Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Max Pohan *)



The financial crisis that hit Indonesia and some other asian countries starting 1997 has brought the country into a devastating socio-economic and socio-political situation. Its economy has suddenly collapsed to a level that never happened before. Number of unemployment increased significantly, bringing the socio-economic welfare of the people down to the worst ever. As a result, the Suharto regime had resigned and this gives hope for economic recovery, improvement of socio-economic condition, political reform, democratization, and even decentralization. The decentralization policy to boost local autonomy has officially implemented on the 1 January 2001. Yet, the big question now is whether the implementation of the policy will enhance social development, democracy, as well as people’s participation at grass root level.

 I.  Background 

Just as a reminder, Indonesia is a vast and archipelagic country of South-east Asia with around 13,700 islands stretches from west to east along the equator, among them: Sumatra, Borneo (Kalimantan), Celebes (Sulawesi), Java, Moluccas, and West Papua. It has population around 210 million where male is less than female. Indonesia is a unitary state (Republic) headed by a President with 2 (two)-level parliamentary system, the House of Representatives (MPR) and House of Parliament (DPR). Before 1988, the government of Indonesia was known as autocratic, undemocratic, centralistic, monologue, and military-backed. This was indicated by tight press-control, politically stable, freedom oppression, but high economic growth, steady social-welfare level increase, high inequalities (between regions and between households), and highly-integrated.
Though, starting mid 1997 a severe financial crisis hit most of the Asian countries, including Indonesia. The crisis has significantly changed almost all aspects of life in the country. The economy that constantly grew in the last few decades, suddenly contracted by 13% in 1998, and  within a short period of time, the shock has caused impacts on the welfare of the population. In the first place, it directly raised unemployment which resulting in the decrease of household’s income and, hence, reducing their purchasing power.
Adding to the macro-economic severe situation, the long draught caused by El-NiƱo in 1997 had also reduced employment opportunity in agricultural sector. The situation was worsened by high inflation rate (reached 77.6% in 1998) which decreased the purchasing power even further. In the social sectors, a steep price hike had reduced the service quality of important sectors such as health and education. Secondly, at the household sector, the lower level of income forced them to change their consumption pattern, where women and children were usually the most vulnerable family members –particularly in the poor ones– as the households’ consumption pattern changes.
In the beginning of 1998, when the secondary impacts were more evident, some experts warned the possibility of “lost generation” in the future if no interventions were taken to lessen the impact.  Future physically and intellectually weak generation would be resulted from today’s children who are malnourished and whose parents could not afford education and health services for them.  Furthermore, a drastic change in living standards had built up more conflict and social unrest.  It usually started from household level (domestic violence), which accumulated at community level (higher crime rate), and even in the society (higher political tension).  In Indonesia, this tertiary impact of the economic crisis had changed overall political constellation only within 9 months after the depreciation of its currency (Rupiah) to US Dollar in August 1997.
The impact of 1997 economic crisis in Indonesia is much worse than those suffered by other Asian nations. One of the reasons is ‘poor governance’, where corruption, collusion, and nepotism (KKN) as its primary indicators. Access to economic resources had been limited only to some economic and politico-elites, who were the most benefited from the high economic growth. The Soeharto’s regime had become increasingly corrupt and complacent, their family and cronies abused their connections to amass wealth.
Control mechanism and public participation to safeguard the development in increasing people’s welfare were simply did not exist. In the regions, local parliament were subordinate of governors and district-heads or mayors. Civil society, who could have led the people to be more involve in the decision-making processes have been undermined and to some extent was controlled by the government. The centralistic and ‘top-down’ public administration practices has reduced the people’s participation even at the lowest level of community.
As the socio-economic conditions getting worse, demand for political and economic reform (reformasi) was mounting and then culminated in 21 May 1998 when Soeharto’s government collapsed after 32 years in power. Since then, the political environment has changed drastically.

II. The Reformasi: On Democratization and Decentralization  

Another demand echoed through the reformasi is decentralization, which is rather an expression of dissatisfaction vis-a-vis the Central Government after more than three decades seen as injustice by provincial/local governments those with abundant natural resources. Indonesia has been administered by Jakarta since its proclamation in 1945 and since 1950, traumatic of  regional resentment which threatened the unity of the country, the successive governments continuously believe that a unitary state is more secure in maintaining unity than a federal system.[2] Based on Law No.5/1974 on Principles of Regional and Local Governments, the government is divided into provinces, currently 30 provinces (2002), and provinces are subdivided into districts (kabupaten) and municipalities (kotamadya). Districts, in the rural areas are also subdivided into sub-districts (kecamatan) and kecamatan into desa (villages), while municipalities, as urban areas, the villages are called kelurahan.
This system, despite some advantages such as the effectiveness of handling and delivery system from the central government down to village level, has major disadvantages of extended and often inefficient, bureaucratic chain of command, very “top-down” approach which tends to discourage local initiatives.  The Law No.5/1974 has also stipulated the regional autonomy to some extent. However, the subsequent government regulation (Peraturan Pemerintah) was only issued in 1992 (PP No.45/1992 on Decentralization at Daerah Tingkat II), after almost 20 years later. The central government has been charged by the local governments as not serious in this matter, although almost none of the governments voiced this charged openly.
Decentralization as a strategy for economic and social development and for nation building has become accepted around the world. Most developing and transition nations have by now adopted a decentralization program in one form or another.[3] Decentralization could well be the right policy for Indonesia because it moves government decisions closer to the people, a crucial ingredient of governance in a country that is so large and so diverse. And, with local elections, it will lead to better public services and better public servants, and more participation. In the long run, decentralization could make Indonesia a stronger, more stable, and more democratic nation.[4]
The House of Representatives (MPR) has obviously managed to capture this view and the demand of regional and local governments and the people in general, to have a more extensive autonomy by decentralization of responsibilities from central government to them. In May 1999, in line with the democratization process, devolution of power from central government to the regions was initiated when the Indonesian parliament passed two important laws on the relationship between central government and regional/local governments.
The two laws, Law No. 22/1999 on Regional Government and Law No. 25/1999 on “Fiscal Balance Between the Central Government and the Regional Governments” constitute a breakthrough from a centralistic government administration to a more balanced distribution of power and functions between central and local government, as well as development funds.  The two new laws have officially been implemented starting January 1, 2001, and give wide-ranging autonomy to the district/municipal government full-authority in planning-cycle process and control over their finances (revenue and spending), civil services, and organizational setup.
Related to the democratization process, the Law No. 22/1999 clearly divides the executive and legislative body at the local level. As a consequence, head of district/municipality is elected by the local parliament (although the winner still need approval by the President) and accountable to the legislative body only. However, in the Law there is no clear connection between the government and civil society in general.
Through the Law No. 25/1999, in addition to the regional government’s own revenue, the regions will receive “the equalization funds” that consist revenue sharing from taxes and natural resources exploitation, a general allocation grant (DAU), and specific grants (DAK). The regional governments may also receive funds from external loan or grant, although this entitlement has been suspended in both fiscal year 2001 and 2002 for the state’s balance of payment reason. This cancellation by a letter from Minister of Finance early in the year 2001 has to some extent has triggered dissatisfaction from some local governments accusing the central government as reluctant to help the regional and local governments in their economic recovery.
To implement the decentralization policy the government has divided the implementation stages into 4 (four), namely: initiation period (2001), installation (2002-2003), consolidation (2004-2006), and stabilization period (2007 - onwards). Initiation period covers the development of the new regulations, guidances, etc including their dissemination. This stage also includes the efforts to deal with risks in the context of initial implementation of regional autonomy and response to be given – by the central government – to deal with several problems that are arising in implementing the regional autonomy. Installation period includes the continuation of all not-yet-finished activities in the first period and the development of activities for strengthening, elaborating work, and adjusting to the existing and the newly developed system.

