Anda di halaman 1dari 4

Does decentralization deliver better democracy

in Indonesia?
www.idea.int /asia_pacific/indonesia/does-decentralization-deliver-better-democracy-in-indonesia.cfm

Feature Article
Posted: 2016-02-02
Indonesia began its democratic transition in 1998 after
mass protests ousted General Suharto. The first direct
presidential elections were held in 2004 and the country
passed a decentralization act in 2001 gradually shifting
the power from national to local level.
As local politics has become more and more important
there has been few studies on how well democracy is
doing and if devolving power ultimately strengthens
democracy in Indonesia. To identify the achievements as
well as pinpoint the problems and opportunities
International IDEA together with the Universitas Gadjah
Mada (University of Gadjah Mada) in Yogyakarta began a
State of Democracy Assessment using the International
IDEA framework in 2011.
The assessment was completed in late 2015 and a report
was released in Bahasa and in .
Amalinda Savirani is a lecturer at the Department of
Politics and Government at the university and part of the
assessment team.
The importance of the SOD assessment was that it
should be useful to both government and activists and
other stakeholders. We partnered with International IDEA
because they had this democratic assessment framework
and it was a useful instrument to equip ourselves on the
practice of democracy. In addition to that, democratic
participation, is useful to for the citizens to speak up in
monitoring what the government has done to their
citizens.

Regional differences
The assessment team found stark regional differences in
how democracy was practiced and how it well delivered
based on several factors including geographical location,
economic development and ethnic diversity. When
working to improve democracy in Indonesia the
government, civil society and other stakeholders must
take these difference into consideration.

Related publications
State of Local Democracy
Assessment Framework
(Spanish)

State of Local Democracy


Assessment Framework
(French)

Improving Electoral
Practices:
Case Studies and Practical
Approaches

The State of Democracy in


Latin America:
An International IDEA report
(Spanish)

More publications
Related Video and Audio
Conversations on Democracy:
Mr. Andrew Ellis
(2015-07-14)
Mr. Andrew Ellis is the Acting
Director to International IDEA's
Asia and The Pacific

Looking at six different regions

Programme

Indonesia is a big country, spread out on several island


which made it necessary to limit the scope of the
assessment to six specific regions. The regions chosen
were South Aceh (Aceh), Solo (Central Java), Jombang
(East Java), Parigi Motong (Central Sulawesi), Kupang
(East Nusa Tenggara) and Sorong (Papua). The selection
was made based on geographic, ethnic and economic
considerations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=3XpeSe6HYO4

Much of the work consisted in conducting interviews with


people in the regions and one of the challenges the team
faced was to get people to answer truthfully. Another
problem they faced was their own expectations of what
they thought they would find. You might assume that you
are doing to understand these issues with these tools,
Savirani says, but Indonesia is a very diverse country and
you dont always find what you expect.
[In the interviewing process] you might assume that all
people are equal and that everyone is free to express
themselves, as how democratic principles teach us, but
how can I express myself freely when I deal with
someone more powerful. Someone who maybe pays my
education. This social hierarchy is very strong in
Indonesia, which eventually affect the practice of
democracy.

Difference in how democracy is practiced


The assessment team also found stark differences
between the six regions. Rural and urban areas had
different ways of handling democracy as did old and
newly established regions. Indonesias youthful
population, with more than 43 per cent under the age of
25, is another factor to consider as they are well educated
and have access to technology and tools the older
generations did not.
While people living in urban regions were a little more
open the hierarchy was stronger in rural areas.
The surprise was the way the democracy was being
practiced in different ways in different areas.

Findings
There are more than 440 district level authorities in
Indonesia stretching from Aceh in the west to Papua in
the east. Cultural diversity is playing a key role and it was
a struggle to categorize these varieties. The goal was to
collect information, experiences and comparisons that
could be useful in improving local institutions and
democratic processes.
The thing with the local governments now is that there
are so many issues, Savirani explains. We can talk
about citizen participation, for instance when you push to

Conversations on Democracy:
Mr. Andrew Ellis
Video
Mr. Andrew Ellis is the Acting
Director to International IDEA's
Asia and The Pacific
Programme
2015-07-14
How democratic is your country?
(2014-02-11)
How do you increase popular
support for democracy? Can you
measure democracy? IDEA's
State of Democracy (SoD)
assessment frameworks,
described in this short film,
empower citizens to assess their
own democracy and identify
policy steps needed to improve
the quality of that democracy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=Pdw9G1ZXCpM
How democratic is your country?
Video
How do you increase popular
support for democracy? Can you
measure democracy? IDEA's
State of Democracy (SoD)
assessment frameworks,
described in this short film,
empower citizens to assess their
own democracy and identify
policy steps needed to improve
the quality of that democracy.
2014-02-11
IDEA TALKS with Nepal's
parliamentary secretariat SG
Manohar Bhattarai
(Stockholm, Sweden, 2013-1001)
Nepal's parliamentary
secretariat Secretary General
Manohar Bhattarai on Nepal's
democratic transition, 1 October

get a healthcare system in place, or when citizens try to


develop and be critical to the government on education, it
is challenging to detect directly what impact the
assessment has had, especially on the quality of public
service such as education and health care.
Indonesians have become more aware of their
democratic rights so an assessment at this point in time
will be very helpful to CSOs and citizens. For the CSO,
the assessment becomes a tool to detect the quality of
democracy. For citizens, the assessment becomes a tool
to detect to what extent they themselves have practiced
democratic principles through participation and election.
The thing with democratization is that it is a set of values
but when you look at what it gives you it is rights. It is
more valuable for the citizens to see how they can use
democracy to improve issues that are of concern to them
in their everyday life.
Discuss

2013
http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=D7yI7vUr-CY
IDEA TALKS with Nepal's
parliamentary secretariat SG
Manohar Bhattarai
Video
Nepal's parliamentary
secretariat Secretary General
Manohar Bhattarai on Nepal's
democratic transition, 1 October
2013
Stockholm, Sweden
2013-10-01
More video/audio
Databases and Networks
Political Finance
Database

Base de datos sobre


financiamiento poltico

Voter Turnout

ACE Electoral
Knowledge Network

More databases and networks

Feedback