Digital Transformation Strategy in the Perspective of Inclusive Development and Empowerment of Rural Communities

(Paper Presented at 1st The International Conference on Empowerment of Rural Communities (ICERC))

by Ancelmus Andi Pratama 

(PSM Ahli Muda BPPMDDTT Denpasar)


The dynamics in poverty alleviation are always triggered by the condition of humans or groups who have not been able to do something that can produce power to be empowered. This condition triggers social inequality in society, both in the city and in the village. The phenomenon of inequality between communities that occurs if not addressed can lead to social conflict. The essence of these conditions is that efforts are needed to be able to encourage people or groups, which in this perspective are the community, to be able to be empowered, or in other words, empowerment for the community is needed. 

Taking sides with the fate of the weak is done by changing the model of social movements from social control to practical methods that try to empower and involve them in the process of planning and implementing community programs in a collaborative-participatory manner. From here, community development actions, social planning, and social advocacy can become specific methods of practicing social work and perfecting existing traditional community work models. 

People in their daily life are always faced with the problem of needs and desires. Needs are things that must be met in the context of survival, while wants can be relative and cannot be equated with needs. One of the priorities is economic needs, which is also one of the community's basic needs. Referring to this, the various empowerment programs carried out always aim to enable the community to identify needs, obtain resources and apply them based on their competencies in meeting needs. 

In empowering the community in the framework of promoting the general welfare following the mandate of the opening of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, of course, there is a process that must be passed and a process of adapting to transform. Adaptation to change creates challenges and community readiness to change, so an inclusive empowerment pattern is needed so that all parties involved can participate fully based on their respective scope of ability. 

From the perspective of the village, various programs have been implemented within the framework of community empowerment, including the existence of village funds which are directly managed by the village and regulated in the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration regarding the priority of using village funds. Through village funds which have been started in 2015, the targeted priority is the development and empowerment of the Village community, among others for Village development including Village infrastructure, Village health facilities and infrastructure, educational and cultural facilities and infrastructure as well as economic facilities and infrastructure or productive economic business. In terms of community empowerment, it includes economic business training, appropriate technology training, and community capacity building. 

In the transformation process to become empowered, many activities have been carried out to empower the community through competency improvement and training, including activities related to increasing digital capacity for the community. Increasing and understanding digital culture is a prerequisite in carrying out digital transformation, this is because what will be transformed is a mindset, so it requires adaptation. 

A strategy in the digital transformation process is needed because society will face a new order where technology and society will coexist and collaborate. The technology adaptation process that is most clearly felt is when people face the Covid-19 Pandemic, where at this time many parties who are usually conservative and passive towards information technology are faced with having to adapt to several new habits in their activities that make people's daily lives dependent on information technology. and encouraging adaptation in sectors such as video conferencing and remote work. Information technology has encouraged the creation of a dynamic ecosystem and created many opportunities for people to express themselves creatively and present new perspectives to become empowered. 

Based on Law no. 6 of 2014 concerning Villages (Indonesia) village community empowerment is an effort to develop community independence and welfare by increasing knowledge, attitudes, skills, behavior, abilities, and awareness, and utilizing resources through the establishment of policies, programs, activities, and assistance by the essence problems and priorities for the needs of the Village community. So that when referring to the above definition, the transformation efforts carried out include increasing competence for the community or community, which has the essence of diversity in various ways. The philosophy is to be able to appreciate diversity and respect the role of each element in society which is manifested in the social inclusion of society. Community empowerment needs to be done inclusively so that each party can bring out the best in its ability to lead an empowered society and in this perspective is empowered through a digital transformation strategy in society. 


