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Village Funds must create Village Community Living Space

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2 minutes

The Indonesian Article 33 Research Institute held a Policy Discussion with the theme "Village Funds and Village Development" on Tuesday (6/12). This regular discussion is supported by the Knowledge Sector Initiative and is held to respond to government policy.

The Village Fund is a policy that is the president's political promise and is guided by it by the Joko Widodo–Jusuf Kalla (Nawacita) government program with the spirit of presenting villages as 'entities' for economic and social developmentand culture.

In 2015, the central government, through the APBN, distributed funds amounting to IDR 20.7 trillion. This number continues to increase, in 2016 the Village Fund was IDR 46.9 trillion, and in 2017 there will be a budget of IDR 60 trillion. With village funds increasing, the role of provincial, district/city and sub-district governments is required to successfully utilize Village Funds in order to create equitable development and improve community welfare.

In this policy discussion, Article 33 Indonesia presented the results of research on Village Funds, the distribution formulation of which does not demonstrate the principle of fairness and is in accordance with village needs. Village Funds in 2017 will still use the 90:10 formulation, namely 90% of village funds divided equally and only 10% using the formula. Again, this will create inequality because Java, Bali and Sumatra will get a larger share than villages in the eastern region of Indonesia, while the needs and cost index are certainly greater in the eastern region of Indonesia.

This discussion began with a presentation of material by the Assistant Deputy of the Coordinating Ministry for Human Empowerment and Culture (Kemenko PMK) Mr Herbert O Siagian and the Village Fund Research Coordinator Mr Luky Djani. On this occasion, Herbert, in his introduction to the discussion, said that Village Fund management still needed improvement, too guidelines clear information for village officials and communities regarding the mechanisms for implementing the Village Law, especially the management of village funds. "Therefore, the Coordinating Ministry for PMK Team has prepared a draft guidebook that can be used by all stakeholders."

Herbert also conveyed great appreciation in this discussion, "Currently we are preparing the appropriate formulation for the distribution of village funds, for 2017 it has already been decided, but discussion of the 2018 budget will begin to be discussed in March 2017. Later, input from article 33 for the formulation This is really needed by the government."

This discussion was closed by Santoso, the Executive Director of Article 33 Indonesia, with the message that "we must remember that the spirit of the Village Law is the principle of Subsidiarity and Recognition, lest the spirit of advancing village communities be dampened by administration and busy Village Fund debates." Villages must be able to become living spaces that underlie the pace of development in Indonesia."