Poverty is a challenge in Indonesia despite impressive economic growth in recent decades.

2011 marked the 11th anniversary of the Millennium Declaration, when countries around the world approved eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Although Indonesia is largely on-track to achieve many of the MDGs by the 2015 deadline, progress towards the MDGs has been uneven.

Poverty (MDG 1) is a challenge in Indonesia despite impressive economic growth in recent decades. According to the Central Statistics Agency, almost 30 million people, or 12.36 percent, in Indonesia live below the national poverty line. Certain regions of Indonesia are also poorer than others; with poverty rates in regions like Papua, and West Papua more than double that of the national average1.

In the area of maternal health (MDG 5), skilled healthcare providers attend almost all births in Jakarta compared to less than half in five other Indonesian provinces.   In terms of access to safe drinking water (MDG 7), Jakarta, Bali and Jogjakarta far surpass Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), Papua and Central Kalimantan, with more than 70 percent of people with access to safe drinking water in the former, compared to less than 30 percent in the latter.

UNDP, in partnership with the Indonesian Government, is working towards MDGs achievement and poverty reduction by drawing on its wealth of knowledge and vast networks of other experienced UNDP offices throughout the world.  UNDP seeks to build stronger propoor government policy making, planning and budgeting processes, to improve service delivery, and to accelerate MDGs achievement.  Due to uneven progress towards MDG achievements and poverty reduction,  UNDP concentrates its resources on three of Indonesia’s most challenged and underdeveloped regions, including Tanah Papua (Papua and West Papua provinces), Aceh, and NTT

Building a better institutional framework for poverty reduction

 UNDP prioritizes poverty reduction efforts in Tanah Papua, Aceh and Nusa Tenggara Timur

By 2015, UNDP seeks to increase national and subnational government effectiveness, and the effectiveness of key stakeholders, in reducing poverty and vulnerability.  UNDP prioritizes poverty reduction efforts in Tanah Papua, Aceh and Nusa Tenggara Timur.

Government-driven poverty reduction efforts must be underwritten by sound policy, planning and budgeting.  If these three components are not in place, these efforts to reduce poverty are likely to be ineffective. 

With this in mind, UNDP supported the Presidential Regulation No’s 65/2011 and 66/2011 on the ‘Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua’ and the ‘Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B)’ in 2011.  Accelerated development policies and programmes by national and subnational governments for Tanah Papua are now coordinated through a single body under the Office of the Vice President, rather than several government bodies, in order to increase effectiveness and pooling of resources.      

At the subnational levels, UNDP supported provincial and district governments including those of Papua and West Papua, to begin integrating the Human Development Index (HDI), MDG targets and  pro-poor planning, budgeting and monitoring (P3BM) tools into Medium-Term Development Plans. Previous development plans had utilized economic growth as the primary metric for measuring development progress.  By providing subnational governments with more accurate tools to measure and monitor poverty levels, it is expected that they will be better equipped to formulate targeted policy responses addressing the most urgent development needs and effectively reduce poverty. Preliminary indicators are positive; in West Papua, poverty declined from 34.88 percent (2010) to 31.92 percent; while in Papua, poverty declined from 36.80 percent (2010) to 31.98 percent (2011).

As a result of extensive lobbying from development programmes including the Netherlands and New Zealand Governmentsfunded UNDP ‘People’s Centred Development Programme’ (PCDP), the subnational governments of Papua and West Papua have boosted their annual budget on education and health from two (2006) to 12.3 percent (2011).  District governments including Timika, Yapen and Sarmi have begun replicating elements of the PCDP programme and are contracting local CSOs as service providers for people living in isolated areas with funds sourced from within their own budgets.

Extending access to social protection and essential services

 Children of native papua

During 2011 to 2015, UNDP works towards increasing access to and quality of social protection and other essential services. In remote and rural regions, the delivery of social protection and other essential services to poor and vulnerable groups are even more challenging due to poor infrastructure like roads, and because of Indonesia’s unique geography.  UNDP is working with the Village Community Empowerment and Family Welfare Agency (BPMK&KK) in Papua and West Papua to ensure the  adoption of standardized health and education systems and procedures by CSOs, and sound oversight over the provision of such services through joint-monitoring. During JulyDecember 2011, CSOs provided education and health services to approximately 37,135 people, including 17,584 men, 14,675 women, 4,877 children, and 5,068 people unidentified by sex or age.  In 2012, it is projected that two percent of the Tanah Papua population will receive health and education services from UNDP and BPMK supported CSOs.  Of this figure, approximately 90 percent of those targeted will be native Papuans and West Papuans.

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