Village Community Development and Empowerment 

Village development aims to improve the quality of life of the village community. This is in line with the juridical basis in the Village, namely Law Number 6 of 2014 concerning Villages, where in Article 1 of this law it is explained that 

Village development is an effort to improve the quality of life and life for the maximum welfare of the village community. (Source: Law Number 6 of 2014 concerning Villages)

In the affirmation in Article 78 of Law Number 6 of 2014 it is stated:: 

Village development aims to improve the welfare of the village community and the quality of human life as well as poverty alleviation through the fulfillment of basic needs, the development of village facilities and infrastructure, the development of local economic potential, and the sustainable use of natural resources and the environment.” (Source: Law Number 6 of 2014 concerning Villages)

Through the juridical basis related to the village above, it can be understood that the community is the subject of development, which will lead to the welfare of the village community itself. To realize this development, of course, requires the involvement of the village community. The village community is very diverse and heterogeneous, so the process of development needs to be carried out inclusively. When discussing an inclusive society, of course, the potential for social exclusion of the community still exists, and this can weaken the role of the community as a subject of development. 

Empowerment is a term that has been known for a long time, especially when discussing matters related to poverty alleviation and also community economic development. Many programs with various formats have been launched within the framework of empowerment both by the government as well as by social/community organizations and professional organizations with the same goal of making people empowered so that they can rise from poverty, as well as become independent human beings. 

Empowerment comes from the basic word power which means "strength", and is a translation of the English term "empowerment", so it can be explained that empowerment means giving power or strength to weak people/groups who do not yet have the power/strength to live independently. especially in meeting the basic needs/basic needs of daily life, such as food, clothing/clothing, housing/boards, education, and health. Giving strength or power to the underprivileged or poor or powerless is indeed the responsibility of the government, but it should receive full support from various parties, especially the community itself which is the target group, namely by participating in the implementation of every empowerment program/activity. (Hamid Hendrawati, 2018:9) 

Within the scope of community empowerment, villages are more often the targets of empowerment program activities. In line with this, based on regulations related to the Village, community empowerment itself is interpreted more specifically, namely to the Village community, where in the Village Law on Village Community Empowerment it is defined as: 

"Village Community Empowerment is an effort to develop community independence and welfare by increasing knowledge, attitudes, skills, behavior, abilities, awareness, and utilizing resources through the establishment of policies, programs, activities, and assistance by the essence of the problem and priority needs of the Village community. ” (Source: Article 1 paragraph (12) of Law Number 6 of 2014 concerning Villages). 

Problems in Village Community Development and Empowerment 

Through the Observation method in carrying out the author's task, namely as an Activator of Community Self-Help in a Case Study of Community Empowerment in the Work Area of the Training and Empowerment of Village Communities, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Denpasar, the author found several things that became part of the problems in the Village Community Empowerment effort, including :


1. Participation of the Parties in Village Development and Village Community Empowerment; 

Participation is the mental and emotional involvement of people in group situations that encourage them to contribute to group goals share responsibility for achieving goals to achieve goals and take responsibility for the efforts concerned. (Hamid Hendrawati, 2018:148) 

Starting from an understanding of participation, Village Community Empowerment, especially in the keyword Group Situation; Contribution to the Goals; and Sharing Responsibility, indicates that Community Empowerment and in this case Village Community cannot be done individually. Community Empowerment is rooted in the existence of "Situations" experienced by the community communally and to overcome these problems, efforts and contributions are needed as well as the responsibilities of each role holder. 

In this case study, the participation of the parties in community empowerment can be categorized as follows: 

  • • Government (Central and Regional) 
  • • Village government 
  • • BPD 
  • • Stakeholders 
  • • Traditional Village Organization 
  • • Government or Private Facilitators and Facilitators 
  • • Institution in The Village
  • • Village Communities and Traditional Village
  • • Other relevant stakeholders 

Each Party plays its participation and contribution as well as responsibility in community empowerment. However, the problem that often occurs is when referring to the participatory definition above, especially in the keyword involvement; encouragement; Contribution; Achievement of goals is the lack of involvement, lack of encouragement, and low contribution so that it leads to goals that are not achieved. In-depth practice is needed in overcoming these problems but is not limited to understanding the role of each stakeholder, their respective powers, and duties to encourage the success of an empowerment program. 

2. Villages as Governing Community Entities; 

Perspectives and interpretations of the Village as a legal community unit, and if you explore and see the Village from the point of view of the administrative aspect of government, it will lead to thoughts related to the duality of roles that the Village has. Law Number 6 of 2014 concerning Villages has positioned the Village to carry out government functions as well as community units that carry out development and empowerment. 

