#PSF Increasing The Role of Regional Governments in Executing Community-based Poverty Alleviation Programs in Seven Areas in Central Java

Central Java leads the implementation of PKPM, a community-based poverty alleviation program created by law No.6/2014 about villages.  The workshop, which dealt with increasing the role of regional governments on executing PKPM, was held in Semarang, Central Java, on August 26-27, 2014.  It was meant as a follow-up to the national movement concerning community empowerment launched in Central Java.

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Katiman Kartowinomo is head of Policy Mainstreaming at the Coordinating Ministry for People’s Welfare.  Katiman explained that the purpose of workshop was to find agreement and to plan the PKPM implementation to support the Village Law.  In the workshop, the role division of the central, provincial, and regency/city governments were decided.  Pilot locations for PKPM implementation will include Banjarnegara, Banyumas, Cilacap, Kebumen, Purworejo, Purbalingga, and Wonosobo.

Pamuji Lestari is Deputy Assistant for Community Empowerment at the Coordinating Ministry for People’s Welfare. She talked about keeping PNPM Mandiri even after the execution of the Village Law.  She said the law should strengthen the implementation of PNPM Mandiri.

Regarding PNPM Mandiri’s sustainability, Vice President Boediono, in a closed meeting, directed PNPM Mandiri to become a transition mechanism for the Village Law.

Pamuji mentioned the values of PNPM Mandiri that were absorbed into the Village Law.  One way to ensure PNPM’s sustainability is to institutionalize community empowerment activities into village governance.  Community empowerment programs should not be part of just one ministry.

The character and the keys to success of PNPM Mandiri have been included in the Village Law, such as articles 90, 112, 113, 114, and 115 about community assistance; article 74 about community participation; article 94 about community organization; articles 68, 82, and 86 about transparency and accountability; article 68d about community voting activity executors; articles 3 and 78 about gender perspective; articles 72 and 74 about transferring budget allocations directly to communities; and article 81 about self-management.

In his presentation, Pamuji explained that the implementation of the Village Law is built on two concepts:  village development (the local scale) and rural development (the inter-village scale).  The governance of village development relies on the principle “One Village, One planning, One Budget.”

“Let’s focus on the action plan, not on the budget and how fast we spend it,” said the secretary for the PNPM Oversight Working Group.

Removing traces of poverty in Central Java

Herru Setiadhie is the head of the Village Development Planning Agency (Bappeda).  In his presentation, he showed that poverty is the main problem that needs to be dealt with in Central Java.

Bappeda in Central Java, through BPS and BRS, is responsible for compiling statistics.  According to their data the flooding disaster in early 2014 increased the poverty level from 14.44 percent, where it had been in September 2013, to 14.46 percent.  The flood caused damage to the harvest and delayed its distribution.

Unemployment is the second major problem in Central Java.  According to the statistics compiled by BPS and BRS in February 2014, when compared to the all the provinces in Java and Bali the unemployment number in Central Java was the second highest, after West Java.  The open unemployment reached 5.45 percent, or 965.400 people.

“Can we find these numbers in your place?  They might be different with PPLS numbers that are based on name and address.  We should work together to find where they live.  We should find them!” Herru suggested.

According to the data compiled by PPLS in 2011, there were 1,356 villages that were prioritized highly for the Poverty Alleviation Program, with these details:  1,024,076 households without toilets; 1,723,500 families living in uninhabitable houses; and 36,610 families without electricity.

PNPM synergizes the poverty alleviation program between central and regional governments.  The focus is on the agriculture sector and small-and-medium enterprises supported by infrastructure development.

The Village Law aims to alleviate poverty in villages.  However, as Herru reminded everyone, there is little time for preparation before the Village Law is implemented in 2015.

“Our focus in these three months is to teach village officials how to plan, implement, and collaborate local funds, funds from the upper-level government, and the village fund.  Together, we must prepare a system for planning, implementation and accountability,” Herru said.

The role of PNPM Mandiri

The data used for the pilot implementation of PKPM comes from PNPM locations in seven regencies/cities in Central Java.  Out of 269 total villages in Cilacap, 51 poor villages, or 18.95 percent, have utilized PNPM.  People living in poverty in Cilacap in 2012 totalled 260,900, or 15.92 percent.  It decreased to 281,950, or 17.15 percent, a reduction of 21,005 people, or 1.23 percent, indicating the significant role of PNPM in alleviating poverty.

PNPM Mandiri is working in poor villages in 7 regencies/cities.  In Banyumas, 57 highly poor villages, or 21.11 percent of the total 301 villages, have utilized PNPM.  In Purbalingga, 38 highly poor villages, among a total of 278 villages, are with PNPM.  In Purworejo regency there are 50 highly poor villages,10.75 percent of the total 469 villages.  In Kebumen regency, the number is 62 villages, or 14.22 percent.  In Wonosobo the number is 37 villages, or 15.68 percent.  In Banjarnegara there are 52 highly poor villages.

“Let’s collect data from each regency/city for validation.  Let’s see which one is factual,” Herru continued.

According to Bappeda, highly poor villages included in PKPM Pilot have been all touched by PNPM.  If the main focus remains on the highly poor villages, PNPM in Central Java will have a higher impact.

“The data from BPS can be used as a reminder and motivation,” Herru said.

Herru recommended steps that need to be taken in order to create self-reliant villages:  collecting experts with various expertise, a guideline that is composed together and socialized with communities, brainstorming over strategic issues, and program implementation.

“Our newest president grew up in a village, from the small town of Solo in Central Java,” he continued.  “If our pilot program in Central Java will show good results, then it can be a prototype for future programs.”

Part II:  Working on PKPM’s action plan 

My writings for PSF website.

Source: http://pnpm-support.org/news/increasing-role-regional-governments-executing-community-based-poverty-alleviation-programs

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