Although decentralization has created new opportunities for women and minority groups to influence budget decisions, poor women and minority groups remain largely excluded from decision-making on regarding the allocation of public funds. As a result local budgetary allocations are not designed to meet their needs. Therefore, services which relate to citizenship rights education, healthcare, environment and poverty remain underfunded. Despite the opened doors, these groups have not yet been given ample opportunities to provide input and alter public budgets that directly affect their lives and meet their needs. Additionally, their lack of awareness and understanding of participatory budgeting further reduces their chances of becoming engaged. Therefore this action will enable them to be able to speak up in development planning meetings and question programs that do not meet their ends. Women shoulder the burden of many everyday affairs in the villages of Indonesia, playing a central role in healthcare, agriculture, and the economy. However, they are often excluded from decision-making, including public budgeting. The result is that the use of public funds is often incongruous with the needs of women and ends up perpetuating their marginalization.
This problem emerged prominently in 2015, when the national government created a 1.5 billion dollars “village fund” to support development in small communities across the Indonesian archipelago. Ironically, even though one of the main goals of the initiative is decreasing inequality, women and minorities are not having a say in how those funds are allocated. To meet this challenge, in August 2016 has started Program DESA (meaning “village”) funded by the European Union, an initiative to increase the involvement of citizens in gender and minority-sensitive budget planning at the local level. Program DESA supports 3 consortia of local civil society organizations tasked with the mission of improving governance and accountability in communities in West Java, West Nusa Tenggara, and Bali. The consortia will strengthen relationships between local civil society groups and citizens, creating opportunities for participation in local government affairs.
This program have objective to increase the capacity of local civil society organizations (CSOs) to strengthen citizens participation in all phases of public budget processes in a gender and minority sensitive way and to improve the capacity of citizens and local village leaders to engage constructively in a gender and minority sensitive, public budget process at three district: North Lombok West Nusa Tenggara, Tabanan Bali, Bogor West Java. Some activities have done to outreach the objective for example increased awareness and understanding of women community members and village leaders in gender and minority responsive public budgeting process by making videographics how empowering women to involve on development planning and social audit. This video has been used for using campaign to empowering women in many areas in Indonesia. This program also provide training to the community organizer on gender mainstreaming in rural development and the development of village information systems.
March 2016 – February 2017
Search for Commond Ground – European Commission