FKP Roadshows in Banda Aceh, Palembang and Banjarmasin

FKP Roadshow

FKP Roadshow in Banjarmasin

 

A series of FKP seminars was held in three cities, Banda Aceh, Palembang and Banjarmasin on 11-13 March 2014. The roadshows were designed to showcase the research based seminars held by Forum Kajian Pembangunan to cities outside Java, as most FKP seminars are held in Jakarta and other cities in Java.

The first one was hosted by the International Center for Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies and Syiah Kuala University. Approximately 200 participants attended the seminars, including government officials, students, academics and general public. The second round was held at Sriwijaya University Palembang and was attended by approximately 100 people, including the head of Sulawesi Selatan’s Bureau of Statistics. This round of the Roadshow was covered by Kompas Newspaper. The last part of the roadshow was held in Banjarmasin and was hosted by Lambung Mangkurat University.

FKP Palembang by Kompas

Speakers and topics presented in the Roadshows were:

  • Arianto Patunru (ANU Indonesia Project) speaking on local economic governance and outcomes in decentralised Indonesia
  • Vid Adrison (LPEM FEUI) on decentralisation and forest management in Indonesia
  • Syarif Hidayat (LIPI) on democratisation and oligarchy in regional election, and on business and politics post local government elections
  • Nazamuddin (Syiah Kuala University) on decentralisation in education sector in Indonesia
  • Didik Susetyo (Sriwijaya University) on disparity between regions in South Sulawesi
  • Riatu Qibthiyyah (LPEM FEUI) on province local tax share distribution in Indonesia
  •  Syahrituah Siregar (Lambung Mangkurat University) on regional autonomy in South Kalimantan

Arianto Patunru outlined the progress of the research conducted with the Asia Foundation in Aceh, NTB, NTT and East Java. Two surveys were held in 2007 and 2011, which compared people’s perception over the impact of fiscal decentralisation on two key infrastructure-related public services: transportation cost and electricity. The study showed a low level of perception by respondents in Aceh on the quality of public services, and the level was even lower for the electricity sector. Around 70% of respondents perceived electricity services to be much worse as the frequency of electrical outage increased. Increasing frequency outage had raised the cost of production (to purchase small scale diesel generators and such) and reduced the competitiveness of doing business in Aceh. Different experiences were reported in NTB, NTT and East Java, where respondents observed a rather fluctuating, yet generally positive, impact of decentralisation.

There were significant key factors contributing to the increase in public service quality improvement, one of which was the bureaucracy’s one-stop service (pelayanan satu pintu). In Aceh, for example, many residents were satisfied with this service. In general, however, 40% of this one-stop service had actually made the bureaucratic process less efficient as it took longer to complete due to public servants’ incompetence. The impact of decentralisation on municipal government’s fiscal performance was also examined. The Governmental Audit Agency (Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan or BPK) reported a clear trend on improvement of local government’s balance sheet, regardless of inconsistencies in the quality.

Vid Adrison showed the decreasing total forest area in Indonesia from 1.185 million square kilometers in 1990 to 0.937 million in 2011 (World Development Indicator, 2013). The main reasons behind the current trend of deforestation were regulatory conflict between forestry law and decentralisation law and the increasing number of jurisdictions and district local elections (for campaign funding). Vid also shared the findings of his research with Australian AID on the relationships between decentralisation and deforestation in Indonesia, which included in-depth interviews with stakeholders in four districts with a significant amount of forestry revenue sharing. The results showed that forestry decentralisation led to a higher deforestation rate. This result was consistent for both conservation and production forests. Statistical evidence showed that mining activities in the form of land clearing for new mining operations and local district head elections were responsible for deforestation in conservation forests. His empirical model, however, did not explore who was responsible for deforestation prior to the local district elections.

Agus Syarip evaluated the current trend of decentralisation, i.e. the mismatch between national and regional planning, and between elected municipal government’s vision and the region’s potential. Agus emphasised the importance of Musrenbang (Musyawarah Perencanaan Pembangunan/Development Planning Discussion) to synergise the top down approach of national development planning, and the bottom up approach, based on regional resources and potential. He concluded that policy planning for regional economic development needed to focus on regional structural transformation. The design of structural transformation could be implemented smoothly if there was political and public support from all stakeholders coordinated through Musrenbang. The process must fulfill basic prerequisites for regional structural transformation: decent basic and business infrastructures, conducive climate for doing business, and qualified human resources. Fulfillment of these three would minimise a potential mismatch that might arise.

Didik Susetyo explained that in 2008 to 2013 Dana Perimbangan (fiscal transfer from central government) had increased significantly in each consecutive year. In South Sumatra, the ratio of Dana Perimbangan to municipal government revenue was on the rise and fluctuated between 60 to 90%. However, this increase was not truly beneficial for the province itself.

The main problem with Dana Perimbangan was that the inequality of fiscal revenue was rising in parallel with its increases. Different fiscal transfers could increase the fiscal gap for local governments as they stimulated different implications on local revenues and local purchases of the budget. Revenue sharing of Dana Perimbangan scheme had not been successful in amending the inequality of fiscal conditions. The scheme had worsened the already wide disparity between municipal and provincial governments. The trend in fiscal inequality could be mitigated if there was coordination and agreement between municipal governments in South Sumatra to focus on improvements in the main development sectors: education, healthcare and infrastructure.

Selected presentations from FKP Roadshows are available below:

FKP 2014 03 12 UNSRI – Didik Susetyo

FKP 2014 03 12 – Agus Syarip

FKP 2014 03 12 – Vid Adrison

FKP 2014 03 12 – Arianto Patunru