This is the basis for village governance, which is handled by 2 (two) Ministries, namely the Ministry of Home Affairs and also the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, where the Ministry of Home Affairs handles the affairs of Village Government and Village Community Development on the other side of the Ministry of Villages. , Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration handle the Development and Empowerment of Village Communities. 

The village is also given authority by the state in the form of local-scale village authority. This confirms the state's recognition of the Village as a form of an ongoing institution (recognition) and the state's recognition of the capacity of the Village in managing development and empowerment affairs (subsidiarity). 

The source of village authority is the basis for the degree and degree of autonomy, as well as the village in administrative services. This triggers the village's dynamic thoughts and actions. The village as a legal community unit means the community is a government subject. Therefore, the village is a legal subject, which is represented through the village head, in the village government, it contains the content of the community and the interests of the community and vice versa. 

So of course the empowerment program carried out by the Village should be described in the Village Planning Document. The Village Planning Document must be able to explain the problems that exist in the Village, and that is the starting point for the needed community empowerment program. Because the content contained in the planning document is the mutant needs and interests of the community that have been identified based on the instrument and also decided in the Highest Forum in the Village, namely the Village Deliberation. However, in practice, empowerment activities carried out are often only based on ideas that come to mind, from interested parties in the village. 

This will be a problem because in essence community empowerment must be based on the needs and not the desires of the community itself. If the community empowerment program is not carried out as needed, the impact is that the opportunity for the sustainability of the empowerment program will be less than optimal and of course, because it is not based on the needs contained in the planning document in the village, the budget for future empowerment activities cannot be supported by the APBDes (Revenue Budget). and Village Expenditures) because it is not programmed, and if the empowerment budget comes from outside the APBDes, in general, the empowerment program activities will stop after the completion of the program because it is not sustainable, and it is also not programmed in the APBDes because it is not stated in the Village Planning document. 

3. Village Governance Affairs and Understanding of Village-related Regulations; 

The division of authority related to Village affairs is carried out by 2 (two) Ministries, namely the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration and although the Duties and Functions of the affairs and authorities are separate, they are still related and sometimes even seem to overlap eventually lead to new problems. For example, the Minister of Home Affairs Regulation Number 114 of 2014 concerning Guidelines for Village Development, and the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Number 21 of 2020 concerning General Guidelines for Village Development and Village Community Empowerment. The thing that is most felt is when preparing the RPJMDes (Village Medium-Term Development Plan) problems often occur here. 

Reviewing their respective regulations, according to Article 4 of Presidential Regulation Number 114 of 2021 concerning the Ministry of Home Affairs, it is explained that: 

The Ministry of Home Affairs has the task of carrying out affairs in the field of domestic government to assist the President in administering the state government. (Source: Presidential Regulation Number 114 of 2021 concerning the Ministry of Home Affairs)

It is also continued in article 5 letter of Presidential Regulation Number 114 of 2021 concerning the Ministry of Home Affairs, which states that the Ministry of Home Affairs carries out functions: 

formulation, stipulation, and implementation of policies in the fields of politics and general government, regional autonomy, regional administration development, Village government development, development of government affairs and regional development, regional financial development, as well as population and civil registration, by the provisions of laws and regulations. . (Source: Presidential Regulation Number 114 of 2021 concerning the Ministry of Home Affairs)

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration in Article 4 of Presidential Regulation Number 85 of 2021 concerning the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration states that: 

The Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration has the task of carrying out government affairs in the fields of development of villages and rural areas, empowerment of rural communities, acceleration of development of underdeveloped areas, and transmigration to assist the President in administering state government. (Source: Presidential Regulation Number 85 of 2020 concerning the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration)

It is also continued in article 5 letter of Presidential Regulation Number 85 of 2020 concerning Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, which states that the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Carry out Functions: 

formulation, determination, and implementation of policies in the field of village development and rural areas, empowerment of rural communities, development of certain areas, development of disadvantaged areas, preparation, development of settlements, and development of transmigration areas, as well as harmonizing the acceleration of development of underdeveloped areas” (Source: Presidential Regulation No. 85 of 2020 concerning the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration)

From the perspective of legal principles, the Lex Posterior Derogat Legi Priori principle can be used where this principle is applied to prevent the existence of two hierarchically equal regulations causing legal uncertainty. So related to the problem of preparing the Village RPJMD, it is guided by the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Number 21 of 2020. 