III.     Prospect of Social Development Within Democratization and Decentralization  

Democratization. The democratization process in the reformasi agenda has begun earlier than decentralization, in May 1998, when Soeharto’s regime collapse. Thus, since two and half years ago. However, after those years, this democratization process is still on the way. In general, political parties do not have clear political platforms and policy objectives. At the local level, mostly new parliamentarians would still have to learn about public administration and local decision-making process. At the same time, the people in general has yet lack of trust in the parliamentarian. As the UN Report says:

”....the problem for most of these parties is that they have been assembled around sectional interests and personalities rather than ideologies and manifestoes. Moreover, they usually lack any local organization or any formal mechanism through which ordinary member can influence policy. ........The electoral system is based on close candidate list proportional representation in which members are nominated from party lists so they do not represent a specific district, nor do the people actually vote for them. This and the absence of local political organization means that most people lack formal channels through which they can express their grievances. As a result they are likely to vent their frustrations in other ways, including violently, -in some cases attaching blame to people from other ethnic or religious groups.”.[5]  
The people’s participation is still hampered by the absence of mechanism to channel their aspirations. While the law-makers are mostly busy in dealing with his or her own private interests or his or her party’s interests rather than strive for the people’s common interests. On the other hand, the press which enjoy their freedom since reformasi begun, often disseminates unreliable information and facts, has low qualification, skills, and infrastructures for investigative journalism. Their presence have rather been observed as adding more uncomfortable and chaotic political situation to the poor people who are already suffered  from the economic and political crisis.
Decentralization. On the other hand, decentralization process is still one year of age. In government term, it is just passing through the initiation period and now entering the installment period. In the initation process the government, led by Ministry of Home Affairs, has concentrated in the work of: (a)devolving government functions and responsibilities; (b) restructuring provincial and local government organtizations; (c)reallocation of personnel, assets, and documents; (d) fiscal decentralizations; (e)capacity building to support decentralization; and (f)monitoring and evaluation. Despite more than 20 Government Regulations and a series of Presidential and Ministerial Decrees issued during the year 2000 and 2001, it seems however, the decentralization process is far from completion. This clearly is not a simple task to carry but it needs “a mammoth logistical undertaking” using the Indonesia Human Development Report 2001 words. It says further: It will probably take some years before the administrative and fiscal relationships between the central government and the regions are clearly established.[6]
The local governments motivation in decentralization thus far is mostly political and with the final objective to gain more revenues from the central government rather than seeking better welfare of the people.  Therefore it is somewhat worrying as to whether the local governments are really realizing their basic task and function to serve the people to have better access to health, education, capital and all other public services.
Social development  and the supply of basic needs of the people are clearly now the task of local governments as stipulated in the Law 22/1999. However, experience during the fiscal year 2001 showed that local governments are less responsible in this matter for the reason of lack of funds. In addition to that, it seems that sectoral ministries do not want to lose their grip on the sector they are dealing with after more than three decades.
Good Governance. The two processes –democratization and decentralization– raise the issue of good governance practices. That includes transparency, accountability, and people’s participation.
It is necessary to open wide-range opportunity for public participation from the village level to vanguard the local autonomy not being a transfer of centralistic and authoritarian approach from central to local government. Both laws has fostered the authority of local parliament, wider scope of participation in decision-making process is however not clearly defined in the new legislation, except an “urban forum” which consists all stakeholders of development at the local level.
An attempt to form a multi-stakeholders forum at district level all over Indonesia however had been exercised by the Government since 1999 through Social Safety Nets program. Despite success achieved in some regions, the exercise was hampered by lack of consciousness at the community level and civil society as a whole, and that the forum is mainly financed by local governments. Once the budget is not allocated then the forum is diminished.
The problem –related to the previous political practices– is how to encourage the civil society to be more involve in the development process.  In general, non-governmental organization (NGOs) or community based organizations (CBOs) has very important role in enhancing participation at the local level. At the grass-root level, they can be a facilitator and mediator of the empowerment of local community; facilitating the community to be organized, increasing their capacity in decision-making process, and improving their access to information and resources. At the municipal/district level (or even at the provincial or central level), involvement of civil society in decision-making process may give a wider perspective of development needs. On the other hand, wider participation requires (and implies) a more transparent and accountable public administration.`
ll these issues, democratization, decentralization, good governance are issues relatively new to most Indonesian and surely it needs some more  years to see the good result of those exercises, if it continuously implemented.  

