Australia. Two or
three years later, several organization started
to initialize their own, one of them is The Board
for Science Assessment and Application (BPPT).
At these years, BPPT initialized a connection
to the Internet, and later became one ISP specialized
in serving mainly government institutions in the
area of science and technology. Its mission
is to provide service to other government institution
in order to promote the science and technology.
Spreading use of the Internet
was happened in the last four years, when a number
of ISP counted to more than 10 ISPs were built,
and thousand users in major cities in were able
to connect to Internet. Some major ISPs now operating
in Indonesia are. for example, BPPT, Idola, Wasantara,
Pacific, Telkom, etc. CBS itself is connected
The availability of the BPPT's
service has benefited BPS for many years since
there is no requirement for BPS to pay the Internet
connection fee. Therefore, CBS is only required
is to pay the line connection from CBS to BPPT.
The connection itself is a dedicated line in order
to allow a maximum performance of access to the
home pages stored in the server in CBS.
The existence of the connection to Internet, not
only benefited outside users, but also benefited
about inside 400 client/users in CBS. Those
users are connected in CBS' local area network
system. This system allows all units in
CBS to connect to any facilities available in
Internet, and to communicate with other Internet
On the other hand, regional
statistical offices are connected to their local
ISPs, mainly Wasantara Net. For the time
being, each regional office is connected to the
ISP through dialed-up telephone, and there is
only one user for every office. Some statistical
district office is also connected to Internet
with the same method, one user for each office
and connected trough dialed-up telephone.
For CBS, data dissemination
work is the first area benefited from the utilization
of Internet. After the initialization of
the connection to Internet in 1995, the first
service that CBS provided is maintaining a home
page in Internet, the Web site (WWW). The
address of this home page is www.bps.go.id.
As a statistical office, CBS disseminate sectored
statistical data including population data in
the form of HTML. This new service is an
addition to data dissemination services available
before. Actually, before using Internet,
CBS has disseminated data in the form of publication
and computer media. But it should be noted
that in such services, data seekers have to deliver
their requests on written, by telephone, or presence
himself in CBS. On the other hand, data
dissemination using Internet does not require
a lot of effort from data seekers, because data
is in the front of him, in the computer.
It does not matter where he is, whether in the
dormitory, office or at home. As long he
can connect to the Internet, he can get the information
available in the home pages.
The effectively of the Internet
in data dissemination stage can be seen in Table
1. This table shows the number of hits,
file accesses, data sent, and number of sites
accessed to the CBS' home page. It can be
seen from the table, that in one year (April 97
to March 98), there are 1,230,017 hits to the
home pages, and 821,670 files accessed. Accesses
come from 35,288 sites. They have already
transmitted 4.018.771 K byte data. In 1997 itself;
the number of hits is above 100,000 per month,
but it is rather lower in 1998, with the figure
is less than 100,000 per month. This fact
might be happened because there were many server
breakdowns at this time. The most hits were
happened in the month of May 1997 as much as 167,690
hits, but most data sent were happened in September
1997 with the number 539291 K bytes. And
in this month, the biggest number of files accessed
also happened, i.e., 105,283 files.
The users accessed the home
page is not only from Indonesia but also from
almost all countries in the world. And in
fact, the biggest number of users is from the
United States and is more than the number of users
in Indonesia. The ten biggest numbers of
users are from The United States, Japan, Australia,
Canada, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany,
France, Thailand and Malaysia.
Table 1. Number of hits,
files accessed, Kbytes sent, and Sites accessed
to CBS' Home Page by Month in April 1997 to March
March 98 *)
*) Figure up to March 4, 1998
Source: http-analyze 1.9 Report on March 4, 1998
Home Page of CBS is initially
defined and prepared by the headquarter itself.
However, as the regional offices become more familiar
with the Internet facilities, they are also invited
to prepare the Internet by themselves. In
this case, they can prepare pages specialty with
the region. For that reason, each regional
office is now asked to maintain their home pages
One facility that is included
in the home page system is the capability to communicate
to CBS webmaster and CBS' Data Dissemination Division.
This facility allows outside users to deliver
their comments, questions, and also data requests
through Internet. And in fact, many data
seekers have utilized this facility. An
average of two requests received by the Webmaster
and the Data Dissemination Division every day.
As we see in Table 2, average of 44 requests received
per month in the period of April 1997 to March
1998, and the biggest number of requests received
in December 1997 as much as 55 requests.