Often this becomes a separate problem in the process of implementing Community Empowerment, due to differences of opinion and uncertainty regarding the basis of regulations, the planning process in development and community empowerment is hampered and cannot run optimally. 

4. Highly Heterogeneous Empowerment Target; 

The uniqueness of the village is the diversity of the community. Starting from the level of education, competence, culture and culture, work, and so on. This condition is common. On the other hand, this very heterogeneous condition sometimes becomes a separate problem, especially in development and empowerment, on the one hand, diversity can be an extraordinary potential, and on the other hand, diversity can also trigger social exclusion in society. 

Concepts of Social Exclusion and Social Inclusion in Rural Community Development and Empowerment 

Social inclusion will not be separated from social exclusion which can be analogized as two sides of a coin, where social inclusion and social exclusion are a pair that starts from gradation in the form of access, participation, and empowerment. Social exclusion is a process that prevents certain individuals or groups from participating in social life, either fully or partially. By reversing the definition, social inclusion can be interpreted as a process that allows certain individuals or groups to participate in social life either fully or partially. (Simarmata: 2017:9). 

Based on the above understanding, the dynamics of development and empowerment of rural communities will not be separated from the concepts of social exclusion and social inclusion, because through observation, many of these conditions are found, so the direction of development and empowerment prioritizes an inclusive society. In line with this, Article 26 paragraph (1) of the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Number 21 of 2020 concerning General Guidelines for Village Development and Village Community Empowerment mandates: 

The preparation of the Village RPJM is carried out by taking into account the direction of district/city development planning policies, taking sides with the poor, people with disabilities, women, children, the elderly, indigenous peoples, and other marginal and vulnerable groups.” (Source: Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Number 21 of 2020 concerning General Guidelines for Village Development and Empowerment of Village Communities) 

Through the foundation in the preparation of the Village Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMDes) above, it has been mandated the basis in the concept of social exclusion so that the focus on the development and empowerment of Village communities is carried out inclusively. In practice in the village, direct implementation and also an affirmation of the importance of social inclusion is through the highest forum in the village, namely the Village Deliberation. In its implementation, the Village Deliberation is based on the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Number 16 of 2019 concerning Village Deliberations. In this regulation, it has been mandated that the aspirations of the stakeholders must be involved in this case are the parties who are the core of social exclusion, namely people with disabilities, women, and groups of the poor. It is also explained in the technical instructions for the Village Deliberation which states that:: 

In organizing the Village Deliberation, the participation, and involvement of many parties including women, persons with disabilities, and other stakeholder groups are expected to be able to generate critical thinking that can produce strategic and democratic decisions that favor the interests of the Village community.” (Source: Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Number 16 of 2019 concerning Village Deliberations). 

In line with the explanation above, it has also been emphasized the obligation to involve one element of groups that are vulnerable to social exclusion, namely the involvement of women, which in Article 27 paragraph (5) of the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Number 21 of 2020 concerning General Guidelines for Development Village and Village Community Empowerment mandates that the composition of the RPJMDes drafting team consists of at least 30% (percent) women. 

Starting from an understanding of the basic rules related to the involvement of the vulnerable who are concerned with the social exclusion of the community, especially in the village, in fact, social exclusion still often occurs. Living in deprivation and poverty, unemployment, and non-fulfillment of citizenship rights, in this case, the lack of adequate facilities for people with disabilities and differences in social status based on gender are fixed and lead to the destruction of social bonds. This social exclusion in principle occurs when there is a difference in treatment in society. Beall and Piron (in Fadhil Nurdin: 2015: 5) explain that: 

Social exclusion is a process of social exclusion of several groups who are discriminated against based on ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, caste, descent, gender, age, disability, HIV, migrants or based on the location in which they live. They are also disadvantaged because the location where they live is not touched by development activities.” (Sumber : Fadhil Nurdin 2015: 5) 

Social exclusion is a concept used in social studies, because it will be closely related to social design, social analysis and development planning, and community empowerment, especially in the village. Individuals and groups included in this social exclusion become a reference and benchmark for the government, social institutions, non-profit institutions, and local communities to provide attention and intervention to provide power and enable these individuals and groups to become more empowered. According to a study in Fadhil Nurdin's (2015) writings, various understandings of the dimensions of social exclusion can be described as follows: 

The dimensions of social exclusion that occur are interrelated, and the underlying meaning of the aspect of social exclusion is human values and commitment to transformation. 