IV.  Concluding Remarks

Democracy is key to successful human development, and decentralization is an instrument to have democratization in place. As in many developing countries, decentralization policy in Indonesia constitutes a transfer of governing powers accompanied by authority to make decision on policies, managing public funds, regulating activities in the context of reorganizing government and delivering public services in province, regencies/cities, and villages, including social development. The implementation of the policy is just recently: one year old.

 Until now, achieving regional autonomy was confronted with several political, economic, socio‑cultural and  technical constraints. Among others, the constraints are: (a) the limited availability of qualified human resources and government officials in the regions, relative to the demand for public services reflecting public needs and aspirations; (b) weaknesses in the revenue base of the regions relative to needs; and (c) weaknesses in local legislatures, affecting their ability to perceive the needs of constituents and their capacity to exercise oversight over the operation of regional administrations and evaluate the effective of regional programs.
 An important challenge in the implementation of regional autonomy is the strengthening of professional human capacities in public sector management (policy planning,  organizational development, financial management, the delivery of services, supervision, as well as encouraging public participation).  Another is to improve regional revenues either through the mobilization of own revenues, the transfer of resources from the center and the strengthening the revenue base through the development of regional economic activity. Furthermore, efforts need to be made to improve the accountability of the financial management.
Considering that not all of the regions are endowed with natural resources or  have adequate financial capacity to support the delivery of autonomous services, a policy to equalize the allocation for resources among regions that is fair to all needs to be initiated. 
 The strengthening of regional legislatures is also a major challenge, with expertise needed to help them develop representative institutions, communication and consultation capacity with the public and regional governments, to improve the quality of legislation decision making process, and to effectively supervise regional governments. The current main problem of legislatures (national and local) is that most of the member of  parliaments has short-term political motivation, which brings personal and party’s interest in the first place and rather than public interests.
 Social development is a cross-sectoral and multi-stake holders issue. It is not a sole government responsibulity, but also the civil society as well as the private sector. However, in this transitional period, people’s participation is yet a new thing as well as democracy. The civil society as well as governments has still to learn on what democracy is, and what type of democracy best for Indonesia.
 Decentralization has just begun, the local governments have still a bunch of agenda to set up organization, personnel, and finance.  Lack of financial capacity has been the main excuse for local governments to implement social development, therefore central government and international society are still expected to handle this issue at least for 4-5 years to comen

*)    Ir. Max H. Pohan, CES, MA is Director for Local Government Capacity Empowerment State Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS).  Paper prepared for the ASEAN-World Bank High Level Conference on Social Development Agenda, Jakarta, 2002-red.
[1]     United Nations, Indonesia, Common CountryAssessment for Indonesia, December 2001, p.3.
[2]     United Nations, idem,p.8.
[3]     Alm, James and Roy Bahl, Fiscal Decentralisation in Indonesia: Prospects, Problems, and the Way Forward, paper, USAID, Sept.2000, p.1.
[4]     Alm (et al.), idem, p.2.
[5]     United Nations, op cit.,p..9
[6]     BPS Statistics Indonesia, Bappenas, UNDP, Indonesia Human DevelopmentReport 2001: Towards a New Concensus: Democracy and human development in Indonesia, 2001.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Awang Anwaruddin 



The era of direct election for local leaders in Indonesia began at the beginning of June 2005 in Kutai Kertanegara regency, East Borneo Province. Up to the end of the year, there will be 225 direct elections conducted all over the country to vote for 10 governors, and 215 regents or mayors. To complete the whole task, the Indonesian government has to accomplish 450 direct elections within two years.

The Indonesian political history noted not less than nine general elections conducted in Indonesia since its independence day in 1945; however, none of them was to vote for local leaders. Eight elections were for legislative members, and another election was successfully conducted to vote for the President and Vice-President. However, the success does not guarantee the perfect accomplishment of direct elections for local leaders, due to the different characteristics of Indonesian regions. Open conflicts between supporters of nominated candidates often happen during the process in some regions due to any serious or simple reasons, such as incomplete requirements, pre-scheduled campaigns, money politics, manipulated voter lists, and other typical electoral fractures.
Besides, the involvement of dominant political parties may bend the main objective of the election to select best leaders for their regions. They tend to make use of this people party to build a regional power basis to win the next national election. Apparently, this represents one of weaknesses in the Electoral Rule Number 6/2005, especially the article allowing political parties to put forward any candidates. Another weakness is the questionable independency of Electoral Committee as it is appointed by, and responsible to the local representative house whose members are among the candidates. This paper is an attempt to find values beyond such flaws of direct elections, based on the field study and various references.


The Indonesian history notes several general elections held after Independence Day in 1945, but none was for the local leaders. In 1955, government held the first and only election during the so-called Old Order era.. Feeling that the country was still unstable after the election, however, President Sukarno declared the 1950 Provisional Constitution void and reintroduced the 1945 Constitution. The next president Soeharto conducted not less than five general elections from 1966 to 1998. Although millions voters took a part, the elections during the New Order era were continuously far from democratic. To strengthen Soeharto’s dictatorship, the winner of each election was alternately Soeharto’s main political machine, the Functional Group (Golkar) party.
In 1999, one year after Soeharto’s forcedly retreat, government held the most democratic General Election after 1955. The winner was not the Golkar party anymore, but the Struggle-Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI-P), the political machine of former President Megawati. Five years after, in 2004, government held another general election. The historical day was 5 July 2004 when the first direct election for national leaders was successfully held and voted for the recent President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono and Vice-President Jusuf Kalla. The success of this direct election inspired government to hold the same election to vote for the head and vice-head of local government.
The legal basis of direct elections is the 1945 Constitution Section IV concerning the Local Government. It points out clearly that governor, regent, and mayor―each as the heads of province, regency and city―are to be voted democratically. 49 year afterwards, on 18 February 2004, government finally declared through Rule Number 6/2005 direct elections as means of selection for local leaders.