These requests come from users in Indonesia and
also from other countries in the world. About
68% of them are from other counties, and 32% of
them are domestic users. And the requests
vary, from population data, economic data, social
data. Most requests are economic data, about
Table 2. Number of data requests
through the hone page
Number of Data Requests
*) Figure up to March 4, 1998
Source: CBS's Webmaster and Data Dissemination
Collection and Processing
As the data dissemination area
has been benefited from the availability of Internet,
the other stages of statistical works can also
be supported. As the technology of Internet
is spread out the country not only in Jakarta,
the Internet service becomes available in major
cities besides Jakarta. Starting from cities
in Java Island, now ISP services have been available
in all provincial capital cities. The good
thing about Internet is that the user pays local
connection charges to ISP, even though a user
connect to any Internet Service Server in the
world. In the case of fax or telephone,
connection tee should be paid according to the
distance, whether local, long distance or international
In maximally grasping this benefit,
CBS has required all regional province offices
to be connected to the Internet. As a result,
27 province regional offices and several district
regional offices out of 310 offices have connected
to Internet through dialed-up connection.
It is expected that in total communication through
Internet can be cheaper than using telephone or
fax facilities. The other unique advantage
of the Internet is that the communication is a
real time or instant.
Having all connected to Internet;
CBS can communicate with regional offices easily,
and vice versa, and also among regional offices
themselves. The common way in doing this
communication is using e-mail facilities.
CBS really utilizes the attachment facilities
for sending survey/census data, which is used
to be sent in the form of document (paper or computer
media). Through this facility, we can send
the data back and forth from the central office
to regional office so easily, and so quick.
It can save a lot of money.
The e-mail and attachment facility
has been utilized by CBS in the data collection
and processing stage. By having regional
offices participated in data processing, data
are easily sent through Internet to the central
office is for the accumulation or aggregation
of data. There is no need to send documents
anymore. At the end, reducing time of dispatching,
of documents by using Internet can reduce processing
When sometime problems happened
in the stage of data collection, that needs direction
from the central office, the use of Internet as
a media of discussion becomes very worthwhile.
For example, in the development of application
program. Until now, most development of
the application program is performed in the central
office. Final programs are sent to the regional
offices through Internet.
In the regional offices, operator
staff executes the program in order to enter data
and all the data is entered from questionnaires
filled in the field. In the case of a program
gets into some troubles, for example, a bug in
the program, or because some functions are not
performed well, the staff in the regional office
can deliver his questions directly to the program
developer in the central office, so the program
can be updated and added. All this communication
is done through Internet. And when the staff
responsibility for the program in the central
office has done the requirement, he then is able
to send the updated program to regional offices
for 2000 Population Census
The use of Internet in carrying
out the 2000 Population Census should be explored
beforehand. There are several areas that
can be benefited from the use of Internet. Firstly,
the management of the activities. As we
know, a big work like Population Census would
be consisting of a number of activities connected
to each other tightly and the coverage of the
census would require participation of staff and
temporary data collectors. So it is very
important, if the project manager as well as the
high level of manager of CBS will know the state
of the project every time, at least every day.
And the availability of the Internet will help
CBS manages the information.
For that reason, there will
be a system that allows every regional office
to enter the field work data into the system,
and send the data to the central office through
Internet. Data from the field will be processed
automatically by the system, and manipulated them
to have recapitulation of the status of the Population
Census Project at the day. Looking this
figure, the top manager will know the status of
the work in tire field, and can know the deviation
compared with plan.
As CBS has planned to utilize
data capture in the regional office by using,
OCR/OMR machine and the data capture and data
cleaning work will be done in the regional offices.
It is expected that the cleaned data will be sent
to the central office in tile form of digitized
data through Internet.
However, the use of Internet
is not only needed for data communication. In
the stage of validation, there will be a lot of
questions from and to the regional offices.
The central office and the regional offices perform
these activities through Internet
The use of Internet by CBS is
not maximal yet since the availability of Internet
is new for most people in Indonesia and also for
regional offices. However, with this condition,
CBS has already started to utilize it and some
positive results have been achieved. One
of the area there is already benefited from tile
use on Internet is tile area of data dissemination.
One indicator that shows the effectively use of
Internet is the number of hits to the BPS home
page recorded by the system. In one year, more
than one million hits recorded. The availability
of this facility has many data seekers especially
overseas users. Showing appreciation for
such service can be seen from many letters of
compliments to the webmasters.
It should be accepted that there
is not much have been done so far in tile area
of data collection, since the Internet itself
has not reached the whole country, yet.
But by looking on this rapid development, it is
expected that it is not long that tile whole country,
at least urban area, will be served. At
the state of the Internet right now, some services
in the area of data collection and processing
have been benefited. One major benefit is
the capability of sending data through Internet,
so there is no need to send data in a form of
computer media or in the form of questionnaires.
It save money and save time.
The other benefit is the use
of e-mail for consultation in the stage of data
collection and processing. E-mail allows
parties participated in the discussion to intensively
discuss any problem, at any time. This facility
is also done in the processing stage, where program
developed in tile central office, can be easily
distributed to the regional offices. Anytime
a program needs to be updated or maintained, they
can ask the program developed directly.
And after updating it, he can send back to the
Inline with his prospect use,
many applications in Internet will be acquired
more. For example, the management of a big
survey/ census such as Population Census can be
maintained through Internet. It is expected that
2000 Population Census krill utilize Internet
as much as possible.