Social inclusion is a manifestation of the transformation process from social exclusion, this has been explained above through the form of a juridical basis, especially regarding the Village, which has been designed in such a way as to accommodate the development and empowerment of the Village community towards an inclusive society, where all development and empowerment processes must be based on initiatives. the community, the involvement of the marginalized which has become a necessity in the development and empowerment of the village community, and the involvement of the poor, the disa, bled and women in the stakeholders of the village deliberations. This reflects that social inclusion has become a shared focus in the Village. 

Based on the concept of social exclusion and social inclusion, the most basic point of focus is on this marginal group which generally includes the poor, disabled, and also women, so that the direction of empowerment can be focused on this because if these marginal people can be transformed into empowered it will contribute greatly to the development and empowerment of the village community in general. 

Digital Literacy for Village Communities 

Massive technological advances in all lines of life, encourage people to be able to adapt. With the opening of information channels in various fields, information comes from various directions, so that a lot of information cannot be justified. Starting from this, the community needs attention, guidance, and assistance from various parties, because people are vulnerable to getting information from negatively charged content, especially from social media so it will have an impact on people's way of thinking and behavior. Therefore Digital Literacy is very necessary and needs to be equated with other sciences. 

Digital Literacy is the ability to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to find, study, utilize, create, and communicate content and information with cognitive and technical skills. (Syaripudin et al, 2017: 4) 

According to Restianty (2018), the number of smartphone and internet users is influenced by the following factors: 

1. The more complex information needs. There is a public desire to know what is going on in other parts of the world, and by using the internet this has become easier; 

2. The internet has become a part of education and learning facilities. The teaching and learning process is increasingly helped by the development of internet technology; 

3. The Internet and the use of smartphones open up wider business networks and make business more effective; 

4. The internet and the use of smartphones are effective communication tools, capable of reaching a wider and faster mass of people. 

Digital Transformation Strategy in Inclusive Development and Empowerment of Rural Communities 

Village Community Development and Empowerment is based on participatory planning based on inclusive community needs. In addition, based on the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Number 21 of 2020 concerning General Guidelines for Village Development and Empowerment of Village Communities, mandates that the development and empowerment of rural communities are also based on the Village Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

At this stage, the role of an inclusive community is very much needed, to encourage programs related to Digital Transformation to be included in the RPJMDes and the RKPDes, besides that the village community development program that is adaptive and capable of transforming towards digitalization is also  supported by various programs, one of which is Smart Village. which is also in line with the Village's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGSDGsso that it can achieve sustainable development targets up to 2030 based on human rights and equality. 

According to the Smart Village Development Module in realizing good Village Governance. Smart Village (Smart Village) is a development approach concept that encourages Villages to transform the use of technology and is aimed at improving the quality of basic services and developing inclusive and sustainable community-based village development. Efforts are being made through increasing human resources in using technology effectively to encourage the creation of innovative local development solutions and the establishment of a Smart Village network that sustainably involves various stakeholders to encourage the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs Desa). 

Digital transformation brings various opportunities that can contribute to community empowerment. Based on the discussion on social exclusion, one of the marginalized groups affected are the poor and also the disabled, and women. Based on several factors stated by Restianty (2018), the Internet and the use of smartphones open a wider business network and make business more effective, this is an opportunity for the marginalized to be able to empower their people and also have an impact on economic empowerment. 

Syaripudin et al (2017) argue that the internet can of course help users to produce more productive and meaningful works and performances for themselves, the environment, and the wider community. So it is necessary to pay attention to related challenges such as quality citizen journalism, entrepreneurship based on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and/or digital products such as those carried out by technopreneurs, digital start-up actors and MSME owners, and information ethics issues highlighting the challenges of hoaxes, disinformation and hate speech and efforts to deal with them by selecting information. 