To understand more about the direct election for local leaders, the following are several statutes mentioned in the Rule Number 6/2005:
  1. The Local Electoral Commission or KPUD conducts Direct Election, and is responsible to the Local House of Representatives or DPRD (Article 4). In this case, KPUD has a full authority to provide and arrange any electoral facilities with the supporting fund from Local Government Budget (Article 134).
  2. KPUD revise the data of local community in each electoral area to check the new voters, moving or dead population (Article 70). Although the design of this direct election is similar to that for national leaders, data revision is still necessary to prevent illegal voters as happened in the previous election.
  3. KPUD has to involve Local Government in distributing facilities for conducting the direct election (Article 74). The vote communities have to receive vote letters and other electoral facilities properly by the time of election.
  4. Independent/non political party candidates propose themselves through a political party or group political parties (Article 42 par. 4). This statement represents on of differences between the direct election for local and national leaders. A political party or group of political parties has to give an opportunity for any independent candidates, even if they are from different area of election.
  5. Pre-requirements for candidates of head and vice-head of local government are similar to those for president and vice-president candidates. Among others are a minimum of high school graduate, 30 years of age or more, eligible voters, eager to present the list of private wealth, having no debts that cause the loss of state finance, and not in the status as the Head of Local Government.
  6. The screening process for candidates held by each political party or group political parties has to be democratic and transparent and announced openly to the public (Article 42). By such approach, the vote community understands the mechanism, criteria, process, and result of screening conducted by each political party.
  7. The mechanism of electoral campaign includes public debates on the vision and mission of candidates (Article 56). The campaign takes for 14 days, including 3-day recess time. The campaign methods consist of close meeting, face-to-face dialogue, and advertisement in mass media, leaflets, and brochures.
  8. Any contribution from the third party is limited to Rps 50 million or US$ 5,000 (individually) and Rps 350 million or US$ 35,000 (institutionally). As we know, such contribution for president and vice-president candidates is limited as maximum as Rps 100 million or US$ 10,000 individually, and Rps 750 million or US$ 75,000 institutionally.
  9. The basis of electoral winner is a half number of voters plus one, and when inadequate, candidates attaining more than 25% votes win the election. otherwise, there should be the second election conducted, and the winner is candidates reaching 15% voters in the Local House of Representatives.
  10.  Any conflicts during the process of direct election may be sued to Supreme Justice or Mahkamah Agung, and not to Constitution Justice or Mahkamah Konstitusi as in the direct election for president and vice-president. The conflict should be reported within three days, and the Supreme Justice may delegate the case to Provincial Justice or Pengadilan Tinggi that has to make decision within 14 days.
By the same procedure, Kutai Kertanagara Regency, East Borneo Province, successfully held the first direct election to vote for their leaders at the beginning of June 2005.2 It is, however, too early to say that other direct election will gain the same success as the first. Indonesia consists of wide and separated area with hugh differences of ethnics and tribes. Incomplete requirements, preceding campaign, manipulation of voter list, money politics, and other simple reasons may easily trigger a horizontal conflict, especially in several conflict-risky regions.


Empowerment is one of dominant approaches in management in 90-ies. Various organizations have implemented the approach with different levels of success. In some cases, the success reached through empowerment has brought a change towards the thorough improvement of organization quality, and most of them, towards the prosperity, vitality improvement, and organizational growth. On the other hand, some organizations consider empowerment as the resource of conflicts, since every member involved in the empowering process has to adapt to the new approach in managing organization, such as independency in making decision and work implementation.
The term ‘empowerment’ may be meant as ‘passing on authority and responsibility’ (Wellim, Byham & Wilson, 1991:22). Referring to the definition, empowerment happens if there is a delegation of authority to the members of organization, which will enhance the feeling of ownership and responsibility toward their work. Such feeling will then make them more inisiative, work harder, and enjot their jobs. In a more simple way, Stewart (1994:6) defines empowerment as ‘… a highly practical and productive way to get the best from yourself and your staff.’ The main objective of empowerment, as Stewart states, is to delegate the authority of a leader to his staff in order to carry out proper and better approach to their customers. This means not only delegating tasks but also decision-making and full responsibility.
Cook and Macaulay (1997:2-3) says that empowerment is ‘a change happens in the philosophy of management that is able to push people to use their ability and energy so as to achieve the organizational goal.’ The environment created will then trigger the initiatives and response, so that all facing problems can be solved as fast and flexible as possible where the problems happens. Richard Carver, managing director of Coverdale Organization (in Clutterbuck and Kernagham, 1994: 12), defines empowerment as ‘encouraging and allowing individuals to take personal responsibility for improving the way they do their jobs and contribute to the organization’s goals.’
The definitions cited above, in the perspective of public administration, comprise an understanding that empowering community. It is ‘the most practical and productive approach in management to achieve the best results by passing authority and responsibility from government to community. It enhances people to use capability, initiative, and energy to solve their own problems, and to accomplish stated objectives.’
How can this management approach be applied in the context of community, and the most critically, why should we apply empowerment to help community? Surely, this approach is workable to help them achieve their own goal. Community is, as Bartle (2005)7 insists, ‘something more than a collection of individual people; it is the community as a whole whose capacity we wish to strengthen.’ Community empowerment goes well beyond political or legal permission to participate in the national political system. It includes capacity to do things that community members want to do.
Empowerment includes capacity building and strengthening in various dimensions, and it is, as Cook and Macaulay (1997:1)8 describes, a strategic instrument to increase capacity. The most advantage of empowerment is the increase of energy produced and the bigger responsibility owned by each member as an impact of participation in decision-making. Both of them will influence the community performance. Besides, Blanchard, Carlos and Randolph (2002: xvii) add that the successful leaders consider empowerment as the best way to (1) enhance entrepreneurship to the community; (2) plant the ownership of community to their environment; (3) build a commitment among the members of community, and (4) increase the involvement of community to social problems.

Empowerment is also a strategic instrument to provide freedom for community, so they can use their knowledge, experience, and motivation to achieve the expected goals. In addition, Stewart (1994: 12)10 says that the implementation of empowerment has five advantages: (1) allow community to respond flexibly to their needs; (2) offer community a greater sense of social achievement; (3) improve motivation and morale significantly; (4) help to reduce stress; and (5) increase people’s sense of control, by giving them a chance to make their own decision on what to do and how to do it.


