Enhancing Village Government Accountability (BOJ0002)
Issues to be addressed: There is lack of public trust to the village government due to the absence of transparency. Primary objective: Open, accountable and transparent village administration and village community capacity building. Commitment Description: To enhance village administration accountability and community capacity, by opening up planning and budgeting processes, village assets data and active public participation in every cycle of decision making process which will lead to open village government. OGP Challenge: To increase village administration accountability and transparency Relevance: Village level accountability and transparency strengthens open village government Ambition: A village government that is open, transparent and accountable which will support corruption prevention efforts and increase public trust to the village government.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
2. Enhancing Village Government Accountability
Objective: Open, accountable and transparent village administration and village community capacity building.
Description: To enhance village administration accountability and community capacity, by opening up planning and budgeting processes, village assets data and active public participation in every cycle of decision making process which will lead to open village government.
Ambition: A village government that is open, transparent and accountable which will support corruption prevention efforts and increase public trust to the village government.
1. Publication of the village administration’s budget (APBDes) and accountability report, in the form of billboards, based on public information disclosure principles
2. Development of Village Administration Transparency Index [proposed by CSOs]
3. Publication of the village administration’s budget (APBDes) and accountability report, in the form of billboards (100%) and village website (70%), and publication of village asset data through billboards (70%)
4. Stronger community participation in the village level planning, program implementation and evaluation process in 30 villages
5. Regency government assistance for the creation of Village Information Service Desk (PPID Desa) in 30 villages
Overall Objective & Relevance
Bojonegoro’s action plan highlights that the lack of transparency at the village level in their budgetary process has led to public distrust. This is particularly important in Indonesia, considering the new village law approved in 2014. As mentioned in the General Context section of this report, one of the provisions of the law meant an increase of their budgets to ten times their original size. Salim, Bulan, Untung, Laksono & Brock, “Indonesia’s Village Law: enabler or constraint for more accountable governance?”, October 217, https://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/bitstream/handle/123456789/13324/Village_law_Indonesia_Final.pdf For this reason, the Government of Bojonegoro, in collaboration with the IDFoS, decides to include commitment two, led by the Agency of Village Community and Administration Empowerment, with the aim to promote transparency and engage citizens in the budgetary process at the village level.
According to the 2015 International Budget Partnership (IBP) report, in Indonesia, government institutions provide limited budgetary information to the public. http://www.internationalbudget.org/wp-content/uploads/OBS2015-CS-Indonesia-English.pdf In addition, the same IBP report points out that the Government of Indonesia still provides the public with few opportunities to engage in the budgetary process. Therefore, starting in 2016, the Regency of Bojonegoro issued instruction No 2/2016 to encourage village governments to implement the OGP commitment and publish their budget plan (APBDes) and accountability reports. Instruksi Bupati No 2/2016. Specifically, it pushes village administration to provide citizens with a budget summary in the form of billboards, considering the limited Internet access in rural areas. Additionally, in 2016, in collaboration with Bojonegoro Institute and Institute Development of Society (IDFoS), the Government of Bojonegoro decided to develop the Village Administration Transparency Index to set standards for village administrators.
Moreover, in 2017, the Government of Bojonegoro committed to establish a Public Information Service Desk (PPID) at the village administration level in 30 select villages. PPID can provide basic information of every public administration services through face-to-face encounters. Although such information is available online on the government’s website, some villages do not have Internet access. Alit Purnayoga, secretary of Bojonegoro’s OGP team, in focus discussion with OGP team’s members (August 10, 2017). In addition, not every citizen has the capacity to use the Internet for such purpose. With the existence of PPID in the village level, the government would expect that citizens would already get some knowledge about basic requirements and procedures of particular administration they need. Thus, they would be ready to prepare all the documents before coming to target work units in the regency level. Alit Purnayoga, the secretary of OGP’s team of Bojonegoro, claimed that PPID can also function as a front desk to collect public input related to the improvement of public services. Alit Purnayoga, secretary of Bojonegoro’s OGP team, in focus discussion with OGP team’s members (August 10, 2017).
Specificity and Potential Impact
The commitment’s specificity is coded as medium. It includes verifiable actions with clear goals and a distinct timeframe. However, it does not provide enough information to understand to what extend the milestones could achieve the objective of the commitment. For instance, it does not define what ‘stronger community participation’ could look like and how it could be measured.
However, this commitment could change the status quo significantly. Considering the APBD reports were not published prior to this commitment, and the importance of promoting off-line village level transparency, the IRM researcher considers this commitment to have a potentially transformative impact. As written, it sets a clear goal and proposes to raise the standard through the creation of a Village Transparency Index, which would require the Government, in close cooperation with two civil society organizations, to assess the village budgetary process. The potential impact of the Village Transparency Index would likely depend on how many villages reach the necessary capacity to publish the right information by the end of the year of assessment. There could be a major improvement of access to information, especially of villages’ budget and administration. For the IRM researcher, villagers could have better knowledge of their village’ head and apparatuses programs. Moreover, establishing information desks (PPID) at the village level could help citizens to get basic information and service delivery. In the rural context of Javanese villages, face-to-face encounters are more effective for the people to get involved in governance. Combined, these milestones could represent a transformative step forward to improving public trust in the government by modernizing of village administration or “a taste of [modern] city in the village” in the words of the Major of Bojonegoro Suyoto. http://blog.opengovindonesia.org/2016/10/25/pemerintahan-terbuka-di-hilir-bengawan-solo/
The Government led efforts to achieve Milestone 2.1, which aimed to publish village APBDes and accountability reports, in the form of billboards. It was scheduled to be completed by 2016, however, by the end of the year 2017, only 168 of all 430 villages (39,07 percent) had reportedly posted their banners/posters of budget accountability. To track this effort, the Regency created a google repository for villages to upload pictures of the billboards that were created and put in place. For data of all villages, see: http://ppid.bojonegorokab.go.id/transparansi-desa/; for data recapitulation, see: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ieQFn27yE9SzhSzvO8I5brOFjUstPpk2LTGNeV9kO7A/edit#gid=1868264710 The information was submitted voluntarily by a village administration officer.