Opportunities on the Digital Technology side can be utilized to be economically empowered. Antoniazzi & Smuts (in Sartono, 2021) explains that digital transformation involves redesigning business practices to incorporate digital technology into all aspects of the business. Based on the explanation above, with the diversity of the people in the village and also the competence of each one, it is necessary to research to find out the opportunities that can be welcomed and everyday life that can be transformed into businesses that have economic value. 

  • Total Population (total population): 277.7 million (in 2021: 274.9 million/up 1%); 
  • Mobile devices connected: 370.1 million (2021: 345.3 million/up 3.6%);
  • Internet users: 204.7 million (2021: 202.6 million/up 1%); 
  • Active Social Media Users: 191.4 million (2021: 170 million, up 12.6%). 

From the infographic above, based on data from February 2022, the total number of connected cellular devices even exceeds the total population of Indonesia's population, as well as internet users which are close to the total population. This is an opportunity that can be used to develop a business, looking at the number of cellular phone users as well as Internet users. Because the existing data is an overview of data in Indonesia, it is necessary to search to find out the level of cellular phone usage also in rural areas to picture related to access to information technology in terms of facilities and infrastructure, such as computer equipment or cellular phones as well as internet network access. 

According to information from the Central Bureau of Statistics (2021), the high number of internet users in Indonesia is inseparable from the development of cellular phones that have occurred in this decade. In 2021, the percentage of the population in Indonesia who owns/controls a cellular phone is recorded at 65.87 percent, which is a much higher number compared to the 2011 condition which only reached 39.19 percent. Based on the regional classification, the average growth rate of the population who owns a cellular phone in rural areas is 2.77 percent, while in urban areas it is 2.09 percent. 

Referring to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (2021), the development of cellular phone users cannot be separated from the wider coverage of cellular phone signals and networks in Indonesia as well as on signal services, where signal services can be measured by the number of villages that can receive a strong signal. In 2021, as many as 61,332 (72.93 percent) villages receive a strong signal. This number increased from 2019 which was only 58,194 (69.33 percent) Villages 

According to signal reception presented by the Central Statistics Agency, the areas of Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara which are the observation locations for this paper are dominated by 4G and 3G signals, where these signals are very adequate to access information and digital content. 

Judging from the data above, the village community can access various digital content and process it to bring financial benefits to empower themselves and their groups. 

Based on the data obtained through questionnaires from 51 people consisting of Villagers, and Community Facilitators spread across Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara, the following information was obtained: 

• Most are familiar with the internet (100%) 

• Most signals are already 4g LTE (86.3%) 

• Most know Social media (98%) 

• Most are familiar with Youtube (56.9%) 

• Most of them know and make transactions online (88.2%) 

• Most have never sold services via the internet (78.4%) 

Based on respondents' input, regarding the opportunity to involve the marginalized through Information Technology, 49% said it was big and 29.4% said it was very big. Besides that, the interest of the village community towards digitalization reached 88.2%. 

And the need for community empowerment related to digitalization reaches 98%. 

so it can be concluded that rural communities have a high interest in digitalization besides that there are opportunities to involve marginalized communities and there are business opportunities for goods such as opening online shops to sell handicrafts, as well as village superior products and can also sell services that can be done via the internet with taking advantage of the various platforms available so that it is necessary to increase skills in the field of technology for the community. 

Opportunities and Strategies in Utilizing Digital Media 

To be empowered, of course, must start with individuals who have the will to transform and have an entrepreneurial spirit. If you look at the data presented above, then the opportunities are very wide open to start moving on digital entrepreneurship. Digital entrepreneurs have opportunities through digital capabilities. Information Technology (IT) is used at least as a means of producing partial value and can be used to disseminate entrepreneurial results and generate new opportunities for digital entrepreneurs. (Sartono, 2021) 

Referring to the data presented in the paragraphs above, it has been explained that cell phone users are increasing, and even cellular phone users have exceeded the total population of Indonesia. In line with this, the signal coverage area is also expanding, even in rural areas. This can be used by village communities and marginalized people to be able to empower themselves through digital media. Digital literacy is an absolute thing to be strengthened for the community to be empowered through digitalization. This process requires adaptation by the community to be able to transform and apply digital media. 