The goal of empowerment is to strengthen communities, that is, by increasing their capacities. Thus, empowerment includes capacity building and strengthening in various dimensions. Bartle (2005) proposes 16 elements of a community that change as the community gets stronger.
  1. Altruism. The proportion of, and degree to which, individuals are ready to sacrifice benefits to themselves for the benefit of the community as a whole (as reflected in degrees of generosity, individual humility, personal sacrifice, communal pride, mutual supportiveness, loyalty,                  concern, solidarity, sister/brotherhood);
  2. Common Values. The degree to which members of the community share values, especially the idea that they belong to a common entity that supersedes the interest of members within it;
  3. Communal Services. Facilities and services (such as roads, markets, potable water, education, health services), their upkeep (dependable maintenance and repair), sustainability, and the degree to which all community members have access to them;
  4. Communications. Within a community, and between itself and outside, communication includes roads, electronic methods (e.g. telephone, radio, TV, Internet), printed media (newspapers, magazines, books), networks, mutually understandable languages, literacy and the willingness and ability to communicate (which implies tact, diplomacy, willingness to listen and to talk) in general;
  5. Confidence. Although expressed as confidence in individuals, how much confidence is shared   among the community as a whole? e.g. an understanding that the community can achieve   whatever it wishes to do, positive attitudes, willingness, self motivation, enthusiasm, optimism,    self-reliant rather than dependency attitudes, willingness to fight for its rights, avoidance of  apathy and fatalism, a "vision" of what is possible;
  6. Context (political and administrative). An environment that supports strengthening includes  political (including the values and attitudes of the national leaders, laws and legislation) and administrative (attitudes of civil servants and technicians, as well as Governmental regulations and procedures) elements, and the legal environment;
  7. Information. The ability to process and analyze information, the level of awareness, knowledge   and wisdom found among key individuals and within the group as a whole. When information is  more effective and more useful, not just more in volume or amount;
  8. Intervention. The extent and effectiveness of animation (mobilizing, management training, awareness rising, and stimulation) aimed at strengthening the community? Do outside or   internal sources of charity increase the level of dependency and weaken the community, or   do they challenge the community to act and therefore become stronger? Is the intervention  sustainable or does it depends upon decisions by outside donors which have different goals   and agendas than the community itself?
  9. Leadership. Leaders have power, influence, and the ability to move the community.  The most effective and sustainable leadership is one that follows the decisions and desires of    the community as a whole, taking an enabling and facilitating role. Leaders must possess   skills, willingness, honesty and some charisma;
  10. Networking. Not just "what you know." but "who you know." What is the extent to which  community members, especially leaders, know persons (and their agencies or organizations)   who can provide useful resources that will strengthen the community as a whole? The useful  linkages, potential and realized, within the community and with others outside it;
  11. Organization. The degree to which different members of the community see themselves as  each having a role in supporting the whole (in contrast to being a mere collection of separateindividuals), including organizational integrity, structure, procedures, decision making processes, ef fectiveness, division of labor and complementarities of roles and functions;
  12. Political Power. The degree to which the community can participate in national and district  decision making. Just as individuals have varying power within a community, so communities  have varying power and influence within the district and nation;
  13. Skills. The ability, manifested in individuals, that will contribute to the organization of the   community and the ability of it to get things done that it wants to get done, technical skills, management skills, organizational skills, mobilization skills; 
  14. Trust. The degree to which members of the community trust each other, especially their leaders  and community servants, which in turn is a reflection of the degree of integrity (honesty, dependability, openness, transparency, trustworthiness) within the community;
  15. Unity. A shared sense of belonging to a known entity (ie the group composing the community), although every community has divisions or schisms (religious, class, status, income, age, gender, ethnicity, clans), the degree to which community members are willing to tolerate the differences and variations among each other and are willing to cooperate and work together,  a sense of a common purpose or vision, shared values;
  16. Wealth. The degree to which the community as a whole (in contrast to individuals within it) has control over actual and potential resources, and the production and distribution of scarce and  useful goods and services, monetary and non monetary (including donated labor, land,  equipment, supplies, knowledge, skills).
The more any community has of each of the above elements, the stronger it is, the more capacity it has, and the more empowered it is. While each estimate of these elements is subjective, every effort has to be made to ensure the use of the same internal measuring stick for how it is today, how it was a year ago, and how it was five years ago. A community is a social entity. It does not become stronger simply by adding a few more facilities. Community strengthening or capacity building involves social change− development−and that, in turn, involves the above elements of strength.


Since the beginning of June 2005, not less than 166 local governments across the country have conducted direct elections to vote for seven governors and 159 regents and mayors. By the end of this year, other 60 local governments will hold the same events. Within two years, 450 local governments have to be accomplished the elections. This is truly the huge step in the Indonesian political world, as it never happens before in history of the country.

From the perspective of community development, direct elections contain several advantages. First, it is an instrument to empower local community by ‘passing on authority and responsibility’ to vote for their best leaders. This is a radical change from the past for such event, when Jakarta used to drop local leaders without listening to local aspiration. During the New Order era, there were only two categories for governors or regents: if not retired army, they were from the Functional Group (Golkar) party.
Secondly, direct election is also a strategic instrument for community capacity building. Empowering them to vote for their leaders will impact on enhancing their capability, initiative, and energy to solve their own problems, and increasing their strengths to create and to accomplish the stated objectives.Third, direct election is an effort to implement ‘good local governance.’ Direct election, in a way, teach the local society to apply some principles of good governance, such as, among others, participation in decision-making, transparency in candidate screening process, equity in candidate proposition, accountability in conducting the election, and strategic vision in proposing the future of local government. The more principles are applied, the faster good local government will be implemented.
Fourthly, direct election is an attempt to realize the 2020 Indonesian vision. As we know, the Supreme House of Representatives (MPR) has designed the Indonesia vision in 2020, that is, ‘the realization of Indonesian society with characteristics of religious, humanistic, entity, democratic, just, prosperous, progressive, confident, and good and clean in conducting the state’. By encouraging local community to make their own decision, direct election is an effort to build democracy by ‘… vesting the supreme power in the people and exercising them directly …’.
There are surely other advantages of direct election, especially when it is analyzed from other perspectives. However, all these advantages may be hindered by various constraints coloring the process of direct election. Such problems seem common in any instruments of democratic procedure; above all, it is the first direct election for local leaders in Indonesian political history. Hence, it is impossible to expect this first democratic event runs smoothly and flawlessly. The most important is finding a solution for each problem in order to prevent the same constraints in the next direct election. By analyzing the accomplished and on-going direct election in several regions, there are at least three kinds of problems concerning the electoral components: (1) problems on candidate verification, (2) problems on population data, and (3) problems on electoral logistics.