The Village Development index (Milestone 2.2), was completed in time, yet the index is being evaluated for improvement. The index includes four variables: transparency, accountability, participation, and innovation. It was implemented to select the five most open villages in Bojonegoro in 2016. The five villages are Pejambon, Kapas, Sukoharjo, Ngasem, and Kedungsumber.
Milestone 2.3, publishing APBDes, accountability reports and village asset data, was not completed. By November 2017, the IRM researcher found data available for 2016 but no updates for 2017 in order to assess the completion of the milestone. Bojonegoro OGP team’s secretary, Alit Purnayoga said that for 2017 the village report would be published in every village website, Alit Purnayoga, secretary of Bojonegoro’s OGP team, in focus discussion with OGP team’s members (August 10, 2017). which was very difficult for people to access (or at least to know all 430 villages’ name in the entire regency).
The IRM researcher received ambiguous information to account for progress of Milestones 2.4 and 2.5. The researcher did not receive the list of 30 villages targeted for the strengthening of community participation and creation of Village Information Service Desks. Upon request of information to the government representatives, Alit Purnayoga reported the development of the workshop “Sekolah Desa” (village school) facilitated by IDFoS and held in February 2017, as evidence of progress to achieve Milestone 2.4. Alit purnayoga, secretary of Bojonegoro’s OGP team, in focus discussion with OGP team’s members (August 10, 2017). However, this workshop did not form part of commitment implementation, considering that the February 2017 workshop was the third iteration of the initiative that started in 2014. IDFoS has played a significant role in organizing capacity building workshops in target villages as part of EMCL's CSR program. “IDfoS gelar sekolah desa angkatan III,” https://www.idfos.or.id/idfos-gelar-sekolah-desa-angkatan-iii/ Four participating villages from Bojonegoro and six villages from Tuban were a part of the program. It is unclear how the villages were targeted, although, according to Joko Hadi Purnomo from IDFoS, his organization’s target villages were aligned with EMCL’s CSR target villages where the company’s well is located and a pipe has been planted. Focus group discussions with IDFOS (October 26, 2017). Therefore, the IRM researcher considers that milestone 2.4 has limited completion.
For Milestone 2.5, the Government reported to have exceeded the initial plan of 30 villages. The official data gathered by the IRM researcher indicated that there were 50 villages in five districts with their own Village Information Desk (PPID), while the initial plan was only 30 selected villages. However, as the IRM researcher has not received the village name’s list or any further evidence to assess the completion status of the milestone.
Early results: did it open government?
Access to Information: Marginal
Civic participation: No change
The commitment has been very promising for open government in terms of increasing civic participation (2.4) and providing more accessible information (2.1, 2.3, and 2.5) regarding budgetary cycle and public administration in village level. Although the commitment had only seen limited completion, there has been a change in the way government approaches the publication of APBDes and accountability reports. Prior to this commitment, villages did not publish this information and was available upon citizen requests, which is now progressively being done in different villages.
Additionally, the Village Transparency Index serves as a new mechanism that allows the broader public to understand financial and governance openness at the village level. However, there are some concerns raised from CSOs regarding the methodology used to create the index. First, choosing the villages that were going to be indexed for the first time was problematic. It was a top-down instruction from the regent to the districts’ head to submit one village each as a candidate to be included and evaluated. Focus group discussions with IDFOS (October 26, 2017). With such method, the index evaluation process was not open for all villages. Secondly, there were differences of understanding from the jurors regarding the index’s variables and indicators which resulted in a disperse evaluation and therefore raised an issue of personal subjectivity in the course of the judging. Joko Hadi Purnomo, in focus group discussions with IDFOS (October 26, 2017). There is still an ongoing discussion regarding the re-implementation of the index and method for the 2017 valuation. In October 2017, there was a multi-stakeholder consultation to discuss past experience using the index and the improvement for the future use.
• For easier access to the villages’ information, the IRM researcher recommends to include all hyperlinks to the village’s websites in a single navigation portal. It could be geographically-based or district-based, and should be linked to the regency’s official portal. The government at the regency level could provide Internet-based platform(s) for village officials to report their activities.
• Establishing PPID in every village is the first step for improving citizen access to village governance. Bojonegoro should consider developing a long-term strategy to keep them functioning. The PPID officers in each village should have the capacity to act as the reporting mechanism inside the villages. Subsequent workshops for building capacity of citizens as well as PPID officers should be carried out by the government.
BOJ0001, 2017, Capacity Building
Enhancing Village Government Accountability
BOJ0002, 2017, Asset Disclosure
Improving Local Budget Transparency
BOJ0003, 2017, E-Government
Enhanced Open Procurement Contract Data
BOJ0004, 2017, Fiscal Transparency
Improving Quality of Public Services
BOJ0005, 2017, Capacity Building