Enrichment of digital literacy skills can be done by various methods, including: 

1. Through training programmed through development planning and empowerment of Village communities, the estuary of which is budgeted in the APBDes. This is where the role of inclusive communities is needed to encourage this activity program to be included in the program in the village, and now this is very possible because in the Regulation of the Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Number 21 of 2020 concerning General Guidelines for Village Development and Community Empowerment Village development direction and empowerment is carried out based on data and technology; 

2. Through program activities from the Government, which enter the village such as the Smart Village Program and other programs related to Information Technology; 

3. Participate in seminars and even online training related to Digital Literacy and Digital applications or tools, one of which is held by the Ministry of Communication and Information through Digital. Digitalent is a series of online training that greatly facilitates the wider community to enrich their literacy and practice knowledge directly so that they can obtain applicable applied knowledge; 

4. Through self-help from the community learn self-taught or independent courses. 

Capacity-building activities have a very vital role for the community, especially for those who do have an internal drive, the willingness to be able and practice is a very important capital for transformation so that the next stage is when the community can adapt and begin to transform towards digitalization according to their field of interest. each. People can start to apply their knowledge and skills in various ways. 

In the author's view, in general, the knowledge and skills possessed can be applied to two sectors, namely goods and services. 

1. In the goods sector, the village community can be empowered by pursuing the potential that exists in the village, especially related to unique things in the village, crafts, culinary arts, and even daily necessities. This mechanism can be done through: 

• Consumer to Consumer. 

The community can create or market products in the village through the existing web portal, both social media marketing using Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. The public can also open stores through online marketplaces such as Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Shopee, and other marketplaces and market goods produced in the village or everyday items that can be sold online. Even the public can also combine Social Media and Marketplace, where Social Media as Promotional Media and the main sales portal is on the Marketplace to further ensure security in transactions where which is a focal point in Digital Literacy. The Consumer to Consumer pattern emphasizes transactions between one person and another. 

• Business to Government 

This mechanism has the characteristics of a business that offers products or goods to the government, in this case, village communities that have Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can offer their products such as culinary or office supplies to the government. An example is an e-Catalog. 

In the goods sector, many things can be moved like selling conventionally but are done through Digital Media, in addition to the practicality offered, some things should be considered, such as the existence of an expedition agent, because to send products or goods requires an expedition agent and also the needs there will be adequate road access to be able to deliver goods. 

2. In the Service Sector, the open opportunities are also very open for the Village community. This sector offers a solution for villages that have a limited physical infrastructure in this case difficult road access, an opportunity that can be done is to explore self-skills to later become something that can be valued or appreciated as a work of art. As with goods, the same mechanism can also be applied to the service sector, even the Consumer to Consumer and Consumer to Business mechanisms can be combined here. An example is : 

  • • Service Sales Marketplace (Fiverr, Freelancer, et cetera) 

This marketplace offers business opportunities in the form of selling services and people who use the services will pay for the services that have been performed, just like a goods marketplace. For example, on Fiverr and Freelancer, where on this site people can offer their expertise, whether in terms of writing, translation, adapting, designing, video editing, and other services. Of course, to master the skills in language skills, video editing, and design is not limited to people in cities, people in villages also have equal abilities, because they are closely related to individual abilities and not geographical problems. 

  • • Design Services Marketplace (Graphicriver, Evanto, Canva, Freepik, et cetera) 

This marketplace has business opportunities for people who have skills in the field of graphic design. Designs that are made can be sold and can get a fee in the form of money that will go into a personal account. 

  • • Photography Marketplace (iStock, Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, et cetera) 

This marketplace can be used by people who have skills in the field of photography, especially because the village generally has the potential for ethnic culture and high artistic value so that people who have photo skills can upload and sell their photos through the various marketplaces above. 