1. Problems on candidate verification

Although it is clear that independent candidates may propose themselves through a political party or group political parties (Rule Number 6/2005, Article 42, par. 4), various problems on candidate verification appear because of misinformation.
  • Some candidates in several regions argue the Comission is not fair, failing them from verivication without clear reasons. This happened, for example, in Jayapura City, and several regencies in North Sumatera, such as Sibolga, South Tapanuli, Labuhan Batu, Tobasa, and Mandailing Natal.
  • Another common problem concerns with fake certification. One of administrative requirements for proposed candidates is a minimum of high-school graduate. It seems that several candidates fail to assure the KPUD about their certificates. This happened because the graduating school was by now closed, not registered in the Office of Education, or never established at all.

2. Problems on population data

Other critical problems concern with population data. The Rule Number 6/2005 (Article 70) states KPUD has to revise the population data to check the new voters, moving or dead population. However, several regions reported that the commission did not carry out the revision completely, which resulted in the lack of population data.
  • For instance, 20 thousand people in Depok City, West Java, could not join the election because they were not registered as eligible voters. Such cases commonly happen in the regions where several schools or universities exist, such as Sumedang Regency in West Java, or Sleman Regency in Yogyakarta province.
  • Conversely, in other regions the population data is manipulated, such as in Ngawi Regency, East Java, where 23 thousand fictive vote letters were found. Such problem happened because the KPUD did not revise the data, but took it directly from the Office of Population. On the other hand, there are a lot of Ngawi people living outside of the regency.

3. Problems on electoral logistics

The Electoral Rule Number 6/2005 was late to be published, which results in the short preparation for the KPUD in some regions to conduct direct election as scheduled. The problems concern with the vote letters, boxes, and huts.
  • Several regencies, such North Kolaka, Wakatobi, Bombana in Papua, and Padang Pariaman in West Sumatera delay the direct election until uncertain time because of unreadiness of KPUD.
  • The members of KPUD in Cilegon City in Banten province has to work hard to change 5000 broken vote letters, out of 230 thousand for 519 electoral places. The neighboring regency, Serang, suffers more serious problems in which 198 vote boxes and 198 huts are reported to be lost untraceably.

4. Problems on electoral funds

Based on the statement between the Department of Home Affairs and local governments’ representatives, both parties have to provide the funds of Rp 744,3 billion or about US$ 74.43 million to cover 450 direct elections for governors, regents, and mayors within two years. Central government, so far, has provided Rp 344,3 billion, but it seems that some local governments are unable to provide the supporting funds. This results in financial problems to several KPUDs.
  • The KPUD of Situbondo regency in East Java, for example, had to borrow Rp 50 million from a local bank to cover the operational expenses.
  • The KPUD of Kendal regency in Central Java had to spend the funds as efficient as possible because of financial crisis.
  • The KPUD of Jemberl regency in East Java refused to conduct the election because their salary was not paid for months.

5. Problems on involvement of dominant political parties

Some political parties tend to make use of direct election to build a power basis for the next general election. On the other hand, the direct election is meant to empower local community to select their best leaders. Apparently, this represents one of the Achilles’ heels in the Electoral Rule Number 6/2005.
  • The Functional Group (Golkar) party, for example, targets to win 60% of direct elections all over the country. As the winner of 2004 legislative election, it is reasonable enough if they hope that most of 140 candidates for governors, regents, and mayors will win the direct election.
  • Another big party, the Struggle-Indonesian Democratic Party (PDIP) focus on their bulky areas, such as Central Java and Bali provinces. In Central Java, for example, they insist on winning in the 17 out of 35 regencies and cities. While in Bali, they will struggle to win in all regions including province, regencies, and cities.  

6. Problems on money politics

Money politics seems to be a common phenomenon in any kinds of election. In previous general elections to vote for the members of house representatives, national or local levels, we once heard the story of someone knocking the doors of village voters early morning on the election day to present a sum money so as to vote for a certain candidate, or a well-known adage puts it, serangan fajar (the dawn attack). Such money politics also happens during the recent election.
  • In an electoral area in Cilegon City last June 2005, for example, someone tried to bribe voters with a coupon for a cup of bakso (a kind of traditional food).
  • In Kutai Kertanegara last May 2005, an electronic reporter was terrorized because of reporting a close campaign entailing money politics.

7. Problems on horizontal conflict

Another factor that may influence direct election is the primordial difference, especially ethnic and tribal, that can trigger a horizontal conflict. The ethnic and tribal variety in provinces is generally bigger than in regencies or cities. However, as indicated by Mujani, in most provinces there is a dominant tribe so that ethnic conflicts can be eliminated. The situation in regencies and cities should be better as the population is more homogeneous. Except in the conflict areas, such as Poso, Papua, and Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, horizontal conflicts probably happen.
  • In Jayapura City, for example, the supporters of an avoided candidate blocked the city main road. They just opened the blocking when the fail candidate, suggested by the tribal chiefs, persuaded them to do so.
  • Government, however, has tried to anticipate such horizontal conflicts by delaying the election until the condition is back to normal. In Poso regency, the KPUD asked five couples of regent and vice-regent candidates to take a peace oath, and to put aside any differences among them.
Such electoral flaws, hopefully, do not lessen the values beyond the direct election, especially the government effort to empower local community. Everybody should be aware that the price to be paid to strengthen local community is too expensive to be defeated by the personal ambition to get a certain position.


