UNDP focuses on supporting the Government of Indonesia in its efforts to achieve effective decentralized governance by clarifying and strengthening the role of provincial governments, while simultaneously creating conducive legal frameworks for the appropriate authorities Building on its successful support to the National Strategy on Access to Justice, UNDP is also working to build the capacities of national and local institutions to improve the access to and delivery of justice, particularly for the poor and marginalized, including women. Promoting the representation and participation of communities, including civil society groups and women in political and government institutions is another key objective of UNDP.
Representation and participation in politics and government
UNDP’s objective is to assist Indonesia to ensure that, by 2015, representation and participation in political and government institutions, particularly among women and vulnerable groups, has significantly increased.
The percentage of female legislators in Indonesia’s parliament has reached 18 percent - its highest level in history – though still below the national target of 30 percent. Voter turnout and participation in democratic processes is varied, but the Indonesia Democracy Index shows that political participation has been increasing in the country, including wider citizen engagement in policy and decision-making processes.
UNDP Indonesia is working with a wide range of government institutions, as well as with CSOs and other parties including media and universities, to build awareness and strengthen the ability of citizens to engage in both political and governmental processes. The Civic Education Centres currently being developed in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the University of Indonesia are one example of this effort, and UNDP’s new “Strengthening Women’s Participation in Politics and Government in Indonesia” project supports representatives and civil servants at the local, regional and national levels to ensure that women’s rights are taken into account in policy-making through networking and capacity development. Working with CSOs at the grass-roots level to raise the awareness of women about their political and civic rights, women are also encouraged to run as political candidates. Support has also been provided through the Elections Multi-Donor Programme (with funding support in 2011 from AusAID), which was extended upon the request of the Government of Indonesia to further strengthen the capacities of electoral management bodies for the local elections in Aceh. Support to the preparation of the elections in Aceh has also included equipping civil society groups with skills to monitor election related processes.
For 2011-2015 UNDP aims to support provincial governments to strengthen their institutional capacities to perform their functions, achieve their goals, and enhance their accountability and responsiveness.
Strengthening the capacity of provincial government remains a challenge, particularly since the role of the provincial government within the context of decentralization is not supported with clear and sufficient regulations and policies, despite the disbursement of between 30 to 40 percent of the national budget to the provincial level. UNDP contributes to efforts to enhance policy and regulatory frameworks that clarify and strengthen the roles and functions of provincial governments and parliaments. The draft revision for Law No. 32/2004 on Local Government is now ready for parliamentary review, and mandates the provincial government to coordinate and monitor local development at the district/municipal level. With budget allocations for local development at district and municipal levels having increased in the recent past, the provinces have an important role to play, for example, in creating more opportunities for people to benefit from regional economic development, and providing greater access to public services. One example of UNDP’s work relates to programmes in Aceh and Nias, where, in 2011, UNDP supported the strengthening and certification of the Aceh Human Resources Training Agency, and also assisted both areas and their districts to improve their asset and financial management systems. These initiatives are aimed at both ensuring that the provinces have more effective institutions as well as at increasing the quality of services provided to the public by government institutions.
UNDP has also supported provincial governments in using the Provincial Human Development Report (and the related indices) as a tool to improve planning and budgeting processes. The acceleration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in the provinces continues to be supported through the integration of Pro-Poor Planning, Budgeting and Monitoring (P3BM) tools and the MDGs into local planning processes, which are owned and overseen by provincial and district authorities.
Expanding access to justice and human rights in Indonesia
By 2015 UNDP’s support should help justice providers and institutions to become more effective in protecting human rights, and ensuring that citizens enjoy improved access to justice
Legal awareness remains low in the country, mainly on account of poverty and limited literacy. Access to justice is crucial in combating poverty, and must therefore focus on the poor and disadvantaged. In responding to this challenge, UNDP works both at the grass-roots level and with the relevant government institutions to increase citizen’s awareness of their legal and constitutional rights, while helping the government to effectively deliver their legal and constitutional duties. In this way UNDP works to drive real-life changes from the community level, while at the same time ensuring government ownership of access to justice initiatives.
UNDP supported the drafting of the National Strategy on Access to Justice, which has been integrated into the National Medium-Term Development Plan (2010-2014). A National Access to Justice Secretariat established in BAPPENAS with support from UNDP facilitates and oversees the implementation of the National Strategy on Access to Justice through mainstreaming key components of the strategy into the annual work plans and budgets of relevant government ministries and agencies.
At the grass-roots level, UNDP has supported the provision of legal aid and advocacy services to over 450,000 poor and disadvantaged people to help address legal issues related to land disputes, discrimination, domestic violence and corruption. This support was provided through its flagship Legal Access for the Disadvantaged project (see Success Story box 3), funded by the governments of Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. Building on the success of this initiative, UNDP is continuing the project under the Strengthening Access To Justice initiative, which will begin in 2012. The government has recently passed a new legal aid bill, the implementation of which UNDP also plans to support to ensure that citizens fully benefit from legal aid services, targeted specifically to the poor.
This work has been particularly successful in Aceh, where with UNDP support, guidelines on adat(customary) justice have been developed, and adat leaders and institutions have been provided with clearer jurisdiction and the tools required to operate more transparently and accountably. District governments in Aceh have integrated adat justice services into their administration’s activities and provided funding for adat justice initiatives.