  • • Creator content (Youtuber, Selebgram, Influencer, et cetera) 

In addition to selling services through the marketplace, the public can also use their skills to become content creators. Content Creator is a profession that can no longer be underestimated because it has generated relatively large economic income for people who are engaged in this field. Even with simple tools, only with a smartphone which is now commonly owned by most people, being able to make video tutorials, or record people's daily lives and interesting reviews can be tremendous potential for economic empowerment. 

The things that distinguish the Service Sector from the Goods Sector are: 

  • • The Service Sector Relatively does not need a stock of goods or does not need to worry about expired goods, while if you are involved in the sale of goods, the risk has the potential to occur. 
  • • The service sector does not require an expedition service, because what is being sold is relatively digital files, such as writing, translation, photos, designs, and content, so although road access is difficult, the most important thing is that adequate internet signal is available, this business opportunity is already running. Meanwhile, the goods sector mostly depends on the expedition agent and the physical access conditions of the road. 
  • • The service sector can be carried out by all elements of society, regardless of the city or village. 
  • • The service sector is not limited by distance, space, and time, because it can be done anywhere, anytime and by anyone, even a wider market, because in general, it can access consumers both domestically and abroad. 

• Both the Service Sector and the Goods Sector have main needs, namely in the form of Cellular Phones, more precisely smartphones or computers and the Internet, and most importantly competence in the digital field and a good understanding of digital literacy. 


The main philosophy in the development and empowerment of rural communities is about inclusive community-based movements based on human values and a commitment to transformation. This effort is carried out to increase the dignity of the community so that they become empowered, both individually and in a community that supports and complements each other. The Digital Era encourages people to adapt so they can compete and participate in realizing Digital Transformation. Opportunities that are wide open through digital media can be adapted through strengthening knowledge and skills which can also be planned in the village through the Village Community Development and Empowerment mechanism so that the community can adapt and welcome opportunities both in the goods and services sector which can ultimately lead to the realization of an empowered society through Digital Transformation. 


Badan Pusat Statistik. (2022). Statistik telekomunikasi indonesia 2021. 

Desa, Undang-Undang Nomor 6 Tahun 2014 (2014). 

Gutama, P. P. B., & Widiyahseno, B. (2020). Inklusi sosial dalam pembangunan Desa. Reformasi : Jurnal Ilmiah Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik 10(1), 70-80. 

Hamid, H. (2018). Manajemen pemberdayaan masyarakat. (1st ed).De La Macca. 

Kementerian Dalam Negeri, Peraturan Presiden Nomor 114 Tahun 2021 (2021). 

Kementerian Desa Pembangunan Daerah Tertinggal dan Transmigrasi, Peraturan Presiden Nomor 85 Tahun 2021 (2021). 

Peraturan Menteri Desa, Pembangunan Daerah Tertinggal dan Transmigrasi Nomor 16 Tahun 2019 (2019). 

Nurdin, M. F. (2015, 20-23 Mei 2015). Eksklusi sosial dan pembangunan makna, focus dan dimensi untuk kajian sosiologis. Universitas Padjajaran, Makalah Disajikan Dalam Kegiatan Kongres II Asosiasi Program Studi Sosiologi Indonesia dan Konfrensi Nasional Sosiologi Indonesia IV, Manado. 

Pedoman Umum Pembangunan Desa dan Pemberdayaan Masyarakat Desa, Peraturan Menteri Desa, Pembangunan Daerah Tertinggal dan Transmigrasi Nomor 21 Tahun 2020 (2020). 

Restianty, A. (2018). Literasi digital, sebuah tantangan baru dalam literasi media. Jurnal Kehumasan 1(1), 72-87. 

Sartono, S. (2021). Kewirausahaan digital. Jurnal Benefit 8(2), 105-113. 

Simarmata, R., & Zakaria, R. Y. (2017). Perspektif inklusi sosial dalam uu nomor 6 tahun 2014 tentang Desa: kebijakan dan tantangan implementasi. Wacana Jurnal Transformasi Sosial 37(19), 7-27.

Syaripudin, A., Ahmad, D., Ningrum, D. W., Banyumurti, I., Magdalena, M., (2017). Kerangka Literasi Digital Indonesia (1st ed).ICT Watch. 

We Are Social. (2022, November 14). Digital Indonesia 2022.