The first direct election to vote for local leaders has been successfully initiated in Kutai Kertanegara regency. This huge step in the Indonesian political setting will alternately be conducted in other local governments. Within two years such democratic events happen in 450 provinces, regencies and cities across the country.
It is still questionable that other local government will gain the same success as the first. Indonesia consists of thousands big and small islands with hundreds tribes and ethnics. Therefore, various electoral problems may hinder the process of direct election. The problems analyzed, so far, cover the candidate verification, population data, electoral logistics, shared funding between central and local governments, and involvement of dominant political parties, money politics, and horizontal conflicts. All these problems may be common in any general elections, especially this is the first conducted in Indonesia. However, a strategic solution should be designed for each problem, or the great efforts to empower local community will crack before reaching the goal.
From the perspective of community development, direct elections contain, at least, four advantages. First, by passing on authority and responsibility, it empowers the local community to vote for their best leaders. Secondly, it builds capacity among the local society. Third, it is an effort to implement good local governance. And, finally, it is an attempt to realize the 2020 Indonesian vision, that is, ‘the realization of Indonesian society with characteristics of religious, humanistic, entity, democratic, just, prosperous, progressive, confident, and good and clean in conducting the state’. To succeed the efforts of empowering community, and to prevents any problems probably hindering, the following recommendations for the implementation of direct election in the future should be taken into account: 
  1. The Local Electoral Committee should socialize the legal basis and operational procedure of direct election, so both the candidates and community understand the mechanism;
  2. The Local Electoral Committee should revise the population data beforehand, not just referring to the available data in the Office of Population.
  3. The Local Electoral Committee should provide electoral logistics a month ahead, and share with the local government to distribute them by the time of election.
  4. Local Government should provide the supporting funds, at least, two months before the election, so the the Local Electoral Committee can make any electoral arrangements.
  5. The political parties should hold back their ambition to dominate the direct election, and let the local community to make up their minds.
  6. Both candidates and community should stay away from the practice of money politics as it will not enhance the realization of civil society.
  7. The candidates should control their supporters not to increase any electoral problems that may trigger a horizontal conflict


  • Bartle, Phil (2005). The Problem We Face,
  • Blanchard, Ken, John P. Carlos, and Alan Randolph (2002). Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute (trans), Yogyakarta, Amara Books, p.12.
  • Clutterbuck, David and Susan Kernagham (with research by Debbie Snow) (1994). The Power of Empowerment, London: Kogan Page Limited, p.2-3.
  • Cook, Sarah and Steve Macaulay (1997). Perfect Empowerment ~ Pemberdayaan Yang Tepat. Jakarta: Elex Media Komputindo, Kelompok Gramedia, p.56.
  • Government Rule (PP) Number 6/2005, Pemilihan, Pengesahan, Pengangkatan, dan Pemberhentian Kepala Daerah dan Wakil Kepala Daerar, or. the Vote, Legality, Elevation and Release of Head and Vice-Head of Local Government.
  • LAN and BPKP (2000). Akuntabilitas Kinerja dan Good Governance, Jakarta, Lembaga Administrasi Negara, p.3.
  • Lembaga Administrasi Negara (2005). Sistem Administrasi Negara Republik Indonesia, Buku III: Landasan dan Pedoman Pokok Penyelenggaraan dan Pengembangan Sistem Administrasi Negara, Jakarta, Lembaga Administrasi Negara, p.94.
  • Merriam-Webster, Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1977). G & C Merriam Co., USA,
  • Mujani, Saiful (2005), Tak Ada Sedekah dari Pemilih, an article in ‘Tempo’, Jakarta: 6-12 June 2005 edition, ps. 48-49.
  • Stewart, Aileen Mitchell (1994). Empowering People, London, Pitman Publishing.
  • ‘Tempo’ Weekly Magazine, 6-12 Juni 2005 edition, ps. 27-54.
  • Wellins, Richard S., William C. Byham & Jeanne M. Wilson (1991). Empowered Teams, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, p.21.

*) Seminar paper presented in the 2nd NAPSIPAG International Conference, Beijing, PR China, December 2005

