Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state and fourth most populous nation. It has 74,957 villages. In 2014, the New Village Law was enacted to grant autonomy and financial support to the villages through the Village Fund from the central government. The financial support was targeted at carrying out innovative work especially focused on entrepreneurship, human resource development and governance. The village initiative is known as the Village Innovation Programme (VIP).
The importance to enhance the village development monitoring through performance indicators has been the subject of discussion between the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (MoV), Ministry of National Development and Planning (Bappenas) and the Republic of Korea-UNOSSC Facility (RoK-UNOSSC Facility/Programme for Capacity Development for Poverty Reduction through South-South and Triangular Cooperation in Science and Technology). One of the Republic of Korea’s participating institutions under the Facility, the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) is the technical supporting institution. On 25-26 September, the two Government of Indonesia Ministries and STEPI co-organized an International Workshop of Villages Index Harmonization to Support Village Innovation Programme in Jakarata, Indonesia.
About 70 participants including government officials and experts from MoV, Bappenas, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Culture, Coordinating Ministry for Human and Capital Development, Central Bureau of Statistics, Sukabumi District local government agencies as well as development partner agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and ASEAN Secretariat took part in the workshop. STEPI participants were supported by other members of the Facility, that is, UNITAR Cifal Jeju and the Seoul National University’s Technology Management, Economics and Policy Program (TEMEP).
The necessity for harmonization of indices is that there are variables resulting in two village level indices developed by MoV and BAPPENAS respectively. Although similar in design, the indices emphasise different aspects, namely socio-economic and infrastructure respectively. The indices are applied to rank status of development of the villages and consequently, the resources provided under the Village Fund. “Village index harmonization is critical in scaling-up inclusive and resilient development in Indonesia aligned with the 2020-2024 Medium Term Development Plan,” said Mr. Eko Sri Haryanto, the Head of the Research and Development Agency, Education and Training, and Information (Balilatfo), MoV. “Indonesia is ready to showcase its village development to the international community through successful index integration and application”, he added.
Mr. Denis Nkala, UNOSSC Regional Coordinator and Representative noted that Indonesia’s Village Innovation Programme is unique and enhancing its monitoring will establish Indonesia as a leader in achieving the sustainable development agenda. “Indonesia will be an example to the Global South on reducing inequality and living no-one behind” he said.
The consultative meeting provided an opportunity to exchange knowledge and views on village index harmonization including case studies from developing countries such as China, India and Vietnam as well developed countries including the Republic of Korea. STEPI experts proposed two approaches for harmonization, merging and weighing the two indices equally or developing a new set of indices derived from the two existing indices. The MoV noted that they had already started work on the latter approach. Furthermore, they noted that the staff working on harmonization have been urged to be inclusive, besides the two leading Ministries, other Ministries with an interest such as health, education will also be included in the harmonization process.
Incorporating outcomes from the workshop, MoV will review the index harmonization after further discussion with other line ministries and plans to officially launch the final index on 20 October 2019.