Monday, 25 February 2013


Oleh: Awang Anwaruddin
“Public sector reform is about strengthening the way that the public sector is managed. The pubic sector may over extended-attempting to do too much with few resources. It may be poorly organized; its decision making process may be irrational; staff may be mismanaged; accountability may be weak;
public program may be poorly designed; and public services may be poorly delivered. Public sector reform is the attempt to fix these problems.”
Mark Schacter (2000)
Reformasi Birokrasi (RB) di Indonesia, yang telah diawali sejak lebih dari satu dekade lalu, hingga saat ini belum menunjukkan kemajuan yang signifikan. Gejala-gejala yang telah diindikasikan Schacter (2000) di atas masih ditemukan pada berbagai organisasi pemerintah pusat maupun daerah. Kelembagaan yang didesain asal-jadi, proses pengambilan keputusan yang tidak rasional, sistim kepegawaian yang salah kelola, akuntabilitas yang rendah, program kemasyarakatan yang amburadul, dan pelayanan publik yang berkualitas rendah merupakan karakteristik birokrasi di Indonesia saat ini.
Salah satu faktor utama penghambat lajunya RB di Indonesia adalah belum mampunyai birokrasi melepaskan stigma birokrasi tradisional-yang telah mengalami Weberization, Parkinsonization dan Orwellization (Evers,1987) , ke arah birokrasi modern yang meritokratis (Prasodjo, 2008) . Dampak paling terasa dari kondisi status quo ini adalah masih belum dapat diwujudkannya tata pemerintahan yang baik (Dwiyanto, 2003) , yang bercirikan efektif, efisien, profesional, capable, akuntabel, transparan, demokratis, dan bebas KKN (GD&RM RB) baik di lingkungan pemerintah pusat maupun daerah.
Sebagai salah satu lembaga yang menjadi lokomotif penggerak RB di Indonesia, sudah sewajarnya bila Lembaga Administrasi Negara (LAN) sangat berkepentingan untuk ikut mempercepat lajunya RB melalui berbagai komponen dalam struktur kelembagaan LAN. Dalam hubungan ini, Pusat Inovasi Tata Pemerintahan (PITP)-sebagai salah satu pusat di bawah Kedeputian Inovasi Administrasi Negara, akan melakukan berbagai program inovatif dalam bidang tata pemerintahan agar mampu mendukung tugas utama LAN sebagai policy think-tank dan pemicu lajunya Reformasi Birokrasi dalam upaya menciptakan birokrasi pemerintahan yang profesional dan berintegritas tinggi guna mewujudkan tata pemerintahan yang baik pada tahun 2025.
1. Visi dan Misi LAN
Visi LAN adalah ‘Menjadi Institusi yang Handal dalam Pengembangan Sistem Administrasi Negara dan Peningkatan Kompetensi Sumber Daya Manusia (SDM) Penyelenggara Negara.’ Untuk merealisasikan visi tersebut, LAN memiliki 3 misi sbb.:
  • LAN harus menjadi policy think tank yang kuat bagi pemerintah pada umumnya;
  • LAN menjadi pusat penyiapan kader dan pemimpin aparatur sipil nasional (ASN); dan
  • STIA-LAN dikembangkan menjadi pendidikan tinggi yang mampu memberikan kontribusi terhadap pengembangan profesi ASN.
2. Visi dan Misi PITP
Untuk mendukung keberhasilan Visi LAN, maka PITP harus mengembangkan Visi untuk menjadi ‘Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan dalam Inovasi Tata Pemerintahan.’ Dan agar Visi tersebut terpenuhi, PTIP harus melaksanakan Misi sebagai berikut:
  • Melakukan penelitian dan kajian inovasi tata pemerintahan;  
  • Melakukan pengembangkan berbagai sistim inovasi tata pemerintahan;  
  • Melakukan pembenahan existing products sistim tata pemerintahan yang telah dikembangkan dan diakuisisi oleh berbagai lembaga pemerintah. 
Implementasi visi dan misi PITP tersebut dilakukan melalui pendekatan evidence-based policy research sehingga rekomendasi kebijakan yang dihasilkan benar-benar valid dan reliable karena didasarkan pada penelitian, pengembangan dan kajian akademik. Rekomendasi kebijakan selanjutnya disampaikan LAN kepada Meneg PAN&RB khususnya, dan kepada pemerintah pada umumnya, sebagai solusi terhadap berbagai permasalahan tata pemerintahan yang menghambat lajunya Reformasi Birokrasi.
3. Tujuan dan Sasaran Strategis
Sejalan dengan peran LAN sebagai salah satu lembaga penggerak RB dan visi utama LAN untuk menjadi sebuah institusi yang handal dalam pengembangan sistem Administrasi Negara, maka Tujuan Strategis PITP dapat dirumuskan sebagai berikut.:
  • Tersusunnya berbagai rekomendasi kebijakan tata pemerintahan yang inovatif;  
  • Terbangunnya berbagai model sistim informasi tata pemerintahan yang inovatif;  
  • Tertatanya berbagai sistim informasi tata pemerintahan yang telah dikembangkan. 
Untuk mengukur keberhasilan setiap butir tujuan strategis tersebut di atas, selanjutnya dapat dirumuskan berbagai Sasaran Strategis PITP. Untuk mengukur keberhasilan Tujuan pertama (T1) Sasaran Strategis PTIP antara lain sebagai berikut.:
  • Rekomendasi kebijakan tentang sistem pengawasan internal dan akuntabilitas kinerja; 
  • Rekomendasi kebijakan tentang sistem monitoring dan evaluasi kinerja; 
  • Rekomendasi kebijakan tentang pengelolaan pengetahuan Reformasi Birokrasi.
 Adapun Sasaran Strategis PTIP untuk Tujuan kedua (T2) antara lain sebagai berikut.: 
  • Model Sistim informasi LAKIP berbasis elektronik (e-LAKIP); 
  • Model Sistim informasi Analisis Jabatan berbasis elektronik (e-ANJAB); 
  • Model Sistim Perkantoran Modern berbasis elektronik (e-OFFICE); 
  • Model Sistem Monitoring dan Evaluasi Kinerja berbasis elektronik (e-MONEV); 
  • Model Website dan Webmail Instansi Pemerintah.
 Sedangkan Sasaran Strategis PTIP untuk Tujuan ketiga (T3) antara lain sebagai berikut.: 
  • Desain Sistem Manajemen Sumberdaya Instansi Pemerintah (GRMS); 
  • Desain Sistem Pengadaan Barang Instansi Pemerintah (Reform e-Proc); 
  • Desain Sistem Anggaran Instansi Pemerintah (Reform e-Budgeting); 
  • Desain Sistem Perencanaan Instansi Pemerintah (Reform e-Planning); 
  • Desain Sistem Pelaporan Instansi Pemerintah (Reform e-Reporting.
Implementasi berbagai program kegiatan yang direncanakan tersebut di atas merupakan upaya yang cukup kompleks dan kontroversial karena menyangkut kepentingan berbagai pihak dan membutuhkan komitmen dan dedikasi, serta waktu, tenaga, dan anggaran yang tidak sedikit. Oleh karena itu, strategi yang diterapkan adalah incremental approach, melalui tahapan dan berkelanjutan. Adapun tahapan yang dilakukan pada implementasi setiap program kegiatan adalah sebagai berikut:
  1. Tahap Awal. Pada tahap ini, kegiatan-kegiatan yang perlu dipersiapkan adalah (a) memperoleh komitmen dari pimpinan untuk mendukung dan legalisasi program; (b) melakukan benchmark terhadap produk yang akan dihasilkan dan institusi pengguna produk; dan (c) melibatkan para pakar yang memiliki kompetensi sesuai substansi program untuk melakukan identifikasi dan menyusun strategic plan (Caiden, 1976) .
  2. Tahap Pelaksanaan. Pada tahap ini, perlu dilakukan (a) penanaman kesadaran terhadap semua pemangku kepentingan tentang pentingnya produk yang akan dihasilkan; (b) melakukan kolaborasi dan kemitraan dengan semua pemangku kepentingan untuk memperoleh dukungan; dan (c) membangun komitmen dan menjaganya hingga dihasilkannya produk dan berakhirnya program (Mersman and von Harder, 2002).
  3. Tahap Evaluasi. Tahap evaluasi merupakan tahap yang tidak kalah pentingnya untuk dilakukan dengan cara: (a) melibatkan kembali para pakar substantif untuk merumuskan nilai-nilai yang menjadi indikator standar evaluasi; dan (b) melibatkan instansi pengguna dan pemangku kepentingan yang terkait dengan pemanfaatn produk Reichheld (1994) 
 Jakarta, 23 Januari 2013

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Dwiyanto, Agus (2003). Reformasi Tata Pemerintahan dan Otonomi Daerah. Yogyakarta: Pusat Studi Kependudukan dan Kebijakan, Universitas Gadjah Mada

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